Tested and certified to be free of toxic chemicals. Full refund is available up to 100 nights after purchase. Pillow comes with additional fill if you need a higher loft. Available in standard, queen, and king sizes. Hypoallergenic and cruelty-free.
Pricey. A few buyers complain of a chemical smell.
Gel-infused. Comes with a double-sided pillow cover with a cooling, silky ice fabric on one side, and a soft and smooth bamboo rayon on the other. Also includes extra foam filling that lets you adjust the pillow’s height and density to your desired fit.
Cooling sensation does not last very long on summer nights.
Suitable for back, side, and stomach sleepers. Hypoallergenic and resists dust mites. Highly breathable. Shape and loft are retained throughout the night thanks to "no-shift" construction. Luxurious cotton material with silky cover. Can be machine-washed.
A few buyers don't find them to be as soft or as cooling as they'd hoped.
Features a gel layer on both sides of the pillow to keep you cool for longer. Designed with a pressure-relieving material that adapts to your head, neck, and shoulders for personalized comfort. Comes with a soft and breathable cover that is removable and machine-washable.
Some reports of the pillow being too high. One of our more expensive picks.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Flipping your pillow to the cool side is officially a thing. Temperature regulation plays an important role in our sleep experience. Being too warm can result in discomfort, night sweats, or worse — difficulty falling asleep. If you invest in a cooling pillow, however, it can help you sleep comfortably every night.
Cooling pillows embrace the latest and greatest technology when it comes to keeping you cool. Regular pillows are filled with polyester or feathers, which tend to attract heat. Cooling pillows are filled with gel, which disperses heat away from your body, but it doesn’t stop there. The gel interior of cooling pillows is wrapped with materials that promote airflow, such as bamboo or fine cotton. Some cooling pillows even feature ventilation holes and improved contouring to maximize airflow.
Cooling pillows include three elements: gel, middle layers, and shell.
Cooling pillows use gel in more than one way, which means each pillow offers a different sleeping experience. While one isn’t necessarily superior to another, sleepers may gravitate toward one design as opposed to others.
Gel-wrapped pillows: These pillows have a gel shell as an outer layer. The gel can span one side of the pillow or cover the entire pillow. Given their large expanse of gel, these are often considered the “coolest” options among cooling pillows.
Gel-core pillows: These pillows essentially have a gel center encased by a thick layer of memory foam. These are known to have a bit more give in the middle, so they’re desirable to individuals looking for additional head support while they sleep.
Gel-shredded pillows: These pillows have the plush feel of regular pillows but are actually composed of fluffy gel fibers. They typically don’t have a memory foam component, so they’re ideal if you prefer flexibility to a more structured pillow.
Gel-infused pillows: Gel-infused pillows consist of memory foam that is permeated with tiny gel beads. Some pillows in this category also have a gel core to maximize the cooling potential. If you prefer a thinner pillow, chances are you’ll end up with a gel-infused one, as these are often available in low-profile designs.
The middle layers of cooling pillows are usually made of memory foam, which is best known for its bounce-back quality. Memory foam softly contours to your face and neck to provide personalized support. That said, not all memory foam has the same softness and collapsibility, so you’ll find certain pillows are much firmer than others.
Middle layers of cooling pillows often feature vents or perforations to promote airflow. In many designs, the perforations are in the center of the pillow where the most body heat collects. Other designs feature perforation patterns on both sides of the cooling pillow.
The vast majority of cooling pillows have a shell or cover that prevents direct contact between your face and the gel or memory foam. The shells of cooling pillows are similar to those of regular pillows, and they’re primarily made from soft, breathable materials like cotton and bamboo. These materials are occasionally blended with polyester or rayon for moisture-wicking properties, which is a desirable feature if you’re investing in a cooling pillow to counteract night sweats.
Besides giving the cooling pillow a super-smooth outer layer, having a shell also aids in keeping dirt and dander from settling into the pillow’s inner layers. Some shells are removable, and you can toss them in the washing machine with your other bedding.
You’re probably familiar with the basic sizes of regular pillows: standard, queen, and king. If you’ve ever dreamed of a more accommodating pillow, now you’re in luck. Cooling pillows have an extensive size collection. Depending on the brand, you might come across as many as a dozen sizes, ranging from slim standard to super slim king.
As far as pillowcases go, most cooling pillows, despite their unique sizes, fit in conventional pillowcases. If you invest in a slim or contoured queen-size pillow, for example, it will fit inside a queen-size pillowcase.
If you think of yourself as a pillow traditionalist, then you’ll probably gravitate toward rectangular cooling pillows. On the other hand, if you’d like to address issues other than overheating when you sleep, explore cooling pillows with contoured or ergonomic shapes. These are designed to provide better neck and head support, which in turn promotes better spinal alignment.
There are also some cooling pillows shaped to accommodate your preferred sleep position. So whether you’re a side, back, or belly sleeper, there’s a dedicated cooling pillow to help you sleep comfortably.
Only certain cooling pillows are available in more than one firmness, making them hit or miss. In fact, firmness isn’t always discussed when it comes to cooling pillows, because their construction is much different than that of regular pillows. With that said, there’s a good chance you’ll need to sleep on a cooling pillow for a couple nights to determine whether it’s right for you. Luckily, many manufacturers — but not all of them — have a “try before you buy” guarantee.
Those who suffer from allergies may benefit from hypoallergenic cooling pillows. These are resistant to dust, mold, and other allergens and are made without latex or chemicals. Many hypoallergenic pillows also have antibacterial or antimicrobial properties. As expected, cooling pillows in this category usually have a removable shell so it can be washed often, which also helps keep allergies at bay.
Cooling pillows are available at several price points ranging from $20 to $100, so no matter what your budget, you’ll find one to fit it.
Inexpensive: Entry-level cooling pillows cost between $20 and $30. These have a modest amount of gel and, more often than not, are rectangular.
Mid-range: For a larger assortment in size, shape, and construction, aim to spend between $35 and $60 for a cooling pillow. You’ll also be able to find cooling pillows in this range specifically designed to accommodate different sleep positions.
Expensive: Premium cooling pillows cost between $60 and $100. Most of these are hypoallergenic and offer the highest-quality construction.
Air out the pillow when you first get it. The packaging of your new cooling pillow may have a residual smell, so let the pillow air out completely before sleeping on it.
Keep the cooling pillow away from pets. Even Fido can agree that cooling pillows are comfortable, but it’s best to keep them away from pets. This prevents the pillows from becoming chew toys or attracting pet hair and dander.
Q. Won’t I get a bit too cold using a cooling pillow during the winter months?
A. It’s unlikely. Cooling pillows aim to regulate temperature, not change it. The gel disperses heat, but since it’s not initially refrigerated, it won’t actually make you chilly. Some sleepers swear by cooling pillows in wintertime for an overall balanced temperature in bed. And a cooling pillow may prevent your head from overheating while your body is bundled up in a comforter.
Q. Are cooling pillows heavier than regular pillows?
A. Yes. Gel and memory foam weigh more than polyester or feathers. Some cooling pillows can weigh a couple of pounds or more. It’s a bit of an adjustment for some sleepers, so it could take a few nights before you become comfortable with the significantly heavier pillow.
Q. Can I recycle my cooling pillow?
A. Some manufacturers offer recycling programs that let you send the pillow back to them for proper recycling. More often than not, they’ll provide you with a return shipping label at no cost. Damaged or soiled cooling pillows, on the other hand, may need to be disposed of differently, so it’s best to check with your local sanitation department for guidelines.
Q. How do I know how much gel is in my cooling pillow?
A. It depends on the manufacturer. Some tout the total weight of the gel included in the pillow, whereas others don’t list this information at all. With that said, a cooling pillow with more gel isn’t necessarily superior to other cooling pillows.