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Last updated: November 23, 2022
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Buckwheat pillows, also known as Sobakawa in their native Japan, are traditional Japanese pillows that have been used for centuries in the East but are finally making their way to other countries and generating a lot of interest. Made with buckwheat hulls, these pillows are able to offer a lot of advantages over traditional pillows. They can provide stronger, contouring support, reducing tension and strain in the muscles, boosting spinal alignment, reducing snoring, and giving you a better night’s rest overall.
This list and buying guide will focus on the best buckwheat pillow options you might like to consider, including pillows such as our Editor’s Choice, the Hullo Buckwheat Pillow. In order to identify and highlight the best buckwheat pillows, we considered several key factors including their size, weight, the material used to make their covers, and any extra features they claimed to provide. All of these aspects need to be taken into account when buying buckwheat pillows in order to choose the best one for you.
For the purposes of this buying guide, we looked at a lot of different user and critical opinions, closely studying the best buckwheat pillow reviews in order to find the top models to recommend to you. Below, you’ll find a simple comparison table with the names and ratings of our chosen buckwheat pillows. After that, you can read more detailed reviews of each of these pillows, complete with specifications and feature lists. Finally, you’ll find a buying guide and FAQ section with more information on how to choose the best buckwheat pillow for you.
Our number one pick for the best buckwheat pillow is most definitely the Hullo Buckwheat Pillow. One of the most eco-friendly options in the pillow world right now, this buckwheat pillow is made with a 100% organic twill cover and the finest pillow-grade buckwheat hulls that are all grown and milled in the USA. So if you care about the environment and like to make use of organic and eco-friendly products whenever possible, this is a big winner.
The Hullo Buckwheat Pillow is also exceptionally comfortable. It offers premium levels of support and contouring care for your muscles and has been proven to reduce snoring and eliminate migraines for many users. It features a highly breathable cover too, and one of the best advantages of this buckwheat pillow is just how cool it stays all through the night, so you never have to worry about waking up and feeling a hot and sticky pillow beneath your head. It’s good for all kinds of sleepers too, nicely adapting to suit various sleeping styles and positions.
A unique feature of this buckwheat pillow is its hidden zipper that allows you to adjust the loft as desired to meet your needs, and this just makes the Hullo Buckwheat Pillow even more flexible and enjoyable to use. It’s a great pillow no matter how you look at it, and the only minor flaw we could find is its high price tag. However, the quality of this pillow goes a long way to justifying its cost.
Size options: standard, queen, king, Japanese size
Weight: 12-15 lbs.
Extra features: made in the USA from organically-grown buckwheat and natural unbleached cotton
The heaviest pillow on our list, the Beans72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow definitely feels quite big and hefty when you first get a hold of it. This means it can take a little getting used to, especially if you’re switching from a standard pillow or a much lighter buckwheat pillow. However, once you’ve spent a couple of nights on this pillow, you’ll start to see all it has to offer and realize how effective it can be.
Out of all the buckwheat pillows on our list today, the Beans72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow arguably offers the strongest levels of support. Packed full of buckwheat hulls, this pillow can reduce snoring, make migraines disappear, and help out with spinal alignment, neck pain, sleeping difficulties, and many other common issues people face when trying to get a good night’s rest. It offers extraordinary levels of support and serves as an amazing example of what buckwheat pillows are capable of.
This buckwheat pillow also comes in a good range of sizes to suit all beds and sleepers, and it works well for all kinds of sleepers too, thanks to its strong levels of support. As a nice bonus, the buckwheat hulls used in this pillow are 100% organic, so it’s a very eco-friendly option as well. The only downside, apart from the weight of this pillow, is that it can have quite a strong odor for the first few weeks. This is common of many buckwheat pillows, however, and the smell will fade away within the first month of use.
Extra features: made using organic buckwheat hulls; handmade; also available with a waterproof cover
Another excellent buckwheat pillow to choose if you struggle with common sleeping issues like neck pain, shoulder tension, snoring, migraines, or general discomfort, the PineTales Buckwheat Hulls Pillow is made in Phoenix, Arizona and offers impeccable support and a cool sense of style, with a nicely decorative bamboo pillow cover. The cover is also softer and cozier than simple cotton alternatives, and every single element of this buckwheat pillow is made to a super standard.
Only organic buckwheat hulls are used in the PineTales Buckwheat Hulls Pillow and the pillow comes equipped with enough hulls to offer strong support for those who need it. It’s a very firm and effective pillow, but some may find it needs a little adjusting, either by adding more hulls or removing some of the excess hulls in order to get it just right. In short, this buckwheat pillow might take a little getting used to due to its high firmness rating, but it’s a quality product overall.
This buckwheat pillow demonstrates no odors and doesn’t feature any pesticides or chemicals, so you won’t have to worry about allergies or other issues. It’s a strong option for side sleepers, back sleepers, and stomach sleepers due to its high level of firmness, and it’s available at a very fair and reasonable price too. All in all, if you’re looking for a strong, solid buckwheat pillow, this is a great option to choose.
Extra features: available in various shapes, adjustable support
Next up on our list of the best buckwheat pillows, we have the Sobakawa Traditional Buckwheat Pillow. While all of the buckwheat pillows listed above have been made in the USA, this one comes to us from Japan, which is actually the home of the buckwheat pillow. Plenty of American brands are making high quality buckwheat pillows, but if you want to go right to the source and get an authentic Japanese model, this is the best one currently available.
This buckwheat pillow is very comfortable and enjoyable to use. It offers strong and satisfying levels of support, able to aid those who struggle with migraines, tensions, aches, and snoring. It’s also got some of the best breathability, temperature control, and moisture absorption of any buckwheat pillow on the market, so you won’t have to worry about waking up on a hot or sweaty pillow, even on the warmest of nights.
On the downside, due to the fact that this buckwheat pillow is made in Japan, its price is a little higher than what you might expect to pay for an American equivalent. It’s also only available in custom sizes, so it can be difficult to find extra covers as the standard sizes won’t quite fit these pillows as well. On the plus side, however, purchasers of this buckwheat pillow can get adjustable support that cradles and properly aligns the head and neck for maximum comfort at night.
Extra features: comes in different colors; removable and washable outer cover
Our Budget Pick for this list of best buckwheat pillows is the JOERRES Buckwheat Pillow. A very interesting and affordable pillow for people in need of extra support, this model is formed in a long, narrow, slender shape, so it’s a bit different to some of the larger and chunkier pillows we’ve seen above. It’s also the most lightweight option on our list.
The unique shape and form of this buckwheat pillow offers both advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, the pillow’s form factor gives it more flexibility for use under the neck or even beneath or between the knees for spinal alignment. On the other hand, the narrow style of this pillow makes it harder to fit comfortably under the head, and the coarse, denim cover isn’t particularly soft or smooth on the skin either. However, the cover is very breathable and comes in a great range of color options.
Another big advantage of the JOERRES Buckwheat Pillow is that it features both an outer cover and an inner cover. The inner cover keeps the buckwheat hulls in place at all times, while the outer cover can be washed and changed with ease. This is a great feature as some buckwheat pillows can be very awkward to clean and change. All in all, despite a few little drawbacks, including a noticeable odor for the first couple of weeks, this affordable buckwheat pillow is a fine choice.
Extra features: removable and machine-washable cover; 1-year warranty
Last but not least in our list of the best buckwheat hull pillow models is the Peace Yoga Meditation Buckwheat Crescent Cotton Cushion. This is actually a buckwheat zafu pillow, designed with activities like yoga and meditation in mind. It’s a good size and shape to sit on, offering strong and firm support for the spine and body. That firmness can fade over time, however, but at such an affordable price, this pillow offers excellent value for money.
The flexible design of the Peace Yoga Meditation Buckwheat Crescent Cotton Cushion gives you a lot of options in terms of how and when you use it. It’s a good option for exercise and meditation, but can also simply be placed on a chair for a little extra comfort and support, placed behind the lower back while resting on a bed, or used under the head like a regular pillow.
The smart design of this pillow features a little handle, letting you pick it up and carry it around with ease, and it also comes with an easy to wash cotton cover too. On the downside, some users have complained of a faint but noticeable odor with this pillow for the first few weeks of use, and its size might be just a little on the small side for some users, but these issues are subjective and will vary from one person to the next.
What are our favorite features?
Great for yoga and meditation
Easy to clean
What could be better?
Can lose firmness over time
May be too small for some
Things to Consider
Now that we’ve seen some examples of the best buckwheat pillows for you, it’s time to take a look at the various factors and aspects you need to consider when actually shopping for a buckwheat pillow and choosing a model that works for you. There are quite a lot of things to think about, including the size, cost, weight, and features of your chosen pillow, and some models will be much better-suited for certain individuals than others.
Benefits of sleeping on a buckwheat pillow
So why are so many people choosing to switch to buckwheat pillows from standard pillows? Well, there are many advantages to consider:
Stronger Support – The firmness of buckwheat pillows helps to make them much more supportive than regular pillows. Many people require this kind of support to deal with aches, pains, and tensions in the muscles and joints.
Better Quality Sleep – Buckwheat pillows are able to provide a better night’s rest to many people, assisting with many common sleep issues like snoring, migraines, back pain, and more. The contouring and malleable nature of these pillows gives them a lot of versatility and allows them to appeal to all kinds of sleepers.
Better Temperature Control – A common issue many people face with regular pillows is that they can get very hot and moist on warm nights. With buckwheat pillows, you’ll never need to worry about turning over to the ‘cool side’ as both sides are always cool and fresh due to the strong breathability and airflow between the buckwheat hulls.
No Allergies or Mites – None of the materials used in buckwheat pillows are used as food sources for dust mites, so these pillows are much better at keeping mites at bay in general. They’re also hypoallergenic too, and often made with organic materials.
Features to consider when choosing a buckwheat pillow
As stated above, there are several different features to think about when shopping for your next buckwheat pillow. The size, price, and weight of the pillow are two obvious factors to consider, but you’ll also want to look into the materials being used, how adjustable the pillow is, and what kind of cover it uses, as well as any other extra features it might have.
Size options available
When shopping for most pillows, you don’t need to worry too much about the size options as you can usually find standard sizes to suit whatever kind of bed you have. Many buckwheat pillows come from Japan, however, so the sizes aren’t quite the same, as seen with the Sobakawa Traditional Buckwheat Pillow. Fortunately, many American brands are making buckwheat pillows too and offer a good range of sizes, with the Beans72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow being a good example. You can also find specialized buckwheat pillows made in unique shapes and sizes like the Peace Yoga Meditation Cushion.
Buckwheat hull quality
The buckwheat hulls are the key ingredient in any buckwheat pillow, but hulls come in different levels of quality, and you really can tell the difference when low quality hulls are used compared to the stronger hulls seen in something like the Hullo Buckwheat Pillow. You’ll need to look into where the hulls are produced and how the buckwheat was grown. Many quality buckwheat pillows, like the PineTales Pillow, use organic buckwheat.
Good quality buckwheat pillows will often allow you to adjust the loft in order to get the pillow in just the right shape to suit your sleeping style and needs. The Hullo Buckwheat Pillow is one example of a buckwheat pillow offering this feature.
When you first lift a buckwheat pillow, you’ll notice it’s a lot heavier than a regular pillow, and this is something to bear in mind. Heavier pillows, like the Beans72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow, for example, are typically filled with more hulls and offer extra support, but they’re a bit less practical to carry around or take on a trip.
The covers of buckwheat pillows are a big factor to consider and a lot of different styles of cover can be used. The JOERRES Pillow, for example, features quite a coarse, denim cover, while the PineTales Pillow comes with a soft, smooth, bamboo cover. Think about what kind of material you like the most on your skin, and also look into how easy the cover is to remove and clean, as well as whether or not it’s hypoallergenic.
This is one of the big differences between buckwheat pillows and standard pillows. Buckwheat pillows should not be washed as the buckwheat can weaken and break down. Plus, the weight of the pillows can do damage to a washing machine. You can, however, wash the covers, and this is why it’s important to choose a buckwheat pillow with an easily removable cover. Otherwise, you can buy an extra cover to put over the top of your buckwheat pillow.
One great advantage of buckwheat pillows is that they’re mite and bug-resistant. Buckwheat hulls that have been properly cleaned and vacuumed have no nutritional value whatsoever for mites and insects. Not only that, but the moving and rustling nature of the buckwheat hulls actually makes them even less suitable to bugs, so you shouldn’t have to worry about any bugs at all making a home in your pillow.
Good quality buckwheat pillows are exceptionally durable. The best models can last for 10 years or more and still retain their firmness and quality. Some lesser, cheaper models may lose firmness more quickly, however, so it all depends on how much you’re willing to pay and which model you choose. You can buy new bags of hulls to replenish weakened and older pillows too, effectively allowing them to have a second life.
Overall, the Hullo Buckwheat Pillow was our number one pick and Editor’s Choice for this list. It comes at a high price but offers the firmness, support, and comfort that so many sleepers crave, making it one of the best quality buckwheat pillows money can buy.
Next came the Beans72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow. A heavy pillow filled with organic buckwheat hulls and available in several different sizes, this strong buckwheat pillow is a good option for those who struggle with aches, pains, snoring, and other issues.
Finally, our third favorite option on the list of best buckwheat pillows was the PineTales Buckwheat Hulls Pillow. With its soft, smooth bamboo cover and organic buckwheat hulls, this pillow offers excellent levels of comfort and sleeping satisfaction to the user.