If you run hot while you sleep, you're probably on the hunt for ways to keep yourself cool so you're not interrupted mid-sleep or, worse, find yourself incapable of falling back to sleep. One of the best tools to help ensure that you sleep well when you're prone to night sweats or overheating is a cooling pillow.
These pillows are made of materials that will help offset the heat release from your head each evening while you sleep, explains Michael Breus, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan: Lose Weight Through Better Sleep.
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"Most people do not realize it, but they lose heat mostly through their head all night long and especially during the summer, so having materials behind your head that will either not heat up or actually cool can be of benefit," Breus says. "In addition, many cooling pillows will wick away moisture, which can be very helpful as well."
Of course, a pillow is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to sleeping comfortably: Hot sleepers may also want to consider opting for cooling mattresses, sheets, comforters and even duvet covers.
How We Chose
We chatted with sleep experts who broke down the most important attributes of cooling pillows for hot sleepers and how to find one that best suits your sleep needs. Our top picks are based on their criteria, including:
- Ease of cleaning
The Best Cooling Pillows for Hot Sleepers
- Best Overall: Saatva Latex Pillow (From $165, Saatva.com)
- Best on a Budget: QUTOOL Cooling Pillow (From $29.99 for two, Amazon)
- Best for Side and Back Sleepers: Bedsure Contour Memory Foam Pillow (From $37.99, Amazon)
- Best Eco-Friendly: Cozy Earth Silk Pillow (From $279, CozyEarth.com)
- Best for Support: Sijo CloudSupport Pillow (From $88, SijoHome.com)
- Best Memory Foam: Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow (From $23.79, Amazon)
1. Best Overall: Saatva Latex Pillow
- Very breathable
- Pillow is not machine washable
- A pricier option
This soft, cooling and moisture-wicking pillow features a shredded natural latex core that provides optimal support for both your head and neck. It's 100 percent breathable thanks to its material of choice, organic cotton sateen. The natural latex core is also hypoallergenic. This material is resistant to both mildew and dust mites, while being more breathable than standard synthetic foams.
Additionally, due to its cotton and latex materials, Tracey O'Shea, MSN, FNP-C, a board-certified nurse practitioner with the California Center for Functional Medicine, points out that it has a longer-than-average lifespan compared to other pillows.
While the pillow itself is not machine washable, the cover is, so you can unzip it and throw it in the wash along with your sheets every time you do a cleaning.
Buy it: Saatva.com; Price: From $165
2. Best on a Budget: Qutool Cooling Pillow
- Flexible filling capacity
- May offer less support
For a fraction of the price of most quality pillows on the market, this Qutool Cooling Pillow provides cooling features along with comfort. It features a zippered inner cover made from a hypoallergenic fabric liner that you can remove easily to add or take away filling for optimal comfort.
Another plus is that the pillow cover itself is made from bamboo fiber, which helps increase breathability and is naturally moisture-wicking to help you stay temperature-regulated on hot nights.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: From $29.99 for a set of two pillows
3. Best for Side and Back Sleepers: Bedsure Contour Memory Foam Pillow
- Ergonomic design
- Cover is machine washable
- Standard 100 Oeko-Tex certification
- Very firm
Made from high-quality, durable foam, this cooling pillow has an ergonomic design that can help reduce neck and back pain that is associated with various sleep positions. This is mainly because the level of support it provides allows for a perfect snug fit for your head, neck and shoulders.
Be aware that the pillow is quite firm, so if you prefer a softer option, look elsewhere.
It's made from a pillow foam and fabric that has a Standard 100 certification from Oeko-Tex, which means it's tested for a myriad of potentially harmful substances. The pillow also comes with a breathable and machine washable cover with an air mesh design for an even more cooling experience.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: From $37.99
4. Best Eco-Friendly: Cozy Earth Silk Pillow
- Very comfortable
- Comes with 10-year warranty
- Pricier option
If you're open to spending a bit more, this cooling memory foam pillow that's made from 100 percent real mulberry silk is definitely worth the splurge. It's also eco-friendly — made from a breathable and moisture-wicking viscose bamboo fabric that is sustainably grown (no pesticides, dyes or potentially harmful chemicals used in its production).
Comfort-wise, this pillow reigns supreme. In addition to its true silk outer layer, the filling is incredibly soft. This pillow is ideal for anyone — not just hot sleepers.
Buy it: CozyEarth.com; Price: From $279
5. Best for Support: Sijo CloudSupport Pillow
- Supportive for back or side sleepers
- Oeko-Tex Certified
- Foam core is not machine washable
Made of solid, Talalay latex, this pillow provides even support and is a good option for those who find foam pillows a bit too soft for their preference, according to O'Shea. The cover itself is heat-absorbing, made from a moisture-wicking Tencel material that has Clima fibers to release your body's natural heat. Its high-loft design offers optimal support for your neck, so it's another great pick for folks who sleep on their back or side.
Cleaning is simple — simply remove the case and wash in the machine with any other sheets you're washing at the time.
Buy it: SijoHome.com; Price: From $88
6. Best Memory-Foam: Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
- Comes with extra foam filling
- Machine washable
- May have initial odor
If you love the bounce-back feel of memory foam, but want to make sure you're buying one that will help cool you down through the night, this is a great buy. It's made with a bamboo cover and foam pieces that are geared toward optimal airflow through the night.
To ensure that you create the right fill for your personal comfort, this pillow comes with a free bag of memory foam filling so you can add or remove support as you see fit.
Folks with an eye on the environment will appreciate the fact that this memory foam pillow is eco-friendly. It's GreenGuard Gold-certified, which means it's manufactured without the use of harmful chemicals and pollutants.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: From $23.79
What to Look for in a Cooling Pillow
Here, sleep experts share their best suggestions for what features you should be looking for in a cooling pillow.
There are a few varying materials that help pillows have a cooling property. According to O'Shea, the best cooling pillows are usually made out of gel or latex, and feature a cotton or bamboo fabric cover.
"Specific cooling technology tends to use heat-absorbing liners, moisture-wicking fabrics and temperature-regulating gel beads or latex," O'Shea says.
2. Cooling Technology
To ensure that your pillow stays at just the right temperature throughout the night, you'll want something that has cooling materials built inside the pillow, explains Peter Polos, MD, PhD, sleep medicine specialist and Sleep Number sleep expert.
Certain brands are formulated with certain materials, such as polyester, Tencel and cotton, which can actually regulate your body temperature and make sure that it does not become too hot or cold.
The price of cooling pillows range significantly, typically from $20 to over $100, according to O'Shea.
"The price is usually determined by how it is made and what materials it is made from, so it is a factor that should be considered when you're making your purchase," O'Shea says.
4. Ease of Cleaning
Some cooling pillows are machine washable, typically on a gentle cycle, which is always a nice and appreciated added feature to allow for proper cleaning. Others require damping with a cloth and a small amount of detergent, which can require a bit more effort on your part.
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