A pillow is a great tool offering support and comfort for your head when resting. It can either make or break your sleep, so choosing the right one which can cater best to your needs is highly recommended. Pillows come in different sizes, materials, and types from which you can choose, depending on your sleeping habits, preference, and health needs. And one good example is a buckwheat pillow.
If you are curious about buckwheat pillows, or perhaps, this may be the first time you’re encountering it, then this article can be for you. Continue reading below to learn more about buckwheat pillows, their characteristics, and how you can maximize their health benefits.
What is Buckwheat?
To start, buckwheat is a type of seed that’s part of the group called pseudocereals, along with quinoa, chia seed, amaranth, and others. It can be sourced from the northern hemisphere, such as China, Central, and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Kazakhstan. Initially, the Japanese discovered using buckwheat hulls in their ‘Makura’ pillow, and then, later on, used it in mattresses, bed toppers, and more.
Buckwheat pillows are widely used in Asian homes and some hotels globally. These firm pillows are generally filled with buckwheat hulls, the hard outer shells of buckwheat seeds. Buckwheat pillows are known for offering support to your back and neck, which can be easily adjusted by adding or removing the hulls.
Additionally, buckwheat pillows are considered environmentally friendly as the hulls are biodegradable and a much cheaper alternative to other pillow filling materials. It’s suitable for those people who are fond of firm cushions and can also be a great alternative to latex, cotton, and feather pillows.
Characteristics Of Buckwheat Pillows
Furthermore, here are some of the characteristics of buckwheat pillows that you may want to know:
Can Be Adjusted And Molded
One of the great things about buckwheat pillows is their flexibility. You can adjust these pillows to your desired shape or form, and you may add or take out buckwheat hulls to mold them to your preferred sleeping position.
Each person has their sleeping preference- it can either be lying flat on their back or their side. Unlike traditional pillows, no matter how many times you move buckwheat pillows around, they won’t budge.
Give Off Cooling Effects
Buckwheat pillows are also known to regulate temperature and leave you with a cooling effect, unlike normal pillows where it eventually gets sticky and hot. This is because the material of a buckwheat pillow allows proper air circulation, which makes it ideal for tropical and humid places.
More so, you can even have the option to put the buckwheat hulls in the freezer for hours before you sleep and then put it back in the pillowcase when you’re ready to sleep. The coldness can last you hours. Regardless of whether you put the hulls in the freezer or not, they will not conduct heat. Hence, the user can sleep more peacefully and comfortably at night.
Durable and Eco Friendly
On average, you may have to get new pillows every year or two to ensure that it’s free from allergens or perhaps if they are no longer able to offer support to your neck or head. With proper care and maintenance, buckwheat pillows can last you for years, which can then allow you to save money.
Unlike traditional ones, buckwheat pillows will not fold as they retain their original shape even after many years of use. They are durable and are made of quality materials, and you may only need to refresh the hulls and not the entire thing.
Additionally, since you’re not buying pillows every year, you can do the earth a huge favor as you’re not adding up to the carbon footprint.
Dust Mite Resistant and Hypoallergenic
Dust mites can bring allergies that may cause rashes, itchy skin, watery eyes, nasal congestion, runny nose, and sometimes cough.
Due to its excellent airflow system, buckwheat pillows are considered dust mite resistant and hypoallergenic, particularly since these pillows aren’t using materials that may attract bugs or insects. And more so, it’s very unlikely that dirt and dust will be trapped.
If this helps, you can always check with your doctor about any allergy concerns. You may also opt to clean the pillowcase while you keep the hulls in a container.
The process of making traditional pillows generally involves the use of chemicals. With the synthetic fibers being sprayed with flame retardants, it produces toxic fumes in the air, which may be harmful to the reproductive, nervous, and immune systems.
On the other hand, buckwheat pillows are made from plant-based and organic materials, which is why they’re considered biodegradable. As the buckwheat hulls are sustainable, you may even add them to your compost instead of ending up in the landfills.
How Buckwheat Pillows Can Be Good For You
The list above is just some of the characteristics of a buckwheat pillow worth noting. So, to help you further decide if a buckwheat pillow is the best option for you, here are some of their health benefits:
Sometimes, retiring and going to bed is just what you need after a long day of hard work. You’d want to get your much-needed sleep and rest to recover from working tirelessly, running errands, and doing work all day.
For that reason, you may want to consider investing in quality buckwheat pillows. You can check out stores such as PineTales Buckwheat Pillow or others to learn more about what’s being offered in the market today. While it may take you some time to get used to it, buckwheat pillows can help provide you with the utmost comfort in return.
More so, finding a good sleeping position would certainly help you get maximum comfort. Consider checking the list below to see which one works best for you.
Lying Flat On Your Back
It may reduce pressure on your back and joints and relieve hip and knee pain. In addition, it may prevent your face from getting lines and wrinkles.
You may put a pillow behind your knee to reduce pressure on the spine and minimize the chances of getting back pain. But, if you tend to snore, you may need support like putting a pillow behind your head.
Sleeping on your side with legs close to your body may reduce snoring and eliminate lower back pain. You can even put a pillow between your legs for extra comfort. However, this position can only be comfortable if the posture is lax or loose. Otherwise, you may end up with joint pain.
Sleeping On Your Side
Lying on your side’s benefits may include the following: minimizing snoring, helping in digestion, reducing heartburn, and encouraging regular bowel movement. It may be helpful if you put a pillow between your legs to avoid lower back pain. However, it may cause your shoulders to get stiff if you don’t switch sides and might lead to a locked jaw.
Lying On Your Stomach
This position is generally not recommended because it may cause muscle and joint strained neck and back pain. However, if you prefer this sleeping position, consider putting a pillow under your pelvis to get more comfortable, as it can help with back pain. Also, consider using a thin pillow to no pillow to prevent neck strain.
Helps Promote Better Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep can significantly impact your overall health and mental well-being. When you are comfortable, you get better sleep and rest. And because you’re well-rested, you rarely get sick. As a result, you can do more work in a day, and you’d become more motivated to accomplish your daily tasks. Having better sleep also allows you to think clearly and help you make better judgments.
On top of that, the following benefits the most if you are well-rested:
- Heart: Your heart becomes healthier. Having better sleep allows you to let your heart rest. Thus, it may aid in keeping your blood pressure level low. And on the other hand, insufficient sleep tends to overwork your heart and may eventually lead to heart disease.
- Weight: With proper sleep, you’d be able to manage your weight. Sleep deprivation may increase the level of hormones in your body, such as leptin and ghrelin, which control your appetite.
- Muscle: Your muscles will start repairing when you go to sleep. When you don’t have enough sleep, your body doesn’t have sufficient time to recover.
Can Help Minimize Neck And Back Pain
Due to its adjustability, buckwheat pillows can promote proper sleep posture, which can reduce possible neck and back pain. Traditional pillows can be either too stiff or soft, and they may not support your neck and head fully. Getting the right and best pillow could be one of the good ways to take care of your body.
Helps Reduce Snoring
If you or you know somebody who has problems like snoring, a buckwheat pillow can be the best option. Poor sleeping posture and a compromised airway are just some of the reasons why people snore. Buckwheat pillows don’t sink, and they can support the head. You can opt to make a little comparison with other kinds of pillows to see how much difference it makes.
Offers Muscle Support
Bad sleeping posture can greatly impact your sleep. You’d wake up in the middle of the night wincing in pain due to a stiff neck and perhaps even back pain. And to compensate for that, your soft tissues, tendons, muscles, and ligaments will have to work harder.
Consider getting a buckwheat pillow as it can help support your muscles, neck, and spine better than traditional pillows. You can find more information about how buckwheat pillows can offer better support here:
Helps Relieves Migraine
Some studies believe that using a buckwheat pillow can help relieve migraine. As the hulls shift when you lay your neck, it is made possible as your spine is in proper alignment and your muscles and neck are supported. As such, adjusting your pillow accordingly can help prevent and ease migraines.
Regardless of its therapeutic claims, seeking a physician’s advice is certainly advisable if your migraine doesn’t seem to disappear.
Just like any other type of pillow, buckwheat pillows also have their downsides. While for some, it may be a deal-breaker, for others, the several health benefits associated with them outweigh the disadvantages.
Listed below are the few disadvantages of using buckwheat pillows:
- Noisy: As these pillows are filled with buckwheat hulls, they create crunching and rustling sounds when they rub against each other and whenever you adjust the pillow. Some people may be okay with the noise, but unless you’re a light sleeper, this pillow may not be for you.
- Heavy: Buckwheat pillows are pretty heavy as they may weigh around eight to fifteen pounds. It’s for sleep purposes only and not meant to be carried around or used to prop up against the wall.
- Scent: Buckwheat has an earthy smell that may be aromatic to some, while other people may find the scent way too strong. One solution for this problem is to air out the pillows regularly to get rid of the odor. However, some manufacturers roast the hulls before packing them in pillows to avoid getting any strong scent.
- Not Washable: Unfortunately, you can’t wash the buckwheat hulls as water can weaken the hulls, And thus, might become less durable. What you can do is wash the pillowcase and then air out the hulls.
- Expensive: Buckwheat pillows may cost you more than traditional pillows. However, you may want to think of it as an investment, as it can last you for years because of its durability. You won’t be switching pillows every year or two, and you’ll be saving money.
The ultimate goal is to be healthy, and unfortunately, you’d have a hard time achieving it if you lack proper sleep, or perhaps, you have trouble sleeping. As such, buckwheat pillows are slowly becoming a popular choice, as investing in these pillows can help you resolve sleeping issues and improve sleeping habits. They can provide comfort, offer muscle support, and more so, they are believed to help in relieving migraines.
Despite its many benefits, they also have a few disadvantages. However, thinking about it, the benefits of using a buckwheat pillow outweigh its cons.