A Guide to Replacing Your Regular Pillows With Buckwheat Hulls Pillows

Sleep, like exercise and diet, is essential in safeguarding your mental and physical wellbeing. As an adult, you should have between seven to eight hours of sleep each night for your body and mind to fully recharge and receive proper rest.

But, to enjoy quality sleep, you need to create a conducive sleeping environment in your bedroom, including ideal room temperature, with a red door, low noise, and suitable arrangement. In addition, your choice of bedding material also affects your sleep quality, which is why you need to switch from regular pillows to buckwheat hull pillows.

Without further ado, here’s a guide on why you ought to make a switch from standard pillows to buckwheat hull pillows:

What’s A Buckwheat Hull Pillow?

The buckwheat hull pillow, also known as Sobakawa, originated from Japan and improves sleep quality due to its great comfort. This is achieved because it uses buckwheat hulls as filling rather than traditional materials, such as polyester fiber, memory foam, feather, or organic cotton. Despite being springy when compressed, buckwheat hulls are relatively firm, meaning they can capably offer contouring support to your neck and head regardless of the positioning. Therefore, they ease any strain and tension by ensuring spinal alignment.

There are several advantages you’ll enjoy from using buckwheat hulls pillows, which differ from one person to another, but, generally, help improve the quality of your sleep. However, you shouldn’t rush and buy a buckwheat pillow without first doing your research. Instead, you need to assess a couple of factors to help you make a prudent decision, and these include:

1. Size

A buckwheat hulls pillow is usually smaller than a traditional one, but would still be big enough to accommodate your head perfectly. This type of pillow also comes in different sizing options, depending on your preference, including:

  • Standard: This pillow’s size is 20 by 26 inches, but this may differ from one manufacturer to another. It’s among the most popular size choices among buyers due to its cheap price tag. It’s also the best option if you don’t change your sleeping position too much while sleeping or decorating on your tree swing.
  • Kings: Since it’s 10 inches bigger than the standard size buckwheat pillow, you should choose this size if you rotate a lot while sleeping. You should also get this size if you want to use the buckwheat pillow as a backrest or headrest while watching or reading a book in bed.
  • Queen: It’s four inches longer than the standard buckwheat pillow and is an ideal choice if you usually toss and turn at night, or find the former to be too compact.
  • Specialty Size: You can also get the buckwheat pillow in your preferred specialty size, other than the sizes mentioned above. Buckwheat pillow makers do this because smaller sizes are usually favored in some countries, such as South Korea and Japan. These specialty size pillows may be between five to 10 inches shorter than the king, queen, and standard sizes, plus at least five inches narrower.

If you’re uncertain what size to get, considering your sleeping position is a great place to start. A bigger pillow is perfect if you want to offer your head additional support, and often toss and turn during the night. You also should gauge your energy levels to see whether you can easily move a bigger pillow. If not, it would be best to go for a smaller buckwheat pillow.

2. Firmness Level

The preferences of buyers on the firmness levels of buckwheat pillows differ. Some favor the heavy and stiff types, while others prefer them softer. However, buckwheat pillows are typically firmer compared to standard pillows, so you need to test it out to gauge whether it’s a perfect fit before buying one. In an effort to make the buckwheat pillows softer, some manufacturers add other fillings, such as feather or memory foam.

3. Shape

You can get a buckwheat pillow in two different shapes, rectangular or cylindrical. The rectangular-shaped buckwheat pillows are an excellent pick if you’re a back or stomach sleeper, as they offer you the necessary support. In contrast, the cylindrical-shaped pillow is recommended if you travel a lot, turn a lot at night, and are a side sleeper.

4. Pillow Fabric

Although buckwheat hulls are great for making pillows due to their flexible and soft nature, their rough and hard outer shells can poke you if an inferior pillow fabric is used. With this in mind, you should confirm the buckwheat pillow you’re considering to buy is made from a robust and durable fabric. This ensures the buckwheat hulls never poke through, thereby preventing you from enjoying your sleep.

5. Loft

A distinct feature of buckwheat hulls pillows is having an adjustable loft. This is possible because the outer cover and the hulls have a lined pouch, meaning you can effortlessly access its interior. Being this customizable makes a buckwheat pillow a great pick if you love sleeping in different positions. A greater loft is needed if you’re a side sleeper, but this isn’t the case for back sleepers. You need to understand the different customization levels on how you can alter or replenish the buckwheat hulls to meet your preference.

6. Quality Of Materials

Placing your head on the buckwheat pillow will cause shrinkage in its original loft as time passes. As a result, the pillow won’t have the volume required to fill up the entire space below your head. To ensure this doesn’t happen before you get your money’s worth, you need to carefully examine the pillow’s exterior cover to ensure its durability.

You can know what materials have been used to make the buckwheat pillow by buying one from a trustworthy manufacturer. Such companies usually use a robust exterior cover that helps prolong the lifespan of the buckwheat hulls. In addition, you must assess the composition of the buckwheat pillow to ensure it’s safe to use.

7. Read Online Reviews

With the hype surrounding buckwheat pillows, it’s easy to get excited and not do due diligence before making a purchase. However, you don’t want to make such a mistake and need to ascertain that a particular buckwheat pillow, indeed, matches the performance level stated by the manufacturer. The best place to verify a manufacturer’s claim is to check online reviews either on Google or Amazon. You should especially pay close attention to the verified reviews, since manufacturers can’t easily manipulate them.

It’s best to go through as many online reviews as possible to understand better whether the buckwheat pillow performs as claimed by the manufacturer. This is a small price to pay to ensure the pillow you buy is of exceptional quality and won’t waste your money.

8. Price

The price of buckwheat pillows ranges between $50 to $150, which is considerably more than the cost of a standard pillow. For this reason, you need first to assess your budget to gauge how much you’re ready to spend. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, the best thing is to get a smaller-sized pillow.

9. Return Policy and Warranty

Buying a buckwheat pillow online does come with a few risks. For this reason, you need to make sure that it comes with a reasonable return policy in the event it doesn’t function as effectively as you anticipated. Make sure to go through the return policy carefully to confirm it’s clear and straightforward. The last thing you want is to buy a buckwheat pillow and realize there are certain hidden rules or fees when you want to return it.

Since a buckwheat pillow isn’t cheap, you must also confirm that it comes with a reasonable return period that’s a minimum of 30 days. The manufacturer should be willing to refund the entire money if you’ve used the pillow within this period and haven’t been satisfied by its quality. In addition, ensure the buckwheat pillow has a warranty because considering its substantial price tag, it should be able to serve you exceptionally well.

10. Moldability

The tiny nature of the hulls in a buckwheat pillow closely shapes themselves around your head and neck, thereby offering you optimal support and pressure relief. Such a feature has a similar feel to that of a beanbag. However, for a buckwheat pillow to provide you with optimal comfort, so you can fully enjoy your night’s sleep, the hulls need to be 100% organic. In addition, the exterior material should be organic (for instance, verified organic cotton or bamboo).

Who Should Buy a Buckwheat Pillow?

After understating the factors to consider when shopping for a buckwheat pillow, the next thing to do is to find out whether or not buckwheat pillows are best suited for you. Doing this is necessary because preference differs from one person to another.

Usually, buckwheat pillows are recommended for people looking for pillows that offer remarkable support and are very firm. This ensures both the neck and head get ample support. Buckwheat hulls pillows are recommended for certain types of sleepers, including:

1. Back Sleepers

If you’re a back sleeper, buckwheat pillows with medium loft are perfect as they provide you with optimal comfort. They ensure that your neck and head are maintained on a uniform plane, as is your entire body. This helps prevent any pain around your shoulders and reduces pressure points.

2. Hot Sleepers

Pillow fillings, such as down and foam, usually trap heat and make pillows become excessively hot. As a result, your nights aren’t as comfortable, which affects the quality of your sleep. You won’t have to deal with such issues if you have a buckwheat pillow because the hulls don’t trap and absorb any heat. Instead, they’re breathable and promote airflow, and this is why buckwheat pillows remain remarkably cool the whole night.

3. Side Sleepers

Spinal alignment is usually compromised for side sleepers when sleeping on flatter pillows because they feel greater pressure when using them. Fortunately, a buckwheat pillow is a superb remedy for this issue as it perfectly molds according to your neck and head’s shape to provide you with superb support. This means you’ll still enjoy incredible spinal alignment even as a side sleeper. A high-quality buckwheat pillow shouldn’t sink too much when under pressure to ensure your neck and head get proper support, eliminating any likelihood of neck pain.

4. Persons With Allergies

Are you allergic to pillow fillings, such as feathers, down, latex, and other materials? If so, the buckwheat pillow is the go-to option because hulls rarely cause allergic reactions. This makes the buckwheat pillow the standout pick.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Buckwheat Pillows?

Buckwheat pillows aren’t an ideal choice for some persons, and these include:

1. Light Sleepers

A buckwheat pillow usually produces a rustling sound when the hulls form along the neck and head. If you’re a light sleeper, this can be quite distracting, preventing you from falling and staying asleep. As a result, the main purpose of owning a buckwheat pillow to improve the quality of your sleep is ruined altogether.

2. Stomach Sleepers

As a stomach sleeper, you don’t want a pillow that’s too thick because this forces your neck and head to lie at a distressing angle. A medium- to low-loft pillow would be much better, which usually isn’t the case with buckwheat pillows that tend to be exceptionally thick.

3. Persons Who Prefer Push Pillows

Another criticism of buckwheat pillows is their firm feel, which isn’t comfortable enough for some. This applies even if other types of fillings, be it cotton or wool batting, and memory foam, are used alongside buckwheat hulls. While some individuals applaud this, others don’t share a similar sentiment as they feel that such pillows are very stiff and uncomfortable.


Buckwheat pillows have recently become very popular among environmentally conscious individuals and the general public due to the superb comfort they can offer. However, making the switch from regular to buckwheat pillows does have its challenges as you may not be well-versed with the latter. Fortunately, this guide has addressed the issue by detailing a helpful guide when switching to buckwheat pillows from regular pillows.

Kayla Gonzalez

Kayla Gonzalez brings over a decade of experience in nursing and patient education to her role as a care guide author. She received her degree from the University of Michigan and has been with our website since 2019. Her prior experience includes working in pediatric care and as a health educator, where she developed a deep understanding of the importance of communication with patients. Kayla is also a certified yoga instructor, integrating mindfulness and wellness into her writing. In her downtime, she enjoys nature walks and culinary experiments.

Leave a Comment