Back Problems & the Japanese Bed
Myth: Sleeping on the floor on a Japanese bed can lead to back problems and you may wake up aching and sore in the mornings.
Fact: Contrary to the common myth above, it is incorrect to think that a Japanese bed is the same as "sleeping on the floor." The shiki futon is an actual mattress that provides up to 4 inches of firm comfort. For adjustable extra softness, a tri-fold mattress pad can be used directly beneath the shiki futon.
If you have been sleeping on a typical spring mattress, the Japanese bed will be heaven in comparison. Or if you have been sleeping on a Tempur-Pedic or very soft pillow-top mattress, you may find the Japanese bed supportive and a bit firm.
Your body and all its muscles adjust to your sleeping surface over time (average adjustment time is 1 week to any new surface). Just as you may wake up feeling sore or uncomfortable or get a poor night's sleep in a hotel room, you may have a short adjustment period to a Japanese bed.
Are you ready to experience the Japanese way of sleeping? You don't have to travel to Japan or pay excessive fees for an imported bed. Based on reader feedback and our own independent testing, we put together a list of the best shops in the United States where you can buy an authentic shikibuton.
View our recommended stores for a Japanese bed »