Furniture | February 12, 2021 12:10 pm

Review: The Japanese Have Made the Mattress of the Future

It comes in three parts and is completely washable. Not to mention extremely comfortable.

Airweave Japanese Mattress
Japanese brand Airweave's mattresses, reviewed
Airweave

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My girlfriend, in not so many words, gave me an ultimatum: either we upgrade from my saggy old double bed, or we go our separate ways. Finding romance during a pandemic seems like a difficult proposition, so I opted for the former. 

Shortly into my research, I discovered the Japanese sleepmongers over at Airweave. It’s doubtful you’ve heard of them; their products haven’t been available in the U.S. for very long, but they’ve been making sleepers happy over in Japan for years. Their origin story is unusual: CEO and Founder Motokuni Takaoka took over his uncle’s fishing line company and came to realize that resin fiber, which is commonly used in fishing rods, is the perfect material to use in mattresses. (He didn’t just have a hunch, he was a graduate of the Stanford school of Engineering). Hence the birth of Airweave and a mattress that is legitimately unique, while the rest of the industry is full of “disruptors” that are really just copycats.

A Unique Construction


The Airweave comes in two separate boxes featuring three mattress blocks that are evenly sized and appear identical but are not. They’re cross-sections of the mattress (top third, middle third, bottom third), and, with their varying degrees of firmness, they each serve a different purpose. They almost look like if someone collected millions of those elastic choker necklaces popular in the late ‘90s and melded them into a solid block of mattress. All of the textiles are soft and sturdy.

Assembly is far simpler than the Malm from IKEA, I’ll tell you that much. The instructions are very straightforward, and it won’t take you more than five minutes to put it together. You can do it by yourself, but it will be much easier with a partner. A huge benefit of the mattress’ construction is that if and when we move, we’ll have far more flexibility with how we transport the mattress given that it can be broken down into significantly smaller pieces. 

Airweave Japanese Mattress
Airweave

How It Feels


I won’t lie. At first I was a bit worried about how firm it would be. The website and various online reviews I saw made it clear that this is not a soft, pillowy mattress, which I’m generally fine with, but I also didn’t want a rock. My girlfriend was even more concerned with the firmness, but all of our fears were quickly allayed when we finally got to experience it. 

It’s worth noting, though, that the experience is so different from what many are accustomed to that Airweave doesn’t even let you return the mattress until you’ve given it a fair shake. You can ultimately return the product with no hassle whatsoever, but you have to wait a few weeks so that you can give your body a chance to adjust. Neither my girlfriend nor I required much time to assess whether we liked it or not. We slept well on night one and have slept well ever since. 

A few characteristic highlights:

  • The website claims that because of the filament filled interior, the Airweave promotes airflow, which keeps you much cooler throughout your sleep. I can’t empirically say that my undercarriage has remained any cooler than it had before, but I can certainly tell you I have yet to wake up a hot sweaty mess in the morning. And I’ve been sleeping with flannel sheets the past few months.
  • If this was one of those terrible mattress commercials from the early 2000s, I would be dropping a bowling ball on the Airweave while some crystal stemware full of red wine sat next to it unmoved. That’s just to say that the Airweave is pretty great at not transferring motion. My girlfriend and I go to bed and wake up at drastically different hours, so we’re able to rise and retire on our own schedules without waking each other.
  • The best way I can describe how it feels is that it is indeed very firm, but it does not concentrate pressure on any points of the body, so while it seems like a cliché, it does feel a bit like you’re floating. 

Additional Perks


Because of the unique construction, the Airweave is 100% washable. All the outerlayers are machine washable, and the inner layer is made from plastic fibers, so you can just throw it in the bathtub and rinse it down should the mood strike you. I have yet to do this, so I can’t speak to the ease of it. And, let’s be honest, I’m probably never going to, and neither will you. 

They’ve also done studies (take these with a grain of salt, of course) that indicate sleeping on Airweave can improve athletic performance. The likely explanation for this is that, because Airweave transwers very little motion during natural sleep movements, you have far less muscle activity, which causes you to feel more refreshed in the morning. It’s also great for relieving back and joint pain. 

And yes, there is a 100-day return policy, but as they state on the website, it can take up to 30 days to acclimate to your mattress, so they ask that you give it that long before returning it. Then you can, no questions asked. 

Drawbacks


I suppose if you like a super soft and plush mattress, then the Airweave will not be for you. But they also sell super luxe mattress toppers if you need a little extra softness. 

Airweave is a premium product, and it is priced accordingly. A queen-sized version of the new Airweave model will run you $1,810. That’s about double, if not more, than most of these mattress-in-a-box companies will run you. 

Summary


I really do love my Airweave. I didn’t think I could ever love a mattress this way, but here we are. I tell all my friends about it. I’m thinking about bringing it home to meet my parents. If you have general soreness or back pain, this mattress will help. If you want a more convenient mattress for moving and cleaning, Airweave is perfect.