June 06, 2004

Buckwheat Pillow

Many people know there is a Japanese noodle made from buckwheat called "そば" (soba), but do you know that the hulls of buckwheat are not wasted either and are used in making pillows in Japan? I tried the buckwheat pillow "そば殻枕" (sobagara makura) when I was visiting a friend's home in Japan and fell in love with it right away!

I was constantly in search of THE perfect pillow that would maintain its firmness to support my head and neck. There are at least six or seven pillows sitting in my house right now and none of them satisfies my requirements. I have basically tried every kind of pillows out there that I could purchase easily at the stores in the States - cotton, down feather, synthetic foam and none of them works. They are either too high, too low, too soft or lose the firmness in several months. What even worse is that I would get neck ache or headache from sleeping on those pillows time to time. Finding the right pillow had become a mission for me until I tried the buckwheat pillows from Japan. Visit the pillow museum for a list of materials that Japanese use in making pillows.

Unlike conventional pillow, buckwheat pillow will not lose its shape no matter how you abuse it. It conforms to the individual's head and neck contour to provide the perfect support at the right places. it also allows air circulation and thus your head feels rather cool which is important for a good night sleep.

I was trying to buy buckwheat pillows in Japan but they were just too expensive. I found some fancy ones with cute prints on the pillow covers at department stores in "横浜" (yokohama) and "お台場" (odaiba) and although they were on sale, it was like 5000 yen for a pair which was a little bit out of my budget.

Luckily, I was finally able to find the buckwheat pillows in the States yesterday and guess what, it was only US$10 each. Now, I am a happy camper and my mission is accomplished. I slept on it last night and it is indeed the best pillow I have ever had!

Here is some reference about the story of pillows in Japanese. Try the buckwheat pillow yourself if you have a chance and you would agree with me that it is the best pillow on earth!