Despite a boom in popularity, futons still draw distaste from those Americans who are accustomed to beds with posture-enhancing pockets and spongy pillow-tops. Still, these versatile mats, favored by students and fans of Japanese culture, have been adopted and adapted by U.S. connoisseurs for more than a century.The futons Morse describes are quite different from those now gracing urban apartments. Quilted comforters that were encased and stuffed with cotton or silk, traditional futons were spread on the two-inch thick tatami mats that lined the floors of Japanese houses. Sleepers could use another futon as a cover and rest their heads on small pillows stuffed with buckwheat hulls. When the night was over, the futons were quickly folded and stored in waiting closets, leaving rooms clean and bare.
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