Pillows are an often overlooked product that can be highly influential to your sleep temperature experiences, but the comfort they can bring concerning both support and body temperature regulation shouldn’t be overlooked.
The Sleep Judge team has recently tried out a series of cooling pillows, and one of our tops picks is the Nature’s Sleep Ghost Pillow of which we purchased to provide you with a detailed rundown of our honest experiences with it.
Breakdown of the Nature’s Sleep Ghost Pillow
The Nature’s Sleep company has over 25 years experience in the sleep industry, and with their extensive knowledge of consumer needs and application of innovative techniques, their sleep products are some of the best to be found. Precision comfort and support are their motto, and they apply it to all aspects of their marketing techniques, using decades of ratings and reviews to drive what they present to you.
You might be interested: Nature’s Sleep Brand Profile
Their pillow creation includes the best of their mattress design, and incorporates it into the perfect pairing for your overall sleep experience. Designed with comforting coolness in mind, their open air, quick response memory foam allows for a burst of air when compressed. It also includes gel infused layers that helps draw heat away from your body and dissipate it through the night.
The design is also created to meet the needs of a variety of sleep positions, and is supposed to provide the perfect head and neck support all while providing plush comfort.
The Ghost Pillow comes amazingly well packed in its own box, in a light fabric protector, and wrapped in paper. It also comes with a personalized thank you card that includes warranty information. The box was a bit difficult to open as it is sturdy cardboard and well fitted, but upon opening I was surprised to be greeted with the smell of lavender.
This was an unexpected smell and at first I thought it was a strange offgassing until my brain caught up to my nose! It was a great scent to associate with sleep and I was very impressed with the pillow’s initial presentation.
The Ghost Pillow combines their tried and true memory foam design that includes a series of open air pockets with a cooling gel layer to provide increased breathability resulting in a cooling comfort. Companies that manufacture cooling pillows love to claim that that their pillows create this cooling comfort, but it is actually a combination of many variables that will help keep you sleeping cooler; and their product- if made from the correct materials – can aide in this process.
You might be interested: The Best Memory Foam Pillows
Fabric & Material Choices
Fabrics and materials, their construction, and their interaction with one another and with your body are all a part of the cooling process. Cotton and bamboo, for example, are two popular natural fabrics that breathe more readily than many other fiber choices. Thread-count is also an important detail to pay attention to. Although a higher thread-count may result in a softer, heavier material, it has these qualities due to how tight the weave is, resulting in much lower breathability.
Many natural fibers also help draw heat and moisture away from your body, as do certain synthetic materials. Gels draw heat through the physics of conduction and can create a cooling sensation through this process. Although it may have poor air flow, how it is integrated into other materials can help with this drawback.
If you sleep hot, your first step is to better control the variables you can manipulate. Lowering your ambient temperature through air conditioning, ceiling or box fans, or opening windows to cooler night air is only a step to begin providing a cooler sleep environment. Your clothing choices, as well as bedding should all be examined for more breathable fabrics as well. Higher thread counts will trap heat close to your body,making you feel overheated.
Ghost Pillow Cooling Claims
The Nature’s Sleep Company focuses their claims on your overall sleep comfort for a proper rest, with the cooling effect being a perk of choosing to sleep with their pillow. With over 35 years in the sleep industry, they have continually applied new and innovative ideas to their products to stay on top of the needs of their consumers.
The memory foam and gel layer used in their pillow is created with a pocketed airflow system to keep your pillow breathing freely all night long and keep body heat from retaining. Furthermore, the gel layer helps absorb your body heat and draw it away from your body.
Since I’m not a hot sleeper, in order to truly gauge the cooling comfort this pillow claims I not only slept with it as I would normally- but also allowed my room to heat throughout the day without the use of air conditioning to see how comfortable it was in a warmer atmosphere.
You might be interested: The Best Cooling Pillows
Features and Benefits
The Ghost Pillow has a pretty wide range of features and benefits to consider when deciding if it is a good choice for you. From size to comfort level, as well as loft and durability, I’ve described each below with my own personal experience
Pillows often come in a few size choices starting with a standard sized pillow at 20×26 inches and going up from there. The Ghost Pillow only measures 16×23 inches and is only available in one size. This may be a bit of a turnoff for many pillow shoppers, but I assure you that the smaller size really isn’t noticeable. In fact, when I read the dimensions I have to go measure for myself because it looks that same size as my other standard sized pillows.
Call it an optical illusion, but it looks just as big, and the size is definitely is not noticeable when you sleep on it. King sized pillow lovers may not be super impressed if they use a king size in order to help support wider shoulders or a larger body. Otherwise it’s a perfectly fine size and gathered no size complaints during our trial run.
Real-Time Phase Change Cooling
Nature’s Sleep has patented a Real-Time Phase Change Cooling system that works with their foam and gel construction which provides a thermal sensitivity to your body heat that helps adjust the sleep environment to help you sleep cool.
Removable, Washable Performance Fabric Cover
The first layer of this system is the moisture wicking, patented fabric that is highly breathable and soft to the skin. It is a dual sided case, with an embroidered, quilted side, and a thinner performance side. Either side provides access to the comfort sensation that is provided, but to take advantage of it fully, the company recommends you sleep on the non-quilted surface.
The seams are also double stitched, with the zipper laying pat to avoid any snagging or unsightly tension upon the length of it. It is easy to open and close back up, and easily slips over the pillow itself for cleaning purposes.
Gel Foam Infused Layers
The foam used is infused with layers of gel, which ‘collects’ heat and traps it through the process of conduction. The physics of this has to do with how heat energy is transferred from the ‘hot’ surface to a cooler surface. In this case, your body heat is able to transfer to the gel surface which is often at ambient room temperature.
From there is is able to continue to transfer through the gel infused layers to keep from getting increasingly warmer through the night. As mentioned, gel does take in the ambient air temperature, so if your room is warm, then it may interrupt this process.
Cool Burst Airflow Memory Foam
The memory foam is poured within a Cool Burst frame that allows for airflow pockets to be created throughout the entirety of the pillow without sacrificing the supportive structure. When compressed, it released a ‘burst’ of air, and helps keep air flowing through it at all times. This is a feature you can most definitely feel, and I found it fun to press down on the pillow to make this effect occur when I first discovered exactly what this entailed.
This is also considered a quick response memory foam, meaning you don’t have to wait for our body heat in order to feel the contouring. Plus it bounces back into shape almost immediately after the removal of weight.
The loft of this pillow sits right around 5.5 inches, which is a pretty average height considering this is a more of a plush comfort. This makes it a good choice for a variety of positions, and during my sleep trials found it to be very comfortable for both back and side sleepers, and may be a good choice for heavier stomach sleepers as well.
As a plush pillow choice, it provides a soft, memory foam contouring sink that is considered a very quick response. The underlying firm support keeps your head and neck properly placed for cervical alignment.
Side sleepers may need to place another thinner pillow beneath it to get the proper neck support, but that is entirely dependent upon personal preferences and needs, I found it to be comfortable as it when using it on my side.
Secondary 100% Cotton Cover
The pillow is also encased in a 100% cotton, non-removable cover for further protection and to help keep its shape. As a whilly breathable material, it doesn’t interrupt the overall comfort of the pillow.
When you first unpack your pillow you will be greeted by a burst of lavender scent. This was entirely unexpected, but was a pleasant surprise nonetheless. Afterwards you should be able to smell this for a few weeks as a subtle hint of freshness before it begins to dissipate. Lavender provides a calming, soothing, and slightly sedative effect when used in aromatherapy. It is often used in washes and lotions that are to be used before bedtime for young children.
Pillow Cleaning- Cover ONLY
Like most foam products, long term exposure to moisture can begin to break down the material on a cellular level and essential ruin your comfort over time. Therefore it is recommended you only spot clean your pillow is the need arises.
The pillow cover it comes with is surprisingly protective as well, and since it is washable, does provide a good barrier against fluids or body oils. In fact, I had the opportunity to see this at work as a slight ‘oops’ occurred one night during the trial and the quilted pillow cover was slightly stained. Upon my removing of the cover I was surprised to see it had not soaked through to the opposite side at all, much less gotten the pillow stained. The cover washed clean easily and the pillow was put back in use right away.
Because the materials and construction used to help you get a comfortable night’s rest, the use of a pillow protector is not recommended. This may interrupts air flow and heat conduction.
5 Year Limited Warranty, 101 Night Sleep Trial
Unlike most pillows, this one comes with a 101 night sleep trial, which is almost unheard of concerning pillows due to their more personal nature of use. You have 30 days to return it, no expenses paid, or you can return it at any time, for any reason up to day 101 at your own expense.
It also comes with a 5 year warranty against any structural or workmanship defects. Most pillows have an average life of 18 months to 3 years, so this is a pretty hefty offer.
The Ghost Pillow comes with a pretty strong series of reviews across a few different sites that offers it for sale. Heralded for its overall comfort, the coolness factor is not one that is mentioned often, and when it is commented on sleeping cool is definitely a plus for many consumers. No complaints of memory foam heat sink or discomfort seem to exist amongst reviews either.
Back sleepers of all shapes and sizes find this to be a comfortable pillow, as do most side sleepers. Many mention placing another pillow under it for a side position makes it a perfect fit. Because of its loft and plushness, a few stomach sleepers also find this to be a decent pillow as well.
Complaints do surround the lavender scent which isn’t appealing to everyone, as well as it being too firm for personal preferences, or not lofty enough for side sleepers. Some complaints exist of it losing its loft overtime, but others complain about having to wait until it ‘breaks into their weight and height, making me believe most of this is a personal preference issue.
My Cooling Sleep Trial Experiences
The Cool Burst technology is a very noticeable quality, and combined with the gel infused memory foam layers, I found this to be pretty comfortable upon my initial impressions. Since I am not a hot sleeper by any means, I conducted my trials with a few different variables surrounding room temperatures and pillowcase thread-count to see how many differences existed.
My Trial Room Temperatures Variables
I keep my room right around 72 degrees through the summer months with a use of a ceiling fan and AC. I slept with The Ghost Pillow in my typical environment first to get a good feel of it’s overall comfort, and then tried it again in an 80-odd degree room after leaving the AC off all day. At rest this wasn’t a incredibly high temperature to cope with, but it was a very different sleep temperature I was used to.
My Trial Thread Count Variables
Since thread-count is the number one culprit in poor pillow material breathability, I also tested this pillow out using a 250 thread-count, 100% cotton pillow case, as well as a cotton/poly blend microfiber that had a 750 thread-count.
Although the pillow does come with a casing, which I did prove effectively protective, it is best to provide a proper barrier between you and the pillow materials.
I had some very happy results with this pillow surrounding overall supportive comfort in all scenarios. It really is a very simple design that is very effective. Although I never felt the cooling sensation that I have felt when touching other gel layers or gel infused pillows, this pillow is a top notch contender for an overall goodnight’s sleep.
I preferred sleeping on my side with this pillow, although it also made an excellent back sleeping choice for me. I just don’t naturally sleep in that position, although I spend many hours using a pillow to lay my head upon while I read. It created a perfect nest for my head to be supported in and also allowed my neck to rest comfortably. I never woke with a stiff or sore neck as I have been known to do with poor pillow choices.
As a natural stomach sleeper I never could really use it comfortably in this position as it raised my head just a little too much for comfort, causing my shoulders and lower back to compress. I am a bit smaller in stature and this may have been a reason why. A larger person may find it much more comfortable in this position.
72 Degrees/Cotton Casing
What can I say? This was a very comfortable sleep. Although there was no cooling sensation, the pillow stayed what I can only describe as perfect. I actually woke in the exact same position I had fallen asleep in; never having moved the entire night.
Result: Excellent comfort. No cooling sensation, but a comfortable sleeping surface nonetheless.
72 Degrees/Microfiber Casing
I slept just as well on these nights as I did with a cotton casing. I had no heat sink occurring due to the higher thread-count, mostly because the memory foam sink really doesn’t feel as if it is only occurring because of your compression of the foam. Instead it is more of a sinking effect rather than a cradling effect.
Result: I felt no noticeable difference with a different pillowcase, leading me to believe that the way the foam is pocketed still provides decent air circulation despite the lower breathability of the case.
Hot Room/Cotton Casing
Again I experienced a comfortable night’s sleep. Although the room was a bit warm for me, once I removed the sheet I was using I slept very well. The pillow, again, never felt cool to the touch, but it never warmed either. I was actually surprised at this as I figured the gel layers would begin to warm to the ambient room temperature.
Result: Gel is well infused into the pillow to help keep heat from ever being a bother to you while you sleep.
Hot Room/Microfiber Casing
I did sleep fitfully these two nights I ran this trial. It was more due to the feel of the microfiber on my skin that I was struggling with rather than body heat. The microfiber casing feels like a soft, brushed cotton and felt as if it was the same temperature of the surrounding room even before I went to bed. Although I never felt hot, per se, I was slightly uncomfortable until I changed out pillowcases.
Result: Either I’m sensitive to certain materials in certain temperatures, or a slight heat sink may have been occurring on the surface of the pillowcase, causing me to struggle to find comfort. Although I could actually feel the air burst through this pillowcase, overall it wasn’t the most comfortable combination.
I feel that this pillow is constantly at work to create the perfect sleep surface comfort. I was never truly uncomfortable due to the pillow, and believe the gel is doing its job to draw heat away from your body, even if you cannot feel the cooling effect.
If you crave that cooling sensation this may not be the pillow for you, but I can say with some certainty you probably won’t be waking in a sweat either if you do try it out. Afterall, what do you have to lose with the trial and warranty available?
I did recruit a friend to help with my pillow reviews and substantiate my claims. They mimicked my trials slightly, both providing a controlled sleep environment they normally slept in, as well as one that was a bit warmer due to the turning off of cooling agents. They also used the pillowcases I did. He is also a self-proclaimed HOT sleeper who requires a fan going all night of which he turned off for a trial night with the pillow.
To put it bluntly, I had to beg the pillow back in order to complete this review. Although he never felt any cooling sensations he found the pillow to be comfortable no matter what the situation. He also felt the need to prop up the pillow for a more comfortable side sleep, verifying many of the reviews I had read that included the same suggestion.
Result: Comfortable, supportive pillow that seems to regulate your temperature while you sleep. Even though you may not feel the same type of cooling sensation many other pillows may provide, the overall comfort more than makes up for it. Especially since you are sleeping cool even if you can’t feel it.
I would recommend this pillow under reasonable sleep conditions with the pillowcase of your choice. Warmer rooms had really no effect on it and never once could we create a heat sink. If you crave a cool pillow surface then this may not exactly be the one for you, but I can say we have no issues with heat either.
The construction of the pillow stands up to the company hype pretty well, even with a high-thread count pillowcase. For a memory foam pillow air flow is certainly a priority of overall construction, and the effects result in a comforting sleep.
The Nature’s Sleep Ghost Pillow really does create a great night’s sleep, especially in a side sleeping position. Although you may have to add an additional pillow beneath for proper neck support, no complaints arose from the consistency it provided each night. Cooling sensations may be lacking, but that doesn’t negate the temperature control that is provided.
Although I fully expected to experience a cooling sensation like many other gel layered pillows have, the lack of in this product was not at all bothersome. Although a higher thread-count pillowcase really didn’t cause any major uncomfortable moments, to reap the full benefits of the Cool Air Burst technology and temperature control construction- use a 100% cotton, low thread-count of your choice.
A good night’s sleep includes a cooler environment and the products to keep from heating you up while you sleep. Moisture wicking properties, as well as cooling construction techniques found in your bedding choices can help keep you comfortable, and The Nature’s Sleep Ghost Pillow is an excellent choice that combines those properties exactly.