Sobakawa or a buckwheat pillow originates from the far East and saw an explosion in popularity over the past years. It’s a larger and comfortable pillow that holds buckwheat seeds.
It provides great contouring for the neck and head and makes sleeping on every side ideal. They became popular for many reasons, and have a lot of benefits that encourage many people to buy them. In this article, we’re going to talk about those benefits, but we will also highlight certain drawbacks of using a buckwheat pillow.
We also wrote a detailed definition of the buckwheat pillow and explained the way it makes sleeping comfier and easier, and provides more support and aid.
One of the biggest highlights of the buckwheat pillow is its simplistic design, but there’s much more than just that.
What is Buckwheat?
Buckwheat, a grain from Asia saw a rich practice for many centuries. Farmers used it to feed their animals, but it also had a lot more practice. It grows inside a small husk which allows it to mature without any risks. It’s also classified as a fruit. The husk of buckwheat cannot be consumed as food. However, it is often used as a filling for pillows that became some of the most popular on the market.
Even though buckwheat is native to Asia, it can now easily be grown and harvested on other continents. The reason for that is because, its benefits for sound sleep spread across the sleep industry, making the buckwheat pillows some of the most demanding products in their store.
The buckwheat pillow filling is made by removing the seed from its husk. After that, the husk is cleaned and used for the buckwheat pillow. The best part of buckwheat pillows is that it lasts for a long time. The reason for that is because sleep companies use material casing made out of silk and cotton which can house the hulls for a long time, and change them throughout the pillow’s lifespan.
The husk can last long because it’s adjustable, flexible, and simply long-lasting. In addition to being used in buckwheat pillows, it is also a popular ingredient of mattresses which adds up to the firmness, contouring, and overall comfort. It can also be found in other materials.
8 Benefits of Buckwheat Pillow
Keep in mind that everyone has different sleeping preferences. We focused on general aspects and how buckwheat pillows positively affect sleep. Keep in mind that not everyone will be content with these pillows. There are a lot of people who found a perfect match with buckwheat pillow, you may be one of them.
1. Improves Sleep Quality
A lot of people struggle with finding the right sleep position. When we sleep, our body turns around alone while attempting to find the sleep position we’re most comfortable with. While there are a lot of people who prefer a certain sleep position over another, it’s important to note that there are people who may not be comfortable with specialized pillows.
A buckwheat pillow is great because it promotes a neutral back position and spinal alignment. That said, it’s ideal for sleeping on back and stomach because it’ll align your head with shoulders.
As about side sleepers, they can also enjoy the benefits of buckwheat pillow, it’s just necessary to pick an option with more filling and firmer encasing so that their neck and spine can be aligned when they’re sleeping on the side.
The most important aspect of sleep quality regardless is to fill the gap between the neck and the head, so that the sleep position stays neutral.
Sleeping in a fixed position without too much tossing and turning in discomfort will help you promote deep and restorative sleep and wake up tired and cranky. It will contour to your head’s and body’s shape in a similar way to how memory foam aligns to the shape of our body, but in a more natural and relaxing way.
2. Reduces Snoring
There are a lot of causes of snoring, but one of the most common ones is a bad posture while sleeping. Perhaps, you noticed you snore more when you sleep on the back. Your pillow may be the one to blame.
There’s no clinical research to prove that buckwheat pillow can rid you of unnerving snoring, but a lot of research showed that having a healthy sleep posture can help you treat conditions associated to snoring, as well as sleep apnea, one of the most common sleep disorders that are associated to snoring, as shown per study.
Poor sleep posture can affect your muscles, keeping them stressed and strained, and unable to relax. This is a result of poor sleep posture and poor support from your pillow.
It’s important to note that a buckwheat pillow can improve your cervical alignment, and given that your airway goes along the cervical spine, poor posture can block your airways leading to snoring, gasping, and other symptoms of sleep apnea.
If the snoring you experience isn’t associated with sleep posture, the buckwheat pillow may not be as effective. The most important thing is to communicate your symptoms with your doctors and see what you can do to improve sleep posture and snoring.
3. Muscle Support
We explained above that having a poor sleep posture can affect your sleep and muscles that hold the neck. Let’s tackle that now in detail. Proper sleep posture is important especially if you suffered from an injury that put a strain on your neck and back. Proper alignment of the spine can help those conditions relieve and reduce the symptoms of sore and sprained muscles.
During the night, our bones and muscles restore and relax as we sleep. The proper sleep posture promotes its smoother and swifter recovery and relaxation. If you sleep on a poor quality pillow, your body will wake up as tired as it went to sleep. Additionally, after a while, poor posture during sleep can result in headaches and migraines.
4. It’s Cool
Memory foam pillows are extremely popular and beneficial for our sleep.
However, because memory foam is a synthetic material, they tend to get extremely hot and not provide a good night’s rest as other pillows. It’s no secret that a cool sleep environment is a great option for having a sounder and more soothing night rest, but having a cool mattress and pillows is just as important.
Buckwheat pillows allow more breathability and better airflow through the pillow, ensuring that you don’t have to turn your pillow countless of times before the side you want to sleep in is cool enough. The husks are triangular and are a little cupped, which makes for great airflow because enough air can pass through the gaps between the hulls.
More importantly, given they have a long lifespan, the husks won’t compress that easily but will keep their natural shape even when more pressure and weight lay over the pillow.
That said, if you’re sleeping hot and sweating a lot when you sleep, buckwheat pillow is a great investment for you.
5. Helps With Headache and Migraine
The use of a pillow with the right alignment that will reduce cervical stiffness is extremely important in preventing headaches and migraines. A lot of people who wake up with unbearable aching in the head, often don’t know that the shape and filling of their pillow could be contributing to disturbing sensation. That said a pillow with right filling that will keep your spine in a neutral position will also soothe and prevent headaches and migraines, according to a study.
There are pillows made out of various materials, and many of them are organic too. Certain materials attract more insects, bacteria, and dust mites, which can cause discomfort and allergy reactions, especially in children. With buckwheat pillow, there are no materials that the bugs could want to eat. That said, they’re dust resistant and hypoallergenic. With an amazing airflow, they add up to a clean and peaceful sensation when you lay on them.
Different companies focused on sleep health say that buckwheat can go as long as ten years if they’re properly maintained. Many suggest that a good buckwheat pillow with the right encasing could last even longer. The durability of a buckwheat pillow is measured through the materials and their quality, as well as which thickness is the company aiming for.
It’s important to note that hulls can also decay in quality over the years. Fortunately, a lot of sleep companies make adjustable pillows that can be refilled.
That said, you can enjoy flawless sleep and rest with buckwheat pillows, while saving money and the environment, as they’re eco-friendly too.
At the beginning of this list, we said that buckwheat pillows can be used for all sleeping positions, as most of the pillows are adjustable, and come with zippers that can easily be opened to add or remove excess filling in the pillow.
That said if you feel that your sleep preference changed over the past few years and you no longer want to sleep on your side, but on your stomach, you can simply remove the excess hulls and settle for a thinner pillow.
If being adjustable is an important property of a good pillow for you, make sure to speak to the manufacturer and see whether the pillow of your choice comes with this option.
4 Side Effects of Buckwheat Pillow
Unfortunately, nothing is perfect and so is the buckwheat pillow. However, the flaws are only minimal, and shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for many people, unless you’re allergic to buckwheat.
1. Buckwheat Allergy
We said that buckwheat pillows are mainly hypoallergenic and don’t attract any insects or microbes. However, some people, children in particular could boast the allergy.
A study found that buckwheat allergy could affect people living in Great Britain, so it’s important to visit a doctor and consult with them regarding any discomfort or possible allergy reaction to buckwheat before purchasing the pillow.
If the allergy threat still didn’t discourage you, still ensure to get a pillow with a proper casing that would guard you or your child against the potential effects of the buckwheat.
Memory foam pillows often ship compressed for better quality and may undergo off-gassing through a few days until the pillow fully extends, causing an uncomfortable odor.
Buckwheat, however, boasts its natural odor which is soothing and aromatic for a lot of people. Still, for some people, it may be problematic because it’s strong. It’s often a result of hulls not being roasted before being distributed in the pillows. Luckily, if you air the pillows frequently, the smell will quickly go away.
The hulls inside the pillow can be noisy. It’s no secret that calm and silent ambient is essential for good sleep hygiene. That’s why some people may find them uncomfortable and wake up easier, especially if their sleep is light.
4. Heavier Than Others
Buckwheat hulls are heavy, which leads to these pillows weighing between 8 and 15 pounds. That said, they may not be the most comfortable thing to carry around. Also, the casing is quite heavy so that hulls wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. With that in mind, these pillows are made just for sleeping, they’re not to be carried around or used as a weapon in pillow fights.
We left out on a few other drawbacks, such as not being washable, similar to other pillows like memory foam. Fortunately, their covers can be washed in a machine and mostly tumble dried – ensure to read the specification or consult with the manufacturer. Also, just like all other pillows, they take time to get used to and it may be uncomfortable to sleep on it for the first few nights.
Nevertheless, these pillows are a great investment and worth in the long run. Although they have a few drawbacks, they’re not deal-breakers.