Futon counts among the oldest sleeping cushions of humanity
For around 2000 years, some sources predict 2500 years, Futon is manufactured in Japan as a sleeping berth. Cotton in raw, lightly combed form is shaped to a fleece, (in ancient Japan by pushing and pulling, by hand) and pulled into a fabric cover, and with the help of some stitches stapled to prevent from shifting and other deformations. Such a futon-mat is only about 5cm thick and lies on the with Tatami-mats (ancient Japanese floor covering) covered floor. Another futon-mat, (Kake) which even thinner, will be placed on top as a bedspread. To sleep, the sleeper lies in between like a sandwich filling.
This way of sleeping is to our understanding of a bed or sleep hardly conceivable and for our body structure not pleasant. As Central Europeans, we are taller, heavier, and lie way more often in a lateral position to sleep, which among other things, is caused by the different shapes of the spines. The Western body has stronger lordoses. Partly because the roots of our sleeping spaces were less delicate than the Japanese futons, and you lie better in a recovery position on a bale of straw. Quite similar like today on miserable foam mattresses, which sometimes are made with a 20 cm to 25 cm thickness, to compensate quality with mass, which of course is not working.
A good mattress/natural mattress for people of medium weight is 14 cm to 18 cm thick Japanese futon, as you can sometimes see in the advertisement or read in the description of dodgy or incompetent traders, those do not exist here, they simply were too expensive, apart from the already questionable use.
The futon of modern times, the local futon, the Euro-futon only bear little resemblance to the historical example. Actually only in the fact that several layers of natural material (sadly not always) are only held together by attachment points and are not glued together like industrial mattresses.
On closer examination, this production concept has also been normal in Europe for centuries, however, not for the common, mostly cheap everyday goods. High-quality mattresses from companies like Schramm, Treca, Vispring, Hästens, etc. have been manually fabricated for generations and stitched by hand from upholsterers. But back to the futon. High-quality, modern, futons, like the ones from Futonwerk are as well manually hand-made. Raw materials like Pure new wool, Horsehair, Coconut fiber, Hemp or Natural latex are processed in addition to Cotton which has a lower priority in the local futon. The cotton which gladly is portrayed as the main content of the futon, is actually too wispy, too filigree for this purpose and it is unprotected against Bacteria and Mold, which like settle in the moist atmosphere of a mattress. In ancient Japan it was different, there the light futons would be rolled up and put away daily so that the cotton was loosened and dried. Nevertheless, over here almost nobody does that and the cotton will soon be rattled and hard. A little cotton in the futon is good because of its antistatic characteristic and in connection with other fibers and latex, it will stay smooth.
For this purpose, the prepared natural materials are laid on top of each other in fleece-layers, inserted into the cover fabric and finally connected to a whole at about 18 attachment points (13-23). This principle enables the materials to take their effects, meaning soft, hard, elastic, climate controlling, operating stabilizing, all that what a mattress should offer. The outstanding characteristics are on the one hand strength/stability and on the other hand, the climate control which in this way is so good that natural materials can diffuse freely, and thus enable a humidity passage. A good futon is fast on temperature, but never scorching, it is always balanced.
Futon also stands for more than good physical-technical features. Futon is also the expression of an attitude to life. In the late 80s-, the early 90s, the rise of the futon as a symbol for clarity and awareness in the living area, began. At the latest since the beginning of the modern era, the average person also deals with the things he surrounds himself with. The entry of this examination into the bedroom, which was a taboo zone for a long time, took place, later on, basically with emerging of the futon and the wild designs of the futon beds, which looked so different to what one was used to. So the futon and the futon bed were the openers to the bedroom, practically a new cultural level, the meaning of which is just as unclear, as the meaning of sleep for the human organism.
Even today, 30 years later futon — in addition to its physical-technical aspects — still stands for ‘being different’, for openness, freedom, clarity, for mental as well as physical health.
Furthermore, the topic futon has further aspects, such as ecological correctness in contrast to many synthetic mattresses. A really good futon — such as the products from Futonwerk — which exclusively consist of high-quality natural materials, is ecological and because of its long durability also highly sustainable. Sustainability is achieved if an ecological product lasts long, thus it rarely needs to be replaced and correspondingly seldom resources are consumed for it. As with all successful products, there are a lot of imitations which then usually downgrade the actual product. Unfortunately, this is also the case with the futon, and the majority of the offered futons are cheap import products with doubtful content. An easy rule is that the person who knows what he does also is able to talk about it.
With quality providers like Futonwerk, you can see exactly which materials are used in which quantity, where the materials come from, and if they are tested. Since there is no formula, for which mattress serves which human the best, and the much-vaunted testing does not really help either as ten minutes on a new futon/on a new mattress tell us little about how this futon/this mattress will feel after three or even ten years and what it is doing with your sleep, it is important that your dealer/provider advises you fair and competent. Initially compare the clarity and accuracy of the information of the provider if you want to find out where to get quality.
Certain is: Who found his right futon/his appropriate natural mattress, begins a new, better period of life.
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