If you find yourself waking up in a sweat or flipping your pillow over to the cold side, you might be a hot sleeper. There are tons of different factors involved in getting a good night’s sleep, but hot sleepers are faced with the particular challenge of staying cool. Typical comfort items like blankets and pillows can be a barrier to cooling yourself off.

Fortunately, you can find pillows that are made to keep you cool at night. Cooling pillows use different materials and constructions to allow your body to lose heat without trapping it and maximize the airflow around you. This guide will give you our top picks for the best cooling pillows available today, give you some tips on how to avoid sleeping too hot, and tell you everything you need to know about how cooling pillows work.

Our Top Picks: Summary

Best Overall: Saatva Pillow
Saatva Pillow

The Saatva Pillow uses all-natural materials to ensure a cool night’s sleep.

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Why We Picked It

Natural and organic materials are perfect for a cooling pillow because the fabrics are very breathable and wick away heat as you sleep. The Saatva Pillow uses 100 percent organic cotton for its outer layer—cotton allows for airflow, and its luxurious sateen finish is cool to the touch. Underneath the cover is a layer of down-like microdenier fiber which is hypoallergenic and promotes airflow. The center of this pillow features American-made Talalay latex. This shredded, all-natural latex is ideal for neck support, hypoallergenic, dust-mite resistant, mildew proof, and has great airflow.

The latex fill promotes spinal alignment thanks to close contouring, and it’s also very durable. You can get this product shipped for free within the continental United States, and you can test it out worry-free for 45 nights.

Keep in Mind

With all of its great features, the Saatva pillow comes with a high price tag, which might not make it the best choice for you.

In a Nutshell

  • Breathable organic cotton and Talalay latex
  • Hypoallergenic and mildew proof
  • Close conforming for pain relief
Best Value: Brooklyn Shredded Foam Pillow
Brooklyn Pillow

A customized sleep experience at an affordable price.

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Why We Picked It

To keep its Shredded Foam Pillow from trapping heat, Brooklyn Bedding uses a fluffy mixture of latex and gel-infused memory foam for its filling. A stand out feature for this pillow is that the shredded foam filling can be removed to adjust the loft and comfort—this helps make the Brooklyn pillow a great choice for any sleeping position.

The removable cover is anti-microbial and wicks away moisture to give you a hygienic sleeping surface. Customers with sensitive skin will find that this pillow is a great choice. The Brooklyn Bedding Premium Shredded Foam Pillow comes with a 30-night sleep trial and is backed by a 3-year warranty.

Keep in Mind

To adjust the feel, the shredded foam and latex have to be removed, and some customers find this process to be messy.

In a Nutshell

  • Removable foam for customized feel
  • Gel-infused foam fights heat
  • Most affordable option
Best Luxury: Bear Pillow
Bear Pillow

Cooling fabric and mesh sides give the Bear Pillow the most airflow.

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Why We Picked It

When it comes to a cooling pillow, the cover is just as important as the filling. The Bear Pillow uses specialty materials in both so that you get both comfort and temperature neutrality. The ends of the pillow are made of mesh for heat to escape, and the rest of the cover uses “Double Ice” fabric that resists heat retention and feels cool to the touch.

The cover is also hypoallergenic and anti-microbial—it is completely removable and machine washable. On the inside, the Bear Pillow uses a one-piece insert made from LOFT-X hybrid polyfoam. The foam allows your head to be cradled without worrying about sinking too deep. Bear ships its pillow for free inside the US and offers a 100-night sleep trial.

Keep in Mind

Some back and stomach sleepers might find that the Bear Pillow has too high of a loft for their sleep positions.

In a Nutshell

  • Mesh ventilation side panels
  • Stay-cool Double Ice cover
  • Free shipping and 100-night trial
Best Memory Foam: Coop Home Goods Eden
Coop Eden Pillow

Cross-cut foam filling allows ventilation and retains its shape.

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Why We Picked It

Another adjustable pillow comes from Coop Home Goods. This cooling pillow uses gel infused foam to resist heat retention, and the filling is cross-cut to prevent bunching—the unique shape of the foam pieces helps circulate air through the center. The foam is also removable to allow you to adjust the loft of your pillow.

The pillow’s cover uses bamboo-derived rayon and polyester. The soft and breathable material helps draw moisture away from your head. There’s also a perforated gusset around the sides that allows airflow through the pillow. This pillow is the only option on our list that comes in Standard, Queen, and King sizes. To help you decide if the Coop pillow is right for you, the company gives you a 100-night sleep trial.

Keep in Mind

Some customers have issues finding the right amount of filling for their sleep preferences, and others have found that the Coop pillow doesn’t include enough filling.

In a Nutshell

  • Breathable bamboo-derived rayon
  • Ventilated sides for airflow
  • Removable cross-cut gel foam
Best Down: Brooklinen Down Pillow
Brooklinen Pillow

Brooklinen allows customers to choose between three firmness options.

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Why We Picked It

The Brooklinen Down Pillow separates itself from other cooling pillows by offering three different firmness options. The Plush option is filled with down clusters for a soft and fluffy pillow, with a lower loft ideal for stomach sleepers. The Mid-Plush pillow uses a dual-core structure (featuring supportive feather filling and a down cluster outer layer) to accommodate any sleeping position. The Firm option also uses feathers and clusters inside but uses less down clusters for a more supportive feel.

The cover is made from 100 percent cotton and features a sateen weave. The Brooklinen pillow is OKEO-TEX certified, completely machine washable, and comes with a satisfaction guarantee. The breathable cover and fluffy down interior help you to sleep cool while the firmness options can fit any sleep style.

Keep in Mind

The pillow does not come in Queen sizes, and some firmness and size combinations are expensive.

In a Nutshell

  • Premium down feathers and clusters
  • Three firmness options to choose from
  • 100 percent cotton sateen shell

How We Chose the Best Cooling Pillows

In order to give you the best suggestions, we had to consider a variety of factors, including what materials are best for a cooling pillow, how customers have enjoyed the product, and what type of sleeper is the best fit for each pillow. Some of our key focus areas are detailed below.

Temperature Regulation

You lose a lot of heat through your head and lying on a surface that traps that heat will make it harder to fall asleep at night. The most important feature of a cooling pillow is whether or not it truly regulates temperature to ensure you don’t overheat. Each pillow we looked at has its one way of regulating temperature through cover material, filling, or special features, and we evaluated each of these.

Construction and Materials

We looked for pillows that would not trap heat, which means we had to find products that used materials that will keep you cool. We focused on finding pillows with covers made from breathable fabrics so that air from inside the pillow can circulate; organic cotton, latex, and other fabrics help keep you cool. Some special features we considered included ventilated covers that used mesh and perforated foam (for pillows that use one-piece filling).

The inside of a cooling pillow is also vital to the overall temperature, so we only looked for products that use cooling fillings materials. There are popular filling materials, like memory foam, that actually trap heat. So we chose products that combat this issue—while taking advantage of memory foam’s comfort—by using gel-infused memory foam that absorbs heat and feels cold to the touch. We also found pillows that use shredded foam and latex to give the pillow more airflow inside, which will help keep the surface cool.

Support

We looked for cooling pillows that would feel comfortable and also keep your head supported throughout the night. While loft and support are important for spinal alignment and pressure relief, they can also help to keep you cool. If a pillow doesn’t have a breathable cover and you sink too far in, the heat escaping your head will be trapped—the pillow will essentially work as an insulator. We focused on finding pillows that perfectly balanced its supportive and comfort features.

Price

It’s important to us that we suggest products that are superior in quality but not outrageously expensive. Often the price of a cooling pillow depends on what type of materials are used. For example, foam-filled pillows and synthetic fiber covers are less expensive than products that use all-natural materials. Latex and down feathers can cause a pillow’s price to be very high, depending on the amount used. Using cotton and gel-infused foam is a popular choice because of the great temperature regulating properties and the lower cost.

Customer Satisfaction

We read customer compliments and complaints to get a better idea of how each cooling pillow can affect people differently. The wide range of sleeping preferences and personal experience from using the products is crucial information—they can help us figure out more or less who’s likely to enjoy each product. We also look at important features like sleep trials, shipping details, and user experience with customer service.

Temperature and Sleep

Room temperature has more to do with our sleep than just whether we feel hot or cold. Our body temperature decreases at night as we start to get tired, and reaches its lowest point just before we wake up. As our body temperature starts to rise, we wake up and begin our days. This all ties into our circadian rhythm, which is in charge of our internal clock (making sure we’re tired at night and alert during the day). Outside factors like room temperature and bedding material can have a positive or negative impact on our sleep cycle.

It’s suggested that our rooms should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit to optimize sleep—with temperatures below 54 and above 75 proven to negatively affect sleep quality. On top of the human body’s cycle, each person can sleep hotter or colder depending on a variety of factors. Hormonal changes from thyroid issues or during pregnancy can cause people to sleep warmer, which can lead to night sweats and insomnia.

Even if you have your room at the recommended temperature while you sleep, your bedding materials can insulate your body and cause you to sleep hotter. If you often find yourself sweating or feeling too warm at night, temperature regulating bedding materials can vastly improve your sleep by helping you readjust your circadian rhythm.

What is a Cooling Pillow?

Cooling pillows are designed to help hot sleepers from overheating at night. Allowing your head to have air circulation and keeping body heat from being trapped can help improve your sleep, and cooling pillows achieve this in different ways.

  • Materials: The materials used in your pillow are vital to its temperature regulation. A lot of common bedding materials trap heat, so cooling pillows use fabrics and fillings that don’t keep you too warm at night. Using materials that are comfortable and cool is crucial, like using gel-infused foam or organic latex. Materials with gel or copper actually absorb the heat to keep it away from you while breathable materials like cotton maximize airflow to cool you off at night.
  • Material Composition: Material composition can be just as important as the material type. Solid fillings, like some memory foam pillows, won’t give you sufficient air circulation (which will make the pillow sleep hotter). A lot of cooling pillows use shredded foam fillings, which allow more air to get inside. Gel-infused foams wick heat away from your body and phase-change material absorbs heat to a certain degree to retain that consistent temperature.
  • Cover Material: The fabric you come directly in contact with will determine how cool the pillow feels. Some materials, like wool, feel warmer than cotton and latex. The weave of your pillow cover will also have a different feel, with sateen finish being the smoothest. Natural materials like cotton and latex are breathable, which allows the air inside your pillow to escape and keep you cool at night.
  • Loft: Cooling pillows tend to be at least medium-loft due to the type of filling they use. Thicker filling materials are more likely to have good air circulation to help keep you cool. Pillows with more support also prevent you from sinking too far in and trapping heat. Some pillows with shredded filling allow customers to remove the filling for customized loft.

Pillow Materials and Cooling Properties

To make a great cooling pillow, the manufacturer needs to ensure that the materials used have properties to keep you from overheating. There are plenty of different options, and the chart below outlines common choices and why they can be good for cooling pillows.

MaterialDescriptionCooling Properties
Memory FoamThis special polyfoam reacts to body heat to closely conform to a sleeper.Single piece memory foam pillows tend to sleep hot. Gel-infused memory foam absorbs heat to help temperature neutrality, and shredded memory foam promotes airflow.
DownSoft plumage found beneath outer feathers of ducks and geese.Designed to retain heat for birds, down feathers can trap body heat and be uncomfortable for some.
Down AlternativeMade from polyester, these puffs are made to feel as soft as natural down.The material used for synthetic down absorbs less heat, which makes for a cooler sleeping material.
BuckwheatThe hard casing found around buckwheat kernels.The shells allow for good airflow, especially when combined with a breathable cover.
LatexA durable material that's made from the sap of rubber trees.Latex can trap some heat, but natural latex is breathable, and pillows often use shredded latex for airflow.
PolyesterA mixture of synthetic fibers.Polyester is relatively temperature natural, although some microfiber pillows trap heat.
CottonA fabric made from spun cotton fibers.Organic cotton is very breathable, and long-staple cotton like Egyptian and Pima are great for cooling

Pros and Cons of Cooling Pillows

If you tend to sleep hot, then looking into a cooling pillow is a great idea. However, some other factors can affect whether or not a cooling pillow is right for you.

ProsCons
Cooling pillows retain minimal body heat to help keep you cool throughout the nightSpecial materials often cause these pillows to be expensive
Filling materials like foam and latex are quieter than other pillow fillingsCooling pillows are often heavy due to materials like latex and memory foam
Many cooling pillow filling materials are very supportive for pressure reliefMany of the materials used in these pillows have off-gassing periods
The higher than average loft of cooling pillows is perfect for side sleepersPeople with latex allergies often can't use latex pillows
Memory foam and latex are incredibly durable materials

Related Resources

For more of our in-depth buyer’s guides and recommendations, check out the links below.

Bryan Long