Buckwheat pillow

The Ultimate Guide to Buckwheat Pillows: Benefits, Durability, and More

· 16 min read

Buckwheat pillows are an excellent choice for people who want to sleep well. They are filled with naturally firm buckwheat hulls, which provide excellent support and comfort.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide insights into various aspects of the buckwheat pillow, including their benefits, durability, maintenance, cleaning, buying guide, and alternatives.

Ready to learn about buckwheat pillows? Let's dive in!

What Are Buckwheat Pillows?

Buckwheat pillow

Buckwheat pillows are filled with buckwheat hulls, the hard outer shell of the buckwheat seed. The hulls provide a firm yet moldable texture that conforms to the shape of your head and neck.

The unique construction of a buckwheat pillow allows for easy adjustment of the filling to suit one's preferences for firmness and support.

The small size of the hulls makes them easy to move within the pillow, ensuring a customized sleep experience tailored to an individual's needs. Additionally, their breathable nature promotes air circulation, contributing to a cool and comfortable sleep environment.

Pillow Case Materials

Buckwheat pillows can be used with pillowcases made of various materials, including organic cotton, 100% cotton, and bamboo. These materials provide a soft and comfortable surface for your head while ensuring the durability of the pillow.

What do buckwheat pillows feel like?

Buckwheat pillows offer a unique feel compared to traditional pillows filled with down, foam, or synthetic fibers.

The firmness and adjustable nature of the buckwheat hulls provide excellent support to the head, neck, and spine, promoting proper spinal alignment.

As a result, people who experience discomfort or pain from muscular tension often find relief with a buckwheat pillow.

Check out this article for more details on the general information and history of buckwheat pillows.

Benefits of Buckwheat Pillows

Buckwheat pillows have a number of benefits that make them an excellent choice over other alternatives. Here are some key benefits.

Check out our article for a detailed list of the benefits for buckwheat pillows.

Buckwheat pillow support

Personalized Firmness

The buckwheat hulls in the pillow can be added or removed to achieve the desired level of firmness and loft.

This level of customization is not often found in traditional pillows, where one is often forced to choose between support and comfort.

Conformation to Body

With a buckwheat pillow, you're in control of creating a sleeping surface that aligns perfectly with your body's contours, providing customized support to your neck and head.

Shape Preservation

Buckwheat pillows retain their shape and volume better than traditional pillows.

This is because the buckwheat hulls inside the pillow are able to maintain their structure, even when compressed. Traditional pillows, on the other hand, may sag or lose their shape over time.


Another key features of buckwheat pillows is their remarkable durability. Unlike conventional pillows that may need replacing every couple of years, a high-quality buckwheat pillow can last up to decades.

The longevity stems from the robust nature of the buckwheat hulls, which inherently resist compression and deterioration. They can resist wear and tear far better than feathers, foam, or fiberfill.

Natural Materials

Buckwheat pillows are a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional pillows. They are crafted from buckwheat seed hulls, a material that is both renewable and decomposes without harming the environment.

This natural component is a strong selling point for anyone looking to reduce their ecological footprint.

Hypoallergenic Properties

Unlike pillows filled with down or synthetic fibers, buckwheat hulls do not provide a conducive environment for dust mites and other allergens.

The hypoallergenic properties making them suitable for people like me, who may be prone to allergies.

Drawbacks of Buckwheat Pillows

While buckwheat pillows offer numerous benefits, it's important to acknowledge their potential drawbacks to make an informed decision.

Here’s a breakdown of the cons:

Firmness and Adjustment Period

Buckwheat pillows are firmer than traditional pillows, which can be a surprise to new users. This firmness, while beneficial for support, may initially feel uncomfortable.

Additionally, there’s often an adjustment period as your body gets used to the new sleeping surface.

Noise Factor

The hulls inside the pillow can make a rustling sound when moved. This noise might be noticeable and potentially disruptive for light sleepers or those who frequently adjust their position during the night.


These pillows are heavier than standard ones, which might be a consideration for those who prefer a lighter pillow, or for travel purposes.

Durability of Buckwheat Pillows

Buckwheat pillows have a much longer lifespan than traditional pillows. With proper care, buckwheat pillows can last from 10 to 20 years.

This longevity is due to the sturdy nature of the buckwheat hulls. The hulls retain their shape and firmness over an extended period of use. They resist breaking down, providing consistent support.

Eventually, after many years, the hulls may begin to deteriorate. However, they are easy and cost-effective to replace, which is a significant advantage.

To prolong the life of a buckwheat pillow, regular maintenance is essential. Here are some tips I follow:

  • Regularly air out the pillow. This helps to remove moisture and odors.
  • Keep the pillow dry. Moisture can degrade the hulls faster.
  • Use a protective cover. This prevents dirt and spills from contaminating the hulls.

It's time to refresh the buckwheat hulls when the following signs are observed:

  • Flattening of Hulls: Buckwheat hulls flatten over time. When the pillow is no longer lofty and the hulls feel crushed, it needs replenishing or replacing.
  • Stains and Odors: Pillows can accumulate stains and odors. If the stains or odors don't resolve with cleaning, replace the pillow.
  • Decreased Comfort and Support: When a buckwheat pillow no longer aligns with your neck correctly or fails to offer the necessary support, replace the pillow.

Check out our article for more details on how long buckwheat pillow last and when to replace them.

Caring for Your Buckwheat Pillow

Regular and appropriate care of buckwheat pillow is essential to ensure its longevity and support.

Here's a quick table for the care routine from our cleaning guide for buckwheat pillows:

Fluff PillowDailyMaintains shape
Wash CoverAs neededUse mild detergent
Air out HullsMonthlyEnsures freshness
Replace HullsEvery few yearsReplace hulls as they begin to break down

Cleaning Instructions

clean a pillow

Removing the Hulls

Before cleaning, I carefully open the zipper and pour out the buckwheat hulls into a large container.

Washing the Cover

For the cover, I wash it in cold water to prevent shrinkage. Cold water maintains the fabric quality and prevents any unwanted changes in size or texture.

The cover should be air-dried since heat from a dryer can cause damage.

Hulls Care

When it comes to cleaning the buckwheat hulls, refreshing them is often enough.

I place them in direct sunlight which naturally deodorizes and rejuvenates the hulls. If they require deeper cleaning, replacement might be the best option.


After the cover is fully dried and the hulls are refreshed, I carefully put the hulls back into the pillowcase.

Ensuring the hulls are distributed evenly guarantees the pillow will maintain its intended shape and support.

Types and Varieties of Buckwheat Pillows

Buckwheat pillows also come in different shapes and sizes tailored for specific uses. Here are a few distinct types.

Travel Sized Options

Travel sized buckwheat pillows are compact and convenient for people on the move. Measuring typically around 12 by 16 inches, they fit easily into luggage without sacrificing the support buckwheat hulls provide.

Buckwheat Body Pillow

Buckwheat body pillow is a larger option that I've found excellent for supporting the entire body during sleep.

Typically around 54 inches in length, it conforms to the shape of your body, making it a favorite among side sleepers and pregnant women.

Buckwheat Knee Pillow

Buckwheat knee pillow, usually smaller and more contoured, is designed to fit comfortably between the knees.

This type, as I've observed, assists in aligning the hips and reducing joint stress, which can greatly improve sleep comfort and quality.

Thanks to its great versatility, you can also create your own buckwheat pillow to tailor to your specific need. Check out our article on how to DIY a buckwheat pillow.

How to Choose the Right Buckwheat Pillow

When choosing a buckwheat pillow, there are several important factors to consider. Here's some key factors to consider.

Size Considerations

Size is fundamental when selecting a buckwheat pillow, as it must align with individual sleep habits and bed dimensions.

A standard size buckwheat pillow typically measures around 20"x26", which suits most sleepers.

For those with broader shoulders or who prefer a larger pillow, a queen or king-size might be more appropriate for ensuring adequate support.

When considering size, remember that a pillow too small may not provide sufficient neck support, while one too large could cause strain.

Pillows of different size

Buckwheat Hull Quality

Buckwheat hull quality has a significant impact on firmness, comfort, and longevity.

  • Organic: Buckwheat hulls that are organic are less likely to contain pesticides and chemicals.
  • Roasted Buckwheat Hulls: Roasting ensures that the hulls are clean and free of dust.

Firmness and Adjustability

Buckwheat pillows are known for their adjustable firmness.

  • Zippered Case: A zippered case allows you to add or remove hulls to adjust the firmness.
  • Extra Hulls: Some pillows come with extra hulls for customization.

Where to Buy Buckwheat Pillows

Purchasing a buckwheat pillow can be a great step towards achieving a comfortable and supportive night's sleep.

I've gathered some reputable retailers where you can find these pillows to help you in your search.

Online Retailers:

Major retailers, such as Amazon, and Walmart, offer a selection of buckwheat pillows that cater to a range of preferences and price points.

Specialty Sleep Stores:

  • Hullo: Offers high-quality, made-in-the-USA buckwheat pillows with organic cotton cases.
  • ComfyComfy: Provides handcrafted buckwheat pillows made from organic materials.

Local shops:

Local shops sometimes carry buckwheat pillows, too, as they are known for their supportive qualities. For those who prefer shopping in physical stores:

  • Check out local organic markets or specialty bedding stores.
  • Health-focused shops may offer a selection of eco-friendly and natural bedding products like buckwheat pillows.

I suggest checking customer reviews and looking into the specifics of the pillow's construction to ensure you're making a sound investment for your sleep health.

Comparisons to Other Pillows

Buckwheat pillows offer distinct benefits and experiences compared to other types of pillows. Here's how they compare up against some of the most popular choices on the market.

Memory Foam Pillows

Memory foam pillows are known for their pressure-relieving qualities, molding to the shape of your head and neck.

However, my experience with buckwheat pillows has shown that they provide a firmer support level and can be adjusted by adding or removing hulls, which isn't an option with memory foam.

Latex Pillows

Latex pillows offer a bouncy feel and are also hypoallergenic.

Buckwheat pillows differ in that they have a more solid structure due to the buckwheat hull fill, which allows better air circulation, potentially leading to a cooler sleep experience.

Down and Feather Pillows

Down and feather pillows, with their soft and plush nature, might seem like a luxury choice, but they may not provide the same level of support.

In contrast, a buckwheat pillow offers firmness and shape retention, making it a good option for those looking for neck and head support without the deep sink of down.

Check out this article for more details on alternatives to buckwheat pillows.

Frequently Asked Questions

I've compiled answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about buckwheat pillows to help you make an informed decision.

Are buckwheat pillows good for neck pain?

Yes, buckwheat pillows provide excellent support for neck alignment due to their adjustability, potentially alleviating neck pain.

How much buckwheat hulls to fill a pillow?

The amount of buckwheat hulls needed to fill a pillow varies based on size, but typically, a standard pillow will require about 4 to 8 pounds.

Do buckwheat pillows have bugs?

No, buckwheat pillows do not naturally contain bugs, but it's essential to keep them dry and clean to prevent any infestation.

Can buckwheat pillows be microwaved?

I would not recommend microwaving buckwheat pillows as the hulls can burn.

How to make buckwheat pillow

Making a buckwheat pillow involves sewing a fabric case and filling it with buckwheat hulls. You can tailor the amount of fill to suit your comfort preference. Checkout our DIY guide.

Are buckwheat pillows noisy?

Buckwheat pillows may produce a rustling sound due to the movement of hulls, but many users find it becomes unnoticeable over time.

How do organic buckwheat pillows differ from regular ones?

Organic buckwheat pillows are filled with buckwheat hulls that are grown without pesticides or fertilizers, offering a more natural sleep environment.

How to make buckwheat pillow softer

To make a buckwheat pillow softer, you can reduce the amount of buckwheat hulls inside the pillow. Alternatively, you can add a layer of foam beneath the hulls or mix in other softer materials like fiberfill.



YZ, an engineer with a PhD based in the San Francisco Bay Area, brings practical expertise to Restful Guides. Focused on simple, effective ways to improve sleep and relaxation, YZ offers easy-to-follow advice on choosing the right pillows, bedding, and meditation techniques for a better, more restful life.

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