Looking for a mattress: very firm, for a couple. Considering between T&N, BB, and shikifuton

Hi plusfuture,

Wow … you certainly like firmer mattresses than most people would be comfortable with … especially if they were side sleepers but of course individual preferences can vary widely.

I would use the same guidelines in the mattress shopping tutorial for purchasing a shikibuton as for any other mattress. There aren’t many people who would consider a shikibuton and a sleeping surface that firm would be much more popular in Asia (particularly in Japan) than they would in North America. I don’t get many questions on the forum about them so a topic about shikibutons wouldn’t be appropriate for a pinned topic (which are more general interest guidelines than about specific category of mattresses or sleeping systems) but a forum search on shiki (you can just click the link) will bring up all the forum posts that mention them.

I personally wouldn’t put a shikibuton on an Ikea foundation and would tend to use a foundation that had a more evenly supportive surface with more slats and without the cardboard (which isn’t breathable) or use it on a more traditional Tatami mat. There is also more maintenance involved in using a Shikibuton as well (airing and/or drying on a regular basis).

While western futons are different from the traditional shikibutons … they are usually much firmer than traditional mattresses as well and there are some sources for futons in post #2 here that may be helpful.

Post #2 here also includes the better local options or possibilities I’m aware of in the New York City area (subject to the quality/value guidelines in post #13 here).

None that I can think of with normal shipping and packaging precautions (I would make sure it was rolled rather than folded).

Both of these are certainly high quality/value choices and you can read more about both of them in post #3 here about the new “breed” of “simplified choice” mattresses.

I would also make sure that you talk with both of them about firmness before you make a purchase since I would suspect that neither the Tuft & Needle or even the firm Brooklyn Bedding #BestMattressEver would be as firm as a traditional shikibuton.

If you are looking for a more traditional mattress then the first place to start your research is the mattress shopping tutorial here which includes all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choice … and know how and why to avoid the worst ones.

Of course you are already looking two good quality/value options and if they aren’t firm enough for you then they both have great return policies so there would be little risk in trying them.