I think I first heard it from ESPN's late, great Stuart Scott: "You're as cool as the other side of the pillow." It was a turn of phrase that instantly resonated for me, as I've flipped my pillow over countless times, for as long as I can remember—searching for the sweet relief that comes when cool cotton hits your cheek. I've always ran a bit hot so when I go to bed, I want my room temperature turned down and my blankets to be minimal. When my pillow starts warming up, it's easy to let that distract me or cause me to toss and turn (only further heating me up, I'm sure).
So I decided to invest in a cooling pillow. What was once perhaps a simple infomercial gimmick has now become a full-fledged cottage industry. The market is full of options and innovations in order to help us keep cool and fall asleep. I immediately noticed a difference with the new pillow. No more tossing and turning, no more pillow flipping and rearranging. Just delightfully cool and restful moments before drifting away to dreamland. After all, is there anything more important to your overall health and well-being than a good night's sleep? Well it all starts with what you're sleeping on. So here are the web's best reviewed cooling pillows, along with the one that has forever changed the way I go to bed.
This is genuinely a cool pillow. As in, almost too cool when you first lay down. Every piece is designed to keep heat at bay. From a slim, breathable memory foam layer and sleek ventilated cover to the signature gel layer designed specifically to keep you cool throughout the night. Because of the dual-sided nature and the added inner gel layer, it's heavier than your standard pillow, but since you basically lay down and fall asleep within a few blissfully cool moments, it's not a problem. Plus, it comes with a 10-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Dual Option cooling pillow,
$54.99 by Perfect Cloud
A Modern Solution
A Modern Solution
Instead of simply being stuffed with filling, Malouf's pillows are actually made from a proprietary "ActiveDough" foam. Designed with zoned technology to relieve pressure points, it has larger holes in the center of the pillow to cradle your head and smaller holes around the perimeter to support your neck. Hot sleepers will appreciate that the foam is infused with a temperature-regulating gel that draws heat away from your body. And the silky Tencel cover also helps regulates temperature for all-season comfort.
ActiveDough cooling gel pillow,
$174.99 / $77.99 by Malouf
The Best of Memory Foam,
Without the Heat
There are a lot of benefits to a memory foam pillow—they mold to your head and provide incredibly soft support—but the big drawback is that the material can really heat up. No amount of comfort is worth trying to sleep in a puddle of neck sweat. But this pillow is stuffed with finely shredded memory foam, and the fluffy interlocking pieces allow air to circulate through the pillow. That, combined with a micro-vented bamboo cover ensures this never warms up.
Kool-Flow bamboo pillow,
from $49.99 by Snuggle-Pedic
The Best Down Alternative
We found the Nest Cool Pillow to be incredibly comfortable. It wasn't cooling, exactly, but it never overheated. So if you want a more traditionally built pillow, this is a fantastic option that has a soft, breathable cover and a filling made from a proprietary blend of gel-foam material that mimics the feel of a down/feather pillow. You can also customize the feel simply by removing some of the inner filling too.
from $119 by Nest Bedding
During rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, your brain's temperature-regulating cells switch off and let your body temperature be determined by how warm or cool your bedroom is.
(Source: National Sleep Foundation)