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

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Many cooling pillows are available on the market. Below, we look at five of the top options in more detail.

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

TEMPUR–Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow

Best overall cooling pillow

Tempur Cloud Breeze Dual cooling pillow

TEMPUR sells a memory foam pillow with two layers of cooling gel on either side of the pillow.

This pillow is medium-firm, and TEMPUR states that it is suitable for back, side, and stomach sleepers.

The pillow also comes with a machine-washable, 100%-cotton cover.

The pillow is available in queen size for $189 and king size for $229.

Therapedic Cooling Gel & Memory Foam Bed Pillow

Best supportive cooling pillow

Therapedic Cooling Gel and Memory Foam cooling pillow

Bed Bath & Beyond sells the Therapedic cooling pillow, which features memory foam and cooling gel.

Memory foam pillows mold to the user’s head, neck, and shoulders, which may provide pressure relief.

This pillow provides medium support and is suitable for all sleep positions.

It is available in one size for $54.99.

COOP Eden pillow

COOP Eden cooling pillow

Best adjustable cooling pillow

The Eden pillow features shredded, gel-infused memory foam. It is 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 possible to adjust the pillow’s height or loft to suit the user’s preference. The company includes extra fill with each order.

This medium-soft pillow features a removable, machine-washable cover.

It is available in one size for $80.99.

WEEKENDER Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Pillow

Weekender Ventilated Gel Memory Foam cooling pillow

Best low cost cooling 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 pillow is available in three sizes:

  • standard size: $32
  • queen size: $38
  • king size: $39.99

Golden Linens Bamboo Double Standard Full Body Pillow

Golden Linens Bamboo Double Standard Full Body cooling pillow

Best cooling body pillow

The Golden Linens 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.

Users can adjust the amount of filling inside the pillow to maximize comfort. For instance, they can remove some filling to provide a softer texture or add more for extra firmness and support.

The pillow is available in one size for $45.99.

Body temperature is a significant factor in sleep quality. Whereas traditional pillows may retain body heat, cooling pillows may help regulate body temperature, making them suitable for people who tend to feel hot during sleep or experience night sweats.

There are several types of cooling pillows, which work in various ways. Some draw the heat away from the body, while others wick away sweat and excess moisture. Manufacturers achieve this by using materials, such as cooling gel or fibers, that increase airflow.

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

  • preferred sleeping position
  • filling and cover material
  • whether the pillow is washable
  • price range and whether it suits an individual’s budget
  • pressure relief and firmness level
  • loft or height

Materials

People should look for breathable materials. Usually, a cooling pillow will have a microfiber cover to allow for air circulation and a filling that does not retain heat.

Common materials in cooling pillows include:

  • Cooling gel: Most cooling pillows contain cooling gel, which can dissipate heat and may counteract the heat-retention properties of materials such as memory foam.
  • Latex: Latex is a breathable material that is mold-resistant. Talalay latex is made of natural materials. Some people may have a latex allergy, in which case, they should avoid using latex pillows.
  • Cotton: Cotton has moisture-wicking properties, and manufacturers often use it in pillow covers. It is breathable and permits airflow.

Potential materials to avoid include memory foam, buckwheat, and synthetic materials, such as polyester or nylon. The reason for this is that these materials do not allow for air circulation and may retain heat.

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

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

Sleep position

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

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

People who get hot during sleep can try using other products to achieve a cool, comfortable slumber. These include:

  • Cooling sheets: Breathable linen sheets 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. These are 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.

Below, we answer some common questions about cooling pillows:

What materials should a cooling pillow feature?

Materials that allow airflow and dissipate heat from the body may have cooling benefits. Most cooling pillows include cooling gel, often in combination with memory foam, cotton, and latex.

Generally speaking, natural materials are more likely than synthetic ones to have breathable properties.

What types of pillows should hot sleepers avoid?

Synthetic materials prevent airflow and retain heat, so they may not suit people who overheat when sleeping or experience night sweats. Materials to avoid include polyester and nylon.

How else can a person keep cool at night?

A person can lower their body temperature during sleep by ensuring that their sleeping area is well-ventilated. They can achieve this by opening windows and doors or using air conditioning or fans. Using cooling sheets and pads may also help people stay cool.

Sleep is vital to a person’s physical and psychological health, and being uncomfortably hot can disrupt sleep.

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 a rapid decrease in body temperature.

However, body temperature can then increase during certain parts of the sleep cycle. Sweating, which is part of the body’s natural temperature control system, may sometimes occur to release excess heat and keep the skin cool.

Overheating

If a person’s body temperature gets too high during sleep, they may have difficulty falling or staying asleep. There are many possible causes of an increased body temperature, including:

  • 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
  • fighting off infections, such as influenza

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

Night sweats

People who have night sweats may wake up with damp nightwear or sheets.

The same factors that cause overheating can also lead to night sweats, but other possible causes 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 them.

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

Learn more about night sweats here.

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 find that overheating or night sweats frequently disrupt their sleep may wish to consider contacting a doctor to rule out an underlying health condition.