What is a floor mattress?
A floor mattress is pretty self-explanatory.
To put it simply; it’s a mattress that goes on the floor.
A floor mattress is usually made with foam or other firm filling and can be rolled up and stored away easily. 📦
Floor mattresses are often called futon mattresses, Japanese mattresses, tatami mats, or Z beds.
In fact, we’ll use the term “futon mattress” and “floor mattress” interchangeably throughout this article.
But they all have the same mission to help you sleep comfortably on the floor. 🤞
Types of floor mattresses
Floor mattresses come in different shapes and sizes.
We’ll guide you through each below. 👇
Floor mattress foldable
A foldable floor mattress is also known as a tri-fold and Z-bed. 💤
Foldable mattresses are best used in the home for everyday use or guests as they include a thick mattress with lots of support.
These are often memory foam mattresses with firm foam layers.
Typically they can be folded in half or 3 ways to make them more compact.
Folding floor mattresses can often be used as chairs in the living room or another space when the bed isn’t needed.
Floor mattress roll up
A roll up floor mattress can also be considered a rolling mattress or camping mattress. ⛺
These make great beds for travelling as they’re highly portable.
They can be rolled up like a sleeping bag and usually come with a carrying handle.
Roll up mattresses don’t provide the most comfort, so they’re better used for occasional use.
Floor mattress pad
A floor mattress pad is similar to a futon, tatami mat, or Japanese mattress.
This is much thinner than a foldable or floor mattress.
They’re a great option for those who want the firmest sleep possible, as these futon mattresses have the least padding.
They’re also helpful for other floor activities such as yoga and meditation. 🧘
We recommend testing your sleep with a mattress topper or thick duvet on the floor before converting it to a floor mattress pad.
Is a mattress on the floor bad?
Whilst floor mattresses can be a good option for many; they’re not for everyone.
There must some reasons our ancestors converted from sleeping on the floor to a raised bed frame.
So, what are they? 🤔
Not as hygienic
Whilst sleeping on the floor encourages simple and minimalist living, it’s not the cleanest.
Dust gathers on the floor, meaning this will directly contact your floor mattress and encourage dust mites in the material.
Therefore, you should consider a hypoallergenic floor mattress or one with a washable cover. 🧼
If your mattress is on the floor, you might also find children and pets climbing all over your bed with dirty feet. 👣
Additionally, you’ll be more exposed to bugs and insects when sleeping on the floor, so it’s not a good choice for those with entomophobia.
Whilst sleeping on a Japanese futon style mattress can be comparatively cooler than a raised bed, they don’t have the best airflow. ♨️
On a regular bed frame, heat that builds up inside the mattress can usually dissipate underneath the bottom. 🌬️
The mattress on the floor prevents this air circulation, encouraging mildew to build up in the mattress.
You should allow your floor bed to air out regularly and protect the underneath with waterproof material, such as a mattress protector.
Unsuitable for the elderly
It’s all well and good waking up on the floor when you’re young and nimble, but what about the less able?
The elderly and those with mobility issues may struggle to get out of a bed so low to the ground. 👵
Instead, the elderly should look for a bed that is low enough that their feet touch the floor but high enough to sit up out of bed easily.
How to make a floor mattress more comfortable
If you’re set on a floor mattress but find it’s still too firm, you can consider adding a mattress topper.
A mattress topper adds another layer of comfort to the mattress.
This helps to mould around pressure points (such as the hips and shoulders) and encourages natural spinal alignment.
Floor mattress vs mattress topper
But then, can’t you just use a mattress topper instead of a futon mattress?
The short answer is no.
A mattress topper is usually much thinner than a floor mattress (around 5cm), so it won’t provide the same support. 👎
Additionally, they’re often made with high-density foam, making them considerably heavier and not as portable.
However, they can often be rolled up and stored away, making them a good addition to a floor mattress at home.
Take a look at our favourite mattress toppers below. 👇
How much are floor mattresses?
Floor mattresses are a budget-friendly alternative to a regular mattress. 💰
Depending on the quality, they’re typically priced between £70 - £200.
It’s essential to keep in mind that the more you spend, the more high-quality it will be.
We recommend spending more on a floor bed mattress that will be used every day and buying a cheap futon mattress for occasional use.
Floor mattresses are a cheap guest bed alternative to sofa beds which are much more expensive.
Alternatives to floor mattresses
Do you need a guest bed but you’re not keen on a floor mattress? 🤔
That’s okay - a floor mattress isn’t for everyone!
Instead, why not check out some of our other guest bed articles:
Or you can jump right to our favourite guest bed options in the UK right now!