The ComfySleep Buckwheat pillow may appear simple on the outside but it stands apart as a firm but adjustable pillow thanks to its buckwheat hull filling. Who is this pillow a good fit for? Read on for my full review.
- Measures 15″ x 21″, weighs 4 lbs + 1 lb extra buckwheat to customize your pillow
- Other sizes: 15” x 23”, 15” x 26”, 20” x 26”
- Filled with USA-grown buckwheat hulls that are cleaned without chemicals or fumigants
- Made with durable organic cotton twill grown and woven in the USA, with invisible zipper
- Handmade in the USA by a family business
Care: Here is how ComfyComfy says to clean your pillow:
Soaking buckwheat hulls with water will ruin them, so buckwheat pillows should not be put directly into the washing machine. However, our cotton pillow cover can be washed and buckwheat hulls can be set in the sun to dry.
Detailed instructions on how to remove the buckwheat hulls and wash and dry the pillow case can be found, here.
Who Makes It?
The ComfySleep Buckwheat pillow is handmade by a small business called ComfyComfy. Maggie, the founder, is from Brunei and grew up using buckwheat pillows. ComfyComfy was founded in 2011 and now employs 10 people.
In addition to the ComfySleep buckwheat pillow, ComfyComfy makes a range of products like Flaxseed heat wraps, Balsam pillows, and massage therapy balls.
What Are Buckwheat Hulls?
Here is the description from ComfyComfy:
Buckwheat hulls are the outer shell of a buckwheat seed and are left over after buckwheat seeds are processed. They provide superior support of the head, neck, and shoulders for restorative sleep. The buckwheat hulls in our pillows can be adjusted and arranged to precisely suit your body’s contours.
Buckwheat hull structure allows air to flow throughout the pillow. Therefore, buckwheat pillows do not retain stifling heat and moisture while sleeping
- Unique firm and adjustable fill
- Good support for head and neck
- Handmade (nice quality)
- Movement on the pillow generates louder noise from the buckwheat hulls
- Messy when opening/adjusting
- Twill outer cover not super soft
- Difficult to clean (detailed instructions on ComfyComfy website)
Buckwheat pillows are popping up on more and more American beds, but they are already very popular in Japan (where they originated) and other Asian countries.
Using the outer shell of buckwheat seeds to fill a pillow may seem like a strange concept when you’re used to softer fillings like down and foam. However, once you use it you’ll see that it provides the firmness that many desire combined with the flexibility to be molded and adjusted (and breathable to boot).
The ComfySleep Buckwheat pillow from ComfyComfy is based on the traditional Japanese design and is available in a wide range of sizes that are designed to fit smaller people to larger individuals.
I reviewed the smallest option – the 15” x 21” pillow. ComfyComfy says this size is designed for smaller adults, children, or while traveling.
It is four pounds in weight and comes with a brown bag filled with an additional pound of buckwheat hulls that I can use to add to the pillow and increase the fill/support/loft.
The buckwheat hulls themselves are tiny. It’s not like a pillow filled with large pecan shells, it’s more comparable to a bean bag.
The shells are also thin and if you apply enough pressure you can bend them. I mention this because – when you put four pounds of buckwheat hulls together – it creates a pillow filling that is firm and supportive but has a little bit of give/responsiveness that is reminiscent of a foam. It’s very unique.
ComfyComfy suggests that you move the buckwheat hulls within the pillow to match the curvature of your head and neck so that when you rest your head your will find your head/neck in neutral alignment – no strange angles.
Because the filling is adjustable the pillow may work well for back and side sleepers (at least in my experience). It could technically also work for stomach sleepers but here are a few things that made stomach sleeping hard for me:
- Noise: The jostling of the hulls inside the pillow is actually pretty loud. As a back and side sleeper (who sometimes ends up stomach sleeping as well) I found the noise from inside the pillow to be too loud for me to comfortably sleep on my side and I imagine it would be tough for stomach sleepers as well.
- Outer Cover: The durable Twill outer cover is made with cotton but has a rougher feel than other pillow covers. It feels sort of like a softer canvas. I would recommend putting a pillowcase over the pillow to help make it more comfortable.
- Firmness: You don’t sink into this pillow the way you would with a down, down alternative or foam. The buckwheat hulls are very firm (basically hard pieces of shell) and I think unless you scooped out a big portion of the hulls you would end up placing your neck at a weird angle for stomach sleeping.
Lastly, in terms of keeping your pillow clean, don’t soak your buckwheat hulls, so don’t throw the whole pillow in the wash. However, you can follow the detailed instructions on ComfyComfy’s website and remove the filling and wash and dry the pillow cover.
The buckwheat hulls are tiny and there are a lot of them, so if some spill out while you’re attempting to remove them from the pillow you may find yourself doing some cleaning (a vacuum will be handy).
Based on my experience, I think this pillow could be a great fit for back sleepers (and side sleepers who don’t mind noise) that are looking for firmness and support but want to be able to manipulate, adjust and mold the feeling to meet their exact needs.
If you’ve tried shredded memory foam and like the versatility but feel that it flattens out over time, it might be worth checking out the buckwheat pillow. The firmness and of the hulls may be just what you need.
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