Reasons Why Futons Are Good for Your Back

Reasons Why Futons Are Good for Your Back

While the thought of a futon may make your joints start aching, a Japanese futon can make all the difference to the health of your back and all parts of your body. These are sturdy, strong, and can do so much good to the body. 

Japanese futons are good for the back because they do not sink into the group and provide more support than with a traditional mattress. With room to move around and the floor to help provide your back with support, you will find that a Japanese futon is the right choice for you. 

There are many benefits for you to choose from when it is time to start using a Japanese futon for your back problems, or to prevent back pain in the future. Let’s take a closer look at a Japanese futon and see how this may be the best kind of mattress for you to prevent back pain and to keep you feeling great in the morning. 

Futons Can Actually Help You Sleep

Sleeping on a futon bed will take you a little time to get accustomed to. There is a difference in the firmness, but you also have to adjust to the height difference. You are almost sleeping on the floor! You will get used to it the longer you have the futon bed. 

Futon beds are known for good health in Japan and there are different ways that it can help you to get to sleep and sleep better at night. Some of the ways that this can help you at night includes:

  • The firmness keeps the joints in place all night
  • The futon is not able to sag and overstretch

Both of these are able to prevent backaches as they are the common reasons why a traditional mattress will make you wake up with all those aches and pains. A few nights in a futon and you will quickly notice a difference. 

Futons Are Great for Those Who Toss and Turn

We are meant to naturally toss and turn a little bit at night. This allows our bodies to find the right place to get comfortable and to relieve some of the pressure we may feel throughout the body. The problem is that a traditional mattress does not allow us to do this much. 

There are a few reasons why a traditional mattress may prevent us from getting some of the natural movement that we need at night including:

  • It sags down, locking us into one place for the night
  • It transfers the movement to others, keeping them awake. 

This problem can be fixed with a futon in many cases. You will be on your own little spot, without having to worry about the movement going over to your partner. With no bedspring underneath, the movement will not transfer. 

Since this mattress is firm and will not have all that softness to it, there is no reason that it will sag at all. This prevents you from locking into place and allows for more natural movement in the evening. You will no longer have to wake up stiff and sore in the morning. This is good for your back because:

  • You can move around so the muscles are not as sore and stiff when you wake up
  • You are not locked into a position that is bad on the back like a traditional mattress

While a futon may be a simple option to choose and the design is not that complicated, it can do wonders for helping your back get some of the relief that it needs too, all from being closer to the floor with more support. 

Futons Are Firm – And That Is Good for Your Back

A Japanese futon is firm and comfortable. Most traditional mattresses are not going to add this level of firmness to the mix because they want to advertise how soft and comfortable the product is. That softness is great, until it wears out and starts to cause back problems. 

This firmness in the futon is going to make a big difference in the amount of peace you can get while asleep. For example, the firmness:

  • Allows your back to form its own natural alignment
  • Provides more comfort
  • Makes it easy to move around at night

When all of these come together, you will find it is easier than ever to have a peaceful sleep at night. This is why so many doctors and even chiropractors are starting to recommend this futon to those with back problems and scoliosis. Almost anyone can benefit from this kind of futon though. 

Futons Provide Support for Your Back

It is hard to believe that this kind of mattress is able to provide your back with some of the support that it needs, but this is true. That thin futon is just what the back needs to get the alignment and relief that is so important to prevent back pain. 

With a Japanese futon, you will no longer need to worry about:

  • The bed sinking in
  • Getting stuck in one place
  • Unnatural alignment of the spine
  • Being stiff and sore in the morning

All of those problems are gone when you choose a futon for your needs. This is due to the nice support inside of the futon. It does feel a bit strange to get stuck on a thin mattress near the floor, but you will adjust, especially when you see how great your back starts to feel. 

While we have been sold on the idea for years that a soft mattress is one of the best ways to sleep at night, this could actually do a lot of damage to our overall health. Traditional mattresses are not as good on the back, but when you choose a Japanese futon, you will see how beneficial it can be. 

Know Your Japanese Futons

While it is easy to assume a Japanese futon is just a big sleeping bag used in Asia, there is much more to it. It is a ground-based sleeping setup, that is similar to our beds but closer to the ground. There are several parts that come with this kind of bed including:

  • Shikibuton: This is the mattress. It is up to 4 inches thick and often made from cotton. 
  • Kakebuton: This is the comforter or duvet. There are different types and thickness options available. 
  • Makura: This is the pillow that comes with the bedding in this futon. It is firmer and smaller. The authentic models are full of buckwheat hulls. 
  • Mofu and Taoruketto: These are just the blankets. The Mofu is for the cold weather and Taoruketto is for the hot weather. 

There are different makes and types of this futon based on how you plan to use it. But the traditional Japanese version helps you to have a comfortable sleeping experience that is good for your back and the rest of your body too. 

You can always choose to add or take away parts as necessary. Many people like to use their own blankets for example, or they will use a specific pillow to help with any potential neck and head problems too. 

How Does a Japanese Futon Compare to an American Futon?

When you first start reading this article, you may have assumed that we were talking more about the American futon. Anyone who has spent some time on those will know how uncomfortable they can be and how much more damage they do to the back. 

The Japanese futon is generally a better option when it comes to keeping your back safe. there are a few different reasons for this. These include:

  • They are thinner and more flexible
  • Made of different materials for comfort
  • Provide firmness and support
  • Can be placed on different surfaces, but often on the floor

These mattresses are the ones we discuss in this article, offering the right support and comfort that you need when your back needs a little help. They may take a little more time to get used to since you will be a lot closer to the ground, with them being directly on the floor sometimes. 

American Futons

An American or Western-style futon will be a little bit different. They will resemble a low and wooden sofa bed and they are often a lot thicker, too thick to fold up in most cases. The slatted frame will store them most of the time, which can make it harder to move them around. 

This is just a start to how the two mattresses are going to be different. Some other comparisons include:

  • The Japanese futon is up to four inches thick while the Western is six inches or more
  • The Japanese futon can be folded up when you are done, while this is not possible with Western mattresses
  • The Japanese futon will not have springs in it while some Western futons will have this

While a Western futon can be a good option in a college dorm or when you need an extra bed in a guest room, they are generally not used to help out with back pain. On the other hand, the Japanese futon is a great choice to use to prevent back pain and keep you strong at any age. 

Why are Traditional Mattresses So Bad for Your Back?

While most people sleep on a traditional mattress, this may not be the best solution for your sleeping needs. Many mattress manufacturers will advertise all the cushioning and comfort in their product, but they can be very bad for your back. 

A mattress that is soft is less likely to offer your back the support that it needs. It may feel comfortable at first but can quickly change to a lot of back problems and other pains as you break in the bed and get used to it. Some of the problems with the soft mattress include:

  • They do not offer a lot of support
  • They tend to sag in the middle, causing the spine to slump in. 
  • They do not allow you to move and shift during your sleep

With no support, a bad posture for the spine, and no ability to move through the night, it is no wonder that a traditional mattress is causing a lot of problems to your back overall. A futon could be the solution that you need. 

How Do I Use a Japanese Futon?

The good news is that the Japanese futon is relatively easy to use. This can make it easier for you to get all of the benefits that you need without all the hassle. To use the Japanese futon, simply:

  • Clear out the space in the room you want to use
  • Lay out the futon
  • Get comfortable inside

And then you are good to go. You can find a room where you can leave the futon all the time or consider a good place to store the futon when you are done with it each day. This can keep it safe. Routine cleaning of the futon will help it last longer. 

Flooring Matters

You need to also consider the type of flooring that you will use with the futon. Softer flooring or something soft underneath can help keep you comfortable while providing some of the support that you need while using this. 

One option is to use a tatami mat. These are an ideal option that can keep the futon safe. You will be able to purchase this at the same time. Some will choose to go with a thicker futon base to provide some additional cushion as well. Or go with a soft flooring like:

  • A soft mat
  • Carpet
  • A few blankets underneath

You do not want to have floor too soft or put too many layers under the futon. This may sound like a great idea, but this can take away some of the support that you need out of the futon. Keeping the mat close to the floor is one of the best ways to get all the benefits from it. 

How to Pick the Right Futon

The next thing that we need to consider is how to pick the right futon for your needs. There are different options on the market that you can choose, but make sure that you are going with the right one for your needs. 

With all the choices in Japanese futons, you need to have a plan in place to help make the right decision. Some of the things to consider when picking out a Japanese futon include:

  • The size and length. Find one that is long and wide enough for you. 
  • How much padding. While you do not want too much padding, there are a few choices in this.
  • What accessories are available. Do you want it to come with its own pillow or you do have your own?
  • Style: there are a few different styles that you can choose as well. Compare a few to see which is the best for your needs. 

Be picky about the type of Japanese futon that you choose to work with. There are many options, but if used properly, this is the new bed you will sleep on. Just like you take the time with picking out a new mattress, you need to use your best judgment to find the right Japanese futon too!

When Is a Futon a Bad Choice?

There are a lot of benefits to using a futon to help with back pain and allow you a better sleep at night. However, it is not always the right choice for everyone. Some of the situations where you may want to reconsider a traditional mattress include:

  • For the elderly
  • For those with joint or injury problems
  • Those who can’t get off the floor for some reason
  • Those who need special beds for health conditions

With old age, you may find that something that Is softer may be better on the joints. Getting up in the morning from a position close to the floor can be difficult as we age as well. And for those with joint and injury problems, having a mattress with more cushion may help to protect your injuries. 

There are options that allow you to add more padding or support to the bed to help with this too. Always talk with your doctor about whether the futon is a good choice for you or if it will aggravate some of the stiffness and issues that come with arthritis and old age. 

Choosing a Futon for Back Pain

When you want more support out of the bed you use, then a futon is a good option. It helps you to move around, provides more support than a traditional mattress, and does not slump. Your spine into an unnatural position. 

For those who are looking into a new mattress and who feel confused by all the options out there for mattresses that promise to be the best for back support, but which fail quickly, a futon may be the best option to help you out. 


Hi there! I’m Alex, the one behind this website. I ran and operated a Local Furniture Store in Southern California. The store opened in 2010, during the “Great Recession,” It is still thriving today; however, I have dedicated my time to helping our online customer base. My primary focus is to help you with all your furniture & mattress questions.

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