Yo – the bedspread

If you’ve ever used Altavista’s Babelfish to translate Korean to English, you most likely have seen the word “bedspread” in the translation. That’s because the word 요 (yo), used as informal polite ending, is also the word for the Korean sleeping mat.

A site visitor once sent me an email asking me if ordinary people have beds in Korea. He’s been watching Korean dramas and he sees that rich folks have beds while the financially challenged use the floor mattress to sleep on. On the average, Korean houses are small and the cold months are long. The heating system is “ondol” style (from the floor) so you trap more heat with the Korean style bedding. Most people prefer to sleep on the floor for the heat, but more people prefer a bed.

16 comments

  1. Haha, that is cute. I do not have a preference myself, but I like a bed that is removalable. That way you get the space back during the day. I have seen bed versions too.

  2. Hi, I was wondering where do I get the yo-bedspread here in California in San Francisco? Thanks so much for your time.

  3. I have been searching for 요 yo bedding for over ten years in the states. Currently in Chicago – any advice on where to buy would be greatly appreciated.

    1. You might want to check a “Koreatown” if you have one in Chicago. Or you can just buy a thin mattress and make your own cover.

  4. If you live in the bay area or in San Francisco, there is a Korean Supermarket in Daly City called Kukje Market. I was there the other time and i’ve seen som yo beds there.

  5. I live in Seattle, WA and I want to find a yo. But I have looked and still no luck. Can someone give me website I can order off of or a store I can look up to go purchase one?
    Thx

  6. I acquired an original Korean Yo from a elderly couple who brought it back from Korean. I thought it was an over stuffed bed spread. This is what they told me it was a Yo but in reading other websites I think it rolls up and not a tri-fold. I will have to get it out and see. Is anyone interested in it. I could take some pictures and post it on Craigs List.

  7. I found the entire yo set (floor mattress, comforter, decorative pillow and 2 buckwheat neck rolls) in Atlanta/Duluth. Truly amazing pieces! The store was called living art in the Korean strip mall@ 2550 Pleasant Hill Rd. These are spendy though…

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