11 Compelling Reasons To Try A Japanese Pillow

Sleep is an essential part of life. Depriving yourself of it can affect your productivity, efficiency, and focus. That’s why it’s advised to have at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every day. Our brains need to recharge, and without sleep, they become impaired.

Most people struggle with sleep not because they aren’t tired at the end of every working day, but because they aren’t sleeping properly. The cause may be having pillows that don’t offer optimal support, which results in uncomfortable sleeping positions.

So, if you haven’t been getting restful sleep, consider buying an alternative pillow. You need a pillow that’ll help you fall asleep faster and provide ample support during sleep. There are plenty of pillows to choose from on the market. But a Japanese pillow may be the best your money can buy. They make these special pillows with buckwheat or millet hulls that have unique properties that provide optimal body and neck support.

That said, here are some reasons to get yourself a Japanese pillow.

1. Use Of Eco-Friendly Materials

When buying a pillow, you may not consider its impact on your environment at first glance. Why? Because when looking for pillows, especially quality ones, you’re thinking about comfort. However, you should also consider the environmental impact. Here’s why:

Traditional pillows are often filled with harmful carcinogens contained in nonbiodegradable polyester compounds. Non-biodegradable materials such as plastic don’t decompose and will probably end up in landfills. That’s why nowadays, society is pushing for a move towards going green by using green materials and efficient production processes to reduce pollution. You may think that the pillow you buy isn’t harmful, but that’s not entirely true. Why? Because eventually, you’ll have to discard your pillow. If it’s biodegradable, it will decompose. If it’s non-biodegradable, it’ll end up in landfills, for a long time. Therefore, the biodegradability of your pillow is more important than you realize unless you have a clusia hedge which makes you realize the importance.

Thankfully, Japanese pillows are stuffed with buckwheat or millet, which are both environmentally friendly materials. Buckwheat and millet come from sustainable farms that don’t use harmful fertilizers or pesticides.

Also, buckwheat and millet pillow are biodegradable because they’re plant-based. So, for those of you who are vegetarian or vegan, Japanese pillows may be your best choice. All things considered, these pillows are friendly to the environment and are worth every penny.

2. They Smell Great

Japanese pillows have a great smell because they are made from organic materials. Now, for those few individuals who may have allergic reactions to buckwheat, millet, or cotton, the smell may not mean much. That’s understandable. But, for most people, especially those who appreciate nature, these pillows will be a breath of fresh air to their senses and will help to enhance their sleep. It’s easier to fall asleep with a pillow that smells fresh as opposed to one that doesn’t.

Also, buckwheat preserves its freshness for long periods. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about the fresh smell wearing off within a few months. When it wears off, you can always replace the buckwheat hulls.

3. They’re Breathable

Breathability contributes to the comfort of a pillow. If you’ve ever woken up with a pillow full of sweat, you’re not alone. That’s where the importance of air circulation in a pillow comes in. Traditional pillows can’t regulate temperature properly because most of them aren’t breathable.

Traditional pillows use materials that stifle free air circulation. So, they don’t dissipate heat off easily. That’s why when you sweat during the night, traditional pillows hold on to that heat and sweat. But Japanese pillows are different. Buckwheat hulls are concave, meaning that they have gaps or air pockets that allow air to freely move in the pillow. It also means that they don’t absorb heat, unlike stuffing in traditional pillows which are compact. That’s how it helps to keep you cool through your sleep.

Pillow breathability is especially important in hotter months. The Japanese pillow is an all-season pillow that will keep you through the winter and summer. But if you prefer your pillow to be cooler than normal, you can place it in the freezer and use it afterward. Just make sure you cover it up with plastic and that you don’t leave it in the freezer for more than an hour.

Furthermore, these Japanese pillows are usually fitted with a soft, breathable cotton cover that helps to dissipate heat and keep your body cool as well. The whole construction of the pillow gives maximum breathability.

4. They Provide Good Spinal Support

People have different sleeping positions. Some people are back sleepers, some are stomach sleepers, and some are side sleepers. And depending on your preferred sleeping position, without adequate support, you may exert a certain amount of stress on your spine and other muscles in your body. Therefore, you may need more than just one pillow for optimal support.

So, if you’re a stomach sleeper, ideally, you need to place a pillow in your pelvic region close to your stomach to ensure that the shape of the spinal cord is maintained. The same applies to the back and side sleepers to ensure optimal support. Remember, your spinal cord connects your whole body. That’s why it’s essential to care for them.

For some people, back pain is common. But they don’t realize that the cause of that pain could be poor posture resulting from poor pillow support.

Poor posture can cause unbearable back pain. This in turn may affect the quality of your sleep. Your backbone has an arch shape that should be maintained. Therefore, Japanese pillows are a perfect solution or preventative measure because they are malleable.

Furthermore, if you continue to sleep with poor posture and ignore the pain, it may affect the backbone and lead to serious problems and pain in the long term. So, if you’re experiencing back pain or other forms of pain now, consider purchasing Japanese pillows and explore how best you ought to use them to relieve your pain.

5. They’re Moldable

Since all individuals have different body shapes and sleeping position preferences, a good pillow should be moldable to provide optimal support.

The buckwheat or millet used in Japanese pillows is sturdy, but it doesn’t mean they’re not moldable. It’s able to conform to the shape of your body perfectly because the hulls shift to match the contours of your body to provide optimal support. On the contrary, traditional pillows are filled with foams or other materials that either doesn’t conform to your body well or don’t maintain their shape for long.

For example, when memory foam pillows lose their firmness over time, they will gradually fail to provide adequate support when you lay down. But buckwheat or millet don’t suffer such a fate because buckwheat hulls are tough and moldable at the same time. You can easily adjust its firmness by adding or reducing buckwheat hulls in your pillowcase to provide dynamic neck, muscle, or back support.

6. They’re Versatile

When you think of pillows, you usually think of sleeping on the bed. But pillows aren’t just made for sleeping. You can use them for various purposes.

Japanese pillows come in different sizes. Smaller pillows are more appropriate for traveling individuals, while sizeable ones appeal to the homebody. But regardless of their size and intended use, most pillows are multi-purpose. When you buy the right size, you won’t need to buy different pillows for your car, your bed, and your couch. You can simply buy one good pillow and carry it with you wherever you go.

The Japanese pillow is quite versatile because you can use it for many things. That way, you also save some extra cash. Also, this is a great option for yoga enthusiasts too! They usually come in packable sizes and since they’re foldable, you can pack them in your hand luggage easily.

7. They’re Durable

When buying home products, this is perhaps one of the top things you should closely consider. You don’t want to buy something that’ll break in a few months. Instead, you want to buy something that lasts, because for most people, buying a pillow after every few months is a waste of money.

Traditional pillows last for 3 years on average before they need replacement. Pillows don’t break, but they get stained and deformed to a point where they are no longer usable.

But with Japanese pillows, you’re guaranteed that if you take care of your pillow, it will take care of you too. If you buy your pillow from reputable companies, it can last even up to 20 years! This is because reputable brands sell quality products. So even though they might ask for a premium price, it’s usually worth it in the long run because it lasts, saving you money from constant replacement.

Buckwheat or millet hulls will eventually succumb to wear and tear in the long run. But instead of buying a new pillow, you can simply replace the hulls inside.

Usually, Japanese pillows have a strong cotton pillowcase and zipper. If it’s intact, you won’t have to buy a new pillow. You’ll only need to get the replacement filling material. For more information, click the following link:


8. Provide Superb Neck Support

The materials of traditional pillows may not offer enough support in your body’s pressure points, such as the neck and shoulders. This may result in interrupted or poor-quality sleep. So, when you wake up with a heavy or stiff neck, it’s a sign that your pillow isn’t giving you enough support. But with Japanese pillows, your neck will have the support it needs to ensure that you sleep well and wake up full of energy the next day.

9. Help Relieve Migraines

Migraines are very painful headaches that can cause nausea and vomiting and even nose bleeding in some severe cases. Now, not everyone suffers from migraines. But the few that suffer from them testify to how painful they are. While migraines are triggered by many things, such as stress or heat, poor sleeping posture can add to the discomfort. This is where the usefulness of a Japanese pillow comes in.

These pillows provide support for your neck and other pressure points to promote blood flow to and from your head. When you suffer from migraines, you must have the right head support to help you fall asleep. While Japanese pillows don’t promise to take away the migraine itself, they will provide optimal neck support when one is having an episode.

10. Help To Reduce Snoring

One cause of snoring is poor posture. Poor posture affects airflow. The vibrations and noise that are produced during snoring could result from soft tissues restricting the airways. This can reduce the oxygen content of your blood, which can be a serious problem.

Now, when you have a pillow with great neck support, you’ll be able to sleep with better posture. This will open up your airways and enable you to breathe smoothly throughout the night. Think about it. Simply changing your pillow can take the snoring away. If you have a partner that snores even without a medical diagnosis, you can try out Japanese pillows. If you have other conditions causing you to snore at night, for example, asthma, this pillow may not completely cure the snoring. But Japanese pillows can still help in some ways.

11. They’re Hypoallergenic

Dust mites are every allergic person’s nightmare, especially for those who’ve got asthma. They can make anyone’s sleeping experience terrible. Sadly, while you may think that the bed is yours alone, unwelcome insects such as dust mites can gladly make your bed their refuge if you don’t constantly replace your sheets and pillows. They like a humid and damp environment, making your traditional pillow a perfect place to breed.

Also, some people react to alternative pillow materials such as latex, feathers, and down. But Japanese pillows have buckwheat or millet hulls which are hypoallergenic. Unlike feathered pillows which attract dust mites, these deter insects from infiltrating your pillow.

Moreover, there are only a few cases wherein people react negatively to buckwheat hulls. So, for those people who suffer from allergies, Japanese pillows are worthy of consideration.


The quality of your pillow greatly affects your sleeping condition. To get a good night’s sleep, you need to get the right pillow for you, and Japanese pillows might just be it. The materials used to construct these pillows provide ample support and they are environmentally friendly, too. If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, consider this alternative.

Juliana Chen

Juliana Chen, with a Doctor of Medicine degree from Johns Hopkins University, has dedicated 16 years to advancing health education and wellness strategies. She joined our team as a freelancer in 2021, bringing her extensive knowledge in preventive medicine and healthy living. In her writing, she has also shared her expertise in nutrition, mental health, and disease prevention. Juliana’s prior roles include practicing physician and public health researcher. She is a certified yoga instructor and advocates for holistic health approaches in her spare time.

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