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Best Cooling Pillows

For many of us, keeping cool through the night is a challenge… But did you know that it can be much harder to fall (and stay) asleep when your body is too warm? Well, don’t sweat it — I’m here to help! In this review, I’ve rounded up my top five favorite cooling pillows on the market, so keep reading and I’ll help you discover the best fit for you!

Editor’s Pick
Bear Pillow
Bear Pillow
Bear Pillow

With a phase change cover, the Bear pillow is best for back sleepers who run hot. Use code SLEEPOPOLIS to save 20% on your purchase!

Best for Side Sleepers
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow

The TEMPUR-Cloud pillow provides the great body contouring memory foam feel that Tempur-Pedic is known for and is a great choice for the back sleepers out there!

Doesn't expire

Best for Stomach Sleepers
Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillows Review
Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillows Review
Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillows Review

Hot sleepers that are tired of flipping the pillow looking for the cool side will love the Brooklyn Luxury Cooling Pillow! Use code SLEEPOPOLIS10 to take 10% off your order!

Best Memory Foam
Layla Pillow
Layla Pillow
Layla Pillow

A copper infusion in the cover helps to make the Layla pillow ultra cool and comfortable. 

Best for Back and Side Sleepers
I Love My Pillow
I Love My Pillow
I Love My Pillow

The soft and flat I Love My Pillow could be fantastic for stomach sleepers! Get 10% off your purchase using code Sleep10.

Methodology: How Do I Shop for Cooling Pillows?

When you’re pillow shopping, the first thing to consider is your sleeping position. So before you focus on an accessory’s cooling properties, make sure you’re up to speed on how to pick the right pillow for your position. Once you’ve done that, you can dive deeper into the details!

  • Moisture-Wicking – Hot sleepers might find that moisture-wicking cover fabrics are particularly useful for staving off night sweats. Now you might be wondering, “What does moisture-wicking even mean?” Well, it means that moisture is being pulled away from the body to the surface of the fabric where it can easily evaporate into the environment. So if you sweat during the night, the fabric will work to dissipate the moisture rather than hold on to it.However, it’s important to note that a moisture-wicking fabric isn’t a sure-fire way to keep cool, but a pillow with an absorbent cover will help dissipate sweat and keep you feeling fresh. Polyester, Tencel (an eco-friendly cotton substitute), and bamboo-based fabric are all popular examples of naturally moisture-wicking materials.
  • Breathability – The more breathable your pillow is, the less likely it is to trap your body’s heat. So, go with lightweight cover fabrics that promote airflow within the pillow. For example, cotton, Tencel, polyester, and bamboo-based fabrics are all breezy, lightweight materials that can serve to draw heat away from your sleeping head. But what about the pillow’s internal fill?Well, some materials are naturally more breathable than others, and some are specifically manufactured to enhance airflow. For example, a solid piece of foam or latex is more likely to trap heat as compared to a shredded fill, so many bedding brands take measures to counteract that (which we’ll get into next!). A good way to test a pillow’s breathability is to press into it and see how well the air flows through the cover fabric. If you can’t feel any air escaping, that’s a good indicator that it’s not very breathable.If you’re shopping online and have no way to press into the pillow, it’s a safer bet to go with a shredded internal fill. Pillows filled with one solid piece of material have a reputation for storing your body’s heat, causing you and your pillow to gradually warm up throughout the night. If you’re browsing pillows online and feel unsure about which will sleep cool, go with a shredded fill and a bamboo-based cover fabric. The shredded fill will boost breathability, and the bamboo fabric will wick sweat and keep the air flowing through the pillow.
  • Special Features – When breathability and sweat-wicking properties aren’t enough, it’s time to focus on pillows with special cooling features. Cooling gel pads, copper and graphite infusions, Phase Change Material, and ventilated materials are all going to take your pillow’s cooling ability to the next level.
    • Cooling gel pads are usually built into the internal fill of the pillow, and make the surface feel cool to the touch. Bedding brands will often insert a cooling gel pad into a pillow that’s filled with a solid piece of foam in order to counteract its potential to warm up.
    • Similarly, copper and/or graphite is often infused into a pillow’s cover fabric or internal fill in order to draw heat away from the body. It’s important to note that copper and graphite won’t make a pillow feel cool to the touch, but they can serve to keep it from trapping heat.
    • Phase Change Material (which is my personal favorite) is prominently featured within the world of cooling pillows because it’s designed to make fabric feel icy-cool. Essentially, Phase Change Materials absorb and release thermal energy, and can be used in a variety of textiles. (1) They are often blended with things like Celliant, paraffin plant oil, or cool yarn in order to create that crisply cool feel. Personally, the first time I felt a pillow covered in Phase Change Material, I thought it had been refrigerated.
    • Additionally, some pillows feature mesh panels or other ventilation in order to promote consistent airflow. Again, this won’t make a pillow feel cool, but it keeps the materials feeling breezy and fresh.

Cooling technology is always advancing within the sleep world, so take your time in considering which might be most compatible with your unique needs. Just remember: keeping cool can help you fall asleep faster and snooze soundly through the night, so finding the right sleep accessories is worth the effort! (2)

  • Pricing – In my experience, pillows with special cooling features tend to be a bit pricier than those without. This is typically because it costs a bit more to make them, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t always compare prices when you’re pillow shopping.
  • Pro Tip – Do plenty of research into the “materials description” as some pillows are advertised as “cooling” even though they are not made with any special materials. For example, a pillow made from Phase Change Material is likely to keep you cooler than a pillow made from 100% polyester… but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the polyester pillow won’t be categorized as “cooling” on the brand’s website. So just be sure to find out exactly what your pillow’s cooling features are before you make your purchase.

Top 5 Cooling Pillows

Editor’s Pick

The Bear Pillow is great for those looking to sleep cool

Bear Pillow

First up on my list is the Bear Pillow from Bear Mattress, a cooling accessory designed with the active sleeper in mind.

Bear Mattress offers a wide range of products for sleepers of all styles, but it’s all made to benefit those with active lifestyles. How? Well, Bear mattresses, sheets, and pillows are manufactured with special cooling features that are said to soothe sore muscles and promote post-workout recovery. And in the case of the Bear Pillow, there are several cooling qualities at play.

Firstly, this entire pillow is covered in a blend of polyester and Phase Change Material (that icy-cool fabric I was telling you about earlier!). As I mentioned, PCM is crafted to make your pillow feel cool to the touch, and stay that way no matter how many times you wash it. Additionally, polyester is a naturally moisture-wicking material, so this cover fabric is really working overtime to keep sleepers feeling cool and fresh. 

So we know this pillow feels cool on the surface, but it’s designed to be very breathable as well. The Bear Pillow is filled with one piece of the brand’s proprietary ventilated polyfoam, which features dozens of little holes that promote airflow within the pillow. And to further boost breathability, two mesh panels cap both ends of the pillow.  

This pillow has a firm feel and a lofty build of about 4.5 inches high, which makes it particularly well-suited to those who sleep on their back or side. If you’re a back/side sleeper who needs a very cooling and breathable pillow, check out my full review of the Bear Pillow!

Price: $95-$115, which is a pretty great value considering all the cooling features this pillow offers.

Perfect for: The active sleeper who needs help keeping cool and staving off night sweats!

Save 20%
Bear Pillow
Bear Pillow

With a phase change cover, the Bear pillow is best for back sleepers who run hot. Use code SLEEPOPOLIS to save 20% on your purchase!

Best for Side Sleepers

Side sleeping on the Tempur Cloud pillow

TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze

Next up is the TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze, and it’s just as cool and cozy as it sounds. 

The TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze from Tempur-Pedic is filled with one piece of the brand’s proprietary TEMPUR® material, which offers classic memory foam feel. It’s moldable, provides a very slow response to pressure, and let’s the sleeper sink deeply into the pillow. But memory foam also has a bad reputation for trapping heat and warming up… so why did this pillow make the list?

Well, the TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze features a cooling gel layer on both sides of the pillow. This serves to keep the surface of the pillow cool, but also works as a barrier between you and the foam so it never has a chance to heat up. No matter which side you sleep on, the gel and memory foam work together to keep your face cool, and your head comfortably cradled. 

Speaking of which, this pillow has a firm feel and lofty profile of about 5 inches tall, making it ideal for side sleepers. Remember: side sleepers need a high-lofted pillow with firm support in order to keep neutral spine alignment. So if you’re a side sleeper who can’t even imagine a memory foam pillow that doesn’t heat up, I suggest you give this pillow a try!

Curious about TEMPUR® material? Check out my review of Tempur-Pedic Mattresses and TEMPUR Toppers

Price: $170-$200, which is pricier compared to the other pillows in this roundup, but about average for the Tempur-Pedic brand. 

Perfect for: Side sleepers who love the feel of memory foam, but wish it didn’t sleep so darn warm!

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow

The TEMPUR-Cloud pillow provides the great body contouring memory foam feel that Tempur-Pedic is known for and is a great choice for the back sleepers out there!

Best for Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleeping on the Brooklyn Bedding pillow

Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillows Review

Okay stomach sleepers, this is your moment. I give you the Luxury Cooling Pillow from Brooklyn Bedding. 

The cover fabric of this pillow is made from a knit cotton-polyester blend, which feels smooth, durable, and breathable. Again, polyester is naturally moisture-wicking, so folks prone to night sweats might find its absorbent properties to be particularly beneficial. But it’s the Phase Change Material that’s woven into the fabric that makes this pillow super cool to the touch. 

Of course, the cover fabric isn’t the only cool thing going on with this pillow…. The Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillow is filled with one piece of ventilated memory foam which, as I said, is going to boost airflow within the pillow and keep it from trapping your body’s heat. But the foam is also infused with graphite and copper which both serve to draw heat away from your sleeping head. 

So what makes this pillow great for stomach sleepers? Well, it’s got a soft firmness rating and a low profile of about 3 inches high. Unlike side sleepers, folks who stick to the prone position are best suited to a soft, low-lofted pillow like this one. But if you love the sounds of this pillow and you’re not a stomach sleeper, don’t sweat it. Brooklyn Bedding offers this exact pillow in a “high profile” option too!

Want to know more about both the high and low profile pillows? Check out my full review of the Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillows

Price: $130-$150, which I’ve found to be about average for pillows that feature ventilated foam, PCM, and a copper-graphite infusion.

Perfect for: Stomach sleepers looking for an icy-cool pillow!

Take 10% off your order!
Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillows Review
Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillows Review

Hot sleepers that are tired of flipping the pillow looking for the cool side will love the Brooklyn Luxury Cooling Pillow! Use code SLEEPOPOLIS10 to take 10% off your order!

Best Memory Foam

The fill of the Layla pillow

Layla Pillow

Here we have the lofty Layla Pillow, and I picked it for sleepers looking for a breathable memory foam pillow that doesn’t feel cool to the touch. 

For many hot sleepers, a cover fabric that feels icy-cool against the skin is just what the doctor ordered. But for some, those qualities detract from the comfort of a pillow, and to those folks, I recommend the Layla Pillow. Its cover fabric is made from a very soft stretch-knit cotton with copper discreetly woven into the material. As we learned, copper serves to draw heat away from your body, making for a cozy-cool sleep experience. 

Meanwhile, the Layla Pillow is amply stuffed with shredded memory foam and a natural tree fiber called Kapok, which strikes a nice balance between plush and supportive. Kapok is light, fluffy, and boosts airflow through the pillow. Additionally, Kapok is a sustainably sourced material which might appeal most to those looking to sleep green

The memory foam, on the other hand, is more dense and provides a slower response to pressure. However, because it’s shredded rather than one solid piece, the individual shreds of foam are able to move freely within the pillow. This allows for better breathability, and prevents the foam from heating up. But don’t worry, memory foam fans, this pillow still offers that deep sink into the pillow that’s so characteristic of this material.  

Not to mention, this pillow features an adjustable fill which makes it well-suited to all positions! Simply unzip the cover fabric and remove as much stuffing as you need to customize the loft and firmness to your liking. That said, the Layla pillow is very lofty with all of its fill still inside, making it ideal for side sleepers with broad shoulders.

Intrigued? Check out my full review of the Layla Pillow!

Price: $99-$119, which is a great value for an adjustable memory foam pillow

Perfect for: Sleepers looking for a breathable and fluffable memory foam pillow!

Layla Pillow
Layla Pillow

A copper infusion in the cover helps to make the Layla pillow ultra cool and comfortable. 

Best for Back and Side Sleepers

The Out Cold pillow from I Love My Pillow

I love My Pillow Out Cold

Last but not least is the Out Cold Pillow from I Love My Pillow, and I picked it for sleepers who want the option to choose between warm-and-fuzzy and cool-and-crisp. 

The Out Cold Pillow is unique in that it features a dual construction in more ways than one. One side is covered in a blend of polyester and Phase Change Material which, as you probably guessed, is the cooling side of the pillow. But the other side is covered in a very soft micro-mink material that feels warm and velvety against your skin. So whether you want to sleep warm or cool, all you have to do is flip the pillow. 

But the internal fill also features a dual construction, as one side has a traditional, even loft, and the other is contoured. The cool side of his pillow is slightly contoured in the center, which is meant to help back and side sleepers maintain neutral spine alignment. Meanwhile, the micro-mink side has a flat, even surface which lends itself well to all positions. Essentially, this pillow has you covered regardless of your sleep style or temperature preferences. 

As far as the feel and support are concerned, this pillow is filled with one piece of the brand’s proprietary foam. It’s very moldable and has a super slow response to pressure, which is likely to appeal most to memory foam lovers.

Think this pillow is the one you’ve been dreaming of? Check out my full review of the Out Cold Pillow from I Love My Pillow

Price: $119-$129, which is pretty good bang for your buck considering you get two pillows in one. 

Perfect for: Back and side sleepers who like to switch back and forth between cool and warm!

Take 10% off!
I Love My Pillow
I Love My Pillow

The soft and flat I Love My Pillow could be fantastic for stomach sleepers! Get 10% off your purchase using code Sleep10.

Final Thoughts

Okay sleepers, we’ve learned the methodology behind shopping for cooling pillows, and taken a close look at my personal favorites. All that’s left to do now is decide which one is the best fit for you. And while you carefully weigh your options, allow me to leave you with a few final thoughts.

  • Firstly, always take advantage of a trial period when it’s offered. The best way to determine whether or not you’re compatible with any sleep accessory is by taking it for a test run!
  • Secondly, be sure to thoroughly peruse a pillow’s “materials description” before you make your purchase so you know exactly what cooling features you’re working with. “Cooling” can mean a lot of different things, so take some time to make sure you’re getting the specific cooling properties you have in mind.
  • Lastly, be sure to compare prices! Yes, cooling pillows tend to be a bit pricier because of the special textile manufacturing techniques used to make them. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t double (and triple) check with Sleepopolis to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Speaking of which — don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so we can continue to guide you to the perfect night’s sleep.

References

  1. Arjun, Dakuri, and J. Hayavadana. “Thermal Energy Storage Materials (PCMs) For Textile Applications.” Journal of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, 2014, ojs.cnr.ncsu.edu/index.php/JTATM/article/download/4836/2847.
  2. Okamoto-Mizuno, Kazue, and Koh Mizuno. “Effects of Thermal Environment on Sleep and Circadian Rhythm.” Journal of Physiological Anthropology, BioMed Central, 31 May 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3427038/.
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Sarah is the Senior Writer and bedding expert at Sleepopolis. Every week, she personally tests and reviews new pillows, sheet sets, and other sleep accessories. She accompanies every video review with a meticulously detailed article to ensure her audience has all the pertinent info they need for the best shopping experience possible. Perhaps that’s why her fans have dubbed her “the most thorough pillow reviewer on the Internet.” Having tested everything from sleep trackers to mattress toppers, Sarah's expertise runs deep and is always expanding. She received her degree in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College and spends her free time doing stand-up, making pasta, and hanging with her cats.
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