If you suffer from night sweats or your temperature just runs hotter than normal, getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult. Cooling pillows are a great way to turn down the thermostat and ensure better quality sleep.
In this article, we’ll address the ins and outs of purchasing a cooling pillow to help you get the refreshing sleep your body needs from material content to considerations when buying to the pros and cons of a cooling pillow. Please note our numbering system is not a ranking system.
The Best Cooling Pillows
Special Mention – Vinsani® Cool Gel Pad Pillow Inserts
Who Should Buy a Cooling Pillow?
A cooling pillow is the perfect bedroom accessory for anyone but especially those whose body temperature naturally runs higher, those who suffer from night sweats and hot flashes, and those who just have a hard time falling asleep in general.
A cooling pillow will lower the temperature of your shoulders, neck, and head making it more comfortable for you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It can help prevent you from waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, allowing you to start your day off feeling refreshed and not gross.
How Do I Choose a Cooling Pillow?
There are a lot of different options when it comes to choosing a cooling pillow and the right pillow for you ultimately comes down to personal preference. It would be a good idea to stick with pillows that offer a trial period or warranty so that you can return them without penalty until you find the one for you.
You can choose a cooling pillow based on the type of material on the inside and outside that provides the cooling technology advertised, the position in which you typically sleep, or simply the price range that works for you as these pillows can cost anywhere from £20 to over £100.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Cooling Pillow
The most important factors to consider when purchasing a cooling pillow include the inner material of the pillow, how the pillow should be washed, the level of the neck, back, or head support needed, and your common sleeping position.
The inner filling of a cooling pillow can include gels, foams, or other chemicals that may have an undesirable smell at first but will eventually fade. Most cooling pillows cannot be put into the washing machine and dryer but rather require spot cleaning with a damp towel. Some do come with a removable cover that is machine washable.
It’s important to consider the alignment of your spine when choosing a cooling pillow and whether a soft or hard pillow is best to give the proper support. In addition to this, stomach sleepers usually fare better with soft, plushy cooling pillows, while back and side sleepers tend to have better luck with a firmer foam or hybrid cooling pillow.
Our Best Selections
1. BedStory Cooling Gel Memory Foam Pillow
- Good depth to give lots of support
- CertiPUR-US and OEKO-TEX Certified
- Washable Cover
- The Pillow core has to be spot cleaned
- The slight off-gassing smell when first received
The BedStory Cooling Gel memory foam pillow is an extremely popular cooling pillow. It has collected over 1200 reviews, over 80% of these are 4 or 5 stars. One of the reviewers shares the general feeling of this pillow stating the following ‘’I honestly don’t know how I managed to get any sleep before I purchased this game-changer of a pillow.’’ We would look towards this pillows design and build quality as the reason for these glowing reviews.
The pillow is well balanced for a memory foam pillow. It provides a good level of support to the head and neck while being comfortable at the same time. It does have quite a standard shape but the cover and gel-infused memory foam are the parts that stand out. The cover is made from 40% Tencel and 60% microfibre. It has an air layer on the surface to increase breathability and help disperse excess heat. It is also extremely soft, washable and hypoallergenic. The memory foam used within this pillow is CertiPUR-US and OEKO-TEX certified. This confirms that the pillow is free from any formaldehyde, mercury, lead or heavy metals and is safe to use. It also is infused with cooling gel. This helps manage temperature and can help prevent overheating and sweating as you sleep.
One of the reviews on Amazon states ‘’The pillow itself feels very firm but the minute your head hits it moulds and creates a comfortable supportive head and neck rest’’. Some people may prefer a softer pillow or memory foam may not be for them but the pillow should suit the majority of people. Overall a good memory foam cooling pillow.
2. Starhomeware Infused Gel Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
- Adjustable fill level
- Super Soft Bamboo Cover
- 60-night return policy
- May take some time to get used to its different feel
Starhomeware is a family-owned business with the goal of ‘creating products that improve quality of life and your overall health’. This pillow certainly seems to have done that for those that have bought it so far! This pillow has received a relatively low amount of reviews compared to the previous one but it did only launch in June of this year. This pillow has yet to receive a rating under 3 stars.
The pillow is a shredded memory foam mix, the goal of this type of pillow is to provide a contouring effect while being softer and more moulding than traditional memory foam. It also results in there being much better airflow inside the pillow, preventing excess heat from building and keeping you cool as you sleep. The cover is the main focus for the cooling parts of the pillow. Made from a blend of 40% bamboo-derived viscose and 60% polyester, it is designed to wick away excess moisture and prevent you from getting sweaty and clammy as you sleep. It is also infused with cool touch gel to help prevent overheating.
Around this price range, there are a few different pillows that are quite similar to this one. One of the small things that help set this pillow apart is the inclusion of a small bag of shredded memory foam. Allowing you to adjust the height of the pillow so that it suits you and your sleeping position perfectly. This pillow also comes with a 60-night return policy so you can sleep soundly knowing you are covered if anything is wrong with the pillow.
3. Zen Bamboo Pillow
- Excellent value
- Machine Washable
- Soft-touch bamboo cover
- May have a slight off-gassing smell when first received
The Zen Bamboo pillow is incredibly popular on Amazon, receiving over 2000 reviews in the four years it has been available for purchase. Over 80% of these are rated as 4 or 5 stars. Lots of the reviews are glowing with one of the reviewers stating ‘’These pillows are magical blobs of fluffy cloud-like heaven.’’ Certainly high praise! Two pillows are in each pack of these pillows so they work out to be very good value compared to other pillows which are sold as one.
These pillows are foam down alternative pillows. Using gel fibre provide the benefits of memory foam while not being a firm block like most are. The pillows are machine washable, soft, comfortable and should be suitable for all sleeping positions.
A key point is that they are well filled and may take some getting used to, make sure to at least try them for a few nights.
To conclude, this is a tried and tested pillow that is a great alternative to memory foam. They keep their shape well and provide a comfortable sleeping experience while still being slightly firm. They are also excellent value at the price. Due to the fill material they may have a slight off-gassing smell when first received, a previous review states that putting them in a dryer before use can help get rid of this though.
4. Supa Modern Shredded Memory Foam Cooling Pillow
- Adjustable loft to suit all sleeping styles
- Keeps its shape well
- Luxury Bamboo Cover
- Memory foam may not suit some sleepers
The Supa Modern shredded memory foam cooling pillow provides a comfortable yet supportive sleeping surface that lies between a firm and soft. It is a big hit on Amazon with over 1500 reviews, over 80% of these being 4 or 5 stars. One reviewer states ‘This has given me the best night’s sleep in a fair few years.
The stand out feature of this pillow is the cover. It has one side made from bamboo, this is super soft and great to sleep on. The other side is the cooling side. This reduces the chance of overheating as you sleep. The cover is also removable and machine washable. Great for keeping it clean and hygienic
This pillow is also adjustable which is a great feature, you can add or remove filling to reach the perfect height for you. As the fill is memory foam then it will also keep its shape incredibly well over time. So once you have found the right height, you won’t have to keep changing it. Memory foam will not be for everyone, if this is the case then our special mention may be a good choice for staying cool as you sleep.
This pillow comes vacuum packaged and may have a slight smell when first received. It is recommended to air the pillow for 24 hours before use.
5. Cosi Home® Luxury Memory Foam Pillow
- Soft-touch bamboo cover
- Washable cover
- Adjustable height
- May have a slight smell when first received
Cosi Home’s description on Amazon lists them as a ‘world leader in home comfort goods. Internationally renowned for developing exceptional value, market-leading products.’ This pillow certainly seems to live up to that! It has over 200 reviews on Amazon UK with over 80% of them being rated 4 or 5 stars. One customer review states ‘’There isn’t anything to dislike about this pillow. I have had it a week so far and I have had the best night’s sleep ever. It hasn’t lost shape and it’s so soft.’’. So far so good!
These pillows come with a soft-touch bamboo cover that can be washed in cold water. The cover is also removable, making it easy to adjust the amount of filling within the pillow. Making getting the pillow to the right pillow for you super simple. The inner fill of the pillows is shredded memory foam, this is infused with cooling gel particles. Shredded memory
ultra-soft and comfortable shredded memory foam filling with added cooling particles. The memory foam used is 40D which keeps its shape for longer than traditional memory foam, this is especially useful if you make slight changes to your sleeping position as you sleep.
When first received it comes rolled and vacuum packed, airing for 24 hours is highly recommended to air it for 24 hours. This allows it to reach its full size while also reducing the off-gassing smell it may have when first received.
Special Mention – Vinsani® Cool Gel Pad Pillow Inserts
- Can be refrigerated
- Cost-effective alternative to a new pillow
- Has a range of different uses
- May not stay cool throughout the full night
If you are happy with your current pillow setup then this cooling pad can be a great option. It has a range of uses such as a backrest or laptop cooler. Probably its best use is as a pillow insert though. The cooling gel has a cool touch that will absorb excess heat, reducing your temperature. It can also be put in the fridge so you can start your night with a cooling boost. It is much cheaper than a dedicated cooling pillow as well so it is an attractive choice if you frequently overheat as you sleep.
What Materials Are In a Cooling Pillow?
Cooling pillows retain their temperature control properties through the material used both on the outside and the inside. The filler material is usually the most relevant part of a cooling pillow. Some common fillers include buckwheat, gel-infused memory foam, latex or down alternative.
These fillers allow freely circulating air within the material so that body heat does not become trapped by the pillow and radiated back into your head, neck and shoulders. For pillows that do have slipcovers, these are usually made from washable breathable materials such as cotton or rayon which is derived from bamboo.
Some of the fancier cooling pillows may also contain copper which has cooling properties and stimulates blood flow in the body to maintain regulated body temperatures. Phase change material is also common among the higher quality cooling pillow brands. This material retains body heat up to a certain point and will maintain a regulated temperature so that the pillow does not become hotter.
Pros and Cons of a Cooling Pillow
The benefits of using a cooling pillow include:
- Longevity: Cooling pillows that are made with gel-infused memory foam or latex tend to last longer than your average pillow and can be an effective asset to sleeping for at least three or four years before requiring replacement.
- No crinkling: Cooling pillows aren’t typically made with materials that will crunch and groan with every movement you make so your sleep will not be interrupted.
- Pain relief: If chosen correctly, cooling pillows can allow proper spinal alignment so that neck and back pain will not persist due to your sleep habits.
- Stable support: Cooling pillows encourage less tossing and turning by providing much-needed support of the head, neck, and shoulders to allow a comfortable sleeping position you can stay in all night long.
- The right temperature: Most importantly, cooling pillows help retain a cool temperature that promotes good quality sleep especially for those who run high body temperatures or suffer from night sweats or hot flashes.
The disadvantages of cooling pillows include:
- Allergy warning: If you suffer from a latex or dust mite allergy, cooling pillows may not be the right choice.
- Price: Most of the good quality cooling pillows can be fairly expensive, costing over £100.
- Ability to wash: Most cooling pillows can not be washed by machine so dirt or sweat stains can only be spot cleaned which may not be very effective.
- Smell: Due to the chemical nature of some cooling pillow filler, there may be an unpleasant odour that can linger for the first few days of use.
Other Tips for Sleeping Cool
If cooling pillows aren’t for you or you need something else in addition to a cooling pillow to bring those nighttime temperatures down, there are other options. Be sure to wear loose pyjamas made from breathable materials such as cotton. Open the windows, especially if you can get a cross breeze, or use fans to get constant airflow through the room.
Keep your bedroom cool during the day by shutting the shades. Freeze or dampen a washcloth with cool water placed on your neck or forehead when you sleep. All of these hints will help get you sleeping better, longer, and cooler.
Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API