Back in January Emily wrote a great post on buckwheat hull pillows which inspired me to make my own. It has been true love ever since. I’ve enjoyed the many benefits of buckwheat hull pillows including excellent support for the neck and head, good air circulation to keep the pillow cool while also absorbing moisture and sweat, and I was able to make my pillow for about $25. After reading on several occasions that buckwheat pillows were recommended to help prevent migraines. Emily's post encouraged me to finally make my own pillow.
After a bit of research I came up with a few important requirements for making a perfect buckwheat pillow:
- Make or use a zip-up case. It’s good to remove the hulls every few months to wash the case and to let the hulls air out.
- Use organic buckwheat hulls which can found inexpensively online, especially in larger quantities. I was able to source a 25 lb bag for $50 (unfortunately my supplier doesn’t offer this product anymore). You only need 5-7 lbs per pillow. I was able to get 4 pillows out of my supply of hulls.
- Use organic fabric for the case as you’ll be pressing your face and breathing into this pillow each night so it's probably best to go chemical/pesticide free.
- Try to eliminate dust on the buckwheat hulls, I don’t really have any ideas on how to do that other than to remove the hulls from the case with frequent washing during your first few months of use. I found that early on dust would collect inside the case and that the dust might trigger allergies in some people (like my sister who was excited to try the pillow, but very disappointed by the sneezing fit that followed her use of the new pillow).
After spending about 1-2 hours sewing my pillow was complete, I used an organic linen and organic hulls and matched the pillow case to a queen sized pillow. There is a little getting used to the pillows; for example, my significant other complains about the rustling noise the pillow makes when I adjust it (he has not adopted a buckwheat pillow in spite of my suggestions). The pillow may seem odd at first because you actually have to shape it to your head a little by pressing the hulls in place.
After 1-2 nights I had a much improved sleep, including a better rest, fewer migraines and more comfort when trying to cope with a migraine that has already started, less back and neck pain and better digestion. The pillow has stayed dry during the summer heat and even when I’ve had a fever. It’s usually that perfect coolness when I put my head down. Also, my cat loves to sleep on it.
I think the thing I take the most comfort in though is that I have been able to eliminate at least one petroleum-based chemical-laden piece of bedding from my home and replaced it with something much better for my health and comfort.
(Image: So Cozy, by Cambree Notes)