The Best Cooling Pillow
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10 Best Cooling Pillows in 2023
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Cooling Pillows Buying Guide
It’s so important that we have a good pillow providing us with the right balance of support, is cool to the touch, and maintains a modulated temperature level.
The best cooling pillow draws heat away from the body and provides a cool surface to sleep on.
Side and back sleepers will find the best gel cooling pillows a great sleeping option.
In this guide, we’ve outlined the key characteristics you might consider when selecting the best cooling pillow for you.
A cooling pillow is a specialized type of pillow that emits cool air. Many people use these pillows to get a better night's sleep, as they help reduce the discomfort brought about by hot flashes and fever.
A cooling pillow features materials that draw heat away from the body and allow greater air circulation and prevent heat from trapping.
In addition to providing a cooler sleep experience, cooling pillows provide support to the neck, head, and shoulders, to prevent stiffness and relieve pain.
Benefits of Cooling Pillows
Many people use cooling pillows to help with fever and hot flashes. You may also want to consider using a cooling pillow if you suffer from aches and pains that come with arthritis or other conditions.
Cooling pillows are also very useful for those who have trouble sleeping. A cooling pillow can help manage these issues, are cool to the touch, and keep your head cooler throughout the night or day.
Best cooling pillows offer great temperature moderation features, many are often hypoallergenic, and provide welcomed pressure relief.
Cooling pillows are durable due to the quality of materials that are used to construct them.
Some memory foam pillows even provide the option of an adjustable loft, either inserting more loft or taking some out.
Cooling pillows come in various types and styles, all of which have different heat conduction properties that help you to sleep more comfortably.
Features of Best Cooling Pillows
How well is the pillow able to regulate temperature, retain minimal body heat, and allow you to stay cool during the night.
Many cooling pillows are made from materials such as gel, copper, and phase-change materials that enable good airflow and are cool to the touch.
Wool, cotton, and bamboo are moisture-wicking, a great choice for very warm sleepers who may sweat during the night. Focus on the material of the cooling pillow.
The most effective cooling pillows that offer temperature neutrality can be made of various different materials. Below are the most frequently used fill materials.
Latex is made from the sap of rubber trees. Latex can retain some heat, but many cooling pillows are aerated to permit greater air circulation.
Memory foam is a viscoelastic polyfoam that becomes soft and when it comes into contact with body heat it conforms close to the body.
This gives sleepers pressure relief for the neck, head, and shoulders. Memory foam can have heat retention properties, so look for pillows that infuse memory foam with gel or look for shredded foam that allows significant ventilation.
Also consider whether you want a solid piece of memory foam or whether you prefer shredded memory foam, which can be adjusted.
Shells of the buckwheat grain are buckwheat hulls. Air can flow freely between the shells, preventing heat retention, making them a good option for hot sleepers.
Buckwheat hulls are supportive, but some sleepers may find them too firm.
Wool is a natural material that comes from lambs and sheep. Wool is great for both cool and warm climates.
In warm climates it draws heat and moisture away from your body and in cooler temperatures, it retains heat and provides insulation.
Wool is a good pick if you want a pillow for all seasons and temperature moderation throughout the year.
Made of polyester fibers, pillows made from this material have reasonable cooling properties, but some hot sleepers may find they are not cool enough for them to sleep.
Polyester cooling pillows are an attractive option for budget shoppers.
Down pillows are made from the soft wing, chest, and back feathers of geese or ducks. If more fill consists of clusters the pillow is warmer. Down pillows are soft, feather-light, and fluffy, but they may be too warm for hot sleepers and they are pricey.
Down alternatives are synthetic materials that impersonate features of softness and warmth of classic down.
They are cooler and cheaper than traditional down and don’t have any allergy-related issues.
Other feathers from ducks and geese can be used that are not down. These feathers promote air circulation and don’t retain heat like conventional down so are much cooler.
You want to look for cover materials that don’t capture too much heat.
Cotton fibers are smooth and promote good airflow. Look for Egyptian cotton or Pima Cotton or Organic cotton which are all extra-long-staple cotton and allow a high level of air circulation.
Phase-Change Material (PCMs)
PCMs absorb heat from a sleeper until a sleeper’s body has reached a defined temperature range, resulting in the material changing phase or state, and then remains at a constant temperature throughout the night.
Bamboo is a lightweight and moisture-wicking fiber. This is a great pick for hot sleepers who sweat during the night, as it has great absorptive effects.
Copper is antimicrobial. Many pillows blend copper with other materials such as latex or memory foam to get modulated.
Sleeping Position and Loft
Give some thought to what position you typically sleep in. This impacts how much support you need and the firmness level of the pillow.
The loft is the height of the pillow. Generally, cooling pillows have a medium to high loft. Some pillows may allow you to adjust the loft.
Back and side sleepers you may want a cooling pillow that keeps your head level and your neck supported so that your head doesn’t tilt too forward or back.
Side sleepers may also want to look for a cooling pillow that provides support to the neck and shoulders.
You want a pillow that provides support, spinal alignment, and offers pressure relief for your neck and shoulders. Latex and memory foam are ideal picks to provide pressure and pain relief.
This depends on your personal preferences. As a general rule of thumb, cooling pillows are available in soft to medium or medium to firm feel.
What size pillow are you looking for? Standard is the smallest and most compressed size. Next up is the Queen size pillow, which is 3 or 4 inches longer than the standard pillow.
The largest pillow is the King size which is 6 inches longer than the Queen pillow, ideal if you read in bed or sit up and watch TV or simply sleep.
Do you want the classic rectangular cooling pillow? Or do you want a more contoured pillow that offers greater support and customization to your neck, head, and shoulders?
There are plenty of cooling pillows with hollows and grooves.
If you suffer from pesky allergies, you want to remain alert to materials that don’t aggravate your allergies. Foam, latex, and wool are good options for allergy sufferers.
You’ll probably be using the cooling pillow every night, so it’s important to know how you can clean it. Is it possible to machine wash or is hand wash only?
Compared to a normal pillow, cooling pillows are more expensive due to the materials used to manufacture them. If your budget allows, you’ll get your money’s worth.
Ideally, you’re buying a cooling pillow made from quality materials and is durable over time, however for peace of mind you want to check if it comes with a guarantee.
On average cooling pillows should have an undertaking ranging from 1 to 3 years.
Cooling Pillows FAQ
Do cooling pillows work?
As a general rule of thumb cooling pillows work, which is why there are so many options available. However, what might work for one person might not be the right pillow for you.
There is a large variety of cooling pillows out there. Knowing which one is the right fit for you depends on your personal sleeping position, how firm or soft you like a pillow to be, how much pressure relief you are seeking, and if you are a particularly hot sleeper what kind of temperature moderation you are looking for.
Who is a cooling pillow good for?
Cooling pillows are the answer to many hot sleepers’ woes. Hot sleepers seek a cool bedding environment, where they are not hot or sweaty and can fall and stay asleep comfortably.
Cooling pillows are perfect for hot sleepers as they draw heat away from the body, promote air circulation and moderate the temperature at a pleasant level.
Back and side sleepers may also find them beneficial. Many cooling pillows have a higher loft which is advantageous for side sleepers, who want the neck aligned and head elevated.
For back sleepers, they want to make sure the head and neck are supported and aren’t tilting too forward or too backward.
Do cooling pillows need to be paired with particular types of pillow covers?
The bulk of cooling pillows come with a cover so you won’t need to buy separate pillowcases. Most pillow covers are removable and can be washed.
How often do you replace your cooling pillow?
Whilst there is no hard and fast rule, the typical lifespan of a cooling pillow is around 2 to 3 years.
To keep your cooling pillow in good condition, always follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to clean your pillow and the frequency of cleaning.
Cooling Pillows Sources
- Effects of Head Cooling on Human Sleep Stages and Body Temperature – PubMed
- Effects of Thermal Environment on Sleep and Circadian Rhythm – PubMed
- The Temperature Dependence of Sleep – Frontiers in Neuroscience
- The Cool Side of the Pillow: The Best Temperature for Sleep – Senior Lifestyle
- Can’t Sleep? Adjust the Temperature – WebMed