Picking the Best Cooling Pillow in 2020
(Expert Guide and Reviews)
To make it easier for you to find the best cooling pillow for your needs, our team of experts tested 24 cooling pillows and compared their features.
To provide you with objective reviews, we followed a strict methodology focussing on the following:
- Comfort level
- Cooling properties
- Buying perks
Here, you can check out our top 10 list!
Hopefully, it will help you narrow down your choices.
Plus, read through our extensive buyer’s guide to see what you need to consider when shopping for a cooling pillow.
The Top 10 Best Cooling Pillows
The Top 10 Cooling Pillow Reviews
1. Nest Bedding Cool Pillow Review
The Cool Pillow by Nest Bedding is a great choice for hot sleepers since it uses phase-change fabric technology. As a result, the pillow doesn’t retain heat, so you won’t wake up because you’re feeling too warm.
This cooling pillow is similar to the Easy Breather Pillow by Nest Bedding in many ways. It has the same type of pillow fill—namely, shredded gel foam. In addition, it’s also adjustable, which means that you can easily open the pillow cover and remove as much pillow fill as needed to adjust the firmness and loft of your pillow. So if you need the best cooling pillow for side sleepers, you won’t have to take out much fill. On the other hand, stomach sleepers need thinner pillows.
It comes in three sizes—one for side sleepers (24″x18″), queen (26″x18″), and king (32″x18″). Since these are not standard sizes, pay attention to their dimensions.
When it comes to maintenance, we have to admit that there’s room for some improvement. This breathable pillow can be spot cleaned, or alternatively, you can wash its cover after removing the pillow fill. So it’s definitely not the best cooling pillow on the market in terms of cleaning.
- Features phase-change fabric technology
- Difficult to clean
2. The Purple Harmony Pillow Review
The Purple Harmony Pillow is very breathable. In addition, it doesn’t retain heat, so it’s a solid pick for people who tend to sleep hot. It features Purple Grid Hex technology, which makes it unique on the market.
This material is made of hyper-elastic polymer, which is also used in Purple mattresses. You can read more about it in our detailed Purple mattress review. Besides being quite bouncy, it keeps the shape of the pillow while improving air circulation. This is definitely one of the reasons the Purple pillow is often reviewed as the best rated cooling pillow.
Below this thin layer of Purple Grid, there’s a pillow core made of Talalay latex. Since latex naturally doesn’t retain heat, it’s a great material for a cooling pillow.
What’s more, this pillow has a moisture-wicking cover. Therefore, you’ll stay both cool and dry during your night’s rest. This cover can easily be machine-washed, which is, of course, a great plus. However, the pillow core can only be spot-cleaned.
It’s amazing that you can choose between two loft options. The dimensions of the standard pillow are 26″x17″x6.5″, while the tall version is 28″x17″x7.5″. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for the top rated king cooling pillows, you’ll need to check out other brands.
- Two loft options
- Moisture-wicking cover
- Difficult to clean
3. Leesa Pillow Review
Even though foam pillows tend to retain heat, the Leesa Pillow sleeps quite cool. Wonder why? It’s constructed with one piece of memory foam that features ventilation channels. Thanks to them, the premium foam pillow has excellent airflow and is suitable for hot sleepers. So if you’re looking for the best cooling memory foam pillow, this might be an excellent pick.
Additionally, its cover is very breathable, so it also contributes to a cool night’s sleep. It’s great that you can easily wash it in a machine—just follow the manufacturer’s care instructions. Unfortunately, the foam used for the pillow core can’t be machine-washed. Instead, you can only spot clean it with some cold water.
The pillow comes in standard (18″x26″x5″) and king (18″x32″x5″) size. As you can see, Leesa offers only one loft option, which should suit most sleepers. However, you’ll have to keep looking if you need the best firm cooling pillow.
- Breathable cover
- Ventilation channels in the foam core
- Two sizes
- Only one loft option
4. Live and Sleep Pillow Review
The Live and Sleep pillow is made of responsive memory foam, which makes it very supportive and comfortable. It conforms to the sleeper’s head and supports their neck in all sleeping positions.
Thanks to the open-cell technology, the pillow has good temperature regulation, and it will keep you cool throughout the night. It’s a great pick for anyone looking for the best memory foam cooling pillow. What’s more, it has a breathable pillow cover, which further improves air circulation. It’s also very soft to touch, so you’ll enjoy every minute you spend on it.
Unfortunately, the pillow comes in only one size. Even though this is a standard size, which typically suits most sleepers, people who need a larger pillow for their king-size mattress should keep looking elsewhere.
The good news is that the Live and Sleep pillow is covered by a 5-year warranty. However, there’s no sleep trial, so you can’t return it if you don’t like its feel. Even though it’s one of the best cooling pillows, more than one review points this out as a huge drawback.
- Soft and breathable cover
- Open-cell technology
- Contouring memory foam core
- Only one size
5. Nolah AirFiber Pillow Review
The Nolah AirFiber pillow is perfect for sleepers who like the traditional feel. It’s soft and contouring, while it also supports the sleeper’s head and neck in all sleeping positions. It’s great that you can easily shape it the way you like it.
Let’s see why this might be the best cooling pillow for night sweats.
Its core consists of AirFiber filling. And what does this mean? Essentially, it’s filled with small polyester fibers that are both lofty and supportive. Since they’re quite breathable, the pillow won’t retain body heat.
What’s more, the pillow features a cooling Outlast cover that will keep you cool all night long. It’s made of cotton, and it uses phase-change technology. You simply can’t expect more from the best cooling pillow case. Thanks to it, you won’t have to flip the pillow to sleep on the cool side.
This soft and breathable pillow only comes in queen size (20″x30″). However, it’s fantastic that you can sleep on it for 120 days before you decide if it’s the perfect fit for your needs.
- Phase-change technology
- Soft and lofty
- Breathable pillow filling
- Only one size
6. Casper Foam Pillow Review
The Casper Foam pillow offers amazing support and comfort—it’s perfect for anyone in need of the best cooling contour pillow. It consists of three foam layers, which are arranged in a sandwich-like structure. The outer layers are made of softer foam to provide you with some nice cushioning. On the other hand, the inner layer is made of more supportive foam because its main task is to keep your head and neck properly aligned.
When it comes to its cooling properties, this pillow has definitely met our expectations. Thanks to tiny channels in the foam, which promote natural air circulation, it’s quite breathable and it won’t retain heat. No wonder it’s the best cooling pillow, as so many reviews confirm.
In addition, its soft cover also improves the pillow’s breathability. Therefore, you won’t sleep hot on this pillow.
If you don’t believe us, you can try the Casper pillow for 100 nights and decide for yourself. Plus, the pillow comes with a one-year warranty.
- Air channels in the foam
- Breathable cover
- Supportive and cushioning pillow
- One firmness option
7. Nectar Pillow Review
Looking for the best pillow for cooling? Check out the Nectar memory foam cooling pillow, which features a specific “pillow-in-pillow” design. What does this mean? Simply put, the pillow consists of two major parts: inner and outer shells.
The inner pillow is constructed of two foam layers, which are there to provide ample support and keep your head and neck properly aligned. On the other hand, the outer pillow is made of quilted memory foam and Tencel cooling fabric.
This might be the perfect material for the best pillowcase for a cooling pillow. The pillow doesn’t retain much body heat and stays rather neutral during the night. Even though it won’t actively cool you down, it also won’t overheat.
Another advantage of the Nectar pillow is that you can adjust its firmness level. Simply take out some filling from the inner pillow to make it thinner and softer.
- Tencel cooling fabric
- Adjustable firmness level
- Both supportive and cushioning
- Not machine washable
8. Bear Pillow Review
The Bear Cooling Foam pillow is one of the best cooling pillows, which many a review confirms. It will stay cool all night thanks to its special cover made of double ice fabric. In addition, it features mesh panels on both sides, which enhance air circulation.
Since the pillow is medium-firm, most sleepers will find it comfortable. Furthermore, its core is made of foam that’s both contouring and supportive. So it will allow you to have a great night’s sleep regardless of your preferred sleeping position.
When it comes to size, you can choose between a queen and king size cooling pillow. While a queen size pillow is large enough for most sleepers, if you tend to toss and turn, we recommend getting one of the top rated king size cooling pillows, such as the Bear pillow. However, there’s only one firmness option.
It’s also good to know that you can test it in the comfort of your bedroom because it comes with a 100-night sleep trial. Plus, it’s covered by a 2-year warranty.
- Special double ice fabric
- Mesh panels
- Only one firmness level
9. Saatva Pillow Review
Even though the Saatva Pillow isn’t the best cheap cooling pillow, it offers great value for the money. It provides amazing comfort in all sleeping positions since it’s both supportive and cushioning. It will conform to a sleeper’s head and neck to keep them properly aligned.
It consists of an outer and inner pillow. The outer layer is filled with microdenier fiber, so it’s very soft and cushioning. What’s more, it’s breathable—thus, it promotes natural airflow, which improves the pillow’s temperature regulation.
Based on many customer reviews, it’s the best cooling pillow for sleepers who look for natural materials because the inner pillow is made of Talalay latex. This material naturally promotes a cool night’s sleep since it doesn’t retain body heat. It’s also very responsive, and it provides ample support regardless of your preferred sleep position.
Finally, the cover is made of 100% organic cotton, which is not only good-looking, but also exceptionally soft to touch. Plus, it’s moisture-wicking, making this pillow an excellent pick for sleepers experiencing hot flashes.
- Natural materials
- Moisture-wicking cover
- Very breathable
- A bit pricey
10. Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillow Review
Would you like the best memory foam pillow with cooling gel? Brooklyn Bedding offers a luxurious memory foam pillow, which will keep you cool and allow you to have a great night’s sleep. It contours to a sleeper’s head and neck to keep them in natural alignment.
Besides being comfortable, the pillow also has excellent temperature regulation. In addition to using open-cell technology, its surface is gel infused. Plus, it contains copper-graphite. All of this contributes to amazing breathability and cooling properties. No wonder it’s one of the top rated cooling gel pillows.
You can choose between two sizes: queen and king size. What’s more, there are two loft options. So depending on your sleep needs, you can pick a pillow with either a low or high profile.
The Brooklyn Bedding pillow is covered by a 3-year warranty. It also comes with a 30-day trial, meaning if you don’t like it, you can return it during this period and get a refund.
- Open-cell memory foam
- Breathable cover
- Two loft options
- Limited size options
How We Picked the Best Cooling Pillow
Our Ranking Methodology
To make your decision-making process less time consuming, we compiled this list of the top 10 pillows for hot sleepers. Here are the main criteria we used for ranking them:
For a great night’s sleep, it’s essential that you feel comfortable. Besides a comfy mattress, a pillow plays a major role in helping you find a cozy position and aligning your spine. Therefore, we paid special attention to the comfort level of the pillows we tested.
Similar to mattresses, the best pillows for hot sleepers should be both supportive and cushioning. If they don’t provide enough support, they won’t be able to keep a sleeper’s head and neck properly aligned. At the same time, they need to offer some nice contouring.
Loft or pillow thickness is one of the major factors affecting the level of comfort. Whether you need a low, medium, or high loft will mainly depend on your preferred sleep position. You can read more about it below.
Some of the best rated cooling pillows come in several loft options, which we believe is a great plus. Also, there are pillows that allow you to adjust their firmness level, which is a pretty cool feature.
For each pillow we tested, we analyzed its cooling properties. First, we examined all the materials used in a pillow since some materials are known for effectively keeping a sleeper cool throughout the night. For example, latex is a natural material that doesn’t retain body heat. Furthermore, gel infusion can considerably improve the temperature regulation of memory foam. That’s why a cool gel pillow is such a popular option.
After carefully analyzing the cooling technology used in each of the top rated cooling pillows, our team of experts spent a couple of nights sleeping on the pillows. We compared our experiences and rated high only those pillows that could effectively prevent sleepers from overheating.
Finally, we also read hundreds of reviews to check what other customers say about these pillows.
Even though a pillow isn’t such a huge investment as a mattress, we believe that it should last for several years without losing its shape, support, or cooling properties. That’s why we thoroughly analyzed all the materials used in the top rated cooling bed pillows. Plus, our team of experts went through hundreds of customers’ reviews to find out as much as possible about the longevity of each pillow.
Since proper care can prolong the lifespan of a pillow, we also checked how easy it is to maintain a cooling pillow. Typically, only a cover can be machine washed, while a pillow can be spot cleaned.
While reviewing cooling pillows, we also looked into what buying perks come with them. We decided to include in our top 10 list of the best cooling pillows only those brands that offer free shipping. In addition, considering the importance of a warranty, all our recommendations are covered by one. Most of them come with a warranty lasting between one and three years, but some are even covered for a longer period.
We also tried to recommend only the brands that offer a trial period because this is the best way to see if a pillow works for you. Generally, trial periods for most of the best rated pillows for hot sleepers are shorter than they are for mattresses, but we believe you’ll be able to decide if a pillow suits you after a month of sleeping on it.
Generally, cooling pillows cost more than other types of pillows because they use special cooling technologies and high-quality materials. Most of them fall in the price range between $50 and $100. We tried to review pillows with various price tags in order to offer you a good product regardless of your budget.
How to Choose the Best Cooling Pillow for Your Needs
There are a few things you need to consider when shopping for a cooling pillow. We’ll help you focus on the important aspects of this sleep accessory. Plus, you can check out our quick overview of all its advantages and disadvantages. Before we delve into the details about the materials used and different sizes and lofts of cooling pillows, let’s see who can benefit most from them.
Who Should Get a Top Rated Cooling Pillow?
As you already know, cooling pillows are designed to help sleepers stay cool during the night. Therefore, the following types of sleepers can have a great night’s sleep on a cooling pillow:
- Hot sleepers may find sleeping on a cooling pillow very pleasant. This type of sleeper commonly wakes up feeling too warm, so this handy sleep accessory helps them solve this problem.
- Women experiencing hot flashes can benefit from sleeping on a cooling pillow, but they need to look for those that have a moisture-wicking cover. So don’t forget this when looking for the best cooling pillow for hot flashes.
- People who often have night sweats. They should also get a cooling pillow with moisture-wicking technology.
- Light sleepers who are sensitive to sound will benefit—most cooling pillows are filled with shredded memory foam or latex, neither of which typically produces any noise.
Materials Used for Cooling Pillows
There are a variety of materials that are used for cooling pillows. Let’s first focus on the most common types of fill materials:
- Down alternative is a synthetic material that imitates the soft feel of real down. This material is used as a filling in some of the best cooling pillows, according to many reviews. This is because it doesn’t retain heat the way down does, so it’s suitable for hot sleepers.
- Memory foam usually retains body heat, so it’s often infused with cooling gel or shredded pieces of it to increase breathability.
- Latex is a natural material that typically offers good temperature regulation.
- Polyester pillow cores usually consist of tiny pieces of microfiber. These pillows are relatively inexpensive but might not be cooling enough for some hot sleepers.
- Buckwheat hulls are a natural pillow filling, which promotes air circulation. However, some sleepers might find these models a bit firm, which is mentioned in many cooling pillows’ reviews.
How effective a pillow’s temperature regulation will be also depends on the cover material. So let’s see which materials are commonly used in some of the best pillows:
- Cotton is a natural material that’s very soft to touch and breathable.
- Bamboo rayon has similar characteristics to cotton. It’s also quite breathable, so it’s often used for cooling pillows.
- Copper is sometimes infused in pillow covers or even pillow fills to improve their cooling features.
- Phase-change material absorbs excess body heat and releases it once your body cools off. It’s great at temperature regulation. Therefore, some of the best cooling pillow cases use this technology.
The most common sizes of pillows are standard, queen, and king. However, some brands offer pillows in sizes that differ from the standard ones, so it’s often best to check the dimensions before buying a pillow.
- Standard size is 20″ wide and 26″ long. It’s suitable for most sleepers and is usually the most affordable option.
- Queen size measures 20″ by 30″. It’s a good pick for sleepers who tend to change their sleeping positions.
- King size is 20″ by 36″. The best king size cooling pillow is a great option for combo sleepers who toss and turn, but it can also be used as a backrest if you like to watch TV or read in bed.
Pillow Loft vs. Sleeping Position
- Side sleepers tend to need pillows with a medium (3″–5″) or high (over 5″) loft because there’s plenty of space between their head and the mattress. They also usually like firm pillows, unlike stomach sleepers.
- The best cooling pillow for stomach sleepers should have a low (below 3″) loft, or they can even sleep without a pillow. Sleeping on a thick pillow can cause them to feel neck and/or back pain in the morning.
- Back sleepers will typically sleep best on a pillow with a medium loft. However, habitual snorers are recommended to sleep on a thicker pillow in addition to using an antisnoring device.
- Great temperature regulation: Cooling pillows help people sleep cool throughout the night.
- Silent: Most pillows that are designed to stay cool are made of latex or memory foam. These materials typically don’t produce much noise, if any at all. You’ll see this mentioned in more than one cooling pillow review.
- Excellent support: Latex and memory foam tend to conform to a sleeper’s head and neck, so they keep them properly aligned in all sleeping positions.
- Longevity: Cooling pillows are generally very durable, lasting a minimum of three to four years because they’re made of high-quality materials.
- Heavy: Some cooling pillows are quite dense and heavy, so some sleepers might find them difficult to move.
- Maintenance: Most cooling pillows aren’t machine washable, and they can only be spot cleaned. However, the best rated cooling pillow should have a washable cover. Moreover, pillows made of shredded foam have to be regularly fluffed to regain their original shape.
- Unpleasant smells: Memory foam may produce some off-gassing, while latex can have a rubbery smell. However, all these odors should fade away after a few days.
- Price: Since they use high-end materials and special cooling technologies, most of the models are more expensive than regular pillows.
What is the best pillow that stays cool?
There are a number of brands that offer high-quality cooling pillows. Your choice will mostly depend on your needs and preferences. For example, some sleepers prefer a memory-foam feel, while others would rather opt for more natural materials, such as latex. You can check out our top 10 list above.
Do cool gel pillows really work?
Yes, top rated pillows that are infused with gel can really help you have a great and cool night’s sleep. Basically, cooling gel improves the temperature regulation of foam by absorbing excess heat and preventing the sleeper from overheating and waking up in a sweat.
Do cooling pillows lose their cool?
Some cooling pillows may become less effective or lose their cooling properties over time. However, most of the top rated models have an above-average lifespan, lasting three to four years on average.
Are you supposed to put a pillowcase on a cooling pillow?
A pillowcase can protect your cooling pillow from dust and stains, so you can put it on. However, keep in mind that it may affect the pillow’s cooling properties. Therefore, always try to use pillowcases made of breathable materials, such as cotton or bamboo.
Do bamboo pillows keep you cool?
Bamboo fibers are often used for cooling pillows because they are highly breathable. As a natural material, bamboo has better airflow than most synthetic materials. Plus, it’s very soft, allowing sleepers to have a great night’s rest.
Can you wash a cooling pillow?
Even though some cooling pillows are washable, most of them can’t be washed in a washing machine. Instead, you can spot clean them with some mild soap and warm water. However, most pillow covers are machine-washable.
A wide variety of brands offer cooling pillows, which is amazing since everyone is bound to find something that suits them. However, at the same time, it might get confusing.
That’s why we prepared this top 10 list and a detailed buyer’s guide.
Hopefully, this will help you find the best cooling pillow for your needs in no time.