There are unique struggles that business travelers have to go through. While it’s true that going to different places can be enjoyable, it still has its downsides. For example, it can be exhausting, you could get jet lagged, and you could also spend less time with your loved ones.
To make your business travel more bearable, you’ll need a different approach, especially when it comes to your rest. While time management and planning will apply to any workplace, getting quality rest is more challenging for traveling workers.
When you’re on the road or the plane, taking the opportunity to rest your head and get some extra shuteye can make a huge difference. This is why a trusty travel pillow, like those that contain buckwheat, would be a fantastic addition to your carry-on.
What Is A Buckwheat Pillow?
There are all kinds of pillows to choose from, like polyester and memory foam. However, you might be missing out on alternative types of pillow filling that might fit your specific needs and wants. One of these is buckwheat or sobakawa pillow, which makes use of buckwheat hulls as filling.
How Can Buckwheat Pillows Be Used for Traveling?
A buckwheat pillow can be a helpful travel partner when you’re taking a trip. Here are some reasons why it’s fantastic not just for business and tourists alike:
- You Could Get a U-Shaped or A Rectangular One
Buckwheat pillows come in different shapes and sizes. For instance, there’s the u-shaped neck pillow, which is typically used for travel. If you have a hard time sleeping while you’re seated, one that wraps around your neck could help you feel comfortable enough to sleep through a flight or a road trip.
There’s also a neck pillow that’s cylindrically shaped, so it fits perfectly under your nape. This is great for people who want to get more support around the arch of their neck.
And, of course, there’s the classic rectangular pillow, which you could lay your head and neck on. It’s also great as lumbar support or a seat cushion.
Here’s a video example of a rectangular buckwheat pillow
- You Can Adjust Its Thickness
The next reason why it’s great for traveling and home use is that you can adjust its thickness. Whether you’re laying down, using it for cushioning, or supporting your neck while in transit, there’s a specific thickness that could help you rest comfortably.
A buckwheat pillow is also comfortable in any sleeping position, either you’re a side or stomach sleeper. This is because the pillow’s height can accommodate the space around your head and neck. Most pillows aren’t adjustable, so their thickness can cause discomfort and neck pain.
While it’s possible to have pillows of varying thickness at home, it isn’t exactly practical to carry them with you as you travel. It’s better to have one pillow that you could adjust just by adding more buckwheat hulls to make it thicker or removing some to make it thinner.
- You Could Also Adjust Its Stiffness
In addition to adjusting the thickness, you could also customize how stiff it is. Some people prefer ones with more give, while others prefer a harder pillow that doesn’t deflate from their weight.
For a travel pillow, it helps if it doesn’t quickly flatten. This way, it can bolster your head and neck, giving you more support. Additionally, you can be a polite traveler since you won’t end up leaning over to the next person beside you on the train.
- Promotes Better Sleeping Posture
In line with providing good neck and head support, buckwheat pillows also help provide better sleeping posture as a whole. Since it’s adjustable, your spine could be aligned appropriately, whether you sleep on your side, back, or stomach.
While you’re traveling, you’ll probably sleep in different types of accommodation. While fluffy lush pillows can feel soft and look aesthetic, they’re limited in terms of the kind of support they can give people.
If you have existing back problems or you’re worried about your spinal health, getting the right pillow–those that can adjust to your needs–could make a massive difference to your posture.
- They’re More Sanitary Than Hotel Pillows
When you’re sleeping in different accommodations, like bed and breakfasts or hotels, they’ll provide you with their pillows. Although they’re supposed to wash and sanitize them regularly, it’s challenging to be sure.
In addition, there’s something gross about sleeping on a pillow that other strangers already used. They could have drooled or sweated on those cushions, which isn’t exactly a comforting thought. Therefore, bringing your own buckwheat pillow would be more sanitary.
- They’re Hypoallergenic
Since buckwheat pillows are also said to be hypoallergenic, it’s great for travelers who might be allergic to other kinds of pillow fillers, like feathers. Organic buckwheat, where the hulls are harvested from, is free from synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
In addition, it’s also said that buckwheat hulls aren’t edible to mites, so you won’t have to worry about these pests infesting on your pillows.
However, it’s essential to research more about how hypoallergenic certain buckwheat pillows are. You might also want to check if you have buckwheat allergies just to be safe.
- They Last for A Long Time
Another reason why you should invest in a buckwheat pillow is that it lasts up to ten years. On the other hand, the standard polycarbonate pillow will have to be replaced every 2-6 years. And if you’re traveling, the pillow will be exposed to pollution and all kinds of environments.
This means that you’ll probably have to wash them every time you go on a trip. This will reduce its lifespan as it could deflate the filling faster.
- They Keep You Cool
Buckwheat pillows also have a cooling feature to them since the hulls inside can promote better air circulation. This means that the hulls won’t collect your body heat as typical fillers would.
So, if you’re traveling to a place with a hotter climate, it’s better to have a pillow that could keep you cool and comfortable. If you hate sleeping on a warm pillow, you won’t have to disturb your sleep to flip the pillow to get the cold side.
- They’re Environmentally Friendly
The next great thing about buckwheat pillows is that they’re environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, the textile industry is responsible for a significant percentage of pollution in the world.
With fast fashion and fabrics being in such high demand, it does inspire many people to switch to an eco-friendlier lifestyle.
This is because sourcing and treating all kinds of fabric and filler materials contribute to air, water, and land pollution. For instance, cotton production is one of the materials that are high in demand. From growing cotton to making a shirt, tons of water and chemicals are used.
Switching to buckwheat pillows is eco-friendly because it doesn’t need chemicals. This is because the buckwheat plant itself improves land’s fertility, and it’s also referred to as ‘green manure.’ Traveling already contributes to pollution, so it’s understandable if you want to do more to reduce your carbon footprint. Even the smallest effort counts, and even a simple buckwheat pillow for travel makes a difference.
- You Could Use Them for Travel or Home
Finally, you could use the buckwheat pillow both for travel and at home. While a u-shaped pillow is fantastic for sleeping while seated, some people prefer a regular rectangle pillow. If so, you won’t have to have a separate smaller pillow for travel and a larger one for home.
You could simply transfer the buckwheat hulls in a smaller pillowcase to make it travel-sized. It’s also easy to just fold the pillow in half, and it’ll keep its shape.
In comparison, a huge pillow that’s commonly used in the bedroom isn’t travel-friendly. They’re bulky, and you can’t adjust their size to make them portable.
Caring For Your Buckwheat Pillow
While most people throw their entire pillow in the washing machine, this is one thing you can’t do with buckwheat pillows. Here are some things to remember to make sure that you’re caring for yours correctly:
- Don’t get the hulls wet
- Remove the hulls before washing the inner and outer pillowcases
- Always read care instructions for the pillowcases
- If the hulls get wet, put them in place with sunlight and air dry them.
- Get pillowcases that have zippers
- Replace the buckwheat hulls when they’re broken down or flattened
The number one rule isn’t to get the hulls wet as moisture can ruin them and cause them to rot. Also, since it’s organic, the hulls will eventually naturally break down. So, it isn’t alarming if your buckwheat pillow suddenly feels flatter than before. Fortunately, you won’t have to buy an entirely new pillow. You’ll only need to purchase more hulls to change the filling.
Disadvantages Of Buckwheat Pillows
While there are so many advantages to sobakawa pillows, there are still some downsides to it. Just like any product you’re spending on, weighing the pros and cons can help you decide better. Here are some of the possible disadvantages to look out for:
- They can be expensive
- They tend to rustle when you move
- The hulls can’t be washed
However, although buckwheat hulls could be expensive, they do last a long time. Comparing how much you spend on pillows in ten years versus how much one buckwheat pillow is one way you could see how much you could save.
As for the washing, while the hulls can’t get wet, they can be aired out or put under the sun. If this doesn’t satisfy you, you could replace some of the hulls you think might be soiled.
Buckwheat Pillow Buying Guide
With so many sobakawa pillows in the market, it might be challenging to look for the right one for you. If you’re still unsure about investing in this kind of pillow, here are some things to consider:
- Invest in quality
- Research the company
- Send the store questions
- Look into where they get their buckwheat hulls
- Find something that fits well with your lifestyle
- Have a set budget
- Look for product reviews
Since many companies make and sell buckwheat hulls pillows, looking for comparisons and reviews is extremely helpful. Some think that there’s no real difference between companies.
However, how the companies work and their advocacies might be something that could strike your interest.
Buying online gives you the advantage of contacting the company directly. They usually have a contact page where you could send them a message, so their customer service could get back to you as soon as possible.
Why Buckwheat Hulls Are Becoming More Popular Fillers
Buckwheat hulls were used in Japan 600 years ago to fill up pillows, cushions, and even bedding. To see it still being used now could be a testament to how much people like it.
With more people becoming aware of taking care of the planet, products like these boost its popularity even more. From Japan, it’s now used worldwide to provide a sustainable way to sleep comfortably.
Other Alternative Organic Fillers Used for Pillows
In line with the popularity of eco-friendly products, other pillow fillers are also organic. If buckwheat isn’t for you because of price constraints, allergies, or other reasons, here are some other alternative organic or sustainable fillers used for pillows:
- Organic cotton
- Fabric shavings
- Scrap fabrics
While some of these pillows might be labeled ‘organic’ or ‘sustainable,’ you might want to look more into how the products are made. This is because products that are called organic or eco-friendly might just be a marketing strategy.
Whether you’re working at home or traveling for business purposes, it’s essential to manage stress levels. Many who travel for work purposes don’t get enough rest because of how difficult it is to get some sleep while in transit.
Investing in a buckwheat pillow for this purpose could help you rest better and also help the environment. Plus, buckwheat pillows last a long time, so you won’t have to worry about rebuying a travel pillow regularly.