The 8 Best Cooling Pillows of 2022

The Purple Harmony Pillow will keep you cool and comfortable all night long

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Cooling pillows provide an easy way to help your head regulate your overall body temperature while you sleep. Constructed with breathable, moisture-wicking, and foam- or latex-based materials, these pillows work on two fronts (inside and outside) to keep your head cool, often utilizing unique airflow designs and gel layers to further prevent overheating.

Reviewed & Approved

We love the Purple Harmony Pillow because it’s as comfortable as it is cool. If you’re looking for a pillow specifically for side sleepers, we recommend giving the Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow a try.

But cooling pillows can’t just chill you out while otherwise leaving you hanging, say experts: They still need to be supportive of your head, neck, and shoulders, accommodating the unique way that you sleep. 

“The ideal [cooling] pillow should be medium-firm, made of memory foam or other material that conforms to your body shape and weight without flattening out during the night, and should be machine washable to allow adequate and frequent cleaning,” says Carleara Weiss, PhD, science advisor for Aeroflow Sleep. We researched dozens of cooling pillows and evaluated them for cover materials, stuffing materials, comfort level, sizes available, and price.

Here are the best cooling pillows on the market today.

Best Overall: Purple Harmony Pillow

4.8
Purple Harmony Pillow

Amazon

Pros
  • Ventilated grid construction

  • Keeps its shape

  • Moisture-wicking cover

Cons
  • Expensive

The Purple Harmony Pillow has a little bit of everything for everyone, and that’s why it nabs our best overall pick. Its neutral design makes it a good fit for most types of sleepers, providing firm but flexible support with a latex foam core that doesn’t flatten or lose its shape while you sleep.

On the cooling front, the pillow is encased with a gel layer and a ventilated grid, which work together to keep your body temp cool. The cover is moisture-wicking (so no waking up drenched in sweat), and the pillow comes in three heights: a low height for back and stomach sleepers, a medium height for combination sleepers with average frames, and a tall height for combination sleepers with large frames.

Stuffing Material: Latex, polymer | Cover Material: Nylon and spandex | Sizes Available: Low, medium, tall in standard and king

Best Budget: Nestl Coolest Heat and Moisture Reducing Memory Foam Pillow

Nestl Coolest Heat and Moisture Reducing Memory Foam Pillow

Amazon

Pros
  • Silk cooling on one side, soft rayon on other

  • Variety of sizes including body

  • Adjustable fill

Cons
  • Not fluffy—stiffer, molded feeling

If you desperately want a cooling pillow to improve your sleep comfort but blanch at the cost of many well-rated options, let us introduce you to the Nestl pillow. Stuffed with gel-based, shredded memory foam that promotes airflow and resists overheating, the pillow is also covered with a dual-sided case: one half made with a cooling, silk-textured fabric and the other with supremely soft bamboo rayon (so whichever side you choose, say hello to comfort).

As far as support, the shredded foam fill allows you to remove and add as much height as you want, adjusting the loft of the pillow to fit your sleeping position. Even though it comes in at a budget-friendly cost, the Nestl pillow doesn’t skimp on coolness or quality.

Stuffing Material: Shredded memory foam | Cover Material: Bamboo rayon, silk | Sizes Available: Queen, king, toddler, body

Best for Side Sleepers: Coop Home Goods Eden Memory Foam Pillow

Coop Home Goods Eden Memory Foam Pillow

Coop Home Goods

Pros
  • Adjustable loft

  • CertiPUR-US memory foam

  • Structured gusset

Cons
  • Filling across products is inconsistent

Side sleeping is probably the most common position, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to achieve comfortably—your neck, shoulders, and arms all have to be positioned correctly during side sleeping to prevent aches and pains.

“For ergonomics, side sleepers should look into additional spinal support, ensuring that the area between the ears and shoulder is aligned and stable,” says Weiss.

That’s why we love the Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow for side sleepers: Not only does the shredded fill give you the opportunity to find the exact loft for your body type, the pillow is made with a full gusset around the perimeter, which provides an extra level of structure and support for side sleepers needing to keep their neck and shoulders properly aligned. And as for cooling? The Eden has you covered with its memory foam, microfiber gel filling, and breathable polyester blend cover.

Stuffing Material: Memory foam, microfiber | Cover Material: Viscose rayon, polyester | Sizes Available: Queen, king

Best for Stomach Sleepers: BLISSBURY Stomach Sleeping Pillow

BLISSBURY Stomach Sleeping Pillow

Amazon

Pros
  • Ventilated holes for cooling

  • Thinner height for neck and back alignment

  • Includes portable travel bag

Cons
  • May be too firm

Side sleepers aren’t the only ones who need a little help in the ergonomics department—stomach sleepers have to make sure their upper body is aligned, too, says Weiss, and the construction of your cooling pillow will play a large part.

“Stomach sleepers should look for medium firmness to maintain a stable spine without putting too much pressure on the lower back or the neck, which would lead to pain the next day,” she explains. “Memory foam with multiple layers is often a good option.”

We recommend the Blissbury Stomach Sleeping Pillow for anyone worried about the ergonomics of this sleep style because it’s designed to be slimmer than the average pillow at just over 2.5 inches. The memory foam layer is constructed with holes throughout, which allow for plenty of ventilation, and the cover is made of super soft and breathable bamboo. Since the pillow itself is thin, it could also easily be added to another thin pillow layer for a boost of height customized to your preferences.

Stuffing Material: Memory foam | Cover Material: Bamboo polyester | Sizes Available: Standard, king

Best Memory Foam: Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-ProForm + Cooling ProHi Memory Foam Pillow

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-ProForm + Cooling ProHi Memory Foam Pillow

Amazon

Pros
  • Relieves pressure points

  • Medium feel

  • Inner foam surrounded by cooling gel layers

Cons
  • Expensive

If you’re looking for a classic memory foam pillow rather than a shredded fill or latex core option, look no further than the TEMPUR-ProForm + Cooling Pillow, which features not one but three layers designed to keep you cool and supported during the night.

In the center of the pillow is a thick memory foam layer that provides a good amount of loft and medium firmness for side sleepers; on both sides of that layer sit two layers of cooling gel, so no matter which side of this pillow you’re using, it’ll keep you cool. Tempur-Pedic’s memory foam is exceptionally good at keeping its form and molding itself to your unique contours, so if relieving pressure points while sleeping cool at night is your main concern, then this might be the pillow for you.

Stuffing Material: Memory foam | Cover Material: Unspecified | Sizes Available: Low and high in queen and king

Best Down Alternative: Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillows, Set of 2

Hotel Collection Gel Pillow

Beckham

Pros
  • Cooling microfiber fill

  • Machine washable

  • Set of two

Cons
  • Not firm enough for some users

  • Some users have reported mold issues

True down feathers are comfy for sure, but they are also meant to trap heat and keep you warm—not the best choice for someone looking for a cooler sleeping situation. If you want a pillow that splits the difference, give these down alternative pillows a try: Instead of heat-retaining feathers, they’re stuffed with a down alternative gel filling that keeps you cool (plus, they have a silky cotton casing that feels chilly to the touch).

On the comfort side, these pillows are just as fluffy and squishy as down—and just as resistant to lumpiness. They hold their shape well, and as a total bonus, the entire pillow is machine washable.

Stuffing Material: Down alternative fill | Cover Material: Unspecified | Sizes Available: Queen, king

Best Firm: Luxome LAYR Customizable Pillow

Luxome LAYR Customizable Pillow

Amazon

Pros
  • Mix and match inserts for custom firmness

  • Suitable for all sleepers

  • Airflow and gel foam for cooling

Cons
  • Hard to get right combination of inserts

Extra firm pillows are tougher to come by, and even if you can find one, there’s no guarantee it will be comfortable. That’s what we love about the LAYR Customizable Pillow by Luxome—you basically get to build your own pillow, choosing from a combination of layers made for different degrees of firmness. Mix and match layers of down alternative fill, shredded memory foam, and solid memory foam, all of which are designed to be cooling and breathable (and come with a bamboo cover for extra temperature regulation).

If you want an uber-firm pillow, we recommend starting with the two-inch solid memory foam insert and adding on from there; you can add an additional 1-inch insert or lighten things up a bit with a soft or firm layer on top.

Stuffing Material: Memory foam, down alternative fill | Cover Material: Bamboo, cotton | Sizes Available: Standard/queen, king

Best for Neck Pain: CushionCare Gel Cervical Neck Pillow

CushionCare Gel Cervical Neck Pillow

Amazon

Pros
  • Works for side and back sleepers

  • Neck and shoulder support

  • Ventilated foam and cooling gel pad

Cons
  • Not fluffy

  • Only one size

Finding the right pillow for your neck pain is very individual since the wrong pillow can add to or worsen your pain during daytime and nighttime.

“The best pillow for neck pain depends on the buyer [but] typically, the most important features to look at are loft, firmness, and shape for your preferred sleeping position,” says Logan Foley, sleep science coach and managing editor at SleepFoundation.org.

We like the CushionCare Cooling Gel Cervical Neck Pillow because its ergonomic design allows for neck support for both side and back sleepers, thanks to the contoured shape that hugs your neck and offers added support for your arms and shoulders. On the cooling front, the pillow is made from a ventilated memory foam insert and includes a removable gel cooling pad and a moisture-wicking polyester cover.

Stuffing Material: Memory foam | Cover Material: Polyester | Sizes Available: Standard

Final Verdict

For anyone who changes positions at night or who simply wants an all-around reliable cooling pillow for a variety of needs, we recommend the Purple Harmony Pillow. Its ventilated grid promotes airflow within the pillow while the moisture-wicking cover keeps things breathable on the outside; meanwhile, it’s appropriate for all types of sleepers and keeps its shape without flattening during use.

If you’re a stomach sleeper, it can be hard to find a cooling pillow that supports your sleep style, but we like the BLISSBURY Stomach Sleeping Pillow. It’s firm but thin, giving you just the right height and support, and is constructed with ventilated holes in the memory foam to maximize cooling.

How We Selected the Cooling Pillows

To find the best cooling pillows, we asked four sleep specialists, including sleep coaches and sleep medicine physicians, to tell us what to look for and avoid when choosing a pillow that can keep you comfortable, supported, and cool at night. They stressed the importance of taking a pillow’s firmness, construction, and intended sleep position into consideration, recommending that you find a pillow that has just the right height for how you sleep and a combination of temperature-regulating materials inside and out.

We scoured the internet for crowd-favorite cooling pillows with features like gel layers, breathable fabrics, adjustable loft filling, and supportive ergonomics. We also tried to find pillows across a wide variety of budgets because the right pillow can make or break your sleep—but shouldn’t have to make or break your bank account.

What to Look for in Cooling Pillows

Firmness

The good news is there is no “correct” amount of firmness for a pillow, so you’re free to choose one as soft and fluffy or as solid and supportive as you want. The bad news is that finding the right firmness level for you might take some trial and error. 

“You should consider multiple factors when deciding on a pillow’s firmness, including body and head position while sleeping, frequency of use, and any medical conditions [you have, like] arthritis or back pain,” says Ashtaad Dalal, MD, sleep medicine and family medicine practitioner in Virginia. “The general idea should be to find a pillow that helps keep your head, neck, and back aligned throughout the night.”

Some of this may even come down to your body type: Larger users (with heavier heads) may need a firmer pillow that can withstand their weight, while young adults or lightweight users may prefer something a little softer that offers some give. 

The bottom line? “The firmness level of your pillow is a highly subjective matter, but it’s an extremely important one,” says Dr. Dalal.

Sleep Style

For any type of pillow, it’s important to consider what type of sleeper you are (i.e., side, stomach, or back), and this holds true for cooling pillows. Even though they have the added feature of helping you regulate your body temperature, a cooling pillow still needs to be supportive of your head, neck, shoulders, and back; how well a pillow does this will largely depend on how you sleep. What works for a back sleeper won’t work as well for a side sleeper simply because of positioning.

“A back sleeper may prefer a different kind of pillow than a stomach sleeper, [who] may prefer a thinner pillow than a side sleeper—who may prefer a thicker pillow,” says Terry Cralle, RN, certified clinical sleep educator for the Better Sleep Council.

Because of this, you may want to choose a pillow with some adjustability in terms of height or the pillow’s “loft.” Many cooling pillows allow you to remove or add filling to achieve that just-right amount of fluff for your sleep style and ergonomic needs. Others offer multiple layers of memory foam you can remove or add to get that same adjustability. 

Material

When considering materials that promote cooling, you’ll have to take a look at what the pillow is made of and what materials it’s covered with. Both can contribute to the cooling effects of the pillow and assist with temperature regulation.

Inside the pillow, you should look for materials like latex, foam, buckwheat, and gel, says Foley. (As a bonus, she adds that these materials are often hypoallergenic.) Solid memory foam layers benefit from ventilation holes, while shredded foam or synthetic fill pillows naturally offer protection against the trapping of heat. On the outside of the pillow, you may want to look for covers made from bamboo cotton or polyester, which tend to have strong moisture-wicking properties.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do cooling pillows help you sleep better?

    What, exactly, does the temperature of your head have to do with sleeping well at night? Studies have shown that sleep is highly affected by temperature; sleeping in a room that’s too hot or too cold can make it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep. The same goes for sleeping on a pillow that keeps your head too warm or too cold.
    “Cooling the head can improve sleep quality [because] cooling pillows provide a cool or a temperature-neutral surface,” says Cralle. “They are made to draw heat away from the sleeper and increase airflow, [and] some cooling pillows can help wick away moisture and sweat.”
    The materials these pillows are constructed with go a long way towards giving you these cooling effects, Cralle adds, noting that while some are simply designed to be more breathable and well-ventilated than traditional pillows, preventing warm air from being trapped inside, others are made from “phase change materials” like graphite and gel that actually pull heat away from you while you sleep.

  • How long do cooling pillows last?

    Splurging on a luxury-priced cooling pillow may not be in your budget, but it might help to know that many cooling pillows actually outlive their non-cooling counterparts, so it can be worth the investment in the long run.
    “Generally, cooling pillows can last anywhere from two to four years,” says Dr. Dalal. “[You can] expect cooling pillows to last longer, or rather maintain their shape and firmness [longer] compared to standard pillows, as a result of them being made from more durable materials.”

  • How do you clean a cooling pillow?

    There’s no one answer here because it depends entirely on what your pillow is made from.

    “A variety of different materials are used for cooling pillows, including gel, memory foam, shredded memory foam, and down feathers,” says Dr. Dalal, “and the way to clean cooling pillows will vary because [of that].”

    Many cooling pillows will need to be spot cleaned, he adds, because their materials aren’t compatible with a machine wash. You may want to use a removable and washable pillow cover—in addition to your pillowcase—to further protect your pillow and limit the need for cleaning.

    Finally, make sure that you read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning since they will give you specific tips on how to clean your pillow based on the materials it’s made from.

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Sarah Bradley has been writing health content since 2017—everything from product roundups and illness FAQs to nutrition explainers and the dish on diet trends. She knows how important it is to receive trustworthy and expert-approved advice about over-the-counter products that manage everyday health conditions, from GI issues and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.

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2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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