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Some pillows are constructed with components made with cooling gel, a substance that helps the sleeper maintain a comfortable temperature and not feel too warm. The term ‘gel pillow’ may refer to pillows that contain individual gel layers (usually near the surface) or those with gel-infused foams. It’s important to note that the presence of gel does not always mean the pillow sleeps cool; for this reason, pillow shoppers should test out different pillow models to ensure their choice offers a temperature that works for them.
There are unique qualities associated with different types of gel pillows. For instance, pillows filled with shredded, gel-infused foam often offer adjustable loft and are highly moldable, making them a good option for people who cuddle with pillows. Single-piece gel-infused foam pillows provide close conforming and great shape retention in most cases.
This guide will explain the various characteristics and designs available to today’s gel pillow shoppers. Below you will find our picks for the best gel pillows sold today. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.
Our Editor’s Pick is the Eden pillow from Coop Home Goods. It is filled with shredded, gel-infused memory foam and housed in a cover made of rayon from bamboo; this design allows the Eden to sleep exceptionally cool even by gel pillow standards. The pillow also conforms closely to help align the spine and alleviate aches and pains in the neck and shoulders. This makes the Eden a good option for side sleepers, as well as those with chronic discomfort.
Adjustable loft is another benefit. Owners can simply add or remove the shredded foam fill to increase or decrease the thickness of the pillow and find a loft that is to their liking. This allows sleepers in different weight groups to experience comfortable sleep. The Eden is highly durable, as well, and very easy to clean thanks to a removable polyester liner where the foam is stored.
The Eden’s price-point is below-average compared to other shredded foam pillows. Free shipping is available to customers in all 50 states and the pillow is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a five-year warranty, both of which are longer than average.
The Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo from Relief Mart (simply known as the Snuggle-Pedic) has a price-point that is significantly lower than that of the average gel pillow, making it our Best Value pick. However, the Snuggle-Pedic does not sacrifice quality for cost, and offers the same cooling, pressure-relieving experience for sleepers as many competing, higher-end pillows. In addition to its shredded, gel-infused memory foam fill, the pillow has a rayon from bamboo cover that allows it to sleep very cool.
The Snuggle-Pedic offers adjustable loft; however, owners should not attempt to add or remove fill themselves due to the pillow’s sealed design. Owners may ship their pillow to Relief Mart any time they need a loft adjustment. These adjustments are free of charge, including shipping, and unlimited for all owners.
The Snuggle-Pedic can be shipped to customers in all 50 states at no extra charge. It is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.
The Gelled Microfiber pillow is part of Malouf’s Z collection, which includes more than 60 luxury-crafted pillows that are mostly sold at above-average price-points. The Gelled Microfiber is filled with soft, lightweight down alternative material that has been infused with gel and housed in a breathable cotton-percale cover. Its price-point may be higher, but this pillow sleeps cooler than most sold today.
The pillow’s fill is also clustered; sleepers may experience sinking when they rest their head on the surface, but the pillow provides great support – particularly for those who experience aches and pains in their neck and/or shoulders. The Gelled Microfiber pillow also maintains its shape well, and does not require much fluffing; this gives the pillow a fairly long lifespan compared to other down alternative pillows. It is offered in Queen and King sizes, as well as a body pillow option that is highly suitable for pregnant women.
All customers in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free shipping when they order from Malouf. The Gelled Microfiber pillow is backed by a three-year warranty.
The Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillow is made of open cell memory foam surrounded by a cool gel surface layer. The gel combines with pin holes in the memory foam to provide breathability and coolness to sleepers. The memory foam contours to a person’s unique shape, providing comfort and support. The pillow is infused with copper-graphite, so it has antimicrobial and hypoallergenic properties.
The Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillow is available in two “profiles,” or thicknesses. The lower profile is ideal for stomach sleepers, and is less likely to strain the neck like thicker pillows can. The higher profile is ideal for side sleepers and people who snore or have sleep apnea. Back sleepers can choose either profile. This pillow comes with a 30-day return policy and 3-year warranty.
The Leesa Hybrid offers a unique design that combines different firmness settings, textures, and sleep temperatures. The result is a versatile pillow that provides two distinct sleep experiences. One side is contoured and padded with down alternative material, which feels exceptionally soft and conforms closely; the other side has a flat surface and is lined with a cooling gel insert. Owners simply flip the pillow over to change the surface.
The down alternative side conforms very closely, making it a good option for sleepers with neck and shoulder pain. This side is ‘Medium Soft.’ The gel insert side, which is ‘Medium Firm,’ feels exceptionally cool and should accommodate most hot sleepers. Additionally, the pillow’s cover and interior can be washed and dried in conventional machines.
The Leesa Hybrid has an above-average price-point, making it a good option for shoppers with bigger budgets. Customers in all 50 states qualify for free shipping, and the pillow is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a three-year warranty.
The term ‘gel pillow’ refers to any pillow containing individual layers of gel and/or gel-infused memory foam. All foams — memory foams in particular — retain a fair amount of body heat from sleepers. As a result, sleepers may feel excessively warm or hot during the night, and this can lead to sleep disruptions. Gel layers may allow the pillow to sleep cooler and help owners cut down on nighttime disruptions — but in some cases, gel pillows do not sleep significantly cooler than standard memory foam pillows.
This guide to gel pillow will explore how these pillows are designed, discuss sleepers who may benefit from using one, provide some tips for first-time buyers, and list our picks for the top gel pillows sold today.
Gel pillows are often referred to as ‘cooling gel pillows’ because they are supposed to absorb less body heat and sleep more comfortably. The ‘gel’ in a gel pillow may constitute the following:
It’s important to note that some gel pillows have customer satisfaction ratings that are on par with the ratings for standard pillows. This suggests that either they do not offer as much cooling as advertised, or that they have inherent flaws that undermine their cooling abilities. However, our customer feedback indicates some gel pillows (including the ones found in the ‘Best Brands and Models’ section) do sleep noticeably cooler than others.
Other variables of gel pillows include:
Gel pillows are most commonly made in the following sizes:
|Pillow Size||Dimensions||Pillow Case Size and Dimensions||Notes|
|Small||20W" x 12L"||Specialty sizes||Normally found with orthopedic/cervical pillows (see below)|
|Standard||20W" x 26L"||Standard (20-21W" x 30-32"L)||The most common pillow size, as well as the most compact and least expensive on average|
|Queen||20W" x 30L"||Standard (20-21W" x 30-32"L) Queen (20-22W" x 30-34L")||The second most common pillow size, and suitable for most people who toss and turn|
|King||20W" x 36L"||King (20-21W" x 36-41"L)||Good for people who toss and turn, and also makes good headrests and backrests|
|Body||54W" x 20L" 48W" x 20L"||Body pillow (dimensions vary)||The longest pillow size, mostly suitable for side sleepers and pregnant women|
All sleepers have unique needs and preferences, but our research suggests that the following groups tend to favor gel pillows the most:
When shopping for a new gel model and comparing different brands and models, here are a few factors to keep in mind:
If you aren’t in the market for a gel pillow or have found that gel pillows don’t help you sleep cooler, here are a few tips for optimizing your sleep space for temperature neutrality.