Best Cooling Pillows – Top Picks and Buyer’s Guide

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Quick Summary

Most people naturally sleep warm. However, some sleep much hotter than others. Pillow selection is important for those who feel excessively warm during the night. Some pillows have good airflow throughout the interior and come with breathable fabric covers. These models tend to sleep cool and comfortable for most. Other pillows absorb more body heat from sleepers, causing them to feel warm. These models can be very uncomfortable for sleepers who already feel too hot.

The term ‘cooling pillow’ refers to any pillow that offers temperature neutrality and sleeps relatively cool. Cooling pillows may be made from different materials, such as gel-infused memory foam or latex. Additionally, cooling pillows with water chambers have become increasingly popular among today’s sleepers.

This guide will look at some common features and characteristics of cooling pillows, as well as buying tips and considerations. Below you’ll find our picks for the five best cooling pillows sold today. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as product research and analysis.

Best Cooling Pillows

Editor’s Pick – Nest Bedding Easy Breather

Best Value Cooling Pillow – Snuggle-Pedic

Best Luxury Cooling Pillow – Bear Pillow

Best Cooling Pillow for Pressure Relief – Layla Pillow

Most Innovative Cooling Pillow – Mediflow Original Water Pillow

How We Decided

 

64 cooling pillows considered –– 120 hours of research –– 4 sleep experts consulted

The Best Cooling Pillows – Tuck's Top 5 Picks

Nest Bedding Easy Breather – Editor's Pick

Highlights
  • ‘Medium’
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 2-year warranty
  • Adjustable loft
  • Sleeps cool and alleviates pressure well

Our Editor’s Pick is the Easy Breather from Nest Bedding. The pillow if filled with shredded, gel-infused memory foam that sleeps much cooler than standard foams. It also provides great airflow within the interior and comes with a breathable cover made of Tencel® lyocell. As a result, the Easy Breather is cool and comfortable for most sleepers – even those who tend to get really warm.

Pressure relief is another key strength of the Easy Breather. It conforms closely without sinking to help align the spine and alleviate aches and pains in the neck and shoulders. This makes the pillow suitable for side sleepers, as well as those with chronic pain issues. The Easy Breather also has fully adjustable loft; owners can add or remove the shredded foam fill to increase or decrease the thickness. This allows sleepers with different weights and body types to find a comfortable setting.

Customers anywhere in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free shipping when they order from Nest Bedding. The Easy Breather is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a two-year warranty.

Good for:

  • Side and back sleepers
  • Sleepers in the light and average weight groups
  • Those with fluctuating loft preferences

Check Price | Read Our Full Nest Easy Breather Pillow Review

Snuggle-Pedic – Best Value Cooling Pillow

Highlights
  • ‘Medium’
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 20-year warranty
  • Adjustable loft
  • Cool, pressure-relieving comfort

The Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Pillow from Relief Mart, also known simply as the Snuggle-Pedic, is our Best Value pick. It has a price-point that falls well below the average cost of a cooling pillow, yet the Snuggle-Pedic offers the same cool, comfortable sleeping experience as many of its higher-end competitors. The Snuggle-Pedic is filled with shredded, gel-infused memory foam and housed in a cover made of rayon from bamboo. Good interior airflow provides extra cooling for the pillow, as well.

The Snuggle-Pedic’s loft can be adjusted. However, owners should avoid adding or removing fill themselves due to the sealed construction of the pillow. Relief Mart offers free, unlimited adjustments for all Snuggle-Pedic owners, who can ship their pillow to the company’s manufacturing facility with a prepaid shipping label anytime they want the thickness changed.

Relief Mart offers free shipping to customers in all 50 states. The Snuggle-Pedic is backed by a 20-year warranty, one of the longest pillow warranties available, as well as a 120-night sleep trial.

Good for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Neck and shoulder pain sufferers

Check Price | Read Our Full Snuggle-Pedic Pillow Review

Bear Pillow – Best Luxury Cooling Pillow

Highlights
  • ‘Medium’
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 2-year warranty
  • Medium loft (5″)
  • Conforms closely to alleviate pressure

Generally speaking, single-piece polyfoam pillows often sleep too warm for most sleepers. The Bear Pillow is a notable exception to this rule. The polyfoam core is aerated to promote air circulation and keep the surface feeling cool and comfortable. Additionally, the cover has mesh caps at both ends that allow air to flow in and out. As a result, the Bear Pillow sleeps as cool (if not cooler) than many shredded foam and latex pillows sold today.

The pillow also provides close conforming to alleviate aches and pains in the neck and shoulders. The Bear Pillow is ‘Medium’ in terms of firmness, making it a great option for sleepers in the average weight group, as well as lighter and heavier individuals who prefer pillows with a balanced feel. It is suitable for all sleep positions, as well.

The Bear Pillow has an above-average price-point, making it a good option for shoppers with bigger budgets. Bear offers free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S.; the pillow is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a two-year warranty.

Good for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in the light and average weight groups
  • People who prefer to snuggle with pillows while they sleep

Check Price | Read Our Full Bear Pillow Review

Layla Pillow – Best Cooling Pillow for Pressure Relief

Highlights
  • ‘Medium Soft’
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 5-year warranty
  • Supportive memory foam and kapok fiber fill
  • Comfortable, copper-infused cover

In addition to sleeping exceptionally cool, the Layla Pillow provides significant relief for sleepers with aches and pains. The pillow contains shredded foam supplemented with fibers from the kapok tree, which have a soft, downy texture. These materials allow the pillow to hug the sleeper’s head, neck, and shoulders closely and alleviate discomfort. Additionally, the pillow’s cover is infused with copper, which improves circulation in sleepers and reduces pressure points in their sensitive areas. The copper element allows the pillow to sleep cool, as well.

The Layla Pillow is ‘Medium Soft,’ making it a good option for sleepers in the light and average weight groups, as well as heavier individuals who prefer less firm pillows. It is also very moldable and is suitable for those who snuggle with a pillow while they sleep, but the Layla Pillow also maintains a full shape with minimal fluffing.

Layla offers free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S., and will ship pillows to Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada for a flat rate of $20. The Layla Pillow is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a five-year warranty.

Good for:

  • Side and back sleepers
  • Sleepers in the light and average weight groups
  • Those who enjoy sleeping on down pillows

Check Price | Read Our Full Layla Pillow Review

Mediflow Original Water Pillow – Most Innovative Cooling Pillow

Highlights
  • ‘Medium’
  • 30-night sleep trial
  • 3-year warranty
  • Adjustable loft
  • Cool, water-based comfort

Our pick for Most Innovative Cooling Pillow is the Original Water Pillow from Mediflow. This ingenious design features polyester fiber fill and an internal pouch that holds up to five quarts of water. Owners can add or remove water at any time to adjust the loft. The firmness also changes slightly, depending on the volume of the water pouch; less water creates a softer pillow that conforms closely, while more water will create a firmer surface.

The water, along with a pure-cotton cover, allow the Original Water Pillow to sleep exceptionally cool as well. Owners can experiment with water temperature to find a setting that works best for them. In addition to the Original design with polyester fill, Mediflow offers Water Pillows with gel memory foam, down, and down alternative fill; a travel pillow is available, as well.

Mediflow offers single pillows, as well as discounted twin packs with two pillows and value packs with two pillows and two pillow protectors. The Original Water Pillow is backed by a 30-night sleep trial and a three-year warranty.

Good for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in all weight groups
  • Those with fluctuating loft preferences

Best Cooling Pillows Buyer's Guide

Many sleepers naturally sleep hot or warm, and in some cases this increase in temperature can lead to nightlong discomfort and sleep disruption. Pillows can help those who sleep hot or, alternatively, make the problem worse. Some pillows are made from materials that retain high levels of body heat, which may result in sleeping hot or warm, while others retain low amounts of body heat and sleep relatively cool by comparison. Most cooling pillows sold today are made from one of two materials: aerated latex; or specialty memory foam.

In addition to material composition, two other factors often play a role in how hot or cool a pillow sleeps. One is internal structure, since pillows may be crafted with one solid piece or shredded fill. The second factor is the material(s) used to make the pillow’s cover — specifically, if any specialty materials (such as phase-changing material) is used. Other considerations include the sleeper’s weight and temperature preferences, as well as the mattress they use.

Read on to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses cooling pillows, as well as some popular models for sale.

What Is the Makeup of a Cooling Pillow?

A large number of cooling pillows sold today are made from either aerated latex or memory foam that has been infused with materials to help it sleep cooler, such as gel or graphite. Other pillow materials noted for sleeping cool include buckwheat hulls, down alternative, and feathers. However, ‘cooling’ pillows made from these materials are somewhat rare.

Some cooling pillows feature shredded fill, while others feature a one-piece aerated design. Most cooling pillows are between four and six inches thick, making them medium- to high-loft.

Some cooling pillows feature covers made from phase-changing materials, or PCMs. PCMs are designed to absorb body heat until the sleeper’s body reaches a specific temperature, at which point they stop retaining heat and maintain a steady, fairly cool temperature throughout the night, no matter how much heat the sleeper gives off. Non-quilted covers also sleep fairly cool; these are often made from light, breathable fabrics like cotton, polyester, lyocell, or bamboo fabric.

Which Sizes Are Available for Cooling Pillows?

Cooling pillows are typically available in the following sizes:

  • Standard: Standard is the most popular and widely sold pillow size available. It is also the most compact, and typically the cheapest as well.
  • Queen: Queen-size pillows are four inches longer than Standards. This makes them ideal for those who find Standard pillows too short, and may also be suitable for sleepers that toss and turn or shift positions during the night.
  • King: The King is generally the longest pillow size available, measuring 10 inches longer than Standards and six inches longer than Queens. They are designed for people who toss and turn frequently, and may also serve as headrests or backrests for those who sit up in bed to watch television, read, or work.
  • Specialty: Some cooling pillows are sold in a specialty size that measures roughly 24 inches wide and 16 inches long. This size may be sold as a Queen, even though it differs from the standard Queen size.

The table below features approximate measurements for each of the pillow sizes discussed above.

Pillow Size Dimensions
Standard 20W” x 26L”
Queen 20W” x 30L”
King 20W” x 36L”
Specialty 24W” x 16L”

Pros and Cons of Cooling Pillows

Benefits of using a cooling pillow include the following:

  • Temperature Neutrality: As is to be expected, most — but not all — pillows sold as ‘cooling’ models retain minimal body heat and allow sleepers to remain cool and comfortable throughout the night.
  • Noise: Because cooling pillows are usually made from materials like latex or memory foam, they produce little to no noise when bearing weight.
  • Support: Both memory foam and latex offer above-average support compared to other pillow materials because they adjust to the sleeper’s head, neck, and shoulders and maintain a stable surface throughout the night.
  • Pain and Pressure Relief: Latex and memory foam can help with spinal alignment, which may reduce pain and pressure for sleepers.
  • Durability: Cooling pillows made from latex or shredded memory foam typically perform for at least three to four years, which is considered an above-average lifespan.

Drawbacks of using a cooling pillow include the following:

  • Cost: Due to their specialized designs, cooling pillows are often priced significantly higher than non-cooling pillows.
  • Weight: Pillows made from latex or shredded memory foam can be dense and somewhat heavy, weighing more than five pounds in some cases. This may make them difficult to move and adjust during the night for some sleepers.
  • Odor Potential: Latex is associated with a lingering rubbery smell (latex comes from rubber trees), while memory foam often produces strong off-gassing odors.
  • Allergy Potential: Latex pillows may trigger latex allergies in some sleepers, depending on how much natural latex is used, while memory foam may attract dust mites that can lead to other allergies.
  • Maintenance: Shredded memory foam cooling pillows may need to be fluffed or shaken on a regular basis in order to maintain a full shape. Latex cooling pillows usually come in one-piece designs that never need to be fluffed, but these pillows should be spot cleaned or dry cleaned, and never machine washed.
  • Availability: Cooling pillows are somewhat hard to find compared to non-cooling pillows, and shoppers may be limited in loft and firmness options.

Who Is a Cooling Pillow Good For?

Generally speaking, cooling pillows are best suited for the following types of sleepers:

  • People who tend to sleep hot, although cooling pillows affect temperature in different ways and shoppers are encouraged to test out different models in order to find the pillow that works best for them.
  • People who sleep on their back or side. Back sleepers can typically sleep on pillows of any loft since this position naturally aligns the spine. Side-sleepers tend to feel most comfortable on medium-loft pillows with moderate firmness, and most cooling pillows sold today meet this criteria.
  • People who awaken easily due to noise, since both shredded memory foam and latex pillows are virtually silent when compressed.

On the other hand, cooling pillows may not be suitable for the following sleeper types:

  • People who sleep on their stomach. Most stomach-sleepers prefer to sleep on low-loft pillows that allow them to lie down without turning their heads too much, but cooling pillows are hard to find in anything below medium-loft.
  • People who are sensitive to odor, since both latex and shredded memory foam have been linked to persistent, unpleasant smells.
  • People who have a hard time lifting heavier pillows. The average cooling pillow made from latex or shredded memory foam weighs at least three pounds.

Cooling Pillow Ratings

Criteria Cooling Pillow Rating Explanation
Affordability Poor to Fair The average price-point of a cooling pillow is $60 to $90, and some models cost as much as $200 or more. By comparison, most non-cooling pillows are much less expensive.
Durability Good to Very Good Both latex and shredded memory foam pillows have longer-than-average lifespans, but some cooling models may lose their ‘temperature-reducing’ properties over time.
Support Good to Very Good Cooling pillows made from latex or shredded memory foam provide above-average support, say owners.
Noise Very Good to Excellent With few exceptions, cooling pillows made from latex or shredded memory foam produce little to no noise when bearing weight.
Weight Fair to Good The average cooling pillow weighs between three and five pounds, which is considered slightly above-average; some sleepers may struggle to move these pillows during the night.
Odor Poor to Fair Materials used to make cooling pillows — namely latex and memory foam — produce unpleasant smells that may linger.
Washable Fair to Good Some shredded memory foam cooling pillows are machine washable, but latex cooling pillows typically need to be spot cleaned or dry cleaned.
Firmness/Loft Options Fair to Good Most cooling pillows are medium- to high-loft, although some ultra-thin models are available. In terms of firmness, cooling pillows typically rate between Medium Soft and Medium Firm.
Availability Poor to Fair Cooling pillow options are somewhat limited for shoppers.

Buying Tips for Cooling Pillows

Cooling pillows are available through select brick-and-mortar and online home goods retailers, as well as exclusively online retailers like Amazon.com and Overstock.com. Some models are manufactured by mattress brands, such as the Cloud Breeze from Tempur-Pedic and the ActiveX pillow from Nest Bedding.

Cooling pillows tend to be priced on the expensive side. Shoppers should expect to pay at least $60 for their cooling pillow, and some models are priced higher than $200. By comparison, non-cooling latex pillows typically cost between $40 and $60, and non-cooling memory foam pillows typically cost between $50 and $60.

Many cooling pillow sellers offer sleep trials that allow new customers to test out the pillow for a pre-agreed length of time and then return it for a full or partial refund if they are not satisfied. This can be an effective way for shippers to determine what kind of cooling pillow they prefer without paying above-average costs.

Latex cooling pillows typically need to be spot cleaned or dry cleaned, which can be time-consuming and somewhat expensive in the long run. Shredded memory foam cooling pillows, on the other hand, are usually machine washable.

The graph below lists the average price-points of cooling pillows and seven non-cooling pillow types.

Cooling Pillow Price Comparison