Mattress Accessories & Bedding

Best Cooling Pillows

Stay cool at night with one of our favorite cooling pillows.

By Alex Reale

Keeping cool at night is about more than just turning down the thermostat. You need to consider the right mattress, blankets, comforter, and especially pillows. If your pillow isn’t properly keeping your head and neck cool, you’re bound to have a rough night’s sleep. Read on for some of our favorite options.

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Best Cooling Pillows

TEMPUR CLOUD pillow

TEMPUR-Cloud Dual Breeze

Editor’s Pick

The Tempur-Pedic Tempur-CLOUD Dual Breeze pillow is an excellent cooling pillow option for all kinds of sleepers, especially those who are fond of memory foam. This pillow is made of proprietary Tempur material, which carefully adapts to your head’s shape and temperature, ensuring you’re getting a personalized experience with just the right amount of support. The breathable pillow cover is machine-washable and made with soft-knit fabric that encourages air circulation and temperature regulation. 

The Tempur-CLOUD Breeze has an extra-soft feel, and features a profile height of approximately 5 inches, making it great for all kinds of sleepers, especially people who like to sleep on their back or sides. The long-lasting shape means your head will be supported all night long.

saatva latex pillow

Saatva Latex Pillow

Best Latex Cooling Pillow

The Saatva Latex Pillow is recognized for being our pick for best latex cooling pillow. This pillow features three primary components that all work together to deliver a supreme cooling sleep experience. 

The 100% organic cotton sateen cover is breathable, soft, and moisture-wicking, ensuring that sweat is kept away from your head and neck as you rest. The gusseted sides with contrast welting allow the pillow to maintain its shape, meaning no pillow-flattening like some other options.

Next is the plush and down-like microdenier fiber fill. This fill is completely hypoallergenic so you don’t need to worry about the effect of allergens, and its breathability further promotes a cool and refreshing sleep.

The final component of this latex pillow is the shredded Talalay latex core, which is recommended by both orthopedists and chiropractors for head and neck support. Talalay latex is incredibly responsive, hypoallergenic, dust-mite and mildew resistant, and far more breathable than non-natural latex alternatives.

ghostbed ghostpillow

GhostBed GhostPillow

Best Memory Foam Cooling Pillow

This pillow utilizes a variety of sleep technologies to keep you both cool and comfortable throughout the night. The Ghost Ice washable cover is cool-to-the-touch and moisture-wicking, and it manages to neutralize heat on either side, so you don’t have to keep flipping it over to the “cool side.”

Underneath the cover is the support core, which is made of aerated gel memory foam and delivers continuous air flow and circulation. The included patent-pending phase change material also adjusts to your body heat in real time, while the inner aerated mesh cover promotes additional air flow, further keeping you nice and cool, even on the hottest nights. 

What makes the GhostPillow so great aside from its cooling properties is its ergonomic design, thanks to its memory foam composition. It is built to keep your spine and neck aligned and your head supported, without you having to worry about overextending. A memory foam pillow with excellent spinal alignment means fewer chances of aches and pains in the morning.

Birch Organic Pillow

Best Organic Cooling Pillow

If you’re looking for a pillow that won’t just keep you cool, but will also produce the least amount of waste during manufacturing, then this may be the option for you. This pillow is made of materials that are ethically and sustainably sourced: cruelty-free Birch Wool from New Zealand, and 100 percent organic cotton and Talalay latex from Southeast Asia. 

The pillow is GREENGUARD Gold and GOTS Certified, meaning that the manufacturing partners involved with its creation maintain safe working environments to protect their employees’ well-being.

All the components found in this pillow work together to keep you nice and cool. The crushed Talalay latex core gives this pillow its signature springiness, and it is wrapped within Birch Wool, which enhances breathability and wicks away moisture. The organic cotton cover has a soft, plush surface that promotes air circulation around your head and neck. 

leesa hybrid pillow

Leesa Hybrid Pillow

Best Adjustable Cooling Pillow

An adjustable pillow is great for combination sleepers and people with fickle sleep personalities. This hybrid pillow includes a Tencel and Nylon outer fabric that is cool-to-the-touch and extremely soft, giving your head the much-needed comfort it deserves.

Inside the pillow, you’ll find polyester microfiber and ventilated gel, which work together to perfectly cradle your head and promote air circulation and temperature regulation.

This pillow is unique in that it’s customizable in terms of level of support. The removable insert sits in between the gel layer and the down-like quilted layer. Simply zip open the pillow, remove the insert, and zip it back up, and you’ll have a pillow with a lower profile.

If you tend to sleep more on your side, then it may be best to keep the insert in so that your head and neck are supported for maximum spinal alignment. If you sleep on your back or stomach, then you can take the insert out in just a few seconds.

purple harmony pillow

Purple Harmony Pillow

Best Cooling Pillow for Side Sleepers

If you’re a side sleeper looking for a cooling pillow, then you’ll love the Purple Harmony Pillow. This pillow consists of several different layers, each contributing a unique quality or aspect, which helps keep you cool and comfortable while sleeping on your side.

The stretchy and breathable mesh cover encourages air circulation and wicks away moisture so that you don’t wake up with a sweaty pillow in the middle of the night. Underneath the cover is a hypoallergenic Talalay latex core, which is soft yet supportive, and promotes extra air flow.

This core is encased within the Purple Grid Hex, a layer featuring proprietary technology that instantly adapts to your head and neck. The Purple Grid Hex also grants the Harmony additional cooling properties, thanks to its continuous air flow through more than 1500 open air channels along the surface.

What to Consider When Buying a Cooling Pillow

Picking out a pillow may seem like a mundane task, but it’s actually just as important as picking out the right mattress or comforter. You need to take into consideration various factors, or else you’ll be stuck with a pillow that won’t make your night’s sleep any better, and could in fact make it worse. Below are a few of the things to look out for when shopping for cooling pillows.

Cooling Technology

There are many ways that a pillow manages to stay cool. One way is through breathability. A pillow that isn’t breathable will keep heat trapped within the folds when you lie down, resulting in your head and neck overheating. A pillow with breathable materials allows that heat to properly vent and escape, ensuring you stay properly cooled at night.

Another way pillows stay cool at night is through advanced materials, such as gel memory foam or mesh covers. Since there isn’t a single solution for the ultimate cooling pillow, you will have to look into various pillow cooling technologies and materials to see which ones seem like the best fit for you.

Price

You may see standard pillows at the store going for 15 to 20 dollars. Meanwhile, cooling pillows are often more expensive, ranging from approximately 80 dollars, to as high as 160 dollars. 

Although these prices seem steep, you need to remember that you are paying for a much finer sleep experience. These pillows are designed specifically to keep you cool and comfortable at night, which you won’t get from your average pillows at the department store.

Sleeping Position

Every sleep position has its own sleep style and preferences, and if you’re going to pick a pillow, you need to understand what your position says about you.

 If you’re a side sleeper, then you’ll want a plumper or fluffier pillow to keep your head and neck aligned with your spine while you sleep. If you sleep on your back, you may want a flatter pillow that will support your head and neck. 

If you’re a stomach sleeper, you need to consider that you’re sleeping with your head turned to the side, so you’ll want a pillow that’s flat but with some support so that you don’t experience any neck pain in the morning.

Adjustability

Some pillows market themselves as “adjustable.” These pillows typically allow sleepers to remove the fill, usually shredded latex or a foam insert, which decreases the overall pillow height. An adjustable pillow can be beneficial for sleepers who alternate sleeping positions each night and thus require different pillow heights.

Cooling Pillow Materials

Memory Foam

Memory foam responds to body heat and pressure, which allows it to mold and conform to the shape of your head. Some memory foam can retain heat, but open-cell foam has optimal air flow, making your sleep feel cooler. In some pillows, shredded memory foam is infused with materials like copper or cooling gel, which assist with drawing heat away from your head and neck.

Latex

Latex is known for providing great pressure relief in addition to excellent breathability, especially in comparison to foam. The latex found in pillows is aerated, allowing it to dissipate heat and promote air flow.

Gel

Gel is a highly conductive material that can pull heat away from your body and absorb it, resulting in a cool-to-the-touch feel.

Down Alternative

Down alternative is a polyester or synthetic material that imitates the feel of traditional down pillows, but is more affordable as well as less heat-retentive.

Wool

Wool is a natural fiber and a natural insulator, pulling heat and moisture away from your head and neck. However, during the wintertime, it manages to retain heat in colder areas, making this material great for year-round temperature regulation.

Pros and Cons of Cooling Pillows

As with any type of bedding, cooling pillows come with their own set of pros and cons. On the plus side, these pillows are capable of drawing heat away from your head and neck to give you a cool sleep experience. They are also made of durable materials that last a long time so you won’t have to worry about constantly replacing them. 

On the negative side, cooling pillows can be quite expensive compared to standard pillows. They can also be somewhat difficult to clean as they require special maintenance and care. Finally, a cooling pillow may not be for everyone, and if you’re not a hot sleeper, then you may not have a reason to own one.

Other Ways to Stay Cool at Night

Finding the right cooling pillow can help you stay cool at night, but there are other ways to help you if you find yourself waking up covered in sweat. You can look into using a cooling mattress, cooling mattress topper, cooling mattress pad, or even a cooling comforter

Other options for staying cool at night include turning down the thermostat (obvious, we know), sleeping with a fan on (also probably obvious), or using lightweight pajamas. For more helpful tips like these, check out our guide on how to not sleep hot.