Sleeping on a Tatami Bed Frame: What You Need to Know

In 1985, the tatami bed frame was first introduced to the market, and it won the hearts of millions because of its ultra-classic appeal. Its design became so popular immediately because of its minimalistic design features. Being the first interlocking bed frame with a low-profile feature, it could consolidate its position among customers who preferred low beds with modern looks.

Before the tatami bed frame came into existence, there was only a tatami mat, which is a Japanese indoor mat used by people who want to sleep on the floor. The bed frame’s minimalistic appearance gives a compact look to the room, and its design helps the room look neat and spacious.

Tatami is a Japanese word, and tatami bed frames are available in Japanese and Western styles. We can find a tatami bed frame, mat, tatami mattress, and suitable accessories. The Japanese bed frames have a very low profile compared to their western counterparts.

In Japan, people who like to sleep on the floor use a traditional rush-covered straw mat. It is very simple in design, like many other Japanese household items. Inspired by simple household designs, the Japanese developed a low-profile bed that touches the floor and can hold mattresses; this is known as a tatami bed.

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What is a Tatami Bed Frame?

As said earlier, we can get a tatami bed frame in two formats. The original Japanese style with a low profile and the western style with a slightly elevated profile to support the tatami mat, but never to the matching height of an ordinary platform bed.

They are manufactured as solid wood blocks with slot-locking joints. Since it is compact and laid close to the ground, it is ideal for use in small spaces. It also comes with a headboard and footboard, which are optional. The tatami bed is a traditional Japanese furniture, and whatever designer elements are added to the bed, its low-profile style is its main attraction.

What is a tatami bed frame
The tatami bed is a traditional Japanese furniture

How is a Tatami Bed Frame Suitable for a Modern Bedroom?

You can select a traditional Japanese-style tatami bed frame or a western-style tatami bed that matches the bed space available in your room. But the design focus will be on simplicity. The simple design can enhance the overall look of the bedroom.

Since solid wood is used for the construction, it will have enough sturdiness for regular use. For your modern bedroom, you can use a tatami bed with a large plush headboard. It can be foam-covered or as plain as possible, giving a neat look. But the traditional style of tatami bed frame and headboard comes without foam or leather coverings. With neatly polished wood and without intricate looks, this will be a perfect combination for the bedroom.


The low-profile bed lets you sit close to the ground. Because the bed is so close to the ground, the floor will always be clean, or you will be obligated to keep it clean. The low-profile feature of the bed helps to enhance the hygienic environment, and there is no possibility of dirt accumulating underneath the bed because there will be little space between the floor and the bed.

Solid Support 

The foundation of the bed will be sturdy because the traditional Japanese-style tatami bed frame does not have any legs. Since high-density tatami foam mattresses are used for the bedframe, the user will get strong support for the back. So, there is no possibility of back or neck pain. It is ideal for people who want to sleep on their backs. It would be better to use a tatami mattress, tatami pillows, and accessories while using a tatami bed frame.

Increased Blood Circulation

Getting up from a tatami bed requires some preparation. Since there are some movements involved to get up from the bed, the user will get some active, voluntary movements, and that helps for increased blood flow.

How to Get the Best Results 

It is recommended to use a tatami mat, tatami mattress, and other accessories along with the tatami bed frame to get the best sleeping result. Using a tatami mattress can improve your spine alignment because it is firmer than a foam mattress.

Similarly, a traditional tatami mat made with core material can last up to 50 years. Tatami pillows come with specially designed contours for a snug fit, and they help to support the neck and shoulder. These types of pillows are a great relief for people with snoring issues.

Tatami Mat 

The traditional Japanese tatami mats are made from treated rice straw. They are hand-woven and will have a 2-inch thickness, 6 feet of length, and 3 feet of width. The core will be made of rice straw and covered with fine, thin rushes.

Tatami Mattress 

The tatami mattress is soft, with a breathable polyester fiber cover with a thickness of 6.5 centimeters, filled with eco-friendly cotton. The mattress is multifunctional and can last for an extended period.

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Tatami Bed Frame vs. Regular Bed

Tatami bed frame vs. regular bed
What makes the tatami bed different from a normal platform bed is its simplicity

One of the main advantages of a tatami bed frame is that it is easy to assemble. Its unique minimalistic design makes it stand out from the various types of platform bed frames available in the market. Unlike regular platform beds, tatami beds are placed on the floor without legs, leaving no space between the horizontal wooden rail and a minimum height of up to 7 inches from the floor.

Like normal platform bed frames, the tatami bed frame uses 5-inch slats evenly spaced 3 inches apart, which have a bigger gap than the slats normally found on regular beds. In traditional Japanese tatami bed frames, solid, thick wooden planks are also attached either vertically or horizontally to the bedframe. These wooden planks are thicker in size to give proper support for the tatami mattress.

The tatami bed frame does not use a box spring. Most of the wood used is solid teak or oak wood sourced from an environment-friendly plantation. For added strength and durability, the bed frames are manufactured with mortise and tenon joinery without using iron nails or plugs.

You can get tatami beds in full, queen, California king, and standard king sizes. But original Japanese tatami bed frames are available in full and queen sizes only. For other sizes, you must search for western-style tatami beds.

Since minimalism is the unique feature of the tatami bed frame, the bed frames are available with matching pairs of nightstands and a small dresser. In the Japanese-style tatami bed, there is no scope for underneath storage, but in the western-style tatami bed, you can find it underneath drawers. However, there is no scope for underneath storage bins.

What makes the tatami bed different from a normal platform bed is its simplicity. It is a low-profile bedroom furniture with style and beauty blended into a single unit. It will let you feel so close to the ground.

The traditional tatami bed frames are made of lumber stock, which is cut and kiln-dried. They are handcrafted with exposed joinery, allowing you to see the woodworking craftsmanship. Its joinery can withstand climatic changes and will not squeak.

Japanese tatami bed frames are trendy, and you can purchase different designs with and without legs. For best user results, you must use a tatami mattress and tatami mat, along with tatami accessories specially designed for use with a tatami bed frame.

Compare with a Regular Platform Bed

Compare with a regular platform bed
tatami bed is lower than the regular bed frame

Comparing their style and design, both are quite different. The regular bedframes are much bigger than tatami bed frames. When a tatami bed frame comes without a leg or with a small leg, the regular bed frame comes with four to nine legs for proper support of the mattress, and to hold the weight of the people who use the bed frame.

When the regular bed comes with a decorative headboard and footboard, the tatami bed frame’s headboard comes with a simple design. Generally, the tatami bed frame will not have a footboard.

Tatami bed frames use tatami mats and futon mattresses to enjoy the real magic of the Japanese bed. But in a regular platform bed, you can use foam or a high-density memory foam mattress.

Unlike other mattresses, the tatami mattress is not designed to cover the entire bed frame; instead, it will leave some space from the edge of the bed frame to the edge of the mattress to give it a magical look.

On a regular platform bed frame, you can have storage features underneath the bed frame. It can be large storage bins or drawers, which will have enough space to keep your unwanted stuff that you do not use regularly, like the blanket, children’s toys, etc.

Regular bed frames come in wood, particle wood, MDF, metal, or a combination of metal and wood. But tatami bed frames are available only in wood; hence, they are magnetic-free.

Since the tatami bed frame is placed directly on the floor, it will not squeak. whereas a regular platform bed frame may start to squeak after 8–10 years. Tatami bed frames are maintenance-free even after being used for an extended period.

Since the height of a tatami bed is lower than the regular bed frame, it will make the bedroom look more spacious. When we keep both bed frames side by side, we can identify the difference. The low bed frame transforms the bedroom into one that looks clean and uncluttered.

Things to Consider When You Sleep on a Tatami Bed Frame

Things to consider when you sleep on a tatami bed frame
Both are unique in design, and customers can select according to their preferences

Both are unique in design, and customers can select according to their preferences. When the Japanese tatami bed frame comes without legs, its western counterpart comes with short legs and thick frames to match the tatami design.

Since the tatami bed has a very low profile and stays close to the floor, people who prefer the Japanese style must be careful when sleeping on it. Maybe users with back pain or knee pain would find it difficult to get onto the bed, like the way how they use an ordinary platform bed. In practice, the user needs to kneel on the bed and take a posture to sleep on the bed. It will be difficult to sit on the bed straight from the standing position.

Users with back pain or knee or joint pain must opt for a western-style tatami bed, which can minimize the risk of aggravating the pain since it comes with short legs. It will not be as low as a traditional tatami bed frame.

Choosing Tatami Accessories

The tatami bed frame is for people who sleep on their backs. Since the tatami mattress uses an extra-sturdy mattress, that is ideal for reducing back pain. Similarly, you must buy suitable accessories for the tatami mattress.

While using a tatami bed, you must also use a tatami mattress, which is specially made with sturdy and durable eco-friendly fiber to provide the body’s required support. You must select an extra-firm futon mattress to use on the tatami bed for comfort and body support.

Where will You Place the Tatami Bed Frame in Your Room? 

Minimalism is the core focus of the Japanese interior. Therefore, the more you keep the interior simple, the better it will match the essence of the Japanese tatami concept. Similarly, keep the bed frame against the window, where you can get direct sunlight.

Keep a tatami mat on the footboard side or side portion of the bed. Keeping it close to the bed, you can use it for yoga or some simple exercises to warm up your body.

Tatami beds do not come with drawers or bin cabins underneath. There is no scope to provide storage underneath a tatami bed. However, the western-style tatami bed comes with storage features that are not big enough to use, like the storage facilities you can get in a regular platform bed.

Since the Japanese-style tatami bed frame has no stands, its air circulation will not be as good as that of a platform bed. Though the tatami bed comes with evenly spaced slats, it will not have enough air circulation options because of the low ground clearance or lack of clearance between the mattress and the floor. Due to this, you need to take extra care to ventilate it regularly.


The tatami bed frame is unique bedroom furniture, and it is available in both traditional Japanese style and western style. Its minimalistic design can give a modern look to any bedroom and has the designer advantage of adding elegance to the room. The bedframe does wonders if used with a tatami mattress, mat, and other accessories. The minimalistic design of the bed frame saves space and lets you keep more furniture in the room. For people who want to keep the bedroom simple, neat, and elegant, a tatami bed frame is an ideal option.

  • 1. What is a Tatami Bed Frame?
  • 2. How is a Tatami Bed Frame Suitable for a Modern Bedroom?
    • Hygienic 
    • Solid Support 
    • Increased Blood Circulation
    • How to Get the Best Results 
    • Tatami Mat 
    • Tatami Mattress 
  • 3. Tatami Bed Frame vs. Regular Bed
  • 4. Compare with a Regular Platform Bed
  • 5. Things to Consider When You Sleep on a Tatami Bed Frame
    • Choosing Tatami Accessories
    • Where will You Place the Tatami Bed Frame in Your Room? 
  • 6. Conclusion