Why Japanese futons are so expensive – Are they worth the hefty price tag?

Have you been window shopping for a comfy futon for a while now? Then you sure would have already noticed that their prices can range from cheap to mid-range to expensive.

But aren’t futons supposed to be affordable? How come some are so pricey?

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In this article, we will uncover the reasons behind the hefty tag price of those Japanese futons you’ve been meaning to buy and determine if they are worth it.

How expensive is expensive?

Before getting into the nitty gritty reasons why some futons are expensive, let’s first make sure that we are all on the same page regarding the price range in question.

Futon prices could range from $100 to a few thousand.

To avoid any confusion, let us set the amounts that fall into affordable, mid-range, and expensive. For this article, let us consider futons below $300 as affordable, $301 to $600 as mid-range, and $601 and up as expensive.

Regardless of the price, futons are not prone to bed bug infestation, and that alone makes it worth its price.

Factors contributing to the high price tag

There are a few factors contributing to the higher price tag of some Japanese futons in the market. These are the type and size of frame, type, and size of mattress, type of futon cover, quality of futon, and delivery and assembly fees (if there are any).

Let’s discuss each factor one by one.

A living room with green plants and white furniture.

Type and size of the frame

The futons you can find in Japan are all placed directly on the floor so this does not apply.

However, if you are in the US or other parts of the world, your futon is most likely placed atop a frame that is either made of wood or metal.

High-quality metal and hardwood frames are expensive because the raw materials used are costly. 

Why do manufacturers use them? This is because the expensive, high-quality materials look nicer and offer better support than low-quality materials. 

They also last longer than their cheaper counterparts, so preferred by people with extra cash to spare. 

Besides the sturdy frame that can carry heavier weight loads, the distance of each support slat that carries the mattress is well-proportioned for optimum stress and weight distribution, which can help the mattress last for longer.

In so saying, since the raw materials used are expensive, expect that as the size of the frame gets bigger, the price would also go higher.

Add into this the craftsmanship involved in producing the futon frame. Handcrafted intricate designs require more time to complete than plain frames and can contribute to the price of the futon frame.

Type of mattress

If you want restful and comfortable nights, getting a high-quality futon mattress that can bear heavy loads, is thicker, firmer, or softer, and can provide long-lasting comfort by easing your bodily pains is a must.

You have a few options when choosing the type of mattress you can sleep on.

You can opt for polyester, polyurethane, cotton, wool, bamboo fabric, memory foam, gel, or a combination of these materials. You can also choose a mattress with innerspring or coils if you want more height and support.

As of this writing, the most expensive materials used for futon mattresses are memory foam and gels.

This is because both materials provide great support as they contour according to your body shape and size, and remember your preferred sleeping position, hence, decreasing the strain on the head, neck, and spine.

What’s more, memory foam and gel foams are warm when the temperature outside is cold, and cold when the surrounding is hot and humid. This allows you to sleep comfortably no matter how hot or cold the temperature is.

It is also easy to follow their proper cleaning method and last longer than other foams used when making futon mattresses.

On top of these, some mattresses offer additional value like being devoid of chemicals that can trigger asthma and other skin allergies. Some are also resistant to bugs and molds.

Taking all this into consideration, since your personal preference and comfort are at stake, this can get tricky as you may consider the price either reasonable or hefty.

Size of mattress

As with everything else, the size of a mattress is one of the reasons a futon can be expensive. This is because the larger the mattress is, the more materials are used to construct it.

Expect a king-size mattress to be more expensive than a queen-size mattress, and a queen-size mattress to be more pricey than a double-size mattress. In so saying, the bigger the mattress is, the pricier it gets.  

Type and size of cover

As with the mattress and frame, you can choose from different types of futon covers.

Slipcovers can be made from synthetic and natural fibers, with natural fibers more costly than their synthetic counterparts.

Expect fabrics derived from animals (Angora, Cashmere, Wool, and Silk)  and those from plants (Cotton, hemp, Linen, and Jute) to be more expensive since they are harder to procure and require multiple stages to process before they can be used.

What’s more, these types of fabric are more durable, resistant to fire, more comfortable on the skin, breathable, and lightweight.

Besides the type of cover, size also matters.

As mentioned above, when bigger or more materials are used, the more expensive an item can get. This is because manufacturers have to scale the price according to the amount of materials used.

Are expensive futons worth their price?

Quality refers to the complete package, with all parts included. It means the frame, mattress, covers, and pillows that come with the futon are of high quality and oftentimes luxurious.

Expensive futons are made with high-quality materials that guarantee comfort, pain relief, and restful sleep. They also last longer and offer more savings in the long run since you don’t have to buy another one every few years. This is why futons remain popular.

They can also be used as an aesthetic piece of furniture that doubles as a sofa and a bed wherever and whenever one is needed.

But as you can see, all the reasons why expensive Japanese futons are worth their price all boils down to your personal preference and how comfortable and luxurious you want your futon to be.