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THE GOOD: The main strength of buckwheat pillows is their supportiveness and adjustability. (Adding or removing hulls adjusts the loft.) These features tend to result in above average neck pain relief. In addition, the pillows tend to not trap heat due to good air flow.
THE BAD: They are too firm, too noisy, and too heavy for some. Limited odor is possible. Experimentation to determine comfortable fill-quantity may be needed. They can be fairly pricey.
THE PILLOWS: Buckwheat pillows are filled with buckwheat hulls. Buckwheat is not a wheat, but a fruit related to rhubarb. The hulls are the husks that protect the buckwheat kernel.
The ratings below show how the pillows overall as a group are evaluated by owners. For ratings on specific brands, see the section following this one.
|Owner satisfaction||b||With 83% owner satisfaction overall (buckwheat pillows rate above average. Satisfaction, however, can differ by brand.),
|Durability / longevity||b-||They perform average to somewhat above average on this issue. The hulls become compacted with use, and eventually the product will lose some volume.|
|Affordability / price||d+||Prices range from $25-$75 depending mainly on size. People on average paid $53. High owner satisfaction and a fairly reasonable price make the pillows an above-average value, say most owners.|
|Less pain||b+||Pain-relief potential is above average, with at least 20% of owners reporting reduced pain, especially neck pain. However, at least 5% of owners say the product causes pain usually due to high firmness.|
|Supportive||a||Supportiveness is a clear strength of the pillows. They tend to not sink in / flatten during the night, allowing one's head and neck to maintain a proper, neutral position.|
|Moldable||b||Buckwheat pillows can conform to contours of the neck / head resulting in even distribution, proper support and comfort. However, getting the pillow to mold properly may take effort, such as using one's hand to shape the pillow.|
|Cuddly||d||A "cuddly" pillow is one that is soft and huggable, as opposed to hard, rigid, stiff and or too heavy. Softer, lighter pillow types do better on this issue than buckwheat pillows.|
|Contents won't shift / clump||d-||Hulls can slide / shift to one side but can be easily corrected.|
|Loft variety||b||Buckwheat pillows often have a zipper that allows them to be opened and hulls to be removed or added. This allows loft and firmness to be adjusted to suit personal preference. However, be prepared to experiment with the correct fill quantity to find a level thats right for you.|
|Back sleep friendly||b||Back sleepers tend to be satisfied with the pillows.|
|Stomach sleep friendly||c||The high firmness of the pillows may undermine comfort for stomach sleepers.|
|Side sleep friendly||c+||The pillows are generally good for side sleepers, but the firmness may irritate the ears of some.|
|No initial odor||c-||At least 4% of owners report an initial, unpleasant smell.|
|Air flow||b+||Buckwheat hulls allow air to circulate around them. Less than 2% of owners report heat buildup. Regular use, however, will result in increasingly compacted hulls which will decrease air circulation.|
|No noise||d||Buckwheat pillows are likely the noisiest pillow (especially for side sleepers who have an ear on the pillow) because the hulls make a soft sound when compressed. Many owners, however, report that they get used to any sound and that noise largely goes away over time as hulls become compacted.|
|Fewer allergies||b||Allergies caused by buckwheat hulls exist but are rare.|
|Ease of use / maintenance||d+||Having success with a buckwheat pillow may require above-average effort as many owners need to experiment to find the correct fill quantity that is right for them. And directions call for occasionally unzipping the pillow and removing hulls and then washing the case. It is usually not recommended that the hulls be cleaned.|
|Lightweight||c-||Owners often describe their pillow as fairly heavy. This means that it will stay put at night, but that there is also some difficulty in moving the pillow or picking it up.|
The table below evaluates buckwheat pillows that have 80% or better owner satisfaction based on a significant consumer sample.
|Owner Satisfaction / Sample Size||Available Sizes||Price||Retailer||Comment|
|93% / 109||15"x23"
|$65-$75||amazon.com||comes with 6 lbs of hulls|
|Premium Buckwheat Pillow||85% / 200||13"x18"||$50||overstock.com||comes with 4 gallons of hulls|
|83% / 636||japanese (14"x20")
|$35-$65||amazon.com||100% organic, no pesticides or herbicides|
|80% / 351||japanese (14"x20")
|$25-$40||amazon.com||comes with 4-12 lbs of 100% organic hulls|
Our buckwheat pillow research and ratings are based on over 1,100 actual buckwheat pillow owner / consumer reviews that were collected using an unbiased, accurate methodology.
– A buckwheat pillow is likely the noisiest pillow type especially for side sleepers who have an ear on the pillow. Many owners, however, report that they get used to any sound produced and that noise largely goes away over time.
– Buckwheat pillows are often not as widely available as other pillow types.
– While the pillows are supportive, they are not "solid state" because the hulls inside will shift when the pillow is moved, picked up or handled.
– Buckwheat pillows are seldom considered "cuddly" as they are not particularly soft, huggable or lightweight.
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