When Should I Replace My Buckwheat Pillow’s Filling?

Buckwheat hulls inside a buckwheat pillow

Make your pillow new again with fresh buckwheat hulls.

Unfortunately all pillow filling degrades with use.

Sleeping on your pillow night after night compresses its filling. This repeated compression causes some loss of volume over time. Your trusty pillow eventually loses some of its original loft (height). Consequently, your pillow might lack the volume needed to fill up the space under your head.

Some buckwheat hull pillow manufacturers claim that their products will last ten years or longer. While results will vary drastically depending upon use and humidity, we think that’s an overly-optimistic claim.

A high-quality organic fabric case with durable stitching and a heavy-duty zipper like Hullo’s can last a lifetime. Unfortunately, a buckwheat hull pillow’s filling will not. Like other filling types, buckwheat hulls break down over time.

The degradation of buckwheat hull filling happens slowly and subtly with use. A ten-year-old buckwheat pillow with flattened buckwheat hulls can feel awesome compared to the soft squishy pillows you used to sleep on, but it isn’t going to be quite the effective pillow it once was.

Older, used buckwheat hulls can make your pillow feel less effective:

  • The buckwheat hulls will lose some of their volume. Your pillow may feel flatter and not provide the loft it once did.
  • The crushed buckwheat hulls will not be as malleable as they once were. They will not grip one another like intact rough-edged hulls do. As a result, your pillow may not hold its shape as well as it could.
  • There’s less space between the buckwheat hulls when they’ve been crushed flat. Consequently, the benefit of air circulation (and a cool pillow) is diminished.

If your pillow feels as though it’s suffering from any of the above issues, just dump the old ones out (they make terrific mulch) and replace them with new pillow-grade buckwheat hulls. Good as new!