What is a Tatami bed?

By Jonathan 3 October 2019


In a world full of new trends and fashions, we see that some of these are actually previous trends returned. The Tatami mat happens to be traditional in the Japanese culture and is a different style from the Western beds most commonly known. The Westernized “tatami bed” provides a small raised support to these mats in a frame, but very low to the ground.

The Tatami mats actually have roots in nobility and formal military reception rooms originally, but since the 17th century have been used by “commoners” as well. They have now become of a contemporary style to use in a home which relishes in the simplicity of the Japanese minimalist style.  You can even consider pairing your Tatami bed with something like Buckwheat hull pillows for an extra dose of sustainable comfort. 

One of the primary differences between it and Western beds is that it is very low to the ground. Compared to typical beds which can sit as high as your waist, this can be a large but prosperous change for you. Partly because the material used for the Tatami bed is beneficial to your health! The sturdiness combined with the material allow for health benefits such as:

  • Hygienic: The mats used between the mattress and frame allow for much easier cleaning 
  • Firm support: Support joint stability and alignment (assuming your doctor approves)
  • Sustainable: Made from rice straw, the material is ecologically responsible with a low carbon footprint
  • Breathable: The material allows for mold control and heat isolation
  • Increase blood flow: Getting out of the low level bed requires you to move much more than you may have needed previously such as stretching prior to getting up.

The Tatami style bed is typically a Japanese platform bed with insets for Japanese tatami mats to be inserted. Some, however, choose to use the bed without these since your mattress will go on top of the frame. If you do decide to purchase the Tatami mat to go with it, you actually have many uses for it in addition to being an added cushion for your bed:

  • Traditional Japanese celebrations/rites
  • An element of decoration for a Japanese feel and to bring light to your interior
  • Extra cushion for your floors instead of chairs or even rugs
  • Helpful to control humidity

Whatever use you decide upon for your mats, you’ll likely get the calming spirit of its historical traditions. These mats have been inserted into Japanese culture over the last couple of centuries into proverbs such as “strategy planning on tatami,” meaning all talk and no action, and “even if a room has 1,000 tatami, a person only needs one to sleep on,” meaning don’t take more than you need.”

At Get Laid Beds, we have three beds – the Attic, Low Loft, and the Enkel Platform – that are perfect for adding your Tatami mat to! All there is to do then is enjoy your healthful night’s sleep.

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