How Big is A “Semi-Double” Bed in Japan?

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If you have ever stayed in a hotel in Japan, you must have come across the term ‘semi-double bed’. Since the system is very rare in other parts of the world, coming across the term ‘semi-double’ bed can be quite perplexing.

A semi-double in Japan lies somewhere between a double bed and a single bed. The size of a semi-double bed is 120cm. To compare it with a single bed as well as a double bed, it is slightly larger than a single bed and smaller than a double bed.

In general a double bed is 140cm in size and a single bed is 100cm in size. Having said that, if you are thinking of sharing a bed with another person, reserving a room with a semi-double bed may be a little out of your comfort zone.

If you are staying with your partner, a semi-double room (rooms with a semi-double bed are referred to as semi-double rooms) should be fine. However, if you are living with someone you are not so close with, you should know that sleeping on a semi-double bed will often cause brushing of the skin, even if you don’t move much.

How to Make A Japanese Bed?

The Japanese futon does not require a bed frame or mattress, unlike Western-style beds. A futon may be set up in a matter of minutes.

Put the shikibuton down first. For a snug fit, fold any extra sheets beneath before spreading them on top of the futon. Next, place the fitted sheet on top of the kakebuton, and place it solid side up on the mattress, with the oval-shaped side facing up.

Japanese pillows, on the other hand, tend to be filled with small, round beads, which fit to the contours of the human neck and head and aid in a restful night’s sleep. Because the tatami mats are softer and more supportive than hardwood floors, the Japanese futon is often placed on them.

When not in use, Japanese futon beds are meant to be stowed away. Having the futon folded away during the day keeps it clean and clutter-free. Traditional Japanese beds, despite their appearance, are actually quite comfortable to sleep on. You may want to choose an additional tri-fold mattress if you’re sleeping on hardwood floors or if you simply like more comfort.

Sofa Bed

Adding a sofa bed to a small Japanese apartment is an excellent way to maximize space. Similar to futon beds in the United States, sofa beds can be used as both a bed and a couch. Starting at 5,000 JPY, you can have a couch bed that doesn’t include the most eye-catching patterns.

Sofa beds that cost more often have greater features, such as more storage and higher degrees of comfort. If you’re taller than 160cm, they’re a terrific method to clear up a room in your Japanese apartment; nevertheless, they can be pretty uncomfortable to sleep on.

Tatami Platform Bed

Tatami platform beds, a contemporary spin on the Japanese futon, combining Western-style bedding with a more traditional feel. There is still a lot of slack in the bed frame compared to Western-style beds. In addition, the frame’s interior is lined with tatami bamboo, rather than being constructed entirely of wood. Starting at around 15,000 JPY, the bed frames are available in a variety of styles and sizes. Western-style mattresses are more common, however you can use the frames with both traditional Japanese futons and western-style mattresses.

Western-Style Bedding

Western-style mattresses and bedding are the most frequent in Japanese homes. With the most basic bed frames starting at 20,000 yen, the cost of the bed frames might be prohibitive. But the beds are built to last a long time and provide additional storage for the users. In comparison to the Japanese futon, western beds come in a wider range of sizes. Western mattresses are available in twin, semi-double, double, queen, and king sizes, whereas shikibutons are normally sold in a single size.

Ashitsuki Mattress

If you’re on a budget but still desire the luxury of a Western bed, consider an ashitsuki (“legs attached”) mattress. The cost of a mattress and bed frame for an expat might be fairly high. As a result, an ashitsuki mattress could be a suitable option if you’re on a budget in Japan but still desire the support and comfort of a Western mattress.

The bed’s detachable legs provide the mattress some more height, which helps you make more room in your house. Legs are removable in the future if you choose to buy a bed frame, leaving a conventional mattress.

Although they are less expensive than a full-size bed, they don’t offer much additional storage room. As a result, some customers have complained that they are limited to purchasing bed linens from the store where they purchased their mattress. In order to compare sheets that are sold as the same size, they are often scaled with conventional Japanese sizes such as “single,” “semi-double,” “double,” and so on.

Other Bed Sizes in Japan

Here are other bed size measurements in Japan:

Twin Bed Size:

The twin-bed in Japan is of the size measurement of 99x191cm. It is ideal for one person with twin-sharing one on top and one on bottom.

Double Bed Size:

The double bed size in Japan is 140x195cm. It is ideal for two people and is a suggestable option if two people are to stay in one hotel room. If you plan to shift to Japan and have ample space in your room, a double bed should be fine.

Queen Size:

A queen-size bed in Japan is just like any other queen-size bed in other countries. The size measurement for a queen bed in Japan is 152x195cm.

King Size:

A king size bed in Japan is 193x203cm. Due to smaller apartment sizes in Japan, the size of a king bed in Japan is slightly smaller in comparison to other places.

Full Size

A full bed in Japan is of the size measurement 137x191cm. It slightly differs from an American size full-bed due to smaller apartments and hotel rooms.

Why Do Japanese Sleep on the Floor?

Now that we are talking of beds and sleeping in context to Japan, you must have at least once thought why Japanese sleep on the floor.

To answer this brain-wracking question, here is a detailed segment on the same.

1.   Practical Living Arrangement

In Japan, sleeping on the floor has a variety of practical advantages. Space is one such factor. If you have a large double bed, consider how much space it takes up in your bedroom. For those who live in apartments or with extended family members, this may not be a big deal, but if you have a small living space, you may find it challenging.

When you sleep on the floor, you have the option of using the room for other reasons throughout the day. You’ll have a lot of room for entertaining guests, studying, or just relaxing throughout the day if you pack up your duvet and pillows. The only thing you’ll need is some extra bedding and you’ll have a place to sleep for as many people as you like in a single room.

Japan has a tradition of co-sleeping, where children sleep with their parents in the same room. As a result, the futon layout reduces overheating or inadvertent damage to tiny children and babies by providing adequate space between each individual. The futon set-up allows play areas to be transformed into sleeping areas at the drop of a hat.

Getting back to the issue of earthquakes, Japan is no stranger to them. Large and hefty bed frames could injure persons in the room or impede evacuation in the case of an earthquake. In this case, the futon is the better option.

The futon’s portability eases part of the stress of relocating, making it an excellent choice for people who are moving. Many people even take their futon with them when they go to visit friends, folding it up and placing it in a weekend bag. Minimalism has become a popular trend in recent years. Getting rid of the bulky bed frame and replacing it with a comfortable roll-out futon may be the next big thing.

2.   Damage

A Japanese home’s temperature can be maintained more effectively by using tatami than other floor kinds, but they aren’t strong enough to withstand heavy loads.

As a result, because of the significant risk of damage, Japanese houses rarely place furniture like tables and chairs on their tatami.

Rather, you’ll see low-lying furniture, chairs devoid of legs, or even no furniture at all.

3.   Safety

Earthquakes are the most dangerous natural disaster in Japan, and they occur regularly.

There are around 1,500 earthquakes in Japan each year, according to JRAILPASS data. Just over four per day!

It’s easy to see why this is the case. Ten percent of the world’s active volcanoes are located in the country, which is situated on four tectonic plates. It’s a surefire way to end in disaster.

Their fragile state, however, means they are the most prepared for any eventuality that may arise. In addition to earthquakes, there are many more natural disasters.

An alternative method of dealing with earthquake damage is by arranging your home’s furniture in an earthquake-resistant manner.

Low-profile furniture (including mattresses) reduces the likelihood of future damage from earthquakes because there are fewer things to collapse and survive the shaking. In the event of a natural disaster, they will be able to get out of their homes more quickly and safely.

How Does Sleeping On the Floor Work?

The idea of sleeping on the floor conjures up pictures of Japanese folks sprawled out on the chilly concrete and drifting off to sleep. In reality, things aren’t quite as simple as that.

Tatami mats, traditionally constructed from rice straw, are the usual sleeping surface in Japan. Tatami’s texture is most similar to that of an extremely thin yoga mat. It’s not uncommon to see tatami mats that can be rolled up during the day in certain homes, while others have put tatami flooring in their beds. Tatami floors are common in older homes in Japan, where this was the customary flooring material.

The tatami is commonly covered with a futon, which is a lightweight, folding mattress. When compared to “mattress” thickness, a Japanese futon is around three or four inches thick, but the Western equivalent is substantially thicker. Cotton is the primary fill material used in Japanese futons. The term “Japanese bedroll” may also be used to describe this futon.

After that is the standard bedding. Traditional soba gara makura pillows can be seen in many Japanese houses, although Western-style pillows can be found in others. Pillows stuffed with the husks of buckwheat give off a slightly spikier sensation and make a lot more noise when moved about. Buckwheat pillows may be purchased here if you want to give them a try.

Japanese duvets are called kakebuton and are often composed of silk. Although the kakebuton is thin, the silk insulates and dissipates heat according to the season.

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Author - Willa Carson
Happywayfarer author Willa Carson
Hi, I'm Willa Carson, a passionate traveler who has been exploring the world for 7 years. Whether it's trekking through the Himalayas, exploring ancient ruins in South America, or simply savoring a cup of coffee at a local cafe, I believe that travel has the power to enrich our lives in countless ways. So join me on my journey and let's discover the world together!
Read more about me here.

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