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Buckwheat pillows were first developed in Japan. They contain buckwheat hulls to create a firm surface that conforms to a person’s shape.

A quick look at 6 of the best buckwheat pillows

Here, learn how buckwheat pillows compare to others, including the potential benefits and downsides. Also, we describe how to choose a quality buckwheat pillow and list some top options.

Buckwheat pillows contain the hard outer casings of buckwheat seeds, called hulls. These are durable, heat-resistant, and allergen resistant. However, it is important to note that people can have allergies to buckwheat.

For others, buckwheat may be a natural alternative to latex, feather, and cotton pillow fillers.

The hulls create a firm surface that contours to the shape of the head and neck. A person can add or remove hulls to reach their preferred level of firmness.

Learn about buckwheat here.

Medical News Today chooses pillows that meet the following criteria:

  • Certifications: MNT will choose products that have CertiPUR-US or other certifications. This means that the products are low in pollutants and free from heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.
  • Size: MNT chooses products that are available in various sizes.
  • Budget: MNT features products to suit a wide range of budgets.
  • Firmness: MNT selects pillows available in a range of firmness options to suit most people’s sleeping styles.
  • Sleep trials: MNT chooses companies that offer a sleep trial.
  • Shipping: Where possible, MNT will include shipping information, such as where the company delivers to and whether shipping is free.
  • Warranties and return policies: MNT will include products that carry warranties and clear returns policies.

Below, find a variety of options to choose from.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for a U.S.-made pillow: Hullo Buckwheat Pillow

  • Price: from $59
  • Height: no information available
  • Firmness: firm
  • Cover material: organic cotton

This is available in three sizes: small, standard, and king. The pillow has a side zipper, allowing a person to add or remove hulls to reach their preferred level of firmness.

The buckwheat in this product is milled and grown in the United States. All the materials are plant-based, including a 100% certified organic cotton twill cover that is machine washable.

Hullo says that their buckwheat pillow is breathable and promotes airflow, making it suitable for hot sleepers. The company also offers a 60-night money-back guarantee and free shipping.

Best for firm support: Sachi Organics Buckwheat Cylinder Pillow

  • Price: around $41
  • Height: 6 inches (in)
  • Firmness: firm
  • Cover material: cotton canvas

The cylindrical shape of this pillow contours around a person’s neck and shoulders to provide firm support. The company also offers buckwheat pillows in the standard shape, which come in two sizes. A person can add or remove hulls through a side zipper.

The buckwheat that Sachi uses is organic and grown in the U.S. The company says that its pillows are chemical-free and contain no flame retardants. Each has a 100% cotton canvas casing.

The company offers a 30-day return policy on unused, undamaged products.

Best for side sleepers: PineTales Buckwheat Pillow Premium

  • Price: from $79.99
  • Height: no information available
  • Firmness: adjustable
  • Cover material: bamboo

This pillow has a bamboo cover, which the company states is sweat-absorbent and antimicrobial. The pillow comes in three sizes: compact, Japanese, and standard.

PineTales says that its buckwheat products work best for side sleepers, but that they are suitable for back sleepers who remove enough hulls.

The inner pillowcases are made from 100% leak-proof cotton. The company advertises that its buckwheat hulls are organic, grown in the U.S., triple-screened, heat-treated, and free from odor and pesticides.

Best for all sleeping positions: Sobakawa Traditional Buckwheat Pillow

  • Price: around $30
  • Height: 3 in
  • Firmness: firm
  • Cover material: muslin cotton

The company states that this pillow supports all sleeping positions. The buckwheat hull filling helps repels heat which may lead to a cooler sleep.

Like all buckwheat pillows, people can adjust the amount of filling to provide firmer or softer support.

The company adds that people will not need to fluff or shape this pillow, unlike those with more traditional fillings.

Best for an organic pillow: Sweet Zzz Buckwheat Pillow

  • Price: around $109
  • Height: 7 in
  • Firmness: firm
  • Cover material: organic cotton

This pillow contains certified organic buckwheat hulls and an organic cotton cover. The hulls are 3D-shaped, which the company states increases comfort and support.

The company includes a bag of extra buckwheat hulls so people can adjust the fill to their comfort needs.

Additionally, Sweet Zzz states that the pillow’s materials make it suitable for babies and people with sensitive skin.

The company offers free shipping and returns, with a 50-day guarantee.

Best for a sustainable pillow: Natural Home Organic Wool & Organic Buckwheat Bed Pillow

  • Price: from $129.95
  • Height: no information available
  • Firmness: medium firm
  • Cover material: organic cotton

This pillow contains GOTS certified organic wool and organic buckwheat husks. The company states it sources all the materials sustainably and that this pillow is eco-friendly and renewable.

The pillow conforms to the shape of a person’s head and neck, which may help prevent aches and pains. Additionally, people can choose to have a center or side fill, depending on their sleeping position and preferences.

This pillow is dust-, mold-, and mildew-resistant.

The company offers free shipping and a 30-day guarantee.

The following table provides a comparison of the buckwheat pillows in this article.

PriceHeightFirmnessCover material
Hullofrom $59no informationfirmorganic cotton
Sachiaround $416 infirmcotton canvas
PineTalesfrom $74.99no informationadjustablebamboo
Sobakawaaround $303 infirmmuslin cotton
Sweet Zzzaround $1097 infirmorganic cotton
Natural Homefrom $129.95no informationmedium firmorganic cotton

Buckwheat is a natural alternative to latex, cotton, and down materials. A person with an allergy to any of these materials — but not to buckwheat — may benefit from switching to a buckwheat pillow.

Learn about hypoallergenic pillows here.

Buckwheat pillows may also be helpful for people who overheat in bed because the hulls have natural cooling properties. The space between them allows air to circulate.

Learn about the best cooling pillows here.

While stomach sleepers may prefer softer pillows, side and back sleepers need pillows that fill the space between the head and the mattress so that buckwheat pillows may suit them.

Buckwheat pillows are generally suitable for people who prefer a firmer feel or require more support.

Learn more about firm pillows here.

The National Sleep Foundation emphasizes the importance of comfortable and supportive pillows for quality sleep.

A few benefits of buckwheat pillows may include:

  • the organic certification of some products
  • buckwheat’s hypoallergenic and cooling properties
  • its durability
  • the promotion of optimal spinal alignment for people who sleep on their sides or back

Buckwheat hulls are biodegradable and compostable, making buckwheat pillows with natural cotton covers an environmentally friendly option.

Also, these products tend to be no more expensive than regular pillows. And they may reduce neck and shoulder pain more significantly than latex pillows, according to one 2019 study.

Some downsides of using a buckwheat pillow may include:

  • an initial adjustment period
  • that they are noisier than other pillows due to the hulls shifting inside
  • the slight natural aroma of the hulls
  • that they are heavier than regular pillows

It is also crucial to note that people can have allergies to buckwheat and that exposure to the hulls in the pillows may cause a severe reaction called anaphylaxis.

A person may decide to consider a few other types of pillows, including:

Below are some frequently asked questions about buckwheat pillows.

Do buckwheat pillows attract bugs?

Buckwheat grains can attract several bugs and pests, such as beetles and moths. However, keeping buckwheat dry is enough to prevent the development of bacteria, mold, and pests.

How long do buckwheat pillows last?

Buckwheat products have high durability.

While there are no studies on how long buckwheat pillows last, anecdotally, people may use the same pillow for over a decade before needing to replace it.

Do buckwheat pillows get moldy?

Buckwheat pillows can get moldy if a person exposes them to water. Following the manufacturer’s care instructions will extend the product’s lifespan and prevent mold and odors.

Buckwheat pillows are natural and have a firm feel, providing solid support for the neck and shoulders. They also are naturally breathable and cooling. A range of sizes and shapes are available from various suppliers.