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Cooling pillows help prevent overheating and keep a person cool as they sleep by dissipating excess body heat. When choosing a cooling pillow, some factors to consider are its materials, firmness, and level of support.

Body temperature is a significant factor in sleep quality, and traditional pillows retain body heat. Cooling pillows may help regulate body temperature and are suitable options for people who feel too warm during sleep or wake up sweating.

There are several types of cooling pillows — some draw the heat away from the body while others wick away sweat and excess moisture. Manufacturers achieve this using material, such as cooling gel or fibers, to increase airflow.

A person may wish to take into account the following factors when choosing a cooling pillow:

  • their sleeping position
  • level of support needed
  • filling material
  • whether the pillow is washable

Sleep position

Cooling pillows come in a range of sizes and textures. Some have a soft and plush texture, making them usually suitable for stomach sleepers.

Memory foam and hybrid pillows provide firm support that may help relieve pressure to the neck and shoulders. These types of pillows are typically beneficial for back and side sleepers.

Filling

When a cooling pillow is new, it may have a chemical odor that usually clears within a few days. However, this smell may linger if the pillow contains a cooling gel or other synthetic material.

Washing instructions

Individuals may also wish to consider whether they can machine wash a cooling pillow. While many are not machine-washable, some come with removable covers that a person can place in a washing machine.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.

TEMPUR–Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow

TEMPUR offer a memory foam pillow with two layers of cooling gel on either side. It is suitable for back, side, and stomach sleepers.

The pillow also comes with a machine-washable cotton cover.

The TEMPUR–Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow is available to purchase online.

Therapedic Cooling Gel & Memory Foam Pillow

Popular retailer Bed Bath and Beyond offer the Therapedic cooling pillow, which features memory foam and cooling gel.

It provides medium support and is suitable for all sleep positions.

The Therapedic Cooling Gel & Memory Foam Pillow is available to purchase online.

COOP Eden pillow

The Eden pillow features shredded, gel-infused memory foam. It is soft, breathable, and dissipates body heat to help individuals stay cool as they sleep.

The pillow also comes with the option to add or remove filling from the inner liner, making it customizable to a person’s preference.

It also features a removable, machine-washable cover.

The COOP Eden pillow is available to purchase online.

WEEKENDER Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Pillow

The Weekender cooling pillow features ventilated gel memory foam to provide support and pressure relief.

Ventilation from the foam increases airflow, keeping individuals cool as they sleep.

This pillow also comes with a removable, machine-washable cover.

The WEEKENDER Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Pillow is available to purchase online.

Golden Linens Bamboo Double Standard Full Body Pillow

The Golden Linens bamboo cooling pillow provides individuals with full-body cooling and support.

This body pillow contains shredded memory foam for improved ventilation and reduced overheating during sleep.

It also comes with a washable cover consisting of bamboo and polyester.

A person can also adjust the amount of filling inside the pillow — they can remove filling to provide a softer texture or add more for extra firmness and support.

Golden Linens Bamboo Double Standard Full Body Pillow is available to purchase online.

There are other options for hot sleepers to achieve a cool, comfortable slumber, including:

  • Cooling sheets: Choosing breathable linens made from natural fibers, such as cotton, bamboo, or silk, may help regulate body heat and reduce overheating.
  • Cooling mattresses: Cooling mattresses increase airflow and help remove excess body heat. They may also provide a more comfortable and supportive sleeping experience.
  • Cooling mattress pads: Cooling mattress pads can help regulate body temperate throughout sleep to minimize overheating. It is a convenient and affordable option for those wishing to reap the benefits of a cooling mattress without replacing the one they currently use.
  • Cooling devices: Some bedroom accessories can help a person get a cool and comfortable sleeping experience. These devices include temperature-controlled mattress pads that heat and cool, adjustable cooling pads that can track sleep, and bladeless fans to offer cooling at reduced noise levels. Some of these devices may also feature sleep timers and automatic shutoff functions.

Sleep is vital to a person’s physical and psychological health. In addition, research shows that body temperature naturally fluctuates alongside the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.

When the body prepares for sleep, levels of the hormone melatonin increase, causing the body temperature to decrease rapidly.

Sweating is part of the body’s natural temperature control system, helping release excess heat to keep the skin cool.

Overheating

If a person’s body temperature gets too high during slumber, they may have difficulty falling or staying asleep. The reasons for increased body temperature may vary but can include:

  • sleeping in a warm or humid environment
  • sleeping under a heavy blanket
  • wearing warm clothes or nightwear to bed
  • exercising before bedtime
  • eating spicy foods
  • infections, such as influenza

Overheating at night may also lead to night sweats, a condition that causes excessive sweating during sleep.

Night sweats

Those who have night sweats may wake up with wet nightwear or sheets.

The same factors that cause overheating can also lead to night sweats, but other possible causes may include:

People should not worry about having occasional night sweats. In most cases, lowering the thermostat at night or replacing linens is enough to stop occasional night sweats.

However, a person may consider contacting a doctor if they experience frequent night sweats that do not improve despite trying different preventive strategies. A healthcare professional can then investigate if there may be an underlying health condition.

Cooling pillows help regulate body temperature and may prevent overheating and relieve night sweats.

These pillows draw heat away from the body through a cooling gel or breathable fibers. Many of them come with covers made from breathable, moisture-wicking fabric.

People who struggle with overheating or night sweats may wish to consider contacting a doctor to rule out an underlying health condition.