Summer is just about here, bringing with it rising temperatures and sweatier sleeping. While air conditioners and fans do the work of cooling your home, it can be difficult to escape the heat of your own body when your sheets and pillows start to feel suffocating. One of the best ways to keep comfortable—and get a good night’s sleep—is to invest in a cooling pillow, which is specifically designed to allow for better airflow.
Check out quick reviews below of the top five cooling pillows, then scroll deeper for buying advice plus full reviews of these and other high-ranking options.
Cooling Features to Look For
The materials that both fill a pillow and cover it can play a huge role in its comfort and cooling ability. For a pillow’s cover material, look for Outlast or 37.5 technologies, both of which work to actively move heat away from your body. Outlast was originally developed for NASA and uses Thermocule technology to trap the surface heat in microscopic capsules, leaving the surface cool. Similarly, 37.5 helps maintain the temperature of the pillow at exactly 37.5 degrees Celsius—your body’s ideal core temperature—to keep you comfortable.
Memory foam is a common pillow filling, though it can come along with strong chemical odors due to the manufacturing. It’s also less breathable than other fill types, unless manufacturers add cooling technology, like gel, to the foam. If you want to go a more natural route, cotton and bamboo pillows are hypoallergenic and naturally breathable, but may not provide as much firm support.
Select the Right Pillow For Your Sleeping Position
If you want a good night’s sleep, you need to make sure that your pillow is equipped to give you the support you need. “With proper head and neck support, the muscles in the head and neck area can relax, allowing for increased blood flow and physical restoration of the musculature,” said Dr. Michael Breus, board-certified Sleep Specialist and fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “The cooling feature is an additional bonus, for people who either have Hyperhydrosis or are going through menopause.”
This means that you should choose a pillow specifically designed for your most common sleep position. Side sleepers will want a firmer, taller pillow that fills the distance between the ear and outside shoulder. Back sleepers will want a slightly flatter and firmer pillow to support the neck and head. Stomach sleepers need either a very soft, thin pillow or sometimes no pillow at all—and they can sometimes benefit from a pillow under the hips to support the back and improve alignment. While some shredded–memory foam options are adjustable to fit a variety of positions, you won’t be able to adjust others like solid memory foam. So keep fill type in mind when selecting, since the wrong pillow for you can cause even more discomfort.
When it comes to keeping your pillow clean, most have machine-washable covers, but some can be thrown right into the washing machine. Be sure to read cleaning instructions carefully, however, because improper washing can disfigure and ruin your pillow. When pillows start to get misshapen (particularly fiberfill or shredded memory foam), it is often recommended to periodically tumble dry them in the dryer to fluff ’em back up.
How We Selected and Rated Them
We researched 10 expert sources such as Good Housekeeping, Prevention, and Health, as well as 4,000 consumer reviews, to select the top seven cooling pillows of the year. Our Consumer Score represents the percentage of customers who rated the product at least four out of five stars on retail and review sites like Amazon, Walmart, and manufacturers’ websites.
Home Decorators Cooling Down Alternative Pillow
Consumer Score: 88% gave it 4 stars or more
An inexpensive option for all types of sleepers.
Fill: Polyester | Care: Machine washable | Sizes: Jumbo, King
Cooling pillows can be expensive; some even cost more than $100, but the Home Decorators pillow is here to change that. At just $25, this fiber-filled pillow can work for every sleeping position—and it can be thrown right into the washing machine. At 20 by 28 inches, the “Jumbo” pillow will fit most cases, and while it does not have any particularly fancy cooling technology, testers at Good Housekeeping found that the 100 percent cotton cover kept them cool. The biggest issue is that unlike some more expensive options, this one tends to lose its shape after a while. But if this does happen to you, it comes with a two-year warranty—a great value for a low cost.
—FOR STOMACH SLEEPERS—
Slumber Cloud Cirrus Pillow
Consumer Score: 94% gave it 4 stars or more
Get great cooling tech in a comfortable down package.
Fill: Down | Care: Machine washable | Sizes: Standard, King
If you are a frequent stomach sleeper, you will do best with a soft, downy pillow that is pliable to support under your neck without feeling suffocating. This down-filled pillow is covered using Outlast technology that brings heat away from the body and will keep you at an ideal temperature all night long. While a down pillow is certainly comfortable, it also does not provide a lot of support, so if you tend to switch positions during the night, you may want something with a bit more body to give you the support you need. If you are unsure, you can test it during the 60-day trial period and make sure it’s right for you.
—FOR SIDE SLEEPERS—
Consumer Score: 73% gave it 4 stars or more
Breathable memory foam will keep you cool and supported all night long.
Fill: Memory foam with gel infusion | Care: Cover only machine washable | Sizes: Queen, King
While this pillow claims to be great for any sleeping position, its Tempur-Pedic memory-foam filling is particularly great for side sleepers as it supports the neck and helps to keep your spine properly aligned. Since memory foam is known for being a warmer material, this one is infused with a cooling gel on the cover to make it more breathable. Memory foam is also great because it tends to keep its shape better than other materials. Although it does come at an exorbitant price, Tempur-Pedic offers a five-year warranty to ensure it’ll last much longer than alternatives.
Helix Ultra-Cool Pillow
Consumer Score: 94% gave it 4 stars or more
The Helix pillow is highly supportive, but still soft to the touch.
Fill: Polyester | Care: Machine washable | Sizes: Standard, King
Of all the sleeping positions, back sleepers will want the stiffest pillows. This one has a polyester fill and can be washed in the washing machine. Despite its microfiber fill as opposed to a dense foam, testers at Good Housekeeping found that it kept its shape and fluffiness over time. They also noted that the pillow felt cool to the touch with its naturally cooling, 100 percent cotton cover. Helix also offers a 100-day trial, after which you can send the pillow back and get a full refund if you are not satisfied.
Casper Foam Pillow
Consumer Score: 62% gave it 4 stars or more
With a jersey knit cover and memory foam fill, this pillow is soft inside and out.
Fill: Memory foam | Care: Cover only machine washable, lay flat to dry | Sizes: Standard, King
You may know Casper as a leader in boxed memory foam mattresses, but the brand is also at the top of the game when it comes to sleep accessories—and this pillow is no different. Although this pillow does not explicitly include any cooling technology like infused gel, it is highly breathable. The memory foam has tiny channels for air to run through, which means that it is much cooler than your average memory foam, but it also gives you the support that you crave. The soft jersey knit cover can be tossed in the washing machine, but make sure to air dry to avoid shrinkage.
Snuggle-Pedic Deluxe Adjustable Pillow
Consumer Score: 82% gave it 4 stars or more
An adjustable pillow that’s hypoallergenic, eco-friendly, and darn comfortable.
Fill: Bamboo and memory foam | Care: Machine washable | Sizes: Standard, Queen, King
Whether you have allergies or just want to be a bit more sustainable, this bamboo pillow will keep you cool and sneeze-free. Since it is a combo of memory foam and bamboo, it is both soft and supportive, which makes it a great option for all sleeping positions, and gives it a plush feel without worrying that it will go flat. Still not sold? It has almost 8,000 reviews on Amazon, and Snuggle-Pedic promises a 120-day trial with free returns.
The Purple Harmony Pillow
Consumer Score: 88% gave it 4 stars or more
Keeps you cool and dry all night long.
Fill: Latex and polymer grid | Care: Cover only machine washable | Sizes: Standard, Tall
While many cooling pillows will keep you from overheating, most won’t do anything if you sweat on them. The Purple Harmony pillow not only works to keep you cool, but it has a moisture-wicking cover that pulls sweat away from you, keeping you cool and dry. The hexagonal memory foam allows for comfort, support, and ample airflow. Plus, it has a 120-day trial and a 20-year warranty—it doesn’t get better than that.
You Might Also Like