Toddler Buckwheat Pillow

Buckwheat hull pillows are superior to fiber and foam pillows in a myriad of ways.  Buckwheat hulls allow for air flow (which regulates temperature) and encourage good spinal alignment.  They are also ideal for people with allergies and don’t attract dust mites like other materials.  So, when my 3-year-old decided he needed a pillow, I knew he needed a buckwheat pillow.

Making a buckwheat hull pillow is really easy.  Since buckwheat hulls aren’t readily available in most local stores, I ordered a bag online that will make 3-4 travel/toddler pillows.  I used 8 cups of hulls for this pillow.  (Millet hulls can be used as well, but they make a rustling sound and have a grassy smell for the first couple weeks)


  • Buckwheat hulls
  • 8.5″ x 25″ pillow fabric
  • 8″ (or longer) zipper
  • 9.5″ x 31″ pillowcase fabric
  • Thread

Materials needed to make a toddler buckwheat hull pillow, with pillowcase.

Step 1: Sew Zipper

Sew the zipper to the short ends of the pillow fabric, following the directions on the zipper package.  (The cardboard wrapping on the zipper will explain the best way to sew that particular style of zipper.  I used a standard zipper, but you could use an invisible zipper instead.)

Zipper sewn to short ends of pillow fabric

Step 2: Finish Sewing Pillow

Turn the pillow inside out (so the right sides are touching) and sew along the long sides.  Be sure the zipper is unzipped a little so that you’ll be able to turn it inside out once the seams are done. Pin and sew along the long ends of the pillow

My zipper didn’t reach the corner so I whipstiched the end to seal the hole. Whipstiching the zipper end to seal the hole

Step 3: Fill Pillow with Hulls

This was my son’s favorite part :-)  He loved scooping and dumping the hulls into the pillow.  In fact, he hovered rather impatiently for the 10-15 minutes it took me to sew the pillow.  We used 8 cups, but the pillow definitely could have held more. Pouring the buckwheat hulls into the finished pillow

Step 4: Start Pillowcase

For the pillowcase we picked out firetruck fabric I had on hand from making his quilt.  Fold the short ends in (wrong side to wrong side), first 1/2″ and then 2″.  Secure with pins.  Fold the edge under 1/2" and then fold over 2" so the raw edge is not visible

Sew along the folded edge of the short sides (about 1 3/4″ from the outer edge). Short ends folded and pinned

Step 5: Finish Pillowcase

Next, fold the right sides together and pin along the long sides.  Sew these last 2 seams and you’re done! Sew along the long sides (with right sides touching) to finish pillowcase

Loving his new pillow! Finished buckwheat hull pillow and pillowcase

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2 Responses to Toddler Buckwheat Pillow

  1. Michelle says:

    I know you posted this a long time ago, but can you remember if your little guy seemed comfortable on the pillow? I’m thinking of making one for my toddler out of millet hulls. He already sleeps on a toddler sized pillow (filled with regular fiber fill).

    • Kim says:

      I had read there may be a transition time, since it is a different texture. We didn’t find that to be the case. I think his excitement over the fire truck pillowcase may have influenced his attitude :-) Hope your little guy finds it comfy, too!

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