The buckwheat pillow is becoming more and more popular as the news spreads that they are the most supportive type of pillow on the market. They offer firm support in all sleeping positions, yet remain cool due to the inherent airflow properties of the buckwheat hulls.
These pillows are most beneficial to users who sleep on their sides. Because of the large gap created between the head and the mattress when sleeping in this position, a thicker, they need a firmer pillow to support their heads and keep the spine in line. A buckwheat pillow serves perfectly for this task as they are malleable, and you can mold them into a shape that will put more support directly beneath your head. This support will reduce the risk of shoulder joint damage from prolonged pressure on the shoulder while sleeping. Also, by keeping the head and spine aligned, you are less likely to experience shoulder stiffness, soreness, and even painful pinched nerves.
Buckwheat Hull vs. Traditional Feathers and Polyfoam
Besides those issues mentioned above, traditional foam and feather pillows have several inherent problems that a buckwheat pillow either minimizes or avoids completely.
In addition to the fact that foam and feathers can harbor dust mites, mold, and other allergens, some people are allergic to the very foam and feather fillings themselves. Dried buckwheat hulls do not readily retain moisture and are an inhospitable environment for both molds and bacteria.
Shape and comfort
Traditional solid foam pillows will go flat over time and will need replacing. With a buckwheat hull pillow, you merely rearrange the filling by fluffing the pillow, and it is as firm as the day you got it.
Unlike polyfoam, buckwheat pillows contain no substances that can cause further issues to a sensitive sleeper. The chemicals used to create and process polyfoam have been known to cause breathing issues and even cancers in some people.
Many people who may not be sensitive to traditional fillings still find the smell of polyfoam and feathers off-putting. After just a short time, these fillings will absorb normal body odors and sweat. Because buckwheat pillows promote more airflow and contain no absorbent materials, these issues don’t exist. The fresh, natural smell of buckwheat pillows can also help you sleep better.
As mentioned above, the air flow in buckwheat pillows makes them inherently more efficient at temperature control while you sleep. Traditional foam pillows will trap and reflect your body heat against your skin and can make you even hotter. Buckwheat hulls have gaps and air space between them that allows air to flow and keep you cooler while you sleep.
Another interesting aspect of a buckwheat pillow is that you can place it in the freezer on hot nights. Once removed, the hulls will remain cool for several hours. Conversely, on cold nights they can be heated in the microwave for a short time, and they will retain the warmth as well as they did the cold. Imagine a cozy, warm pillow on a frosty night.
Buckwheat hulls will also absorb and deaden ambient room noise. If you live in an area with traffic noise or have a bed partner that may snore, this pillow will absorb a great deal of this noise and help you stay asleep. Also, if you lay on your side and have another pillow to place on top of your head, you can achieve almost total silence.
When compared to other pillows that offer far less support, these pillows can be quite a bargain. They offer a longer active life than high-priced traditional pillows. Even if some of the hulls do manage to come out, it is a simple matter to return or also to replace them. This will let you maintain your pillow almost indefinitely. Most buckwheat hull pillows will last for around 10 years under normal conditions before they need attention. We’ve had ours for nearly 20, and it shows no signs of needing to be retired. Considering that you spend a full third of your life sleeping, a long-lasting quality pillow that will help you sleep better seems like a wise investment.
Easy to maintain
Some special conditions, such as illness or accidents, may require you to clean your buckwheat pillow occasionally. If, after some time, you feel the need to wash your buckwheat pillow’s inner bag, empty the hulls into a container and put the inner bag in the laundry with your other pillowcases.
The buckwheat hulls themselves cannot be machine washed. They can, however, be rinsed in cool, clean water with a small amount of vinegar and left out to dry. This will completely refresh your pillow filling. Should you feel the need to replace the hulls entirely, it is a simple task. Simply purchase more and swap them out. Since they are entirely organic and natural, there are no disposal issues, and if it ever gets wet, hang it out to dry in the sun. Note that you should only purchase only organic buckwheat replacement filler.
Rejuvenating and Refreshing Your Buckwheat Pillow
Another unique feature of the buckwheat pillow is the ability to refresh and renew it any time you like. Traditional pillows can get stale and begin to smell unpleasantly from continued use. When a feather pillow gets wet or stained, sometimes the only action available is to throw it away. When a foam pillow gets stained or smelly, you can put it in the washing machine. This usually results in a disfigured, damaged, or even destroyed pillow, and either way it can’t go into the dryer. The polyfoam will retain water that is not entirely squeezed out, and this moisture can breed mold, mildew, bacteria, and micro-organisms. This means you will need to dry your foam pillow completely before using it again. This process can take a while, often several days, to complete.
How to clean your buckwheat pillow
Cleaning and refreshing a wheat pillow is relatively easy and will not damage the pillow. Find a container that the hulls will fit into without overflowing. Usually, a clean plastic bin is perfect for this purpose, and if your pillow is small enough, a clean cookie sheet is also ideal. Carefully pour the hulls out of the inner bag and into the container. Spread them out so they will dry faster and more evenly. Place the container in a sunny spot such as by a window or outside, if there is no chance of rain. Be sure to place them where they will not be gotten into or toppled by pets or children. Mix them occasionally to dry them evenly and fluff them up. The hulls will warm and dry quickly in the sun, and the result will be a clean, fresh pillow that will feel and smell new again.
To launder the inner bag, first, make sure no hulls remain before putting it in your washing machine. They are by no means dangerous but can get on other clothing and washables if you are not careful. If you are unsure or uneasy about this process, re-zip the inner bag to assure that no debris gets out of the case and into your washer. Your pillowcase will still come out clean and fresh.
Now scoop the rejuvenated hulls from the container with a clean mug or measuring cup and pour them carefully back into the inner bag. Take your time, as you don’t want to have to clean up any stray hulls. Note that this scooping action can build up static electricity and cause some of the hulls to adhere to the scoop. Be careful not to let them spill, as they can be a bit of a mess to recover for reuse.
Unlike foam pillows, if you want to adjust the overall firmness of your buckwheat pillow, it is a simple matter of adding or subtracting hulls from your inner bag. You can also compress the pillow to make slight adjustments to provide more or less support under your head and neck. After you have adjusted the firmness, the hulls will conform to the shape of your head and maintain that shape.
Because the firmness is so adjustable and conforms to your shape, your buckwheat pillow can serve many functions aside from supporting your head when you sleep. Because they conform to your body shape, they are ideal for lower back support at your desk or when you are driving. They come in assorted shapes and sizes. The smaller ones can be used to help prevent or relieve Carpel Tunnel syndrome at your workstation. Resting your leg on one at night can help reduce morning knee and hip pain. You can even place it on your body, and the added even pressure could help you fall asleep. Also, if you have two and sleep on your side, there is an added benefit. Placing one under your head and one on top will pretty much block out all the noise in the room.
As mentioned previously, buckwheat hulls are completely natural and chemically untreated. This makes them 100 percent environmentally safe and even compostable. Foam pillows are somewhat of an environmental hazard. Starting with the atmosphere-polluting chemicals used to create the foam and continuing to the fact that they do not readily decompose when disposed of in landfills. If you’re looking for a product that’s environmentally friendly product, you need search no farther than a buckwheat hull pillow. Not only made from non-chemical and non-animal parts, but it also does not create pollution. Most are made of 100 percent organic, 100 percent bio-degradable, and 100 percent renewable materials.
People with chronic neck pain, as well as migraine sufferers, have cited substantial relief when sleeping on a buckwheat pillow. Because it helps keep your spine straight, you will toss and turn in your sleep less often from discomfort.
Choosing a Buckwheat Pillow
There are several buckwheat pillows on the market you can choose from to improve the quality of your sleep. They range in size from small neck pillows for travel to queen size for home use. Prices also range accordingly, and as expected the larger the pillow, the higher the price. Expect to pay about $25 for a small pillow and as much as $120 for a queen or king-size version.
- Filled with 100% Organic grown Buckwheat Hulls - Allows air to circulate for natural cooling comfort
- Will naturally adjust to your your ideal position of Head, Neck, and Spine.
- May relieve common sleeping problems such as tension, muscle pain, stiff neck, headache, and stress
The Zen Chi buckwheat pillow boasts that it is 100 percent organic. It comes in four different sizes and is one of the more affordable of its kind available. The queen size version measures 20 by 30 inches, is about 3 to 4 inches thick, and weighs about 10 pounds.
- Chemical and Odor Free: filled with 100% organic buckwheat hulls to help you relieve sleeping problems with Queen Size...
- Organic Buckwheat: The pillow is filled with 100% organic buckwheat hulls. Buckwheat is naturally hypoallergenic, making...
- Highly Adjustable and Perfect for People who Loves Hard Pillow: You can customize pillow shape and height according to...
Also boasting organic origins, the PiloMilo brand features adjustability and a quilted pillow cover in 100 percent cotton. Available in two sizes, the queen-sized version is 19 by 29 inches and weighs about 8 pounds.
- This unique Pillow has been used widely throughout the Orient for centuries
- Filled with 100 percent buckwheat hulls that shape themselves to your head and neck
- Hulls have properties that make them uniquely comfortable, supportive and theraputic for a restful nights sleep
Not listed as organic but boasting of an additional pillowcase, the Sobakawa buckwheat pillow has a 100 percent cotton cover. It comes in three sizes, and the queen-sized pillow measures 20 by 29 inches and weighs about 8 pounds. One disadvantage with this brand is that the pillow has no zipper to wash the cover. The manufacturer suggests using the additional pillowcase included instead. They do provide a lifetime warranty, however.
- AWAKE REFRESHED AND PAIN FREE! SOBAKAWA size - 20” x 15”
- REMOVABLE BUCKWHEAT HULLS, HUSKS - Form This Pillow Exactly How You Like It.
- BE HEALTHIER WITH ALL ORGANIC MATERIALS - Organic Cotton Pillow, Organic Cotton Pillowcase, Organic Cotton Storage Bag....
Infinite Nature boasts the high quality inherent in their buckwheat pillow, with double-stitched seams, and organic contents, pillowcase, and storage case. Only available in one size — 15 by 20 inches, this pillow is GOTS certified (Global Organic Textile Standard). You’ll find it quite affordable without being “cheap” in any way.
- HYPOALLERGENIC & ORGANIC: High-tech, ultra densely woven pillow casing, and stuffed with buckwheat hulls.
- GOTS CERTIFIED ORGANIC COTTON CASE: The highest level organic certification right through to our Connecticut facility....
- Buckwheat Hull Pillows have been used for hundreds of years for the therapeutic qualities which differentiate them from...
A little pricier than the others, but made in the United States, the Magnolia Organics buckwheat pillow has a quilted cover, padded with cotton. They manufacturer their ultra-dense buckwheat pillow in two sizes in their GOTS Certified facility.
Do It Yourself Bucket Pillow
One of the more best things about a buckwheat pillow is that you don’t need to buy one pre-made to have one. To clarify, the components necessary to put your own pillow together are easily obtainable, inexpensive, and quite simple to put together. You can purchase many sizes and shapes of pillowcases and various amounts of hulls. Just as a pre-made buckwheat pillow can be “tuned” by putting in or taking out hulls, one that you make yourself will have the exact feel, support, and weight that you prefer. You’ll also have the satisfaction of making it yourself.
You can purchase a pillowcase made especially for a DIY buckwheat pillow. You’ll want one with a zipper closure and a high thread count for smoothness. Then, simply purchase the amount of buckwheat pillow filler. You may want to get enough materials to make several because once your family members have tried yours, they are going to want one for themselves. Be sure to buy enough to make it a fun family project for everyone in the household.
Better Overall Sleep
The bottom line when buying any bedding is to get more rest and better sleep. There are many things that either keep you awake or cause you to awaken from your slumber. These include ambient noise, allergies, neck and back discomfort, tossing and turning, or just getting too hot from the heat trapped against your head from your foam pillow. The buckwheat husk pillow resolves these issues and several more. It will help to get you to sleep and, perhaps more importantly, help you stay asleep to get the rest you need to face the new day.
To sum it up: A buckwheat pillow supports your head and neck better than any other pillow available. The buckwheat hulls allow cooling airflow to help you stay cool at night better than any other pillow available.You can cool them in the freezer or heat them in the microwave to help you stay cool on warm nights and stay warm on cool nights.
It may take you a few nights to get used to this entirely different way of sleeping, but once you do, you should sleep deeper, longer and better. Odds are, you may never repurchase another ordinary pillow again.