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- Best overall: Tempur-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow
- Best gel: PharMeDoc Memory Foam + Cooling Gel Pillow
- Best option for comfort: Helix Ultra-Cool Pillow
- Best for night sweats: Cariloha Gel Pillow
- Best hypoallergenic option: Classic Brands Reversible Cool Gel Memory Foam Pillow
- Best for back and side sleepers: Snuggle-Pedic Body Pillow
- Best for travel: Travelon Cooling Gel Neck Pillow
Staying cool while you sleep can be important to get a good night’s rest. Enter: cooling pillows.
There are several different types of cooling pillows. Some work by absorbing and dissipating heat. Others wick away sweat or increase airflow, keeping the pillow cool to the touch.
In choosing the best cooling pillows, we looked at features, analyzed manufacturers’ claims, and checked out customer reviews. We also took price and money-back guarantees into consideration.
No matter why you want a cooling pillow, here are seven options to keep you cool so you can get some rest.
- Cooling technology: Look for external gel layers engineered to keep you cool, or fabrics with cooling technologies like Outlast.
- Ability to clean: Sleepers who opt for a cooling pillow often sweat during the night, and need to wash their pillows more frequently. Look for a pillow that is machine-washable or comes with a washable pillow cover.
- Material: Check what fill your pillow is made of. Memory foam pillows retain heat, as do solid foam pillows. Look for cooling gels, shredded foam, or other innovative materials to reduce overheating.
- Sleeping position: There are many different types of cooling pillows out there. If you’re a stomach sleeper, you might prefer a softer pillow, whereas back and side sleepers may prefer a firmer material like memory foam.
- Price: When compared with other types of pillows, cooling pillows are often more expensive. However, many cooling pillows will offer a trial period of at least 30 days, and many have warranties that will extend out to 2 years or even longer.
Tempur-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow
This Tempur-Pedic pillow features an inner layer of memory foam surrounded by a wraparound layer of cooling gel. It’s covered in a removable, cotton-knit case that’s machine washable.
The pillow has a very dense feel and provides extra soft support. It comes with a 5-year limited warranty from the manufacturer.
- Pros: Because the entire pillow is surrounded with a single, continuous gel layer, it’s a good option for restless sleepers and those who want cooling during the entire night. The firm support provides a comfortable night’s sleep for all sleeping positions.
- Cons: Some people require more firm support than this pillow offers. It’s also heavy, weighing in at around 5 pounds.
- Queen: 27 x 19 x 6.4 inches
- King: 35 x 19 x 6.4 inches
PharMeDoc Memory Foam + Cooling Gel Pillow
This PharMeDoc pillow is designed to reduce headaches, neck aches, and backaches.
It’s made from memory foam, with an outer, cooling gel layer. It’s curved to conform to your neck’s shape, helping you sleep comfortably on your back or side. It’s also hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant. And it’s free of phthalates, latex, and BPA, and comes with a removable pillowcase.
- Pros: The PharMeDoc provides a firm, full feeling under the neck and head. It will not flatten out during the night or over time. Users say that it provides significant cooling relief and is great for headaches.
- Cons: The pillow has an odor for several days after unpacking. You can eliminate this by letting it air out completely or by covering it with several pillowcases while using.
- Standard: 24 x 15.5 x 5.5 inches
Best option for comfort
Helix Ultra-Cool Pillow
This pillow uses cooling phase change material, sewn over a down-like fiber filling. Unlike gel, phase change material works by absorbing your body’s heat and dispersing it.
The Helix Ultra-Cool Pillow is available in standard and king sizes. The outer fabric is 100 percent cotton, while the inner fabric is microfiber.
- Pros: Reviewers say this pillow is super comfortable and cooling. It’s antimicrobial and comes with a 1-year guarantee. It also has two pillow inserts instead of one, so you can adjust the width and firmness to your specific liking.
- Cons: Some users complain that the pillow has a chemical smell.
- Standard: 20 x 28 inches
- King: 20 x 36 inches
Shop for the Helix Ultra-Cool Pillow on Helix.
Best for night sweats
Cariloha Gel Pillow
The Cariloha Gel Pillow is made with fibers from bamboo, memory foam, and with a cooling gel layer on top. It’s moisture-wicking and repels odors, making it good option for people who deal with night sweats. The washable cover is also removable.
- Pros: This pillow is firm, with a soft center, and provides some orthopedic support in addition to cooling capabilities. Users say it retains its cooling capabilities throughout the night and provides headache and sweat relief.
- Cons: Some users complain about a chemical smell that lingers.
- Standard: 27 x 20 inches
- King: 36 x 20 inches
Best hypoallergenic option
Classic Brands Reversible Cool Gel Memory Foam Pillow
This pillow is considered medium firm. One side has a cool gel layer, and the flip side is memory foam.
On hot or warm nights, sleeping on the cooling gel side is meant to disperse heat and promote airflow. On nights that you don’t need cooling support, you can flip the pillow over to sleep on the memory foam side. The hypoallergenic cover is removable and machine washable.
- Pros: This pillow supplies a good amount of head and neck support. It’s naturally antimicrobial, resisting mold, dust mites, and bacteria. Users rave about its wicking ability, making it a great option for people with night sweats. Since this pillow has a cool side and a regular side, it’s a good option for anyone who doesn’t feel too hot at night. For example, some people find that they sleep hotter right before or during their periods.
- Cons: Some users mention that this pillow emitted a chemical odor for a day or two, requiring off-gassing. Others say that it warms up during the night, unless the room itself is on the cool side.
- Standard: 24 x 16 x 5 inches
Shop for the Classic Brands Reversible Cool Gel Memory Foam Pillow on Amazon.
Best for back and side sleepers
SnugglePedic Body Pillow
Cooling body pillows can provide extra body support and cooling, and can be especially helpful when you’re trying to sleep when pregnant.
The SnugglePedic is designed for back and side sleepers. It features a patented cover that’s made from bamboo, polyester, and Lycra, designed to allow good ventilation. Bamboo fiber has the potential for cooling and temperature regulating fabric.
- Pros: This pillow conforms readily to your shape, providing comfortable, full-body coolness. It’s hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant. It’s manufactured in the United States, and according to users, has no chemical smell. The pillow is also machine washable.
- Cons: The pillow takes some time to fully plump up, so make sure to give yourself at least half an hour after taking it out of the box before it’s sleep ready. The manufacturer suggests tumbling it briefly in a drier to fluff it. Some people feel they need an additional head pillow in order to get a really comfortable and cool night’s sleep.
- Standard: 20 x 54 inches
Best for travel
Travelon Cooling Gel Neck Pillow
This Travelon pillow is U-shaped with a cushy gel top. It’s designed to supply head, neck, and shoulder support. It weighs in at 0.25 pounds, making it comparable to regular travel pillows in weight and size.
- Pros: If you get overheated while traveling, this gel neck pillow will be a lifesaver. The cover can be removed and machine washed, so you can use it repeatedly on trips. The manufacturer offers a 90-day guarantee.
- Cons: It contains some chemicals listed on the California Proposition 65 website.
- Standard: 13 x 12 x 4 inches
In addition to using a cooling pillow, here are some other ways to keep cool during the night:
- Sleep in a room that’s around 60 to 67°F (16 to 19°C) or lower, if possible.
- Opt for sheets in breathable, cooling fabrics, such as 100 percent cotton. Avoid sheets and pillowcases that are flannel or brushed, even if they’re cotton.
- Avoid sleeping on polyester sheets or wearing acrylic fabrics to bed, as these can produce and trap heat.
- Try silk pillowcases or even a whole silk sheet set.
- Take a cool shower or bath before bed. This can help lower your body temperature.
- Stay hydrated, as this can help your body maintain coolness.
- Consider a cooling mattress or mattress topper. While these products may be more expensive than cooling pillows, they can provide additional, all-over cooling relief.
- Avoid foam mattresses that trap heat.
- Try sleeping with a fan or the air conditioning on.
- Hot sleepers: Those who overheat when sleeping should opt for a cooling pillow to prevent overheating. A cooling pillow can also minimize sweating, as it draws heat away from the body and provides a cooler surface to lay on.
- Back and side sleepers: People who sleep on their back and side may prefer a cooling pillow as most of the ones on the market are medium loft, which can aid in natural spinal alignment.
- Light sleepers: Popular materials like shredded memory foam and latex produce virtually no noise when compressed.
How do cooling pillows work?
Some cooling pillows work by absorbing and dissipating heat. Others wick away sweat, or increase airflow, keeping the pillow cool to the touch.
How do you clean a cooling pillow?
If your pillow is made of foam, you likely can’t wash the inner foam core of the pillow, nor get it wet. If you need to spot-clean the foam, use a damp, clean cloth with a mild detergent, then allow it to dry. Most outer covers are washable, but the washing directions will vary by manufacturer.
How often do I need to replace my cooling pillow?
While your pillow may lose some of its cooling intensity over time, a well-made pillow should last you up to 3 to 4 years. Choosing a high quality pillow and purchasing a warranty can help ensure its life span.