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A Kotatsu is a Japanese table with a heating system underneath it. It could come as a single piece or set.
The tables feature a low height due to their short legs. Since their invention in olden Japan, these tables got designed to provide warmth, making them useful during the cold weather.
A heavy blanket called a futon covers the table to prevent the warmth from the heating system from escaping. The trapped heat keeps the user’s body warm.
Like any other table, you can do various things like eating, working, studying, and playing games on the Kotatsu. That’s why the table consists of a sturdy tabletop. You can place anything and do multiple tasks on the tabletop.
The robust tabletop also helps to keep the futon in position, avoiding slipping off. Using Kotatsu is easy. You only need to place your body’s lower part under the futon. In the process, you may pull the covering blanket off its position, expounding on the usefulness of the heavy tabletop.
Though Kotatsu got used centuries ago, the Japanese adore and still use them. As a result, people from the outside world have come to know and like them. In the process, these tables got altered and upgraded to fit the outside world and modernization.
Today, you get spoilt of Kotatsu options. You will find Japanese tables of different sizes, designs, heating system technologies, and materials used in their crafting. As a result, you may get confused about what to choose.
Luckily, we took the burden of researching the top Kotatsu on the market today on your behalf. The journey was not easy, but it was successful. In this guide, we shall give you sight into the best Japanese heating tables available today.
You will also grasp some knowledge on other Kotatsu aspects like their history, benefits, factors to consider before buying, and frequently asked questions. It is essential to understand the product you want to buy and use. That’s why we’ll start by discussing how this fantastic piece of furniture came about.
Because we have reviewed the above Kotatsu tables as the best available, it doesn’t mean that the list is final. The market gets flooded with so many other incredible Kotatsu tables. To buy a Kotatsu that suits your needs, you will need to consider some aspects.
Below is a list of things you need to have in mind while shopping for a Kotatsu table. Otherwise, you may end up with a Kotatsu table that doesn’t meet your needs and budget.
Our Researched Top Kotatsu Tables on the Market Today
1. EMOOR Microfiber Space – Saving Kotatsu Futon Set. The Best Space Saving Kotatsu
- Comes with Kakefuton (Comforter) and Shikifuton (Rug) only. Kotatsu table is -NOT-...
Are you looking for a Kotatsu with a rug and comforter? The EMOOR Futon set will excite you. It comes with a beautiful comforter known as Kakefuton and an attractive, sturdy rug called Shikifuton. To accommodate all people’s preferences, the manufacturer makes the rugs and comforters in various sizes, colors, decorations, and patterns.
With this kind of Kotatsu, your room’s interior décor and color doesn’t matter. You only need to choose what blends well with your space. The beauty of the rug and futon makes this Kotatsu enhance the appearance of your room.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a table, but the comforter has slits on its four corners for easier fit over the table. On the futon’s outer side, the material comes soft, fluffy, and smooth. The same case applies to the rug.
The rug’s inner side is non-skid. You, therefore, need not worry about sliding while stepping or walking on it. You will love and enjoy the comforter’s light fleece and soft inner side. It will keep you warm throughout your stay around the Kotatsu.
The futon also traps the warmth from the heating system, preventing it from escaping.
Because of the comforter’s and rug’s small size, you can only use them on a small table, saving you space. The four slits on the comforter mean you can only use it on a rectangular table. What you’ll love about this Kotatsu is that you can use the rug and the comforter separately in another space, especially during the warm season.
You can also choose the kind of rectangle table you want to use with this Kotatsu. Assembling and using it is easy. The slits will guide you while covering the table. You only need to spread the rug beneath the table. Cleaning and maintaining it is easy. You only need to hand wash the rug and comforter using a suitable cleaning solution.
Though this Kotatsu is a favorite for many users, others find it hard to afford. If you have the money, it’s a great deal for your money.
2. AZUMAYA ELFI-9010AK Folding Legs Kotatsu Heater Table – The Best Leg Folding Kotatsu Table
- Kotatsu Heater with Folding Legs Wooden Table with All-Season as Coffee Table. This...
Most Kotatsu table users look for quality and multiple purpose features while buying a Kotatsu table. If you are one of them, the AZUMAYA ELFI-9010AK Kotatsu table may interest you. Rubberwood is renowned for its sturdiness, and the artisans use it in making the structure of this table.
The tabletop comes in oak wood, making this Kotatsu table purely wooden. If you love nature, this table will be suitable for you. The wood combination attributes to the table’s strength, long life, and beauty. Looking at the table inside your room gives you a sense of nature and freshness.
Underneath the table is a reliable heating system. It comes with a control knob to control temperature. There’s also a switch to enable you to turn the unit on and off. You will also find a cable that connects the heating unit to the power source. The entire combination and features make it easy to operate and use.
If you’ve been looking for the best Kotatsu table to save space, the AZUMAYA ELFI-9010AK will blow your mind. It comes with foldable legs, making it easy to store and create space. You only need to fold the legs and place the table above something or inside the store if you need more space or while not in use.
During the cold season, this table will keep you warm. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a futon. You will need to buy it separately. When summer comes, you don’t fold the table and keep it. You can remove the blanket and use it as a coffee table. It means that this table is usable throughout.
You will also like that this table’s heating system uses less power, saving you on electric bills. But to own it, you will have to dig deeper into your pockets. But this should not worry you as it’s worth every penny!
If using it out of Japan, you will need to use a converter as electric voltage will have to increase from 100 to 120.
3. EMOOR Washable Kotatsu Futon Comforter (Uncovered) – The Easiest Kotatsu Futon to Wash
- Comes with uncovered Comforter (Kakefuton) only. Cover, Rug (Shikifuton) or Kotatsu...
If you love a combination of various things in a Kotatsu table, this option will suit you well. The futon comes alone, giving you the freedom to choose the Kotatsu table you want. You will also need to buy a rug and tabletop separately if you require using them.
The futon comes in a neutral color to accommodate your room’s colors and interior décor. Though the comforter comes square in shape, you can use either a round or square table. What’s important is that the table should be small enough for the futon to cover it entirely.
Because of the comforter’s small size, you can only use it with a Kotatsu suitable for one person. If you’ve been on a mission to search for a top-notch futon, your search ends here. The futon comes stuffed with Toray polyester. It is a down-touch fiberfill and comes very soft.
The futon’s contents make it light and fluffy, explaining why it’s cozy and warm. It is also pleasing to the eyes, making the surroundings look lovely. Because of its neutral color, it lightens the room. Thanks to the skilled hands of the Japanese craftsmen, the comforter is of outstanding quality.
You may think it’s hard to maintain because of its bright color, but you are mistaken. You only need to put it inside a net and machine-wash it. The material is also resistant to dust and other dirt. When taken care of properly, you may use it for a long time before cleaning it.
An advantage with this comforter is that you can use it without the Kotatsu table when the cold season disappears. You can spread it and sit or sleep on it as a mat on the floor in a different room, or use it as a blanket to cover yourself while relaxing on the sofa or bed.
Considering that it comes as a single item for a Kotatsu table, the price appears higher. Some fully assembled Kotatsu tables cost the same as this futon. If you have the budget, this comforter is worth buying.
4. AZUMAYA Folding Legs Wooden Kotatsu Heater Table Walnut Brown ELFE-901wal – The Best Wooden Folding Legs Kotatsu Table for Home for Homes
- Kotatsu Heater with Folding Legs Wooden Table with All-Season as Coffee Table. This...
The table comes in a rectangular shape but looks like a coffee table. Instead of buying a Kotatsu and a coffee table separately, it would be wise to buy the AZUMAYA folding legs table. It will save you the money you would have spent in purchasing a coffee table. No wonder it’s famous in Japan! Thanks to its multi-purpose feature.
The structure comes crafted with robust rubberwood. The surface consists of the Walnut Veneer and a coating of Urethane Stain. The natural wood used in its making brings a sense of nature into your home. The natural wood color also looks stunning and has a refreshing feeling.
While set in your sitting room, it enhances the beauty of the space and blends well with the interior. It is the kind of Kotatsu to have in your home if you are limited in space, thanks to its folding legs. Its small size also contributes to the table’s ability to save space.
You only need to fold the legs and place the Kotatsu at the corner of your room or store to create space. The underneath comes with a heating unit that’s easy to operate. The On/Off switch makes it easy to operate. If you want to change the temperature of the unit, you use the temperature control knob.
Setting the heating system is easy. Take the cable attached to it and plug it into your power source. Don’t put it on unless you are ready to use the Kotatsu table. Because the table comes fully assembled, you can use it immediately when it arrives.
Though the table comes complete, it doesn’t sell with a futon. You will need to look for a comforter to spread over the table separately. People using this table in the US will need to use a voltage converter to change the Japanese 100V to the USA’s 120V.
Many users may complain about the price, but it’s an investment worth putting in your hard-earned dollars.
5. AZUMAYA KT-107 Kotatsu Heater Table – The Best Square-Shaped Kotatsu Table for the Living Room
- Kotatsu Heater with Walnut Brown Square Shape Table Top (W30 x D30 inches) with...
If you adore the beauty of the ancient Japanese heating tables, you will love this Kotatsu. It comes square-shaped and made with pure wood. The wood’s natural color connects you with nature, giving you a sense of freshness. The legs come slightly raised above the table’s surface, creating a fantastic look.
It is a perfect piece of furniture to use if you need to alter, enhance, or improve your room’s theme. The robust Walnut wood used in its making attributes to the table’s long life. If you have no coffee table, the AZUMAYA KT-107 is a great alternative! You can also use this table for other tasks like studying, playing games, painting or eating.
Though you get to buy the futon separately, the raised legs form unique corners that hold the comforter to its position firmly. To place the futon, you will have to remove the tabletop first. Then cover the table and replace the tabletop, making it easy to use and set.
You need not worry when handling the table. The legs can withstand much pressure, thanks to the 100% rubber used in its making. The Satin finish makes the table shinny and resistant to dust. It also protects the wood from absorbing moisture, enhancing its life.
Like other Kotatsu, the heating unit comes installed underneath the table. The manufacturer made it easy to operate the system by installing an On/Off switch. You can also regulate the temperature as you wish using the control knob found near the heating unit.
Because this table uses Japanese 100V, you will have to buy a voltage converter if using it in the USA to change the volts into USA 120V. You can use the table in the dining, living, or study room. All these unique features come at a cost, attributing to the table’s high price.
It is therefore advisable to have a budget while buying this table. The futon is not part of the table, meaning that you’ll have to buy it separately. Overall, the table is a valuable piece of furniture.
The Origin of Kotatsu
It was in the 16th c, during the Muromachi period in Japan. The ancient Japanese used irori, a cooking hearth. The Japanese made it by digging a sizeable hole to accommodate their cooking utensils and the user’s space. The irori used coal only for heating and cooking.
Later, the ancient Japanese improved the irori to accommodate the family members. They enlarged the size of the irori so that people could place their legs inside the fire pit. After cooking, they would put a wooden platform over the fire. Then a blanket named Oki covered the wooden platform to prevent the heat from the fire from escaping.
This improved irori where the Japanese could warm themselves was called Hori-gotatsu. The users could enjoy the warmth from the charcoal burning underneath the covered wooden platform as they chatted or did other things. In the process, the family members could bond and learn more about each other.
The Kotatsu was an excellent bonding tool for family members and loved ones, even from its origin. In the 17th c, the Japanese modified the Hori-gotatsu. Instead of digging a pit fire, they crafted a movable Kotatsu.
It consisted of a pot full of burning charcoal placed underneath a short movable wooden table. The Japanese named it Oki-gatatsu, meaning foot warmer and torch. But electricity replaced coal in the mid-20th c.
By then, coal had become scarce, making the Japanese use the available resources. Modernization and civilization had also invaded Japan, and the majority preferred better and safer power sources. The heating system was then attached underneath the table, making the modern Kotatsu.
In the olden days, the primary material for crafting a Kotatsu was wood. Today, artisans use other materials which are easily accessible, easy to clean, and resistant to dust, humidity, and other dirt. The makers of modern Kotatsu also add a touch of creativity to the tables.
It is the reason you will find Kotatsu of different designs, patterns, colors, and sizes. Before, the Japanese utilized the Kotatsu as a single piece. The family member could sit around that one table.
Today, the case is different. You can find the Kotatsu either as a single piece of furniture or set. The option caters to various needs. If you are many in your family or place of work, the Kotatsu set works out best. If staying alone or with few people, a single Kotatsu is ideal.
Other households use Kotatsu as their dining or meeting tables. In this regard, a set would work out best if dealing with many people. Some restaurants and other eateries in Japan and other countries use the Kotatsu sets.
Now that you are aware of what Kotatsu are and how they came along, it’s essential to note that they come in different types. You may buy some but wonder why they vary in things like their appearance, heating system, materials used in their making, and size.
To help you out, check the following Kotatsu types you will find in the market today.
I. Charcoal Kotatsu
It is similar to the one used in ancient Japan. The table uses either a pit fire or a container filled with burning charcoal. A short table then sits over the fire source. The distance between the heat source and the table’s underside is usually safe to avoid burning or to destroy the table.
If using a pit fire, it’s usually approximately 40cm deep. The table does not come fixed. A Kotatsu with a charcoal vessel underneath it can become easily moved from one point to another. A heavy blanket then covers the entire table to block any heat from escaping.
Over the blanket, a strong tabletop gets placed to enable you to use the table. You could work, eat, or carry out other activities on the tabletop.
II. Electric Kotatsu
It is the modern Japanese heating table. Electricity is the primary source of power for its heating system. All units come installed under the tables, at the center. It would be best if you had an electrical supply nearby to operate the table’s power system.
Though the heating systems come protected to avoid damages or burn something, you still need to be careful when handling them. Electric Kotatsu uses power volts of 120 or 230, strong enough to give you a severe burn with a slight touch.
You can purchase this table either as complete or in bits. Some come without the futons and heating systems to allow you to install the parts of your preference.
III. Quilted Kotatsu
The table comes with a special blanket called quilted Kotatsu. It’s usually installed at the table’s sides to help retain the heat from the heating unit placed under the table. When you place your legs underneath the Kotatsu to enjoy the warmth, you use the same quilt to wrap around your body to keep warm.
You can therefore use this Kotatsu as a cozy bed. It will come as a set attached to the heating system when you buy it. The tables come in different sizes and colors.
IV. Blanket or Futon Kotatsu
Like the quilted Kotatsu, this table comes with a futon at its sides. The blanket is usually very thick, similar to a quilt, offering more thermal energy. The futon not only adds warmth but also retains the emitted warmth from the heating system.
The futon’s microfiber comes with extra comfort and warmth. It also helps to retain and save heat. The entire Kotatsu comes as a set. It includes a heating system, futon, and floor mat. During summer, you may remove the blanket.
You will also find a Futon Kotatsu of any style and shape. What you’ll love about these tables is that they are usually of top-notch quality and very attractive.
A Kotatsu table comes either movable or fixed despite its type. A permanently stationed table is usually heavy and oversized. Their futon also comes large and thick.
Movable Kotatsu tables are usually lightweight for easier carriage. They also come small in size, with light futons or blankets.
Despite the above information, you may wonder why Kotatsu tables are famous and on-demand. These piece of furniture come with incredible multiple uses. Their benefits are as follows;
Benefits of Kotatsu Tables
The uses of a Kotatsu are different from general tables found in various households around the world. The Japanese and other users utilize them for the following;
It is the primary use of a Kotatsu table. From their origin, these tables consist of a heating system underneath them to emit heat. The user utilizes the heat produced to warm him/herself. Special blankets called futon maintain the radiated heat and prevent it from escaping.
Like the olden days, the Kotatsu got used most during the cold season. Every household in Japan had an active Kotatsu when snowing or in winter. It provides enough warmth and comfort to the user. With the kind of comfort received, the user can perform other activities like working or studying on Kotatsu’s tabletop.
If you have a comfortable Kotatsu chair or sofa, you can utilize it as a bed. Though you may sleep on your Kotatsu chair or couch, you should avoid falling deep asleep. You may interfere with the heating unit unconsciously, damaging it or causing a fire.
In the olden days, the Japanese referred to the Kotatsu as a ‘bonding tool’. Are you wondering why? The table brought the family members or other people together. While sitting around the Kotatsu, people come close to each other.
Also, they perform various tasks together over the table. For example, eating, chatting, playing games, and working. In the process, they learn more about each other, and their togetherness becomes strong.
iii. Improving the Room’s Look
Modern Kotatsu tables come with sleek and unique designs. Some imitate the olden styles. If you have a thing for products with a traditional touch, Kotatsu tables with ancient techniques will suit you best. Such tables can improve or change the theme of your space.
If you have a tooth for fashion, Kotatsu tables with the latest classy styles will excite you. The tables come with various decorations, colors, patterns, designs, and sizes. You can choose a table that complements your room’s interior décor and colors.
iv. Saves Energy
Kotatsu tables use the energy from the heating system only. The heating unit of a Japanese table consumes very little power. How much energy would you use if you installed your entire house with a heating system? You would need a powerful power source to supply it.
v. Saves Money
A lot of energy consumption comes with a high power bill. Because the amount of power consumed by a Kotatsu table is small, it reduces power cost. You will need to dig deeper into your pockets to clear a power bill of a heating system installed in an entire room.
vi. Saves Space
Kotatsu tables come with short legs, decreasing their height. Most Kotatsu’s height is approximately 14 – inches. As a result, they save space. Some also come in small sizes, creating more space in the room. It is not possible to experience congestion in a room with Kotatsu tables.
If you have the movable Kotatsu tables in your home, you will realize that they are light in weight. You can quickly move them as you wish to create more space.
vii. Use as a Typical Table
During summer, you can stop using the heating system of the table and remove its covering blanket. What remains is a table similar to those found in many homes globally. The only difference is the size and height.
While at this state, you can use the Kotatsu table like any other table. You can use it in the living room, as your dining table, or for other activities like entertainment.
Because of the table’s comfort, you can relax on it after a long day’s work. There’s nothing heavenly like relaxing in a cozy warm place during the cold season. A Kotatsu transformable sofa or chair into a mattress would be great to use with your Kotatsu for optimal relaxation.
You can take a quick nap but not a deep sleep. An accident may happen while asleep, especially with the heating system. Fortunately, there has never been a known case of an accident or fire caused by a Kotatsu table.
With such a clear picture of a Kotatsu table, your urge to know the best one available could have heightened. Without further ado, here are the reviews of the top Japanese tables available today.
Factors To Consider Before Buying a Kotatsu Table
a) The Heating Unit Installed
It is the main feature of a Kotatsu table. If not correctly installed, the heating unit may be hazardous. It may burn the Kotatsu, starting from the place it’s attached. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a table made with quality materials.
Materials such as plastic or weak wood can easily catch fire if the heating system emits too much heat. Also, the heating system should have the proper protection to avoid coming into contact with people, pets, or things. Such a unit stays safe from damage, and the users and items around become free from a burn or hurt.
A low-quality heating system may backfire or malfunction at any time. It may also start a fire without anyone noticing. While buying a Kotatsu table, consider a quality heating unit.
Why should you buy a large Kotatsu table when you are few in your house? Isn’t it a waste of your precious resources? Before picking a Kotatsu table, consider the number of people to use it. If you are many or always have visitors, a large table would be ideal.
If you would love a Kotatsu table to lay or sleep under, you may need to consider the height. Go for a table that can accommodate your entire body, length, and width without interfering with the heating system.
c) Futon or Comforter
Because futons touch the floor, they are prone to dirt and dust. Also, they can easily stain when eating or working on the tabletop. Therefore, it is vital to choose a table with a futon made with stain, dust, humidity, and dirt-resistant material.
The futon should also be easy to clean. Those washable with both machine and hands are preferred most. When considering the futon of your table, put in mind your room’s theme and décor. Go for a Kotatsu with a futon that will enhance the look of your space.
Kotatsu tables crafted with quality materials last longer. Most tables come with a wooden frame and surface. Investigate the kind of wood used in its making. Is it hard or softwood? How is the material’s strength? Go for a table with a futon made from top-notch materials.
The prices of Kotatsu tables depend on the materials used in their making, brand, heating system, rug, futon, and size. If you require a table with extra features and quality materials, you may need to budget for it. Such Kotatsu comes with a high price tag.
The cheaper tables may lose out on some capabilities, making their prices low. If you don’t need the services of such extra features, buy a table without them, and save some money.
Though you may find a Kotatsu table in your country, many come from Japan. If you happen to import one overseas, it will take time to arrive. Also, in the transportation process, many bad things may occur. For example, the table may get stolen, damaged, or unnecessarily delayed due to unavoidable circumstances like bad weather or accident.
It would be convenient to purchase a table nearby or from a source that will avail it to you in time. As a buyer, you will not become inconvenienced.
Even though Kotatsu tables don’t come with much decoration, it’s good to consider what you like. Do you love rectangular, square, or round tables? What decorations do you prefer on the comforter? Is the table attractive or dull to look at? Will it enhance your room’s look? When you have the answers to these questions, you can now go ahead and buy one.
The information given in this article is a lot, but you may still have some questions bothering your mind. To help you out, here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions.
1) How Much Does a Complete Set of Kotatsu Cost
As indicated earlier in this article, certain aspects like the heating system determine the cost of a Kotatsu table. Based on this, prices range from $120 to $600. It depends on the features and the seller’s location. The price of shipping from another country may go high because of the shipping costs.
2) Can You Sleep Under a Kotatsu?
Yes, you can, but you are not supposed to fall deep asleep. While asleep, you may roll over or move any of your body parts and hit the heating system. You could damage the unit, making it malfunction. The interference could also make the unit start a fire. What happens when a fire begins without your knowledge? You and everything else in the room could get burnt!
3) Can You Buy a Kotatsu at Ikea?
Yes. If you live in the USA, you can buy your favorite Kotatsu table from this place. It is a multinational conglomerate with its roots in Sweden. It makes and sells various items like furniture and household appliances, and accessories.
4) Why Do The Japanese Love Sitting on the Floor?
Because it is their tradition, and they love reinforcing it. The Japanese are also proud of their culture and love showcasing it to the world. Fortunately, the outside world has embraced the floor culture and is enjoying it.
5) Is it a Custom for the Japanese to Take off Their Shoes While Sitting on a Kotatsu chair or Around the Kotatsu Table?
Yes. The practice helps keep the floor clean since the Japanese eat and sleep there. After removing the shoes at the house’s entrance, the Japanese replace them with slippers. Others opt to stay barefoot as long as their legs are clean.
As discussed above, Kotatsu tables are valuable pieces of furniture in our homes. They help us stay warm and carry out other tasks, as explained above. Though the Kotatsu tables were originally from Japan, most people from the outside world have embraced them.
Today, these tables have flooded the market, as detailed in this article. For you to buy the right table, you need to consider the factors discussed above. If you still don’t know what to choose, use our list of the top Kotatsu tables on the market today as your starting point.