A memory foam pillow is completely synthetic while a buckwheat pillow is organic (all natural). As you probably suspect, these two types of pillows work in a completely different way, even though their main goal is quite the same: better support and conformity to your head and neck.
How Does Visco Memory Foam Work?
As you may already know, visco pillow memory foam is made of open cells, billions of balloons with holes in them. When you rest your head on it, air spreads from one cell to the next until there’s none left to push back and cause discomfort (air is pushed out from the foam). This makes the pillow better contour your head and neck, relieving pressure points and supporting your weight.
How Do Buckwheat Hulls Work?
Buckwheat neck pillows are made of buckwheat hulls, the exterior husks of buckwheat seeds (which, despite their name, are not cereal, but fruit plants related to rhubarb).
Once the seed is split in half, the inside (called buckwheat meal) is ground into flour (nowadays used by the entire world as a dietary equivalent of wheat) and leftover husks are vacuumed out to remove any remains of meal, dust or twigs.
Pillow manufacturers then buy these hulls, flatten them to increase resistance and stuff them into heavyweight cotton covers which help the pillow maintain its shape.
When you lay your head on this type of pillow, the hulls adjust their position inside to better contour your head and neck. This is how buckwheat hull pillows offer support and comfort with fewer pressure points.
Most pillows also come with a zipper, so that you can add or remove hulls to obtain the firmness and thickness you prefer. Buckwheat hulls are used to manufacture not only pillows, but also mattresses, futons, yoga cushions, keyboard wrist rests, eye pillows, travel pillows, and neck-rolls.
- Buckwheat at Wikipedia – Extensive info on buckwheat including cultivation, use, trivia, etc.
- Buckwheat Pillows FAQ – Answers to common questions on pillows made of buckwheat hulls.
- Benefits of Buckwheat Hull Pillows – Good info on various aspects of buckwheat husk pillows.
- What Are Buckwheat Pillows – Interesting trivia on buckwheat uses for sleeping including tips.
Despite of the expensive price and nicely made TV commercial, I would wake up and get out of bed because of the back pain. I hardly had good night’s sleep while we had Tempur-Pedic mattress. My husband either. He eventually started sleeping on the couch instead of the mattress.
When I get a migraine, I also have intense neck pain. I lay on this pillow with a cloth over my eyes. The pillow provides immediate relief for my neck, which, in turn, helps my head. The pillow also causes no problem with my dust/mildew allergies.
Years ago a Japanese friend suggested I try sleeping on a buckwheat pillow to help control my chronic headaches. It took a bit of getting used to the feel of the pillow, but it really worked for me. So when my mother recently began complaining about neck pain, especially in the mornings, I gave her my pillow and ordered a new one for myself. This is a good investment. The pillows last a long time and really help for a good night’s sleep.
If you are a light sleeper who moves a lot, like I am, you do a good bit of readjusting the pillow at night.