How To Make Shikibuton More Soft To Sleep On

If you’re someone who values a good night’s sleep, then you know how important it is to have the right bedding. One popular option for those who prefer a minimalist approach is the shikibuton, a traditional Japanese mattress made from cotton batting and typically placed on top of a tatami mat.

While some people find this style of sleeping surface to be comfortable and supportive, others may find it too firm or lacking in cushioning. Fortunately, there are several ways to make your shikibuton more soft and cozy without sacrificing its benefits.

In this article, we’ll explore some practical strategies for enhancing the comfort level of your shikibuton. From adding a mattress topper to fluffing up the cotton batting, we’ll provide detailed instructions on how to achieve a softer sleeping surface that will help you feel more rested and refreshed each morning.

Whether you’re new to using a shikibuton or simply looking for ways to upgrade your current setup, these tips will help you optimize your sleeping experience and create a sense of belonging within the community of shikibuton sleepers.

Add a Mattress Topper

One potential solution for enhancing the comfort of a traditional Japanese futon is to incorporate an additional layer in the form of a mattress topper.

This added layer can be made from a variety of materials, such as foam, wool, or down feathers.

Foam toppers are often the most affordable and durable option, while wool toppers provide natural insulation and moisture-wicking properties.

Down feather toppers offer exceptional softness and lightweight comfort but require more upkeep than other options due to their susceptibility to clumping.

To maintain your mattress topper’s longevity, it’s important to regularly rotate it and air it out in direct sunlight when possible.

Additionally, spot clean any stains with mild detergent and avoid excessive exposure to moisture.

By adding a quality mattress topper that caters specifically towards individual preferences, shikibutons can become significantly softer for improved sleep quality.

Fluff Up the Cotton Batting

The act of fluffing up the cotton batting within the shikibuton increases its loft and promotes better air circulation, potentially enhancing comfort during use.

Hand fluffing is a simple method that involves grabbing handfuls of the cotton batting and pulling them apart gently to restore their natural shape. This can be done periodically throughout use to maintain optimal softness and resilience.

Additionally, using a dryer on low heat with no fabric softener or dryer sheets can also help to fluff up the cotton fibers and restore their plushness. It is important to avoid high heat settings as this can damage the cotton fibers over time.

By regularly fluffing up the cotton batting within your shikibuton, you can enjoy a softer, more comfortable sleeping experience.

Use a Foam Pad

Employing a foam pad can be a practical solution to add an extra layer of support and cushioning to your bedding setup. Foam pads are known for their ability to provide pressure relief, which is especially beneficial for people who suffer from chronic pain or soreness. Additionally, they can help regulate body temperature by wicking away moisture and heat, allowing you to sleep more comfortably throughout the night.

When choosing the right foam pad, it’s important to consider factors such as density, thickness, and material quality. A higher density foam will generally offer better support and last longer than a lower density foam, while thicker pads may provide more cushioning but could also feel too bulky for some people. Material quality should also be taken into account; look for materials that are hypoallergenic and breathable to avoid any potential allergies or discomfort.

With these tips in mind, incorporating a foam pad into your bedding setup is an easy way to make your shikibuton softer and more comfortable for a better night’s sleep.

Layer Your Bedding

Using blankets or comforters can be an effective way to layer your bedding and make a shikibuton more soft to sleep on.

Choosing the right type of blanket or comforter can depend on personal preferences, as well as the temperature and climate of your sleeping environment.

Additionally, adding pillows for support can also enhance the overall comfort of your bed, especially if you suffer from any back or neck pain.

Using blankets or comforters

One possible way to enhance the comfort level of a traditional Japanese futon is by layering it with additional bedding materials such as blankets or comforters.

Blanket options include wool, fleece, cotton, and down. Wool blankets are a good choice for those who want warmth without bulkiness. Fleece blankets are soft and lightweight, making them ideal for summer use. Cotton blankets are breathable and hypoallergenic, making them a great option for those with allergies. Down blankets provide the ultimate in warmth and softness but may be more expensive than other options.

Comforter materials include down feathers, synthetic fibers, or a combination of both. Down comforters offer excellent insulation while synthetic fibers can be more affordable and easier to maintain.

Ultimately, choosing the right blanket or comforter depends on personal preference and budget constraints but adding an extra layer can significantly improve the sleeping experience on a shikibuton mattress.

Adding pillows for support

Enhancing the comfort level of a traditional Japanese futon can be achieved by incorporating additional support through the use of pillows.

Alternative solutions such as blankets or comforters may provide some level of softness, but adding pillows allows for targeted support to specific areas of the body.

When selecting pillows for this purpose, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, consider using smaller-sized pillows rather than larger ones, as they can be more easily adjusted and molded to fit your needs. Additionally, look for pillows with materials that are soft and hypoallergenic to avoid any discomfort or allergies during sleep.

Finally, experiment with different placements and arrangements of the pillows until you find the combination that provides the most comfortable sleeping experience for you.

By incorporating pillows into your shikibuton setup in this way, you can create a more personalized and soft sleeping surface that will help you get a better night’s rest.

Consider Replacing the Cotton Batting

Replacing the cotton batting in a shikibuton can potentially alter its firmness and improve the overall comfort for sleeping.

While traditional shikibutons are often filled with organic cotton, synthetic materials such as polyester and foam have become popular alternatives due to their affordability and durability.

However, these synthetic fillings may not provide the same level of breathability and moisture-wicking properties as organic cotton.

Other alternatives to cotton batting include wool, which is naturally hypoallergenic and regulates body temperature, or kapok, which is a fluffy fiber from the seed pods of kapok trees that offers excellent support and resilience.

Ultimately, finding the right filling material depends on personal preferences and needs for comfort, support, and environmental responsibility.


In conclusion, the shikibuton can be a comfortable and practical option for sleeping. However, if you find that your shikibuton is too firm or uncomfortable, there are several ways to make it softer.

Adding a mattress topper or foam pad can provide an extra layer of cushioning. Fluffing up the cotton batting or layering your bedding can also help increase comfort levels.

It is important to note that while these methods may make your shikibuton more comfortable, they may also alter its traditional Japanese design and feel. Therefore, it is recommended that you experiment with different methods until you find the perfect balance between comfort and authenticity.

With a little effort and experimentation, you can transform your shikibuton into a cozy and inviting place to sleep.