Thanks to its simplicity, versatility, and health benefits, the traditional Japanese tatami mat has fascinated the rest of the world.
Today, many people are abandoning the conventional bed and mattress sleeping setup for a tatami mat and futon mattress. These Japanese floor mats also make great room rugs and can be used as yoga, workout, or meditation surfaces.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the 7 best Japanese tatami mats on the market. We also show you how to make the most of your tatami mattress and take good care of it, making the floor mat last long in good condition.
In this article,
- What is a tatami mat
- Benefits of Japanese tatami mats
- Details about the 7 best tatami mats
- How to pick the right tatami mat
- FAQs about tatami mat
Our Picks for the Best Tatami Mat for Sale
- Best for Thickness: MAXYOYO Coral Velvet Thick Japanese Tatami Mat
- Best Traditional Japanese Tatami Mat: FULI Traditional Japanese Igusa (Rush Grass) Tatami Mattress
- Top-Rated Japanese Tatami Mattress: MIINA Japanese Traditional Tatami Mat Igusa (Rush Grass)
- Best for Folding: MustMat Traditional Comfortable Japanese Tatami Mat (Tatami Futon Mattress)
- Best for Firmness and Comfort: MustMat Japanese Traditional Tatami Mat/Futon Mattress
- Best Firm Tatami Mat: BJDesign Foldable Japanese Tatami Mat (Igusa Mattress)
- Best Tatami Play Mat for Babies: MYOYAY Folding Japanese Tatami Mattress
What is a Tatami Mat?
Tatami mats are traditional Japanese floor mats. They are woven from a type of rush grass (Igusa) native to Japan.
The advent of tatami mats can date back to the Nara period (710-794), a time when the description first appeared in a Japanese book called Record of Ancient Matters (Kojiki). However, the massive use of these tatami mattresses could be found in the Heian period (794-1185). Back then, these mats were luxury items and were only used by nobles.
Priests and Samurai warriors started using tatami during the Kamakura period (1185–1333). Their usage only continued to spread. By the 17th century, tatami mats were found in all Japanese households regardless of status.
The beauty of a tatami mat is its versatility. Thanks to its simplicity and firmness, it suits a variety of applications both inside and outside the house. Here are the different ways you can use it:
You can sleep on a tatami floor mat directly or place a futon mattress on top of it. You can also create a tatami platform bed. Do you have overnight guests? Simply spread several tatami mats and place mattresses on top, and you have a comfortable place for your guests to sleep on.
As a Flooring Mat or Room Rag
You can use a tatami mat as a rug in your living room or bedroom. Its traditional yet contemporary style goes with a variety of décor styles. Not only will it transform your décor, but it will also offer a comfortable place to sit as you relax or play games.
As a Play Mat
With its firm yet smooth and comfortable surface, a Japanese tatami mat also makes a great crawling and play mat for babies and toddlers.
As a Yoga or Workout Mat
A tatami mat offers a firm yet comfortable surface for performing yoga poses. Use it as a workout mat, and you’ll be able to practice martial arts, lift weights, and perform other workouts more effectively. Laying on it when working out can even relieve muscle tension.
As a Picnic or Camping Mat
These folding tatami mats are lightweight and can be folded down into a compact package, so you can easily carry them to camping sites and picnic venues.
Why Choose a Japanese Tatami Mat
Tatami mats have grown popular for good reasons. They bring a range of benefits to the user. Here are the benefits you stand to reap by using a tatami rug or tatami bed.
Help Relieve and Prevent Back Pain
Sleeping on a tatami mat bed is good for your back. Your body rests in a supportive position that promotes better spinal alignment, corrects posture, and prevents neck and back pain.
Regulate Humidity Levels
A rush-grass-made tatami mat is a natural humidifier and dehumidifier which absorbs or releases moisture relative to the humidity level in the air. This keeps you cool and helps you sleep comfortably on summer nights.
Purifies the Air
Igusa is a natural air purifier that eliminates bad odors. It absorbs odor-causing compounds such as formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide from the air and leaves a clean, fresh smell.
Igusa is a recyclable and biodegradable material and can even be used as fertilizer. This makes a natural Japanese tatami mat an eco-friendly mattress or flooring choice.
Unlike a traditional bed and mattress, you can easily roll down your tatami mattress bed and stow it away for the day. This leaves the space free for cleaning and any other activities.
After reading all these benefits, I bet you’re excited about buying one for yourself or your family. Now, let’s look at some of the best Japanese tatami mats currently available on the market.
Details About the 7 Best Tatami Mats
1. Best for Thickness: MAXYOYO Coral Velvet Thick Japanese Tatami Mat
Colors: Coffee, navy, and turquoise
Size: 78 x 118 Inches
Material: Coral velvet fabric
Thickness: 1.18 inches (3 cm）
Item Weight: 13.92 pounds
Rating: 4.4 out of 5 Stars
Thanks to the extra thickness, the MAXYOYO Coral Velvet tatami floor mat makes a fantastic living room rug or soundproof bedroom mat. It provides luxurious comfort for relaxing and is large enough for family activities. It’s even thick enough to perform stunts on. The soft surface makes it a cozy baby play mat, too.
Best of all, the MAXYOYO tatami mat is high-quality and long-lasting. It’s made of ultra-soft coral velvet material and filled with a 1.18-inch thick sponge. The underside features a non-slip plastic with a unique pattern that keeps it from skidding and shifting around.
Last but not least, maintaining this plush rug is easy. It’s easy to clean or vacuum the stain-resistant surface, and you can roll up the folding tatami mat for storage with no effort.
2. Best Traditional Japanese Tatami Mat: FULI Traditional Japanese Igusa (Rush Grass) Tatami Mattress
Size: 75 x 39 x 0.5 Inches
Material: 100% Rush Grass and Cotton Filling
Item Weight: 6.4 Pounds
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 Stars
Enjoy the authentic Japanese tatami sitting and sleeping experience with the FULI traditional Igusa tatami mat. It’s made in Japan by Japanese craftsmen using 100% Japanese-grown rush grass. In fact, the superb attention to detail and craftsmanship for which Japan is renowned is apparent here.
Firm with just the right amount of give, the FULI tatami mat bed is perfect for sleeping on and good for the back. Moreover, the Japanese floor mat also makes a great rug for lounging around. With a smooth feel, the surface is comfortable for babies and kids to play on.
Tucking it out of the way when not in use is super easy because the tatami mattress can fold down small and takes minimal storage space. Offering the real Japanese sleeping and lounging experience and crafted to last years, it’s hard to go wrong with the FULI traditional Japanese tatami mattress.
3. Top-Rated Japanese Tatami Mattress: MIINA Japanese Traditional Tatami Mat Igusa (Rush Grass)
Colors: Natural and green
Size: 78 x 39 x 0.4 inches (Twin)
Material: 100% Rush Grass
Item Weight: 7.13 pounds
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 Stars
Woven by skilled Japanese Craftsmen using the best quality rush grass, this traditional tatami mat by MIINA JAPAN boasts top-notch quality.
It’s no surprise that it’s a top-rated Japanese tatami mat with numerous rave reviews. The weaving is a work of art, and the intoxicating and relaxing rush scent will remind you of Japan if you’ve been.
As for comfort, this Japanese floor mat feels soft and offers enough cushion to sleep comfortably. Since it allows airflow and doesn’t retain heat, you’ll stay nice and cool during summer nights.
Lastly, the tatami mattress is lightweight and folds down nicely. You can easily tuck it out of the way or carry it to the yoga studio or picnic site. Overall, MIINA offers a top-quality Japanese tatami mat at an affordable price. You’re getting fantastic value for money.
4. Best for Folding: MustMat Traditional Comfortable Japanese Tatami Mat (Tatami Futon Mattress)
Size: 35.4 x 78.7 x 1.2 inches
Folding Size: 35.4 x 19.7 x 4.8 inches
Material: 100% Rush Grass
Item Weight: 7 Pounds
Rating: 4.4 out of 5 Stars
This MustMat tatami mat has just the right firmness and a nice thickness to use as an oriental rug or an underlay mattress when sleeping on a Japanese floor mattress. Best of all, folding out of the way is effortless when you don’t need it.
Like other traditional tatami mats, this tatami futon mattress is also covered with authentic Igusa and delivers a lovely smell. The inside filling is latex foam, while the bottom is a non-woven fabric.
When it’s time for storage, the tatami bed rolls away easily to free up the space. That it’s lightweight and comes with a protective case also makes it easy to transport.
5. Best for Firmness and Comfort: MustMat Japanese Traditional Tatami Mat/Futon Mattress
Size: 35.4 x 78.7 x 1.2 Inches
Material: 100% Rush Grass and Latex Foam
Item Weight: 7.5 Pounds
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 Stars
Firm yet comfortable with a 1.2-inch thickness, this MustMat traditional Japanese floor mat makes a fantastic tatami bed or futon mattress mat.
The quality of the tatami mat is impressive for the price. The surface is made of natural rush grass with a pleasant earthy smell. Latex foam filling provides comfort, while the base is a non-woven fabric that resists slipping.
On top of this, the large size and firm feel make the tatami sleeping mat an excellent lounge room mat, yoga or meditation mat, or crawling and playing mat for young children.
6. Best Firm Tatami Mat: BJDesign Foldable Japanese Tatami Mat (Igusa Mattress)
Size: 79 x 39 x 0.4 inches
Material: Rush Grass
Item Weight: 6.93 pounds
Rating: 5.0 out of 5 Stars
This firm BJDesign Japanese tatami mat is perfect for sleeping comfortably on hot summer nights. It provides moderate cushioning in itself and works great as a futon mattress underlay.
Filled with 9mm-thick polyethene foam, the tatami sleeping mat has excellent soundproof performance if you’re looking for a floor mat to dampen noise. The bottom is made of slip-resistant polyester, so you can lay the rug on carpets.
Made of natural rush grass, the BJDesign floor mat offers all the benefits of the traditional Japanese tatami mat. It has a pleasant aroma of freshly cut grass, purifies the air, and regulates indoor humidity levels in the summer.
For storage, the BJDesign tatami rug can be folded into five pieces and stowed in the provided carry bag.
7. Best Tatami Play Mat for Babies: MYOYAY Folding Japanese Tatami Mattress
Colors: Brown and light brown
Size: 71 x 71 inches
Thickness: 0.47 inches (1.2 cm)
Material: Natural rattan fiber and sponge
Item Weight: 6.54 Pounds
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 Stars
With a plush firmness at 0.47 inches thick, this MYOYAY tatami rug is the best tatami play mat for babies. Besides this, you can use it for relaxing, laying down, doing yoga, or as a room rug.
This is a Japanese-inspired tatami mat. The comfortable tatami mattress is made of a premium-quality natural rattan material that’s smooth, skin-friendly, and easy to clean.
Filled with a highly elastic and soft sponge, the tatami floor mat provides a comfortable surface for babies to sit, crawl, and lie on. The anti-slip bottom stays put and doesn’t move around.
Despite the thickness, this rattan tatami play mat folds up easily to fit in a tight space. It even comes with a storage bag.
How To Pick the Right Tatami Mat
There’s a wide variety of tatami mats on the market today. Some are thin and designed for packability, while some are thick and ideal for sleeping. Here are the considerations to make when selecting the right type and style of tatami mattress for your needs.
Have the Intended Purpose in Mind
Why are you buying a tatami mat? What will you use it for? Are you looking for an area rug? Do you want to experience the benefits of sleeping on a firm tatami bed?
Knowing how you intend to use the tatami flooring mat will help you make the right choice. For example, a crawling mat for babies should be thick and soft to provide a comfortable surface to sit, crawl, and lie on.
Consider the Dimensions
Whether using your tatami mat as a mattress or as an area rug, size is a crucial consideration when shopping for one.
You need to know whether it’s large enough for the space you intend it for or whether it will fit the bed or futon mattress you’ll be pairing it with.
In Japan, there are three standard sizes of tatami mats:
- Kyoto: 955mm x 1.91m.
- Nagoya: 910mm x 1.82m.
- Tokyo: 880mm x 1.76m.
Luckily, modern tatami rugs and mattresses also come in queen, twin, and full sizes. This makes it easier to determine what size to get. A full-size tatami mat is one popular choice among floor mat lovers.
Pay Attention to the Construction
Tatami mats are composed of three layers: a rush grass covering, a cushioning fill such as foam, compressed wood chips, or cotton, and a hard-wearing and slip-resistant base made of non-woven fabric. If you’re looking for the real tatami room experience, look for a mat made of natural rush grass.
Find Out the Country of Origin
Tatami mats are traditionally a Japanese product. However, not all Tatami mats you’ll come across are made in Japan.
If you’re going for the real Japanese tatami mattress completed with the beautiful woven artwork and natural smell, you should look for a tatami mat made in Japan.
With a made-in-Japan tatami, you’ll also enjoy the superior craftsmanship and attention to detail that Japan is renowned for.
Some of the best tatami mats reviewed here are not only made with natural rush grass from Japan but also woven by skilled Japanese craftsmen.
Choose the Style and Color
Finally, your personal preference also determines what tatami mat to go for. These types of oriental rugs come in a variety of styles and colors.
You can opt for a thin, firm mat or a thick and plush rug. Choose the natural greenish color or a hue that matches your interior decor.
FAQs about Tatami Mat
1. Do Tatami Mats Smell?
Yes, Japanese tatami mats made of rush grass have a pleasant earthy fragrance. They smell like freshly cut grass. Most people find the aroma refreshing and therapeutic.
2. Can You Sleep Directly on a Tatami Floor Mat?
You can sleep directly on a tatami mat. The tatami sleeping mat has just the right amount of firmness and cushioning to provide support and comfort for your body.
Furthermore, tatami bed mats made of rush grass are breathable and temperature regulating. You will stay cool and sleep comfortably even during summer nights.
3. How to Store Tatami Mats?
Since a tatami mat is made of natural materials, it’s susceptible to mold. Therefore, it’s best to stow it inside a protective cover and then store it in a cool, dry place.
4. How to Clean a Tatami Mat?
There are three ways to clean a tatami mattress:
- You can wipe it with a dry piece of clothing or towel
- Use a wet towel or special floor mop to clean the surface of the mat
- Vacuum it
No matter which cleaning method you use, be sure to wipe, mop, or vacuum it along the weave. That is, in the same direction the rush grass is woven in.
5. Do Tatami Mats Attract Bugs?
The traditional Japanese floor mats that were filled with compressed rice straw were used to attract bugs. However, this is no longer the case as modern tatami rugs and mattresses are filled with foam or wood chips and don’t attract bugs.
6. Are Tatami Mats Good for Your Back?
Sleeping on the firm surface of a tatami sleeping mat is good for the back. Since the hips don’t sink too far on a Japanese bed tatami, your body rests in a proper posture that keeps your back straight and the spine neutral. This sleeping position strengthens your back and prevents back pain.
7. Do Japanese Still Use Tatami Mats?
Tatami mats have been a key element of Japanese culture for centuries. In Japan, tatami mats are still widely in use today. Many Japanese people still sleep on a tatami floor mat with a futon mattress laid on.
And even those who prefer conventional beds and mattresses have a Japanese-style room that utilizes a tatami mat as flooring or mattress. They use it for sitting and relaxing or for sleeping.
8. How Much Do Tatami Mats Cost?
Prices for tatami mats range from around $100 to more than $300. How much you pay comes down to the size and quality of the floor mat and where it was made. Authentic Japanese tatami mats made in Japan by skilled craftsmen cost more than other options.
9. How Long Can Tatami Mats Last?
Tatami mats typically last 5 to 6 years. However, they can last decades with proper care and maintenance.
The most important thing to do to maximize the lifespan of a tatami mat is to remove your shoes. Only step on a tatami while barefoot or with socks on.
Shoes can damage the woven rush grass cover and shorten the mat’s life. You should also avoid exposing your tatami rug to the sun.
Japanese tatami mats are a really special type of mat. They are simple, versatile, space-efficient, eco-friendly, and have many health benefits. It’s easy to see why their popularity spread all over the world.
Hopefully, our reviews of the best tatami floor mats and tatami mattresses will help you find the right type of rug for your needs. Take good care of it, and you shall enjoy the benefits for many years.