One of the benefits of sleeping on Sammi Therapeutic Pillows is that our buckwheat hulls used to fill them are hypoallergenic. But what does that mean? Basically, it means that our buckwheat hulls are of high quality and free of known allergens, such as dust and mold.
Our supplier assures us that no pesticides or fertilizers are used to grow the buckwheat from which we get our hulls. In fact, buckwheat does not take well to either pesticides or fertilizers. Nonetheless, they might have been planted on crop rotation fields that used pesticides or fertilizers for other crops and remain in the soil. Therefore, even though no pesticides or fertilizers were sprayed on the buckwheat hulls we use, they cannot be certified as USDA Organic.
The buckwheat hulls we use are roller-milled. This is a process whereby the whole grain is fed between two coarsely-set grooved rollers that crush rather than grind the kernels, leaving the squeezed-out hulls intact. For us, this is important to maintain the 3-D structure that allows the hollow buckwheat hulls to maintain their desired properties for use to fill our Sammi Therapeutic Pillows.
During the process, the hulls are thoroughly cleaned and dusted to remove allergens, including flower residue, dust particles, and other dirt remnants. After cleaned, they are roasted at high temperatures, which sterilizes them and causes the hulls to turn a mellow brown color. Once cleaned, processed and rendered dust-free, the hulls become tough and hard. They also have no nutritive value for dust mites or microbial bugs to eat them. The result is that the hulls are “hypoallergenic” in that they should cause fewer allergic reactions than other pillow fill.
Thinking about this, what triggers an allergic reaction are allergens, which can be any substance but often proteins that induce an allergy. Common allergens found in the environment include pollen, grass, dust and mold. Besides pillows, there are other products that are hypoallergenic, such as cosmetics, skin care products, and even dog breeds, such as the bichon frise, poodle, and yorkshire terrier.
But being hypoallergenic is relative and there are no U.S. Government or industry standards that govern when someone can say their products are hypoallergenic. Also, the maker doesn’t need to perform clinical studies or tests to prove that its product won’t cause an adverse reaction. It’s also unrealistic for any maker to guarantee that a product advertised as hypoallergenic will never cause an allergic reaction.
This being said, the high quality buckwheat hulls that we use to fill our Sammi Therapeutic Pillows are hypoallergenic. The hulls we buy from our supplier are grown in the United States, typically in colder climates with shorter growing seasons such as in North Dakota, Maine, and Upstate New York.
Compare this to pillows filled with duck down feathers and synthetic material. According to LiveScience.com, “… side-by-side tests of pillow types show that so-called “anti-allergy” pillows can cause more allergic reactions than feather pillows. It is a widely held belief that feather pillows cause allergic reactions, but studies show that the porous materials used in some synthetic pillows can actually retain more mold and dust mites than feather pillows.” https://www.livescience.com/46172-busting-allergy-myths.html. Over time, buckwheat hulls might be susceptible to dead skin and airborne particles that can cause an allergic reaction. So, as an overabundance of precaution, the best thing to do is to use an allergen-impermeable cover on your pillow.
To conclude, the buckwheat hulls we use in our Sammi Therapeutic Pillows should not cause any irritations due to allergens. However, there could be external factors that trigger an allergic reaction. If you feel that you suffered from an allergic reaction caused by using one of our pillows, please contact us immediately.