9 Tips For Finding The Best Buckwheat Pillow For Better Sleep

buckwheat pillow
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Buckwheat pillows originated in Japan, where they are known as sobakawa, but they are now used by people all around the world. This type of pillow is filled with buckwheat hulls, which are the hard outer casing of buckwheat seeds and provide exceptional support.

One of the things that people love about buckwheat pillows is their firmness. They’re fully adjustable and allow you to remove or add hulls from the interior to change the level of support. 

Unfortunately, with the number of stores and manufacturers offering buckwheat pillows and other types of Supportive Pillows, it can be challenging to find the one that’s best suited to your needs; for most, that means achieving a good night’s sleep.

If you’re confused with the available options in the market, below are some of the tips to find the best buckwheat pillow for better sleep:

1. Check The Pillow Weight

Buckwheat pillows are heavier than other similar products. If you have trouble lifting weighty items, you might find it difficult to maneuver a buckwheat pillow – especially an extra firm product that’s filled to the brim with hulls. However, they’re not as intimidating as dumbbells, so most people won’t find this to be an issue.

The heavier the filling, the more supportive and stiffer the pillows will be. So, if you need a firm pillow to support a problem area of your body, look for heavier examples.

If you’re the type of person who prefers softer pillows under your head, you can easily adjust the hull filling of a buckwheat pillow. If it’s your first time purchasing one, it may be best to try a lighter pillow and make adjustments if you need to.

2. Choose The Righ Firmness Level

Buckwheat products, and similar alternatives like the Millet Hulls pillow, offer a range of support from lightly firm to very firm. Depending on your preferences, you may love how supportive and hard the pillows feel, while others find them excessively bulky and stiff.

Exceptions include the pillows filled with a combination of buckwheat hulls and softer materials that provide more cushioning. If a pure buckwheat pillow seems too intimidating, consider a less intense alternative. 

3. Consider The Cover Material

Typically, a buckwheat pillow comes with a cotton pillowcase. Cotton is preferred by almost everyone since it’s soft, breathable, easy to launder, and reasonably durable.

Other buckwheat pillows may come with pillow covers like bamboo. As bamboo is moisture-wicking and hypoallergenic, it’s a worthy alternative to cotton, but they can also be quite challenging to maintain. This is worth considering when choosing your ideal buckwheat pillow. 

4. Compare Prices

The average cost of a queen- or king-size buckwheat pillow is between USD$50 and USD$150. Usually, shoppers can save money by choosing a traditional and smaller buckwheat pillow. When purchasing hulls in bulk, you’ll usually pay between USD$5 to USD$15 per pound. To get the best price, consider making a bulk purchase of hulls with friends and family members who also use buckwheat pillows.

5. Focus On Ergonomics And Support

Buckwheat pillows are highly supportive and can cradle your neck and head, molding to your unique shape. These products also promote a neutral spinal alignment, which makes them a good option for those who are searching for ergonomic support. They can provide substantial support to people who suffer from aches and pains, so it’s best to focus your search on pillows that are designed to maximize this effect.

6. Confirm The Quality Of The Materials Used

Buckwheat hulls are durable, but the pillows will flatten, so you’ll need to make a bulk hull purchase before the pillows reach the end of their lifespan. When finding the best buckwheat pillow, make sure that it’s made from high-quality materials.

There are instances that some brands use low-quality materials for buckwheat pillows. If you don’t want to end up wasting your time, money, and effort from shopping around, check the quality of the materials used before you make a purchase.

7. Keep Size In Mind

There are different sizes of buckwheat pillows to choose from, including:

  • Standard – The standard buckwheat pillow is convenient and compact for kids, when traveling, and for twin beds. They’re also the most affordable.
  • Queen – This size is several inches longer than standard pillows, and ideal for those who love extra room to spread out.
  • King – Offering an additional 10 inches to the size of a standard buckwheat pillow, this is a great choice for bigger beds. It can also be used behind the back or as a body pillow for more comfortable lounging while watching TV or reading.
  • Other Sizes – From micro pillows to unique shapes, there are plenty of options out there.

The original pillow dimensions are called the Japanese size, which are still the perfect choice for travel or anywhere around your home. You can also consider buckwheat pillows with cylinder shapes, which can be used between the knees or with your regular pillows.

8. Consider The Pillow’s Moldability

One of the best aspects of a buckwheat pillow is its moldability to the body. Many people like the feel of buckwheat pillows that are very firm. Since hulls are small, the pillows will contour closely to your neck and head, providing you relief from pressure and pain.

9. Take Note Of Your Sleeping Position

Before purchasing a buckwheat pillow, you should know what type of sleeper you are, as well as your usual sleeping position. Back and side sleepers tend to prefer a pillow that sits a little higher and fits in the space between their head and the mattress. Stomach sleepers, on the other hand, do best with softer options with a lower profile to keep the spine and neck straight.

If you’re a stomach sleeper, you might find buckwheat pillows too firm. However, if you’re a side or back sleeper, you’re likely to end up enjoying using a buckwheat pillow.


A buckwheat pillow offers strong support, an adjustable loft, and good overall durability. However, some people may find this type of pillow too firm. Luckily, buckwheat pillows are adjustable, allowing you to choose the perfect fit for your needs.

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