Tatami is a kind of traditional Japanese flooring that has been used in homes, hotels, tea rooms of temples, and many other buildings for hundreds of years. Recently, it has been gaining a lot of interest and fans internationally. So, in this article, we’ll introduce the history of tatami, what makes it great, and some modern tatami mat choices that’ll let you enjoy this craft at home. The choices are scored based on factors such as price, material, and ease of use.
The History of Japanese Tatami
The history of tatami goes back a long way. Since tatami was mentioned in the Kojiki, the oldest historical book in Japan, we know that tatami was already being used in Japan all the way back in the year 712. It was considered a luxury item at the time, and it was not until the Edo Period (1603 – 1867) that its usage spread to the common folk.
Related article: ▶13 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Tatami [tsunagu Japan]
What Makes Japanese Tatami Special?
Have you ever wondered why people love tatami?
(1) They can help control the temperature of a room
Tatami mats are made out of a plant called “rush” or “igusa” in Japanese, which has temperature-controlling properties. This is an extremely good quality to have in Japan as the country is actually quite humid.
(2) They are sound-dampening and insulating
Tatami mats trap air, which has the effect of dampening the sounds of footsteps and items being shifted around as well as making it more difficult for heat to escape. For this reason, tatami mats can help make the room cooler in the summer and keep the room warm in the winter.
(3) They’re comfy
The natural scent of the rush has a calming effect, making tatami mats perfect for bedrooms and other relaxing spaces.
1. Rush Mattress (Folded In 5) Single | Tatami
This tatami mat is made from top-class rush from Japan, which is resistant to all kinds of unpleasant odors, including sweat and cigarettes. This property of tatami was scientifically proven in a study where the effects were actually seen even after 20 years of use. Since this tatami mat can be folded, it is also easy to carry and store. It has a simple design that fits into a variety of places, making it a good choice for tatami newcomers.
Size: 39.37″ * 82.67″ (100.0 cm * 210.0 cm)
Brand: Tatami (IKEHIKO)
2. Rush Rug Denim F Joy Green (S) | Tatami
This tatami mat also uses top-quality rush from Japan. It is incredibly resistant to odors and humidity, but what makes us strongly recommend it is how easy it is to clean—just wipe it down with a damp rag! Plus, the gradient coloring is sure to bring a pop of color to any room. Its price tag might put you off a bit, but if you take its great utility and stunning design into consideration, it’s actually worth it.
Size: S: 75.19″ * 75.19″ / L: 75.19″ * 98.42″ (S:191 cm * 191 cm / L: 191 cm * 250 cm)
Color: Green / Red
Brand: Tatami (IKEHIKO)
3. ORIENTAL Furniture Folding Soft Tatami Mattress, Single
This tatami mattress has a simple yet stylish design, and is soft and pleasant to the touch. What’s amazing is that it actually comes with a pillow! It’s a single mattress, so it may be a bit narrow for some, but it’s perfect for naps. It’s also foldable, so you can just fold it up and put it in storage when you’re done using it.
Brand: ORIENTAL Furniture
4. lehom 71” x 71” Tatami Mat Rattan Japanese Floor Mattress
This tatami mat is actually made with rattan, which feels incredibly soft and smooth. It can be used for a variety of purposes: mattress, carpet, yoga mat, etc. Since it does take up quite a bit of space, this is recommended for a family-sized room rather than a small apartment. It can be folded up.
Size: 6 feet X 6 feet (1.82 m x 1.82 m)
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*These products may not be able to be shipped to certain countries. Please see the retailer’s website for more information.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.