Having a good night’s sleep is essential for daily functioning. Still, it’s elusive to some. Many people struggle to find a good sleeping position, and a lot of it has to do with their choice of pillow. Not only will it correct the posture, but it will also, in turn, prevent all sorts of health problems related to it.
Data from the CDC support this by stating that 36.4% of adults in the 25 to 44 age group report a shortened sleep cycle. There are many other considerations for improving your sleep cycles. But you can find relief from your restless nights by simply changing your pillow.
One solution contributing to a healthy sleep cycle is buying a buckwheat pillow. This article examines why these pillows are the best to sleep on every night. And, of course, how to choose one and where to find them.
What is buckwheat?
Buckwheat belongs to a food group commonly called pseudocereals. These are seeds that people consume as cereal grains, but in contrast to other cereals, they don’t grow on grasses. It comes from countries like Russia and China, which harvest and export buckwheat to other countries worldwide.
Other forms of pseudocereals could include quinoa and amaranth, which are popular among the health food community. Despite the name, buckwheat is not associated with wheat and is completely gluten-free. However, the pseudocereal has many uses, including flour, tea, noodles, groats, and non-edible items like pillows.
Why choose a buckwheat pillow?
With a long list of benefits, a buckwheat pillow remains a top choice for those looking for a natural alternative to improve their sleep. According to Statista, the global sleeping pillow market is steadily increasing. In 2019, it was valued at around USD$15.6 billion worldwide. It may prove that more people are looking for the perfect pillow and are constantly buying new ones in search of the best one for them.
Here are some benefits of buckwheat pillows to help you end your search and make the right choice:
- Easy to shape
Buckwheat pillows can adjust to suit the person sleeping on them. All you need to do is remove some of its fillings to achieve the perfect height and softness and enjoy a restless night. Doing this ensures you don’t cut off the blood supply to your face every time you bend your neck to fit the pillow. All body parts must receive rich, oxygenated blood during sleep to recharge and function optimally, including the face, head, and neck.
- Regulates the temperature
Buckwheat pillows contain the husks or shells of the buckwheat, and these fibrous little shells don’t retain heat. Regulating the body temperature is crucial in comfort during sleep.
Depending on the climate, some people’s bodies may overheat at night, which is why they wake up soaking in sweat. Not only is this unhygienic, as skin flakes and dust particles will stick to the pillow, but it also disturbs the person and causes them to wake up frequently at night.
- Provides sensory input
When you apply pressure to the buckwheat pillow, the hulls rub together, creating a unique crunchy sound. For some, this might be annoying at first, but they soon realize that the sensory input provides the same comfort as white noise. Some people may need this input to help them fall asleep and for others to stay asleep listening to the soothing sounds.
- Provides muscle support
Buckwheat pillows could be firm and hold their shape better than other pillows. Regular pillows could lose their firmness over time. But buckwheat pillows can support your posture for longer, meaning it’s less taxing on the body’s muscles. With posture no longer a problem, neck and back pain could also be a thing of the past. For this reason, chiropractors often recommend using a buckwheat pillow as support during the night.
- Minimizes snoring
Another side effect of poor posture is snoring. Other pillows might be too flat or too high, placing the neck and head in a position to close off the airways partially. On the other hand, a buckwheat pillow reduces this risk. Because the buckwheat hulls conform to the head and neck shape, it provides the perfect cradle for supporting the head and leaving the airways open for natural, unlabored breathing.
- Long-lasting comfort
Unlike their synthetic counterparts, buckwheat is more durable and will last longer. Although they may be more expensive to purchase initially, their durability makes them the perfect sleep investment.
Depending on the quality and supplier, these pillows could last up to ten years, after which you can refill or replace them. They’re also water resistant, so they won’t soak up any spills or messes, which is a plus for those who enjoy their coffee in bed.
- It helps Prevent Headaches
Uncomfortable sleeping may lead to headaches, migraines, or other problems like fatigue the next day. These could then be a thing of the past when you start sleeping on a buckwheat pillow that supports the head and neck better.
- Allows for proper airflow
During sleep, we tend to inhale and exhale slower and deeper, so our bodies can take in more oxygen for our brains and bodies. Without proper airflow, you might feel tired and less rested due to the lack of oxygen in your system. A buckwheat pillow, however, will counter this by providing that airflow as it doesn’t compress your neck like other pillow materials.
- Causes fewer allergic reactions
Worldwide, many people suffer from allergies and wake up with a stuffy or runny nose. It could partly be due to the pillow they sleep on that gathers dust-like debris from dead skin cells, and some people may be allergic to feather or down pillows.
As buckwheat is hypoallergenic, allergic reactions are less common. People living with asthma could find that they have less frequent attacks caused by allergic reactions that cause their airways to close.
- Environmentally friendly
Sustainability is on everyone’s lips, with the earth needing all the help it can get to continue thriving. Growing and harvesting buckwheat for pillows is a more sustainable practice than producing synthetic materials and is thus more environmentally friendly.
- Exudes a lovely smell
Hollow fiber, latex, and other pillow materials may have a rubbery or chemical smell, which isn’t the case with buckwheat. Its natural, earthy, woody aroma could lull someone to sleep much quicker as they don’t have to fight off the foul smell of their regular pillow.
Some people add a few drops of their favorite essential oils to the husks and properly tumble them around, spreading them to all the hulls. According to one study, lavender could further aid in getting adequate rest at night as it has a soothing scent proven to assist with sleep. A few experts say lavender is one of the best essential oils for sleep.
- Little to no maintenance
Pillows usually need a proper beating or wash to help maintain them. In contrast, rolling the buckwheat pillow back and forth is all the care it needs to settle the filling back to its original place.
- Gather no pests
Even with buckwheat being a natural plant-based filling, it doesn’t attract pests like dust mites to give the extra peace of mind that there won’t be any chance of co-sleeping with a bunch of bugs.
An article by Harvard Health explains further why a pillow could hurt your health instead of helping it. So, with all of these benefits, it’s clear why people are now switching to buckwheat pillows for improved health and sleep.
What to look for when buying?
Many manufacturers sell buckwheat pillows on the market, and choosing the right one may prove challenging. For this reason, there are specific characteristics to look for when considering a purchase. Here are six essential features you need to look for in a high-quality brand:
- Fabric or materials
The ideal bedding material should have a soft, comfortable exterior and don’t contain any toxins, chemicals, perfumes, or artificial substances. Buying online could prevent you from feeling and smelling the pillow. Thus, you should shop from a reputable online supplier that openly promotes healthy fabrics and materials like bamboo and offers additional pillowcases to use when one is in the wash.
- Organic buckwheat
When reviewing the materials list from the various suppliers, keep a close eye on whether they farm the buckwheat sustainably and whether they use pesticides on the crops. Some companies may claim that their buckwheat is organic, although few can guarantee it. Before buying any new pillow, investigate and ask the manufacturer where they source their buckwheat.
- Adjustability and zippers
Buckwheat could range from very firm to a softer texture or a higher arch as opposed to a flatter pillow when you remove some of the stuffing. The pillow lining should have a zipper that allows access to the filler so you can adjust it to suit your needs. Buckwheat pillows without this adjustability could be uncomfortable and make the person lose faith in all its benefits.
Another aspect of the zippers to consider is their quality. If the zippers aren’t strong enough to withstand the added weight of a person’s head and other daily use, the person may end up with a bed full of buckwheat hulls one night.
- Quality of the pillowcases
Because buckwheat hulls are rougher in texture than other fillings, they require a sturdy lining and pillowcases. When shopping for one, check that the stitching of the pillowcases and lining is secure, uniform, and of the highest quality to prevent the pillow from bursting at the seams.
- Sizes of the pillows
The proportions that work best and are most common among manufacturers are the Japanese 14"× 20", a travel size measuring 9" × 14", a standard size of 20" × 26", and a king-size pillow of 20" × 36".
- Amount of filling
In general, buckwheat pillows contain around four pounds of hulls, but this depends on the size the person prefers. Some bigger sizes can have up to nine pounds, whereas the travel size could contain three pounds or less.
Buying a buckwheat pillow should be an investment. As with other items with a more significant price tag, you must ensure you get value for your money. Checking the features listed here could prevent you from choosing a poor-quality product and wasting your money.
Where to find the best buckwheat pillow?
After reading about the benefits and what to look for from buckwheat pillow manufacturers, the only question remains: where to find the best pillow? Saying that contacting a reliable store is the only option won’t be enough to guarantee a successful find.
Manufacturers of these pillows need to have experience making them and know how the various items interact and come together while providing a product and service of the highest quality to their clients.
One sign you know you’re buying from the correct manufacturer is the excellent reception the product gets from customers and how they experienced their buyer’s journey with the company. Should there be any negative comments about the after-sales service, there would likely be issues with the products that they may not mention.
Find a forum online if the reviews don’t give enough insight to satisfy all the questions and concerns. You can also discuss it with other buyers on a social media platform if you can find it. There, honest and open opinions could guide new buyers to make the right decision.
Another way to get the best feedback about the various products and brands is to consult a reputable supplier. They usually know which pillows their clients get, or they may stock a variety in-store so that they may have more information for potential buyers.
The final word
Whether buying a buckwheat pillow for comfort, relieve allergies, or correct posture, it most definitely warrants a thorough inspection of all the different aspects that could make it an excellent investment.
With all its benefits in combination with a high-quality product, you’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time. Waking up feeling refreshed is priceless to anyone with nightly sleep struggles, so don’t hesitate and purchase your buckwheat pillow today.