Sleep allows the body to replenish lost energy and repair damaged muscles and tissues. Undoubtedly, it’s essential to an individual’s overall health. That’s why if you deprive yourself of sleep or sleep for less than seven hours per day, any efforts to stick to a daily exercise routine or a balanced diet won’t give your desired results. (1)
Most people are already aware that the mattress they use is one factor affecting their sleep quality. That’s why people take their time when shopping for mattresses; they’re even willing to shell out for it. However, few give the same level of attention to pillows, which are actually as essential as mattresses in helping a person get a good night’s sleep. Pillows provide cushioning and comfort that can help you catch sleep instead of tossing on your bed the whole night. The right pillow can also help you avoid feeling body pains after waking up the next day. (2)
What is a good pillow?
Everyone likes something different when it comes to pillows; some go for larger body pillows, others opt for memory foam pillows that promise support for the cervical spine’s natural curve. Of course, some people are contented with traditional pillows.
But what is a good pillow, according to experts? Experts say that a good pillow is firm yet soft. It should also have the right thickness and, of course, be comfortable. Many pillows in the market nowadays meet those criteria. However, one excellent option is a buckwheat pillow if you want coolness and some other add-ons to those qualities. (3)
Buckwheat pillows are gaining traction. They originated in Asia and are popular in the region for their perceived health benefits, including promoting a good night’s sleep. Is it your first time hearing about buckwheat pillows? Worry not because learn more about them as you read further. Read on as it could be the solution you’ve been looking for all this time.
What are buckwheat pillows?
The ideal pillows for many people are made of materials such as cotton and polyester, so they’re soft and fluffy. At least, that’s what most Americans are used to when it comes to pillows. That’s why you might be surprised to learn about the type of material used to make pillows in some other countries. However, despite being unfamiliar, these products work well for most users and bring many benefits. Buckwheat pillows are one of them.
If you prefer natural bedding products, then buckwheat pillows are worth checking out. They’re especially common in Asia.
Buckwheat pillows’ history
Also known as sobakawa, buckwheat pillows originated in Japan. They’re traditional Japanese pillows and have been used by the Japanese people for centuries. Sobakawa pillows are known for the firm support they provide. They’re also easily customizable.
For the people of Japan, the body is at its healthiest state when an individual has a cold head and warm feet. It’s that concept where buckwheat pillows come from, and the Japanese people believe it’s what the pillow does to the body.
The cover of a buckwheat pillow is made of organic cotton typically. However, its main material is buckwheat hulls, which are the outer shells of buckwheat seeds. Are buckwheat hulls any good? Yes, they may be a great option. In fact, those living in Japan and many people worldwide enjoy sleeping on a firm, dense buckwheat pillow as it conforms to the head and neck without any problem. (4)
Buckwheat is a flowering plant. It’s a great food source for livestock. Buckwheat grain is also commonly found in porridge and hot cereal, so it’s a food source for humans too. Buckwheat’s outer shells, known as buckwheat hulls, are harvested and used to fill sobakawas or buckwheat pillows.
Why use buckwheat pillows?
Many people who have switched to buckwheat pillows from more familiar products have reported better sleep and increased overall comfort. That’s why buckwheat pillows do come highly recommended on the web. (4)
In need of a new pillow? Here a few reasons a buckwheat pillow is a must-have for you this year:
1. It’s breathable
More familiar types of pillows, especially the foam ones, trap a significant amount of heat. They don’t allow for any air circulation, which means they get hot and develop bad smells quickly. That’s why their owners turn them over constantly in the middle of the night, trying to find a cooler, more comfortable surface. That wouldn’t be the case for buckwheat pillows, as its primary material doesn’t trap much heat.
Buckwheat pillows also maintain their structure when exposed to pressure. The resilient buoyancy that they create allows them to produce consistent air circulation. They’ll help keep their users cool all night long with air flowing through the pillow freely, making them a great option for hot and humid bedrooms.
2. It supports the neck firmly
In addition to being breathable, the hulls in buckwheat pillows also don’t stick to each other, helping support the user’s head and shoulders properly. In fact, neck support and spinal alignment are some of the most important reasons people buy a buckwheat pillow.
Buckwheat pillows offer superior head, neck, shoulders, and spine support because, unlike pillows made of polyester or feather, they don’t easily collapse under the weight of the user’s head. Check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAA070BuKMY showing how buckwheat pillow provides great support if you’re in doubt.
Compared to conventional pillows, buckwheat pillows are also very thin, allowing the spine to stay straight while you lie down. Furthermore, by removing or adding hulls, you can adjust the thickness of the pillow to an optimal level.
3. It’s free from unpleasant or strong odors
If you’re sensitive to certain smells, buckwheat pillows can be the perfect option for you. That’s because they can be odor-free, unlike conventional synthetic pillows.
The natural smell of buckwheat pillows, which is slightly earthy, is also refreshing. The scent is fresh and clean despite and doesn’t overpower. It helps ensure that users achieve a relaxing and deep sleep.
Also, many buckwheat pillow manufacturers have now started adding essential oils to their products. For consumers who are into aromatherapy, that should be a piece of good news.
4. It’s all natural
The materials used to make conventional pillows are usually synthetic. Examples of pillows derived from chemicals are polyester pillows and memory foam pillows.
Of course, many people don’t like the idea of getting exposed to chemicals through the pillow they’re using. The good news is that there are alternative pillow options that only use natural ingredients, and one of them is a buckwheat pillow. As previously mentioned, the main material used in buckwheat pillows is buckwheat hulls. Even the cotton material used to encase buckwheat pillows is natural and organic.
Remember that when sleeping, your nose is only an inch away from your pillow. Therefore, it’s best to go for all-natural products, especially if you’re sensitive to chemical exposure.
5. It’s relatively unlikely to cause allergic reactions
At least 50 million Americans suffer from different kinds of allergies. Almost 60% of them have nasal allergies and find sleeping difficult due to allergy symptoms. But what if the thing you’re sleeping on is what triggers your allergy? Let’s take a closer look at buckwheat pillows. (5)
The buckwheat hulls used to fill sobakawas and the cotton used to encase the pillows are all-natural. However, it’s also a known fact that many natural materials can still cause allergies in some people. Common natural ingredients for pillows that are also considered as allergens include feathers or wool.
So how about buckwheat hulls? Allergic reactions to a buckwheat pillow are rare. Proof of it is the very few studies in scientific literature reporting pillow-caused buckwheat allergy. It’s especially true when talking about dust mite allergens in US-made buckwheat pillows. (6) Therefore, it’s safe to say that these types of pillows are relatively unlikely to cause allergic reactions.
6. It doesn’t make noise
Buckwheat pillows are also perfect for those living in noisy areas or households. That’s because the hulls inside the pillow muffle surrounding noise, which helps in giving users a quiet and calm sleep every night.
Technically, buckwheat pillows still make noise, but only very slightly. It also only happens when the hulls rub against each other when adjusting the pillow. However, there’s minimal need for adjustment since the pillow doesn’t really flatten through the night, so buckwheat pillows could be the perfect pillow choice for those who can’t sleep well because of noise—unless, of course, you’re a very light sleeper.
7. It doesn’t require special maintenance
Another advantage of using buckwheat pillows is their low maintenance requirement. Owners can wash the pillow’s cover using their washing machine. Also, laying the pillow down in the sun is all you need to do to freshen it up. It’s also a way of airing out the hulls, which rids them of the slight damp from regular use.
8. It lasts for many years
The life span of buckwheat pillows probably is why they’re really well worth the investment this year.
A buckwheat pillow lasts much longer than other types of pillows. It can last for at least ten years if maintained properly, thanks to its durability. It really makes your money go a very long way.
Also, the hulls are replaceable if some of them have gotten out of the pillow already. It also contributes to the longer lifespan of buckwheat pillows.
It’s essential to note that there are different kinds of buckwheat pillows. Besides the pillows for sleeping, some can be used when working at a desk or typing at a computer. Its variety, combined with its many benefits and great pricing, is why you should definitely consider buying a buckwheat pillow in 2021.
- “Sleep And Sleep Disorders”, Source: https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html
- “13 Types Of Pillows You Should Know”, Source: https://amerisleep.com/blog/types-of-pillows/
- “The 5 Best Pillows, According To Experts”, Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/tips-to-finding-the-right-pillow-for-you/2018/01/23/9c65c02e-f6de-11e7-a9e3-ab18ce41436a_story.html
- “Best Buckwheat Pillows”, Source: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/best-pillows/best-buckwheat-pillow
- “Buckwheat Pillow: Benefits, Risks, And Options”, Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/buckwheat-pillow
- “Pillow Talk: Buckwheat For Sleep”, Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704342404574576392337405518