Pros And Cons Of Using Shikibuton

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Do you know what a Shikibuton is? It’s actually a Japanese futon that folds up neatly and can be stored inside the closet. Don’t be surprised to learn that in some mattress stores it’s called a Shiki Futon. There’s a good chance you’ve seen one already. If a futon folds, then chances are it’s a Shiki Futon. Let’s explore this mattress a little bit and find out more about it.

Shiki Futon’s history

Shiki Futon is actually a Japanese innovation on the mattress. Unlike other parts of the world, the Japanese take a minimalist approach when furnishing their homes. Because Japanese homes are small, they take great pains to make sure their furniture and furnishings maximize the tight space.

Shiki Futons are perfect for the small and tight Japanese homes because they are:

  • Small in size—fits inside a typical Japanese bedroom (with added space to boot);
  • Comfortable—Shiki futons are made of 100% cotton;
  • Folds up neatly to save space—these mattresses can be folded (or rolled) and stored inside a closet when not in use.

The Rise of Shiki Futons

It’s not only the Japanese that are reaping the benefits of the Shiki futons. These foldable futons are winning fans over because of their simplicity and functionality. Here are the advantages of a Shiki futon:

  • Compact and lightweight—you can carry it around with you. You can use it in several parts of your house, and even outdoors
  • A space saver—the Shiki futon is perfect if the space in your home is limited. You can store it in a cabinet when not in use and the space you gain can be used for other purposes
  • It has other uses—fold up a Shiki futon and you get yourself an Ottoman (a footstool) or a chair
  • It de-clutters the room—the compactness of a Shiki futon will allow your bedroom to breath. Therefore, a room will look less cluttered and more spacious
  • It’s easier to clean—because of its compactness and its light weight, the foldable futon is easier to clean. What you get is a more hygienic bedroom because the mattress you use is always fresh

 The Disadvantages of a Shiki Futon

The foldable shikibuton is not immune to disadvantages. Here are some of the things you need to consider before buying one:

  • It is expensive—because it’s pure cotton, a single layer of the futon can cost you quite a bit
  • It’s not very comfortable for bigger-sized individuals—the Shiki futon was created with the Japanese consumer in mind and the Japanese are not very big physically. This futon will not be very comfortable for plus-sized individuals.


How to Make Your Very Own Foldable Shiki Futon

Save on the cost by making your own Shiki futon. Here are the steps:

  1. Instead of stuffing your futon with 100% cotton, you can head out to your mattress store and buy blocks of foam. Decide on how big you want your foam blocks to be. If you can’t make up your mind, we suggest a 22’’ X 25’’ dimension. Choose also the thickness. You can start with a 5’’ if you want extreme comfort. If you desire a more solid surface, you can opt for the 3’’ thicker.
  2. Buy cotton upholstery for your futon. Also include zippers.
  3. Cut the cotton according to the measurements. Stitch them together while making sure that each block on the upholstery will have a hinge. This hinge is vital in order for the futon to fold.
  4. Stitch the zipper on the opening.
  5. Insert the foam and you have your own foldable mattress.

The Shikibuton is a great addition to your living room even if you already have a bed. It can serve other purposes—like an extra seat or an emergency cot for guests crashing into your home. A piece of home accessory like the Shiki futon can always find a place in your home. If you can’t find any use for it now, you can go ahead and store it inside your closet.


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