Is a Hemp Sand Mattress better than a Buckwheat Hull Mattress? July 23 2020
I have long enjoyed the benefits of sleeping on buckwheat hulls. They provided restorative deep sleep for me and my family for over a decade. I always said that my pod style buckwheat hull mattress could last a lifetime and it would have if I had not discovered hemp hulls.
One morning in my inbox was a simple and short inquiry from an organic hemp farmer, "Would I have any interest in fully dusted, certified organic hemp hulls?"
My answer was, of course, yes!
I have always admired the carbon storing hemp plant that will save our planet one day, and I always planned to be a part of its comeback as a valued resource.
A few months later I had a few thousand pounds of hemp hulls at our warehouse and a prototype mattress underway.
During the design process, hemp hulls left me scratching my head as they were nothing like buckwheat hulls. It was not until I looked at them a bit closer that I really understood the difference:
Buckwheat hulls are shiny and slide easily against one another, where hemp hulls have more texture / grip and they do not slide around as easily.
Due to this characteristic, buckwheat hulls need to be compartmentalized but hemp hulls do not!
Our hemp hull mattress prototype worked best in layers. The hemp hulls feel like you are laying on a soft sandy beach so I gave them the nickname, hemp sand. I thought, "Why shouldn't every night feel like you are on vacation?
Hemp sand does need a soft base layer as they are more firm than buckwheat hulls. I chose shredded natural latex for the soft base layer. With this soft base, hemp hull contour even better than buckwheat hulls do, which is the key to the comfort of any hull mattress.
Although our hemp hulls are being sold on our store as a component and not part of a kit, many customers have made the same purchases I did for my concept mattress in order to create their own version:
Note: I made a Queen mattress which is 60 X 80 or 4800 square inches.
I bought two of these topper cases from Sleep on Latex - just the fabric covers without the latex slab. The stretch of the fabric is key, just like buckwheat hulls, the hemp sand needs the freedom to shift and contour perfectly to the shape of your body.
My 1" topper case was filled with 4 bulk boxes of our hemp hulls.
Hemp hulls definitely need a soft base layer. For my soft base layer, I used a 2" Queen topper cover and filled it with 50 pounds of shredded natural latex I purchased here.
The reason I chose shredded natural latex (made from pure tree rubber, not petroleum) over a slab of foam was so I could always re-fluff my mattress and therefore it could never wear out differently in the main sleeping zones (the main problem with most conventional mattresses).
You do have to maintain your hemp sand mattress by smoothing the top even between nights of sleep. This only take a minute to do on each side and I find it to be a relaxing thing to do as it truly feels like a soft sandy beach. I sweep the hulls even with my arms. You don't have to remove the sheet or cover so it is really easy. The base layer of shredded latex will be fluffed seasonally. I love that my hemp mattress can never wear out unevenly and my back will always feel great.
So far we are sleeping better than ever and we are hearing amazing things back from our customers who are using hemp hulls in their DIY mattresses. It seems there may be more to the hemp hulls than just the comfort! The scent of the hemp sand smells like fresh cut grass right out of the bag but this smell (unfortunately) fades quickly.
A hemp sand mattress needs the same sturdy platform style frame as a buckwheat hull mattress (no slats).
Please contact me if you have any questions or need any help doing the math to covert the material quantities for the size mattress you plan to make.
Owner of Open Your Eyes Bedding