Can You Put a Futon on Risers?

The Japanese Futon has existed for as long as Japanese history itself. 

This ground-level, cotton-filled bed is a staple in many traditional Japanese homes, and it has lasted through the generations for a reason. 

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Futons are a cost-effective, easily maintainable, and space-saving bedding option for those looking for a change in the bedroom.

But there is one aspect of the Japanese futon that many don’t like: they sit low to the ground. 

Read on to find out just why that is, and if there are ways to change it.

Why do futons sit so low?

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Sitting low to the ground offers many perks to Futon users. 

Ease of use

Futons do not need a heavy box spring or metal frame for support, so they are easy to transport and clean.

When buying a futon, you do not have to worry about buying a frame and transporting it. And if you don’t like where you placed the futon, all you have to do is roll it up and move it – you don’t need to ask a friend for help.


Their proximity to the ground and lack of accessories also makes them quite easy to store out of sight. Futons can be easily folded and rolled up and can therefore be hidden in a cupboard.

The bedroom can double as a living room or office without having a clunky traditional mattress in the way.

Great for back pain

A Futon’s placement on the floor provides excellent spinal support for those who use them. Not only is the ground incredibly supportive, but the futon’s ease of movement allows the mattress to be rotated often.

This is good for the back, as the body doesn’t get cradled in the same divit overnight and has space to move freely. 

Sleeping on the floor is cooler

…literally. Hot air rises, so sleeping on the floor is in fact cooler than sleeping elevated on a mattress. Sleeping on the floor is a great way to cool down in the hot and humid summer months.

But…it’s the floor

Despite the many benefits of sleeping on the floor, people can be uncomfortable with sleeping so close to the ground.

There are a few options out there for those looking to make the futon farther from the ground while also maintaining the futon’s many benefits.

How can I make my futon sit higher?

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There are 3 main ways a futon can sit higher off the ground. 

Tatami mat

It is common for a futon to sit on a Tatami mat. This mat is thin and durable and adds a layer of protection between the futon and the floor. If you are worried about creepy crawlies, buy a mat that is wider than your futon for a little extra protection. 

However, Tatami mats are only around 2 inches thick, so if you are looking for more incline, you should try a slat.


Japanese futons can also be placed on slats. Slats are typically about an inch high and made out of wood. 

Many slat options can be rolled up and stored away when not in use. 

Slats are designed to be breathable, so they will both raise you off the ground and help your mattress to release its nightly moisture. 

Pair a slat with a tatami mat for extra elevation.

Add extra bedding

This is a good option if you want to raise your futon, especially if you think it is too firm. Add an extra comforter or blanket under the futon for an added layer of separation between you and the floor. 

Final Thoughts

A futon is a great sleeping option for those looking to improve spine health and cut down on wasted bedroom space. 

And, if you don’t like how close it is to the ground, there are multiple options to choose from. The futon is a versatile bedding option with many benefits, and there certainly is a way to make it work for you.