The sobakawa (or buckwheat) pillow is a Japanese export that has found widespread use beyond the country. Buckwheat hulls, the tough coverings of buckwheat seeds, fill these pillows. Many people compare buckwheat pillows to firm, dense bean bags because of the similarity between the firm feel and small size of the hulls.
Those who invest in a high-quality buckwheat hull pillow will reap the rewards. One advantage is that they can be altered to fit any size person. The pillow’s loft and support can be adjusted by adding or removing hulls from within. The hulls are so long-lasting that many companies that make buckwheat pillows also sell extra hulls in bulk for those who need to replace theirs. Effective temperature control is an additional perk. Many of these models have breathable cotton or organic cotton covers, and the hulls allow for consistent airflow throughout the pillow’s core.
Check out our best buckwheat pillow guide if you think this pillow type could be relaxing or at least interesting. We’ll talk about where sobakawa pillows came from, how they’ve changed over time, how they’re made, how they perform in various categories, and how much you can expect to pay for one. Let’s start with the highest-rated buckwheat pillows on our list. All of the products we recommend have been hand-picked after extensive research and analysis by our in-house testing staff and feedback from verified product owners.
Best Buckwheat Pillows
Sweet Zzz Buckwheat Pillow
14″ x 20″ for $95. 6″ x 17″ – $109 16″ x 28″ – $139
Organic Buckwheat Hulls
Hardness: Very Hard
Who should use it most effectively:
- Those in need of a pillow with a customizable loft
- Snorers who rest on their backs
- Eco-friendly consumers
- Changes in loft can be made by adding or removing fill.
- To the brim with buckwheat hulls that have been certified organic and are free of genetically modified ingredients.
- Included organic cotton pillowcase has passed strict GOTS standards for safety and quality.
If you’re looking for an organic, eco-friendly alternative, the Sweet Zzz Buckwheat Pillow is a fantastic choice. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), one of the world’s foremost authorities on such products, has certified both the cotton cover and the non-GMO buckwheat hull fill as organic. Most people can find a comfortable setting on this pillow, regardless of their sleeping position, because the hulls can be added or removed to alter the overall loft.
This pillow’s temperature regulation features are a further strength. The hulls allow for consistent airflow across the pillow’s interior, which, along with the cover’s high breathability, helps to keep the pillow’s core at a cool temperature. Considering the resilience of cotton and buckwheat hulls, this pillow should last for much longer than the industry standard.
The pillow is available in three different sizes from Sweet Zzz. If you prefer a more conventional rectangular shape, the queen size is a good option. There is also a smaller Japanese size, which is similar to a throw pillow, and a cylindrical size, which can serve as a bolster or a headrest. As long as the hulls are removed, the cover can be washed and dried in any standard home appliance.
If you’re located in the 48 contiguous states, we’ll ship your new pillow to you at no cost. In addition to a year’s worth of coverage, Sweet Zzz provides a 50-night sleep trial for the pillow.
Turmerry Buckwheat Sobakawa Pillow
Travel: $45; Mini: $49; Neckroll: $40; Standard: $69; Queen: $85; King: $89
Buckwheat hulls are used as a filler.
For those who:
- Those who sleep best on pillows that are very firm and supportive
- Those looking for a pillow with a movable loft
- Seekers of Value
- Buckwheat hulls and organic cotton, both grown in a sustainable manner, make up the filling.
- There are six available sizes, one of which is ideal for travel.
- Bulk orders of additional hulls can be placed by owners.
If you’re looking for a comfortable and affordable pillow, consider the Turmerry Buckwheat Sobakawa Pillow. This pillow, like others of the sobakawa variety, is stuffed with buckwheat hulls, the quantity of which can be altered by adding or removing the hulls. It’s perfect for those who alternate between using a thicker and flatter pillow throughout the night. When owners run low, they can buy hulls in bulk from Turmerry.
The pillow’s cover is made of organic, unbleached cotton, and the hulls are harvested from trees in the Midwest, so it should also be appealing to eco-conscious shoppers. Due to the cotton’s breathability and the interior’s open design, even warm sleepers should experience little discomfort.
There are six different pillow sizes available. There are various sizes available, from the standard to the king, and even a neckroll and a traditional Japanese “mini” size. In the end, there’s the option of bringing a travel pillow, which weighs in at a lightweight 2.5 pounds and folds up very small for storage in tight suitcase compartments.
This pillow is accessible to first-time buyers thanks to its low price and availability in six convenient sizes. All within the 48 contiguous states, ground shipping is free of charge. Pillows can be returned for a full refund within 30 days of purchase if they are unused and unwashed. There is a one-year guarantee for customers who choose to keep their pillow.
Hullo Buckwheat Pillow
Prices range from $59 for a small room to $159 for a king.
Packing: Buckwheat hulls
People who are most likely to benefit:
- The combination of a firm surface and soft contours makes this pillow a good option for those who prefer both.
- Individuals who rest more comfortably using pillows that can be adjusted for loft
- Smokers in bed
- Stackable loft
- Created with airflow in mind, the design is breathable.
- Shell made of machine-washable cotton twill
If you’ve never tried a buckwheat pillow before but would like to try out a budget-friendly model, the Hullo is a great option. The sizes range from small to standard to king. You can try out the pillow for 60 nights without any hassle thanks to Hullo’s return policy.
Though the pillow’s loft can be adjusted, it still has a fairly firm texture. Because of this, it’s a great choice for those who sleep on their backs or sides and want a supportive pillow. The cover is made of durable and breathable organic cotton twill. The cover, in addition to the hulls’ inherent toughness, ensures that this pillow will last for a very long time. Hullo also offers bulk hull sales of 10 or 20 pounds for use whenever the initial fill has been depleted.
The fill of the Hullo never needs to be cleaned, as is the case with other buckwheat pillows, but the cover can be machine washed and dried. When filled to capacity, the pillow can weigh anywhere from four to twelve pounds. Standard shipping on all orders within the 48 contiguous states is free at Hullo.
PineTales Buckwheat Pillow – Premium
The price for the Matrix Standard version is $120. One Hundred and Forty Dollars for the Prestigious Standard Matrix Japanese ($90) Japanese (Prestige) $100
Inert: buckwheat hulls
Hardness: Very Hard
For those who:
- Sleepers on their backs and sides
- Humans experiencing neck pain
- Loft dwellers whose taste is subject to change
- The loft of a buckwheat pillow can be altered by adding or removing fill.
- The cover and pillowcase are made from the same bamboo-derived rayon fabric.
- Buckwheat hulls provide the ideal amount of contouring and pressure relief.
PineTales sells a number of different buckwheat pillows, the Premium being one of the company’s highest-end offerings. This pillow is great for back and side sleepers due to the buckwheat filling’s ability to softly contour to the head and neck while still providing strong support.
You can adjust the amount of buckwheat hulls in your recipe to suit your tastes. As a result of the loft’s adjustability, it is possible for almost any sleeper to find a position that is comfortable and supportive for their head, neck, and spine. Those who suffer from neck pain while they sleep will benefit greatly from this.
The buckwheat is protected by a cotton zippered shell and a rayon fabric made from bamboo. If you prefer a pillow with a silky feel against your skin, the outer cover is soft and comfortable enough to use without a pillowcase. You can pick between two trendy designs for the cover. Customers have the option of selecting either the standard size or the Japanese size (14 x 20 inches).
Pillows purchased from PineTales can be returned within 30 days for a full refund; however, return shipping costs are not refunded.
Turmerry Buckwheat & Wool Hybrid Pillow
The cost ranges from $48 for a travel version to $69 for a mini version to $119 for a standard version. Queen: $139; King: $169
The filling is made up of half buckwheat and half wool.
Individuals who will benefit the most
- Individuals whose loft tastes are likely to evolve
- Those who suffer from nighttime neck pain while sleeping
- Sexy snoozers
- This hybrid fabric is made with wool on one side and buckwheat on the other.
- Wool’s suppleness allows it to conform comfortably to the head and neck, releasing tension there.
- To modify the loft, buckwheat hulls can be removed.
The Turmerry Buckwheat & Wool Hybrid Pillow combines the support of buckwheat pillows with the softness of wool, providing the best of both worlds. The inclusion of wool makes this design stand out from standard buckwheat pillows. Those who suffer from nighttime neck pain can put their worries to rest thanks to the wool’s soothing pressure relief.
This pillow has one side filled with buckwheat and the other with wool. The buckwheat side is for those who like a flatter, less contouring pillow, while the wool side is for those who prefer a softer feel. Due to the movement of the buckwheat hulls, the wool side may also be preferred by those who are sensitive to noise while sleeping. Hot sleepers shouldn’t be uncomfortable on this pillow because wool and buckwheat both have natural breathable properties.
The pillow is great for those who sleep on their back or sides because it provides sufficient support in either position. Remove or add buckwheat hulls to the loft as you see fit to create the perfect environment for your needs. The sateen weave cotton used to make the cover for your pillow gives it a soft, silky feel and is concealed by a zipper. Shoppers can select from several different sizes, including regular, queen, and king, as well as travel and mini.
This pillow is backed by a one-year warranty and a 30-night trial period from Turmerry. All orders within the contiguous United States ship free of charge.
Bean Products WheatDreamz Buckwheat Hull Pillow
Prices range from $41 for a travel/toddler size to $70 for a standard size in both Japanese and English. Rates: $80 for Queens and $95 for Kings
Buckwheat hulls (100%)
Hardness: Very Hard
For those who:
- Sleeping on one’s side or back
- Pillow buyers in search of one with a tunable loft
- Slept like a hot sleeper
- Solid bolstering with a degree of loft that can be adjusted
- Covers made of breathable organic cotton are available as an option.
- We offer both miniature and regular sized sobakawa for your traveling needs.
The WheatDreamz Buckwheat Hull Pillow is comparable to other options in terms of adjustable loft and extra-firm feel, but it stands out in the market thanks to its extensive personalization options. Millet hulls, which are slightly softer than 100% buckwheat hulls without sacrificing strength or stability, are also available to consumers. The hulls of buckwheat and millet can be combined to make a third fill option.
Pillows come uncased, in white or natural organic cotton, or with a removable cover. WheatDreamz is ideal for hot sleepers and hot climates due to the cotton’s breathability and the hulls’ ability to promote air circulation. There are five sizes to choose from, including a portable option that’s great for kids or taking on the go, and a classic “sobakawa” throw from Japan.
If your pillow needs to be refilled, you can buy buckwheat and millet hulls in bulk from Bean Products. Customers have 14 days from the date of purchase to return an unused pillow in its original packaging for a full refund.
The Futon Shop Organic Wool & Buckwheat Pillow
Travel: $52; Standard: $60 Pricing: $68 for a Queen, $80 for a King
Organic virgin wool and GOTS-certified organic buckwheat hulls make up the fill.
For those who:
- Those who favor pillows stuffed on the sides rather than the middle
- Individuals whose tastes in loft furnishings are always changing
- Those who suffer from morning neck pain or stiffness while sleeping
- Blend of buckwheat hulls and airy virgin wool makes up the fill.
- The pillow’s split-chamber construction gives you plenty of room to find the perfect support setup.
- Every component has been verified as organic by a third-party certification agency.
You can adjust the loft of your buckwheat pillow to your preference by adding or removing the hulls. The Organic Wool & Buckwheat Pillow by The Futon Shop improves upon this quality with its innovative two-chamber design. The hulls can be positioned centrally like a regular pillow, or off to the sides to make a slanted design. The latter can help those who suffer from chronic neck pain by providing a little extra elevation, which in turn can enhance spinal alignment and lessen muscle tension in the neck.
The filling is a combination of buckwheat hulls and ultrafine virgin wool, making the pillow softer than the majority of its competitors. The moisture-wicking properties of the wool further enhance the hulls’ inherent cooling mechanisms. This pillow is ideal for warm sleepers because the cotton cover allows air to circulate freely while you rest. Since all three ingredients are verified to be organic, it should also appeal to those who are concerned with environmental impact.
The loft of a buckwheat pillow can be adjusted by adding or removing the hulls, as is the case with most such pillows. The hulls must be removed before the pillow can be washed in a machine, but a pillow protector can be added to your order for a nominal fee. Sizes range from standard to king to queen to king to a convenient travel option.
This pillow is priced competitively, and the shipping costs are affordable. There is a 30-day guarantee on all orders.
What Is a Buckwheat Pillow?
In Japan, where they are called sobakawa, buckwheat pillows are filled with the seed hulls. The thickness, or loft, of a structure can be changed by adding or removing hulls. Due to this, buckwheat pillows can be adjusted to fit any sleep position, from sleeping on your side to your back, though the hulls will always be quite firm.
There are additional advantages to using buckwheat pillows for sleep. The hulls prevent the pillow from overheating, unlike synthetic fills. Also, those with sensitivities to latex, feathers, or down can rest easy knowing that hulls are naturally hypoallergenic. Because buckwheat hulls last so long, they’re a great investment that can be easily replenished by purchasing additional hulls in bulk from most pillow manufacturers. The hulls of a buckwheat pillow will never need to be cleaned, but the cotton covers can be machine washed and dried.
The use of a buckwheat pillow is not without its drawbacks. The majority of sleepers have mentioned that these pillows are too firm for them. The hulls may initially give off a potent odor that doesn’t go away for a few days. Buckwheat pillows, when filled to capacity, can weigh as much as 10 to 12 pounds, which may be an issue for some people.
Keep reading to get the lowdown on buckwheat pillows. In this article, we will go over the benefits and drawbacks of buckwheat pillows, as well as some of the most frequently asked questions about them.
How to Choose a Buckwheat Pillow
It’s best to shop around for a few different buckwheat pillows before settling on one to buy. This will allow you to see how they compare in terms of price, size, and build quality. Most buckwheat pillows on the market today are very similar to one another, but there are a few key differences to keep in mind.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Buckwheat Pillow
The versatility of buckwheat pillows is primarily due to how well they conform to the head and neck. Most manufacturers sell hulls in bulk for a reasonable price, so you can easily replenish your pillow’s fill whenever you like. If you need more hulls, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $15 per pound.
Additionally, buckwheat pillows are great for the environmentally conscious. Organic cotton covers are widely used, and many models are stuffed with organically grown and harvested hulls that were not treated with pesticides or chemical fertilizers. If you find a buckwheat pillow that claims to be organic, you should verify that it actually is. Two of the most well-known groups that certify organic products are the Global Organic Textile Standard and the United States Department of Agriculture.
You should also be skeptical of other claims made about buckwheat pillows. There are manufacturers who falsely imply that altering the pillow’s loft will also alter its firmness. Despite the fact that buckwheat pillows can be fluffed to your desired level of softness, the hulls themselves are quite hard, making even the softest of buckwheat pillows feel firm or even very firm. Many stomach sleepers don’t enjoy buckwheat pillows because of their thickness and firmness, despite the claims of some manufacturers that their pillows are fine for anyone.
We suggest putting less stock in the claims and assurances of buckwheat pillow vendors and more into the following considerations.
Adjustable loft is a common feature among buckwheat pillows. Both have a lined pouch to store the hulls and an outer cover that zips off for access to the interior. Because side sleeping typically calls for more loft than back sleeping, this level of customization is especially useful for people who sleep in different positions.
Since buckwheat hulls are so dense, these pillows are ideal for those who prefer to sleep on their backs or sides. Without causing excessive sinkage, the hulls shape to the body to provide sturdy support for the head and neck. Depending on your preferred sleeping posture, you may find that increasing or decreasing the number of hulls in your pillow provides a more comfortable and supportive feel.
Degree of Stiffness
You can expect a firm to very firm feel from a buckwheat pillow. Some people really appreciate the firmness and support of the pillows, while others find them to be too stiff and cumbersome. An exception is the Sachi Organics Rejuvenation Pillow, which is filled with a mixture of buckwheat hulls and a softer material that provides additional cushioning.
If you sleep on your side, you probably need a pillow with a bit more loft than if you slept on your back. The high hull content of buckwheat pillows makes them ideal for side sleepers. Since sleeping on one’s back helps to maintain proper spinal alignment, a high degree of loft is not necessary to relieve pressure when lying in this position.
Buckwheat pillows, like most pillow varieties sold in North America, come in a variety of sizes, including the more common standard, queen, and king options. Smaller versions of the classic Japanese sobakawa pillow are also available from some manufacturers. Buckwheat hull-filled body pillows are difficult to come by, but some manufacturers do make them.
If you need a queen or king size, expect to pay between $50 and $150 for a buckwheat pillow. Choosing the more compact, conventional sobakawa size typically results in price savings for the consumer. The going rate for hulls in bulk is between $5 and $15 per pound, with discounts for orders of 10 pounds or more.
Though buckwheat hulls are very long-lasting, pillows made from them eventually lose their shape, so you’ll probably need to buy a new batch of hulls in bulk before the pillow wears out. Be sure to double-check the cover art as well. Standard cotton, organic cotton, and bamboo rayon are common choices for buckwheat pillowcases.
The shells can be contoured to fit the body almost perfectly. Many people find that buckwheat pillows are similar in texture and firmness to a very large beanbag. Due to the small size of the hulls, this pillow will mold snugly around the head and neck, providing superior support and relieving pressure points.
Maintenance of a Comfortable Temp
These pillows perform exceptionally well in terms of temperature regulation. The hulls allow for constant circulation of air within the space, preventing overheating that can occur with some fill materials (like foam). Most buckwheat pillows also feature a soft, breathable cover.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Buckwheat Pillows?
The loft, support, and longevity of buckwheat pillows are all highly customizable. To make sure a buckwheat pillow is comfortable for your head and neck, many experts recommend a trial run with one before making a purchase.
The benefits and drawbacks of buckwheat pillows include:
Who Is Best Suited to a Buckwheat Pillow?
A buckwheat pillow is an excellent choice for those who prefer something very firm and supportive for their head and neck. You can change the loft of your pillow from night to night to find the perfect thickness for your head and neck. People like or dislike buckwheat pillows because they are:
- Buckwheat pillows are ideal for side sleepers because they conform to the head and neck while still providing firm support, which is beneficial for the alignment of the spine. Pillows that are too flat can cause problems with spinal alignment, leading to increased pressure for those who sleep on their sides. If you suffer from neck pain, the best buckwheat pillow will provide firm but comfortable support, keeping your head and neck in proper alignment.
- Comfortable buckwheat pillows with a medium loft are recommended for back sleepers. This keeps their head and neck in line with the rest of their body, reducing the likelihood of pressure points and shoulder pain.
- Those Allergic: Buckwheat allergies are uncommon, but there are a small number of people who experience symptoms when eating the grain. Pillows filled with buckwheat are a great option for those who suffer from allergies to latex, down, feathers, and other common pillow fills.
- Buckwheat pillows are ideal for hot sleepers because they maintain a consistently cool surface. The hulls are not like foam or down in that they will not absorb and trap body heat, and the interior is well ventilated. Covers made from breathable materials are standard on most of these pillows.
Who doesn’t belong:
- Even when the hull fill is supplemented with softer materials like wool or cotton batting, buckwheat pillows typically feel quite firm, which isn’t ideal for those who prefer plush pillows. In many people’s eyes, this is the trait that most divides them. There are those who prefer softer, less supportive pillows, while others who find the extreme firmness and support to be a blessing.
- People who sleep on their bellies typically select a pillow with a medium to low loft. Overly plump pillows can cause the head and neck to be positioned in an awkward position. People who sleep on their stomachs tend to favor softer surfaces. Buckwheat pillows are preferred by a small percentage of stomach sleepers.
- In the event that you are a light sleeper, the pillow’s hulls will make a gentle rustling sound as they mold to the shape of your head and neck. Some people are easily roused by noise, so this could be a problem for them.
Which Buckwheat Pillow Sizes Are Available?
Typically, you can choose between a Western and a more conventional pillow size with a buckwheat pillow. However, buckwheat pillows are not as widely available as other pillow options, and the number of retailers you can choose from may be small depending on your financial situation. The following are the available dimensions for buckwheat pillows:
- The standard dimensions for a rectangular pillow are 20 inches wide by 26 inches long, although this can vary slightly from one brand to the next. The standard pillow size is one of the most common options because it works well for people who don’t move around much during sleep.
- A super standard has dimensions of 20 inches in width and 28 inches in length. Super standards aren’t that common, so they’re best for anyone who likes the standard size but wants a few extra inches of space.
- Standard measurements for a queen-sized pillow are 20 inches across and 30 inches long. In the same vein as kings and standards, queens enjoy widespread availability. If you find both the standard and king sizes too small, this is a good compromise.
- King-sized pillows are typically 20 inches wide by 36 inches long. People who toss and turn during the night or switch sleeping positions frequently will benefit most from this size. You’ll need a wider bed if you and your bedmate each use king-sized pillows.
- Buckwheat body pillows are hard to come by, but you can find them from time to time if you look hard enough. Since the hulls conform so snugly, these pillows are great for side sleeping and cuddling. A fully loaded buckwheat body pillow, however, can weigh more than 20 pounds.
- Differentiating feature: many buckwheat pillow brands offer “Japanese” or “personal” sizes that are a bit smaller than the standard, mirroring the traditional sobakawa design. You can use them as a bolster for your knees and legs, or even as a pillow if you don’t need a lot of width when you sleep.
Price range for buckwheat hull pillows, please. Buckwheat pillows are more expensive than other types of pillows, with the average price for a standard or queen size model being between $50 and $150. Bulk hulls can be purchased from most brands for $5 to $15 per pound.
In what way should I wash my buckwheat pillow? First, empty the hulls of the buckwheat from the pillow; these should be stored in a strong container, like a plastic bucket or bin, until the pillow is cleaned. The majority of models feature covers made of machine-washable materials like cotton, rayon from bamboo, or another similar material. Hulls should never be washed.
I’m looking to purchase a buckwheat pillow, but I can’t seem to find one. Although buckwheat pillows were once quite hard to come by, their rising profile has resulted in greater availability across North America. Some domestic brands do offer traditional sizes, but they are not as common as they are in Japan, so you may want to consider purchasing the pillow from a company based in Japan if you want to ensure you get the right one.
In what way long do buckwheat pillows last? When treated with love and attention, a buckwheat pillow can last for decades. For most things, the biggest issue with durability is rapid cover deterioration. Over time, the cover may need to be replaced if the fabric begins to show signs of wear. It’s common for buckwheat pillow manufacturers to sell additional hulls in large quantities because the hulls are so long-lasting.
Can you adjust a buckwheat pillow? Pillows made from buckwheat can be fluffed up or down as needed. Easily adjust the thickness of the pillow by adding or removing the hulls. However, the firmness of a buckwheat pillow cannot be altered by adding or removing hulls.
Is there a smell to buckwheat pillows? In some cases, a new hull pillow can have a distinct earthy smell due to the hulls. However, it may take a week or more for the hulls to completely lose their odor.
Is buckwheat good for the planet? When compared to pillow types that require synthetic materials, buckwheat pillows are much more eco-friendly because they can be made entirely with natural, plant-based components. The buckwheat used to make these pillows is often grown and harvested without the use of any synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, making them a popular organic choice. Similarly, the cotton used to sew the cover together can be certified as organic if it meets specific standards.
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