Best Cooling Pillows and Hands on Reviews

by | Cooling Pillow, Pillows | 0 comments

Nothing is worse than waking too hot in the middle of the night. Although there is much we can do to try and get a cooler night’s sleep, sometimes our body’s natural tendencies interrupt that process. However, there are steps you can take to help keep you sleeping comfortably and cool, and much has to do with the choices you make surrounding the materials and fibers used in your sleep product purchases.

Many people are aware of how their mattress choices play into their overall comfort, but did you also know your pillow is almost as important to getting a better rest each night? Not only does it support your sleep position, a pillow also can help keep heat from being retained and provide you with a more ideal sleep temperature.

Here at The Sleep Judge we’ve purchased 8 of the top rated cooling pillows and tried them out through a series of trials to help provide you with our honest opinions. Our results confirming why they are some of the best in the business are explained below.

8 Best Cooling Pillow Comparisons

Pillows
Details
Warranty

Coop Home Goods Bamboo Pillow
Read Our Review
Loft: Adjustable
Density: Adjustable
Cooling: Good
Machine washable: Yes
30 day trial period

Sleep Restoration Gel-Fiber Pillow
Read Our Review
Loft: Average
Density: Medium-soft
Cooling: Excellent
Machine washable: No, dry clean only
30 day trial period

Tempur-Cloud Breeze Dual Pillow
Read Our Review
Loft: High
Density: Plush
Cooling: Excellent
Machine washable: Spot nature
5 year

GhostPillow Real-Time Pillow
Read Our Review
Loft: Average
Density: Medium firm
Cooling: Very Good
Machine washable: Spot clean only
100 night sleep trial, 5 year warranty

The Purple Pillow
Read Our Review
Loft: Adjustable
Density: Medium-firm
Cooling: Very Good
Machine washable: Can be rinsed
100 night sleep trial

Slumber Cloud Cumulus Pillow
Read Our Review
Loft: High
Density: Extra Soft (available up to a firm)
Cooling: Excellent
Machine washable: Yes
30 day guarantee

Iso-Cool Gusseted Pillow
Read Our Review
Loft: Average
Density: Firm
Cooling: Very good
Machine washable: spot clean only
30 day guarantee

Classic Brands Pillow
Read Our Review
Loft: Average
Density: Plush
Cooling: Very Good
Machine washable: Spot clean only
3 year warranty

Cooling Pillow Claims

Cooling pillows claim you will get a cooler night’s sleep through their use, and help better regulate your body’s temperature each night while you sleep. As we sleep our body naturally drops in temperature, and significantly reduces its regulation. This is so our body may properly take advantage of the associated drop in blood pressure, increase in circulation, and many physical and neurological healing processes that occur while we sleep each night.

When our body heat is retained close to us, our body is less likely to drop in temperature, this interrupting this important part of the sleep process. As our body attempts to cool itself we may wake up sweating, or feeling overheated- causing us to kick away our covers, or reach for a cooler feeling surface: our pillows.

Fiber and Material Choices

Materials and fibers do not create a colder temperature, but they can and will help create a cooling sensation due to how air is able to flow, and through the physics of heat conduction. Pillows that feel cooler to the touch do so for a variety of reasons, many of which surround the choices of fiber and materials used in their construction.

Any pillow that includes the variables explained below that allow for an increase in airflow will often feel cooler to the touch each night. But cooling pillows use multiple variables to ensure you are getting a very specific cooling effect.

– Natural Fibers vs Synthetic

Natural fibers, such as cotton and bamboo naturally breathe better than synthetic fibers, or blends. The reason being that natural choices have larger cellular structures and allow for an increased airflow. They also help absorb moisture from your skin and allow it to dissipate, which helps keep you cooler.

Synthetic fibers are usually made from a polymer, which is a plastic by product. Naturally these fibers do not breathe well since they are structurally not built to do so, and so therefore do not allows as much air flow through. These are great fibers for insulation purposes when you need to keep warm, or cool, air closer to your body- but they do not always work well for heat release purposes.

– Casing Thread-Count

The fabrics used to cover these pillows as covers, casements, or protectants, also need to be breathable in nature. High thread-count materials may feel heavy and soft to the touch, but no matter what type of fiber it is made from, the higher the thread-count, the less airflow will be available. Thread-counts lower than 400 (and the lower the better) allow for a free exchange of air through its surface, and helps keep heat from being retained.

– Fiber Fills

The fiber fills used in many pillows are often of a synthetic or synthetic blend. These types of fills are preferable though because of their small structure, and ability to keep their shape and not compress as easily over time. Polyester and poly-gel blends help your pillow keep its loft, and allows for air to flow through the pillow. Gel in particular is able to help pull heat from your body as well and help it dissipate, which is explained more fully below.

– Memory Foam

Memory foam is a popular choice used for personal comfort and proper posture support. Unfortunately it also may create a heat sink due to the low breathability of the viscoelastic polyurethane it is made from. However, the addition of varying other layers in cooling versions helps to increase air flow so you can get the best of both worlds.

– Gel

Gel layers have become an increasingly popular material in the use of bedding materials. Gel draws heat away through the process of conduction and traps it away from the surface of your body. Although it is affected by the ambient temperature of a room, gels work as a great addition to other temperature control variables to help keep gel pyou feeling cooler.

Controlled Variables That Affect Your Sleep Temperatures

As mentioned, there are many variable that can affect your sleep temperature comfort. The clothes you are wearing to bed, for example, can have a major impact upon how well heat is able to escape away from your body. Synthetic fibers and tighter weaves, as explained above, can act as an insulator and keep both heat and body moisture from escaping.

This also pertains to your choice of sheets and bed coverings. Anything that is unable to breathe freely can cause a heat sink and make you feel too warm for comfort.

Your room temperature and humidity also plays a part in your overall sleep temps. A warm room naturally keeps you from cooling off, and humidity holds heat in the air rather than allowing it to disperse.

These are controllable as you can easily, and very affordably, find sheet sets of 300 thread-count or lower, and also pay attention to your choice of pajamas. You also can adjust your thermostat, or if AC is not an option, use a fan of some sort to help draw heat away, or create an increase in airflow around your body.

Pillow Case Choices

Obviously, with all of the details provided above, your choice of pillowcase is important. If you use a material that inhibits airflow, then you negate the properties your pillow can provide. Using a 100% natural fiber combined with a low thread count will ensure you get the full cooling effect the pillow claims.

You also will not be able to use an additional waterproof pillow encasement. If protecting your pillow is a priority, consider purchasing one that is machine washable, or layer breathable casings to keep them better protected from accidents or body oils and moisture.

What to Consider When Choosing a Cooling Pillow

Not all cooling pillows are made the same, and just because you are looking for cooling relief doesn’t mean you should choose the top rated pillow just because a bunch of people said it was great. Obviously reviews should be considered in making your choice, but every person is unique in their sleep position and preferences, and choosing a pillow that both provides you with a cooler sleep, and works with your personal sleep position, should be a priority.
Do you normally sleep hot?
If you have a natural tendency to feel warm, no cooling pillow in the world will help if you are also not paying attention to the many other variables that are included in helping you get a cooler night’s sleep. This includes your choices of mattress or mattress pads, sheet, clothing, and room temperature. There are also many other products out there to help you if sleeping hot is a major problem.
What is your sleep position?
Stomach sleepers need a softer, flatter pillow surface for proper cervical alignment. Back sleepers also need a flatter, but often more firm pillow for proper neck support and to help keep undue strain upon the back. Side sleepers need a higher loft, and firmer pillow that is able to both properly support the neck and head in alignment with the back.
Do you control your room temperature?
A hot room can interrupt the cooling sensation your pillow provides. Many products depend on heat transfer and a hot room can transfer to the materials keeping you from reaping the full benefits. Even if your room is warm, applying a fan to increase air circulation will help with dissipating heat from your body and allowing you to sleep easier.
What pillow case choices do you have?
As mentioned, your choice of pillowcase can completely interrupt the way your pillow is constructed. If you want a cooling effect then you need to make sure a natural fiber, low thread-count case.

Our Top Cooling Pillow Picks

We have slept with, cuddled with, napped upon, bunched up, and lounged around with these following cooling pillow picks to give you our best run down of each product for your most comfortable, coolest night’s sleep.

1. Coop Home Goods Adjustable Loft Bamboo Cooling Pillow

Specs

  • Loft: Adjustable
  • Density: Adjustable
  • Cooling: Good
  • Machine washable: Yes
  • Warranty: 30 day trial period

The combination of shredded memory foam that allows for increased air flow and natural fiber casings keeps the Coop Home Goods Adjustable Loft Bamboo Cooling Pillow sleeping naturally cool. Bamboo fibers are known for their breathability and hypoallergenic properties, making it an ideal choice for anyone who suffers from allergies.

The quilted cover can serve as a standalone casing as it is thick, protective, and soft against the skin. The pillow also works well with a cotton pillowcase. Because it depends solely upon the construction of the pillow, and not any special cooling properties, in a hot room, or in use with a tightly woven pillowcase: you may find that some heat retention can remain.

Fully adjustable, this pillow is an excellent choice for anybody in any sleep position who already uses temperature control within their room. It breathes well, allows for a variety of personalized comfort, and keeps heat from being retained near your body.

R

Pros

  • Fully adjustable to all sleep positions
  • Washable
  • Great for heavier bodies
Q

Cons

  • Slight offgassing
  • May become lumpy overtime
  • Firm feel with higher loft

2. Sleep Restoration Gel-Fiber Filled Pillow

Specs

  • Loft: Average
  • Density: Medium-soft
  • Cooling: Excellent
  • Machine washable: No, dry clean only
  • Warranty: 30 day trial period
The 100% cotton casing and micro-denier poly fiber gel filling makes Sleep Restoration Gel-Fiber Filled Pillow a winner in our books. Not only is it highly breathable, but the gel-fiber filing helps pull heat away from your body to keep you feeling cool all night long. The effect is very noticeable as this type of fiber is also very strong and keeps its shape under compression- meaning you have excellent air flow all night long.

With the correct pillowcase this pillow keeps a comfortable surface through just about any ambient temperature you can throw at it. Because it is a plush sleep surface it provides a soft feel with a firmer, yielding support. The average loft does compress without any sacrifice of this support however, but it does make it a perfect choice for back and stomach sleepers.

This is a great choice for back and stomach sleepers whether they sleep hot or not. But the consistently cool surfaces is a plus that hot sleepers will rejoice over.

R

Pros

  • Soft, yet support
  • Good for stomach sleepers
  • Very breathable surface
Q

Cons

  • May not be suitable for side sleepers
  • Low fill amount
  • May flatten overtime

3. Tempur-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow

Specs

  • Loft: High
  • Density: Plush
  • Cooling: Excellent
  • Machine washable: Spot nature
  • Warranty: 5 year

The Tempur-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow is the company’s answer to the dreaded memory foam heat sink that often occurs with this type of material filling. Through the years this company has answered the needs of their consumers with new and innovative approaches, which has lead to them being one of the leading brand names in the sleep industry.

This pillow is filled with their ES (extra soft) foam, and dual sided gel pads to provide a plush, yielding, yet firm support that contours perfectly to your head and neck all while pulling heat from your body and transferring it away for a cooler night’s rest. Although the pillow loft may not be high enough for certain side sleeping comforts, the placement of a second pillow beneath it seems to solve that problem to make it more available for all side sleepers.

This is an amazing cooling option for anyone who sleeps hot and is a side or back sleeper. Gel can take on the ambient air temperature, so if your room is typically warm, it may affect the cooling sensation- as it works well in a controlled temperature environment. It also needs a proper low thread-count cotton pillow case.

R

Pros

  • Draws heat from your body
  • Washable protective casing
  • Memory foam contour head and neck
Q

Cons

  • May be too soft for side sleepers without an added pillow
  • Very heavy
  • Cooling may dissipate over time

4. GhostPillow Real-Time Cooling Aerated Gel Memory Foam Pillow

Specs

  • Loft: Average
  • Density: Medium firm
  • Cooling: Very Good
  • Machine washable: Spot clean only
  • Warranty: 100 night sleep trial, 5 year warranty

The Ghostpillow Real-time Cooling Aerated Gel Memory Foam Pillow is one of those new, innovative sleep products that are making a huge splash in the sleep industry along with their mattress counterparts. It makes some pretty hefty claims surrounding the gel layers that is able to absorb and dissipate heat without ever warming to the ambient temperature.

The entire pillow is a gel infused memory foam that includes air pockets that literally release a burst of air when compressed. Upon opening the extensive packaging it smells like lavender, a natural scent that has been proven to produce a calming effect. Although this begins to dissipate after about a week, the comfort of the pillow lasts.

Most popular with back and side sleepers, some side sleepers feel the need to add a pillow beneath for added loft, but still feel it is cool to sleep upon. It also works well for heavier stomach sleepers as it compresses easily and quickly, and provides proper spinal alignment,

R

Pros

  • Absorbs and dissipates heat
  • Quick foam response time
  • Smells like lavender when opened
Q

Cons

  • May compress slightly overtime
  • Fairly flat
  • May need a second pillow for side sleepers

5. The Purple Pillow

Specs

  • Loft: Adjustable
  • Density: Medium-firm
  • Cooling: Very Good
  • Machine washable: Can be rinsed
  • Warranty: 100 night sleep trial

Initial responses to The Purple Pillow are generally filled with a bit of surprise, but once you begin to take a closer look at its details and place your head upon it, you may fall in love. The Purple Pillow uses an entirely new construction to create a comforting, cooling pillow that integrates a Hyper-Elastic Polymer that flexes to your weight all while keeping its shape to allow an increase in breathability.

Completely adjustable, the pillow also has an additional air pocket pillow to help adjust the loft for back and side sleepers. Plus, the polymer is never supposed to break down, meaning you have a consistently comfortable sleep night after night. The wide open design allows for a free flow of air helping to keep it from getting too warm. Since the majority of the construction is plastic based, these air pockets are what helps keep its cooling claims a reality.

If you have a controlled temperature bedroom environment, and consider yourself a hot sleeper, then this may be a great choice for you no matter what your preferences are. With the 100 night, risk free sleep trial as part of your initial purchase, you really don’t have anything to lose by trying it out. Especially since shipping is free.

R

Pros

  • Excellent airflow
  • Fully adjustable
  • No fluffing required
Q

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Awkward
  • Affected by ambient temperature

6. Slumber Cloud Cumulus Pillow

Specs

  • Loft: High
  • Density: Extra Soft (available up to a firm)
  • Cooling: Excellent
  • Machine washable: Yes
  • Warranty: 30 day guarantee

The Slumber Cloud Cumulus Pillow is offered in a range of sizes and densities to meet the needs of all sleep styles. Created with a patented ‘Outlast’ fabric shell that is supposed to pull heat from your body, when lying upon the pillow a cooling effect can definitely be felt. This is covered with a 300 thread-count, 100% cotton casing- all of which is easily machine washable.

The softest of the pillows is an extra soft, which is one of those rare finds that is made specifically for stomach sleepers and some back sleepers to help provide head support, while allowing for spinal alignment. Although some comments have been made that the firm support pillow may also be a bit on the softer side, the faux down poly filling still provides proper comfort.

The size and comfort choices, combined with the continual night’s cooling rest makes this a fabulous pick for just about any and all self-proclaimed hot sleepers. Plus the 30 day satisfaction guarantee allows you to return it for any reason if it just isn’t up to par. The customer service is considered some of the best in the business, which is easily believable due to the personalization your pillow is shipped with concerning your personal comfort.

R

Pros

  • Good choice for stomach sleepers
  • Very cooling
  • Excellent customer service
  • Outlast Technology
Q

Cons

  • May be too soft
  • Slight offgassing
  • May need to be ‘plumped’ often

7. Iso-Cool Gusseted Memory Foam Pillow

Specs

  • Loft: Average
  • Density: Firm
  • Cooling: Very good
  • Machine washable: spot clean only
  • Warranty: 30 day guarantee

The Sleep Better company that manufactures the Iso-Cool Gusseted Memory Foam series of cooling pillows is so certain of their product they offer specific contoured, gusseted, and standard shapes to meet the needs of anyone looking for a better night’s sleep, regardless of your sleep style. This firm, gusseted sidewall pillow is created specifically for side and back sleepers to provide the perfect balance of support and contouring.

Created with a 100% cotton cover and an ‘Outlast ‘ patented fabric shell to help draw heat from your body and allow for it to dissipate away from you, the cooling effects of this pillow can be felt simply by placing your hand upon it. LIke most memory foam products, the foam itself can create a heat sink, and although this pillow sleeps very cool, it does best in a temperature controlled environment as through the night the memory foam doesn’t breath as well as many other types of pillow fills.

This is an excellent choice for side sleeping memory foam lovers. Also great for certain back sleepers, the cooling effect is a great way to help cool of anyone who naturally sleeps warm through the night.

R

Pros

  • Firm, yielding support
  • Great neck support for side sleepers
  • Cool, smooth surface
Q

Cons

  • Slower memory foam response
  • May not be as effective with warmer ambient temperatures
  • Inconsistencies between pillow orders

8. Classic Brands Reversible Cool Gel and Memory Foam Pillow

Specs

  • Loft: Average
  • Density: Plush
  • Cooling: Very Good
  • Machine washable: Spot clean only
  • Warranty: 3 year warranty

The Classic Brands Reversible Cool Gel and Memory Foam Pillow is exactly that, a simple, yet classic memory foam pillow design that includes a gel layered side for those warmer nights, as well as a regular foam surface for cooler nights. Covered by a breathable, performance knit cotton casing to help wick away moisture, this pillow is designed to help you better regulate your sleep temperature.

Created for back and side sleepers, the textured gel layer helps draw heat from your body to keep you sleeping cool. LIke most gels it can be affected by ambient temperatures, so it is best used in a controlled temp to help hot sleepers reap the comforting benefits. The opposite side is unlayered plush memory foam for those nights that cooling comfort is not a need.

Perfect for sleepers who need a little extra cooling sensations, but who may not sleep warm year round, this pillow’s dual comfort sides have you covered. The plush support is just firm enough and provides contouring for your head and neck, but doesn’t create a deep memory foam sink.

R

Pros

  • Comfortably cool
  • Great neck support
  • Dual sided for varying ambient temperatures
Q

Cons

  • Some offgassing
  • Cooling somewhat dependent on ambient temps
  • Might be too thin for some sleepers

Conclusion

The many choices we’ve tried out ourselves has us scratching our heads with which, exactly, should be our top pick. Each provide a noticeable cooling sensation in just about every situation thrown at them, and each has its own comfort level to fit a variety of sleep positions. Each also have their own list of benefits, especially when used with the correct pillowcases in order to reap all they have to offer.

Our suggestions surrounding your best pick starts first with sleep comfort. You sleep posture is the most important part of your sleep health, and is incredibly important to getting a good night’s rest. Choosing your cooling pillow starts with sleep position recommendations and then should be based on your personal preferences of cooling needs.

We’d love to answer any questions you may have about our choices, and hear about your own experiences below!

To support our work we earn a commission if you purchase through some of the links listed below at no additional cost to you. We may also review products we’ve received for free. This does not influence our opinions, but we believe in transparency so you can make informed choices. Read more here.