The Best Cooling Pillows

If you’ve ever had issues with sleeping hot, you’ve probably looked to your mattress, sheets, or comforter as the culprit. But have you ever thought about the role your pillow plays in keeping you cool?

Consider a cooling pillow, specially designed to keep your head from overheating and make sure you don’t wake up in a sweat. A cooling pillow can be a great help for living in warm climates, who keep the thermostat turned up, or who just generally have a tendency to sleep hot.

At the same time, a great cooling pillow does more than fight heat retention; it promotes proper spinal alignment and provides the comfort you need to easily drift off to sleep.

The best pillow for you depends on your individual needs, and these are affected by your sleeping position, head and body size, and personal preferences for pillow style. In this guide, we’ll show you our top picks for the best cooling pillows and will help you understand how to identify the ideal cooling pillow for your bed.

What Are The Best Cooling Pillows of 2018?

Brand/ModelType of PillowLoft LevelPrice
Nest Bedding Easy BreatherShredded Memory FoamAdjustable$99 - $129
Layla PillowShredded Memory Foam + KapokMedium$99 - $119
Coop Home Goods Eden PillowShredded Memory Foam + MicrofiberAdjustable$70 - $90
Bear PillowHybrid PolyfoamMedium$95 - $115
Brooklyn Bedding Premium Shredded Foam PillowShredded Memory Foam + Shredded LatexAdjustable$40 - $60

Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow

Why we like it:

  • Tencel cover adds softness and breathability
  • Foam can be added or removed to adjust loft
  • Shredded memory foam allows more airflow
  • 100-night sleep trial

 

The Nest Bedding Easy Breather pillow is a great choice for its support, adjustability, and ability to stay cool.

It provides support with a robust amount of shredded memory foam. This foam compresses to accommodate your head and can be molded to fit different neck positions. A zippered cover lets you add or remove foam to control the loft, allowing sleepers in any position to find a comfortable pillow height.

The small pieces of foam don’t retain much heat plus plenty of air can move through, keeping the pillow well-ventilated. Tencel fabric in the cover feels cool to the touch and helps pull moisture away from your head so you don’t wake up feeling sweaty.

As an added bonus, a 100-night sleep trial gives you the chance to try this pillow risk-free.

Layla Pillow

Why we like it:

  • Copper-infused cover for cooling
  • Memory foam pieces boost cushioning and responsiveness
  • Mix of Kapok material adds softness
  • 120-night sleep trial

 

The Layla pillow has several features that keep it cool while still providing all the softness and support you need.

Copper is woven into the cover, and this helps prevent heat buildup while improving moisture-wicking. At the same time, the cover feels soft and stretchy.

Inside, the pillow uses a blend of shredded memory foam and Kapok fiber. Small pieces of foam don’t retain much heat yet and work together to effectively contour to your head and neck. The Kapok material adds loft and softness with minimal heat retention.

Layla provides a 120-night risk-free sleep trial so you can see for yourself how these materials offer support and cooling, and if you’re not satisfied, you can return the pillow for a full refund.

Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow

Why we like it:

  • Breathable cover made of rayon and polyester blend
  • Cross-cut foam maintains its shape and allows ventilation
  • Adjustable loft to suit sleepers in any position
  • 100-night sleep trial

This adjustable pillow from Coop Home Goods can accommodate side, back, or stomach sleepers and anyone who is worried about sleeping hot.

A cover made of polyester and rayon (derived from bamboo) is stretchy while remaining breathable and drawing moisture away from your head. Inside, gel-infused foam resists heat retention. This foam is cross-cut to allow more ventilation and to prevent unwanted bunching. A combination of memory foam and microfiber excels in offering softness and support.

With a 100-night sleep trial, you can try out this pillow for yourself and experience the high level of performance and value that it offers.

Bear Pillow

Why we like it:

  • Cooling fabric on the top and bottom of the cover
  • Mesh side panels for maximum ventilation
  • Hybrid poly foam cushions without too much sink
  • 100-night sleep trial

The Bear Pillow makes use of specialty materials in both the fill and the cover to provide the best in support, comfort, and temperature regulation.

The fill of the pillow is one-piece of the company’s LOFT-X hybrid polyfoam. This foam compresses to cradle your head and neck, but maintains enough resistance to ensure your head doesn’t sink too deeply into it. For sleepers who want more consistent loft, like side sleepers, this pillow is a great option.

The pillow’s cover includes two important cooling features. First, the sides are made with mesh, letting heat escape and air flow through. Second, the fabric on the top and bottom, which the company calls “Double Ice” fabric, resists heat retention and maintains a cool feel.

Bear offers 100 nights to try out the pillow with the option to get a full refund if you’re unsatisfied.

Brooklyn Bedding Premium Shredded Foam Pillow

Why we like it:

  • Mix of foam and latex for support and resilience
  • Gel-infused foam fights heat buildup
  • Add or remove fill to adjust loft to your liking
  • 120-night sleep trial

 

The Brooklyn Bedding Shredded Foam pillow uses both latex and memory foam to ensure support without excessive heat retention.

Latex does not build up heat like other materials, and the foam is gel-infused to offer extra resistance to heat retention. On top of that, the small pieces of shredded foam permit abundant airflow compared to one-piece pillows.

Memory foam and latex also form a great team when it comes to support and spinal alignment since they can contour to the head while maintaining consistent loft through the night.

Sleepers in any position can adjust this pillow to fit their needs because of the zippered cover and removable foam. As a result, this pillow excels when it comes to customer satisfaction, but if for any reason you don’t like it, you can return it for a refund within 120 nights of receiving it.

Cooling Pillow Guide

What to Consider when Buying a Cooling Pillow

The best cooling pillows share certain characteristics. As you’re researching and shopping, you can zero in on a pillow choice by keeping the most important considerations in mind.

Materials and Construction

The design of the pillow and the materials used both in the cover and fill will have the greatest effect on whether a pillow is likely to stay cool.

Shredded foams tend to retain less heat, and some foams may be infused with gel or copper to fight heat buildup. Covers with breathable materials like cotton can also increase breathability and help wick moisture away from your head.

The materials also play a huge role in the durability of your pillow and how it performs. Lower-quality materials offer a shorter lifespan and are less likely to give the kind of support you need.

Loft

Loft is a way of describing the height of the pillow when it is sitting on your bed. Though loft doesn’t directly affect cooling, it’s one of the most important factors in ensuring you get the right support from a pillow.

Some pillows, such as one-piece foams, maintain their loft while others, like down pillows, tend to sink. Some pillows are more moldable, so you have more ability to manipulate the shape and height of the pillow through the course of the night.

For side sleepers, a higher loft pillow is usually important to make sure that the neck gets enough support. Side sleepers with broader shoulders and thus more space between their head and the bed tend to need the most loft.

Back sleepers do well with low-to-medium loft as they need support but don’t want an exaggerated bend in the neck.

Stomach sleepers typically have the best results with a pillow that has very low loft because otherwise the neck will become hyperextended.

In pillows with shredded fill, the loft may be adjustable by opening the cover and removing pieces of the fill material. With this kind of pillow, you can gradually add or remove fill to zero in on your optimal loft level.

If you’re not sure what loft is right for you, here’s a tip: try laying down with a pillow and having someone snap a photo. From the photo, you can see if your neck and spine are aligned or if there is any unnatural curve.

Responsiveness

In addition to loft, the responsiveness of a pillow influences how well it supports your body’s alignment. Ideally a pillow can contour to the shape and weight of your head to reduce any burden on your neck and keep your head in line with the rest of your body.

Firmness

Firmness has to do with how much a pillow gives or sinks when you place your head on it. The firmness level to look for is mostly a matter of personal preference and how you want your pillow to feel.

That said, firmness can affect temperature regulation. A pillow that is extremely plush tends to sleep hotter. This is because if your head is deep in the pillow, it is harder for air to flow around your head and cool it down.

A very soft pillow may also be an issue for stomach sleepers who can feel as if they are being suffocated by a pillow that their face sinks into.

Shape

Pillows can have different shapes and some hold their shape more rigidly and consistently than others. One-piece foam and latex have a fixed shape while down and shredded foams can be adjusted to modify the shape. Some pillows also are formed with unique shapes (such as a wave/ridge, peanut, or tube).

Allergies and/or Sensitivities

If you have any allergies or issues with specific materials, such as down or latex, make sure to carefully examine the list of materials in any specific pillow.

Your Sleeping Position

The way you sleep plays a huge role in determining the type of pillow you need. Side sleepers usually require more loft and contouring while stomach sleepers need less loft with more firmness. Back sleepers fall in-between but usually do not want excessive loft.

If you change positions in the night, a more moldable pillow may make more sense. If you aren’t sure exactly what loft is right, then an adjustable pillow is probably your best bet.

Return Policy

If you’re making a investment in a pillow, it can be reassuring to know you have options if you don't like the one you buy. Look for a pillow that comes with a sleep trial -- ideally 100 nights or more -- to try the pillow out with the possibility of getting a full refund.

*Prices without discount/promo applied.
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