As the name suggests, these pillows come with a stuffing of buckwheat hull. Buckwheat, contrary to popular belief, is not a grain, but a fruit! Its hulls are first roasted and then placed in pillows. This is done to ensure that the dust from the field does not go inside the pillows. You will be surprised to know that these pillows have been used in many Asian countries since ages!
It is only now, that the Western world has woken up to their benefits, thus gaining them unbridled popularity in recent years!
Some of the most popular kinds of pillow stuffing, such as foam, polyester fiber, or feathers, are detrimental to the environment in one way or the other. Polyester fiber is actually man-made plastic, feather stuffing comes from birds, while foam is petroleum-based. On the other hand, buckwheat hull, being derived from a fruit, is completely natural and a renewable resource, which is what makes these pillows environment friendly.
Buckwheat pillows are often recommended to people who suffer from problems of the back, neck pain, tension in the muscles, TMJ syndrome, headache, migraines, night sweating, snoring, sleeplessness, etc. The reason to this is that these pillows offer a very good support to the head, neck, and shoulders.
Unlike the foam or polyester pillows, buckwheat pillows do not sink in and lose shape when someone rests on them. They retain their shape, maintaining a person's neck and head position, throughout the night. This reduces sleeping problems such as insomnia and snoring as well.
Right Temperature and Air Circulation
When buckwheat hulls are stuffed in a pillow case, they have naturally formed spaces in between, which allow for proper air circulation. So another benefit of sleeping on a buckwheat pillow is that, these pillows maintain comparatively low temperatures, thus allowing a restful sleep.
Other benefit is that the buyer does not have to compromise on the size and shape as these pillows come in numerous varieties. Right from the full-body sized ones to the travel pillows, neck-rolls, and the tubular ones with straps used while driving for lumbar support, the market offers lots of options to the buyers. These days, aromatherapy pillows that come with some herbs mixed in the buckwheat hulls, have become very popular, too.
Low Maintenance and Longevity
A buckwheat pillow can last for anywhere between seven to ten years. For keeping it clean and germ-free, the pillow case needs to be washed regularly. The pillow on the inside only needs to be kept in sunlight for a few hours, once a month.
All these benefits make them a must have. However, it is of prime importance that you know their drawbacks as well. One of their biggest disadvantages is that they can cause allergies in an occasional user, especially if the hulls have not been properly roasted and cleaned of dust and germs by the manufacturer. Another of their drawbacks is that these pillows do not automatically shape-up according to a person's neck and head shape. They have to be manually molded as they can be pretty stiff. Lastly, the buckwheat hulls make a cracking sound when someone rests on the pillow. Thus, a person would need time to get used to this sound. As you can see, there are both advantages and shortcomings of a buckwheat pillow. So, if you finally decide to buy these, go in for the good quality ones, to limit the drawbacks and enjoy their benefits!