Pillows play important roles during your sleep. For one, they provide you with much-needed comfort, thus allowing you to fall asleep without much trouble.
Pillows also give both your head and neck the support they need as you spend hours taking a trip to dreamland. Using the wrong pillows, you may experience head and neck pain in the morning. And, in some instances, the shoulders and upper back may ache, too.
Buckwheat pillows are some of those that many people talk about, especially those who know the importance of getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep nightly.
Also called sobakawa pillows in Japan where they originated, buckwheat pillows are stuffed with the hulls buckwheat, which is a type of seed that is often mistaken for as grains.
Buckwheat is a staple food for humans as well as animals in many parts of Asia and Europe. It is because of the unique filling of buckwheat pillows why they are regarded by many as some of the best pillows available.
So, are buckwheat pillows good? Buckwheat pillows can be beneficial for people who experience head and neck pain due to poor sleeping posture. Because they are known to offer excellent head and neck support, buckwheat pillows help promote a good night's sleep.
Just like other things in life, unfortunately, buckwheat pillows are not perfect. Their use as sleeping companions comes with both pros and cons.
Before you get your hands on them, it is a good idea to get to know both the advantages and disadvantages of them.
This is especially true since they are not the cheapest pillows on the planet. Currently, the price tag of buckwheat pillows ranges anywhere from $25 to $135, depending on the size and quantity of the buckwheat hulls stuffed inside.
Make sure that you check out the entirety of this article before you decide whether buckwheat pillows are for you or not.
Let us begin by talking about some of the benefits that buckwheat pillows are known to bring:
Buckwheat Pillows Pros
Improved Sleep Posture
Many of us know the importance of maintaining proper posture when standing and sitting. It helps prevent unnecessary head, neck, shoulder, and back pain.
It also helps one appear taller as well as the look and feel more confident. Health experts confirm that having the right posture at all times can increase lung capacity, improve blood circulation, boost energy levels, and prevent wearing and aching of the weight-bearing joints.
Unfortunately, not too many of us are aware that it is also a must to maintain excellent posture while sleeping. Such is made possible by the use of the right pillow.
It can be easy to keep the head and neck from getting the right amount of support while getting some Zs. No matter if your pillow is too low, high, soft, or hard, you may end up with a terrible posture during sleep. This can leave you with an achy head and neck in the morning.
Also, you may fail to feel rested and rejuvenated the following day, even if you are quite sure that you had 7 to 9 hours of sleep the night before.
Buckwheat pillows can help give your head and neck the kind of support they need while you are having some shut-eye.
That's because of their unique filling, which consists of buckwheat hulls, does not budge when you move. This helps maintain proper support of your head and neck all night long.
Coupled with the right mattress as well as sleep hygiene (different practices and habits necessary for one to enjoy a good night's sleep), buckwheat pillows can help you get the kind of sleep necessary for making you feel rejuvenated, energetic and alert the next morning.
It is perfectly normal to snore once in a while. Such can be expected if you are stressed or suffering from allergies or a respiratory tract infection.
You may snore, too, if you consume alcohol because it causes the muscles of the throat to relax, thus causing a blockage of the airways.
Most of the time, maintaining proper posture while sleeping is enough to keep snoring at bay or keep it to a minimum. This is beneficial, especially if you are sharing the bed or bedroom with someone else.
Since buckwheat pillows are great for providing proper head and neck support, using them can help fend off snoring.
That's because they help maintain the correct alignment of the structures of the head and neck, thus keeping the airways open and allowing air to flow through them without obstruction.
This can result in a more restful sleep not only for you but also for the person who is in the same bed or bedroom like you.
However, it is important to note that chronic snoring may be due to a sleep-related problem called sleep apnea. According to doctors, sleep apnea may cause you to stop breathing up to 400 times a night.
This is a serious matter because it can keep your brain and other organs from getting enough oxygen.
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, seek the help of a sleep professional without delay. Otherwise, you may increase your risk of having some serious health issues. They include diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and heart attack.
People come in all shapes and sizes. Because of this, a particular pillow may be great for one person but not as terrific for the other.
Failure to use a pillow whose shape and thickness are not friendly to your head and neck contours may keep you from feeling comfortable, which is vital for getting a good night's sleep. It may also fail to give the right support, and this can leave you feeling tired and sleepy in the morning.
This is when the importance of using buckwheat pillows comes in. Their filling can adjust to the unique curves of your head and neck. More importantly, they can retain that shape as buckwheat hulls are less likely to budge.
As a general rule of thumb, people who sleep on their side should use thicker pillows to make sure that the head is properly supported and the neck is correctly aligned.
To achieve the right amount of head support and neck alignment, people who sleep on their back should use thinner pillows.
Buckwheat pillows are available in different thicknesses, depending on the number of buckwheat hulls stuffed inside. It means that there is one available for everyone, no matter the sleeping position.
Worry not if you cannot get your hands on a buckwheat pillow whose thickness is perfect for your sleeping habits and preferences.
That's because you can simply unzip the pillow and remove some of the buckwheat hulls to make it thinner. On the other hand, you may add more buckwheat hulls to achieve the perfect thickness.
These days, some vendors of buckwheat pillows throw a pound or two of buckwheat hulls with the purchase for customization.
Compared to most other pillows in the market, buckwheat pillows carry steep price tags. This may leave you having qualms with buying one as you might think that it's not worth your hard-earned cash.
Well, getting your hands on a buckwheat pillow can be considered as a good investment. That's because it can be of service to you for a very long time.
Some proponents of buckwheat pillows say that it can last for 10 years. Others claim that, if you really take good care of yours, you may enjoy it for 20 long years!
Most ordinary pillows, on the other hand, last for only 1 to 2 years. They may be cheaper than buckwheat alright, but, in the long run, they can wreak more havoc on your pocket than buckwheat pillows.
Buckwheat hulls are hardwearing and can stand the test of time. However, it doesn't mean that they are invincible. The time will come when they are no longer capable of doing the job very well.
Do not panic when your buckwheat pillow no longer seems to be as springy as the day that you bought it. There is no need to replace it. You can make your buckwheat pillows good as new with just a few simple steps.
What you need to do is buy a bag of buckwheat hulls, which is readily available online. Remove the worn-out buckwheat hulls from your pillow and replace it with a new batch.
You may have to add more or remove some buckwheat hulls to achieve a thickness that is suited for your sleeping position or personal preference.
Now that you know some of the perks of using buckwheat pillows, let's now check out some of the cons:
Buckwheat Pillows Cons
Tricky to Wash
Most other pillows are easy to wash. Experts recommend throwing a couple of them in the washing machine to keep the appliance balanced as well as to prevent the pillows from getting damaged.
However, sometimes pillows can be dry cleaned only, which means that taking them to the nearest dry cleaner is the way to go.
Fortunately, buckwheat pillows can be laundered using a washing machine. Sadly, the entire pillow cannot be washed. It is the casing that holds the buckwheat hulls that can be washed.
The buckwheat hulls themselves, on the other hand, cannot be washed. That's because they can get damaged if they come into contact with water.
It's for this reason why keeping buckwheat pillows clean and smelling fresh can be tricky. You will have to scoop the buckwheat hulls out, wash the casing, and then stuff them back to the casing once dry.
Do not fret because there are a few steps that you may take to save yourself from the tedious task of washing buckwheat pillows constantly. For one, you should keep them in standard pillowcases. You may also make it a habit to clean both your hair and face before hopping into bed.
May Cause Allergies
A lot of buckwheat pillow manufacturers say that their products are hypoallergenic. In layman's terms, it means that they are less likely to cause allergic reactions.
This is especially true for buckwheat pillows whose hulls inside were obtained from buckwheat grown organically without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
Unfortunately, it doesn't mean that buckwheat pillows won't cause allergies in some people. Especially if you have buckwheat allergy, you may end up with itchy skin and runny nose if you use a buckwheat pillow.
For instance, back in 2002, there was an online report about a 24-year-old man who complained about allergic rhinitis and asthma attacks.
His doctor prescribed him powerful medications for allergies and asthma. He was also instructed to steer clear of known allergens or substances that can cause allergic reactions.
Some common examples of allergens are dust mites, pollen, pet dander, latex, and cosmetics. There are also food allergens, such as eggs, soy, and peanuts.
Despite taking medications and avoiding triggers, the man did not obtain relief from asthma and allergies. It turned out that the problem was due to the buckwheat pillow that he recently bought.
The moment that he stopped using his buckwheat pillow, the various symptoms went away.
If you have allergies, including especially the kinds triggered by certain foods, consider undergoing testing for buckwheat allergy beforehand.
Depending on the test's result, you will be able to tell whether or not buckwheat is good for you.
Just like what was mentioned very early on in this article, the price of buckwheat pillows can range anywhere from $25 to $135. The bigger and thicker the buckwheat pillow, the higher the price tag will be.
So, in other words, if you wish to own a large buckwheat pillow that can provide optimum support, you should be willing to pay top dollar.
This doesn't mean, however, that buckwheat pillows are not worth your hard-earned cash. Especially if you are having sleep-related problems, you can benefit tremendously from the use of a buckwheat pillow.
In the long run, you can get back the amount of money that you will need to shell out to have a buckwheat pillow. For instance, it can save you from the need to constantly visit a doctor and take painkilling drugs to deal with headaches and neck pain caused by the use of the wrong pillow.
It can also keep you from having to skip going to the workplace as a result of feeling tired and lethargic in the morning, which is usually due to failure to get high-quality and uninterrupted sleep.
Being absent from work all the time can cause deductions from your salary as well as getting fired. Using a buckwheat pillow, although it is not the cheapest option in the market, can keep you from losing money by increasing your chances of enjoying a good night's sleep.
Takes Getting Used to
Have you been using pillows that are stuffed with foam, shredded memory foam, down, or cotton all your life? Then you may end up wondering if you made the right decision as soon as you lay your head on a buckwheat pillow.
It's because the buckwheat hulls inside the product rub against one another each time you move, thus creating a rustling sound.
Some people who used buckwheat pillows for the first time complain that the noise created can be quite distracting. For the first few nights, the rustling sound may annoy you.
Despite this, a buckwheat pillow's sound may not wake you up when you move during sleep unless you are an extremely sensitive sleeper.
Sooner or later, fortunately, you will get used to the noise that a buckwheat pillow tends to create whenever you move.
In addition, the sound generated grows weaker, the more that you use your buckwheat pillow. Such is due to the breaking in of the hulls inside. When that happens, you will start to enjoy the full range of perks that the pillow is known to offer.
Just Before You Buy Buckwheat Pillows
Based on the different benefits of using them, it doesn't come as a surprise why many people dream of using buckwheat pillows.
They are very good at providing support to both the head and neck, thus preventing unnecessary aches in the morning.
Buckwheat pillows help fend off snoring, too, thus encouraging uninterrupted sleep, which is vital for feeling rested and rejuvenated upon waking up the following day.
However, there are also a few downsides associated with the use of buckwheat pillows. It is recommended to consider them, too, before buying these pillows to have a better idea of what you are getting yourself into.
In case you decide to give buckwheat pillows a try, feel free to come back to this site a few days or weeks after using them.
Photo credit: ©canva.com/tomasso79, ©canva.com/JR-stock
Feruza is a mom and a blogger. She had a neck pain for 15 years, which made her interested in everything about pillows.
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