Shikibuton in combination with Kotatsu

Do you have a small room and would like to maximize the space? You can sleep on a Shikibuton. It is a traditional Japanese mattress that you lay on the ground and fold it in the morning. During the cold season, you can lay down in your Shikibuton and let your feet remain under the Kotatsu. This is a low leveled table that contains an electric heater to keep your feet warm.

Since experts don't recommend sleeping the whole night under the Kotatsu, you can use it for some few hours before you sleep then switch it off. Though different materials can be combined with a Kotatsu table, a Shikibuton is one of the most comfortable materials you can use to relax as you warm your feet when it is cold. Below is everything you should know about this combination.

History of shikibuton

In Japan, people have been using the traditional style of bedding since the 13th century. Initially, only the elite in society slept on beds. By the 17th century, the Japanese started making Shikibuton from stuffing soft materials into a big sack. Over the years, this mattress has undergone a lot of improvements as people focused on using cotton to make them. During the cold season, they lied down on the Shikibuton and used the Kotatsu table to warm their lower bodies. Combining the two helped them achieve a warm and cushioned feeling.

How to use Shikibuton in combination with Kotatsu

Shikibuton is a rectangular cotton stuffed cushion or mattress that serves more than one purpose. You can use it to save on space in a small room or also relax as you warm your feet under the Japanese heating table known as Kotatsu.

For you to combine the two, you have to lay out the mattress on the floor on top of a tatami mat. You can also use it as a sitting cushion in front of your Kotatsu to warm your lower body. Shikibuton is an eco-friendly mattress that contains pure cotton. It does not have any inner springs or synthetic fibers. This makes it comfortable for you to take short naps as you warm yourself from the heating element of your table.

The mattress is not only comfortable to sleep in but also durable as long as you give it high maintenance. When you combine the use of Shikibuton with Kotatsu table, you create a peaceful environment to rest in and prevent yourself from hindrances such as discomfort and cold. It also prevents you from backaches and facilitates the circulation of heat across your body. If you have a big room, you can lay down two shikibuton mattresses across the room so that two people can warm their legs from one Kotatsu table.

Since you can also use it as a sitting cushion, it makes the perfect chair to prevent you from oversleeping before you switch off the heating element on your Kotatsu table. The natural materials in this mattress prevent it from off-gassing. You, therefore, are not exposed to inhaling organic compounds in your sleep. Since most modern kotatsu uses electric heaters, combining the two is therefore safe for your health.


Tender care of both of these items will help you use them for years. As for the Kotatsu table, you need to ensure that you maintain low settings since most of them produce enough heat at such low levels. When you lie on a shikibuton and use the Kotatsu table, they both absorb moisture from your body. This moisture can form a breeding ground for molds. To prevent this, ensure that you keep on turning the mattress regularly.

You should also try to air Shikibuton and keep it to dry so that it does not form mold. When laying it on the floor, place it on a breathable surface. Ensure that you flip it regularly so that it does not remain on the ground for months. You can roll it every morning after sleeping on it and store it in a dry area. It also needs some sun once in a long time to prevent it from accumulating mildew spores and dust mites.

When you place your shikibuton next to Kotatsu table, always use a protective cover so that it does not scratch. Since the material is prone to forming dips, do not lie in the same position every time. You can fluff it so that the fibers stretch.

As you shop for an ideal Shikibuton, remember to consider the size of your Kotatsu table so that you can get one that covers your lower body well as you heat up. It should also fit your breathable surface. If the weather is too harsh, choose two layers of Shikibuton so that you remain warm even as you heat your feet underneath your table. Get an authentic Shikibuton to use with you Kotatsu table from Japanese futon stores.

If you want to know more about shikibutons we recommend you check out this website!