The futon, a small couch that transforms into a bed, originally came from Japan, where they laid similar mattresses on the floor to sleep on. The Japanese futon consists of three parts: the kakebuton or comforters, the shikibuton or under futon and the makura or pillow. Excellent futon covers were available then
The shikibuton or under futon is stuffed with cotton batting and then wrapped in shikifu or sheets. They would also use different types of futons depending on the season, with heavier ones used in the winter and ligher ones used in the summer.
The lighter futon mattress is normally made of down feathers and is very expensive, but also very comfortable. The makura, or pillow is filled with buckwheat chaff and red beans. Durin g the day, they would store their futons in the closet as their rooms were often used for dual purposes. Often living in small spaces, removing the futon during the day would allow the room to be used as a guest room or workroom.
To keep their futons dry and fresh, the Japanese would air their futon cover and futon and place them in direct sunlight. If the futon was left on the floor or in the closet too long, it could become ruined. The futon bed mattress that the Japanese also use a futon kansouki placed between the kakebuton and the shikibuton to dry the futon.
This is used while the futon is spread out on the floor. It is also believed that airing the futon helps you to sleep well as well and sleeping on the floor is believed to be better for your back than sleeping on a sofa bed wi.
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