Experts Corner

What is a Tatami Mattress and Is It Good?

May 17, 2024   By JM Carpiso

Tatami mattresses are not only known for their comfort and support but also for their ability to promote good posture and reduce pressure points during sleep. The firm yet yielding surface of a tatami mattress can help align the spine properly, leading to a more restful and rejuvenating sleep experience.

In this article, we will delve into the world of tatami mattresses, discussing its definition, features, benefits, and how to choose the right one for you.

What is a Tatami Mattress?

Traditionally, a tatami mattress is a type of Japanese bedding that consists of a natural, hand-woven straw mat placed on the floor. It is often used as a base for a futon or a thin mattress to provide cushioning and support while sleeping. The straw mat, known as “tatami,” offers a firm yet comfortable surface that conforms to the body’s natural shape.

However, modern tatami mattresses have evolved to incorporate modern materials such as foam, cotton, and latex, while still retaining the traditional tatami design and feel. These contemporary versions are designed to meet the ergonomic needs of sleepers and to fit into modern homes, blending the best of both worlds.


The tatami’s history dates back to the Nara period in Japan and was initially a luxury item for the nobility before becoming commonplace in Japanese homes. The resilience and breathability of the tatami made it an ideal sleeping surface. Today, tatami mattresses are appreciated not only in Japan but worldwide for their unique comfort and aesthetic appeal.

Features of a Tatami Mattress

Traditional Design

As mentioned earlier, a tatami mattress is inspired by traditional Japanese bedding. It usually consists of a cotton or foam core wrapped in a layer of straw or rice husk, and then covered with a fabric cover. This design not only retains the mattress’s traditional appearance but also ensures a combination of comfort and durability.

The straw or rice husk acts as a natural insulator, providing a cool sleeping surface during hot summers and warmth during cold winters. The fabric cover is typically made of cotton, which is soft and breathable. This natural fibre allows air to circulate and moisture to evaporate, reducing the risk of mould and dust mites, which can be beneficial for allergy sufferers.

Additionally, the intricate weaving of the tatami mat contributes to its aesthetic appeal, making it a stylish choice for those who appreciate a minimalist and natural look in their bedroom decor. The attention to detail in the craftsmanship of tatami mattresses is a testament to the rich cultural heritage from which they originate.

Minimalistic and Portable

Another feature of a tatami mattress is its minimalistic and portable design. Unlike a traditional bed, a tatami mattress is lightweight and can be easily rolled up or folded for storage, making it perfect for small spaces or for those who move frequently. This portability is especially useful in multi-functional living spaces where the floor area is utilised for different purposes throughout the day.

The simplicity of the tatami mattress also complements the growing trend towards minimalism in interior design. With its clean lines and lack of bulky bed frames, the tatami mattress can help create a serene and uncluttered environment conducive to relaxation and mental well-being.


One of the biggest advantages of a tatami mattress is its versatility. It can be used in a variety of settings, such as a bed, a floor mat for meditation or yoga, or as a cushion for sitting. This multifunctional aspect of tatami mattresses makes them a practical choice for those who want to maximise the use of their living space.

Furthermore, the aesthetic of a tatami mattress can easily adapt to different room themes, from traditional Japanese to modern minimalist. Whether you’re using it as a sleep solution in a compact apartment or as a relaxation spot in a spacious home, the tatami mattress can serve multiple roles without compromising on comfort or style.

Benefits of a Tatami Mattress

Tatami mattresses have many benefits both for you and the environment. It is very good for your back and also cost effective.

Natural and Eco-Friendly

Traditional tatami mattresses are made from natural materials such as straw or rice husk, making them an eco-friendly and sustainable bedding option. Additionally, they do not contain any toxic chemicals that may harm your health or the environment. The use of renewable resources like straw means that tatami mattresses can be produced with a lower environmental impact compared to synthetic alternatives.

The handcrafted nature of traditional tatami mats also ensures that each mattress has a minimal carbon footprint. By choosing a tatami mattress, you’re not only investing in your sleep but also supporting sustainable manufacturing practices that benefit the planet.

Good for Your Spine

A tatami mattress is known for its firmness, which is beneficial for your spine. If you want a firm mattress, this can be for you or you may opt for a mattress that is really made firm.

Sleeping on a soft mattress can cause your spine to sink, leading to back pain and discomfort. On the other hand, a firm tatami mattress provides proper support and alignment for your spine, promoting better sleep and a healthier back.

The firm surface of the tatami has been linked to improved posture and reduced pressure points during sleep. This can result in a deeper, more restorative sleep, leaving you feeling refreshed in the morning. For those with chronic back issues or who simply prefer a firmer sleeping surface, the tatami mattress can be an excellent choice.


Tatami mattresses are generally more affordable than traditional beds, making them a cost-effective option for those on a budget. Moreover, they are durable and can last for several years, making them a great investment in the long run. The relatively low cost of a tatami mattress does not compromise its quality or the benefits it provides.


The longevity of tatami mattresses is due to the quality of materials used and the meticulous construction process. Regular maintenance, such as airing out the mattress and keeping it dry, can further extend its lifespan, ensuring that you get the most value for your money.

How to Choose the Right Tatami Mattress for You

Knowing how to choose your tatami mattress can help you pick the right one. Just like with looking for the best firm mattress, there are a few key factors you must remember.


Tatami mattresses come in various sizes, including single, double, queen, and king. Consider the size of your room and your needs when selecting the right size for you. A queen size tatami mattress is a popular choice as it provides enough space for two people to sleep comfortably.

When measuring your space, remember to account for the mattress’s footprint when it’s laid out, as well as the space needed to store it when rolled up or folded. This will ensure that the tatami mattress fits seamlessly into your living area without causing any inconvenience.


The thickness of a tatami mattress can vary, with some models being as thin as 3 inches and others being as thick as 6 inches. Thinner mattresses are more portable and easier to store, while thicker ones provide more cushioning and support. Consider your personal preference and comfort when deciding on the thickness of your tatami mattress.

It’s also worth considering how the thickness of the mattress may affect the firmness and overall sleeping experience. Some sleepers may find that a slightly thicker tatami mattress offers a more forgiving surface, while still providing ample support for the spine.


Tatami mattresses can be made from a variety of materials, such as foam, cotton, and latex. Each material has its own unique qualities, so it’s important to consider what you’re looking for in a mattress. Foam and latex mattresses are known for their comfort and support, while cotton mattresses are more breathable and natural.

When selecting the material for your tatami mattress, consider your needs, such as sensitivity to allergens, preference for natural materials, or a hypoallergenic sleeping surface. The right material can significantly enhance your comfort and sleep quality.


As with any purchase, price is an important factor when choosing a tatami mattress. Prices can vary depending on the size, material, and brand of the mattress. Determine your budget and compare prices across different brands to find the best option for you.

Keep in mind that while price is an important consideration, it should not be the sole deciding factor. Investing in a high-quality tatami mattress that suits your needs can lead to better sleep and, consequently, a higher quality of life.

Why Get a Tatami Mattress

Tatami mattresses are a great alternative to traditional beds, offering a unique blend of tradition and modernity. With its natural and eco-friendly materials, minimalistic design, and versatility, a tatami mattress is a great investment for a good night’s sleep.

When choosing a tatami mattress, consider size, thickness, material, and price to find the best one for your needs. With the right tatami mattress, you can enjoy a comfortable and restful sleep every night and embrace a touch of Japanese tradition in your home.

Looking for the best mattress? Check out Ecosa now.

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