The incredible, edible pillow! It doubles as a weapon and an emergency meal!
Feb 10, 2007
Pros: It's better than nothing maybe?
Cons: Heavy, stinky, sharp, hard, crunchy, uncomfortable, need I go on?
The Bottom Line: Buckwheat and bed just don't go together for me. Crunchy, hard, sharp, heavy, and stinky. Not my dream pillow for sure!
Well, what do you know? I was writing my review of my Personal Expressions Memory Foam Contour Pillow when I mentioned a buckwheat pillow we once owned. Out of curiosity, I checked to see if those dreadful things were still out there and there they were!
The pillow I was referring to in the previous review was the Makura Miracle Professional Buckwheat Pillow (Traditional Size with Top Grade Hulls) now called simply The Original Makura Buckwheat Traditional Pillow, probably because they realized this pillow was by no means a miracle!
The Manufacturer Says
The Original Makura pillow is manufactured with the highest quality organic buckwheat hulls to leave you feeling energized and rejuvenated after a good night's sleep. Doctors recommend this pillow to help treat cervical and lumbar conditions by aiding healing, reducing pain, and helping maintain healthy spinal alignment. The pillow size is 14" by 21".
The pillows are made using natural buckwheat hulls that are manufactured without any chemical additives unlike many synthetic fiber or glued foam pillows. The hulls are hypo-allergenic because of the intense triple cleaning process which eliminates 99% of dust, leaving you with a high-quality filling encased in 100% durable natural cotton lining.
About this Pillow
This pillow is a standard sized one that looks like a normal, everyday pillow. But it is far from that!
Inside the white case are a whole bunch of hard, thin buckwheat hulls. These are supposed to be good for a host of medical conditions and the hulls are supposed to mold to your head and neck giving you a perfect night's sleep.
Enough with the comedy.
The actuality is this pillow crunches. You lie on it, it crunches. You move, it crunches. It's like sleeping on dry Rice Crispies.
The pillow is very heavy. Used as a weapon, it would really hurt even a tough guy. Used as a bed pillow, it could really interfere with your sleep. The crunching is bad, but the hulls poking out and scratching you is ever worse.
To its credit, the pillow does conform somewhat to your head and shoulders and doesn't overheat in summer. But then it smells in the summer. And if you have any sort of outdoor allergies like I do, forget it. You'll sneeze all night long. I know it says the pillow is hypoallergenic but I guess my allergies are stronger than the process to eliminate the allergens.
The covering that comes with it is just a thin, completely sewn on one. You can buy special pillow covers for this product and I suggest you do if you have a notion to go natural and try buckwheat at bedtime.
Before I had a neck injury, I slept with three pillows all fluffed up. My head and neck were so out of alignment that I would wake up sore but didn't know why. After I had a severe neck injury, the nights of three pillow dreams were gone.
I was ordered to use a cervical pillow. Forever.
However, no one really told me at that point exactly what a cervical pillow was. So I experimented. And yikes, the Makura Miracle Professional Buckwheat Pillow (Traditional Size with Top Grade Hulls) was the craziest pillow I tried.
As I said, it is heavy. I mean, super heavy. I guess buckwheat is a heavy plant.
It also is crunchy. There is no avoiding the fact that this pillow crunches when you move. You can hear every crunch as you try to get into position to sleep. I found that to be very annoying.
The makers claim that this pillow is great for a long host of ailments including neck and back injuries, TMJ, insomnia, whiplash, arthritis, and even snoring. I can see that. If you never can fall asleep, you can never snore!
Regular pillowcases fit over this pillow but I suggest the one made for it because it is thicker and keeps the hulls from attacking you while you sleep.
I tried. I really tried. I slept on the pillow for three weeks, ignoring the crunching and stiffness and trying to find a way to be comfortable. However, the pillow was just too hard, too weird, and too loud for me.
I passed it onto my son who'll sleep on anything, and he used it until it got wet. Once that happened, it emitted a terrible odor and we had to toss it out.
These pillows cannot be washed for obvious reasons so proper covering is a must. All that is inside is buckwheat hulls. There is nothing soft or foamy between the hulls. It's just a bag of buckwheat.
The scent will always linger. It's not a terrible scent but it smells like the outdoors and of, well, wheat I suppose. I am allergic to several outdoor plants, although I don't know if buckwheat is one. However, I sneezed and woke up red eyed and scratchy throated when I used this pillow.
My neck pain was not any better either.
My son didn't experience any allergies or pain. He just thought the pillow was stupid because it was so loud and hard. He did, however, enjoy thwapping his brother with it then proclaiming it was "just a pillow". I tell ya, these are weapons!
You do get one pillowcase with this pillow and others are available for about $10.00 apiece.
You must declare that you understand that the pillow cannot be returned or exchanged even if it is has not been opened. Sheesh. I understand laws and all but an unopened pillow can't be returned?
This pillow was a grand waste of money. I should have done my research to better understand what I needed and what buckwheat pillows were all about.
Live and learn!
I checked around the web for this pillow and found it selling for between $36.00 and $49.99. The Makura Miracle Professional Buckwheat Pillow (Traditional Size with Top Grade Hulls) is supposed to be made with "top grade hulls" as opposed to ummm lesser grade ones, I guess, and is more expensive than no name buckwheat pillows that you can sometimes find at mass-market stores.
I am not sure where this pillow is sold offline but it is available online at various health and sleep sites.
Drum Roll Please
This pillow is supposed to ease many ailments, keep your head temperature even in all kinds of weather, and help you get a better night's rest.
I found none of that to be true.
The buckwheat hulls are crunchy and sharp and the pillow is amazingly heavy. I didn't notice any major difference in temperature from other pillows and my neck still ached just as much as with a traditional pillow.
I also found the scent somewhat offensive and my allergies kicked in.
Not a good experience for sure!
My son inherited the pillow and used it but never really liked it. He's just easy to please. I think he was relieved when he accidentally spilled his Gatorade on the pillow and it had to be tossed. Or was it accidental? Hmm.
For some, this pillow may work wonders. I didn't like it and I give it 2 stars for being so annoying, heavy, and loud.
I'll stick with my memory foam pillows. Even if they don't work, they don't sound like I am cracking my teeth and bones when I move my head at night. Those sounds are scary when you're half-asleep!
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