Most Americans have been conditioned to believe that they must sleep on a thick mattress to get a good night’s sleep. This belief is as much a part of the culture as believing a chair is where one should sit. But this is not true in other areas of the world. For example, tatami beds are widely accepted throughout Asia as an ideal sleep surface. When one considers the mainstream paradigm of traditional mattresses being the best solution, or that a 2 to 3 foot deep system of mattresses and box springs would be needed to get the “firm bed” effect,” it does seem a bit silly. As more people seek out a firm bed for comfort, tatami beds are an ideal choice.
The whole concept of soft and comfortable mattresses being the ideal place to rest our tired bones might just be a myth perpetuated by the mattress industry. In reality, most sleep experts find that rejuvenating sleep comes from surfaces with less “fluff.” The Japanese seem to have perfected this concept through their popular tatami beds. The preferred sleeping surface in Japan still seems to be a futon mattress spread out on the floor, or a Japanese futon set.