Why Use a Buckwheat Pillow? The Benefits & Drawbacks – The Bedding Planet

Why Use a Buckwheat Pillow? The Benefits & Drawbacks

This post is a part of the complete buckwheat pillow buyers guide

Imagine being able to personalize your pillow to suit you perfectly. How awesome would that be?

Well, the buckwheat pillow is an adjustable pillow that allow you to personalize it to fit your preferences.

Also known as the Sobakawa pillow, it’s made of buckwheat hulls fillings to keep it firm. The pillow originated in Japan and is quite popular in East Asian countries. 

The pillow is made to suit everyone’s needs irrespective of your sleeping style, but some say the feeling is like a bag of beans, and many people could require some time to adjust to it.

For instance, if you’re more familiar with pillows made of foam, you might at first find the pillow a buckwheat pillow a bit uncomfortable to use. But with time and continuous usage, it’s bound to get comfortable. 

If you wish to wake up without feeling unnecessary pains all around your body, especially around your neck and spinal cord area, then it might be beneficial to get a buckwheat pillow, as it can easily be influenced to fit the position you sleep the most comfortably in.

Read in to learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of the increasingly more famous buckwheat pillow.

Why Use a Buckwheat Pillow?

If you’re a side or back sleeper, then the buckwheat pillow is definitely for you. Why?

Because everyone deserves a good sleep and the buckwheat pillow is what you’ll need to achieve that healthy undisturbed sleep. It allows you to position it in any format that best fits your sleeping style, be it sideways or on the back. 

A buckwheat pillow also has a natural feel to it which leaves you feeling comfortable throughout the period you use it. Its very firm mold serves as a great support to the neck, head, and shoulder which is why a lot of people now make good use of it.

Known for its adjustable features, the buckwheat pillow is like an extra ticket to a better sleeping lifestyle. 

Another reason to use a buckwheat pillow is if you’re the type of person who wakes up with body aches, especially in the neck and back. This is true because the buckwheat pillow allows for a better cervical alignment keeping your body in check and allowing for a healthy spine.

Also known for its cooling properties, the buckwheat pillow is highly encouraged for people that sweat and overheat easily. The buckwheat hulls inside the pillow are known to have natural cooling properties as the space in between them allows for easy air circulation.

So, people who tend to sweat and feel hot while sleeping can make use of the buckwheat pillow to curb such discomfort.

9 Benefits of Using a Buckwheat Pillow

Quality sleep can never be overemphasized. Using the buckwheat pillow comes with quite a lot of benefits that most of its users enjoy.

I’ll be putting you through the benefits you’re likely to enjoy during the course of using a buckwheat pillow.

1. Durable and Long-Lasting

First of all, let’s start with its durability and long-lasting nature. It is no new news that the buckwheat pillow outlasts pillows made from other materials. They can be used for as long as 10 years if properly cared for and also well maintained.

The determining factor for it to last long is the quality and thickness of the materials used to contain the hulls as if it’s of low quality, the hulls can easily wear against the material from constant friction with time. 

So, if the pillows are made from well-sewn seams and heavy zippers to contain the hulls inside, they should be able to withstand the continuous friction from the hulls and last longer.

But as the saying goes, nothing lasts forever, so even the buckwheat pillow don’t last forever as the hulls inside will begin to wear down over time, after a long period of constant usage.

With that said, if you purchase an adjustable buckwheat pillow, you can replace the old hulls with new hulls by purchasing a bag of hulls that was made for this purpose.

2. Adjustable

Secondly, let’s talk about its adjustable nature. As stated earlier, a buckwheat pillow is quite adjustable as you can add or remove from the hulls inside the pillow to suit your neck and head position.

We all have different bodies and because of that different needs; the buckwheat pillow is the type that can be adjusted to suit a variety of needs. 

While a high pillow is needed for side sleepers and thinner pillows are requested by people who sleep on their back or stomach, you can adjust the buckwheat pillow depending on what position you wish to sleep in. As a result of this adjustability, a lot of people purchase a buckwheat pillow.

3. Cooling Properties


Another benefit that a buckwheat pillow brings to the table is its cooling properties. The buckwheat hulls are triangular, cupped, and smooth which allows for many air holes.

As a result, they promote easy airflow and allow for cool night sleep. So, a buckwheat pillow mainly benefit those who usually sweat and overheat while sleeping. Because it allows for many air holes between the hulls, it don’t compress like foam pillows do, often making buckwheat a cooler choice.

4. Odour Free 

The buckwheat pillow is the number one choice for scent-sensitive people as it is free from strong or unpleasant odors.

As the buckwheat hulls are thoroughly cleaned before manufacturing and turning them into pillows, it just has a little earthy scent but still leaves you feeling relaxed while sleeping.

5. Supportive

Whatever style of sleeping you prefer, the buckwheat pillow is made to fit you.

Some might prefer to sleep on their side but don’t have the necessary support which can be quite uncomfortable, but with the buckwheat pillow, you don’t have to worry about any feeling of discomfort as the pillow can be adjusted to fit your body posture and sleeping style, be it on your back, stomach or on the side. 

A buckwheat pillow also help you maintain a proper posture while sleeping, preventing your neck from cramping after sleeping for multiple hours. With pressure from your head, the hulls are distributed evenly which allow your body to land in a neutral position.

6. Rustling Hull Sounds

The hulls inside a buckwheat pillow will make a little rustling/crunching sound when they are being adjusted. The benefit of this, is that some people find the sound soothing.

Furthermore, the fact that the pillow tends to block out muffled sounds will most likely give you a better sleeping experience.

7. Low Maintenance

A buckwheat pillow doesn’t require much, if any, special preservative method or cleaning. All that is needed is to remove the hulls and wash the covers which can be done using a washing machine or manually.

If anything, be it liquid, is mistakenly spilled on it, you don’t have to replace the pillow, you can just remove the damaged hulls and replace them with new ones. 

Also as the pillow tends to get damp, it is advisable to sun dry it out in the daytime once in a while. If all these maintenance tips are followed, the pillow is bound to last you up to ten years or even longer. 

8. Dust Mite Resistant and Hypoallergenic

The component of a buckwheat pillow doesn’t involve the use of any food source. Meaning the pillow won’t attract bugs, mites, and insects in general.

Buckwheat are also considered hypoallergenic because the it allows for easy airflow which makes it tough for mites or any kind of insect to consider it habitable. However, some people have sensitive skins which are quite normal as they could be sensitive to some particular type of plants.

Although there is little or no report as to buckwheat allergy, you might still want to check in with your doctor if you have a previous case of plant allergy.

9. Healthy Sleep

Yes, a buckwheat pillow’s overall benefit is helping you achieve a healthy sleeping lifestyle. As we already know, the pillow helps you achieve a better sleeping posture and spinal alignment, leaving you with no discomfort throughout your sleep.

The pillow is quite firm and non-shifting giving you no reason to keep adjusting your position or the pillow while sleeping. It leaves you feeling relaxed and comfortable which is how everyone wants to feel when they put their body to sleep.

5 Drawbacks of Using a Buckwheat Pillow

Every product comes with benefits, but also drawbacks. For a buckwheat pillow, there aren’t many drawbacks, but there are a few that you should keep in mind.

1. Takes a little while to get used to 

Buckwheat pillows are fairly new to the market, which means that most people are not used to the harder nature of buckwheat. Most people are used to pillows made of foams, feathers, or soft fibers.

The buckwheat pillow doesn’t move along with your body, but rather remain firm in the position it is placed in, making it weird for people using it for the first time. 

Reviews have suggested that a buckwheat pillow take approximately five days to get used to. And since it is adjustable, there will be a lot of trial and error in determining the right quantity of hulls that best fits your sleeping posture.

You will need to be patient to get your desired result and due to this, you might have to sleep with a little discomfort while getting used to the pillow.

Buckwheat pillow users have stated it is worth the effort, as once your desired result has been achieved and you’ve gotten quite adjusted to the pillow, it’s pure comfort that is left.

2. It’s Heavy

It is well expected that a buckwheat pillow (unlike others made from foam or feathers, which are light) are heavy. The reason for its heaviness is the fact that the pillow are made from buckwheat hulls.

A buckwheat pillow is estimated to weigh around 12 pounds (or around 6 kgs).

3. Natural Odour

As explained earlier, a buckwheat pillow comes with a natural earthy smell which can be quite strong, especially when its new. Some users find the smell quite calming and relaxing (which is why we also have it listed as a possible benefit), but for others, it can be quite overbearing.

With that said, you should note that the smell will fade away over time, which doesn’t take too long, as it airs out easily.

4. Rustling Noise


The noise that the buckwheat hulls make can be quite disturbing for some people (while others think it’s calming, as discussed earlier).

The rustling noise occurs when you move or try to reposition the buckwheat pillow. If you think the noise is annoying, it likely won’t remain so for long, as most reviews from customers state that they got used to the sound eventually.

Also, the rustling and crunching sound is not that noticeable once you’re asleep, except if you’re the kind that is restless when sleeping. 

5. Not Washable

A buckwheat pillow is not washable, as water could weaken the hulls and make them wear down earlier than they should.

Furthermore, as a result of its weight, it is difficult to use a washing machine to wash it as it could destroy the machine.

However, removable cases can be washed but this must be done according to the manufacturer’s directions. And washing it can be a tedious task as you have to remove all the hulls first.

You can read more about cleaning your buckwheat pillow in this post.


The buckwheat pillow is quite an interesting product to own and has gotten a lot of positive reviews from a lot of users. Known to aid a healthy sleeping lifestyle, the buckwheat pillow is the number one choice for people who value comfort over anything else. 

As seen from above, the pillow offers a wide range of benefits from the reduction of snoring, to cervical alignment and even providing a great support system for your muscles.

People who wake up often feeling sore around their body, could try a buckwheat pillow, as it has been tested to yield positive results.

Buckwheat Pillows: A Complete Buyers Guide – Parts:

1. Why Use a Buckwheat Pillow? The Benefits & Drawbacks
2. How Long Do Buckwheat Pillows Last? (How to Make Them Last Longer)
3. Do Buckwheat Pillows Attract Bugs And Dust Mites?
4. How to Sleep on a Buckwheat Pillow
5. Can Buckwheat Pillows be Heated up?
6. Best Buckwheat Pillows of 2022 – Compete Review
7. What Does a Buckwheat Pillow Feel Like? (Comfortable, Weird?)
8. Can Buckwheat Pillows Cause Allergies?
9. How to Clean and Dry a Buckwheat Pillow: Step by Step Guide
10. Do Buckwheat Pillows Stay Cool All Night?
11. Do Buckwheat Pillows Smell?

Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas and I'm the author and content operator at The Bedding Planet. I've always had a big interest in bedding and more specifically sleep. If I find something that makes me sleep better, whether that's a lifestyle change or a better bedding environment, I'm ready to share it with the world!

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