Recycle your old buckwheat hull-filled Body Prop or Bone pillow

Your Body Prop or Bone pillow should give you years of durable service, but when it’s time to retire it, here are some suggestions to recycle or repurpose your old pillow parts:

Reuse the buckwheat hulls by making another pillow: 

If the buckwheat hulls are still springy enough to still be used in a pillow, you can do just that: Make a new pillow using them. First, sift the hulls through a colander to remove any dust that may have accumulated. Next, spread them thinly on a screen, pan, or towel and put them in the sunshine to air out before reusing, so the sunshine can “bake” them clean of any odor. (Buckwheat hulls are not a food source for insects, so you shouldn’t have to worry about things like dust mites, yay!) There are plenty of posts online about how to make a buckwheat pillow, so a quick search should help with specific tips, but you can basically put them in an old pillowcase and sew it up, then put that into another pillowcase.

The types of pillows you could make are endless. But here’s an idea, especially if you feel your buckwheat is too old and used: Make a foot rest for the car (passengers, of course). Many people could benefit from a foot rest in the car, especially while on long trips. Plus it’s just better for your body and your circulation to have alternate seating options. The amount of buckwheat left over from a Bone or Body Prop pillow is the perfect amount for a footrest if you pour it into a tube or cube shape; make sure you sew it or cinch it up tight so it’s firm.

Reuse the buckwheat hulls as mulch: 

Buckwheat hulls make a wonderful mulch, especially for roses (according to This Old House), so give your old hulls to a plant or two, inside or out.

Reuse the nonslip material (just cut it away from the rest of the unit):

Suggestions here depend on which type of non-slip material your model of Body Prop or Bone pillow used. The original Bone pillows used a non-slip material that was non-slip on BOTH sides. First of all, it’s probably well-worn if it’s been in use for years, and should be cleaned in order to reactivate the stickiness of the nonslip. You can probably google plenty of ideas for use, but here are a few:

  • use under a foot pedal, like for a sewing machine, to keep the pedal from sliding away;
  • use on the dashboard of your car (or in the console) to keep your phone or other items from sliding;
  • use in a drawer to keep items from sliding when you pull the drawer open;
  • recycle old pillow parts: use nonskid material to keep devices from slipping

    Recycle nonslip material by using it to hold your Kindle or other device propped in place.

    use in bed to prop your book or Kindle, etc., to keep it from sliding (I always travel with a piece of non-slip material for this purpose).

Later generations of our pillows used a neoprene material that was grippy only on one side: it can be re-purposed similar to the suggestions above, but the fabric side of this material may limit the effectiveness in some situations. If you need it to be grippy on both sides, cut the strip so you can either sew or glue two pieces together to make a two-sided grip.

These are just a few ideas for recycling your old pillow. Please feel free to share your ideas.

Cleaning your Body Prop pillow

The Body Prop doesn’t have a removable outer cover because a second fabric layer makes it too firm and less adjustable. Choose from two ways to clean the Body Prop:

[photos and video coming soon]

I. Surface wash (recommended because easier)

1. Wipe the surface using a damp cloth with mild soap.
1a. Alternatively, freshen the pillow by spritzing it with an air freshener (like Febreze or Lysol), and vacuuming.

II. Machine wash (this shouldn’t be necessary for most)

1. Empty the filler through the zipper on the side of the neck.

2. Turn the whole shell inside-out and ensure all the buckwheat filler is removed. Reserve the filler.

2a. You may choose to air out the filler while the shell washes. See more on that below.

3. Place the fabric shell in a lingerie bag (or tied-off pillow case) and machine wash on gentle using cold water.

4. Hang to dry, or air-dry in machine, then turn the Body Prop outside-right.

5. To replace filler, make a funnel using something flexible, like a flexible cutting mat. [Tip: When you get one end filled, leave the funnel in the hole and rotate the Body Prop to fill the other end.]

Airing out the filler
To air out the buckwheat-hull filler, pour it on a screen or in a shallow pan and let the sun bake it for an hour or so. This may be best done indoors, to reduce the risk of wind blowing it away, or insects landing in it. If using a pan, you may want to line it with paper towels.

Do not let the filler get wet. If it does, be sure to dry it completely before pouring it back into the fabric shell.

Prevention: If you plan to use it in a situation where you may sweat on it, like sunning, cover it with a towel or cloth to protect it.

I’m working on ideas for a cover, but until I figure out a good solution that doesn’t compromise the function of the product, I hope these other solutions are good enough. I’m open to any suggestions you may have, so feel free to share!

What length pillow should you get for your seat or recliner?

Not sure which size Body Prop pillow to get? 

Body Prop Classic on a leather club chair, positioned for head or neck support.

Figure 1. Body Prop Classic on a leather club chair, positioned for head or neck support.

The main determining factor is the depth of your seat back, since the pillow needs to drape over the top of the seat and still have enough room for each pillow end to hang down each side of the chair. Then, the intended pillow-end needs to reach the area where you will need it, i.e., head/neck area, or lumbar area.

1. Measure the depth of your chair’s seat back.

Long Body Prop draped over a leather club chair, positioned to support the lumbar or back.

Figure 2. Long Body Prop draped over a leather club chair, positioned to support the lumbar or back.

Figure 2 shows the same chair using the LONG pillow, positioned for lumbar support. If this Long pillow was positioned for head and neck support, you can estimate from this photo how much would be hanging over the back.

2. The seat back shown here (on the leather club chair) is 5 inches deep, and you can see in Figure 1 there is plenty of room to adjust the Body Prop CLASSIC. If your seat back depth is LESS THAN 8 inches, then the Classic length should be long enough for most head and neck support, as long as your head or neck is near the top of the seat back when you’re seated in the chair.

Long Body Prop on a recliner

Figure 3. LONG Body Prop on a recliner with a seat back 8.5″ deep at center. (The edges of this seat back flare out to about 10″ deep.)

Figure 3 shows a rotating view of LONG Body Prop on a recliner with a thicker seat back. If your seat back depth is GREATER THAN 8 inches, then you should consider using the LONG Body Prop for head and neck support so it’s long enough to span the seat back and also offer versatility and adjustability.

3. For further testing, sit in the chair and determine where you need support.

Body Prop dimension
4. Consider the lengths of the various Body Prop pillow pieces shown here and make sure the pillow will reach your intended resting position. Note that both Body Prop pillows are identical except for neck length.

Ready for comfort? Get your Body Prop here

Still not sure? Contact us at 410-326-0468 OR contact us here and send a photo and we’ll be happy to help you decide.

Go back Home here
Learn more here at the Product Detail page
Buy a Body Prop pillow here
See testimonials here
Read about us and your privacy here
Contact us on this page
Blog and more info here

Difference between Bone pillows and Body Prop pillows

by Victoria Hunter Closson, Bone™ and Body Prop™ inventor

Originally posted on November 24, 2014

The new Body Prop pillows should be available during the first week of December 2014. We still have a few Backbone pillows in stock, so this will help you decide which version will work for you. [Bone pillows are discontinued and sold out.] This page should also help current Bone pillow owners understand what changes were made and why.

Body Prop Long

About the new Body Prop – Click to enlarge

See the new Body Prop on this page, shown in the Long style. Body Props come in two lengths:
– LONG (~38″)
– CLASSIC (~26″)
They are identical except for length. The photo nearby identifies the parts.

Note that many of the photos throughout the site may still depict the Bone pillows unless otherwise noted. This is because, until we get the new product and have time to photograph them, we only have prototypes to photograph, and they are not sufficient. We’ll update the website photos with time, but the Bone photos depict the same usage. (Customer photos are always welcome!)


Click to enlarge

The original Bone pillows have two bulbous ends. That’s because I originally invented the product for head and neck support: specifically, it needed to fill the void of space in the nape of the neck, so that’s why it was bulbous. When people started using the original Headbone pillow for back support, I added Backbone — the longer version of Headbone — to the line. I personally hated the feel of the bulb protruding into my back but thought, hey, to each his own — some people obviously like it. I always wanted to make a non-back-stabbing version of my pillow for lumbar support and fiddled and tested many varieties before arriving at what you see here: The Body Prop, best of both worlds, with EACH support option — concave and convex — both in the same device.

Not only does the new concave pillow-end feel good on your back for a more traditional-type lumbar support, but it also serves as a face-catcher when you use it as neck support because the flared edges support your face if you roll your head to the side. That’s a bonus for all you upright nappers out there.

I am very happy with the result and hope you will be too. Please share your thoughts or questions in the comments below or via Facebook, Twitter, or through our contact page here.

Relieve shoulder and buttocks strain while driving

Do you get a sore shoulder while driving?

If so, wedge Headbone or Body Prop under your elbow. It will prop up your shoulder, prevent slouching, and greatly relieve the strain.

Does your backside get fatigued when you sit for too long?

Yes! Sit on Body Prop for relief. Maybe it has something to do with pressure points, but it really helps. Plus, we all know that you should alter your position frequently to prevent soreness. (Yes, Body Prop is strong and supportive enough for at least an average adult to sit on, although we haven’t tested it for pound strength.) Try it!

Lumbar support examples in different types of chairs

[Updated May 13, 2015]

Task (office) Chair

Lumbar support in an office task chair

Use Body Prop™ Classic (or discontinued Headbone®) on a low-back seat for LUMBAR support. Use the CONCAVE end of the pillow for more traditional lumbar support, or use the BULBOUS end of the pillow for a more targeted, firm support. It may be necessary to remove some filler to make it flat enough for this use. (Access filler through the zipper on the side seam.)

Bucket seats in a vehicle (Ford Explorer seat shown)

Lumbar support in a Ford Explorer seat

As early-version of Backbone™ on a Ford Explorer seat. The inset shows how much of the device is hanging over the backside. Although an older product, usage and length are the same.

Body Prop Long (or discontinued Backbone) is long enough to reach the lumbar region in high-back seats like car seats, executive office chairs, recliners, etc.

Especially important in a vehicle, it won’t slide away when you move. Compared to the Classic length, it’s 12 inches longer.

Important: We fill both the Body Prop Long and Classic with the same amount of filler. While the filler amount is just right for most head/neck-support applications, it may be too much for some lumbar applications. In that case, you can remove filler from the side zipper to make it fit better. (See video on “More Info & FAQ” page for more information.)



Head and neck support examples in different types of chairs

Note: Some photos depict discontinued colors or styles, but usage is the same.

La-Z-Boy Recliner

Use Body Prop (or discontinued Headbone) on your La-Z-Boy recliner as a headrest to make tv-watching or reading more comfortable.

Tips on which pillow-end to use for head/neck support:

For “alert” activities, like TV-watching, or reading, or conversing: use the bulbous end of the pillow, so it holds your head aloft.

For “relaxed” behavior, like napping or daydreaming: use the concave end of the pillow, which is more yielding; also, the flared edges will cup your face if you roll your head from side to side.
Head and neck support in a recliner

Note: the Headbone shown with this La-Z-Boy recliner is 2 inches shorter than the current Body Prop Classic style. Also note: Some La-Z-Boy seat backs have up to twice as much depth as the one shown here. If yours is extra-thick, then you may want to consider using Body Prop Long (38″) to ensure it’s long enough to drape over and still be positioned properly. Go HERE to learn how to measure your chair to determine the best Body Prop™ pillow for you.

Adirondack ChairHead and neck support in an Adirondack chair

Many outdoor lounge chairs recline too far behind the head, especially an Adirondack chair. You won’t get a crick in your neck when your head is supported while you relax, read, watch the view, or chat with friends.

 Chaise Lounge ChairWoman using Headbone® for head and neck support poolside reading paper in a deck lounge chair

Body Prop is the perfect companion pillow for sunbathing. We don’t have a custom cover designed yet. If you’re concerned about soiling it while sunbathing, cover it with a small towel. It works great.