Monday, May 9, 2016

My Buckwheat Hull Bed Adventure: A Review

So as some of you know, my girls have two homes with Daddy, one with Mommy. We've had to divide and conquer stacks of belongings and weed our way through countless online ads for used furniture. All of this administrative busy work is necessary, though, to keep me from getting lost in my own thoughts. I welcome it. I welcome the craziness of moving toys and searching for sustainable home furnishings.

And can I please tell you, if you're ever looking for a great way to keep yourself busy for countless (and I mean countless) hours, look no further than researching an affordable, eco-friendly, organic mattress.

I think I've read close to 50 articles on peace-love-dope hippie bed options. I've scoured website after website and my eyes are still blurry from the seemingly-endless array of latex, rubber, cotton, and of course, foam mattresses available on the market today. Each of them had a price tag well over $1k for a twin. I was checking out full sizes's just me now. And my Daryl Dixon pillow. I'm strangely ok with that.

Just as I thought I would need to resort to toxic, off-gassing mattresses, the glory of all glories fell upon me and I read about buckwheat hull mattresses.

Buckwheat what?

Buckwheat hulls.

So get this - buckwheat is a grain, right? People eat it kinda like quinoa or amaranth. You can bake bread with it. It's a great cover crop - farmers can use it between growing seasons to keep soil healthy and weeds at bay. The little tiny black outer shell on the buckwheat grain (seed) is called the hull. They are shells, that's it. They smell like bread. And they make a "swish" noise when you put a bunch together in a bag.

Now why would anyone want to sleep on buckwheat? 

Buckwheat hulls are strong...they don't squish under your weight when you sleep. Your body, with all of its curves and corners, is supported. They're also great for those with allergies. No synthetic fibers or feathers or chemicals or flame retardants. The hulls allow a ton of air to pass through, too - dust mites don't like airy quarters. Last cool little tidbit? Buckwheat hulls do not retain heat. That means if you turn into a sweaty hog like I do sometimes, you won't need to worry about it while sleeping :)

But the real question - is it comfortable? Like, in real life, Kevin? Well dear readers, I'm about to tell you. That's right. I bought a buckwheat hull mattress kit and I've been sleeping on it for two weeks.

So first, I need to note, I was not paid a dime for this review. I did not get any discounts or perks or any special treatment .... it's just been such a cool experience, I had to write about it. Of course. 

I ordered my DIY mattress kit and buckwheat hulls from Open Your Eyes Bedding.

The kit comes with organic cotton sleeves to put the hulls in. My hulls came in 5 large white bags, all delivered to my house via a sweaty UPS driver (giggity). I had my sleeves, I had my buckwheat, all I needed was a partner to help me build the mattress.

So I called upon the power of my sweet little 4th grader :) She helped me every step of the way.

We filled the little pod sleeves.

Wove them together one by one.

Row by row.

And then - done! :)

That's great Jen, but how does it feel?

In two words? Freaking fantastic. 

It is VERY different from a traditional mattress. You know all those times you've ran into a room and took a flying leap onto the bed? Yeah, well if you try and do that with this mattress, you'll break a hip. There is absolutely zero squish factor. If you punch it, it punches back. That being said, when you get into bed you kinda wriggle into your space and it's awesome. I wriggle my butt and shoulders into the hulls and make little grooves and it is glorious because the rest of the hulls form to my body. Like a lil' buckwheat hug.

Also the hulls smell fantastic. Reminds me of the bakeries in Germany. I love it. I wake up and smell like bread and I love every single minute of it.

It's been two weeks of awesomeness and I'll never go back. I'm getting one for my allergy-suffering big girl. Organic, affordable in comparison to the other options out there, and sold by a small business owner who actually does her own customer service. Could not be more happy with my decision to go buckwheat.

Have you ever considered alternative mattresses? What's holding you back? I'd love to hear about it and your experiences in the comments down below and as always, thank you so much for reading :)



  1. Buckwheat hull bed?!? That is just the coolest! The next time I have to get a new mattress I am definitely going to check it out. So, I do have a question: I have a Bad back. Do you think this would be something that would be good of the zillions of Bad Back Sufferers like me? Also, since I am a major bread addict, I was wondering if sleeping on bread will either A – cause an olfactory response that reduces my craving for bready goodness or B – I’ll be even more ravenous for the bread of my dreams. Hum???

    1. Thank you!! AND YES! It is wonderful for bad backs.....matter of fact most people with back pain lose their back pain when they sleep on one of these bad boys.

      And I hate to break it to you....but the bread cravings just get stronger :) HAHA!! It's awesome!

  2. How. Cool. Is. This. Really? I can't wait to read more about this, freaking fantastic! I love the process of putting it together!

    1. Thank you Kristen! I love it :) It was fun to put together, too! Both the girls want one and cant wait to put it together haha! :)

  3. I have been thinking about doing this for years now and never got around to it. Thanks for your review, it just affirms that this definitely something that I want to do!

    1. I am so glad!! I absolutely am so grateful I took the plunge....well worth it!!

  4. This is awesome, Jen! Can I ask where you got that beautiful bedframe to hold the buckwheat bags?

    1. Hi Julia! Thank you! :) :) :) My bed was made by a dear friend of mine. We used pallet wood and barn wood - an old barn rafter was cut into 4 pieces to make the legs, then we used standard 2x4s for middle support and connected them to a full-sized rectangular frame made of 2x4's and pallet wood. I am kinda smitten !! !! :)

  5. Any updates after all this time?

    1. I am happy to report the mattress is still as wonderful as the day I put it together. It's been almost a year since I bought it and I am still completely smitten. I will be buying a couple extra pods with probably another bag of buckwheat hulls, my bed frame is custom made so I need a few more pods to even out the spacing. That's one of the best things about this mattress tho, the ability to buy what you need and make it truly work for you!

  6. Would love to hear an update!

    1. Hi Alex :) I still adore my bed. It still supports me, smells good, and helps me sleep. Definitely a buckwheat hull girl for life! Thinking about buying a couple extra pods to pack into my custom bed frame...also thinking about making a window seat mattress! I am so, so happy with my decision! Thank you for stopping by :)

  7. Hello
    Thank you for your time in doing this review. Quick question how often will the hulls have to be replaced . I'm asking because I just recently heard a commercial mentioning to replace your mattress every 8 years

    Thank You