Abstract Natto is a popular soyfood in Japan, and the U.S. is the largest supplier of natto soybeans. However, information on natto seed chemical and sensory properties is very limited. The objectives of this study were to evaluate differences of seed chemical and sensory properties among natto types and determine heritability and correlation. A total of 15 small-seeded natto genotypes (three superior, nine moderate and three inferior) were evaluated for protein, oil, calcium, manganese, boron and sugar content and processed into a natto product to evaluate appearance, stickiness, flavor, texture and shelf-life. The superior natto group had a higher sugar content but lower protein plus oil, calcium, manganese and boron content than other two groups. Most seed quality traits exhibited high heritability. The natto sensory preference was positively correlated with sucrose and oil content, but negatively correlated with seed hardness, protein, protein plus oil, calcium, manganese, and boron contents. Selecting soybean lines with low protein, protein plus oil, calcium, manganese, and boron content while with high sucrose will be an effective approach for soybean breeding for natto production.