Buying Guide – Shopping for the Best Cooling Pillow
There are a few things you need to consider when looking to buy a cooling pillow. For instance, a pillow may feel cool to the touch initially, but will it maintain a consistent temperature throughout the night?. Does the pillow evenly disperse heat or will you have to flip it? If you’re prone to hot flashes, you want to make sure the pillow you choose is good at wicking away moisture, helping you stay cool and dry. The best cooling pillows allow hot sleepers to enjoy a refreshing night’s sleep free of excessive warmth or discomfort.
In this guide, you’ll learn about important considerations for making the best possible cooling pillows purchase.
What to Consider in a Cooling Pillow
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 key considerations when looking to make a purchase.
In addition to comfort, there are a few notable benefits to sleeping on a cooling pillow. Some of these advantages include:
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.
As popular as cooling pillows are, they do have their downsides. It’s important to know the potential drawbacks of cooling pillows before making a purchase. Some disadvantages include:
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.
As stated above, pillows that offer better-than-average cooling and temperature neutrality may be made from different materials. Common fill materials for these pillows include shredded or single-piece gel memory foam, latex, down alternative, and buckwheat hulls. Other fill materials simply do not provide the same level of cooling.
The table below breaks down some of the most common fill materials used in cooling pillows: