Sleeping on the floor – is it healthy for your back?

Would you voluntarily give up your cozy bed and spend the night on the floor? If you suffer from back pain , it could be beneficial for you to do without the bed and mattress entirely.

In Asia, and especially Japan, it is not unusual to sleep on the floor. With a comfortable mattress, you can spend the night comfortably and start the day well rested.

Is this sleeping habit also a way for you to improve your sleep?

In this article, you will learn what benefits are associated with sleeping on the floor and how you can make it most practical.

Sleeping on the floor doesn’t mean you have to sit on the bare wooden floor. Even in Japan, soft pads are used for some comfort.

Traditionally in Japan the night is spent in a futon . This describes the thin sleeping pad that is spread out directly on the floor. A duvet provides enough warmth and provides a little more cosiness.

However, it must be noted that the floor in Japan is constructed differently. It traditionally consists of rush mats , which provide greater thermal insulation. This protects the body from cooling down and makes sleeping more comfortable.

If you don’t want to redesign your bedroom in this style, you can put a thin blanket on the floor. This should be enough so that the floor is not perceived as quite so hard.

sleeping mat could also be a base on which you spend the night. It is important that the base is not too thick. Otherwise, you would feel similar to sleeping on a mattress.


At first it may feel strange just sleeping on the floor. But is it worth the effort and is it healthier for the spine to go without a mattress?

First of all, there are no studies that thoroughly examine sleep on the floor. So there is no scientific evidence to suggest that sleeping on the mattress or floor would be healthier.

However, there are a multitude of trailers that associate the following benefits with sleeping on the floor.


Humans have slept on hard floors since the beginning of their development. Accordingly, the body is not designed to spend the night on the mattress. Sleeping on the floor would rather meet the needs of the spine and the mattress would be perceived as a restriction.


This is further elaborated by saying that the mattress restricts movement. Getting in does not require any effort and mobility suffers as a result. Easily getting into the bed leads to the joints “rusting in” and the risk, especially for older people, that they no longer exert themselves enough.


Buying a mattress is a big investment. This is why it is often said that sleeping on the floor is not only healthier, but also cheaper. There is no need to buy an expensive bed frame and there is also no mattress. Instead, they prefer to use a small mat. Equipped with additional blankets, a similar comfort would be achieved.


Space is becoming increasingly narrow, especially in city centers. Rents are increasing and there will not always be enough space for a separate bedroom. If you don’t want to use a solution, such as a wall bed , it might be more practical to sleep on the floor right away. In the morning you can put away the mat and use the space more flexibly.


If you like to spend the night with your baby and sleep in the same bed, it might be safer to sleep on the floor. This means that there is no risk of the baby falling out of bed. Even for adults who sleep very restlessly and the height of fall is more of a risk, it could be an advantage not to go to bed.


Some believers in sleeping on the floor report that back pain and tension have decreased . Therefore, there could be a presumption that the mattress is harmful to the back.

However, there is no general answer to this. It can be assumed that these people have previously slept on an unsuitable mattress . Probably the mattress was too hard or soft and therefore the back pain occurred.

Contrary to prevailing prejudices, a particularly hard mattress is not better for your back. Rather, you should check exactly which degree of hardness is the best for you. Then the spine will be relieved and you will spend the night quietly.

If you suffer from back pain, it will be more advantageous for you to find a suitable mattress instead of sleeping directly on the floor. But if the other arguments convince you, it might be worth trying to do without the mattress.


For a particularly natural sleep experience, you could play with the idea of ​​not spending the night on the mattress. But that means that this will not be a pleasant experience.

The first few nights will likely be a big challenge for you. Your back pain and tension will be more pronounced and your sleep will be less restful.

Just sleeping on a thin surface is a big change, and it takes a few days to get used to. After the acclimatization phase , the positive aspects can come to light. The tensions subside and there is a greater recovery effect . At night you will wake up less often and sleep better.

If you can hold out for the first few days and get used to it, it could be better for you to sleep on the floor. However, you shouldn’t expect too much from it and not every person says that the positive effects will materialize. It therefore makes more sense to buy a suitable mattress in order to sleep better.

Jamie Clark

Hello, I’m Jamie Clark, 32 years old, and I have been living in the USA for a few years.
Since I was a child, I have suffered from a house dust allergy, severely affecting me. I felt the effects both while exercising and while sleeping. Constant sneezing after getting up and difficult breathing were the consequences. The allergy has also developed into asthma, which is still a sporting restriction today.

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