I’ve decided that my room isn’t big enough for a bed.

At about 8 feet by 10 feet, I can just barely fit my two desks, a couch and some random computer chair, but I can’t comfortably squeeze in a mattress, box spring and bed frame. Therefore, I’ve decided to live without one.

Thanks, Japan, for making this decision possible. I figured that because your largest metropolitan area has an average of almost 5,800 residents crammed in every square kilometer, you know a little something about space management. For readers who need a more allegorical comparison, that’s like cramming the population of the city of Los Angeles into the city limits of San Francisco. Tight fit.

So instead of taking that extra-long twin my parents want out of their house and stashing it somewhere in my room, I pull out a cheap, blue, child-sized futon at night. I sleep on that, in the style of all those really crowded countries across the Pacific.

It’s mighty comfortable, even ignoring that it lays right on the floor and all. I like my mattresses firm. The floor is pretty firm.

I have no reason to switch back in the near future, especially considering the health benefits of a firm mattress for my sort of sleeper.

I’m thinking that this is a pretty smart move, at the very least because not having to worry about a permanent fixture in the middle of my room really opens up my place.

When I think about it, though, this isn’t a decision between mattress and futon. The last guy with this room had no problem with his bed the way it was, and he had a mighty fine bed. No, this was a decision between one mattress and two or three large, wooden bookcases.

Even after recognizing that this is the real reason I’m going without a West-style bed, I’d choose bookcases any day of the week. Nothing makes me feel more at home than multiple full bookshelves. I’d like to get back to that.

Of course, it’s a good thing I’m only sleeping Japanese and not living it. If I were living Japanese, I wouldn’t be able to afford an apartment large enough to fit either my mattress or the behemoth-sized oak shelving coming my way.

In other words, God bless America.


  1. Ima Peccable

    My first reaction was to think you could sleep on the couch because they can be pretty comfy, but there are also nice futon couches available.

    With this country “going green” in many aspects and lifestyles, trimming down on furniture makes sense, especially if you want to jump on the current bandwagon. (Recycling, etc…I think you’re doing your part in not hauling something you don’t really need to your place.)

    Who cares if others think it’s unusual to sleep on a futon? I admire you for doing what works best for you!

  2. I haven’t yet paid a penny for any of my furniture, and I don’t plan to start, now. In a way, that’s the best part of my current arrangements. I snagged the futon from a guy who didn’t want it, anymore, and the rest of my furniture comes straight from home.

  3. Phil V

    I’ve recently moved and almost went gung-ho with furniture-buying. So far I’ve only bought a mattress and a desk chair, my only real essentials. I guess it’s partly because I’m cheap and partly because I have no initiative with furniture shopping, but right now I’m doing fine with boxes in the roles of clothes storage, tv stand, book receptacles, etc.

  4. Cardboard boxes fill double duty mightily well over here, too.

  5. You’re single…right…? Sounds like it will work out swimmingly then! Think of the good posture you’ll have from such a good nights sleep on the floor to attract that pretty girl.

  6. Yes, unfortunately; yes, fortunately.

    Ladyfriends can always have the couch, y’know.

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