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Best Buckwheat Pillow Reviews: Unique, Natural Comfort Choices

Your sleep comfort is unique to you. Your body shape, weight, and personal preferences all help define what posture and support you need for the best possible night’s sleep. Your mattress and pillow choices work together to help provide spinal alignment and whole body rest so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your oncoming day.

It can become somewhat difficult to choose exactly which pillows will work best for you, and a common complaint amongst pillow shoppers is the number of products/brands they research, but still struggle to make a decision upon. Enter the Buckwheat pillow, an entirely different, although ancient, way to view the support your head and neck needs on both side and back sleep positions. Our best buckwheat pillow reviews, (including a few we’ve personally tried out ourselves) can be found below.

Rank Products Highlights Warranty
#1

Hullo Buckwheat Pillow

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  • May work for some stomach sleepers
  • Helps with migraines
  • Shapes extremely well
60-day money back
#2

Natures Pillows Sobakawa Buckwheat Pillow

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  • Great neck support
  • Sleeps very cool
  • Great for hip support as well as for stomach sleeping position
N/A
#3

Beans72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow

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  • Helps with TMJ and neck pain
  • Sturdy and easy to adjust
  • Great cooling properties
30-day returns
#4

Zen Chi Buckwheat Pillow

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  • Relieves neck tension
  • Holds head in correct position
  • Great cooling sensation
30 days
#5

Bean Products WheatDreamz Organic Pillow

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  • Excellent quality
  • Helps with sore necks and shoulders
  • Highly responsive
30 days
#6

Bucky Utopia Neck Pillow

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  • 100% organic buckwheat hulls
  • Adjustable
  • Classic U-Shape for travel
N/A

 

The Best Buckwheat Pillows

#1. Hullo Buckwheat Pillow

SPECS

  • Case material: Organic cotton twill
  • Comfort: back, side, stomach
  • Adjustable: yes
  • Warranty: 60-day money back

The Hullo Pillow Company is a subsidiary of Hulltex, and it offers various sizes of their popular hull filled, cotton twill casing. Located in Minnesota, the company strives to provide innovative technology to fabric choices, zipper dependability, and sources of buckwheat hulls to provide you with the best quality product they can.

Available in three different sizes, a small, standard, or king-sized pillows are available for your specific needs and should be chosen based on what pillow size you are already comfortable with and used to. Plus, sourced from organically grown materials, these pillows are also considered vegan as no animal byproducts are involved in the making of them.

Pros

  • May work for some stomach sleepers
  • Helps with migraines
  • Shapes extremely well

Cons

  • Heavy weight
  • Noise and feel takes time to get used to

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:

Despite being marketed to back and side sleepers, many stomach sleepers have enjoyed the comfort of the casing of the is pillow after removing a number of hulls that support this position.

Read our full review here.

#2. Nature’s Pillows Sobakawa Buckwheat Pillow

SPECS

  • Case material: 100% cotton
  • Comfort: back and side
  • Adjustable: no
  • Warranty: Varies through fulfillment company

Nature’s Pillows was founded in 1994 and was one of the first companies to roll out the manufacturing and commercializing of the buckwheat hull pillow outside of Asia. Originally an ‘as seen on TV’ product, the Sobakawa pillow follows the traditional Japanese pillow design and only measures 12 x 19 inches in total, which is about ⅔ the size of a traditional standard sized pillow.

With a durable 100% cotton casing, this pillow does not have a zipper and holds approximately 4 pounds of hulls. Despite it not being adjustable, it is very malleable, and you can adjust the thickness and firmness by folding ends on, as well as pushing together the hulls for your desired feel.

Pros

  • Great neck support
  • Sleeps very cool
  • Great for hip support as well as for stomach sleeping position

Cons

  • Not adjustable
  • Small size
  • Heavy and slightly noisy

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:

Since the pillow is not adjustable, it is a good choice for side and back sleepers looking for very personalized comfort and unique shaping to fit your needs.

Read our full review here.

#3. Beans72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow

SPECS

  • Case material: 100% unbleached cotton
  • Comfort: back, side, stomach
  • Adjustable: yes
  • Warranty: 30-day returns (read entire policy)

Located in Texas, Beans72 takes pride in their hand fabricated, authentic, Japanese Buckwheat pillows. Filled with 100% USDA organic grown hulls, the company offers multiple sizes of their pillows with an average weight of 8-10 pounds for the standard pillow size of 20 x 26 inches. A thick, 100% unbleached, zippered cotton casing is adjustable, so this pillow can better meet the comfort needs of all sleep positions.

In business since 1999 and founded by a traditional Japanese pillow maker, this is a company with a long-standing reputation for comfort and product durability. With a customer service department to back its claims, the company also offers added cases to help provide added cushioning and to further muffle the sound of the husks as you get used to them.

Pros

  • Helps with TMJ and neck pain
  • Sturdy and easy to adjust
  • Great cooling properties

Cons

  • Takes time to get used to
  • May be a little ‘hard’ to sleep upon

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:

If you have concerns about the source of buckwheat, this is a good company to research as they purchase from USDA certified organic sources only. As an adjustable pillow, this can work well for all sleep positions, including stomach if you so wish.

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#4. Zen Chi Buckwheat Pillow

SPECS

  • Case material: 100% cotton
  • Comfort: back, side, stomach
  • Adjustable: yes
  • Warranty: 30 day

Available in multiple sizes, the Zen Chi Buckwheat Pillow is a 100% organic filled option that is available in multiple sizes to best fit your needs. The company specializes in yoga products as well, as they believe in a holistic body care approach for both mind and body comforts. These zippered, 400 thread count, 100% cotton covers are easily machine washed as well after removal of the husks when needed.

Not only adjustable, the company suggests regularly scooping out some of the fill and replacing it with fresh hulls that haven’t been compressed to provide a ‘fluffing’ of the pillow. Those already used can be reused depending on your personal preferences after they have been allowed to ‘rest’ for a while.

Pros

  • Relieves neck tension
  • Holds head in correct position
  • Great cooling sensation

Cons

  • Off-gassing from plastic storage (not pillow itself)
  • Arrives fairly flat and benefits from added hulls
  • May pressure against ear

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:

Because it is adjustable, technically it works for all sleep positions, but it is favored amongst side sleepers for the neck relief tension it provides.

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#5. Bean Products WheatDreamz Organic Buckwheat Hull Pillow

SPECS

  • Case material: 100% conventional cotton ticking days 
  • Comfort: back, side
  • Adjustable: yes
  • Warranty: 30 days

The Bean Products Company is passionate about the planet and has an eco-friendly manufacturing plant for their many products geared for a healthier, happier you. Their WheatDreamz Buckwheat Pillows are available in multiple sizes, and they include a 100%, unbleached, conventional cotton ticking casing for plush comfort that includes a hidden zipper for pillow adjustability.

Suggested as a back and side sleeper choice by chiropractors who have reviewed the product, the pillow claims of reducing headaches, neck tension, and snoring. And they have all been substantiated through consumer reviews.

Pros

  • Excellent quality
  • Helps with sore necks and shoulders
  • Highly responsive

Cons

  • May feel underfilled
  • Would benefit from a bit more padding

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:

Like comparable products, headache sufferers, snorers, and back and neck tension sufferers would all benefit from this pillow. Due to its reviews through chiropractic professionals, back and side sleepers would benefit best from this pillow.

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#6. Best for Travel – Bucky Utopia Neck Pillow

SPECS

  • Size: 12 x 13″
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Warranty: N/A

The Bean Products Company is passionate about the planet and has an eco-friendly manufacturing plant for their many products geared for a healthier, happier you. Their WheatDreamz Buckwheat Pillows are available in multiple sizes, and they include a 100%, unbleached, conventional cotton ticking casing for plush comfort that includes a hidden zipper for pillow adjustability. Suggested as a back and side sleeper choice by chiropractors who have reviewed the product, the pillow claims of reducing headaches, neck tension, and snoring. And they have all been substantiated through consumer reviews.

This buckwheat travel pillow in its classic U-shape conforms to your every curve and provides perfect support for your neck while you travel. The filling is fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and is made without the use of fertilizers or pesticides. The buckwheat hull is hypoallergenic in nature and will not compress under pressure.  Like all buckwheat products you can personalize the loft by adding or removing the buckwheat filling until you reach your optimum level of support. This buckwheat pillow has its own carry bag that snaps onto the pillow so you won’t lose either. An elastic strap holds tight to your shoulder or clips around your rolling luggage handle. The cover is removable and machine washable.

Pros

  • 100% organic buckwheat hulls
  • Adjustable
  • Classic U-Shape for travel
  • Comes in multiple colors
  • Has a snap clip for portability
  • Cover is machine washable

Cons

  • Small neck opening

Who should purchase this pillow?

If you do a lot of traveling, treat yourself to a Bucky U-shaped buckwheat pillow to provide your neck the comfort and support you need and deserve.

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Back and Neck Alignment

Your neck and back cervical alignment truly should be paid particular attention to while you rest. Laying in a prone position for such a long amount of time can truly begin to place a strain on your spine and surrounding soft tissues if you have not taken care to support it correctly.

Sleep Position vs Pillow Comfort

The position you naturally fall into each night determines the type of pillow you should be considering. Buckwheat pillows are specific to back and side sleepers to help cradle and conform to the head and neck. Knowing how you sleep is the first step in deciding if a Buckwheat pillow may be a good choice for you.

— Back Sleep Position Needs

Back sleepers need a supportive yet thinner pillow choice to hold their head evenly between their shoulders and allow for enough fill to properly allow the neck to rest. Since the spine is better able to straighten and relax naturally in this position, it is considered one of the healthiest positions to sleep in.

— Stomach Sleep Position Needs

Stomach sleepers need a thin pillow, or better yet, no pillow at all for a level spine. Since you will have to turn your head to the side no matter what, thus somewhat compromising the cervical alignment, this is a position that you should take in very close care surrounding pillow choices.

— Side Sleep Position Needs

Side sleepers have to take care with more than just head and neck support. Shoulder, torso, and hip placement is just as important to keep the spine straight as you sleep, and if you have your head and neck properly set, it serves as a good guide to the rest of your body. These pillows should be thicker and more contouring as it needs to hold the head between the shoulders in a lateral position and fill the gap between the head and shoulders.

Buckwheat? In a Pillow?

So what exactly is buckwheat? And why or how is it used in a pillow? Buckwheat is a plant that produces a small, starchy seed often used in animal feeds, as well as a somewhat powdered form to make bread. These seeds are not what is used when we talk about a buckwheat pillow but rather the hulls or the thin, hard outer shell found surrounding the grain is what is being used as a fill in a buckwheat pillow.

These hulls are small, strong, have a slight aromatic odor, and move against each other well to conform and shape when pressure is applied to them. They also are hypoallergenic and are considered an excellent alternative to other natural pillow fills. Plus, they do not absorb heat, and they create air pockets for excellent airflow, making them a cool sleeping choice.

The claims that they improve sleep posture, relieve neck strain and tension, and reduce tension headaches and snoring have been made by many. Although they do make a slight rustling noise as you settle into them, this is not considered a game changer, and it shouldn’t take you long to forget this slight noise even exists.

History of Buckwheat Pillows

Buckwheat is a traditional fodder grain grown in Asia and has been utilized for centuries for both food and comfort when the hulls are repurposed as fills for pillows. Originally called the Sobakawa pillow in Japan and other Asian countries, this more traditional name is used interchangeably now to describe a traditional buckwheat hull style pillow. These hulls are easily replaceable and make the pillows adjustable- as most styles allow for the removal or addition of hulls to change loft for personal comfort needs.

Popular in Asian culture, these types of pillows have been used for the reduction of stress and anxiety as the correlation between treating the body and mind as one is well documented within these cultures. Although many early buckwheat pillow products were imported from Asia, they have gained ground within other parts of the world with farms throughout North America to meet growing demands of both the seed and hull for household uses.

You might be interested in: Do Buckwheat Pillows Attract Bugs?

Why Would You Want a Buckwheat Pillow?

As mentioned a few times, Buckwheat hull pillows have gained a following for a variety of reasons. To start, the way the hulls move against one another provide excellent airflow, and surprising malleability for confirmation to support your head and neck without the creation of uncomfortable pressure points. A headache, anxiety, and snoring relief also top the claims these pillows are known for, which may have something to do with the gentle pressure the hulls may provide against specific points on your head and neck.

— Buckwheat Pillow Care

Buckwheat pillows are surprisingly easy to care for. The casing is almost always removable for laundering and can come in a variety of materials, such as bamboo, silk, and cotton. Hulls are easily poured out (as they should not be washed) and can be replaced if they begin to break down with use. This utilization allows you to have a consistent pillow feel year after year without worry of replacing the entire pillow.

What to Consider When Choosing a Buckwheat Pillow

A buckwheat pillow may not be for everyone. I commented earlier that it does have a slight sound associated with it. This may, or may not, be a problem for consumers – depending on how sensitive they are to this type of thing. They also feel much different than what you may be used to as it is not a ‘soft’ material filling, but rather the shells of a seed you are laying your head down upon. Despite this, many reviewers who originally voiced their skepticism prior to use (myself included) eventually came to appreciate the comfort and quality of the product.

What is your sleep position?

  • Described above is the type of pillow you should need depending on your sleep position. Traditional buckwheat pillows were made for back sleepers, although many side sleepers take full advantage of the comfort as well. Unfortunately, stomach sleepers probably will not find this a comfortable choice despite it being adjustable- although it isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

Do you have any allergies?

  • Buckwheat hulls are naturally hypoallergenic and provide an excellent sleep surface for anyone sensitive to dust mites, pollens, sanders, etc as they do not collect easily within or on these types of pillows.

Do you sleep warm?

  • The shape of buckwheat hulls support a free flow of air through the pillow, and since they are not absorbent, they do not retain heat or reflect it back upon the sleeper. If you struggle with sleeping hot no matter what you do, this may be a decent choice to consider.

Conclusion

Despite most buckwheat hull pillows being fairly similar in nature, slight differences in details surrounding fill amounts, materials used, and construction process do exist and can influence the overall feel of the pillow. So far, our favorite is the Hullo Buckwheat Pillow simply due to our personal experiences with it that support the claims made by the company, and the overall high ratings received for such a young product within the sleep industry- especially since negative ratings deal more with personal preferences rather than quality.

Recent Updates

October 12, 2021: The Bucky Utopia Neck Pillow has been added to this roundup as the best buckwheat pillow for travel due to consumer popularity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of a buckwheat pillow?

Buckwheat pillows are known for helping with headaches, anxiety, and relief from snoring due to gentle pressure the weight of the hulls provide against your head and neck. Buckwheat pillows are 100% organic and free from polyurethane or polyester foam that is found in many pillows. They also provide a cool night’s sleep as they create excellent ventilation and create airflow which is a definite plus for hot sleepers. These pillows do not compress under pressure and are adjustable so they work with all sizes, shapes and sleeping positions, keeping bodies in an ideal neutral alignment. For back sleepers the pillow fills the unsupported space beneath the neck alleviating muscle strain. Pillows that do not properly supporting the space beneath the neck, which causes muscle strains. Side sleepers need to have a pillow thick enough to keep the spine straight and since these offer adjustable thickness you can be sure to get the support you need. Stomach sleepers should have a very thin pillow in order to keep their body in alignment and can less fill their pillow less than normal.

What does a buckwheat pillow feel like?

Buckwheat pillows are a traditional Asian pillow created centuries ago as an answer for overall sleep health and comfort problems. The filling is mobile and fluid so it molds directly to your body. Some might say the feeling is similar to being on the beach and digging out support for your body out of the sand. The pillow is both firm and moldable. There is a gentle crinkling sound of the hulls shifting that many find very meditative.

How long do buckwheat pillows last?

The lifespan depends on how you care for your pillow, but with regular use it can last up to ten years and longer. This makes a buckwheat pillow a great economical choice because they are so long lasting, whereas traditional pillows usually only last three years. As time wears on you may find that the buckwheat hulls will start to settle but it will still offer the same support. Many users often refill their pillow as needed. Note that these pillows cannot be put into the washing machine as submerging buckwheat hulls with water will ruin them. It is important to have a cotton pillow cover that is safe to be washed in the washing machine.

Do buckwheat pillows smell?

There is no smell with our organic buckwheat hull pillows. All of the buckwheat hull has been thoroughly cleaned so you won’t smell anything while sleeping on the pillow. However, if you decide to open up the pillow to smell the buckwheat directly you might pick on a faint earthy scent.

What is the best buckwheat pillow?

Hullo Pillows specializes in buckwheat pillow products and is headquartered in Minnesota. These pillows were designed for comfort and their high quality manufacturing is made to last. The company uses responsible business practices, strives to keep a low carbon footprint and uses all organic materials and fabrics. Bonus, they also donate a percentage of their proceeds to The Nature Conservancy. The Hullo Pillow is available in multiple sizes for personal preferences. Each pillow uses 100% organic buckwheat and comes in three sizes; small, standard, and king. The pillows are covered in a machine washable 100% organic cotton cover. Hullo pillows are adjustable like the traditional buckwheat pillows and they provide you the opportunity to refresh your husks for a longer lasting experience. The company offers a long sleep trial with a 60-day money back guarantee if you don’t enjoy the product. Consumers claim the pillow has been “a game changer” regarding neck and back stress. Also many snorers have testified that the pillow has helped them as well.