Suprising News about Buckwheat Pillows

I have been hearing quite a bit about buckwheat pillows lately.  I talk to people with allergies that swear by them as an alternative to a feather pillow. I thought I would investigate to see if this is an item that we should carry.  What I found amazed me.

While this information is not new, it is sure new to me.  Turns out that  buckwheat pillows are about the last thing you want to sleep on if you have dust mite allergies.

Several studies have been done, but the one that just knocked the dust mite cover off my pillow was the one done in Korea in 2004.

Buckwheat pillows are very popular in Korea.  Researchers from Korea and New Zealand decided to see if these buckwheat pillows were better for people with allergies.

Thirteen pairs of pillows (one synthetic and one buckwheat) were given to thirteen volunteers. Both pillows went on the bed with the volunteer.  Dust samples were taken from the beds before the pillows were put on the bed.

Endotoxin, a pro-inflammatory compound from cell walls of Gram-negative bacteria, was found to be present in slightly higher levels in the new buckwheat pillows.  After three months, the pillows were tested.

The levels of endotoxins were significantly higher in the buckwheat pillows. Since endotoxin has been linked to asthma, this does not bode well for the chances of buckwheat pillows finding their way into The Allergy Store.  You can read the study for yourself at

The bottom line is that if you have allergies, you should not have a buckwheat pillow. If you want a soft pillow, I suggest the Luxury Down Alternative Pillow.  This pillow is a synthetic gel fiber.  If you are convinced that you must sleep with an endotoxin-laden buckwheat pillow, then cover it with a Dust Mite Proof Pillow Cover.


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AC Filters and UV Lights Don’t Get Along

Well, you learn something new every day. That is for sure when you work at The Allergy Store.  Today I learned how ac filters can be damaged by ultraviolet light.

Today, we had an interesting customer call.  The pleated, disposable air conditioning filters they purchased some time ago are starting to crumble.  AC filers are not supposed to crumble.

For as many years as we have been selling pleated, disposable ac filters, I have never heard of the filtering media crumbling.  We discussed the situation at length so that when I phoned our manufacturer, I could give him a full report.

When I spoke with the manufacturer, he was also stumped.  However, he asked me one important question, “Does she have an ultra-violet light installed so that it is shining on the filter media area?”   I had not thought to ask her this question.  He went on to explain that the filter media in the disposable electrostatic filters is 100% polyester.  He says they use no cotton or wool fibers in the material as they do not want to encourage mold growth on the filter media.

However, polyester can be destroyed by exposure to intense ultraviolet light.

I phoned the customer back to ask if she had UV lights in the area of the filters and she told me “Yes”.  The filters were installed with a UV light shining directly on them.

Mystery solved!  She is moving the ultraviolet light so that it will not shine on the filters.

We all learned something.  As well as our custom-made, pleated electrostatic disposable filters are made, so they can’t stand up to continuous ultraviolet light.

Wishing you the best of health

Cheryl Krause

800 771-2246