The 10 Best Cooling Pillows
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in June of 2015. Without a good night's sleep, it's difficult to be at your best. For many, overheating is what robs them of that essential shuteye. Luckily, these cooling pillows - also known as "chillows" - are designed to help regulate temperature, minimize night sweats, and keep you comfortable during your REM cycles. Gone can be the days of flipping a pillow to find the cool side. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 27, 2021:
We're pleased to report that all our previous selections are still great choices, although we did move the Classic Brands Reversible down a couple spots. This is because while "cooling gel" is especially comfortable, it doesn't actually provide a ton of cooling without added ventilation, which the Classic Brands model does not have, although it will still be cooler than a traditional memory foam pillow. On the other hand, the Perfect Cloud Double Airflow does have dependable ventilation holes, so it's remained in the top spot. Similarly, we really like the Xtreme Comforts Kool-Flow because by all accounts, it's exceptionally comfy, even if it does need to be re-fluffed every night.
February 19, 2020:
When it comes to sleep preferences, we know that people can be quite particular. While wanting to stay cool may be one thing everyone can agree on, that might be the only thing. So, we made sure that our list of chillows cover the gamut of snoozing habits and priorities.
For those in the market for something firm that will lift the head and neck well, there is the TruContour Advanced, which is specifically available in a firm model. As for consumers who prefer something a bit more in the middle on the firmness spectrum, or who may have different preferences from one night to the other, there is the Coop Home Goods Eden, which allows you to add and remove filling to your liking. We also like the Sleep Innovations Reversible, which holds its loft well through plenty of use, unlike the SleepBetter Iso-Cool, which we eliminated because it tends to flatten out quickly.
If you're dealing with overwhelming night sweats and need something with powerful cooling properties to give your fan a break, there is the Classic Brands Ventilated, which both wicks away moisture while dispersing body heat. The Perfect Cloud Double Airflow combines a mesh trim with open cell foam to really let air move throughout it, and the Casper Sleep Three-Layer has channels in its core. Conversely, we said goodbye to the Penguin Gel Mat, since it only stays cool for a short time.
Sleep Number In Balance Pillow This pillow features Climadry fiberfill, which has the luxurious feel of down stuffing, while regulating temperature and offering moisture control. It's available in either a classic shape or a contoured one for those who like to be propped up, and can be ordered with additional inserts to further customize your sleep position. sleepnumber.com
Slumber Cloud Cirrus Pillow Featuring a NASA-developed technology called Outlast, this pillow is designed to soak up your body heat, store it, and send it away from you. You can choose between a real down filling or a polyester variety, as well as select one of three firmness levels. Its 300-thread-count cotton shell is soft to the touch, and it is machine washable. slumbercloud.com
Getting A Good Night's Sleep
It starts with the right mattress for your body, then comes the sheets and comforter or blanket that provide the warmth and weight you need to relax.
The benefits of getting a good night's sleep are hard to overstate, and the issues associated with insufficient sleep are many and varied. In the short term, poor sleep can impact your effectiveness at work, reduce your interest and ability to participate in hobbies or exercise, limit your short term memory, and negatively effect the relationships you have with family, friends, and coworkers.
In the long term, poor sleep can have a direct correlation to higher blood pressure, weight gain, reduced cognitive function, and can even contribute to a premature death by contributing to increased heart health issues and an overall weakened immune system.
To put it simply, a good night's sleep is of critical importance. In fact, along with a balanced diet and a good amount of exercise, sufficient sleep is one of the most critical factors of overall good health.
Sleep deprivation is caused by myriad factors including physiological issues, psychological issues, and by the conditions under which you are trying to rest. While mitigating physical ailments that hamper good sleep, such as nerve or joint pain, might take help from a doctor or physical therapist, and while confronting emotional issues that plague your thoughts and rob you of sleep may take a mental health professional's assistance, creating the ideal sleeping conditions is entirely up to you.
Start by making sure your sleeping environment is dark, with minimal light sources including those little glowing spots that come from phones, chargers, and TV power indicators, and with the windows sufficiently blocked against sunlight and the glare of the street. Your bedroom should be quiet save for the consistent white noise of a fan or sound machine, if you like the calming background sounds they provide. And lastly, of course, your actual bed and bedding must be customized to provide you comfort.
It starts with the right mattress for your body, then comes the sheets and comforter or blanket that provide the warmth and weight you need to relax. And finally choose the right pillow for your personal sleep preferences. This choice has as much to do with material as it does with the initial feeling of its softness or support, because while some pillows feel great for a few minutes, they will soon be compressed, lumpy, and/or very warm.
Choose a great cooling pillow and you can help guarantee that the comfort you feel in those first few minutes lying comfortably will stick around all throughout a restful night.
Choosing A Cooling Pillow
While there are many varieties of cooling pillow available, most of the differences are subtle save for two major categorical differences. These can be boiled down and parsed out as "stuffed" and "solid." While both designs can offer better cooling than most other pillows, it's unlikely that you will find both options viable, so know which type of material works better for you in general before even considering cooling as a factor.
These pillows are able to draw heat into their material, cooling the sleeper, and are a good choice for the person who wants a soft pillow into which their head can settle.
Stuffed Cooling Pillows - A stuffed cooling pillow, like a pillow filled with down and feathers or with a synthetic approximation, is of course stuffed with loose material. Some cooling pillows in this category use shredded memory foam as their filling, while others use thousands of soft little beads. These pillows are able to draw heat into their material, cooling the sleeper, and are a good choice for the person who wants a soft pillow into which their head can settle.
Solid Cooling Pillows - A solid cooling pillow is formed by either solid blocks of specialty foams or of slabs of varied materials that together make a solid block. These pillows can feature layers of encapsulated gel, or they can be perforated or textured, but they will always be solid in shape. They offer more stability and support than stuffed pillows, which some sleepers will find more comfortable, while some will want the softness of the other type.
Cooling Pillow Maintenance
With standard pillows, it is recommended that you replace them once ever year. Most decent cooling pillows are designed to last much longer than that, with many carrying multiple-year warranties. (You will often see a five-year warranty in the category, in fact.) In order for the pillows to maintain their ideal support and cooling properties for the longest possible duration, however, you need to care for them properly.
It's far easier to launder and/or replace a bit of cloth than it is to get a whole new cooling pillow.
Many cooling pillows feature different attributes on opposite sides, such as a pad of cooling gel on one surface, and memory foam on the opposite. If you prefer one side over the other, that means less chance to flip the pillow, so at least make sure to rotate it nightly or weekly so the pillow experiences pressure more evenly.
Cleaning the actual cooling pillow made from memory foam is a several step process. First remove the pillow's case and pick away any obvious hair or debris. Next, run a vacuum over its entire surface. You can spot clean any stains with a mild cleaner, but make sure not to saturate the foam. Leave it upright to dry in a well ventilated area, and consider sprinkling the pillow with baking soda (then vacuuming it off later) for odor control.
Of course the most important thing you can do to keep a cooling pillow in good shape is to change the pillow cover at least once or twice a week. It's far easier to launder and/or replace a bit of cloth than it is to get a whole new cooling pillow.