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How minimalist sleeping on a Japanese futon works

I have slept on a bed my whole life but once I was ‘converted’ so to speak to a Japanese futon, I was surprised at how comfortable it was.

P.S. You can buy an all-cotton futon made in the U.S.!!


I likened it to wearing Birkenstock sandals. It takes some adjustment and then it is the most comfortable bed you have ever slept on.

It took me about half a week to get used to it, but within that time frame, I woke up a little sore and stiff as my body was used to super soft, squishy mattresses which used to bend my spine and not keep it straight.

Once I got used to the futon, I couldn’t go back to sleeping in a bed because I could feel my spine not being set straight and bending slightly.

Of course, since I don’t have back problems like my partner (he cannot be in soft beds or his back seizes up), I can still sleep in a soft bed, but I prefer not to.



Even when I was 8 months pregnant and very, VERY round and awkward, I did not find getting up and off a mattress that much more difficult aside from having to be a little slower.

I rolled on my side and pushed myself up with my hands.

I suppose it would have been easier sleeping on a bed, because I could have just swung my legs over, but I toss and turn a lot, and with my centre of balance completely off, I have no doubt I would have accidentally turned a little too close to the edge and without accounting for the weight of my belly, I would have fallen right off onto the floor.


No bueno.


As we co-sleep these days, Baby Bun sleeps in between us right in the middle, and he is a mover.

Sometimes I get kicked in the face but most of the time, he ends up wiggling down to our feet, where it is cooler (he hates sleeping on hot spots), and I find him half on the floor, and his head on the futon like a pillow!

Whatever it is, I do find that sleeping on the floor with him has me way more relaxed about him rolling off the bed, because he just rolls onto the floor, and either squeals in his sleep to get us to move him back onto the bed, or just sleeps like that.


We actually look like this.

Mommy Panda (me), groaning: Why with the 5 a.m. wake ups!?… and Baby Bun all cuddled up in my bidness with his legs and feet tucked into the corners of my body.

I never have to worry about him falling off, getting squished (hard to squish him, he’s pretty big now and he squishes ME)… and we end up using the bed as a play area during most of the day which I find I would be more hesitant to do if it were a bed.

I was at a friend’s house the other day playing “5 Little Monkeys on a Bed” with her girl, and I was surprised at how often I had to try and reach out and keep Baby Bun from jumping off the bed accidentally while playing.

More than likely, I would have to make sure he was never in the room alone because he would inevitably want to jump on the bed without me, and would most definitely bump his head.

(I remember doing it when I was a kid, so I am SURE he would be the same.)

Since we have a futon on a floor at home, he loses the pleasure of jumping on a bed, but I don’t have to worry if he does want to jump on the futon (doesn’t bounce), although I will note that it has happened where he has fallen off the futon and bumped his head on the floor because he sat down on the edge of the futon & his centre of gravity was off, so he smashed backwards.

Still, it’s a small distance to fall than off a bed when jumping.

P.S. You can buy an all-cotton futon made in the U.S.!



  • Tania

    Cute panda pic! I have a kitten now (sugarbabyneko on instagram if you need a cute kitten break) and she’s started to sleep on the bed with me. I’ve been sleeping all scrunched up like the pic because I’m so worried I’ll accidentally kick her or roll on her. I need to come up with a better method before my back gets messed up. It’s very true about the spine and also I would add the neck/body. I used to be very careful that my shoulders weren’t hunched and neck was aligned with the spine before going to sleep (pre-kitty).

    I’d like futon sleeping but live in a rural tropical area. Floors get dirty fast even if you clean often and there could be cane spiders and centipedes (not too often but ewww once would be enough while sleeping). In a high rise city apartment though I could totally see doing it, especially if I could roll it up and use that space differently during the day. I’m moving back to the city soon (in about two months) so I’ll see how my BF feels about it.

  • chezloup

    I sleep on a futon that sits on a slatted bed frame. It helps with airing the futon. I slept on a futon on the floor for a long time, but I found all the noises and vibrations that travelled through the floor were disturbing.

  • Kevin

    I had one of these futons, but unfortunately my body could never acclimate to it. It’s ridiculously heavy, and once we flipped it — it did offer a few days of back aching respite. Overall, we gave it about a year, but it did not take. We are back on a mattress and are not looking back.

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