Pillows have been with mankind since ancient Mesopotamia, about 7,000 BC. But in those days, pillows were only available to nobility. Also in the past, pillows were created from stone, pottery, and, at times, even wood. During the 15th century, most pregnant women used pillows. And some men avoided using pillows as they thought they were signs of weakness. With the industrial revolution, however, numerous textile companies made inexpensive pillows available to households all across the United States and Europe.
Pillows are used these days to help people achieve the correct sleeping posture, and are made of a specific type of fabric or filler. There are many other pillows such as cotton, polyester, memory foam, and buckwheat pillows. If you haven’t heard about buckwheat pillows, it’s time you change your traditional pillow and change the way you sleep.
Brief Background Of Buckwheat Pillows
In Japan, buckwheat pillows have been used for generations because of the strong support they provide and how customizable they are. Japan has been using these pillows since the 13th century, originating from the Japanese idea of “ZU-KAN-SOKU-NETSU,” which means “cold head and warm feet.” From this philosophy, the Japanese have brought a pillow that offers the extra comfort you need when you sleep.
The material of these pillows comprise an organic cotton cover packed with buckwheat hulls—the small, hard outer shells of buckwheat seeds. These buckwheat hulls adapt to the shape of your head and neck, providing ample support and comfort to those who sleep in different positions. It’s somewhat similar to sleeping on a hard thick beanbag, which is enjoyable for many individuals. If you haven’t seen this pillow yet, you can watch this video to give you an idea.
Benefits Of Buckwheat Pillows
You might feel attached to your down or memory foam pillow, but buckwheat pillows can stand toe to toe with the ones you’re used to. That said, here are some benefits of using buckwheat pillows regardless of your lifestyle:
If you’re looking for a pillow with a long life span, look no further than the Japanese pillow (also called as Sobakawa in Japan) filled with buckwheat hulls. If you need it, you may add as many buckwheat hulls as you need to adjust to your level of support, making your pillow thicker and harder or softer.
Easy To Replenish
Another benefit of buckwheat pillows is that they’re simple to replenish after they’ve been used up. Several companies make bulk purchases of buckwheat hulls for this purpose so you could add or remove hulls as frequently as you like. Keep in mind that you can buy buckwheat hulls from local farmer’s markets; so not only are you keeping comfortable, you’re supporting local business as well.
More pillows are loaded with chemicals and artificial materials, including polyurethane, which is flame retardant. Toxic chemicals may be present and also emit a pungent chemical odor. Also, some off-gas chemicals of some pillows give them a distinctive scent. Volatile chemical compounds or VOCs are one of these toxic chemicals. However, VOCs are odorless, which you may think is harmless.
On the other hand, buckwheat pillows are all natural and organic, which also does well for your carbon footprint. You can sleep easy with no worries about inhaling toxins emitted by your pillow.
While other pillow fillings may seem soft, take note they’re made from synthetic materials. Buckwheat hulls, on the other hand, may seem hard on first look; but the individual hulls naturally move within the pillowcase while you sleep. This way, the hulls form the contour of your head and neck, molding to your natural physical form. Posture is maintained throughout the night, helping keep your neck, spine, and head aligned properly.
Alleviates Migraine Pain
One study has shown the association between migraine and sleep disorders, stating that anyone who has pulsating or throbbing pain in their heads may have a difficult time getting some rest. While those who suffer from migraines may also feel nausea, vomiting, and acute sensitivity to lights and noises, this isn’t always the case.
On the bright side, buckwheat pillows may help alleviate pain from migraines while also encouraging restful sleep. These pillows offer the support you need while at the same time delivering comfortable sensations at precise points on your neck and head. Targeting these pressure spots helps your blood flow more smoothly, and endorphins are produced, which provide comfort while you sleep.
The temperature and humidity in bedrooms are more or less constant where dust and bedbugs often flourish. When you’re sleeping, you naturally lose dead skin cells, which provide food for bedbugs.
Buckwheat pillows provide excellent ventilation as the hulls aren’t packed as tightly compared to other materials. This helps prevent dust and bedbugs from developing and makes these pillows hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites, which is excellent news for your neck and back—and to those allergy sufferers—as you won’t have to worry about allergies and bedbug bites anymore.
Usable In Many Ways
Buckwheat pillows aren’t just for sleeping. As again you could mold a buckwheat pillow to your body’s forms, this makes them ideal for various uses. When using a computer, using a smaller buckwheat pillow on your wrists releases pressure from hours of working in front of your computer. You can bring them on long vacation trips too as neck pillows or when you feel uncomfortable using your accommodation’s pillows. Older people could also use these pillows for excellent back support, ensuring they sit comfortably and properly.
How To Incorporate Buckwheat Pillows In Your Lifestyle
When it comes to pillows, everyone has their preferences—some like memory foam or traditional cotton pillows. Others want body pillows that run the length of their beds. As you’re wondering how you could incorporate buckwheat pillows into your lifestyle, you might discover quite a few things about this versatile sleeping companion.
Buckwheat pillows are the perfect cushion for those who seek very firm head and neck support. It’s also perfect for those who want to sleep with cool heads. The upside is, you’ll be able to personalize the thickness and firmness of your pillow every night by adjusting just how much hulls you put in the case. However, sleepers have different requirements to achieve the best sleep they could get with buckwheat pillows. Here’s how you could incorporate these pillows in your sleep:
1. For Back Sleepers
When you’re a back sleeper, buckwheat pillows with medium loft provide the greatest comfort. The angled pillow conforms to the natural curve of the head and neck, minimizing stress on the muscles and joints throughout the night.
2. For Side Sleepers
A lofty buckwheat pillow may help improve spinal alignment by conforming to the head and neck while providing firm support for side sleepers. Flat pillows could worsen spinal alignment, which puts side sleepers at greater risk for long-term joint pain and injury. For neck pain, you could adjust the buckwheat pillow to support your head and neck without creating pressure on the spine, allowing your body to maintain equal alignment.
3. Buckwheat Pillows For Hot Sleepers
People who wake up many times throughout the night due to feeling too warm are known as hot sleepers. A hot sleeper is at risk of suffering from insomnia since they find sleeping every night very difficult. Using buckwheat pillows can help you sleep more soundly if you frequently wake up during the night due to excessive humidity.
Breathable buckwheat pillows enable airflow and help regulate temperature because the individual hulls won’t absorb and trap body heat like foam or down. Thus, air circulates freely throughout the interior. Most of these pillows are packed inside pillowcases made from breathable fabrics, adding comfort to your sleep.
4. Buckwheat Pillows For Environmentalists
Because the filling of buckwheat pillows are entirely made of plant-based materials from the hard outer shells that encase buckwheat, they’re much more environment friendly than other pillow types that are made from synthetic elements. As they’re made from harvested buckwheat plants produced without chemicals or pesticides, they’re very much worthy of the organic tag a lot of manufacturers place on their products.
Additionally, buckwheat pillows are also excellent for complying with the first green living guideline—less is more. With appropriate care, buckwheat pillows could endure for many years, while conventional pillows can end up in the trash after a year or two.
5. Natural Buckwheat Scent For Tired People
You can’t get ample rest after an extremely stressful day and sleep in a smelly room, much less a smelly pillow. Natural scents may help you relax better, and buckwheat pillows are known for their pleasant fragrance. Buckwheat hulls left after milling buckwheat into flour provide a fresh and gentle odor in your pillows that won’t interfere with your sleep. It’s extremely convenient to relax and sleep with the delightful fragrance of buckwheat pillows filling your bedroom.
6. Different Buckwheat Pillow Sizes For Various Preferences
The majority of buckwheat pillow manufacturers provide a range of sizes, including Western and traditional. At the same time, buckwheat pillows aren’t as readily available as other kinds of pillows. You may also be restricted to a small number of brands. That said, buckwheat pillows are available in the following sizes:
Specialty: To keep to the original Sobakawa design, several buckwheat pillow manufacturers offer the Japanese or personal sizes somewhat smaller than usual. They’re suitable for sleeping if you don’t need a great deal of width, and they also function well as knee and leg bolsters.
Body: There are only a few number of sellers that offer buckwheat body pillows, although they’re widely accessible. These pillows are well suited for sleeping on the side and snuggling with.
King: The majority of king-size pillows are about 20 inches wide and 36 inches long. For those who toss and turn or change sleep positions often, this size is ideal.
Queen: For queen-size pillows, the typical dimensions are 20 inches by 30 inches. Queens are just as popular and easy to find as standards and kings. If you feel the standard is too narrow and the king too broad, this size is a decent middle-of-the-road choice.
Super Standard: A standard size that’s 20 inches broad by 28 inches long is known as a super standard. For the majority, the average size is just enough. However, if you have little inch of space in your bed, go for the extra-large size.
Standard: There’s a significant amount of variance in pillow size from brand to brand. As one of the most common pillow sizes, the standard is an excellent choice for individuals who don’t toss, turn, or change positions while sleeping and want to stay mostly stationary.
How To Get The Most Comfort From Your Buckwheat Pillow?
You might be used to standard pillows, and on first switching to buckwheat pillows, you’ll find it’s an interesting feel. However, it’s one you’ll grow into the more you use it. So how can you make the most out of your buckwheat pillow? Just follow these simple steps:
Fluff Your Buckwheat Pillow
If you don’t thoroughly fluff your buckwheat pillow before sleeping on it, it may feel very stiff. Before you lay down:
- fluff the pillow to provide fluff,
- create a towering pile of buckwheat hulls by pressing the sides together, or
- bury your head in the pillow’s center.
Remember, though, buckwheat hulls will adjust to the contours of your head, shoulders, and neck the more you use it.
Adjust The Fill Of Your Buckwheat Pillow
Most of the buckwheat pillow manufacturers sell them with filled of buckwheat hull. If you’re a first-time user, you may feel uncomfortable as the pillow may feel too stiff on first lying down. But you can customize and adjust the fill of your buckwheat pillows to your preference and make them softer initially.
For many users, removing some of the buckwheat hulls is what they do first. Remove a little, and then test out your pillow. You should feel your pillows start to soften. This is because there’s now more space for the hulls to move, which results in a more flexible cushion. Some people prefer a fuller buckwheat pillow that provides more solid support. Of course, the quantity of fill needed for optimum comfort varies on your level of comfort.
Give Yourself Time To Adjust
When buckwheat hulls move around the case, this may produce a rustling sound. It’s common for buckwheat pillow users to be concerned about the rustling sound. If you’re a light sleeper sensitive to all kinds of nighttime sounds, it’s not going to keep you up at night. If you’re disturbed by the rustling of your buckwheat pillow, it’s highly suggested that you use your pillow for at least a week to get used to the sound. For others, the rustling sound is more of a positive note as the sound is more soothing than distracting for them.
Don’t ignore pillows since they may influence your capacity to sleep. Investing in buckwheat pillows may help with neck and back pain issues as well as ensuring that you get a good night’s rest each night. Buckwheat pillows are a total sleep game-changer, as well as the other benefits these pillows have for the environment.
Although it’s often believed that sleeping on a buckwheat pillow is a waste of time and money, this is far from the truth. Choosing to sleep well is a great investment you can make.
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