Updated February 5, 2021The right pillow provides good head and neck support so your spine remains neutral and your muscles can fully relax and recover. However, if your pillow absorbs body heat throughout the night, it can cause your face and neck to become hot and sweaty, delaying or disrupting your sleep.Therefore, your pillow should be breathable, as well as soft and supportive, especially if you tend to be a hot sleeper or frequently experience night sweats. To help, we’ve outlined some of the best cooling pillows on the market. We also explain how to choose a pillow suited to your sleep position.Best Cooling PillowsBest Overall Cooling Pillow: Amerisleep Dual Comfort PillowBest Pillow for Universal Comfort: Amerisleep Flex PillowBest Memory Foam Pillow: Zoma PillowBest Budget Pillow: Vaya PillowBest Cooling Pillows of 2021PillowHighlightPriceAmerisleep Dual ComfortPlant-based memory foam offers contouring without heat retention.$130-$150Amerisleep FlexShredded foam filling for maximum airflow$75Zoma PillowStretch knit cover wicks away heat and moisture$75Vaya PillowMicrofiber cover is ventilated for improved breathability$60Bear PillowMesh cover forces warm air out through the sides of the pillow$125Coop Home Goods Original PillowBamboo cover is absorbent and soothing to the touch$80Purple® Harmony PillowPurple® comfort grid conforms closely and prevents heat retention.$1591. Amerisleep Dual Comfort PillowAmerisleep’s Dual Comfort Pillow is our favorite cooling pillow because it features their unique plant-based foam, Bio-Pur®. This foam is plant-based rather than petroleum-based, making it non-toxic, eco-friendly, and more breathable than traditional memory foam varieties. Amerisleep also includes airflow channels on the foam’s surface and throughout the cover to prevent heat retention and overheating.In addition to its cooling features, the Dual Comfort Pillow has two different firmness levels—a soft and firm side. The firm side offers gentle support to keep the head from sagging below the shoulders when side sleeping. The pillow’s soft side is ideal for back sleepers because it immediately molds to your unique shape to keep the neck straight and the spine neutral.The Dual Comfort Pillow is available in two different lofts, a 5-inch low-loft option that works well for back sleepers and a 6-inch mid-loft option for side sleepers. This pillow is also available in queen and king sizes and comes with a 10-year warranty.2. Amerisleep Flex PillowAmerisleep’s Flex Pillow has a universal comfort level—a medium firmness with a 6-inch loft that works well for most sleep positions. The shredded MicroFlex cushions are conforming and flexible, allowing you to customize the pillow’s shape to your exact needs.Whether you sleep on your back or side, the Flex Pillow will mold to your head and neck to keep your spine in a safe, neutral position. Flex Pillow’s responsiveness also ensures that you are supported even as you change positions throughout the night.Since Amerisleep’s MicroFlex cushions are shredded, body heat passes through this material quickly, keeping the pillow’s surface from becoming hot and uncomfortable. The Flex Pillow’s soft cover has ventilation channels for better airflow. This cover is removable and washable, helping you keep it clean and germ-free.Like all of Amerisleep’s pillows, the Flex Pillow comes with a 10-year warranty, covering structural defects, such as sagging. This pillow ships directly to your home with free shipping and is available in two sizes—king and queen.3. Zoma PillowThe Zoma Pillow features a combination of their proprietary MicroCushions™ and a polyester fiber filling, making it flexible, lightweight, and airy. Zoma’s MicroCushions™ respond immediately to pressure, ensuring proper spinal alignment no matter how you sleep.Zoma’s foam pieces are certified by CertiPUR-US®, guaranteeing it is free of harmful chemicals and safe for you and your family. The stretch knit cover is a blend of polyester and Spandex for maximum flexibility and comfort. This soothing pillow cover keeps your face and neck cool all night long.The Zoma Pillow comes in a queen and king size, both with a 6-inch loft that works well for side, back, and combination sleepers. It also comes with a 10-year warranty covering sags and indents.4. Vaya PillowThe Vaya Pillow is one of the most affordable cooling pillows on our list. The queen size Vaya Pillow is $60, while the king size is $85. Although it is available at a budget-friendly price, the Vaya Pillow features high-quality material that will keep you supported and sleeping comfortably for several years.The Vaya Pillow is made with a soft, conforming foam to cushion the head and neck. Vaya’s foam has a slight bounce to keep the pillow from losing its shape or going flat in the middle of the night. This responsiveness ensures the head doesn’t fall below the shoulders, so the back and neck muscles can fully relax during sleep.The Vaya Pillow’s airy cover is made with a plush microfiber material to improve air circulation and reduce overheating. With a 10-year warranty, Vaya will repair or replace the pillow if you notice any structural defects.5. Bear PillowBear’s cooling pillow features their Loft-X foam, a moldable foam with a medium firmness that works well for most sleepers. Loft-X is supportive, breathable, and resistant to dust mites, mold, mildew, and other allergens.The cover of the Bear Pillow has mesh panels on each side to increase airflow and prevent heat-trapping. The rest of the cover features Bear’s proprietary Double Ice Fabric, a layered fabric designed to wick moisture and heat away from the face and neck.The Bear Pillow comes in two sizes—standard and king. It comes with a 2-year limited warranty and a 100-night sleep trial.6. Purple Harmony PillowLike Purple’s mattresses, their Harmony Pillow features the Purple Grid Hex technology. This Hyper-Elastic Polymer® material immediately molds to your head and neck with the perfect level of comfort and support. This grid also features over 1500 open-air channels to ensure warm air passes through the pillow quickly.Between the two layers of the Grid is a Talalay latex layer to keep the head and neck cradled and protected from pressure points. This buoyancy is perfect for both back and side sleepers because it promotes a safe, neutral spine, so you wake up with less pain and stiffness.The cover of the Harmony Pillow features a mesh Nylon and Spandex fabric for added breathability and comfort. Although this pillow is conforming, this airy cover keeps it cool and inviting throughout the night.Purple’s Harmony Pillow is available in two sizes—standard size with a 6.5-inch loft and tall with a 7.5-inch loft. Purple also includes a 1-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial with each pillow purchase.7. Coop Home Goods Eden PillowThe Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow has a shredded memory foam and microfiber filling. Their memory foam is infused with cooling gel to absorb heat and moisture, so you stay cool and dry as you sleep.This pillow also has an adjustable loft—sleepers can add or remove the foam pillow to change the pillow’s height. Coop Home Goods includes a half-pound bag of filling with each mattress, so you never have to worry about requesting more foam.The cover of the Eden Pillow features their signature Lulltra™ fabric. This material is made from sustainable bamboo and has a soft, soothing finish and a natural cooling effect. The gusset around the pillow’s perimeter forces warm air out through the sides, ensuring the pillow’s surface stays cozy yet cool. This cover is removable and machine washable for easy cleaning.The Eden Pillow comes with a 10-year warranty and is available in three sizes—standard, queen, and king.What is a Cooling Pillow?Cooling pillows are made with materials that do not retain heat, so they stay cooler than traditional pillows. These materials often have moisture-wicking abilities, drawing warm air away from the surface of the pillow to prevent uncomfortable night sweats. Additional features, such as airflow channels, also help body heat quickly pass through a cooling pillow without causing it to overheat.Why Do You Need a Cooling Pillow?We each have a natural circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle that determines the time of day we feel alert versus sleepy. Light exposure throughout the day helps trigger hormonal changes that affect this cycle.For example, in the morning, when we are exposed to light, cortisol and adrenaline production keep us awake and active. However, in the evening, when we are exposed to less sunlight, melatonin production causes us to become sleepy and ready for bed.This cycle is also linked to your core body temperature. As light exposure decreases in the evening, your core temperature gradually decreases, helping you prepare for sleep. If your sleep space is too warm, it can disrupt this natural process, making it difficult for you to fall asleep or cause you to wake up during the night.A cooling pillow can help keep your face and neck at a comfortable temperature, so your hormones remain balanced, and your sleep schedule stays consistent.How to Select the Best Cooling PillowTo help you select the right cooling pillow, we outline the most important pillow features below.MaterialsAny pillow can be labeled as a “cooling pillow” but only those with breathable materials will keep you cool and cozy throughout the night.Fill MaterialsMemory Foam: Memory foam pillows are highly responsive and promote proper alignment. However, traditional memory foam pillows tend to trap heat, so look for pillows with cooling features, such as plant-based memory foams, gel memory foam, and foams with copper infusions.Latex Foam: Latex foam contours to the body for instant pressure relief. This foam also has a slight bounce that reduces sagging and spinal misalignment. While latex foam may retain heat if it contains synthetic additives, most have an open-cell structure to improve airflow.Gel and Copper Infusions: As we mentioned above, traditional memory foam tends to retain heat. To combat this issue, many companies infuse their foam with cooling gel microbeads or copper. Both of these infusions help to dissipate body heat quickly and prevent discomfort.Down Alternative: Down alternative pillows are filled with a blend of polyester fabrics. Among the various types of down alternative pillow fillings, microfiber is the most breathable and conforming.Buckwheat: Buckwheat pillows are filled with buckwheat hulls, the outer shell of the grain. Shredded buckwheat hulls are flexible, conforming, and breathable. However, buckwheat pillows often have a slight odor and make a rustling noise as you change positions.Cover MaterialsCotton: Cotton is a soft, breathable, absorbent, and durable material, making it a popular choice for pillow coverings. However, not all cotton types are high-quality. Short-staple cotton tends to break down quickly, while long-staple varieties, such as Pima cotton and Egyptian cotton, are softer and more durable.Bamboo: Like cotton, bamboo has natural moisture-wicking properties, making it absorbent and breathable. Bamboo is also a highly sustainable crop, so these pillow covers are also eco-friendly and non-toxic.Phase-Change Materials: Many cooling pillows include phase-change materials that draw in and release heat and moisture for better temperature control.Sleep PositionYour sleep position can help determine the right pillow firmness and loft (height) for you. The following are the most common sleep positions and the best pillow firmness for each.Side Sleepers: Pillows for side sleepers should have a medium firmness and a mid-loft, around 6-inches.Back Sleepers: The best pillows for back sleepers are medium to firm, with a low-loft, between 5 and 6 inches.Combination Sleepers: Pillows for combination sleepers should have a medium firmness and mid-loft, around 6 inches.Stomach Sleepers: To maintain the natural curve of the spine, pillows for stomach sleepers should have a low-loft, about 5 inches.Frequently Asked QuestionsHow long do cooling pillows last?Most pillows last between 1 and 2 years; this includes pillows with cooling features. Once you notice that the pillow is going flat quickly or develops indentations, it is likely time to replace it. Those made with high-quality materials, such as memory foam and latex foam, may last longer than two years.Are cooling gel pillows safe?Yes, pillow foams infused with cooling gel are safe and non-toxic. While some gel memory foam pillows may have a slight order at first, this should dissipate after 2 to 3 days. If you are sensitive to smells or have allergies, look for gel memory foam pillows with a CertiPUR-US® certification. This third party certification guarantees the pillow is free of harmful additives and has minimal VOC off-gassing (the “new” pillow smell).Can you wash a cooling pillow?Whether or not you can wash your pillow will depend on its materials. Many cooling pillows have removable and washable covers, making them easy to clean. Most foam and down alternative pillows can also be machine washed. However, it is best to read the care instructions first.Should I put a pillowcase on my cooling pillow?Like standard pillows, cooling pillows should be protected by a pillowcase. While most cooling pillows have a removable cover, you should still cover them with a pillowcase. Using a pillowcase helps secure the lifespan of the pillow and prevents the development of odor-causing bacteria.Are memory foam pillows hot?Traditional memory foam pillows tend to retain heat and moisture. However, many brands have developed new manufacturing methods to make memory foam more breathable. For example, plant-based memory foam has fewer synthetic oils to improve heat retention. Gel memory foam also pulls warm air away from the surface of the pillow, allowing it to remain cool to the touch.ConclusionIf you are a hot sleeper or frequently experience night sweats, a cooling pillow may be just what you need for a better night’s sleep. As you shop, be sure to look at the materials and construction of the pillow. The best pillows are made with breathable fabrics and airflow channels will help regulate your body temperature so you can get deeper, more restful sleep.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.