How to choose a Japanese platform bed frame
In order to get a good night's sleep, it is essential to create a calm and serene environment in the house. In addition to factors such as wall color, darkness, and temperature, the bed has a huge impact on the quality of your sleep.
If you're looking for ways to make you feel more comfortable sleeping, a Japanese bed will be perfect. However, not all Japanese beds are the same. It would help if you considered certain criteria before purchasing to obtain the model that best suits you. Here are those criteria.
#1: The appropriate mattress size
Many Japanese bed frame models do not come with a mattress and other bedding accessories. It is therefore important to know what size mattress will fit the Japanese bed because you will have to buy one.
Although most manufacturers adhere to standardized sizes, they may also offer "custom" sizes slightly smaller or larger than industry standards. So, before making a final decision, make sure that you will be able to easily find a mattress size that will perfectly suit the Japanese bed that you are going to buy.
Single size (97 x 195 cm): This Japanese bed size is suitable for a child's room or a guest room. The extra-long single bed is a variant of the standard single bed. It has the same width but is a few cm longer in length. Due to the extra length, it is more suitable for a teenager or an adult.
Double size (140 x 195 cm): For two people, the sleeping space for each person is relatively large but does not correspond to two single sizes. It is the perfect choice for a single person or a couple who wants to furnish a small bedroom.
"Queen" size (152 x 195 cm): Some manufacturers offer Japanese beds with a "Queen" size mattress that is slightly larger than the standard "Queen" mattress dimensions and is generally considered a custom size. However, the "Queen" size will be perfect for two people who need more space.
"King" size (180 x 195 cm): For a Japanese bed, the "King" size is the widest standard mattress size available. The sleeping area per person approximates that of a single-size mattress.
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#2: The design material
Japanese bed styles can be made from various materials ranging from solid wood to particle board (MDF). It is better to opt for a durable material such as solid wood for a long-term investment.
This material provides proper support and can last for decades, provided the bed is properly maintained. Metal bed frames are also good based on material quality, joints, and hinges, but they tend to dent easily. The layout of the frame is also important:
Solid surface: This is a continuous surface with holes to improve air circulation. It provides a firm base for your mattress and is a good choice if you need extra support.
Slats: A series of wooden or metal slats are placed horizontally two to three inches apart to support bedding and improve air circulation. This is the variant of the Japanese bed that we encounter most often.
Cross slats: This is the type of support you'll see in Japanese metal bed frames and are especially common at the entry level. However, it is not the most durable variety on the market.
Metal: Some Japanese bed frame designs have a woven metal surface. It's not very sturdy and can be uncomfortable when using certain foam mattresses. On the other hand, they work well with box springs and other mattresses with better back support.
#3: Manufacturing quality
The perfect Japanese-style bed should be made of materials strong enough to support the combined weight of the bedding and the people using it. Choose only the best quality wooden or metal bed frames.
If you opt for slatted mattress support, make sure the slats are sturdy but slightly flexible, as they will support the weight better. Japanese beds generally have a solid surface, but a slatted construction offers increased airflow. However, recheck the width and spacing of the slats to understand if the bed frame provides enough support.
#4: The style
Before buying any type of bed for your home, you need to think about its design. You can simply sleep on tatami mats on the floor in traditional Japanese style. Those who think that the floor is not a good option should consider sleeping on a mattress.
You can create the look of tatami with a flat, low surface surrounded by wood. There are many such models. They usually have a heavy frame and a floating effect design combined with stylish nightstands. The result is that the bed appears as if the mattress was placed on a wooden floor. You can create a zen retreat with a lowered mattress. Japanese beds are part of the category of platform beds.
By default, platform beds are lower than traditional beds. Traditional style Japanese beds do not have a clearance space between the bed frame and the floor and do not have a headboard or footboard. In addition, there are models with modern styles that are equipped with headboards and footboards. Some feature a floating design.
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How to take care of your Japanese bed's "kakebuton" mattress?
One of the most important things to know when buying a Japanese bed is how to properly care for the "kakebuton" mattress. It will be different from how you care for a normal futon mattress. To care for a Japanese mattress, air it out regularly to prevent moisture and mold from building upon it.
The most important thing you can do to maintain your Japanese mattress is dry it outside regularly. Airing your kakebuton should be done regularly, as people usually sweat at least a cup of water per night. You might think it has no impact on the mattress, but it comes to mold and dust mites or ticks with dampness. These ticks are almost invisible and thrive in moist places. They bite the skin and drink human blood, causing sometimes unbearable itching. In addition to preventing mold and dust mites, airing your Japanese mattress regularly also keeps it fresh and maintains its soft texture.
Although airing your "kakebuton" outside is ideal, sometimes it is not possible to do so. If so, you can dry your futon indoors.
Shikibuton and kakebuton or futon set?
Shikibuton and kakebuton set
In Japan, a so-called "Japanese" bed consists of "shikibuton" and a "kakebuton." The "shikibuton" refers to the pillows, and the "kakebuton" is the thick and quilted bedspread. Traditionally, when combined, they constitute a bed in Japan, and they are placed on the floor. They can also be placed on a tatami specially designed for the whole. Japanese "kakebuton" are designed so that they can be easily rolled up and stored.
Therefore, if you opt for this traditional version of the product, be aware that these carpets must be often and properly aired and ventilated to avoid mold development.
A futon is the Western version of this product. It is usually thicker and used as a bedroom or living room bed. They are mostly made from a combination of materials, not just cotton. They are also usually made with synthetic foam and/or springs, much like a regular mattress. Standard futons are too thick to roll, are heavier, and tend to become part of the furniture, taking up more space.
If you live in a small studio, have a relatively cramped bedroom, or just want to create a feeling of open space inside the home, a shikibuton and kakebuton shikibuton set is still the perfect choice, too. Good for the main bed or a guest bed. Also, if you don't have space concerns, the futon is much sturdier and doesn't need a lot of ventilation. It will mainly serve as a replacement bed or a replacement sofa.
Keep the shikibuton and kakebuton set dry.
Don't leave your shikibuton in the same place day after day. Instead, air dries it in the sun regularly. The sun dries out but also kills the bacteria responsible for bad smells. The Japanese do this weekly, if not daily, but if not practical or doable depending on where you live.
Complete your bedroom design with other Japanese style elements
If you're interested in an Asian decorating idea for your own home to go with your Japanese bed, there are some things you can do. With its modernized adaptations, the traditional Japanese bedroom focuses on creating an environment of simplicity, modernity, and comfort, especially with low furniture.
Make your Japanese mattress softer.
To make a Japanese mattress softer, consider the material the mattress is stuffed from, place an air mattress on top of your mattress, and add a feather bed or mattress topper.
Use a cover to protect the mattress of your Japanese bed
Some kakebuton comes with a cover that protects the mattress.
If you don't have one, be sure to buy one with a washable pad that will help keep your bed clean.
Choose wood for rustic, chic, or classic home styles
Wood is a classic for any type of furniture. It is common to see Japanese hardwood and pine beds. The latter lends a rich grain texture to the Japanese bed.
What is the best Japanese platform bed?
The best Japanese bed depends on your needs and your budget. Read our buying guide for the best products right now.
Where is the best place to buy a Japanese bed?
Many stores sell Japanese beds, but you'll have many more options when buying online.
Is the Japanese bed suitable for heavy people?
Yes. There is no weight limit for Japanese beds, as many use the ground as support. Either way, you'll have to consider the size of the mattress and the fact that it might not have padding.
Can a Japanese bed be used as the main bed?
Yes. Japanese beds are perfectly safe and suitable for use as the main bed. Many people who live in a small apartments opt for this option.
Is the Japanese bed good for your back and posture?
Some doctors and chiropractors are beginning to recommend Japanese bedding for back pain relief and conditions like scoliosis. The theory that a soft mattress is great for healing and health has long been debunked, but we're still reluctant to ditch the fluff and embrace a more streamlined bed style.
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