Make Your Own Organic Buckwheat Hull Mattresses

twist mattress kit

Guest Post by Lynne Cimino

When you are living small, the ability to customize items in your home is key to making it all work. A mattress that is few inches shorter and thinner may not matter to the rest of the world, but could make all the difference to you. The only problem is that the word “custom” usually comes with a few zeros behind it, especially when it comes to bedding.

Sleeping on your yoga mat may have seemed like a good idea in the beginning, but if you are now looking for a little more comfort, a Twist mattress may be the ticket. The Twist Mattress Kit offers the ability to make your own mattress, exactly how you want it. The bonus is an affordable price and the ability to make your mattress from all natural materials. The mattresses kits come with a set of long canvas cases that you can fill with any material you wish. The filled covers are then twisted together to form your mattress. If you need it shorter or more narrow, just remove some rows!

Organic buckwheat hulls are a great choice for filling your DIY mattress as you can get great support from a relatively thin layer. You can buy the kits at OpenYourEyesBedding.com A long twin size kit will run you $198. Fillings must be purchased from other suppliers. The owner of Open Your Eyes Bedding, Lynne Cimino, can help you find the fillings that are right for you and your budget. Lynne suggests looking local first to avoid expensive shipping costs on your fillings.

If you need a mattress that rolls and stores away, look into using a buckwheat hull mattress topper. You will be surprised how comfortable and supportive two inches of buckwheat hulls over two inches of natural foam can be!

For the true DIY’er, there is an instruction kit for $39.99 that shows you how to sew your own kit. This way you can customize your kit even more using materials you may already have on hand.

Visit  openyoureyesbedding.com for more information.

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kimk - June 19, 2012 Reply

Way cool! Thanks for sharing! I may do this before getting my tiny house.

Aaron @ QuinnImagery - June 19, 2012 Reply

Looks comfortable. I sleep on a spring futon mattress, which is comfortable, but in a very small loft with very limited headroom, so my mattress is on the floor, which I hate. I really wish someone would invent a bed frame that is very low to the floor. 6 or 7 inches high and portable and able to fold up would be ideal.

    kimk - June 19, 2012 Reply

    I have a table that is used for movement therapy that is light and folds. It is the size of a twin bed and adjusts up and down pretty low. I think you could have one of these made from such a company, but they are pretty expensive. It might be quite a bit cheaper if you only get a wood platform without the padding and upholstery though. I love it and can easily use it as a daybed frame when I’m not using it for work. It folds and stores in a case. I put small wool futon topper on the top and it is more comfortable than my mattress to sleep on.

    Jesse - June 19, 2012 Reply

    @Aaron – check out zafu.net, they have a modular platform bed that sounds like what your looking for. I’m likely going to use one when I start working on my tiny house, I like that it can be used as a low couch with bolsters, then a bed with minimal fussing around…

    Ryan - May 28, 2013 Reply

    I actually made something similar to what you’re describing. The bottom is a series of wooden slats, with a frame perched on top of it. It’s about five inches high. Doesn’t roll up though =/

    mildredlane - December 30, 2017 Reply

    turn your body around-put your feet where your head was before.feet not requiring much room as head and enjoy

justin - June 19, 2012 Reply

i would never find the remote.. lol actually love the idea.. have a buckwheat pillow.. stays cool all night long here in the hellish heat of south tx..

stephen - June 19, 2012 Reply

pretty cool! would probably choose the instruction kit. going to try a hammock first. can always put that outside later.

Deirdre - June 19, 2012 Reply

Neat. But isn’t it noisy?

kimk - June 19, 2012 Reply

I could also see the versatility in this as you could make segments for a sitting area that can be pieced together for a queen to king size mattress. Of course you could use foam too, but this would be more interesting. I wonder if you could even make smaller zafu floor cushion seating and velcro them together for a bed. hm…. stack them for a chair in a form for storage during the day.

alice h - June 19, 2012 Reply

Interesting concept, but looks like an awful temptation to mice and creepy crawlies.

Lynne Cimino - June 19, 2012 Reply

Hi, Lynne here from OYEB Thanks everyone for your comments.

Stephen, I use my buckwheat hull topper on my hammock all the time! Great plan for sleeping solution in a Tiny House I would think.

Deirdre, There is a very faint rustle but since the hulls pack you in a bit, you tend not to toss and turn much – You can actually hear the hulls here: http://openyoureyesbedding.com/blogs/news/6146046-how-to-do-the-twist

Renee - June 19, 2012 Reply

if you’re going to go to all the trouble of sewing something like that, why not just sew a mattress-sized/shaped bag (or better yet, buy a mattress cover) and stuff it full of buckwheat hulls or whatever else?

    alice h - June 19, 2012 Reply

    Smaller components would be a lot more stable and less inclined to shift around. If you had one big bag empty spots could develop that sagged right to the floor where your body weight concentrates. It still looks like it would be a bit lumpy, could probably throw a featherbed or something over top.

      Lynne Cimino - June 20, 2012 Reply

      The surface actually feels very even, and the addition of the buckwheat hull toppers (think long body pillows) makes it much more comfortable as most natural fillings will create a firm mattress (similar to a traditional Japanese futon).

      The benefit of the individual sections is that your mattress is basically modular and Alice is right about having to contain the materials in separate sections verses one large bag.

Kathleen - June 20, 2012 Reply

Thank you so much for this post, this is really useful information. What a great idea. There aren’t a lot of good options out there for a minimalist who is looking for a lightweight bed so I was happy to find this. If you come across anymore ideas like this please keep us posted.

Jessica - June 21, 2012 Reply

What about people with allergies and asthma? Is buckwheat something that could aggravate that or not?

    Lynne Cimino - June 24, 2012 Reply

    Hi Jessica,

    From what I have read on line, no, because buckwheat is not related to the wheat family, closer to rhubarb and sorrells.

    My husband has asthma and sleeping on a buckwheat hull mattress does not bother him. We have been sleeping on buckwheat hulls for over 3 years now.

    This company that sells high end pillows has good information on buckwheat hulls and allergies in their FAQ section: http://makura.com/lang/q_and_a.html

      Ryan - May 28, 2013 Reply

      As far as allergies go, you want to find buckwheat that was ROASTED, and NOT vacuumed, as crop-dust may still remain and irritate one’s allergies. So you would want to buy top-quality buckwheat, as they roast their hulls to completely eliminate any allergen-causing annoyance.

Shell - June 24, 2012 Reply

That is very useful information. Thanks for sharing it. : )

Joe - June 24, 2012 Reply

It all seems very unique and quite possibly very comfortable but at $198 for the cases, the cost of the filling and then I see suggestions of foam underneath and toppers for added comfort it seems the thickness issue might return and/or the cost might escalate.
I saw an article once on here that talked about places in Chicago that make custom mattress. $198 plus filling only to find out it is not as comfortable as I hoped necessitating add-ons makes this a pricey experiment and since I could never sew something like this making the kit not an option, I am wondering if it might not just be easier to go with a custom mattress.
Not saying it would not work for some but while all natural sounds good it is sort of like hybrid cars. It is a great idea if you can afford to subsidize making the planet greener.
If Open Your Eyes wants to lure skeptics like me it might be smart for them to offer affordable pillow kits so persons could test drive the idea before making the more expensive leap of faith.
Just a thought.

    Joe - June 24, 2012 Reply

    In fairness after reading their site I see where one can email them about a custom sized cushion so I suppose I could ask them to price a pillow size “cushion” I suppose.

      Lynne Cimino - June 27, 2012 Reply

      Hi Joe,

      Thank you for your thoughts! I just wanted to clear up the point about the foam underneath so others are not confused. I suggested if you are tight on headroom, say in a loft area, you could use just the mattress toppers over 2 inches of foam for a comfortable sleeping surface, but I do not suggest layering foam under the Twist mattresses.

James Trusler - July 14, 2012 Reply

They are great! We make them !

Organic Mattresses - July 26, 2012 Reply

Dunlop latex is the only natural latex available today without chemical additives. Our natural Dunlop latex is naturally hypoallergenic, dust mite resistant, and will not support mildew or bacteria. Our latex is manufactured by a plant that is ISO 9001 certified, the mark of excellence and consistency in any industry. The benefits of wool in a mattress are many.

Jeremy - August 6, 2012 Reply

This is very exciting! Thanks for posting such a helpful overview. One question, how much does it weigh when filled with buckwheat? What’s the weight difference between a Twin, Full and Queen? Thanks!

Lynne - September 14, 2012 Reply

Just wanted to give a shout out that there is now a softer DIY mattress option: the Twist Easy Kit ($98 twin $144 for full to King size mattress kits, not including hulls) and as the name implies it is much easier to construct and to empty for when you want to wash your mattress cover!

    jennajamieson - November 25, 2016 Reply

    My husband is 6 feet tall, he needs king size mattresses to sleep otherwise, his legs doesn’t fit in. Since I have got married, we have the same mattresses and believe me, they are quite good. My son is also growing up to be a tall man, so I guess we have to get the same mattress for him.

Mike - September 15, 2012 Reply

Rightly said in the blog, Mattresses are the most important factor to be considered for having a good and firm sleep. The blog shares very wonderful information regarding mattresses. I am also amazed to see the twisted mattresses. I have not seen these type of mattresses before.Thanks for sharing the wonderful information. If you want to know some more about mattresses and wanna buy for yourself the right mattress, visitHouston Discount Mattresses.

Lynne - October 10, 2012 Reply

Update: Bulk buckwheat hulls(30 pounds for $1.75 per pound + shipping), and DIY buckwheat hull pillow kits are now available at OpenYourEyesBedding.com

Christina Smith - December 3, 2012 Reply

Is there a suggestion for a water proof cover to protect the bedding?

Wendy Mcghee - February 12, 2013 Reply

House dust mites can trigger respiratory or dermatological conditions including asthma and eczema.The main component of dust is shed skin flakes, which is the mite’s preferred food source. Areas around the home that are heavily used, such as beds, carpet and upholstered furniture, will have much higher mite populations than the rest of the house..

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Christina Brewton - February 28, 2017 Reply

Great Post….! I love your post…This is very awesome designs your mattresses. I like your ideas and designs. This is very unique designs.I am full of inspiration now…..!!!!

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