why do japanese people sleep on the floor

I bet after a long hard day you want nothing more than… Spread mats and sleep on the floor?Read: Why do the Japanese sleep on the floor why. Everything I found is presented below, but if you want a short answer..Why do Japanese people sleep on the floor?There are many reasons why Japanese people sleep on the floor. Including tradition, saving space in small homes and customizing for summer/winter, etc. Sleeping on the floor has been customary in Japan for thousands of years, although this is slowly fading away.It’s the fast version – but in reality, there’s no ‘one reason’ why Japanese people sleep on the floor. Instead, there are many! I have covered all of them below. (And also covered up some blemishes at the end… not all sunshine and rainbows hit the floor!)



When you think about it, the whole world must have slept on the floor at some point. We didn’t always have the large raised beds we do now. Although they are one of the fastest innovators with technology, they also never forget their roots.The Japanese way of sleeping has been perfected over thousands of years and is simply a custom in their culture. Looks like that won’t change anytime soon.

Soft floor

When I refer to tradition – sleeping on the floor is not the only thing that holds true for the Japanese.Even their floors haven’t changed for thousands of years. They use what’s known as tatami mats – soft carpets used in place of floor mats. Traditionally made from freshly cut straw, the color changes as it ages. Instead, Japanese people often choose furniture that is light and easy to move.


As one of the most densely populated countries in the world, space is a rare commodity in Japan. Especially in their big cities, it is not uncommon to see small apartments without bedrooms, instead it makes much more sense to store their sleeping gear until they need it. .It’s like the Eastern equivalent of our pull-out beds.Sleeping futons are usually stored in a cupboard during the day to save space, then taken out every night before going to bed. It gives a whole new meaning to ‘make your bed’.

Adapting to the season

One tip is that the Japanese often change their futon depending on the season. Read more: why did my hanging basket die | Top Q&A Unlike in the West, where we’re stuck with one bed for an entire year, you can buy both summer and winter mattresses. In the summer, you use a lighter, more breathable mattress to help your body lose heat. And vice versa in winter – a denser and more insulated mattress will help keep you warm through cold winter nights.

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It’s cooler

No – I don’t mean ‘cool’ as a teen anime fan… but literally. Everyone knows that heat rises – but we often don’t think about what’s going on underneath it. The lower you are in the room, the cooler the air. Sleeping near the floor is another way to stay cool on a sweaty summer night in Japan.

It’s cheaper!

New owners hurry up lest the price of the bed is good. The mattress is expensive, combined with the bed frame and linens… you’re usually looking at over $1,000. It’s simple, easy to use, and barely reaches your budget. It’s no surprise that people often have a variety for different seasons.The other advantage here is that it makes parties better!Futon with two layersFutons make it super easy to have friends stay when we have friends in the west, they often have to share our beds or bump into anywhere from the couch to the tub. In Japan, it’s very easy to get friends to stay – and a much more common thing. When you have a whole set of spare beds you can pull out of the closet, it’s easier (and a lot more comfortable) for friends to stay overnight.


Much of Asia experiences strong earthquakes and Japan is no exception.That’s why they have some of the best earthquake-protected buildings in the world. They are at the forefront of minimizing damage from these massive forces of nature. . While this isn’t the #1 reason Japanese people sleep on the floor, it’s certainly a small advantage.

What are the benefits of Japanese sleeping?

We’ve all heard that sleeping on the floor has the potential to be the ‘cure’ to bad moods again.. Mostly told by a crazy friend who is constantly following the new fad! While true, sometimes sleeping on the floor can help a bad back. It’s basically like a very, very firm mattress.Well, we’re not talking about literally sleeping on the floor. Although the Japanese sleep closer to the floor, they still sleep in futons – similar to mattresses. The problem with modern beds is that they are often too soft. They can sag in the middle, leaving our lower backs unsupported – meaning we’re weighing them down all night.Back after sleepingGet up the next day and try to walk and lift things, and no wonder your back hurts. No time to rest or recover! Read more: Why david chose Jerusalem On the other hand, a firmer mattress won’t sag. It will support your lower back, giving you time to recover and regain strength. So, in this way, sleeping on these futon styles will be better for you than super soft mattresses. However, the same effect can be achieved when you sleep on a firmer mattress (or a good memory foam mattress). Bottom line – the health benefits of sleeping on a futon like this are not life-changing. They may be, if you sleep on a bad mattress, but otherwise this is more of a cultural tradition/custom than a health-focused decision for the Japanese.

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Are there obstacles to sleeping on the floor?

As with anything, there are always a few cons to match the pros.Here’s a quick recap of what the Japanese are missing out on:

  • There are always more bugs on the floor. And have you seen the kinds of mistakes you make in Asia?!
  • It takes a lot more effort. Having to open futons and put sheets on them every time you want to sleep (not to mention doing the opposite in the morning) is a lot of effort. It’s like taking 30 minutes out of your day…every day.
  • No separate bedroom. It’s been proven (and I’ve said it over and over) that the environment affects our brain a lot. One way to disturb your sleep is to spend a lot of time awake in your bedroom. Separating the sleeping space from the living space will help your brain drift quickly. Unfortunately, this is not possible when you sleep on the living room floor!
  • Space is not always an issue. Saving space can be a huge advantage in small Japanese apartments. But in a big American house in the Midwest? It’s hardly a problem – so you lose one of the biggest advantages of sleeping on the floor.
  • Not as comfortable as. This is debatable, but there is a limit to how comfortable a futon can be. While it may be better for your back, many people will never find them as comfortable as a large mattress and high-quality pillows. This is especially true for heavier people. Westerners tend to be taller and larger than Japanese. A heavier person will of course need a little more to feel comfortable.
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How do Japanese beds work?

As with anything Japanese, there is a little system when it comes to sleep.First, you have the Tatami mats – which we’ve covered before. Traditionally, soft rugs are made from straw and used as flooring, on top of the mattresses you place two mattress pads. The first is a thick and thick mattress that is used as a firmer foundation for sleeping. The second is a thinner foam mattress – the one you actually sleep on. Both are covered with their own sheets, combined with a traditional pillow – filled with buckwheat husks, not feathers! (Yes, they are as loud as they sound).

What about when they want to take a nap?

This is another major difference between Western and Eastern cultures. (And one that I especially love).In Japan, naps are done wherever, whenever you want.Literally, it’s not uncommon for workers to fall asleep on their desks or people who often doze off on park benches, especially when it comes to work – the Japanese view naps as a positive thing. To them, a short nap shows that you’ve worked so hard to the point of exhaustion! Unfortunately, most of the bosses I’ve met don’t see it that way..


After a lot of research, that included all I could find as to why Japanese people sleep on the floor, I hope this helps you out! But maybe it’s something to consider to try in the future. And why not, it doesn’t have to be expensive ????If this article was helpful to you, check out some of my other articles below. It really helps to support the blog! Good night, CraigRead more: why can’t I like anything on instagram | Top Q&A

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