Can Buckwheat Pillows Trigger Asthma and Allergies?

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Do you have the right pillow to help you deal with your asthma and allergies?

Today, there are many alternative pillows on the market!

Many of them help with dust mite problems and other allergies, but some can make allergy problems worse.

How much do you know about buckwheat pillows? Can this type of pillow help your allergies, or can it make them worse?

In this article, I’ll talk about buckwheat pillows, and their value (or lack thereof) to allergy and asthma sufferers.

Curious about buckwheat’s relation to allergies? Read on to learn more!

Are buckwheat pillows hypoallergenic?

Most pillow types trap allergens, which can trigger breathing problems in asthmatics. For many allergy sufferers and asthmatics, an alternative pillow choice can be the solution to this problem.

Wondering if buckwheat pillows are hypoallergenic?

The short answer to this question is “no.”

Unfortunately, this pillow type can actually be even worse than synthetic pillows!

A 2004 study done in Korea tested both synthetic and buckwheat pillows to determine which was worse for allergies. The study showed that the level of endotoxins—secretions from bacteria – were significantly worse in buckwheat pillows.

However, the dust mite level was about the same. If it’s only dust mites that you are worried about, then changing your pillow to a buckwheat pillow isn’t going to make much of a difference.

Of course, it won’t help things, either! Even though buckwheat pillows in the United States are cleaned better during manufacturing than buckwheat pillows in Asia (as the study in question admitted), I definitely wouldn’t recommend switching over to a buckwheat pillow. After all, there are plenty of other types of pillows available on the market.

If you are concerned with endotoxin levels, however, a buckwheat pillow will actually make things much worse for you. Endotoxins can have harmful effects on asthmatics, and experts have found that high endotoxin levels can make asthma worse.

Since you spend so much time with your pillow, you certainly don’t want to risk a pillow that can make your asthma symptoms more miserable than they already are.

To make a long story short, if you are looking for a hypoallergenic pillow, don’t go with a buckwheat pillow.

Stick with a recognized hypoallergenic, dust mite-resistant pillow. You can easily find one on Amazon or at a home good store.

One good brand is Smart Home Bedding, which is made with non-allergenic polyester. This type of fabric isn’t a common allergen, and it keeps dust mites and other intruders out of your pillow.

You can also zip your pillow in a hypoallergenic cover, as Mayo Clinic suggests. This allows you to use virtually any type of pillow. It works by blocking all the nasty things inside your pillow from coming out, while at the same time keeping allergens like dust mites from settling on the pillow or getting in.

Is Buckwheat an allergen?

Many substances can be allergens—even unexpected ones!

Buckwheat is no exception. While this isn’t a common allergy, it’s best not to write it off as a possible candidate.

In a study done by the University of Michigan, buckwheat was found to be one of a variety of triggers for an allergy sufferer.

For the study, the subject slept on a buckwheat pillow. When the pillow was removed, his allergies improved significantly.

Other studies have had similar findings about the effects of buckwheat pillows for some allergy sufferers.

These studies showed what other allergy sufferers have found on their own—buckwheat can, indeed, be an allergen.

In fact, if you believe you have a dust mite allergy, you may actually be allergic to buckwheat!

Or, you could be allergic to both.

After all, you can have similar allergic reactions to both allergens, and you can come in contact with both through your bedding or pillow.

If you are having trouble with bedtime allergy triggers, look at your pillow type and read the tags on your bedding.

If buckwheat is included in the materials, try removing the potential offender for a few nights.

If your allergies clear up, you may have discovered a buckwheat allergy.

Of course, dust mite allergies are more common than buckwheat allergies. While 20 million American are thought to have dust mite allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the number of buckwheat allergy sufferers is low enough to be of minimal importance to researchers.

While studies on buckwheat allergies are pretty rare in the United States, there have been many in Asia, where buckwheat—and buckwheat allergies—are much more common!

Buckwheat can be an allergen, but it isn’t as likely as a dust mite allergy. If you believe you may have a buckwheat allergy, however, it is a good idea to get tested, or at least get rid of fabrics and foods with buckwheat components.


In conclusion, buckwheat pillows are a disappointingly useless weapon in the fight against dust mites. They don’t block dust mites, and they trap some allergens even worse than synthetic pillows.

Buckwheat can also be an allergen, though it’s a relatively rare one. A good rule of thumb is to skip the buckwheat altogether, because it certainly won’t help and it may end up harming you, instead.

Stick with common hypoallergenic bedding, and you’re likely to have much better results.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Al - January 15, 2018

Good points, but all I’ve done is cover my buckwheat pillow in a hypoallergenic material. Don’t forget the reason people buy them in the first place! I get a much better night on a pillow I can mould to my posture – no crick in the neck and stiff shoulders come morning! 🙂


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