Best Shikibuton Mattresses of 2019

Neither Americans nor Europeans:

If you really asked me of the nation – the people who are actually leading mankind in terms of lifestyle, technology, education and the whole way of living, my answer would be “Japanese”.

Nowadays, the most famous movement in Japan (the most lit and enlightened civilization on the face of Earth) is minimalism.

They have started to believe that since humans are mortals, they should have only very few belongings with them.

So much so:

That now a young Japanese would only have a Shikibuton mattress in terms of amenities and personal belongings.

And:

This is all what this post is about. Shikibuton or futon is a Japanese mattress that is one of the most essential part of their minimalist living style, and it is so famous that even Americans and Europeans have developed a taste for these products.

Check top 6 Best Shikibuton Mattresses Reviews

In this review, we will cover the basic questions about Futon (made of shikibuton and duvet) and we will also find out the ultimate shikibuton mattresses that you can buy in 2019 without giving a second thought. (CHECK ALSO: Warm and comfy Kotatsu Tables on our homepage: https://www.kotatsutable.org/.)

Futon Buying Guide and Review Criteria

Before I list down the best shikibuton mattresses for you, let us first take a look at the reviewing criteria and buying guide.

These are factors that you must look for and properly examine before you buy a futon mattress.

a. Outside Material

When it comes to drying fast the futon or the touch or feel to its material, the outside material matters the most.

Whether your futon will stand the test of time or it will get ripped apart and vomit all the inside material, it solely depends on the outside material. Each of them has its own merits. For example, cotton is smooth and friendly to human skin and polyester is easy to dry.

b. Inside Material

Inside material is even more important. Whether you sweat or you spill your coffee on your mattress or you have a kid who wets their bed … you need a material that dries fast

However:

You also need a material that is resilient and that will not leave its space for many years. While Polyester dries pretty fast, it is not loftier than cotton and foam is sturdier than both of them. So. it depends on your choice and needs.

c. Thickness

Thickness matters a lot. Why? Because except for high quality foam, all materials lose their loft and they get compressed a little.

This is why you need a material that is least expected to lose the loft and you need a mattress that is thick enough that even after it would lose its loft, it’ll still be at least 2” thick.

d. Size

Size does not matter, but it does matter a lot in case of mattresses and quilts. It is because all of us humans come in all different sizes. So, for me full size is enough, but someone might need a Queen size mattress. Before you buy a mattress, be sure to find out its size.

Best Shikibuton Mattresses 2019

Without further ado, here is a review of each of the 6 best Shikibuton mattresses that you can buy in 2019, because each and every one of them is a good product beyond the doubt.

1. Colorful Mart’s Gray Shikibuton


This beautiful grey mattress comes with a very beautiful square boxes pattern and the layer used on the outside of it (to keep it in one piece) is warm and soft flannel.

The thickness of this Shikibuton is almost nearer to the actual Japanese version and it is not too fluffy like those that you see in North America and Europe.

Quilting (square boxes on the futon) looks really beautiful on it, but once you get it, you can also notice some reactive printing and flocking.

Here are the pros and cons of this product.

What we like?

  • Top Layer Flannel, Bottom Layer Polyester Fiber & Microfiber Filling
  • Queen Size Mattress
  • Thickness Maximum 2 inches
  • Reactive Printing, Flocking & Quilting

What we don't like?

  • Not Thick Enough as per North American/European Standard
  • Deflates Easily

Before I talk about the cons, let us discuss all the pros in detail.

  • Top Layer Flannel, Bottom Layer Polyester Fiber & Microfiber Filling

I must say that choosing flannel as the top layer of this futon is a very good choice – especially when the target market is from cold weather regions.

Flannel has a very soft, cozy and warm feel to it. And when you have microfiber filling in it, it should go without saying that the R value would always be just as much as you want.

  • Queen Size Mattress

It must be noted that unlike the claims of a few unhappy customers, this mattress is not small. It is queen size, which makes it wider and longer than a full-size mattress. This mattress is good enough even if your height is 6 feet plus.

  • Thickness Maximum 2 Inches

Yes, it is only 2 inches thick. Some people would call it a con and it might as well be a con, but let us look at the marrow of this product.

This is a Japanese shikibuton mattress and they have them just as thin as this one – may be less than this. So, if you are among those who want to have a taste of Japanese culture, it is for you.

  • Reactive Printing, Flocking and Quilting

If you’re a fan of colorful reactive printing, you’d love this mattress. Also, it is full of fiber and the process applied to it is called flocking. Fiber is processed in small particles and then they deposit them equally onto the surface. The last thing is quilting which is sewing two layers of fabric together to make a loftier and thicker material for quilts, jackets and other such items.

However:

This product is not perfect. The first problem is that the thickness is at the borderline and the target market likes thicker mattresses, second issue comes when constant pressure on the mattress deflates it easily and then it becomes very difficult to use it, unless you are used to sleeping on the floor.

2. J-Life Japanese Traditional Futon


For those of you who want to have a fusion of Japanese traditional shikibuton and thick North American (and European) mattress experience, J-Life’s 4” shiki futon is the best experience.

This mattress is full of loft and cotton makes it warm enough for incredible Western winters. Since it is a full size mattress, anyone less than 6.3” (Queen is 6.6”) would easily enjoy a nap or nigh long slumber.

Here are the pros and cons of this product.

What we like?

  • Full size Futon with 5 Years Warranty
  • 4” Thickness – Perfect for those who want more loft
  • 100% cotton on outside + minimal quilting
  • Optional removable cover (Japanese fabric)

What we don't like?

  • Too thick and heavy for some customers
  • Not the real Shikibuton Experience

Perfectionism is not something that can be cured. We know people who hate a mattress for being too thin and then there are those who complain for it being too heavy.

Before I go on talking about cons, let us first discuss all the pros in a brief detail.

  • Full Size Futon with 5 Years Warranty

It could be better to get a queen size one, but full size is enough unless you’re more than 6 feet. This futon mattress comes with full 5 years’ warranty which means if you find any problems with the material or you find out workmanship defects you can ask for a refund or replacement immediately. This is why this mattress has got full 5 star reviews on Amazon.

  • 4” Thickness

You see:

In case of ColorfulMart’s mattress the biggest complaint was that of thickness. It was only 2” and that too subject to deflation.

However:

This mattress here is a 4” mattress and all of you who want volumes of warm and cozy softness underneath your spine, would love this mattress.

Also:

It does not deflate as soon or as easily as the previous one does. However, after constant use if you find a little bit deflation, there would still be enough loft to have a good sleep on it.

  • 100% Cotton on Outside with Minimal Quilting

Unless you do not like cotton, but some warmer material on the outside, you would love soft and smooth touch of 100% cotton material on the outside.

Cotton is good because this material is indifferent to weather. Whether it is winter or summer, you would find it equally useful.

The quilting it minimal and it is good for those who complain the loss of loft because of excessive quilting.

  • Optional Japanese Removable Cover

If you prefer, the store can add a Japanese style removable cover to your order and you would enjoy a true Japanese futon experience. Show it off to friends and family and have a rich cultural experience and all.

However:

Even this perfect product (zero negative reviews) seems to have a few problems. First of all, it is too thick and heavy for some customers. They loved the experience, but folding, moving and storing it can be a nightmare for a woman. Thing is simply too heavy.

Then there is another problem associated with this weight and thickness problem. We all have our memory foams. We buy a futon to get some cultural experience. This thing is simply too thick for that experience. I mean, where do you see minimalism?

3. EMOOR Classe Japanese Traditional Futon Mattres


In case you want to enjoy the Japanese futon experience without at the expense of ease and comfort, EMOOR’s 2.5” thick Twin size traditional Japanese mattress is exactly for you.

This mattress is a little bit down on thesize because it is twin, not full size – definitely far from the queen sized mattress that we have previously reviewed.

However, it is a treat for your aesthetic sense, especially if you are a woman. And I will explain it in detail, but let us first take a look at all pros and cons.

Check out "What we like about this product" and what we don't like.

What we like?

  • “Classe” – Best Selling Mattress of EMOOR with just perfect loft and Shikibuton experience
  • 5” thick with firm polyester pad sandwiched between polyester fiber – Firm, but soft
  • Stuffed with 50% TEIJIN MIGHTYTOP® II ECO Anti-Bacterial, Deodorizing and Anti-Mite + 100% Polyester Fibers
  • 100% Cotton fabric on outside

What we don't like?

  • Does not feel like a Japanese Futon but a Thicker Sleeping Bag
  • It deflates pretty soon

Personally, I’d say that I would easily sleep on a deflated mattress if it is still 2” or at least 1.5”. If there is a carpet on the floor, even 1” would also do, but then I’d have to admit that all of us are not the same.

People with issues with their spinal cord and most of the women would not find it pleasing once this 2.5” mattress deflates to 1.5”.

Also:

During my research on this product I read a negative review of a person who is a Japanese himself and he did not like it one bit because in his words, it feels more like a thicker sleeping bag and less like a true futon.

However:

Perhaps you do not need a true Japanese experience because they use pretty thin shikibutons that are not appropriate to North American or European lifestyle.

Here are the pros in detail.

  • “Classe” Best Selling Mattress – True Shikibuton Experience

This mattress known as “Classe” by EMOOR is the bestselling shikibuton mattress of this company.

The purpose was to give the true Japanese futon experience to American and Europeans while making sure that comfort is very much there.

However:

In doing so, they ruffled a few feathers, but you can see that most of the people appreciate the quality and experience of this futon.

  • 5” thick with firm polyester pad sandwiched between polyester fiber – Firm, but soft

The size of the mattress is 2.5 and so is mentioned in the description. It is just on the sweet spot of being too far away from real Japanese experience or being too thick.

The polyester pad sandwiched between polyester fabric makes the mattress firm and gives it its shape without compromising on softness.

  • Stuffed with 50% TEIJIN MIGHTYTOP® II ECO Anti-Bacterial, Deodorizing and Anti-Mite + 100% Polyester Fibers

This product is 50% stuffed with TEIJIN MIGHTYTOP®II ECO which makes it anti-bacterial, deodorizing and anti-mite.

This is something that most of the people want to do to their mattresses. Especially, whether you get used items or brand new from China or else, people complain about this smell that is consistent. Not with this!

The filling of this mattress is 100% polyester fiber that makes it just as soft as you like.

  • 100% Cotton Fabric on Outside

As I’ve said it previously, cotton is the most preferable piece of cloth when it comes to a mattress or many other products of daily use. It is indifferent to your weather condition and you can use it just about anywhere.

4. J-Life Twine Japanese Traditional Futon


Well:

This is definitely a small or medium sized mattress and you should not buy, but only if your size is less than 6 feet.

However:

If this is a perfect match for your size, you may go for this pure Japanese futon experience. It is not too thin and it will not deflate too soon.

The thickness is 4” and it is quilted gently to evenly distribute the fluff – from top to down and right to left side.

Take a look at the pros.

What we like?

  • 39” x 75” Traditonal Japanese Futon with 5 Years’ Warranty
  • 4” Thick Cotton Mattress – comfort and warmth
  • Made of 6.5 Ounce Natural Cotton
  • Zero foam, wool or springs – 100% Futon Experience

What we don't like?

  • Too Soft: Japanese Futon is Firm and Soft
  • Cotton Get Wets and Moisture Does Not Go Away

Let us start with the problems first.

A true Japanese futon or a Western alternative of it is soft, but firm. So it does not get mold and lose its shape.

This one is only cotton filled and not only it is too soft for a futon, but too heavy as well – thanks to 4” thickness. And yes, since it is cotton, it loves to remain molded and it loses its form too early.

Then comes bigger problem – an actually Futon is not 100% cotton, it has wool and polyester too. Then come those that have only wool or polyester.

While cotton soaks water and it does not dry faster, wool and polyester are the opposite. They do not let your sweat or other fluids go through them and they dry faster.

Because this has cotton only, it remains wet and warranty does not cover moisture.

Now, let us take a look at the pros, in detail.

  • 39” x 75” Traditional Japanese Futon with 5 Years’ Warranty

This futon or Shikibuton mattress comes with a 5 years’ warranty that covers basic material or workmanship flaws. If you find out that the seams of this mattress are coming off or the outer material has some defects, you can claim the warranty within 5 years.

The size of this mattress is not the biggest; nonetheless, for average human height this is the perfect mattress. If your height is 5 feet 8” which is still better than average height, you can use it.

  • 4” Thick Mattress

It might not be the “exact” Japanese futon experience, it is still a very balanced mix of Japanese futon tradition and comfort of Western mattresses. Without any springs or stuff, this mattress is 4” thick – full of cotton. This means maximum possible comfort and warmth.

  • 5 Ounce Natural Cotton

It is not full of faux cotton or artificial materials such as polyester. It is full of 6.5-ounce natural cotton and thus you can enjoy all the benefits that come with natural cotton.

  • No Foam, Wool or Springs

Let us have this straight – none of those woolen mattresses come with actual wool because that is so expensive. They have faux-wool or foam or springs and they do not make a real futon experience. This one does, because it has zero foam, (faux) wool or inner springs.

5. FULI Japanese Traditional Shiki Futon


If a soft, cozy and warm shikibuton is all what you’re looking for, you must consider FULI’s Japanese traditional futon with really beautiful quilting on it.

The full XL sized quilt is good enough for a single person’s use and 100% cotton outside this mattress makes this a perfect match for your leisure and comfort.

The filling is not only warmer than many others, but it is 100% washable and fast-drying filling.

It is anti-bacterial, anti-mite and compressible so you can pack it easily and move wherever you want to move.

What we like?

  • 100% Cotton Outside – 100% Polyester Inside
  • FT and TEIJIN MIGHTYTOP (R) II ECO to add reliance and protection
  • Antibacterial, Anti-Mite and Fast Drying Anti-Moist Mattress
  • Lightweight & Compressible

What we don't like?

  • Polyester Filling Loses the Loft
  • Very Thin – Not 3” At All

The problem is not with this mattress, the problem is with the choices that we humans make and we always have to choose the lesser evil.

We decided that cotton is just too heavy, it gets wet and it does not get dried early and it is not easy to mold and pack.

So:

We decided to get polyester filling. Well, nothing is perfect. Polyester is warm and lighter and easy to dry, but it will lose its loft 2x faster than cotton and for the same reason it will lose its thickness too.

Let us take a look at each of the pros.

  • 100% Cotton Outside – 100% Polyester Inside

This futon is made of 100% polyester. Polyester is a high quality material because it provides loft at no expense of compressibility and warmth. It gets dry earlier than any other material and it is lightweight as well.

However:

On the outside of this Shikibuton is 100% cotton. Cotton feels silky smooth against human skin and it is definitely much better to have it on the outside, because polyester does not have a pleasant touch to it.

  • FT and TEIJIN MIGHTYTOP (R) II ECO to add reliance and protection

These materials are used inside the futon to make it more resistant to outside stimuli and provide better protection to the user. It is because of these materials that this futon is more reliable and protective. The detail of them has been discussed earlier in this review.

  • Antibacterial, Anti-Mite and Fast Drying Anti-Moist Mattress

It is because of the materials used in this mattress that it is one of the most antibacterial, anti-mite and fast drying mattresses. This mattress kills moisture faster than many others in the market. Polyester used inside the mattress fast dries the sweat or other types of moisture.

  • Lightweight & Compressible

There are many merits of polyester and good insulation is just one of them. Apart from that, a polyester based jacket or quilt or mattress is lighter than many other materials, especially cotton.

Also:

Unlike, cotton, Polyester fibers are not so closely interlinked and it is not so stiff, this is why you can compress, mold and pack it easily and in lesser space. Rest assured that you would not have any trouble folding, compressing, storing and moving this mattress.

6. D&D Trifold Futon Bed


D&D should get 5 stars for innovation. While there are 2 or more futons that looks like AAA copy of each other, this one is not a stolen idea. The design is not unique, but as far as futons are concerned, this one is very unique.

What you get is a trifold mattress that is a high density foam: Queen size (maximum) and black color. It is for those who want something that they can fold and turn into a seat, until it is night and they want to open it into a mattress or bed.

Since the filling is high density foam and outside is 100% Polyester, you should know that you are not going to face all issues that you otherwise face with cotton.

What we like?

  • 100% Polyester Poplin Fabric on Outside
  • High Density 1.8lbs Foam Inside
  • Trifold Mattress – Convertible from Mattress to Chair and Vice Versa
  • Twin Size, Full & Queen

What we don't like?

  • Bad chemical smell
  • Not a traditional shikibuton

Let us start off with the cons. The problem starts with foam. Foam is not something that is commonly used in futons. It is go through more chemical processes as compared to polyester fiber and cotton.

This is why this mattress gives off a stinky chemical smell that fades away with time, but not totally. The problem is with the choice of material and how they ignored the smell problem and didn’t do anything to take care of it.

The other problem that was not reported by customers who used this product, but that I personally noticed is that it is more like a common folding foam seat or mattress.

The traditional shikibuton is filled with soft and saggy material like cotton or polyester fiber or microfiber etc.

However:

This one is made of foam and this renders this mattress out of the list of the futons that we get to notice otherwise.

However, customers consider it an innovation in futons and they love it so I added this mattress to this list of reviews and shopping guide.

Now, let us take a look at the pros in detail.

  • 100% Polyester Poplin on Outside

Polyester Poplin is used on the outside of this mattress. This kind of material is better known for its smooth but texturized touch against human body. It is used as the outer fabric for furniture. It is firm and it is durable, but its touch is more like cotton.

  • High Density Foam Inside

Inside this futon mattress is high density 1.8lbs foam. Now, I know and I’ve said that foam is not what makes a futon, but considering that it is an innovation and that foam has its own qualities, we can consider this a pro. Foam, as compared to Polyester and Cotton, is least expected to lose loft and shape. It is one of the most resilient filling materials.

  • Trifold Mattress

This shukibuton is a trifold mattress. You can fold it into a chair/cushion or unfold it into a big enough mattress. The multi-purpose use is the reason why many people bought it. No other futons can be used as seats.

  • Twin Size, Full and Queen

Another plus point: this mattress comes in three different sizes: twin size, full and queen. You can buy any of them based on your ideal size or the perfect size for the person who will receive this mattress as a gift. Most of the mattresses in this list only come in one size.



Verdict

Here is the table based on the criteria that we set to review and judge all 4 of these most famous futon mattresses or shikibuton mattresses.

 Name

Outer Material

Inner Material

Thickness

Size

Colorful Mart’s Gray Shikibuton

Top: 100% Flannel

Bottom: 100% Polyester Fiber

Microfiber

1-2”

47.2x78.7”

J-Life Japanese Traditional Futon

100% Cotton

100% Cotton

4”

54x75”

EMOOR Classe Japanese Traditional Futon Mattress

100% Cotton

Polyester Pad sandwiched between soft filling

2.5”

39x79”

J-Life Twine Japanese Traditional Futon

100% Cotton

100% Cotton

4”

39x75”

FULI Japanese Traditional Shiki Futon

100% Cotton

100% Polyester

3”

29x40”

D&D Trifold Futon Bed

100% Polyester Poplin Fabric

High Density 1.8lbs Foam

4”

Twin Size, Full & Queen

 Based on this table, the futon mattress that we consider the best buy for 2019 is:

EMOOR Japanese Traditional Futon

Not only it has more balanced and good looking quilting, but the mattress is anti-bacterial, deodorizing, anti-mite and quick-drying one because of polyester filling. It does not lose the loft and it does not get mold, because inside it is a polyester pad and soft filling, not cotton.

However:

You can do better research, read more and pick any other futon from Amazon.