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Best Cool Pillowcase Fabric Choices: A Breathable Night’s Sleep

Nobody wants to wake up in a pool of their own sweat, but unfortunately this is exactly what happens if you sleep with less than breathable sheets and pillowcases. Many people complain of being too warm and are restless, or wake often through the night. This interrupts the sleep cycle, making you wake feeling tired and disoriented the next morning.

Certain materials and fabrics will provide a more breathable surface for you to lay upon, and since your head happens to be a part of your body sensitive to heat, you should pay particular attention to the best cool pillowcase selections to help influence a more restful night.

There are, of course, many different options from which you can pick pertaining to cooling sleep surfaces. Not surprising, most pillowcases that provide the most comfort are your typical, pillowcase that doesn’t have any bells and whistles. Natural fiber and natural fiber blends are still a popular pick in most cases for a cooling rest.

Rank Product Highlights
#1

White Classic Cotton Pillowcases

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  • Fabric: 60% cotton / 40% Polyester
  • Closure: bag style
  • Sizes Available: standard/queen, king
#2 Bedsure Bamboo Pillowcases Set of 2

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  • Fabric: Bamboo
  • Closure: bag style
  • Sizes Available: Standard/queen, King
#3 Snuggle-Pedic Zipper Bamboo Pillow Cover

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  • Fabric: 43% viscose bamboo, 56.4% polyester, .6% Lycra
  • Closure: Zippered
  • Sizes Available: toddler, standard, queen, king, body
#4 ZIMASILK 100% Mulberry Silk Pillowcase

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  • Fabric: 100% silk
  • Closure: Zipper
  • Sizes Available: Toddler, throw standard, queen, king, body
#5 Great Bay Home Extra Soft Heather Jersey Knit (T-Shirt) Pillowcases

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  • Fabric: 90% cotton/ 10% poly blend
  • Closure: bag style
  • Sizes Available: standard/queen, king
#6 LUXEAR Pillowcases 2 Pack Stretch

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  • Fabric: Patented Japanese Cooling material
  • Closure: Ziper
  • Sizes Available: Standard, queen

The Best Cooling Pillowcases

1. White Classic Cotton Pillowcases

OVERVIEW

  • Fabric: 60% cotton / 40% Polyester
  • Closure: bag style
  • Sizes Available: standard/queen, king

Cotton is an industry standard for many different comfort choices. These cotton/poly blend cases are no exception, and with a 200 thread count weave, provide excellent sir flow quality. The cotton help wick moisture, while the poly provides a slightly smoother, cool feeling surface without sacrificing breathability. Considered hotel quality, you can purchase packs of these for easy linen changing- especially with the easy bag style opening.

Who Should Purchase This Product:
If a smooth, cooling comfort is what you need, this is an excellent choice. They wash easy and only soften over time.

2. Bedsure Cooling Bamboo Pillowcases

OVERVIEW

  • Fabric: Bamboo
  • Closure: bag style
  • Sizes Available: Standard/queen, King

Bamboo viscose fibers are known for their soft texture and cooling properties. Hypoallergenic and comforting, these create a silky smooth texture against your skin, and provide amazing durability. Naturally odor and moisture resistant, they help wick away body sweat and let it dissipate away, leaving you feeling cooler. 

Available in many colors, these are a bag style case for easy on-off and laundering. Plus, they provide amazing air circulation all while offering a cleaner, more skin-friendly sleep surface. They also will not shrink or fade with laundering, and only become more comforting. 

Who Should Purchase This Product:
This is a great option for anyone wanting a cooler sleep surface, but who also suffers from allergies or skin sensitivities. 

3. Snuggle-Pedic Zipper Bamboo Pillow Cover

OVERVIEW

  • Fabric: 43% viscose bamboo, 56.4% polyester, .6% Lycra
  • Closure: Zippered
  • Sizes Available: toddler, standard, queen, king, body

Bamboo fibers are considered highly breathable, supportive a cooling sleep as it wicks moisture away, and also anti-microbial. Bamboo is almost exclusively blended with polyester and lycra to provide a plush, micro vented surface that feels thick and quilted in nature- yet allows for one of the best air flow in the industry. Popular covers for pillows, this stand alone case is perfect to convert any pillow into a bamboo comfort.

Who Should Purchase This Product:
This pillow zippers on to keep your pillow from shifting, and is a great choice for anyone who loves a thick feel to their sleep surface but doesn’t want to sacrifice air flow.

4. ZIMASILK 100% Mulberry Silk Pillowcase

OVERVIEW

  • Fabric: 100% silk
  • Closure: Zipper
  • Sizes Available: Toddler, throw standard, queen, king, body

The ZIMASILK Mulberry Silk Pillowcase provides a 100% pure silk sleep experience and offers a 19 momme surface for durable and smooth comfort. Highly recommended by allergy sufferers and those with sensitive skin, silk has long been used for beauty purposes. It also provides an incredibly cool, smooth surface to sleep upon. 

Durable and long-lasting, these are offered in a huge array of colors and any pillow size you need for sleeping. The hidden zipper lays flat to avoid snagging in hair, and provides a perfect fit. Plus, the zipper closure keeps your pillow secure due to the slippery smooth surface silk offers. 

Who Should Purchase This Product:
If you want a real silk pillowcase to match your decor, this is a great option. With multiple colors and a high-quality product, you will sleep both cooler and healthier with this choice. 

5. Great Bay Home Extra Soft Heather Jersey Knit (T-Shirt) Pillowcases

OVERVIEW

  • Fabric: 90% cotton/ 10% poly blend
  • Closure: bag style
  • Sizes Available: standard/queen, king

Cotton Jersey feels like your favorite t-shirt and is typically about a 90:10% ratio in reference to cotton and polyester. The low percentage blend lends itself to the slightly stretchy feel without sacrificing breathable qualities. Available In a variety of colors, this case has a bag style opening for easy on and off, and machine washes easily- making the fabric softer and more aged (without wear) each time you wash it.

Who Should Purchase This Product:
If you love the feel of soft cotton, this is the perfect choice for you. Highly breathable, this material provides a soft, comforting surface.

6. LUXEAR Elastic Cooling Pillowcases

OVERVIEW

  • Fabric: Patented Japanese Cooling material
  • Closure: Ziper
  • Sizes Available: Standard, queen

Made from a patented Japanese elastic material, these are truly an advanced technological wonder. The fitted pillowcases have amazing stretch, and provide an incredibly silky smooth and cooling sleep surface. Certified by OEKO-TEX 100, this is a safe material that helps draw heat from your body to dissipate it away and allow you to have a more comfortable night’s sleep. 

Anti-static, the smooth surface is also healthy for your skin and hair, and keeps it from tangling or breaking. They close with a hidden zipper and offer a perfect fit and will not fade or shrink. One size fits both standard and queen pillows. 

Who This is For

Cool, sleek, and silky, this is a pillowcase that provides a cooling surface and unique design for your nighttime comfort. If you have concerns about your hair and skin, it is a healthy, supportive choice as well. 

Cool Pillowcases: A Buyers Guide

Types of Pillowcases

Be aware that pillowcases are never a one size fits all product and you should take care of pillow and pillowcase measurements to ensure you get the proper fit. Always check a pillow label, or measure yourself, and compare it to what the company or brand is offering in size.

Pillowcases also come in different styles to help fit your preferences. Make sure to know your terminology to avoid buying something you don’t like.

• Housewife Style Case

These cases secure your pillow using buttons, zippers, or an envelope style closure. These are the most secure pillowcases and also helps keep your pillow clean and avoids allergen build-ups.

• Bag Style

Bag style pillowcases are exactly as they sound. They have an open-end you can slip your pillow in and out of with ease.

• Oxford and Mock Oxford

These pillowcases use an envelope style closure, but have a 2 to 3-inch border around the pillow and generally are more decorative in nature.

Material Cooling Sensations Explained

Simple physics is what explains the cooling sensation you may feel when you lay your head down upon a cooling pillow or cooling sheet of material. These are certain types of fibers and synthetic infusions that work to help draw heat from your body via conduction. Many fibers also wick away moisture and dissipate it away which can create a cooling effect.

These are all basic physical scientific explanations that help transfer heat from your body to a cooler surface to help equalize the temperature. Convection is the heat of your body lost to the surrounding air, and evaporation is the loss of moisture from the surface of your skin. This is why your other bedding choices, as well as the sleeping environment, are all important to consider when controlling your comfort.

Taking these details into account, companies are able to utilize specific fibers and certain synthetics, like gel, to help design and create more comforting bedding products.

Cooling Fibers and Materials

Natural and synthetic materials can both be responsible for the promotion of cooling sensations. When creating a pillowcase that supports a cooler sleep experience, companies use some of the following options:

— Long Fiber Cotton

Long fiber cottons create tough, thin, and durable materials that are soft and breathable. They also help absorb moisture and is a very popular bedding option.

— Silk

Silk is naturally hypoallergenic and very resilient, smooth, and cool. It is an excellent option for both cool and heat insulation.

— Viscose

Viscose is naturally derived from cellulose fibers that are chemically treated to breakdown into a material that can be worked with. This includes things like rayon, lyocell, and modal which are smooth and cool to the touch, They are often blended with other materials.

— Polyester

Polyester is a synthetic fiber that has a good airflow due to the loose weave they are often used in. They can be infused with other cooling materials, such as gel, to help with heat conduction.

— Bamboo

Bamboo is broken down into fibers that can be woven into materials. They are antimicrobial and breathable, and very cooling. They are often blended with other materials to make them feel thick and plush.

Types of Weaves that Promote Air Flow

How your material is woven together can create not only a different texture, but also how well it breathes. These are some of the best weaves to consider:

— Percale

This is a common, plain, standard weave often used to promote breathability and last through heavy use.

— Jersey Knit

This is a soft weave that feels like a t-shirt. It is often cotton or a cotton blend and breathes well.

— Sateen

Sateen is a cotton blend that is woven to create a smooth, silky side, but has a slightly textured opposite side. It is soft and cool, and generally breathes well.

Thread Count and Air Flow

Higher thread counts aren’t always the best thing, and don’t necessarily reflect quality. High thread counts are definitely not your friend when it comes to airflow either. This term refers to how many threads are woven into the fabric in one square inch. The higher the count, the less room between the fibers, which makes it less breathable.

Much high thread counts also use thinner, low-quality threads to make it seem like it is a better option. For airflow, you want to stay in a 400 thread count or lower range, and look for long fiber options as they are of high quality and less is needed.

You might be wondering, what is the best sheet thread count? get our answer here.

How to Choose the Best Cooling Pillowcase Material for You
Not all material feels the same even if it is has the same fabric blends, so you will want to pay close attention to the description of the surface feel if you are sensitive to that. Many fabrics are moisture wicking and promote airflow, but no two are exactly the same, so consumer descriptions are often the best guide. Consider also the following:

Do you have any allergies?
Breathable fabric is the perfect choice for anyone suffering from allergies as allergens do not like dry places. They are also easy to launder regularly without fear of losing their qualities.

Do you not sleep hot?
No worries! Just because you don’t sleep hot doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from these materials. Plus, they are the most popular to use as pillow covers, as both a pure fabric, or material blend.

Do you have sensitive skin or skin issues?
Natural fibers are excellent choices for skin sensitivities. The cooling, breathable surface keeps perspiration from occurring which can be pore clogging, plus they are often moisture wicking, and may help absorb oils. Of course you need to change them out regularly, but it ensures you have a fresh surface.

Conclusion

Choosing a favorite material to lay your head down upon can be a difficult decision. Compounded with the sleep hot, and you may feel your choices are fairly limited. Choose a good cooling pillow and wrap it in one of the above picks to provide an ultimate cooling experience. Our favorite is the WonderHome Cooling Tencel + Bamboo Rayon, Silky-Soft Satin Pillowcase as it is an excellent blend to provide quality, breathable comfort all in a more traditional feeling material.

Recent Updates

October 22, 2021: The SHEEX Breezy Cooling Pillowcases and WonderHome Cooling Tencel + Bamboo Rayon Pillowcases have each been removed due to unavailability, replaced with the popular Bedsure Bamboo Pillowcases Set of 2 and ZIMASILK 100% Mulberry Silk Pillowcase.