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Just as a lot of thought goes into choosing a mattress, it’s also important to carefully select a pillow.

While memory foam, latex, and down pillows are fairly common, buckwheat pillows aren’t quite so ubiquitous. Still, they’re worth considering, especially if you’re looking for a pillow with adjustable fill.

Keep reading to learn how to select the best buckwheat pillow and how these pillows differ from others on the market.

Buckwheat pillows originated in Japan and have been popular for some time in East Asian countries. They’re also known as sobakawa pillows.

The filling is made up of small buckwheat hulls that give these pillows a firm feel and allow it to conform to your head and neck for support.

They’re also adjustable, which lets you personalize them to fit your preference by removing or adding the buckwheat hulls.

Some liken the feel of these pillows to beanbags. They can take some getting used to if you’re more familiar with down, foam, or alternative down.

They’re also more high maintenance when it comes to cleaning, and the support might feel too firm for those who like traditional fluffy pillows.

We scoured online reviews to find pillows that are:

  • long lasting
  • firm
  • highly rated
  • made by reputable brands

Pricing guide

Buckwheat pillows tend to have a higher price point compared to other pillows. However, they tend to be durable and can last around 10 years.

  • $ = under $50
  • $$ = $50–$80
  • $$$ = over $80

Best overall buckwheat pillow

Hullo Buckwheat Pillow

  • Price: $$–$$$

The Hullo Buckwheat Pillow includes an organic cotton twill cover and comes in three different sizes:

  • small
  • standard
  • king

Customers appreciate the way the pillow molds to their heads and say it helps prevent headaches.

One reviewer says their chiropractor recommended the pillow to keep their spine properly aligned, and it helped relieve their lower back problems.

Side and back sleepers also find success with this pillow, saying it provides the right amount of support for their sleeping style.

Depending on the size you choose, this pillow is fairly pricey. The small size is the most affordable, but it’s smaller than a standard pillow and may be best suited to travel.

Shop now at Hullo Pillow

Best budget-friendly buckwheat pillow

Sobakawa Traditional Buckwheat Pillow

  • Price: $

This pillow is an affordable option for those not looking to spend over $100, but still wanting top quality.

The cover is made of a muslin cotton fabric designed to keep you cool throughout the night. The inside is all buckwheat hulls.

Although this pillow is on the heavier side (a little over 4 pounds), reviewers find it to be comfortable. Many say it helped their neck aches.

One person with insomnia says the pillow improved their sleeping problems and also managed to keep them cool as they slept.

However, there are some customers who find the noise the husks make distracting throughout the night.

Shop now at Amazon

Best luxury buckwheat pillow

PineTales Premium Organic Buckwheat Pillow

  • Price: $$

Although it’s not the most expensive pillow on the list, this pillow is a luxurious option.

Amazon reviews show mostly satisfied customers who say the pillow is a good value and a high quality product that transformed their sleeping.

The pillow is fully adjustable. One reviewer with neck and back issues says this pillow improved his pain, because it conforms to his neck. He says the pillow is perfect for side sleepers, but it might be too thick for back sleepers.

Shop now at Amazon

Best buckwheat pillow for travel

Natural Home by the Futon Shop Organic Wool & Organic Buckwheat Bed Pillow

  • Price: $$

Many hotel pillows don’t offer enough support and can ruin your sleep away from home. However, this travel pillow can keep you properly supported when traveling.

The pillow is a combination of organic wool and buckwheat hulls, and the pillowcase is cotton. Reviewers say they love this brand for keeping them comfortable and cool, even when they travel.

The Futon Shop offers other pillow sizes as well, but the travel pillow is a good option for those not willing to part with their buckwheat pillow while on the road.

Shop now at The Futon Shop

Best cooling buckwheat pillow

PineTales Buckwheat Pillow – Cooling

  • Price: $$

Although buckwheat pillows are naturally meant to keep you cool, PineTales makes one designed for extra cooling with dual covers.

Reviewers who are normally hot sleepers say this pillow does the trick and keeps them cool at night. Like all buckwheat pillows, it’s fully adjustable.

Customers rave that the pillow exceeded their expectations. One reviewer whose spouse had neck pain from a car accident says this pillow changed their sleep for the better.

Shop now at PineTales

Best organic buckwheat pillow

Beans72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow

  • Price: $$

If you’re looking for an organic buckwheat pillow, the Beans72 Organic Buckwheat pillow is your best bet.

This pillow is on the heftier side (8 to 10 pounds, depending on volume). Some reviewers call it the best pillow they’ve ever slept on.

However, one reviewer compares it to sleeping on sand and says it takes some getting used to.

This pillow may be a good option for those with shoulder or neck pain. Many customers rave that, after trying every other pillow on the market, this was the only one that eased their aches and discomfort.

Shop now at Amazon

When shopping for buckwheat pillows, look for brands that use thoroughly cleaned buckwheat hulls. Buckwheat hulls that are improperly cleaned can produce allergens, dust mites, and mold, which can be an issue if you have allergies.

Also consider the cover material. Many buckwheat pillows have a cotton case, but some have rayon bamboo covers.

Lastly, consider the price point. Buckwheat pillows tend to be expensive, but they can also last you a while. Check reviews to see what previous customers say about the pillow’s longevity.

Buckwheat pillows can be tedious to clean. While some pillows can be thrown in the wash, buckwheat pillows can’t. You’ll have to completely remove all the buckwheat hulls before washing it.

Wetting your buckwheat hulls will ruin the quality of the hulls and the pillow.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some buckwheat pillows feature washer-friendly pillowcases, while others require handwashing. Be sure to follow the care instructions on your particular pillow.

Although buckwheat pillows are built to last, the hulls can wear down over time. They may also get dusty, which can attract dust mites and other bugs.

A small 2004 study found that the level of dust mites in buckwheat pillows was similar to the level in synthetic pillows.

Buckwheat pillows are environmentally friendly and adjustable. They can take some getting used to, however, since they have a different feel from traditional pillows and can be noisy.

Giselle Castro is a freelance writer who lives in New York. She’s been published in Shape, Fitness, Women’s Health, and Hip Latina, among other sites. She is an avid runner and ran the New York City Marathon in 2019. She is passionate about wellness and fitness, and hopes to influence others through her writing.