How we test products
Our mission is to take the guesswork out of finding the perfect sleep products.
We've dedicated hundreds of hours to testing mattresses and sleep accessories, and rely on a team of testers of differing weights, temperature preferences, and sleeping positions to evaluate each product.
Tested products are granted the Sleep Hero tested stamp of approval, a mark of our review's reliability.
If we haven't personally tested a product, please be assured that we invest significant time and energy into scouring the UK market and researching the best recommendations, and we work with a team of sleep experts who review our articles, ensuring that the insights we provide are not only relatable but also reliable.
What is a floor mattress?
A floor mattress, to put it simply, is a mattress that goes on the floor.
A floor mattress is usually made with foam or other firm fillings. 📦
These folding mattresses can be stored away, making them ideal for guests and travelling.
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, which is to help you sleep comfortably on the floor. 🤞
Types of floor mattresses
Floor bed mattresses come in different shapes and sizes.
We’ll guide you through each below. 👇
Foldable floor mattress
A foldable floor mattress is also known as a tri-fold or 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.
The Loft 25 Folding Fold Out Single Z bed is an excellent budget-friendly option that can be folded into a chair or a bed.
Roll-up floor mattress
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 aren't the most comfortable, so they’re better used for occasional use.
The Leewadee floor mattress is a comfortable choice and can be rolled up easily for those on the go.
Floor mattress pad
A floor mattress pad is similar to a futon, tatami mat, or Japanese mattress.
They have a soft cover and a thick and puffy design but can still be rolled up for portability.
Similar to a roll-up floor mattress, they can usually be stored away when they're not being used.
They come in soft, medium, or firm support.
They’re also helpful for those who enjoy yoga and meditation but find a regular yoga mat too firm. 🧘
The Japanese Floor Mattress Futon on Amazon has soft memory foam and cotton layers to relieve pressure on the joints.
Is a mattress on the floor bad?
A mattress on floors can be a good option for many, but they’re not for everyone.
There must be 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. 👣
Therefore, we'd recommend washing your roll up bed more often than you would a regular mattress.
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 in the gap underneath. 🌬️
A 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.
Typically, a mattress protector would go over the top of the mattress, but an additional mattress protector tucked underneath your floor sleeping bed is a good way to prevent mildew.
Unsuitable for the elderly
A floor bed for adults is all well and good, 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. 👵
The elderly should look for a bed that allows their feet to touch the floor but is high enough to sit up out of bed easily.
Take a look at our favourite budget-friendly bed frames:
How to make a floor mattress more comfortable
In your search for better sleep, there is more to consider than just the comfort of the mattress.
In fact, sleep accessories can have a huge impact on your overall sleep comfort.
Maintaining a neutral alignment of the neck with the spine is crucial for preventing discomfort and potential long-term health issues. 🙅♀️
A pillow that provides the right level of support and height for your sleeping position is essential.
- A firm, high-loft pillow for side sleepers
- A medium, medium-loft pillow for back sleepers
- A soft, low-loft pillow for stomach sleepers
Adjustable memory foam pillows are a brilliant choice due to their ability to mould to the contours of your neck and head, providing optimal support and maintaining your body's natural alignment.
The Emma pillow is an excellent option, made with 3 adjustable foam layers that you can customise to your preferred sleeping height and firmness. 🛠️
Duvets have a huge impact on your sleep, particularly when it comes to temperature.
About 80% of the overall temperature in bed is determined by the duvet. If you overheat or freeze in bed, you should reconsider your choice of duvet. Depending on which duvet you use, it may not be suitable for your new mattress.
Since floor sleeping can reduce air circulation, the ideal duvet choice for a floor mattress is a breathable option. 🌬️
This type of duvet is designed with materials that allow heat to dissipate easily, preventing overheating, which can disrupt your sleep cycle.
Opt for duvets filled with natural materials such as cotton, bamboo, or silk.
The Panda Cloud duvet is a highly breathable and eco-friendly duvet option composed of bamboo and microfibre. 🐼
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 additional comfort layer can be placed on your floor mattress to help 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. 👎
They're usually designed as an extra layer for regular mattresses rather than a standalone product.
However, some toppers can be rolled up and stored away, making them a good addition to a floor mattress at home.
Our guide on the best mattress toppers can tell you more about the practicality of the toppers we've tested.
Our favourite mattress toppers:
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.
Floor mattress discount codes
Is a floor mattress out of your budget?
No worries! 😅
You can find all the best floor mattress discount codes online.
Our discounts page keeps you up to date on online offers from the best UK brands.
Alternatively, sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about the latest mattress promotions:
Are floor mattresses good?
We think a floor mattress could be a game-changer for those who need firmer support. ✅
It may take a while to adjust to a floor mattress for sleeping, but you’ll be on the right track to a less cluttered and minimalist lifestyle.
We think they’re well suited to:
- Back and stomach sleepers who need a firmer sleep
- Those creating a minimalist home
- Those with occasional guests
However, they’re not for the faint-hearted. 💔
We don’t recommend a futon mattress to those opposed to creepy crawlies, dust, or if you have problems with mobility.
Whether you’re a globetrotter or you need a mattress for those coming to visit, here’s a reminder of our favourite floor mattresses.