How to Buy Japanese Style Bedding

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One of the cornerstones of Japanese charm is found in their homes. But homes are not only where the heart is--but where the bed is, as well. Japanese style bedding has the same sort of elegance that Japanese homes have as a whole, and can provide a solid night's sleep to boot. Read on to learn how to buy Japanese style bedding.

  • Consider whether you really want to sleep on Japanese bedding. Traditional Japanese sleeping quarters consist of a tatami (rice straw) mat, with roll-up futons on top--they can be tough on uninitiated backs. Tatami also comes in standard, Japanese sizes: 90 x 180 cm. (about 35.5 x 71 inches), although mats from Kyoto may go as large as 95.5 x 191 cm. (37.6 x 75.2 inches).

  • Decide what sort of tatami mats you want. Even in Japan, many modern tatamis are often built with a core of styrofoam wrapped in plastic fibers, instead of more traditional (and old-fashioned) rice straw.

  • Understand the maintenance required for Japanese bedding. Tatami mats should be vacuumed regularly--and in humid conditions, tatami mats might provide housing for insects and pests, requiring treatment. Tatami futons, meanwhile, need to be put away each day to prevent mold growth, and aired out regularly.

  • Realize the cost. Tatami mats can not only be expensive, but if they are not locally accessible, they may cost an arm and a leg to ship. This is especially true for traditional mats, which are quite heavy.

  • Purchase your bedding from a local dealer or a Japanese supplier.

Tips & Warnings

  • Anyone who stands six feet or taller may require multiple mats.

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