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Best Buckwheat Pillows Reviews & Guide – Find The Pillow To Sleep On (2019)

Buckwheat pillows have been used in Asia for years and recently started gaining popularity in the United States. These pillows are filled with the hulls of buckwheat seeds and are known for being cooler, longer lasting, and more supportive than other pillow types.

The best buckwheat pillows are the ones that come with a zippered case so you can add or remove hulls to get the perfect loft. Buckwheat pillows are also vegan and eco-friendly, which makes them a great choice for conscious consumers.

Buckwheat Pillows Reviews

1. ComfySleep Buckwheat Pillow

Best Overall

ComfySleep Buckwheat Pillow

A USA-made buckwheat pillow with a zippered case so you can add or remove hulls for the perfect individualized fit.

ComfySleep’s Classic Buckwheat pillows are 100% handmade with buckwheat hulls grown in the USA. The number of hulls included varies depending on your pillow size. The hulls are cleaned without the use of chemicals or fumigants, and you even get one pound of extra hulls so you can add more support if needed! The zippered cover makes it easy to add or remove hulls to get the loft you need.

Buckwheat pillows provide superior support for a comfortable night’s sleep. Spaces between the hulls allow optimal airflow so you sleep nice and cool at night. The pillow cover is made with durable organic, US-grown cotton twill and you can order with or without an additional white pillowcase. These pillows are made by a family business in the USA, so you know you’re getting quality and attention to detail.

The company, ComfyComfy, makes these pillows in five different sizes so everyone can find the right fit, including traditional (14″ x 21″) suitable for children, classic (14″ x 23″) suitable for smaller adults, classic plus (14″ x 26″) most popular, standard (20″ x 26″) and queen (20″ x 30″), both of which are suitable for taller people. Since this pillow is very adjustable, it’s great for all sleeping positions and can even be used under the knees to help back sleepers find better spinal alignment. Another great thing about buckwheat is that it’s a natural and renewable pillow filler, making it more eco-friendly than other pillow types.

To clean these pillows, all you need to do is remove the buckwheat hulls and wash your cover and pillowcase. During this time, you can place your buckwheat hulls in the sun to keep them dry. It’s important not to wash the whole pillow, because moisture will destroy the buckwheat hulls. If you need to store your buckwheat pillow, make sure it goes in a dry, well ventilated area.

Pros: suits all sleepers, zippered cover lets you add or remove hulls, supportive for people with neck and shoulder pain

Cons: need to move the hulls to fit your head and neck shape, too noisy for some

Buy the ComfySleep Pillow (Classic Plus) on Amazon

2. Hullo Buckwheat Pillow

Runner Up

Hullo Buckwheat Pillow

A high-quality, adjustable buckwheat pillow with an organic cotton twill case, made without the use of any animal products.

Hullo’s buckwheat pillows are made in the USA and imported, with buckwheat hull filling that is grown and milled in the USA. These are a great natural option if you want to avoid pillows that use chemical-based foams or bird feathers, which can trigger sensitivities or allergies in some sleepers. The great thing about buckwheat is that even though it’s natural, you’re not compromising on great support.

The pillow cover is made with certified 100% organic cotton twill. Along with buckwheat hulls, this fabric is designed to give you a pillow with optimum air flow. Unlike with other pillows, you won’t wake up warm and sweaty at night with these, leading to a better night’s sleep for you. This pillow also includes a high-quality hidden zipper so you can add or remove hulls to get your desired loft and firmness.

These pillows come in several sizes, including standard (20″x 26″), small(14″ x 20″), and king (20″x 36″). Along with the different sizing options, buckwheat’s superior malleability makes it a great choice for pillows. People who like to mold their pillows differently depending on their sleeping position will love these, especially since they don’t condense under your weight. Forget pillows that feel like your head is sinking right to the mattress!

For people who follow a vegan lifestyle, you’ll be happy to know that these pillows do not contain any type of animal product. Customers love how this pillow stays firm and conforms to the shape of their head and neck. If you suffer from pain or migraines that tends to get worse when you wake up in the morning, switching to a buckwheat pillow might be a good solution.

Pros: can add or remove hulls to adjust firmness, sleeps cool, no pillow flipping needed, heavy, stays in place

Cons: too firm for some sleepers, makes some noise

Buy Hullo Buckwheat Pillow (Standard) on Amazon

3. Beans72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow

Budget Pick

Beans72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow

An authentic Japanese buckwheat pillow that’s 100% organic, from the cover material to the buckwheat hulls inside.

The organic buckwheat pillow by Beans72 is available in several sizes, including Japanese size (14″ x 20″), queen (20″ x 30″), twin/standard (20″ x 26″), travel/child (11″ x 16″), and king (20″ x  36″). These pillows are made in the USA using 100% US grown organic buckwheat hulls and a 100% natural unbleached cotton cover. Buckwheat pillows are known for helping with sleeping problems like tension, muscle pain, stiff neck, headache and stress.

If you suffer from any of these problems, you should try out a buckwheat pillow! These pillows conform to your head, neck, and shoulders to provide perfect support. They don’t collapse like memory foam or other pillow types, leaving you feeling trapped, hot, and unsupported. Buckwheat hull filled pillows contain lots of natural spaces, leaving room for air to circulate so you don’t get hot while you sleep.

The buckwheat hulls in these pillows are handpicked and put through a triple cleaning process to remove any dust, buckwheat flour, and debris from the hulls before placing them in the pillow. The natural buckwheat hulls are 100% organic, grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or unnecessary additives. The case material is durable, yet soft and comfortable to sleep on.

Buckwheat pillows are typically heavier than other pillow types, and they’re filled based on the pillow size you choose. If you want a pillow that will stay in place all night and not slip out from under you, buckwheat is the way to go. The creator of these pillows is from Japan, where they originally became popular, and wanted to help people in America get access to these great pillows.

Pros: Adjustable by adding or removing hulls, authentic Japanese buckwheat pillow, totally organic

Cons: Too firm and noisy for some sleepers, some customers dislike the buckwheat smell

Buy the Beans72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow (Standard Size) on Amazon

Buckwheat Pillows FAQ’s

Are buckwheat pillows good for you?

According to author and presenter, Renee Loux:

“Buckwheat hull pillows are very firm and supportive, and they contour well … To me, they feel a little like sleeping on a beanbag, but some people love them. They shape and shift to support the head and neck while keeping the spine straight.”

If you want a natural pillow that provides long-term support, consider these benefits of buckwheat pillows:

Buckwheat pillows help you sleep cool

Since buckwheat pillows are filled with hulls and not a solid material, there’s lots of room for air to flow through the pillow. Since buckwheat hulls don’t retain heat like other materials, this makes buckwheat pillows cooler than most other pillow types. Unlike other pillows, you won’t find yourself needing to flip your pillow to the ‘cool side’ in the middle of the night.

Supportive lift for neck and shoulders, useful also if you snore

Finding a truly supportive pillow is difficult because a lot of pillows compress under your body weight or lose their loft over time. Buckwheat hulls are relatively hard and don’t have the give that you would find with materials like memory foam or down. This leads to better support for sleepers, especially side sleepers who need to keep their spine in alignment but have trouble finding high loft pillows.

If you suffer from poor sleep, headaches, or wake up with neck and shoulder pain, buckwheat pillows might be able to help. They mold to the shape of your head, neck, and shoulders and provide real pressure relief, so your muscles aren’t working or tensing up while you’re asleep. Since they’re heavier, buckwheat pillows also won’t slide out from under you while you sleep leaving you unsupported, either.

These pillows can even help some people who snore! Since snoring can be caused by disrupted airways, keeping your spine in good alignment may stop snoring issues. However, keep in mind that in some cases there are also underlying health reasons for snoring that can’t be solved just by switching pillows. If your partner snores loudly, see if buying them a buckwheat pillow will help!

More durable than their counterparts

Buckwheat pillows are known for being one of the most long-lasting pillow types. If taken care of well, a buckwheat pillow can last for around ten years and not get flat! They may be more expensive to buy, but when you think of how many cheaper pillows you would need to get during that timeframe, you’re saving money. Buckwheat pillows with quality cases and buckwheat hulls are quite durable.

Buckwheat pillows are naturally hypoallergenic

Since buckwheat pillows are made with natural materials and don’t use chemicals, synthetics, or additives in the manufacturing process, they are naturally hypoallergenic. These pillows are a great choice for people who can’t sleep on other pillow types like latex, foam, or feather pillows.

Sustainable pillows, environmentally-friendly

Buckwheat pillows are made with the hulls of buckwheat seeds, edible seeds that are used for animal and human consumption. Most buckwheat pillows are vegan, meaning that they don’t use any animal products, and don’t use chemicals or other things that harm the environment during manufacturing.

Since you can buy bags of hulls to refill your pillow when the original hulls start to lose support, you’re helping the environment by using the same case. You’re also saving the extra packaging that would be used when you purchase a whole new pillow.

Adjustable, so you control the lift and firmness

One of the awesome things about buckwheat pillows is how adjustable and malleable they are. Most buckwheat pillows have zippered cases that allow you to add or remove hulls to get the loft you prefer, whether you’re a stomach sleeper who needs a flatter pillow or a side sleeper who needs a pillow with more height.

Buckwheat pillows are also easy to mold to fit your head, neck, and shoulders, creating a comfortable spot for you to sleep. You just need to move the hulls around to create the shape you want. If you shift positions at night you can fluff your pillow to get the support that you need to be comfortable any way you’re sleeping.

What are some of the side effects with buckwheat pillows?

Buckwheat pillows are unique, and don’t have too many downsides.

Of course, there are lovers and haters of every pillow type and some people just don’t like buckwheat pillows. Here are some of the downsides you might find with buckwheat pillows:

They can be too firm

One of the biggest issues for people who don’t like buckwheat pillows is that they’re too firm. Buckwheat hulls are nowhere near as soft as other pillow types like feather, down, or even some foams, which can take some getting used to. Some solutions could be sleeping with a thin pillow on top of your buckwheat pillow or looking for a pillow with a combination of buckwheat and another, softer fill.

Potential Allergen

Some people are allergic to buckwheat. According to studies, including a case study by Walkom, A. & Preece, K. (2019) about an 11-year old boy with an anaphylactic reaction to buckwheat in soba noodles, buckwheat pillows can trigger allergies. They boy in their study had an itchy reaction to his buckwheat pillow before the more severe food-related reaction.

Another study by Fritz, S. B. & Gold, B. L. (2003) found that removing a patient’s buckwheat pillows helped reduce asthma symptoms and improved their allergic rhinitis (runny nose, sneezing, stuffiness).

They can be a little noisy

Buckwheat pillows do make some noise when the hulls shift and settle, which can be a deal-breaker for light sleepers who wake up to the slightest noise. However, most people find that you get used to the sound, which is muffled by the case anyway. The sound typically reduces after some time and if you don’t move too much in your sleep it’s usually not a big problem. Your partner shouldn’t hear it either.

Buckwheat smell

Even though most buckwheat pillows are chemical-free and natural, some customers report a chemical-like smell. However, it’s just the smell from the buckwheat hulls! To some people this is an earthy, comforting smell, but other people don’t like it and can’t get used to it. You can reduce the smell by letting your pillow air out after opening or buying a pillow with hulls that have been roasted.

Bugs are only an issue if hulls aren’t cleaned

If you do an internet search for buckwheat pillows, chances are you’ll find reviews about bugs inside buckwheat pillows. This is not a problem if you find a quality manufacturer, which is why it’s important to do your research first. Fully cleaned hulls offer no nutritional value to attract bugs. Since these pillows are well ventilated, they don’t create an environment that’s good for bugs to nest in.

If the hulls aren’t cleaned properly and seeds are left inside, this is where you can have a bug issue with your buckwheat pillow. Avoid buying a very cheap buckwheat pillow. The savings can be tempting but it could mean that the materials weren’t responsibly sourced, and you could end up with this kind of issue. If you do see bugs on or in your pillow, contact the manufacturer, but again this is a rare occurrence.

How to Clean a Buckwheat Pillow

Once you know what to do, cleaning and maintaining your buckwheat pillow is simple. Just remember that you can’t machine wash the whole thing! If the buckwheat hulls get wet, they’ll be ruined, so you need to take them out first (most buckwheat pillows have zippered cases for adjustability). During that time, you should keep them in a safe, dry place.

Then, depending on the pillow you have, you can either hand or machine wash your pillowcase. When your case is dry just put the buckwheat back in and you’re good to go! If you feel like your pillow is starting to lose shape or quality, you can always replace the hulls inside with quality hulls from a reputable company.

How to Sleep on a Buckwheat Pillow

If you’ve never slept with a buckwheat pillow, you should know that it’s a pretty different experience but one that a lot of people like over time. At the beginning it might take getting used to, though. Buckwheat pillows are on the firm side, and they make a little noise when you shift around on them.

We recommend sleeping on them for a night or two and adding or removing hulls until you get a comfortable pillow. You need to move the buckwheat hulls a little to form a supportive space for your head, neck, and shoulders, and if you move in your sleep you may need to adjust your pillow to stay comfortable.

Folks love that buckwheat pillows are supportive and conforming enough to reduce pressure points that cause neck, shoulder, and back pain.

They’re also natural so you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals or allergens. Buckwheat pillows are heavy, so they don’t move out from under you while you’re sleeping but they’re not the most convenient to travel with.

Buckwheat pillow sizes

Buckwheat pillows come in a few different sizes, and if you know the ins and outs of them ahead of time you can get exactly what you need.

Size Measures Best For
Small 14 x 20″ Good for small-framed people and kids, easier to move around.
Standard 20 x 26″ More support over a larger area, can be anywhere from 8 – 10 pounds
Queen 20 x 30″ Queens are spacey and supportive, 4” wider than a standard pillow
King: 20 x 36″ Big! 10” wider than standard pillows, great for taller-framed people and those who move around a lot in their sleep

How much can I expect to pay for a buckwheat pillow

Buckwheat pillows range in price, but they’re usually more expensive than regular pillows. They’re in the $50 to $75 range, and you can pay more for certain brands. If you see listings for inexpensive buckwheat pillows, pay attention to reviews and treat lightly. You want a company that sources quality, cleaned buckwheat hulls for your pillow, with well-made cases to keep those hulls intact.

Check out other great pillow types to try

Cotton: These pillows are inexpensive and comfortable, but don’t last very long before they flatten out. Cotton pillows also tend to sleep hot, so not the best choice if you’re prone to waking up in a sweat.

Microfiber: These pillows are just recently becoming more popular but deserve a mention. These pillows are synthetic, but they’re also hypoallergenic. They mimic the softness and comfort of down without the risk of triggering allergies for some people.

Feather/DownFeather pillows aren’t too inexpensive and on the medium-firm side but soft. You may need to fluff up your feather pillows and make sure you have a good case, because otherwise you may get poked by feathers in your sleep. Pillows made primarily of down are more expensive.

Memory FoamMemory foam pillows are firmer and more supportive for side sleepers who need a solid surface to protect their alignment at night. They conform to the shape of your head, but some can be too firm and hot to sleep on, or make you feel like you’re sinking in more than you want to. Shredded microfiber pillows are a softer, more breathable alternative.

Latex: Latex is a natural kind of foam created from the sap of a rubber tree. It can also come in one solid piece or shredded and has a bouncier consistency than memory foam. Latex pillows regain original shape quicker after being compressed and are better ventilated, so you don’t sleep as hot at night.

So, what is the best buckwheat pillow to buy?

There are several stores and retailers on Amazon who sell quality buckwheat pillows. Our top pick is the ComfySleep Buckwheat Pillow, because it’s great all-around and can be customized for any sleeping position, see current price on Amazon.com.

ComfyComfy is a family-owned company. Their pillows are sourced and handmade in the USA. The hulls are cleaned without chemicals or fumigation and the pillows come in a durable, organic cotton twill case. They send extra hulls and the zippered cover lets you add or remove hulls as needed.

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