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There are cool sleepers and those who seem to radiate heat. Nobody enjoys tossing and turning through a hot, sweaty night or waking up with wet hair matted to their face. Not only is it unpleasant, but poor sleep is bad for your health and your frame of mind.
You’ve probably felt the allure of air conditioning, fans, and cool, crisp sheets, but let’s not underestimate the contribution of the right pillowcase.
With so many kinds of cooling pillowcases, it’s hard to know where to start. So, we’ve chosen 10 cooling pillowcases to highlight key features and things to consider as you shop.
Sleep comfort is a very personal thing. One person’s bliss is another’s nightmare, so let your preferences be your guide. Here’s what we considered as we created our list:
- Design. We looked at quality construction, comfort, and eye appeal.
- Ease of care. Pillowcases shouldn’t be a hassle. We prefer to throw them in the wash and call it a day, but you might be inclined to make an exception for the right pillowcase.
- Variety. We like having different sizes and colors to choose from.
- Value. We want our money’s worth and know you do, too.
- Uniqueness. Bonus points for those special touches that stand out from the crowd.
Sellers had no idea their products were under consideration and did not affect the decisions made by Healthline.
There’s a lot at play in our pricing guide. That’s because most pillowcases are sold in sets of two, but some are sold singularly. Pillowcases range from standard to king, but whenever possible, we used the standard size pricing. Also, some items have variable prices based on your choice of color. With that in mind, here’s our price guide:
- $ = under $20
- $$ = $20–$50
- $$$ = over $50
Nacreous Pillow Cover
Price: $$$ (set of 2)
Key features: These stand out for the NASA-engineered fabric called Outlast, which is used on both sides of the pillowcase. Outlast is made up of tiny beads that adapt to temperature fluctuations during the night. They absorb heat so it doesn’t build up and get you all hot and sweaty. It’s hypoallergenic, machine-washable, and zips closed. Hot sleepers and those with night sweats and hot flashes say it works.
Considerations: It’s not actually a pillowcase, but a pillow cover that’s meant to be used under a pillowcase. That may be a bonus because it means you can use it with a pillowcase that complements your other bedding. It’s on the expensive side, especially if you need king size. But it does come with a 60-night satisfaction guarantee and a 180-night warranty, which we love.
LUXEAR Cooling Pillowcase
Price: $$ (set of 2)
Key features: Naturally breathable, absorbent cotton is a tried and true material for sleeping. But if you’re looking for extra cooling power, this pillowcase has 100-percent cotton material on one side and special cooling fibers on the other, so you can flip it as needed. Reviewers give high ratings for comfort, softness, and coolness against the skin. They feature hidden zippers and are machine-washable.
Considerations: Reviews tilt strongly toward the positive, but some people say the cooling power doesn’t last the night. They come with a lifetime warranty.
Beauty of Orient Natural Hypoallergenic Silk Pillowcase
Price: $$ (each)
Key features: Silk is soft, comfortable, and super cool against the skin. It can also cut down on hair frizz during the night. This pillowcase is made from high-grade silk, has no harmful chemicals, and is hypoallergenic. Silk can be slippery, but the zip closure keeps the pillow from sliding out. It comes in tons of gorgeous colors to match your décor.
Considerations: Silk absorbs sweat, which helps keep you cool, but it’s a bit of a high-maintenance fabric. Handwashing or dry cleaning is usually best for silk, but they say this pillowcase is machine-washable. It comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Vegan Silk Bamboo Lyocell Pillowcases
Price: $ (set of 2)
Key features: Bamboo is all-natural, absorbent, and helps keep you cool. These pillowcases are made from organic bamboo in a sustainable closed-loop system. They can feel a little silky, so the zipper keeps the pillows all snug inside the cases. People who’ve tried them say they keep you cool and even help keep your face from creasing. Finally, it’s machine-washable.
Considerations: Users say these pillowcases will keep you two degrees cooler in summer, but two degrees warmer in winter. If you’re hot year-round, you’ll need something else for the cooler months. Some commenters say they can get a little wrinkly and may need ironing. They’re attractive, but there isn’t much in the way of color choice.
SHEEX Arctic Aire Max Pillowcases
Price: $$ (set of 2)
Key features: Tencel is a brand-name lyocell, a fabric made from wood pulp. It’s breathable and moisture-wicking, so if night-sweating is a problem, these pillowcases should keep your head dry and cool while you sleep. They’re eco-friendly and there are no toxic chemicals to worry about. The cases come in several colors.
Considerations: Reviews are all over the place. They seem to keep you cool, but some people take issue with the quality, saying they don’t stand up well to washing. It’s worth noting that while they are machine-washable, manufacturer instructions advise against using bleach, fabric softener, or dryer sheets.
ZAMAT Silky Satin Pillowcases
Price: $ (set of 2)
Key features: These pillowcases are made with polyester microfiber. Polyester is machine-washable, durable, and less prone to wrinkling than some natural fabrics. These pillowcases have a shiny look, but people who’ve tried them say they feel soft and help with night sweats. They’re hypoallergenic and have an envelope closure to keep the pillow from sliding out. There are several colors to choose from.
Considerations: These pillowcases may help keep you cooler in summer, but could feel warmer in the winter months. They’re machine-washable, but air drying is recommended.
Columbia Organic Cotton Sateen Weave Performance Pillowcases
Price: $$ (set of 2)
Key features: These pillowcases are made from 100-percent organic cotton, so they should feel luxuriously soft and comfy. Moisture-wicking technology is designed to deal with perspiration so you don’t wake up in a pool of sweat. They come in several colors and are machine-washable and dryable.
Considerations: Cotton is super-absorbent for the very sweaty sleeper, but it can bunch up on you and cause temporary face creases. They come with just a limited lifetime warranty.
Mindful Design Bamboo-Derived Cooling Pillow Cover
Price: $ (each)
Key features: The cover is made from bamboo and polyester. Also, it has a cooling gel panel covered by a soft mesh. Some people elect to put it in the refrigerator or freezer for a while before bed. You’ll feel the chill right away, so it’ll help you doze off nicely. It also has a zip closure.
Considerations: Some people who use gel pillows or pillowcases say the chill doesn’t last very long. Only one side of this pillow cover has cooling gel and it’s only available in white. You can use your own pillowcase over it, but then you might not get the full effect. It’s spot-clean and air-dry only, so no throwing it in the washer.
Bedsure Cooling Bamboo Pillowcases
Price: $ (set of 2)
Key features: When it comes to value, it’s hard to beat these bamboo pillowcases at this price point. They’re all natural, soft, and breathable. Bamboo’s moisture-wicking properties help keep you dry and cool through the night. They’re available in a variety of colors.
Considerations: They’re machine-washable, but the manufacturer recommends hanging the pillowcases to dry.
Nordstrom Pure Silk Pillowcase
Price: $$$ (each)
Key features: Pure silk has a luxurious feel and is cool to the touch. This pillowcase has splurge written all over it. Aside from its cooling properties, it can help save you from face creases and frightening morning hair caused by friction. It comes in several marvelous colors.
Considerations: It’ll put a dent in your wallet. It’s received rave reviews, but some people say it’s not very durable. One reason for this may be that while you can put it in the washing machine, you should opt for the gentle cycle, and the dryer is a no-no.
There’s a lot more to a pillowcase than meets the eye, particularly if you’re looking for relief from the heat. Comfort is subjective, but here are some things to consider as you shop:
Consider whether you sleep with your face smashed into your pillow or on your back. For example, if you’re a face-sleeper, the feel of the pillowcase is key to a good night’s sleep. If you sleep on your back, you might lean more toward moisture-wicking fabric to keep your hair free of sweat.
Ease of use
We probably all need to wash our pillowcases more often than we do. So, how much of a problem is that? If your pillowcase needs dry cleaning, handwashing, or line drying, you’ll probably need to have several on rotation. If laundry isn’t your thing, you might want to stick to pillowcases you can easily toss in the washer and dryer. If it’s going to frustrate you, it’s not worth it.
Cooling pillowcases come in a variety of fabrics, some of which you’ll find soft and cozy and some that won’t be to your liking. If you don’t like the feel of a polyester shirt, you probably won’t want it in a pillowcase. Do you want a pillow that will also keep your hair from frizzing or your face from crinkling? Do you have allergies? Think about your “must haves” as you make your selection.
How much are you willing to spend for a cooling pillowcase? And what happens if it doesn’t live up to the hype? Can you get your money back? All things to consider before pulling out your wallet.
It’s not a bad idea to check out product reviews. There will always be negative reviews, but they’re not always about the product itself. If more than a few reviewers mention the same flaw, it’s worth looking into.
Questions to ask when pillowcase shopping
- Does it have the features at the top of my list?
- What materials is it made of?
- What are the care instructions?
- Are they sold individually or in a set?
- What’s the price and is there a money-back guarantee or warranty?
- What do reviews say?
It takes more than a pillowcase to keep cool when you sleep. Here are a few other tips to help you get a better night’s sleep:
- The temperature in your bedroom should be between 60 and 67°F for optimal sleep, so set your thermostat accordingly.
- If air circulation is a problem, turn on the ceiling fan or use a portable fan.
- Keep the room completely dark — no glowing electronics.
- If you wear pajamas, keep them light. Make sure they’re made with natural, breathable fabrics.
- Invest in cooling sheets or cooling mattress pads.
- Change your sheets and pillowcases at least once a week.
- Remove extra blankets and comforters.
- Avoid strenuous physical exercise in the hour before bedtime.
- Take a cool or lukewarm shower just before you get into bed.
When hot, sweaty nights keep you tossing and turning, investing in a cooling pillowcase may help. It’s obvious you’re not the only one with this problem because there are options aplenty, from cotton to silk to pillowcases with cooling gel.
After you settle on a pillowcase, cooling sheets might be a good addition. Also, there are a few other adjustments you can make to help keep cool during the night so you can start your day feeling refreshed.