Traditionally pillows have always been soft, fluffy, and cuddly until a bean bag type of pillow entered the market. Buckwheat pillows are peculiar pillows but also some of the best.
These pillows which originate in Asia, have long been in existence even though they only recently came to light.
Made from the hard-outer kernels of buckwheat seeds, buckwheat pillows have plenty of benefits. In Asia, they are used in oriental medicine for their therapeutic benefits. To the rest of the world, they are known for their unrivaled support.
So, what about buckwheat pillows, an unlikely pillow type, makes them so exciting? This guide answers that, by exploring the characteristics, benefits, and purchasing considerations of the best buckwheat pillow.
We also tested a lot of buckwheat pillows and only selected 4 as the best with each offering something unique.
First, we’ll start with our list then we’ll talk about the buckwheat pillow shopping guide that we followed.
Editors Pick Best Overall
Best Round Pillow
Best Travel Size Pillow
Best Budget Choice
#1 Hullo Buckwheat Pillow (Best Overall )
Best Overall Buckwheat Pillow
Certainly, one of the best buckwheat pillows in the market, the Hullo Buckwheat pillow is certified organic and very comfortable.
At 20” wide and 26” long this standard sized pillow can fit in all pillow shams even though it comes with a washable zippered cotton cover.
Hullo Buckwheat Pillow
#2 ComfyComfy Buckwheat Neck Pillow (Best Neck Pillow)
ComfyComfy Buckwheat Neck Pillow
Best Neck Pillow
When it comes to neck support this cylinder-shaped buckwheat pillow is the best we tried.
One of the best parts about it is what it comes in 4 different cylinder sizes for different people. Not only that, all 4 size are customizable. This means that you can open the zipper cover and remove hulls as you see fit.
ComfyComfy Buckwheat Neck Pillow
#3 PineTales Buckwheat Pillow (Best Travel Size )
Best Travel Size Pillow
Best Travel Size
This very reasonably priced travel pillow is the best we tried in this category for several reasons.
This pillow looks and feels great while being priced lower than most travel pillows. The outer cover is a natural bamboo pillowcase and both it and the outer covers are zippered for fill adjustability.
Best Travel Size Pillow
#4 Sobakawa Buckwheat Pillow ( Best Budget)
Sobakawa Buckwheat Pillow
If you’re after price yet quality, non-quite could beat this buckwheat pillow for us.
Thought in terms of performance the other pillows are better, this one comes with an exceptionally good value for the money you pay. Also, we tried other budget buckwheat pillows and we weren’t as happy with them.
Sobakawa Buckwheat Pillow
Why Should You Consider Buckwheat Pillows?
Buckwheat hull pillows come with numerous benefits. Apart from being natural, these pillows sleep cool, are long-lasting, and very supportive. The very nature of buckwheat hulls creates these benefits.
In this section, we explore the advantages of buckwheat pillows.
#1 A Great Natural Product
A buckwheat pillow is as natural as it gets. To start with, the materials used to make buckwheat pillows are all-natural. The inner side of the pillow is filled with natural buckwheat hulls. That is encased in a natural outer cover material such as cotton.
Buckwheat is renewable in nature and easy to farm. It’s mostly grown as a cover crop because it grows so fast. Besides, it tolerates tough soil conditions and doesn’t require chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides.
This means you sleep on a natural pillow, devoid of chemicals and toxins when sleeping on a buckwheat pillow.
You also help the environment by you choosing this kind of pillow. And when the pillow’s years of service are over, it doesn’t end up as landfill because it’s biodegradable.
#2 Excellent Airflow and Cooling
Buckwheat pillows are arguably the coolest pillows in the market. This attribute comes from the 3D characteristic of buckwheat hulls.
Buckwheat hulls are slightly cupped and triangular in nature. They create tiny air pockets all throughout the pillow. The smooth hard surface of the hulls doesn’t compress either; thus they don’t trap air as other pillows do which is something that causes you to sleep hot.
The pillow’s “floating-on” experience also helps you sleep cooler. When you sink into a pillow, hot air is trapped between your head and the pillow. This results in you, sleeping hot, and waking up in the middle of the night sweating.
If you sleep hot, buckwheat pillows are a great cooling solution for you.
#3 Very Moldable
Pillows improve our sleep posture and comfort. As such we are always looking for pillows with a great malleability factor. This is so that we can mold and shape them to our needs.
The hulls used to make buckwheat pillows easily move around to create the perfect resting position. Once you lie on them, they move about and take the shape of your head and neck, offering great contouring.
As such, a buckwheat pillow contours to your head and neck, offering proper spinal alignment. This is crucial in eliminating or avoiding head and neck aches.
Besides, these kinds of pillows don’t require constant fluffing to achieve the right mold. Once you mold and shape the pillow to your desired position, it stays in place throughout the night.
#4 Amazing Neck Support
Buckwheat pillows excel at support. The compact nature of buckwheat hulls lends to the pillow’s supportive nature. The hulls evenly distribute your weight within the pillow, without bottoming out or shifting.
Unlike other pillow types, buckwheat pillows don’t sink in under pressure. After the initial contouring, the small husks stay in place. This creates consistent support throughout the night. It also eliminates the need to wake up at night to fluff the pillow.
The small hard kernels contour perfectly to the shape of your neck, providing great support. This provides proper head, neck, and spine alignment, resulting in the correct sleeping posture. That’s why this pillow is so popular for neck and back pains.
#5 Naturally Hypoallergenic
Buckwheat pillows are also antimicrobial and hypoallergenic. The hard nature of buckwheat hulls does not entice critters as a food source. Critters such as dust mites, like soft chewable materials.
This type of pillow also undergoes a thorough multistep cleaning process, to rid the hulls of any dust and grain particles that might remain after harvest.
The hulls don’t retain moisture which keeps your pillow free of mold and mildew.
However, there are some claims online that buckwheat pillows attract bugs and the dust from the pillows aggravates asthma. This can only happen with a poor quality buckwheat pillow.
Properly cleaned buckwheat pillows don’t have any nutritional value for bugs. Some manufacturers go to the extent of air cleaning the hulls several times without the use of fumigants to ensure they are as safe as possible.
Of course, with time the buckwheat hulls will age and the constant rubbing action against one another will produce dust. But with a strong outer cover, the contents of the pillow are well sealed. At this point, it’s also advisable to remove the old hulls, wash the cover, and replace it with new hulls.
#6 Help with Snoring Problems
Blocked airways more often than not are the main causes of snoring. An airway can get blocked due to poor sleep posture. When the head is tilted too high or sinking too low, the neck and spine twist awkwardly. This leads to a lack of proper muscle support which can lead to blocked airways.
Buckwheat pillows offer great, consistent support. The unshifting nature of buckwheat hulls once they settle, means you receive a constant level of support throughout the night.
The hulls are also good at distributing weight evenly, which means your neck and head muscles are well supported.
Since our airway runs congruently with the spine, proper spinal alignment keeps our airways open.
#7 Very Durable Yet inexpensive
Buckwheat pillows are some of the most durable pillows available in the market today. These pillows are known to last up to 10 years. Some people testify having them longer than that.
The hard nature of the hulls and their ability to resist pressure keeps these pillows firmer for longer. A well-constructed buckwheat pillow with a strong outer cover will also last long.
The strongest weave pattern for this type of pillows is a cotton twill weave. A pillow bearing this construction will keep the hulls in and will experience reduced wear and tear from the constant rubbing of the hulls.
With that said, it’s also prudent to take good care of your pillow. Replace and replenish buckwheat hulls after a few years of use. Also regularly wash the pillow cover as directed by the manufacturer.
This will guarantee the long life of your pillow.
Buckwheat pillows are also cheaper than most luxury brands. Most buckwheat pillows range between $50 and $75 in price. For the benefits that these pillows offer, they are worth the price.
#8 A Pillow With Many Uses
To understand the many benefits of a buckwheat pillow, you would have to look at what the Japanese were looking for when they created this pillow.
According to them, sobakawa (buckwheat) pillows are medicinal. They help keep the body in sync by providing a cool head. In oriental medicine, a body is in good health (in sync) if it maintains a cool head and warm feet.
Besides their medicinal and therapeutic value, buckwheat pillows have several other uses. Due to their varying size, the small size buckwheat pillow has proven to be a great aid for resting one’s arms when typing on the keyboard.
The firm support offered by these pillows also makes them a great pillow for back support when sitting upright at the office or when traveling for long distances.
#9 Smells Good Actually
How what we sleep on, smells, is very important to our overall sleep health. Most pillows in the market today are made with harmful materials that emit toxic gases in our home environments.
Some of these odors have even been linked to certain types of diseases and disabilities.
As such, it’s understandable why people are wary of products that emit any odor. Luckily, buckwheat is an all-natural pillow. Its fresh earthy scent is calming and beloved by many.
However, if scents irritate you, you can get a pillow without any scent at all, or one laced with essential oils. The scent, however, does dissipate with time as the pillow continues to air out.
Not all buckwheat pillows are made the same. So in this section we look at what to look for in a good buckwheat pillow.
You can do this by asking yourself these questions:
1- Is The Pillow Adjustable?
Buckwheat pillows are very firm in nature. The hulls don’t compact easily when pressure is added to them. As such, buckwheat makes for a great supportive pillow.
However, we are all unique and have different sleeping habits. Some people are side-sleepers, others back sleepers, and there are stomach sleepers as well. So, one size won’t fit all and this is especially true for buckwheat pillows. Different sleep styles need different pillow loft.
That is why it’s crucial to get an adjustable buckwheat pillow. The loft is one of the most important factors to look out for in your buckwheat pillow. Because of this pillow’s firm nature, you want to ensure you can easily adjust the height of your pillow so that it offers the best support.
Most buckwheat pillows come with a zipper on the cover. This aids in adding and removing hulls to adjust the pillow’s loft. This is especially important in achieving that optimum size for your needs.
Remember, the loft that a side sleeper needs will be different from the loft a stomach sleeper needs.
2- What Is The Loft Of The Pillow?
Getting an adjustable buckwheat pillow is great, but not all buckwheat pillows are adjustable. This is why it’s crucial to choose the right pillow loft. Simply put, loft means the height of the pillow when it’s laid flat.
Buckwheat hulls are very hard and non-compacting in nature, this means your pillow won’t have much give. As such, you should consider the right loft for your sleep pattern.
Normally, light people and stomach sleepers are advised to get lower loft pillows or highly plushy pillows. Since a buckwheat pillow is more firm than it is soft, people who sleep in the manner above, need a very low loft buckwheat pillow.
On the other hand, depending on the gap between one’s head and shoulders, side sleepers need higher loft pillows. If it helps, you can measure the distance between the head and the edge of the shoulders to determine the right pillow height for you.
3- What Is The Pillow Cover Made Of?
The best cover material for a buckwheat pillow should be organic, soft, and strong in nature. Most buckwheat pillows come with a cotton cover, which is a great natural material.
When looking at the cover material, make sure it uses natural fibers, has a sturdy construction, and is soft enough for a comfortable night’s rest. Buckwheat pillows are rather heavy and weigh between 4 and 15 lbs. Therefore, you want a thick strong material that is well stitched. This will help your pillow last longer.
The last thing you want is the pillow bursting at the seams due to the excess pressure exerted by the weight.
You also don’t want to feel the texture of the hulls through your pillow cover, and for this reason, some manufacturers add extra padding inside.
Now when it comes to extra padding, you want to make sure it’s made out of something natural like cotton. This will help your pillow maintain its breathability and natural advantage.
4- Check The Buckwheat Pillow Size?
Buckwheat pillows also come in different sizes, however, the most common are small, standard, and King.
The small pillow measures 14 * 20 inches. It is also called the Japanese pillow and is the original size of the Sobakawa pillow. If you are not keen to select a size when ordering a buckwheat pillow, especially from Asian manufacturers, this is what you are likely to get.
This small size pillow is great for
Lightweight people, young adults, and children
People who don’t turn and toss at night
The standard buckwheat pillow measures 20 * 26 and is the most common size. It is great for side sleepers and back sleepers. The extra room on it allows for tossing and turning.
The king size pillow measures 20 * 36 and is the largest so far. Its long length is great for those who toss and turn. It is also great for bedroom aesthetics. However, there is a downside to this type of pillow. It’s quite heavy and can weigh up to 14 lbs. That means it’s not easy to move around.
5- Read The Buckwheat Pillow Reviews?
When all is said and done, you want to make sure that what you are buying is exactly as advertised. There is only one way to do this — read previous reviews from verified purchases.
In most cases, a pattern of positive unbiased reviews means the pillow is legit. Looking at reviews also helps you anticipate any shortcomings that may come with your selected pillow.
Company reputation also matters a lot. Look for a company that has been in the business for a good amount of time and still has a large percentage of positive reviews. You can’t go wrong with such.
Another good way to tell how a company treats its customers is through its service rendering. If they are active, give timely responses, take accountability, and show care in how they respond to their customers then you are dealing with the right people.
6- Read The Return Policy Carefully?
o give you peace of mind about your purchase, some manufacturers offer a return option. Check if the company you are purchasing your buckwheat pillow from offers a return policy.
Most return policies are cupped within the trial period or warranty coverage. A trial period is what you get to make up for the inability to test out the pillow before purchasing it. A good return policy allows you to return the pillow for a full refund if you don’t like it within the trial period.
Check that you won’t be liable for shipping fees or restocking fees in case of a return. To know what you are getting yourself into, ensure you read the return policy carefully.
7- How Long Is The Buckwheat Pillow Warranty For? What Does It Cover?
Buckwheat pillows are said to last an upward of 10 years. A good way to guarantee your pillow will last and that if it doesn’t you’ll get compensation is a warranty.
Pillow warranties cover workmanship faults and abnormal defects, like the hulls compressing or seams coming undone prematurely within normal use.
As such, getting a pillow with a warranty is crucial. However, most buckwheat pillows don’t have a warranty beyond the sleep trial period, save for a few.
Given the durable nature of the pillows, however, a considerate trial period will be sufficient. Just look for a reasonable trial period. Most manufacturers offer a minimum of a 30-day sleep trial. That’s the standard for this kind of pillow.
8- What Does The Care instruction Say?
With proper care, Buck Wheat pillows can last many years. Regularly refresh your pillows by removing the hulls and washing the cover.
Please note that you can never wash the hulls or allow them to get soaked. However, if they accidentally get soaked, spread them out in the sun. This will help them dry up and get back to normal.
In fact, make spreading your hulls out in the sun to air out and lose any moisture trapped in them, a habit. Moisture attracts moth to buckwheat pillows.
Always look for a pillow with a removable cover, this way you can remove it and toss it into the washing machine.
Also consider what the care instructions say, to avoid damaging the pillow cover.
From this guide, it’s obvious that buckwheat pillows are worth a try. They have numerous benefits, with support, coolness, naturalness, and durability being some of the major benefits.
But not all buckwheat pillows are created the same. As such, it’s prudent to ask yourself a couple of questions, to help you determine which pillow is best for you.
Some of these questions include cover material, loft, size, adjustability, and what to look for in a good buckwheat company.
Once you have all this information, then you are ready to make the right purchase decision. Happy Shopping!!