What Is The Difference Between A Futon And A Shikibuton?

Futons and shikibutons are both traditional Japanese bedding options that have been around for centuries.

Both types of bedding are characterized by their portability and ability to fold and store away for easy storage.

However, there are some key differences between the two that make them ideal for different types of sleeping arrangements.

This article will explore the differences between a futon and a shikibuton in terms of construction, comfort, versatility, traditional vs. modern styles, and cost.

By exploring these differences, readers will gain an understanding of which type of bedding is best suited for their individual needs.


The construction of a futon and shikibuton is an important factor to consider when assessing their respective roles in a space.

Futons are typically constructed using a metal or wooden frame, with an inner mattress made from foam, cotton, and/or other materials.

Shikibutons on the other hand, are traditionally constructed with a wooden frame and a mattress made from layers of cotton batting, often with a quilted cover.

The differences in frame materials and mattress types contribute to the unique comfort and support that each type of bedding provides.

As such, the construction of these two bedding types should be taken into consideration when choosing between them.


In terms of comfort, it is important to note that a futon and a shikibuton may offer different levels of cushioning and support.

Generally, a futon is constructed with a foam cushion and pillow support, while a shikibuton is made of a thick fabric type, such as cotton or wool, that is filled with cotton and covered with a thin futon mattress.

The cushioning and support provided by a futon are firmer than that of a shikibuton, which offers a softer and more pliable sleeping surface.

As a result, the level of comfort experienced by an individual may vary depending on the type of mattress they choose.


Featuring a variety of construction materials and styles, both futons and shikibutons offer a range of options to suit individual preferences. With their multi use functionality, they are ideal for those who want versatile pieces to fit within their living space.

Futons, for instance, are available in a range of sizes, textures, and colors, providing a variety of design options. As for shikibutons, they offer the same level of versatility in design, allowing users to customize their bedding to meet their specific needs. With the variety of options available, both futons and shikibutons are perfect for those who want a piece of furniture that can serve multiple purposes.

Moving on to traditional vs. modern styles, it’s important to consider how each of these pieces will fit within the overall aesthetic of a room.

Traditional vs. Modern Styles

Comparing traditional and modern styles, it is essential to consider how each piece of furniture can be incorporated into the overall design of a room.

Futons and shikibutons have been around for centuries, but recently, their designs have evolved to be more modern.

Traditional futons and shikibutons often use natural materials such as cotton, wool, and straw, while modern designs incorporate foam and polyester.

Futons and shikibutons both have the ability to be folded up and stored away, making them a great space-saving solution for smaller homes.

Additionally, modern designs often come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, giving homeowners the ability to customize their piece to match any room’s decor.

With the wide range of traditional and modern styles available, it’s easy to find the perfect fit for any space.


The cost of traditional and modern styles of furniture, such as futons and shikibutons, can vary significantly.

While some modern pieces may cost up to five times more than a traditional piece, depending on the care requirements and aesthetic appeal desired, cost should not be the only factor considered when deciding between the two styles.

Traditional futons and shikibutons can be more budget-friendly, but modern pieces may offer a greater range of features that may be worth the investment.


The difference between a futon and a shikibuton is substantial.

Construction-wise, futons are typically made with a single solid piece of foam, while shikibutons are composed of several layers of cotton, wool, or synthetic futon filling.

Comfort-wise, futons are firmer and provide more support, whereas shikibutons are softer and offer more cushioning.

In terms of versatility, futons can easily be folded up and put away, whereas shikibutons require a bit more effort and time to move.

Traditional and modern styles of both futons and shikibutons are available, so it’s easy to find the perfect look for one’s living space.

When it comes to cost, futons tend to be more affordable, though shikibutons tend to offer better quality and longer durability.

All in all, both futons and shikibutons have their place in the home, and it’s up to the individual to decide which one best fits their lifestyle and budget.

To sum it up, when it comes to choosing a futon or shikibuton, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution – it’s a matter of weighing the pros and cons and finding the right balance.

In the end, a wise consumer is one who takes the time to do their homework and make an informed decision.