Why We Sleep On the Floor {Japanese Style Bed}

Japanese Style BedJust over a year ago we weren’t very happy with our thick, cushy mattress and Paul asked me to research how people in other countries slept which led fairly quickly to reading about the Japanese style bed.

It didn’t take much reading to convince us that we wanted to try this Japanese style bed out, and now that we have had this mattress for a year I wanted to share about it because we love it! I totally get that it’s weird. And the very few people we have shown our bedroom to laugh at us (lovingly. With a sigh and a “of course you guys sleep on the floor…”). But it’s really been so good for us I’m ready to share our weird bed with the internet.

We may eventually get it off the floor and on a nice, slightly raisedĀ frame, but it has been working for us just like this. I bought myself linen sheets and a linen duvet cover and it seriously feels like the most luxurious bed ever. (I scouted out prices on 100% linen bedding for AGES. The best prices were at a Restoration Hardware Outlet – I think it was just under $80 for a sheet set that is normally $300. Linen holds it’s value really well and will resell used for more than I paid for my brand new set – just a little tip for resellers!)

We bought this Japanese mat on Amazon. It was average price for what we were looking for and had good reviews which is why we settled on this one.
Having read much more on the subject I really want this make your own mattress kit that you stuff with buckwheat – total nerd/homesteader moment, but it just sounds so cool to make one’s own mattress.

Our first week on our Japanese style bed we were both miserable … and confused. It was awkward and uncomfortable sleeping on the floor. It felt as though every bone could feel the floor. But at the same time we felt like we were getting better and deeper sleep, so that gave us hope.

It wasn’t until almost two months after sleeping on it when we went on a two week trip and returned home to sleep on our mattress on the floor that we realized how much we had missed it. How good it had begun to feel to sleep on it. Every time we leave it and come back to it there is a bit of an adjustment period of a day or two, but it really has left us both feeling good – there is zero back pain, no neck cricks. Having read so much about the Japanese style mattress it seems that the back pain issue is what draws a lot of people to this style of mattress in the first place.

We were primarily interested in this mattress because we were interested in what other cultures have found has worked for them and we wanted to try it out, too! Eliminating back pain and neck cricks was an unexpected bonus for us.
Another benefit I have found is that it is easy roll up and clean both it and under the bed. It can easily be carried outside to be beaten out and laid in the sun. When it starts feeling flatter than normal it is easy to fluff up.
A final benefit we have discovered through this is that it has prepared us to be able to sleep anywhere without any problem. On a recent road trip two different host homes had only their floor to offer us to sleep on, and while it wasn’t the most comfortable (I can’t pretend the Japanese style mattress is that magical!), it also wasn’t the huge adjustment it has been in the past.

It has been a year with this Japanese style bed and I don’t think we’ll be going back to a normal style bed. If it wasn’t for the fact that the boy’s beds double as guest beds we would switch them over, too! We’ve weirded our guests out enough with our Turkish towels … which we’ve been using for 4-5 years now. (Total aside, but I don’t think I have mentioned them on here. I LOVE them, should you be in the market for a new type of towel! They take maybe a month or so to adjust to; but they dry quickly, don’t take up much space, are super cute, and are just all around amazing.)

Just so you aren’t left with the idea that these mats can only be used on the floor, here are some images I found around the web. (note: they can be left just on the floor, it’s totally up to personal preference! Also should note – we have a japanese style bed, not decorating style. I am far too noisy to embody their classy style!)

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

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Jessica Lynette

3 Comments

  1. We did this with our normal mattress when our frame broke and debated getting another frame as it was comfortable, however we did get another frame and have regretted it ever since!

  2. Hi! I was wondering if it’s cold sleeping on the floor in the winter… I want to do this so bad but we love I’m Michigan and inam worried about it getting cold or wet on the floor in the winter. Thanks!

    • It has not been an issue for us. Our winters are much more mild, but Linen and wool bedding would take care of the warmth issues! If dampness is a concern then mold could become an issue so you’d want to raise the mattress off the floor, even if only on a pallet style frame. Hope this helps some!!

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