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 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2816881/
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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