When choosing a new pillow the first things that pop into my head are foam pillows vs memory foam vs feather pillows. These standard options are familiar and I thought that was pretty much it.
Delving deeper into pillow options I was surprised by how wrong I was. There are hundreds of options when it comes to pillow filling but one that kept cropping up that I couldn’t ignore was Buckwheat. Initially, I thought it sounded a lot like animal feed, and definitely not a comfy bedding option.
It turns out that Buckwheat Pillows have a longer history than I realised. The Japanese have been using them as far back as 600 years ago. They discovered there are many health benefits that come with using Buckwheat as a pillow filler and this is the reason why these pillows are still popular today.
I’ve put several pillows to the test and have come to these conclusions.
1. The gentle movement of the Buckwheat hulls reminds me of a zen chi type massager as it moulds around your head and neck. 2. The pillows aren’t soft and gentle but the support they provide gives them a different type of comfort. They alleviate pressure points and I awoke pain-free and feeling extremely well-rested.
If you’re considering ordering a Buckwheat Pillow or are just feeling curious as to what they are then this review covers everything you need to know from the 5 best options out there to all the benefits you’ll find from switching to Buckwheat.
Top 5 Best Buckwheat Pillows UK
- Top Choice – Brow Farm Organic Buckwheat Pillow Standard
- Runner Up – Perfect Pillow Organic Buckwheat Husk Pillow
- Budget Pick – Lumaland Premium Pillow with Buckwheat Filling
- Best Organic – E4Emporium Organic Buckwheat Husk Pillow
- Best For Side Sleepers – WheatyBags Buckwheat Sleep Pillow with Zip and Organic Filling
1. Top Choice – Brow Farm Organic Buckwheat Pillow Standard
Brand: Brow Farm
Thickness: 12.8 cm Adjustable
- Organic Buckwheat Hulls
- Full Zip
- Standard Size (69cm x 45cm)
- Triple Cleaned Buckwheat Hulls
- Weighs 3.2-4.4kg
Brow Farm comes out on top where Buckwheat pillows are concerned. For unknown reasons, far too many Buckwheat pillows are sized much smaller than the standard UK pillow size. This makes it a nightmare to find a suitable pillowcase and, let’s face it, pillows aren’t just for sleeping. You want your pillows to look full and balanced when the bed is made up.
Brow Farm has solved this problem by ensuring their pillow is 27 inches long (69cm). They have fitted the pillow cover with a full-length zipper so you can easily adjust the height by adding or removing the buckwheat hulls.
This easily customizable feature plus the full size makes this the best pillow for support and pain relief ensuring a great night’s sleep.
Brow Farm ensures all the hulls they use are superior quality, so only intact ones are allowed in their pillows. The reason this is so helpful is that if the buckwheat hulls are broken, the small fragments fill up gaps so airflow is reduced. Reduced air circulation means body heat builds up which makes for a hot and sweaty nights sleep.
Finally, the cotton cover adds to the airflow of this pillow and helps ensure this pillow is breathable as well as hypoallergenic.
2. Runner Up – Perfect Pillow Organic Buckwheat Husk Pillow
Brand: Perfect Pillow
Thickness: Fully Adjustable
Cover: Cotton Drill Fabric
- Organic Buckwheat Husks
- Size 60cm x 43cm
- Weight 2.6kg
- Overstuffed To Allow Adjustments
- Eco-Friendly Product
Perfect Pillow is a perfect choice for back sleepers or stomach sleepers. The pillow is a smaller size pillow than Brow Farm option but similarly has the adjustable feature which is great.
They are handmade, natural and boast that they are a zero-waste, eco-friendly company.
The Buckwheat used is organic and naturally hypoallergenic.
The pillow itself was fantastic, really supportive and cool to sleep on. My one issue with Perfect Pillow was that the description on Amazon stated that this was a UK made buckwheat hull pillow. After checking out the companies website and seeing all the prices were in USA and Canadian dollars I did wonder if this company was actually based in the United States.
A bit of further digging and I soon discovered it’s actually a Canadian company. Not so great when Amazon is really pushing the UK as a selling point, it even has a Union Jack as one of the key images.
Aside from this mix-up, the pillow itself is lovely, I have no faults with the product but had to move it to second place due to the description.
3. Budget Pick – Lumaland Premium Pillow with Buckwheat Filling
Thickness: 5cm Adjustable
- Different Size Options
- Natural Buckwheat Filling
- Quilted vs Natural Cover Options
- Weighs 1.85kg
- Great Value For Low Price
If your budget is tight but a new pillow is needed then Lumaland has the perfect option for you. The pillow is cool and supportive, everything you need from Buckwheat.
Being a budget option, it is less substantial than the others. There are different cover options and the natural one is fairly thin. I suspect the quilted option would have been a softer choice.
It hasn’t got a lot of height to it so isn’t suitable for side sleepers unless you prop it up on another pillow. Stomach sleepers and back sleepers will have no issue with this!
There are different size options which are really useful. The smallest option does really well as a supportive neck pillow for sleeping in a sitting position. Not confined as a bed pillow, It could even double as a travel pillow!
A great option all round for the price paid!
4. Best Organic – E4Emporium Organic Buckwheat Husk Pillow
Thickness: 25.4cm Adjustable
Cover: T300 Egyptian Organic Cotton Cover
- Organic Buckwheat Hull Filling
- Comes With Additional Filling
- Size 73.7cm x 48.3cm
- Triple Cleaned Dust Free Buckwheat
- Weight 3.5kg
If organic is a must then look no further than E4Emporium. This organic buckwheat pillow has been thoroughly treated to ensure no debris, dust or insects are present. The filling is free of any toxins found in less traditional pillows.
The great thing about this pillow is it’s not just the buckwheat hulls that are organic. The cotton case is also 100% organic and the stitching is very strong to ensure it will not wear away any time soon.
This high-quality, hypoallergenic pillow is quite a substantial size and weight. This means it can be used by side sleepers and back sleepers alike and the zipper means the buckwheat hulls can be reduced in volume to facilitate stomach sleepers as well.
5. Best For Side Sleepers – WheatyBags Buckwheat Sleep Pillow with Zip and Organic Filling
Thickness: 15cm Adjustable
Cover: Natural Cotton
- Organic Buckwheat Husk Filling
- 4 Size Options
- Multiple Colour Options
- Weighs 2.5kg
- Size 70cm x 40cm
Side sleepers rejoice, this pillow is a match made in pillow heaven. Wheatybags is a UK based company that specialises in buckwheat products. They are long-established and really know their stuff when it comes to wheat-based pillows and heat packs.
Knowing a thing or two where it comes to pain relief, Wheatybags have designed this extra-thick pillow to help alleviate neck pain for side sleepers.
The thing I like the most about this pillow is that it has a load of colour options and the high quality cotton pillow cover has a lovely, almost twill like pattern. It feels really luxurious and it’s size makes it a good option as a chair pillow as well as for sleeping on.
The buckwheat offers such good lumbar support and really can’t be recommended enough if you sit through long periods of the day. Doing mainly computer work, I often end up with a stiff back at the end of the day and after using this pillow for just a couple of hours, my back pain was completely gone!
Great for side sleepers and all over pain relief, this pillow is worth every penny.
BENEFITS OF A BUCKWHEAT PILLOW
With all the pillow options out there from memory foam, feather pillows, and foam pillows a Buckwheat pillow may seem low down on the options list. Whilst they do take some getting used, there are actually a fair amount of clear benefits associated with Buckwheat pillows.
HEAD AND NECK SUPPORT
A good night’s rest is hampered by many things. If you find yourself tossing, turning, and experiencing aches and pains then it’s likely you’re not getting adequate support from your pillow.
If you sleep on your front or back then your head needs an overall low pillow height with an extra supportive section to allow for the curve of your neck.
Side sleepers need a greater height from their pillow to fully encompass the shoulder area and support the head.
The benefit of buckwheat is that the husks are ultra-supportive whilst being easily movable to ensure you can adjust the pillow to best suit you. The buckwheat hulls are not compressible and hold their shape extremely well so you get optimal support and relief from neck pain and associated back pain.
BETTER SLEEP POSITION
The high quality, firm support provided by these pillows ensures a better overall sleeping position. Poor sleep posture not only contributes to a stiff neck and shoulder pain but also can add to snoring and headaches. Buckwheat pillows are a perfect choice to ensure good spinal alignment starting at the neck.
Once your neck and shoulders are positioned well then this allows the rest of your body to relax fully, preventing aches and pains cropping up elsewhere.
The better sleeping posture helps alleviate snoring and reduces tension and pressure that cause headaches.
The thing I noted the most about sleeping with a Buckwheat pillow is that actually reduced tossing and turning at night. Once your head is comfortable and supported the rest of your body relaxes into place.
It’s normally the head or neck discomfort that causes you to turn and move about so once this issue is sorted there’s no need to be a restless sleeper.
The natural materials used in the pillow filling are the buckwheat husks. These are tiny and concave in shape so as they move together they allow good air circulation throughout the pillow. This makes for dissipation of body heat giving you a cool night’s rest. The husks don’t degrade and compress with time so the breathable feature of these pillows is a long term solution for hot sleepers.
Dust mites and bedbugs are not fond of buckwheat as it provides no food source for them. The good air circulation also makes them a poor choice for moulds, bugs and mites. Buckwheat is considered a hypoallergenic choice so great for people with asthma and allergies.
The only caution here is if you are highly sensitive to plants similar to buckwheat. If you have allergies that fit into this category, a different pillow choice may be better for you.
Buckwheat is a secure and stable choice for pillow filling. The hulls don’t degrade or breakdown very fast at all and the good air circulation keeps them fresh and healthy for a long time.
A buckwheat pillow should last you around 10 years if it’s well cared for. The first thing to wear out is usually the pillow cover. The zipper can end up weak from friction by the husks moving just as the seams can be similarly affected.
If the husks do start to degrade you can often purchase a sack of replacements which can extend the pillow’s life even longer!
Buckwheat pillow filling is easily adjustable if you require more or less height for support. Zippered pillows are great for this option. If the pillow feels too tall simply un-zip, remove hulls until the height is just right then zip back up again!
Most companies will allow you to buy replacement husks as well so if your pillow needs a boost then that’s simple and easy to do. If you like to adjust your pillow then just make sure the pillow type you choose has this option.
BUCKWHEAT PILLOW BUYING GUIDE
Here are some things to consider when choosing your own Buckwheat Pillow.
The first thing we should discuss is the husks themselves. It’s really important that the buckwheat husks are treated and cleaned to remove any mould, fungus or bugs that may be lurking. The better the hulls are cleaned the more space there will be between them. This is because dust and debris get in between the husks and clog them up giving a dense, heavy pillow that won’t allow good airflow.
To ensure a clean, breathable, hypoallergenic pillow, make sure the manufacturer thoroughly cleans them.
To ensure your pillow lasts a long time you want a well-made cover. A good quality cotton is breathable which helps airflow.
Make sure you look for a cover that has a zipper as this allows you to remove the hulls and wash the cover, keeping it hygienic which is very important for a pillow that lasts as long as a Buckwheat pillow does.
Another good reason to ensure you have a zipper is that you can adjust the pillow height by removing husks. If the husks start to degrade after a few years it’s cheap and easy to replace them.
Most companies have the option for you to buy replacement husks but obviously you need a pillowcase with a zipper in order to take advantage of this.
Pillow size is generally a very individual thing. If you have a lot of standard UK size pillowcases (69cm x 45cm) then options like Brow Farms standard pillow will ensure you can use these. Different sizes of pillows are useful for different needs you may have (travel pillow vs neck support vs lower back pain). I’ve included size on all the product descriptions here to make it a bit easier to choose the best option for you!
Are buckwheat pillows any good?
Buckwheat is a long-lasting, durable, supportive and hypoallergenic pillow filler. They are suitable for all kinds of sleeper who prefer any kind of position. If you suffer from neck pain or difficulty getting off to sleep then Buckwheat is a good option for you.
Do buckwheat pillows attract bugs or dustmites?
Once cleaned out, the buckwheat hulls provide no food source for bed bugs. Whilst the buckwheat seeds are prone to mites, these are not included in the pillows so you don’t need to worry about that. The properly processed buckwheat is light and airy which makes a poor home for bugs and mites. This means the pillows are naturally bug repellent.
How long do buckwheat pillows last?
A well made buckwheat pillow can last fro around 10 years! Normally the first thing to wear out is actually the pillow cover. The movement of the husks can rub and weaken stitching in the cover so make sure you get one with strong stitching. If the hulls do start to compress you can buy replacements from most manufacturers. Ensure your pillow has a zipper so that you can easily replace the filling if necessary (as well as clean the pillow easily!).
What is the advantage of a buckwheat pillow?
Buckwheat is ultra-supportive, breathable and a great option if you suffer from neck pain. These pillows help achieve correct spinal alignment and this helps you get a restful nights sleep. The pillows are extremely long-lasting and can last you for up to 10 years, making them a very cost-effective sleeping solution.
Are buckwheat pillows noisy?
The movement of the buckwheat hulls in the pillowcase does create a rustling noise when you’re settling down to sleep. The noise is fairly minimal and the important thing to note is that due to their design, the buckwheat pillows actually minimise your body movement.
This is because once your head is fully supported you no longer feel the need to toss and turn. A comfortable head placement means your body can relax fully and restlessness is no longer an issue. This means that the noise of the husks moving in the pillow is generally limited to the initial settling down phase but very minimal after this.
Other Buckwheat Pillow Reviews UK
Not quite managing to make our top 5, these other pillows are worth considering if buckwheat is your pillow filler of choice!
HOMESCAPES Organic Buckwheat Pillow
Thickness: 10cm Adjustable
Cover: 100% Cotton
- Organic Buckwheat Hull Filling
- Comes With 2 Zipped Cotton Cases
- Size 74cm x 48cm
- Quilted Cotton Case
- Weight 3.78kg
Support meets comfort in this Homescape buckwheat pillow. The organic buckwheat hull filling is encased in a quilted cotton cover which gives it a high end, luxurious feel. It has a zipper for adjustment and it comes with a double layer of casing to ensure none of those pesky buckwheat hulls escape overnight!
Cotton Cassia Pillow Single Buckwheat Skin Cervical Pillow
Features: Magnetic Massage Pillow
Filling: Buckwheat, Cassia and Lavander
- Aromatic Pillow
- Magnets To Relax The Neck
- Breathable Mesh Panel
If you like your pillow to include a vast array of features then this one is for you. Not just your average buckwheat filling, this one has cassia seed and lavender mixed into the equation. Cassia in your pillow has lots of supposed benefits when it comes to Chinese medicine and lavender is a herb that relaxes you off for a good nights rest.
With different compartments and a mesh neck panel (to keep you cool), this pillow supposedly ticks every box. It’s not your standard, ultra-supportive buckwheat pillow, so if you’re looking for the basic, tried and tested design then I would avoid this one.
Dream Organic Buckwheat Pillow
Thickness: 10cm Adjustable
Cover: 100% Cotton
- Organic Buckwheat Hull Filling
- 2 Layers Of Cotton Cases
- Size 60cm x 40cm
- Weight 2.9kg
Eco friendly and organic this pillow is flexible and adjustable for side to back sleepers. The zippered case is made from 2 layers of 100% natural cotton and is uncoloured to prevent the fabric shrinking in the wash. 4 size options are available so you’re bound to find one that suits your needs.
Merino Wool Bedding ECCO Buckwheat Pillow 100% Organic, Vegan
Brand: Merino Wool Bedding
Cover: Merino Wool
- Organic Buckwheat Hull Filling
- Size 75cm x 45cm
- Velcro or Zipper Options
If cotton isn’t your thing then this pillow may be a good option. It has a merino wool cover with the option of velcro or a zipper to remove hulls for cleaning or replacing. Standard size makes this a good option to go with UK bedding.
It’s organic, eco friendly and vegan.
Wifehelper Buckwheat Pillow
Thickness: 6cm Adjustable
- Fibre Padded Layer
- Size 74cm x 48cm
- Weight 699g
If you get too warm whilst sleeping then this pillow is not for you. It has a fibre padded layer on the surface to lock in the heat on top of the breathable buckwheat filling.
It’s quite thin and light to hold and has a polyester cover which is not generally as breathable as cotton. Not suitable for side sleepers just front and back sleepers.
A good budget option but won’t give you the ultra firm support of some of the heavier buckwheat pillows.
Buckwheat pillows are a lot more versatile and complex than I first imagined. There’s one to suit everyone and although they’re not soft and squishy what they lack in this area they make up for with the orthopaedic support they provide.
Hypoallergenic and non attractive to mites and bed bugs, they are dust free and a clean, healthy option. The breathability makes them cool and a perfect option for a hot, sticky, summers night and they adjust well to every sleeping style.
They may not be the most popular pillow here in the UK but are defiantly worth considering if you’re looking for a supportive, long term pillow solution.