Can Buckwheat Pillows Attract Bugs?

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Last updatedLast updated: July 21, 2021
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Pillows are essential for getting a good night’s sleep. It’s an integral part of keeping your head and neck aligned with your spine while you’re lying down. Just as there’s a variety of mattresses and bed foundations available, the choice of pillow types is also quite vast.

One of the most popular pillow types is buckwheat. Not only are they malleable, but non-shifting as well. This allows for perfect contouring to your neck and spine. Many people who own them have one major concern, though, and it is buckwheat pillow bugs.

Let’s have a quick look at what buckwheat is and what the benefits are of changing your current pillow. We’ll also have an in-depth look at buckwheat bugs problem and what to do about it.

What is buckwheat?

Buckwheat is commonly part of a group of foods referred to as pseudocereals. These are seeds commonly consumed as cereal grains. Despite the name, buckwheat is actually not a wheat product, making it gluten-free.

Primarily grown in the northern hemisphere, it’s used in everything from flour, noodles, groats, teas, and yes, you guessed it, even pillows!

What is a buckwheat pillow?

Created in Japan, buckwheat pillows, also called sobakawa, are popular around the world. The pillows are made up of buckwheat hulls, which are the hard outer casings of the buckwheat seeds.

The process involves removing the hulls, cleaning them, and then stuffing them in the material casing that forms the pillow.

The pillow covers are made from natural fibers. The most popular choices are cotton and silk. This combination makes it easy to adjust, add, refresh, or remove the hulls throughout the lifespan of your pillow.

Features to consider when buying a buckwheat pillow

Quality buckwheat pillows are made with Certified Organic Twill and are generally 20” x 26” in size. This makes it the right size for your head and neck to be comfortable throughout your sleeping session.

A big advantage of buckwheat pillows is that they contain genuine husked and cleaned hull fillings. These hulls are grown and milled in the US and contain no chemically based bird feathers or foams.

Always look for a buckwheat pillow that promotes airflow because that means it will remain cool while you sleep.

A big selling point, in our opinion, is the fact that buckwheat pillows are malleable and contour to your body’s unique shape. You can add additional hulls to increase the support you need for your neck to be comfortable. This then also makes it possible to remove some of the hulls if you prefer a thinner pillow.

When you opt for a type like the Hullo buckwheat pillow or PineTales model, you can also look forward to optimal airflow.

Advantages of buckwheat pillows

There are several significant benefits to using buckwheat pillows. Let’s have a look at some of the more prominent.

Better sleep

Since buckwheat pillows support appropriate posture and spinal alignment, they facilitate a better sleep experience. All sleeping positions benefit from the way a buckwheat pillow adjusts. Its malleable feature allows it to adjust according to your body, optimizing comfort and support.

Muscle support

Medical research shows that neck pain affects almost 50% of the population. A large reason for this can be attributed to poor sleeping posture. Thanks to the support offered by a buckwheat pillow, the muscles in your neck align with your spine to enable proper relaxation.

Reduces headaches

One of the leading causes of sleepers waking up with headaches or even migraines is lack of support. It can often be directly attributed to soft neck tissues and airways not being supported properly. Just like the best pillows for neck pain, buckwheat options provide soft pressure against the specific nerve points along your neck. By applying soft pressure to these nerve points, a deeper sense of relaxation is triggered.


Buckwheat pillows are hypoallergenic as well as dust mite resistant. This is mainly because the materials used in the construction contain no allergens.

Cooler Sleep

One of the most frustrating parts of sleeping on a normal pillow is the heat and moisture that could build up in your pillow. Like it’s always seen with bamboo pillows, buckwheat also promotes airflow, which results in a much cooler sleep. This happens because the hulls are triangular in shape, smooth, and slightly cupped. This creates many tiny little air pockets between them.

Less snoring

Can Buckwheat Pillows Attract Bugs?

A little known fact about snoring is that it’s often caused by poor sleep posture. Your airway can become compromised when your neck muscles don’t relax properly, and this is what results in those loud noises!

This usually happens when your head falls too far back or is held too high during sleep. By keeping your airways aligned with your spine, you will reduce the chances of snoring.


As mentioned earlier, buckwheat pillows are adjustable. This is easily done by adding or removing hulls. Doing this will provide comfortable sleep for all sleep positions.

People sleeping on their sides often prefer higher pillows. So these types of sleepers would add more hulls to their pillows to provide more volume. Sleepers who sleep on their stomachs or backs tend to prefer thinner pillows. Simply remove excess husks to make your pillow as thin as you require.

A tip here would be to ensure that based on the design, the manufacturer you purchase your buckwheat pillow from gives you the option to add or decrease your hulls.

Durable and longlasting

Buckwheat pillows, like most other things, require proper care to increase their lifespan. Generally, quality buckwheat pillows can last up to 10 years. The biggest determining factor here is the thickness and quality of the casing material used.

If the casing has a heavy-duty zipper and double sewn seams, you’ll be sure that the hulls can be held in place properly.


The hulls can start wearing down with constant use. If you’ve invested in the adjustable option, you can simply refresh the hulls by buying a new bag. This is considerably cheaper than replacing the entire pillow.

How to clean a buckwheat pillow?

It’s important to know that buckwheat pillows can’t be washed in a washing machine. Soaking buckwheat hulls in water will ruin them. The best way to care for your buckwheat pillows includes the following:

  • Cover the pillow with a pillowcase to protect it from daily wear.
  • Use a damp cloth to spot wash marks. Don’t let the hulls get wet.
  • Keep the pillow dry and well aired.
  • Add new buckwheat hulls to rejuvenate and refresh your pillow. This can be done by purchasing the refill bags offered by some manufacturers.
If you do find bugs in your pillow, simply replace the buckwheat hulls. Wash the material casing in cold water and, if possible, let the casing dry out in the sun. You should wash the other bedding surrounding the pillow as well.

Frequently asked questions

How do you sleep on a buckwheat pillow?

Sleeping on a buckwheat pillow might take some getting used to in the beginning. Here are a few tips to ensure you have an amazing night’s sleep right from the first night:

  • Move the buckwheat hulls around to conform to the curvature of your neck.
  • Avoid tilting your head when laying down on the pillow.
  • If you’re a back sleeper, you need to place your head on the pillow and rest your shoulders on the mattress. Your pillow must support your head and neck. Don’t scrunch your shoulders to fit on the pillow.

Do buckwheat hulls smell?

Since buckwheat is a natural product, it’s normal to assume there might be some sort of smell attached to them. Fortunately, the smell is earthy and not overbearing.

Buckwheat pillow users report that the smell is actually aromatic and quite calming. This is a big plus for helping you relax after a long day!

Do buckwheat pillows make a noise?

A new buckwheat pillow does make some noise in the beginning. Some quality brands are known to have a gentle rustling noise as they move around. The reason for this is the freshness of the hulls.

Over time the noise decreases when the hulls break. The average sleeper manages to adjust to the noise after a few nights using their new buckwheat pillow.

Does buckwheat attract bugs?

One of the first questions people ask when considering switching to buckwheat is, “Do buckwheat pillows attract bugs?” Since buckwheat is a seed, it’s understandable to ask this question.

Quality products aren’t made with the parts of buckwheat that can attract bugs. It’s vital not to be fooled by a “cheaper” version of the original buckwheat. These types often have hulls that have not been cleaned.

Why does my pillow have bugs?

If you’ve bought a quality buckwheat pillow, there shouldn’t be any likelihood of finding any bugs. If there’s the unfortunate instance of finding bugs in your pillow, it’s most likely due to the buckwheat filling not being properly hulled or cleaned.

Final thoughts

Investing in a buckwheat pillow is one of the best ways to reduce the stress on your spine while you sleep. The support offered by these pillows ensures that there’s enough backing for your neck and shoulders.

A significant advantage of these buckwheat pillows is that the hulls can be replaced or added to at any time. This means that you can control the exact amount of comfort your pillow gives you.

The good news is, if you get a high-quality product, you don’t have to be concerned about buckwheat pillow bugs. Now would be an excellent time to take charge of your comfort, so it’s a great idea to invest in a buckwheat pillow today!

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