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Do you want a pillow that checks these boxes?
- 100% Natural
- Doesn’t sleep hot
Then there is no going past a good buckwheat pillow, or Sobakawa Pillow as they are also known.
But with so many different brands of buckwheat pillows on the market, how do you choose the optimal one for you?
Fortunately, we have done the hard work for you.
Fortunately we have done the hard work for you, comparing popular brands against each other for quality, comfort and value.
We were actually surprised at the difference in quality and features between brands. Who would have thought that choosing the best buckwheat pillow would be so difficult.
After vigorous testing, three buckwheat pillows surpassed the competition…
Just want to know our top picks?
|Best Buckwheat Pillow||Brand|
|Premium Standard Size||ComfyComfy|
|Premium King Size||HulloPillow|
|Value Pick – All Sizes||Beans72|
Otherwise keep reading for detailed information on our recommendations as well as things to watch out for when choosing your own buckwheat pillow.
ComfySleep – Best Buckwheat Pillow Winner
Made In USA
- 15” x 21”
- 15” x 23”
- 15” x 26”
- Standard – 20” x 26”
The ComfySleep. Manufactured by Comfycomfy was our top pick for buckwheat pillows.
The ComfyComfy cotton twill cover was the thickest out of any buckwheat pillows we tested . We particularly liked that thanks to the way the pillow is sewn, the side of the pillow that you rest your head is seamless.
But perhaps the most impressive thing about the pillow was it’s “hidden zipper”. While other pillows used a flap to cover the zipper, ComfyComfy has come up with something much more clever.
ComfyComfy have used a YKK Invisible zipper, which completely hides the teeth. The only piece of exposed metal is the small pill tab. While the small sized zipper tab makes it much less noticeable under your pillow case, the trade off is that it is a little difficult to grip.
ComfyComfy justified their price by using high-grade buckwheat hulls in their pillows. The hulls found inside the were large and intact, a very desirable trait that maximizes airflow, keeping your pillow cool at night.
Oh, and the icing on the cake? ComfyComfy actually includes extra buckwheat hulls in the box, even though the pillow cover is already full. In case you want to cycle out old buckwheat hulls.
They may not be the cheapest, but if you are looking to experience the best buckwheat pillow on the market, then look no further. You definitely get what you pay for.
ComfyComfy also offer an east 30 day return period, and happily state:
If you are unsatisfied in any way with your pillow, contact us and we will work to fix it. We are happy to offer refunds on your order within 30 days of purchase.
But if you want a larger sized buckwheat pillow, for your king bed, then you might want to check out our runner up pick…
HulloPillow Runner-Up Buckwheat Pillow
Made In USA
- Small – 14” x 20”
- Standard – 20” x 26”
- King – 20” x 36”
If you are looking for the biggest buckwhat pillow possible (that is still comfortable to sleep on) then HulloPillow has you covered. HulloPillow was the is the only premium manufacturer that offers a buckwheat pillow in a king size.
While the cotton twill cover is slightly thinner than that of our top pick, the feel is slightly softer. Even so, with a pillow case on you can barely tell the difference.
Stitching was wider spaced on the Hullopillow than on the Comfycomfy. But even so, the cover felt durable and gave testers no doubt it would hold up to years of use.
The heavy duty Dunlap zipper is hidden behind two flaps of fabric and was not noticed by any of our testers during sleep.
We are happy to report that the Hullopillow comes completely filled with buckwheat hulls. So you will not need to buy more until you wish to change the filling.
Hullopillow offers a 60 day money back guarantee.
Beans72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow – Best Budget Buckwheat Pillow
Made in Texas, USA
- Japanese – 14” x 20”
- Twin/Standard – 20” x 26”
- Queen – 20” x 30”
- King – 20” x 36”
This is it. This is the sweet point where price and quality meet. If you cannot justify dropping a wad of cash on the premium pillows above, then Beans72 has you covered.
The pillow cover is made from organic, unbleached cotton. The cotton cover was thinner than twill, which meant that you could still feel the buckwheat hulls through the fabric. A thick pillow case will prevent you from feeling the individual hulls against your cheek.
The one thing that let’s down the buckwheat pillow from Beans72 is the zipper. Rather than run along the whole length of one of the pillow case sides, it sits in the middle. This made filling and emptying the pillow case more messy than it should have been as buckwheat hulls clumped in the corners before building up and spitting out at a high velocity.
The buckwheat hulls inside the pillow bridged the gap between the poor quality hulls found on cheaper pillows and the premium grade hulls found in our top picks. No foreign objects were found in the buckwheat hull filling.
Just like our top picks, Beans72 completely fills their pillows with buckwheat hulls. This means that you won’t have to buy extra hulls just to give your brand new pillow more loft.
All this at an affordable price. In fact, these Beans72 pillow offered the most bang for your buck. If you truly want to experience a good buckwheat pillow, this should be your starting point.
Sachi Organics Buckwheat Pillow
Made in America
- Small – 9” x 15”
- Medium – 12” x 16”
- Large – 14” x 20”
From the outside, Sachi Oranics’ buckwheat pillow looks like it was going to hit the sweet spot where value meets quality. A cotton canvas case, a zipper covered by a flap of fabric so that it doesn’t annoy you at night, certified organic buckwheat hulls… All at an affordable price. On paper, this was the pillow to beat.
The canvas cover was solid and sturdy, we tugged and pulled but the stitching did not show any signs of budging. This is one heavy duty case…
Right down to the feel…
The cotton case was canvas rather than twill. Put simply, this means that the surface of the buckwheat pillow is much more coarse than the others we tested. Fortunately, with a thick pillow case the cover was barely noticeable. But you likely will not be able to use the regular pillow case from your bed sheet set. Sachi Organics does not manufacture their buckwheat pillows in standard sizing. You will have to buy an extra pillow case to neatly slide over, and it may not necessarily match.
Sachi’s reasoning behind this is:
14” X 20” is all you need for a proper nights sleep
Sachi Organic’s largest size is smaller than standard (20” x 26”). If you have a king sized bed, this buckwheat pillow looks small and out of proportion. Alternatively, if you toss and turn at night you may find your head slides off this small pillow.
But as the saying goes, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. And it was here that Sachi Organics left us disappointed. Not only were there plenty of crushed buckwheat hulls, but also buckwheat meal.
Buckwheat meal is a fine dust, often found in poor quality buckwheat hulls. Rather than remove it (which adds to the cost), manufacturers sell this off cheap. We were disappointed to find such low quality buckwheat hulls inside the pillow.
Bucky Buckwheat Pillow
- One Size – 20” x 15”
For whatever reason, Bucky have chosen a non-standard size for this pillow. A standard pillow is 20” x26”. Not only does this give you less surface area to get comfortable, but means you will have to buy a brand new pillow case just to fit this pillow.
If you attempt to use a regular pillow case you will have an excess of material flapping around you as you sleep.
Cotton twill cover is soft yet thick enough so that you can not feel the buckwheat hulls pressing into your cheek as you sleep.
Unfortunately, the buckwheat hulls inside were not of the same quality. We found many hulls were low quality and crushed easily. Thrown into the mix was a couple of wheat hulls, a shred of paper, small stems, and what looked to be smalls pieces of straw. While this material did make up less than 1% of the filling, it was more than we found in our top rated buckwheat pillows above.
The cotton twill cover comes about 80% full of buckwheat hulls. While this will be full enough for most of you to sleep comfortably, if you want the firmest pillow possible, buckwheat hulls will have to be added so that they don’t move around inside the cover. Buckwheat hulls are sold separately.
After much debate, testers agreed that this would be considered the entry point into the buckwheat pillow experience. The Bucky buckwheat pillow offered the bare minimum in regards to an acceptable buckwheat to sleep on.
But if you can afford the to buy a Bucky buckwheat pillow then you would be much better off choosing the Beans72 pillow above, for a better quality product at a similar price.
Sobakawa Buckwheat Pillow by Natures Pillows
If you have ever wandered through the As Seen On TV section at Walmart then you may have seen the Sobakawa Buckwheat Pillow in it’s bright purple packaging, just screaming “Buy me!”
Sobakawa Buckwheat pillows have a glaring flaw, one that wasn’t repeated by any other buckwheat pillows we tested. It has no zipper.
Yep, that’s right, the pillow casing is completely sewn tight. This removes one of the key benefits of buckwheat pillows, it’s adjustability. While you can carefully undo the stitching to add or remove buckwheat hulls, who honestly has the time for that? And then you have to stich the case back up? No thanks.
Testers agreed that this pillow might as well have been stuffed with any other material. While the pillow may have been dirt cheap, nobody saw the appeal of a buckwheat pillow that could not be adjusted for their comfort level.
We were interested to see just what the Sobakawa pillow was hiding, so we stitching and looked inside. After we had done testing it of course.
Many of the hulls found inside the pillow were already crushed flat. And the ones that weren’t were easier to crush than the hulls found in our top pick. But at least the hulls didn’t have that strong chemical smell found on the Zen Chi pillow
But the most annoying part of the filling was the buckwheat meal. This find dust, coated every buckwheat hull in the pillow. Buckwheat meal is often found in the worst quality buckwheat hulls, where manufacturers don’t bother to remove it and instead sell it off cheap. Given the low price of this pillow, we were unsurprised to find low quality buckwheat hulls inside.
Zen Chi Buckwheat Pillow
Made In China
- Japanese – 14” x 20”
- Twin/Standard – 20” x 26”
- Queen – 20” x 30”
- King – 20” x 36”
One of the cheapest buckwheat pillows on the market. But that’s really all it has going for it.
There’s no ignoring the elephant in the room. Zen Chi’s buckwheat pillow only comes about 60% filled. If you want to add loft to your buckwheat pillow then you will have to purchase the buckwheat hulls separately, from Zen Chi.
While some testers found that the buckwheat pillow was the right height, the majority stated that it could do with some more filling. Perhaps even more annoying was that the hulls noticeably flattened during testing, something we didn’t experience with any other brand.
What’s the point of buying a cheap buckwheat pillow if you just have to pay for extra hulls just to make it comfortable?
The buckwheat hulls found inside Zen Chi’s buckwheat hulls were of inferior quality. Stems, grass and even sunflower seeds were found mixed in through the buckwheat hulls.
But perhaps even more worrying is the fact that while these are organic buckwheat hulls, they have been imported from China.
And that means that these buckwheat hulls have been fumigated.
Buckwheat hulls from foreign countries are required to be completely fumigated before they can be imported into the United States. Perhaps that explains the unusual odor that Zen Chi’s buckwheat hulls give off compared with the pillows we tested that use.
Two testers complained they had headaches while sleeping on the pillow and attributed it to the odor. Other testers complained that the odor was unnatural and off putting to the point that they wouldn’t consider sleeping on it.
This makes the claim that these buckwheat hulls are 100% organic slightly misleading. And can easily convince consumers that they are purchasing a natural product at a bargain price. While the buckwheat may have been grown without pesticides, chemicals were still used to fumigate the pillow.
Zen Chi is not particular open about the source of the buckwheat hulls. It is not declared on their packaging or their website. We had to contact their customer service team directly to confirm that the buckwheat hulls are imported from China. But we have to give credit that the customer service team was very forthcoming in stating the above and responded to our inquiry quickly.
At the end of the day it comes down to this: Do you really want to sleep on a pillow that has been doused in chemicals? Probably not. We recommend you avoid the Zen Chi Buckwheat Pillow
If you are not convinced by our recommendations, then we have put together a buyers guide to help find the best buckwheat pillow for you..
Buckwheat Pillow Buyers Guide
New to buckwheat pillows? Don’t get what the fuss is all about? Out detailed buying guide has you covered. Below you can learn everything there is to know about why you need a buckwheat pillow and how to pick the right one for you.
What is a buckwheat pillow?
Despite the name, buckwheat pillows don’t actually contain buckwheat. These pillows actually contain buckwheat hulls, the hard outer shells that contain the seeds of buckwheat grain. It’s just that buckwheat hull pillow doesn’t sound as catchy.
Why buckwheat hulls?
- Do not retain heat – Buckwheat pillows don’t sleep hot
- Supportive – The pillow is firm without being uncomfortably hard
- Adjustable – Add or remove buckwheat hulls to achieve your desired height.
- Organic – Buckwheat pillows wrapped in an organic cotton case are one of the most natural pillows that you can sleep on.
Note – if you are a sensitive sleeper with a preference for soft pillows then you will likely find sleeping on a buckwheat pillow similar to sleeping on the floor, which might be too firm for your liking. However, many people get used to the firmness after a few weeks of use.
Buckwheat pillows sleep cool
Because buckwheat does not completely compress, air gaps are left in the pillow. This allows air to circulate around your head, preventing heat from becoming trapped, which leaves to that hot and sweaty feeling.
In the above picture you can see that a buckwheat pillow is 5 whole degrees Fahrenheit cooler than a memory foam pillow. For the test we held our hand in position for 5 minutes before removing it and recording the temperature.
If you sleep hot, then a buckwheat pillow is one option to keep you cool and comfortable.
Don’t be put off by the price!
While buckwheat pillows may be more expensive to initially buy, they make up for being particularly long lasting.
Hullopillow, one of our top picks, claims that their buckwheat pillow can last 5 or more years. Other sources go so far as to say that a buckwheat pillow can last up to 10 years!
That’s a whole lot longer than mostother pillows last.
Buckwheat covers come in a cream color
You may have noticed that the buckwheat pillows we tested typically come in an off-white color. Yours will be the same. Don’t worry, it isn’t dirty. This is just the natural color of unbleached cotton.
many manufacturers of buckwheat pillows go out of their way to use organic and unbleached cotton, resulting in a truly natural pillow. All of our top picks use unbleached cotton in their shell.
Why you should only by American buckwheat pillows
Buckwheat is a natural pillow filling, unless it is properly inspected and monitored, bugs, mold and bacteria can lurk inside. And that’s not something you want to sleep on.
To ensure the safety of all buckwheat imported from overseas, buckwheat hulls are fumigated on entry into America. Fumigation is essentially covering the pillow in a pesticide gas, to kill any contaminants.
So here in lies the problem. That dirt-cheap buckwheat pillow that was made in China may claim that it is 100% organic and natural. But in order to import it in to America it has been coated in chemicals, making the pillow is much less natural than you would first believe.
Buckwheat hulls milled in America, on the other hand, are not treated with such chemicals. Even buckwheat hulls that are not certified organic are not grown with pesticides.1 Buying a pillow that is made right here in the USA is the only way to guarantee yourself a 100% organic and natural buckwheat pillow.
As if you needed another reason, buying American makes you feel patriotic and supports our country.
You may be wondering why there is such a big price gap between the high-end buckwheat pillows and the cheap ones. I mean, they all contain buckwheat hulls, so what’s the big deal?
It turns out, a lot.
Buckwheat comes in a three sided shell (the hull). When the buckwheat is de-hulled, it will typically end up in two pieces of hull. One piece will be single sided and the other will be two sided. The two sided hulls are springy and provide a cushioned effect. The more two sided hulls in your buckwheat pillow filling, the more comfortable it will be. Premium buckwheat pillows contained more two-sided pieces than single pieces.
Then there is the cleaning process. If not done correctly, seed, stalk dust, dirt and other debris can make it’s way into the mixture. Many premium, buckwheat pillows use a vacuum sifting, to remove all foreign objects.
Discarding smaller buckwheat hulls and extra cleaning processes adds to the over-all cost of the buckwheat filling. This is why there is such a price discrepancy between the cheapest buckwheat pillows and the most expensive ones.
The premium pillows used a higher quality filling. And it’s definitely worth paying for. We noticed the following when comparing the different fillings in the buckwheat pillows we tested.
Lower Quality Buckwheat Hulls Had the following characteristics:
- Contained dust, seeds, grass and other plant matter
- Smaller sized
- Crushed easily when squeezed
- Make less noise
- Compact flat and hard
- Had worse air circulation
Higher quality buckwheat hulls, like those found in our top picks, shared the following attributes:
- Larger sized buckwheat hulls
- Bounced back when squeezed
- Free from dust and other foreign objects
- Provided good air circulation
While they may look similar, there is a big difference between the low-end and high-end pillows. And we felt that the price difference in this case was perfectly justified.
How to get used to your buckwheat pillow
Sleeping on a buckwheat pillow is a very different experience to sleeping on feather, foam or one of the many other softer types of pilows.
And because of this you may find that it takes a few nights of sleep before you adjust to your new buckwheat pillow.
Here are some quick tricks to help you get used to your buckwheat pillow faster:
Ignore the smell – Buckwheat hulls give off a natural almost hay like smell. If you have ever jumped into a haystack then the smell will be instantly familiar. This smell is harmless and will eventually fade to a point where you hardly notice it.
Ignore the sound – Buckwheat hulls give off a faint rustling sound when you move your head around your pillow. This sound is soft enough that it shouldn’t wake you from your sleep. The good news is that the sound will be significantly quieter after a couple of months of sleeping, as you break your new buckwheat pillow in.
Customize your pillow – In order to make your buckwheat pillow perfect for you, you will likely have to remove some filling. Simply open the pillow and remove as many of the hulls as is required until your pillow is a comfortable height to sleep on. It is for this very reason that we highly recommend only purchasing a buckwheat pillow that comes with a zipper.
Fluff your pillow – Just like a feather pillow, fluffing your buckwheat pillow will ensure that it molds to both a comfortable and supportive surface for you to rest your head on. We created a guide to show you how to properly fluff your buckwheat pillow.
You should sleep on your buckwheat pillow for at least a week before you decide it isn’t for you. It can take a few days for your body to get used to sleeping on a new surface.
Heating and cooling a buckwheat pillow is somewhat of a myth.
You may have been lured to choosing a buckwheat pillow by the claims that you can warm or freeze the pillow, keeping you cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
Unfortunately, this is somewhat of a myth.
NEVER put your buckwheat pillow in the microwave
Most buckwheat pillows have zippers. Microwaving your buckwheat pillow is a great way to see sparks fly.
As for cooling, you can put your buckwheat pillow in the fridge, if you have the room. But we found it to be impractical. Not only do you have to empty out a whole shelf for your pillow, but the cooling effect only lasts an hour.
Buckwheat pillows should not be put in the freezer, You want to avoid getting the pillow and buckwheat hulls wet, since this can lead to mold and mildew forming inside the pillow.
Cleaning your Buckwheat Pillow
Last but not least is cleaning your buckwheat pillow. Because of the all-natural filling, you can’t simply throw your buckwheat pillow in the washing machine.
While there are a few more steps involved, cleaning your buckwheat pillow is still a straightforward task. Check out our guide on Cleaning your buckwheat pillow for more information.
Do you sleep on a buckwheat pillow? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!