When I say that I sleep on a futon, people automatically assume it’s one of those hard, cheap Ikea-for-students futons.
On the contrary, because what I use is a good Japanese futon. (Where to buy a Japanese-style futon in North America)
It’s fluffy, thick, soft, dense and heavy.
Think of this futon as the bed featured in The Princess and The Pea, but imagine half of it compressed into a single mattress.
Nothing like the good ol’ days of ramen-noodle eating!
It isn’t for everyone, but before you judge my sleeping on the floor on a thick futon, this is why I think it’s awesome.
It’s thick, like in that picture above.
It might take some getting used to, if you didn’t buy a super thick futon (we bought a slightly thinner one for cheaper), but now I can’t imagine sleeping on anything else.
It’s uncomfortable maybe for a night or two, while your back re-aligns and gets used to the futon, but now I can’t sleep on anything else.
Like Birkenstocks, it just takes a bit of getting used to before you’re a convert.
It’s not that we’re weird, or we can’t afford to buy a bed!
I get this from my family, friends and strangers a lot.
They wrinkle their noses at me and go: “You sleep on the FLOOR?”
Me: “Yeah, and so what?”
Skeptics: “Like a cheap, ramen eating student?”
Me: “Yes, but it isn’t because we don’t have space or the money. We just prefer a futon on a floor to being in a bed. It’s our lifestyle.”
Remember, this is me talking about something new that not many North Americans do, but it’s a normal thing in Japan for example.
Japanese people sleep on the floor all the time!
Damn that looks comfy.
So before you pass judgment, it may not be for you, but there’s no need to be insulting or derisive of what people choose as their lifestyle.
No Extra Accessories Required
No bed, no headboard, no foot board, no dust ruffles… are you feeling me here?
No end tables either, they’d be too tall for the bed.
I use little cute baskets and stack my books up against the wall.
My lamp is a little lamp I plugged and set on the floor. $10 from Ikea (the Grono Lamp if you’re interested)
Moving and Traveling with it is a cinch
Roll up, tie with 2 ties on either end, stuff it into a duffel bag and go.
It’s considered one piece of luggage, and it won’t get broken with the gentle way those baggage handlers treat our suitcases!
It is deceptively heavy, but it is nowhere as heavy or as bulky as a mattress, unless you bought an air mattress.
We have a clean portable bed that travels with us when we go to places for 2 or 3 weeks.
Less Visual Space/Clutter
I look across to my bed, and all I see is the wall on the other side.
I have to look down to see the bed, and the visual clutter of a huge bed and headboard is not there.
To go really Japanese, we ought to roll it up every morning and store it in the corner so we have more space to move around, but we’re lazy, practical North Americans who would have enough space to avoid that.
You could have a guest bed in a snap
With an extra futon, you just flip it out, cover it in some sheets, throw on some pillows and a duvet and invite guests to sleep over.
Then when they leave (if they leave!!), you can roll it all up and tuck it away, to use that room for another purpose.
It’s actually cheaper and it feels healthier
But even if it cost 5 times as much as a regular bed with all the fixings, we’d still buy a futon.
It’s $60 for a queen-sized futon.
A regular bed frame, with a mattress and a pillow top is what.. $2000?
And you can’t roll it up to take it with you, or tuck it away when the guests leave.
It’s great for our backs (it now hurts to slouch)..
And you can buy really awesome futons stuffed with scented rice husks, and organic cotton.
SO comfortable, and fragrant. Like sleeping on a meadow.
Bonus: You don’t have a fear of falling off the bed or monsters nibbling your toes
Or is that just me?
- No monsters under the bed
- No vacuuming (how is dust gonna squeeze under there?)
- No rolling off the bed and falling onto the floor (been there, done that)
Look, it’s not for everyone
Some people love beds and bedding accessories.
I’m not one of them.
And I think it’s an alternative to a bed that no one really wants to try, because we have a fear of the unknown, and it’s kind of a pain in the ass to find a futon in North America unless you go to a specialty realtor.
True futon sleeping just hasn’t caught on.
But as for me, I think it’s awesome.