Shikibutons, Shiki Futons and Butons

If you’re wondering about the difference between a shikibuton and a shiki futon (they’re actually the same thing), let’s begin with a bit of history about the Japanese style futon.

Customers often ask how our Japanese style futon is different from a Western futon. Then they are surprised to learn that the word “futon” originates from Japanese. It means “round cushions filled with cattail flower spikes.”

Rarely will you now encounter a futon full of spiky cattails–perhaps it’s a niche our shop can fill in the future. But we can see how the Japanese futon has evolved into the comfortable, versatile cotton mattress that we know as the shikibuton.

As a side note, shikibuton literally translates to “bottom mattress.” There are other “butons” such as the kakebuton (comforter) and zabuton (sitting cushion).

In the meantime, the Western futon has long lost touch with the simple elegance of the Japanese shikibuton. You will often find them covered with overly complex patterns at the local futon superstore, laid over a cold metal frame. Often times it is double the thickness of a shikibuton, filled with cheap foam or other filler materials.

We are firm believers that the best solutions are often the simplest. With this in mind, cotton is strong, simple and natural. Without fancy or expensive technology, a cotton batting allows your mattress to breathe, providing you with comfort in both cold and warm climates.

The shikibuton is a fresh yet timeless classic. Enjoy the comfort and versatility of one today.