Did you know that a cooler night’s sleep is conducive to a healthier you? Taking steps to help your body cool influences sleep to come much quicker, as well as helping to support a deeper, more restful night’s rest. Your body naturally cools as you drift off to sleep and stops regulating heat as much to focus more on blood flow to promote physical healing and cognitive brain function.
There are also many other factors that are influenced by sleeping cool. Falling asleep faster, increasing metabolism, and decreasing your risk of disease are all benefits you can reap from cooler temps, and there are many ways you can take charge to help with this effect.
The Sleep Judge has purchased a Sleep restoration Gel-Fiber Filled Pillow that claims their product will help you sleep cooler and more rested. We have set out to determine if these claims are founded, and our honest results are below.
Breakdown of the Sleep Restoration Gel-Fiber Filled Pillow
Claiming to be expertly tailored, this plush, gel-fiber filled pillow is supposed to provide proper airflow and material breathability due to the use of a gel-filled fiber that is unable to retain heat. The no-shift filling is also a nice touch, as it moves and supports where needed without bunching up, even after washing.
This is an average to thin loft pillow, that is considered a more plush feel rather than firm. It may not provide the best side sleeper support (depending on personal preferences and body weight and size), but should be a good choice for many back and stomach sleepers. Plush surfaces are defined as a surface that has a softer feel, but without sacrificing an underlying support.
The pillow’s overall construction in its use of material properties lends a ‘cooling’ effect to the sleeper, plus its overall comfort design really does make you want to take a much closer look.
Both pillows came folded and vacuum packed in a tightly tied, and well sealed bag. These were then placed in a clear zippered plastic bag. The packaging and presentation was very nice, but I was confused as to how two pillows fit in such a small area.
I was pleasantly surprised to see how well they fluffed up upon opening. They immediately began to expand as soon as I took them out of their respective bags, and with a little plumping decompressed to their full loft height.
The Sleep Restoration Gel-Fiber Pillows is a simple design that claims a cooler, more comfortable night’s sleep. Cooling claims are hard to prove, however, since a fabric cannot actual create a cooling effect. How a product can provide this is dependent upon a variety of variables, which I’ll explain below.
Certain fabrics can retain, and hold in heat, while others are more naturally inclined to provide an increased airflow. Pillows that claim they can cool you off are actually constructed of more breathable materials that include open fabric weaves to allow air to more easily pass through it, as well as materials that are unable to hold in heat.
When you sleep hot, or get too warm at night, factors such as room temperature and your choices of bedding materials are most often the culprit. These types of factors are often within your control, and with a little insight you can begin to get a better night’s rest.. If you consider yourself a ‘hot’ sleeper, who often wakes in a sweat no matter what you try, you can begin to take some steps to help alleviate your discomfort.
Sleeping hot is usually caused by body heat being trapped close to the body. Your choice of clothing that you sleep in, as well as your choice of sheets and blankets, can cause insulating effects and create heat sinks around your body that keep your body heat from escaping.
Different types of fibers can provide different variations of comfort surrounding your sleep temperature. Natural fibers, such as bamboo and cotton, allow air to pass through much more easily. Loosely woven fibers, such as those found in low thread-counts, also allow air to pass through the weave much more easily. But any tightly woven fabric, such as those that boast a 400 thread count weave or higher, will inhibit air flow and keep heat trapped more closely against your body.
Sleep Restoration Gel Pillow Claims
Sleep Restoration doesn’t make any outrageous claims surrounding their gel-fiber filled pillow, but rather markets this particular product as a high comfort, hotel quality pillow. The ultra plush filling also is a gel-fiber (see explanation below) that keeps from retaining heat from both the surrounding atmosphere as well as from your body.
This cooling property is actually attributed to the 100% cotton, low thread-count casing combined with the open fiberfill design that allows for an increase in air movement. As your body generates heat it is allowed to more easily pass through the surface of the pillow and better dissipate away from your body.
I do not consider myself a warm, or hot, sleeper, and so ran this pillow through a few different tests – which included turning off the AC and all ceiling fans to create a warmer room ambient temperature. My trials also included a second opinion from a sleeper who claims to sleep hot almost no matter what the circumstances.
Features & Benefits
Although a simple pillow design, The Sleep Restoration Gel-Fiber Filled Cooling Pillow does boast some great features and overall benefits that make it stand above many others in a similar cooling category.
Available in a standard/queen or king size choices, they are a little smaller in measurement than the generally suggested measurements. The standard/queen size is a 20×28 (rather than the 20×30 of an average queen), and the king measures 20×34 (rather than 20×36). This is within an acceptable range of standard however, and I noticed absolutely no difference overall.
Unless you are a larger, taller, or wider body than most, a standard/queen should fit you quite well. King sized pillows are used mostly to help fill a king size bed width, as well as for larger bodies who require a wider support for their shoulder width. King sized pillows are not suggested for an average sleeper as the fill can often push your head towards the edges of the pillow, and not provide enough proper head or neck support.
Micro Denier Poly Fiber Gel Filling
By this point you may be wondering what this gel-fiber filling is that is such an integral part of the pillow description. Gel fiber is a micro denier, synthetic polyester that was created to mimic the qualities of premium goose down without the worry of allergens that goose down can contribute to. It is naturally hypoallergenic, dust mite, mold, and mildew resistant. It is thinner and stronger than silk, and also is considered super-fine, which provides the plush comfort without the shifting of materials as other fills are wont to do.
This filling also allows for an increase in air pockets, which allows for free air flow and an increase of breathability throughout the entire pillow, even when compressed. This is what helps keeps you ‘sleeping cool’ through the night, as your body heat is better able to be drawn away from your body and allowed to dissipate rather than be caught up against your skin.
This fiber is very compressible, as seen during the unpacking, but quickly gains loft when released. It easily compresses and redistributes to cradle your head in comfort, and provide appropriate neck support without covering your face or creating a pocket within which heat can become trapped as some foams do.
Although the loft measures fairly high, I consider this a more average loft overall. Because the pillows does not have gussets, or sidewalls, to help keep overall shape, the height of this pillow truly comes from how high the filling sits towards the middle- even though it distributes evenly with pressure.
This is actually a really great selling point because there are many products geared specifically towards side sleepers, but a back and stomach sleeper needs a lower loft, flatter, but supportive surface. For some people this may be a perfect solution as these can be a bit more difficult to find. This pillow may also work very well for some side sleepers, as I’ll explain below.
Fully fluffed this pillow sits 6 inches high, although as mentioned easily compresses and redistributes very evenly. This loft compression is what makes it more available to a wider variety of sleep positions and personal comfort choices.
100% Cotton, 240 Thread-Count Casing
Working hand in hand with the ffel-fiber filling is a 100% cotton, 240 thread-count casing. As mentioned earlier, certain fibers breathe more naturally than others, and a low thread count provides an open weave for increased airflow. This pillow boast both in a very soft, very smooth, and striped cover.
It is obviously that it can be easily spot cleaned for surface stains, and upon touch, provides a very cool surface. I was impressed with the feel of such a low thread-count as it feels like a much tighter weave.
The seams are also double stitched with a quilted edge to keep ripping from occurring, and allowing you to push, fold, and plump your pillow without fear of inadvertently causing stress upon the workmanship.
Dry Clean Only
There is definitely some confusion surrounding the washability of this particular pillow. Many reviews have claimed it is machine washable according to the company, but my pillow tag specifically states not to wash, to dry flat if it does get wet, and to dry clean only.
This would lead me to believe that using a protective cover over this pillow would be a no-brainer, but protective covers also have very little, to no breathable properties; leaving us with a pillow that no longer sleeps cool due to our cutting off of it’s air flow.
As a stomach sleeper I am a huge fan of the comfort and coolness of this pillow, so I think it is well worth the effort to leave off anything protective and dry clean when needed. There are dry cleaner kits and wipes available for purchase and these might just do the trick if you really need to clean the pillow.
30 Day Guarantee
Most products of this type have a final sale claim due to the personal use of a pillow. Returns generally need to surround major manufacturing defects that are discovered upon initial use. This company, however, stands by its personal comfort claims, and offers a 30 day, no hassle trial. Despite the fact that this is a pretty affordable buy to start, a comfort guarantee is a great selling point.
Customer reviews are full of praise for overall comfort of the pillow in a variety of sleep positions. Many other make mention of how cool it sleeps, whereas a few comment that they weren’t sure about why there are cooling claims as they saw no difference between one pillow and another- but I am going to go out on a limb and make an assumption that they may use a higher thread count pillowcase that keep your from reaping the benefits of proper air flow. The bottom line was that they weren’t complaining that it slept hot.
Negative comments brought up that it was flat or unsupportive, which may definitely be the case when used for certain sleep positions due to body weight and height. There also was a recent string of complaints surrounding the state within which the pillows were arriving. These were determined to be a warehouse oversight that compromised the pillow and these were promptly replaced- supporting the quality of customer service and 30 day guarantee offered by the product.
My Cooling Sleep Trial Experiences
I want to point out here that although no material can actually create colder temperatures, how it is used within overall product construction can aide in factors that help create an overall cooling effect. There are many variables that can interrupt this process, such as personal body heat fluctuations, ambient room temperature, your choice of clothing, mattress, and bedding materials.
Because of this I ran my own series of trials making sure to use both a low thread count, and high thread count pillowcase to determine if any differences between the two were noticeable, as well as variable room temperatures.
Back, Side, and Stomach Experiences
I also slept upon this pillow in various positions to determine its comfort level and my results yielded it to be an ok side sleeping pillow for my average height and weight, but I would have preferred more neck support from a higher loft.
As a back sleeping choice this was an excellent pick. My head was well supported, as was my neck. I did not feel as if my head was lifted too much and it stayed pretty much aligned with my shoulders and spine.
This also was a good stomach sleeping choice. This is my preferred position and I loved laying my head down upon it each night. The loft may be a bit too high for any long term sleep in this position for anyone smaller than me, but I found it to be a pretty decent choice. In a stomach position you will always have some sort of neck and spinal curve, so choosing as flat of a surface as possible is what helps alleviate this- and this pillow compresses well for this job.
My Trial Room Temperatures Variables
Since I do not sleep hot I wanted to make sure I experienced a warm environment in order to see if the claims of sleeping cool were founded. I slept with this pillow both in a normal 72 degree room, as well as a warmer room that at one point was reading 82 degrees. Since we are currently experiencing the summer decline in Southeastern New Mexico, the days are hot and muggy due to the monsoon season, with very little temperature fluctuations as the sun goes down due to the humidity. This was perfect to create a warm environment and to check out the overall comfort claims of this pillow.
My Trial Thread Count Variable
I’ve mentioned multiple times that cooling effect due to breathability of materials can be impeded by your pillowcase fabric choices. Because of this I used a 100% cotton, 250 thread-count pillowcase, as well as a 750 thread-count microfiber cotton/poly blend pillowcase in my trials.
To start, I want to mention that simply by laying your hand on this pillow, with or without a cotton casing, you can feel a coolness. Using both pillowcases in both types of temperatures over multiple night, I’ve described my results surrounding cooling effects below:
72 Degrees/Cotton Casing
This was by far the coolest, most comfortable night I’ve probably ever had. The craving many of us have to have nice cool sheets and a cool pillow to lay our head down on at night did not disappoint with this pillow and casing combination. I occasionally wake through the night, but this night I did not, and the one time I did rise in the early morning around my normal wake up time to let out my dog, the pillow was just as cool feeling as ever when I laid back down.
Result: A comfortable, cool night that left me feeling refreshed and comfortable.
72 Degrees/Microfiber Casing
This also resulted in a great night’s sleep. The pillow was comfortable, and although the microfiber cover was softer, and slightly warmer feeling, I still slept cool and comfortable.
The biggest difference between the two nights was that the pillow didn’t feel cool to lay upon. Rather it was more of room surface temperature, which wasn’t warm by any means.
Result: The microfiber casing definitely made a difference in how cool the surface of the pillow felt. However the overall comfort and temperature of my night’s sleep didn’t really feel any different unless I paid specific attention to feeling the pillow.
Hot Room/Cotton Casing
When I went to bed my room was at 82 degrees. It wasn’t horribly uncomfortable since I wasn’t moving around and had been pretty stationary for at least an hour. In placing my hand upon the pillow it felt cool to the touch, just like my prior experiences with it in a cooler room.
I was slightly restless through the night and woke warm after a few hours sleep, but I was not sweating or feeling too hot. It was enough that I did turn on my ceiling fan, but left the air conditioning off and slet through the rest of the night uninterrupted. The pillow continued to feel cool beneath my skin whenever I woke or moved. It actually was a good source of comfort while I felt warm.
Result: My restlessness was attributed to ambient room temperature and not the materials I was lying upon. The pillow felt cool and comfortable through the whole night, and most likely helped me sleep fairy decently despite the heat earlier in the night before I turned the fan on.
Hot Room/Microfiber Casing
This night was almost an exact repeat of my night with the cotton casing. I woke a bit too warm and turned on the overhead fan. Despite the microfiber casing feeling slightly softer and not as cool feeling, it didn’t feel warm by any means, and once I turned on the overhead fan slept through the rest of the night uninterrupted.
Result: The microfiber casing may have allowed just enough airflow through to allow the pillow not to feel warm, or hold too much heat next to my body.
I love this pillow. I think it works best for back and stomach sleepers, but it really does stay cool with the proper pillowcase in any temperature, and is certainly comfortable to sleep upon in any situation. As a stomach sleeper I was excited to finally find a pillow that wasn’t lumpy and allowed my head to rest at a lower elevation without putting pressure on either my upper or lower back.
As described, it always felt comfortable to the touch and never seemed to retain any heat, even with a higher thread count pillowcase. The pillow always bounces back after compression, and I haven’t even needed to plump it back up despite multiple nights of use.
My second opinion concerned a self-proclaimed hot sleeper who sleeps on their side and struggles with getting a full night’s rest. They created similar sleep trials, first with their regular AC and fan combinations going, but turned off the fans (leaving the AC going) for the second part. They also had to use the pillow while sleeping on their back as they felt that as a side sleeping pillow it didn’t provide enough support.
They agreed that the pillow was comforting and slept cool in their regular sleep temperatures no matter which pillowcase was used. They also slept well with the pillow when the fans were off with the cotton casing, but did admit they woke warm a few times with the microfiber casing- although they continued to sleep with it.
Result: The pillow provides great airflow, and even with a tightly woven pillowcase still allows enough air movement to create a comfortable night’s sleep for a hot body sleeper.
Depending on your sleep position, this may be an answer to a cooler night’s sleep. Of course you would need to provide the proper pillowcase, but at no point in any of our trials was this pillow considered to ‘sleep hot’ or retain any sort of heat.
The gel-fiber filling definitely provides an open cell design that allows for free airflow. Combined with the cotton casing, and plush comfort, you have a pretty decent little pillow for a cooler night’s sleep. No matter your personal temperature comforts, this particular pillow does provide a comforting surface to sleep upon no matter what sort of case you use with it.
This is an overall thinner pillow once you place any weight on it, but it does still provide excellent support for your head and neck depending on your sleep position. Side sleepers may find there are other, more supportive pillows available for them in the cooling pillow category, but this is most definitely one of our top cooling pillow choices.
You also cannot wash this pillow, even though it should take spot cleaning fairly well, and if you do need to have it cleaned, make sure to have it dry cleaned.
If you have been wanting cool comfort through the night, are a back or side sleeper, then the Sleep Restoration Gel-Fiber Filled Cooling Pillow is definitely a pillow you need to consider. At no point in our trials did a heat sink occur, even in much warmer conditions than what is the norm for myself and second tester. The 30 day sleep trial guarantees that you are able to have a risk free experience, and the noticeable breathability that results in a cool surface feel is a huge plus to warmer bodies sleepers.
I was ecstatic about my stomach sleeping experience with this pillow, and would highly recommend it due to its plush, cooling comfort.