Pillows vary in their sizes, designs, and stuffing. A popular stuffing choice is buckwheat that doubles as a protein and fiber source. But, before you shop for the best buckwheat pillow, you need to be mindful of how to clean it. So, what is a buckwheat pillow, and why is it unique? True to its name, this pillow is stuffed with buckwheat, an ancient seed native to Asia. However, it’s neither grain nor does it contain wheat. Before getting in the pillow, the buckwheat undergoes de-hulling and cleaning.
Cleaning Buckwheat Pillows
Your pillowcase determines the pillow’s cleanliness. That’s why you should choose the right fabric. Take the case of cotton. Aside from being gentle on your body, the casing is easy to clean. Here’s how to wash cotton covers.
1- Transfer the hulls into a clean pillowcase or grocery bag and fasten it with a tie if it doesn’t have a zipper. You could ask your friend to hold the case while you pour the hulls to avoid spillage.
2- Turn the cover inside out to remove all the hulls.
3- Throw your organic cotton cover in the laundry machine and select a slow cycle. Don’t use bleach lest you damage the material.
4- Don’t mix the case with non-textiles. This guarantees a thorough wash and protects your machine from overload.
5- To avoid shrinkage, clean the fabric with cold water and air dry it. You can place it on a flat surface or use a clothesline. Remember, even the slightest dampness ruins the hulls and invites mold.
Another option is hand-washing.
1- Fill the sink with cold water and add mild soap.
2- Soak the case and squeeze it gently, focusing on the stains.
3- When washing the cover with other garments, ensure they match the case’s fabric and color.
4- Rinse severally. You can put fresh water in the sink or run the pillowcase under the tap. You could also turn the case inside out to remove all soap traces.
5- Press the cover to rid it of excess water, being gentle, so it doesn’t clump.
How About the Buckwheat?
Although they’re less susceptible to scents and stains, buckwheat isn’t waterproof. A replacement is necessary if you soak the hulls. That’s because water distorts their three-dimensional structure. However, you can restore the pillow by drying the hulls in the event of small spills or humid environments. Here’s how to rejuvenate the buckwheat.
1- Dump your hulls in a clean bowl. Ensure the container is large enough to hold the hulls.
2- Place the hulls near a window and stir them periodically for even sunshine distribution.
3- Put the container away from children and pets who can knock them over.
4- The process is only effective if you dry the hulls immediately. Even without spills, air your pillows regularly to keep them fresh. You can also care for them by adding pillowcases and ensuring the rest of your bedding is clean.
When Should You Replace Your Buckwheat Pillow?
Like other pillow types, buckwheat pillows need regular replacement. It’s time for pillow shopping if you:
Wake up sneezing
Are always shaking the pillow to be comfortable
Wake up with shoulder, neck, and back pains
Wake up with headaches
Are uncomfortable in your regular sleeping position
Notice changes in the buckwheat pillow’s shape and volume
Wake up sweaty
Buckwheat Pillow Benefits
From boosting your immunity and productivity to preventing depression and heart diseases, your body needs enough sleep. However, substandard pillows interfere with your sleep. Here’s how buckwheat pillows improve your rest.
Unlike conventional pillows that collapse under your weight, buckwheat alternatives align your head with their consistent fill density. They also spread your head’s weight across the surface to eliminate neck and shoulder pressure spots. By positioning your neck in its natural cervical position, the pillow relaxes your spinal cord to prevent straining nerve roots. You can also put it below your knees to soothe middle back pain.
Buckwheat pillows improve head and neck placement by allowing you to increase or reduce hulls. What’s more, the hulls’ three-dimensional shape lets them shift in the pillowcase to support your head. But comfort requirements vary with each individual. For example, side sleepers need higher pillows while their back and stomach counterparts require thin ones. Proper body alignment also clears your airways to minimize snoring.
According to The Sleep Foundation, " buckwheat pillows are ideal for hot sleepers". Unlike foam alternatives, you don’t have to switch pillow sides at night to be cool. Because their triangular shape forms air pockets, hulls allow your body’s warmth to escape. You can increase the cooling effect with organic cotton covers. Their threads trap air between your skin and the pillow for warmer winters and cooler summers.
Since insects don’t eat their components, buckwheat pillows are less likely to attract allergens. This is especially true for organic buckwheat. Their excellent airflow also discourages dust mites. The fact that they incorporate organic buckwheat hulls makes the pillows free of toxins. Moreover, their mild smell doesn’t interrupt your slumber. It’s almost as if the pillows are odorless. The cotton cover is also skin-friendly.
Stress, medication, alcohol; you name it, migraine triggers vary from one person to another. But did you know your pillow could be the reason you wake up with a throbbing head? The wrong cushion stresses your upper neck nerves, causing pain in the forehead, temples, and eyes. Buckwheat pillows accommodate your head and neck contours to relieve muscle pressure.
The pillows aren’t limited to the bedroom. Thanks to their firmness and moldability, you can use them as back support in the office, during long drives, or at the dining table to help kids sit upright. You can also place your wrist on smaller pillows when typing.
A Long-lasting Alternative
When paired with durable materials like organic cotton covers, buckwheat promises longer service. But don’t be mistaken by its lightness. The fabric is strong enough to withstand wear and tear. The good news is you can refill your pillow for maximum support. Since they’re biodegradable, the hulls don’t destroy the environment upon disposal.