By now, most of us are aware of the importance of quality sleep. We spend a third of our lives sleeping, yada, yada, yada. We’re not going into the science of it all right now. You’ve probably already read more about it than we can tell you in this short intro. The point is, sleep is important and we all need all the help we can get to make sure that we get quality sleep.
So, one of the best ways to do that is to prevent your body from “overheating.” Because feeling hot and bothered (and not in the nice way) while you’re sleeping isn’t conducive for a happy and productive you. Which brings us to this – chillows. Chillows, or cooling pillows, are pillows that are specifically designed to, you guessed it, stay cool at all times.
Now, chillows come in a variety of materials, shapes, and designs which means choosing one isn’t going to be an easy task. That’s why we took it upon ourselves to sleep our way through some of the most popular cooling pillows in the market today. And we’ve found 10 that we feel are simply the best in the business.
Top 10 Cooling Pillows Reviewed in 2018
- Top 10 Cooling Pillows Reviewed in 2018
- 1. Coop Home Goods Shredded Certipur Memory Foam Pillow
- 2. Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Memory Foam Pillow
- 3. Iso-Cool Memory Foam Pillow
- 4. Sleep Innovations Cool Contour Memory Foam Pillow
- 5. Xtreme Comforts Slim Hypoallergenic Memory Foam Pillow
- 6. Classic Brands Cool Gel and Memory Foam Pillow
- 7. Penguin Cooling Pillow
- 8. Restwel Bamboo Pillow Memory Foam
- 9. Sleep Innovations Reversible Gel Memory Foam Pillow
- 10. Classic Brands Cool Sleep Memory Foam Pillow
- How to Choose the Best Cooling Pillow
1. Coop Home Goods Shredded Certipur Memory Foam PillowCooling Pillow For Night Sweats
This chillow from Coop Home Goods is a much beloved pillow on Amazon and for good reason. It has an outer cover made up of 60% polyester and 40% bamboo specifically designed to keep your head cool while you sleep. There’s an inner case that holds the shredded visco elastic memory foam (Certipur-US Certified Foam) which ensures greater airflow compared to a solid piece. And the fact that it’s shredded allows you to customize how “high” your pillow is. What makes this cooling pillow even better in our opinion is that it’s hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant.
- 5-year warranty
- customizable support
- not for people who don’t like memory foam support and feel
- gives off a chemical smell during the first few days
- some users have complained that the pillow was too firm
2. Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Memory Foam PillowCooling Pillow For Side Sleeper
Like Coop Home Goods’ pillow, Snuggle-Pedic’s chillow is also filled with shredded memory foam with a cover that contains polyester (56.4%), bamboo (43%), and a bit of lycra (0.6%). The pillow is also hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant. Despite its similarities, there are differences as well.
The foam is a mixture of eco-Friendly Biogreen® & Certipur-US Certified Foam. The warranty for this pillow is longer (20 years!) and the sleep trial is for 90 days. The company emails you instructions on how to fluff up your pillow before your it even gets to you. And they offer to customize your pillow for free should the current size/fluffiness be too much or too little for you.
- 20-year warranty with a 90-night sleep trial
- free personal customization
- excellent customer service
- slight off-gassing smell during the first few days
- Requires fluffing from time to time to retain the shape
3. Iso-Cool Memory Foam PillowCooling Pillow For Menopause
Iso-Cool’s Memory Foam pillow looks just like your regular, everyday pillow. But beneath it’s normal appearance is one of the best cooling technologies you’ll ever find. It features a 100% cotton cover with a 300 thread count that includes the Outlast® Adaptive Comfort® material which was designed to regulate body temperature.
It has a high concentration of microscopic Phase Change Material (PCM) beads that will release heat if you feel cold and absorb heat if you feel hot, ensuring that your body temperature remains stable all throughout the night. Whether you’re a stomach sleeper or a side sleeper, you’ll be happy to know that this pillow comes in different shapes and sizes to accommodate your specific needs.
- Outlast® Adaptive Comfort® material with PCM beads
- comes in various shapes and sizes
- Responsive; not as firm as most memory foam pillows
- foam is not machine-washable
- not customizable
- May need to be replaced after a year or so
4. Sleep Innovations Cool Contour Memory Foam Pillow
Side and back sleepers will definitely love this chillow from Sleep Innovations. The gentle contour of the open cell memory foam layer provides enhanced support to your neck, shoulders, and head while maintaining proper spinal alignment. The pillow features a high loft edge and a low loft edge to ensure that the sleeper feels comfortable lying on their back or on their side (provided you choose the right height).
The cover is made out of 75% cotton and 25% polyester, and is machine-washable. While this pillow doesn’t use any gel cooling technology or Outlast® technology, it does the job of keeping your head cool due to the open cell filling. The firmness level of this pillow would be around medium-firm.
- no off-gassing smell
- high and low loft areas provide versatility
- takes awhile to get used to
- some users have reported not experiencing the “cooling” effect
- some users feel it is too firm, not medium-firm
5. Xtreme Comforts Slim Hypoallergenic Memory Foam PillowCooling Pillow For Stomach Sleeper
Xtreme Comforts definitely live up to its name. It is filled with shredded CertiPUR-US Certified Foam with a micro-vented kool-flow technology bamboo cover. The shredded memory foam allows you to shape your pillow according to your preference and sleeping style. And the cover has enhanced breathability ensuring that your pillow stays cool all throughout the night. This chillow is hypoallergenic, dust-mite resistant, and completely machine-washable.
- Slimness is perfect for stomach sleepers
- effective cooling
- entire pillow is machine-washable
- May get lumpy over time
- smaller than the standard sized pillow
- chemical smell that takes awhile to go away
6. Classic Brands Cool Gel and Memory Foam PillowCooling Gel Pillow
It might look weird and seem an uncomfortable choice but Classic Brands’ chillow definitely does wonder for a lot of people’s sleep. It is made up of two main parts: self-ventilating open cell memory foam and the cool gel layer that disperses your body heat and provides a cooler sleeping surface. The entire pillow has a medium-plush feel and comes with a hypoalllergenic mesh knit cover (100% polyester) that’s removable and machine-washable. What makes it stand out is the fact that the pillow is reversible – you can use the side with the gel layer on warm nights and the memory foam layer on cool nights. Either side, you still get the comfort and support you need for a good night’s sleep.
- retains shape
- effective cooling
- takes time to break in the pillow (starts out firm)
- slight chemical smell (goes away after a few days)
- very heavy pillow
7. Penguin Cooling PillowCooling Pillow Mat
If you’ve already found your One True Pillow but your hot head is making it a bit difficult to enjoy a full night’s sleep, then you might be interested in the Penguin Mat. This “cooling mat” is 12.2 x 22 inches in size and can be placed on top of your favorite pillow. The mat comes with a cotton-blend cover and contains an innovative macro-molecule cooling gel. It’s soft, folds easily for travel, and can even be placed in the refrigerator for extra cooling!
- easily folds for travel and storage
- can be chilled in the refrigerator
- soft cover allows you to rest directly on the mat
- the cooling effect does not last the entire night
- not comfortable to sleep on for some users
- mat slides around a bit when you move your head
8. Restwel Bamboo Pillow Memory Foam
Much like many of our top picks, Restwel’s pillow contains shredded memory foam which provides sleepers with the benefits of using memory foam while also enabling them to customize the thickness/fluffiness of the pillow. The cover, as the name implies, is made of bamboo polyester fabric which increases the airflow of the pillow. It is also hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant. What makes it stand out is the comfort and support it gives to the sleepers who buy them.
- You can mold it according to your needs
- Hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant
- small size
- A slight odor after unpacking that fades after a few days
- Takes awhile to dry after washing
9. Sleep Innovations Reversible Gel Memory Foam Pillow
This reversible pillow from Sleep Innovations is slightly similar to the one offered by Classic Brands (in our #6 spot). It has Sure Temp memory foam on one side and a gel infused memory foam on the other side. While the entire pillow provides support and comfort, one side is designed specifically to provide a cooling effect while the user sleeps. The other side was designed to provide “cozy comfort.” Based on testing and user reviews, Sleep Innovation’s pillow does provide comfort and support (for the most part) but the cooling effect leaves a lot to be desired. On a positive note, it does not heat up like regular pillows.
- very comfortable for side sleepers
- very affordable
- American-made foam
- cooling effect does not last
- small standard size
- very slight off-gassing smell that fades
10. Classic Brands Cool Sleep Memory Foam Pillow
Classic Brand’s Cool Sleep pillow is in a class of its own. It’s made up of ventilated gel-infused memory foam that not only contours itself around your head and neck to provide perfect support, it also responds to temperature – dispersing your body heat to create a cooler sleeping surface. The open-cell construction of the foam has enhanced air flow compared to conventional memory foam. As an added bonus, the pillow comes with a Cool-pass performance knit cover that regulates temperature and wicks away moisture, ensuring you have a good night’s sleep.
- cool-pass fiber wicks away moisture
- gusseted sides provide the right kind of support and comfort for side and back sleepers
- self-ventilating memory foam
- does not fit well inside standard pillow cases
- strong off-gassing smell that takes awhile to fade
- heavy and dense; may be too firm for some sleepers
How to Choose the Best Cooling Pillow
We’ve all heard about the importance of quality sleep in our lives. It’s definitely not something that we’d debate about… the best pillow, on the other hand, is really a matter of preference. There is no one-pillow-fits-all (unfortunately). Much like the Cinderella’s prince, we have to keep trying out various pillows (in his case, feet) until we find the perfect fit – our One True Pillow. The search is even more difficult if we include “cooling effect” as one of the requisite features. But never fear, we’re all on the same quest. The tips/steps in our guide should help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
What is your preferred firmness level?
Much like when you choose your bed, the firmness rating of your pillow is a subjective thing. What’s too firm for one person could be completely plush for another. That aside, you should still look into how well the pillow will provide support to your head, neck, and shoulders. Stomach sleepers, for example, need thin, soft pillows to keep their spine in proper alignment such as the Xtreme Comforts Slim Hypoallergenic Shredded Memory Foam Queen Bamboo Pillow. The same kind of pillow would give a side sleeper neck and shoulder pain.
To get adequate support for the neck and shoulder, a side sleeper would benefit more with an extra firm pillow such as the Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow. A back sleeper, on the other hand, may fare better with something along the lines of medium-firm. Of course, if you like to switch between sleeping positions, you may want to get a pillow that is moldable/customizable depending on your preferred sleeping position. One good option for you would be the Coop Home Goods Shredded Hypoallergenic Certipur Memory Foam Pillow.
What material are you looking for?
If you looked over our top 10 picks, then you should be aware by now that the preferred material in cooling pillows is memory foam. However, manufacturers may differ in how the memory foam is designed or utilized. For example, our #1 pick Coop Home Goods Shredded Hypoallergenic Certipur Memory Foam Pillow makes use of shredded visco elastic memory foam to imitate a down pillow. The shredded pieces also enhances the airflow of the pillow and makes it more moldable than one solid piece.
Another good example is open-cell memory foam such as the one used in Sleep Innovations Cool Contour Memory Foam Pillow with Soft Microfiber Cover. This design makes the pillow breathable while providing the comfort and support you get from traditional memory foam.
Another type of memory foam utilized by manufacturers is gel-infused memory foam like the one used in Classic Brands Cool Sleep Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Gusseted Pillow. The cooling gel within the memory foam responds to the temperature of your body, dispersing it so you end up feeling cooler. In some cases, the cooling gel is placed on one side while the other side of the pillow is made up of traditional memory foam. One example is Sleep Innovations Reversible Gel Memory Foam and Memory Foam Pillow. This way, you have a choice between cozy and cool, depending on the time of year.
What kind of breathable fabric do you prefer?
Most, if not all, cooling pillows also employ breathable fabric to increase airflow even more. One really good material is bamboo. Not only is it eco-friendly, bamboo does not retain heat and is able to wick away moisture which helps you keep cool throughout the night. Some pillows such as the Iso-Cool Memory Foam Pillow use 100% cotton in its cover with the addition of Outlast® technology which enables the fabric to “absorb, store, and release excess heat.”
Do you want your pillow to be machine-washable or hand washed?
Not washing your pillow is NOT an option. So, do you prefer to toss the entire pillow in the washing machine or just the cover? Some pillows such as the Coop Home Goods Shredded Hypoallergenic Certipur Memory Foam Pillow is completely machine-washable. Others like the Classic Brands Reversible Cool Gel and Memory Foam Pillow need to be hand washed.
Keep in mind that no matter what anyone says, the choice is ultimately up to you. Your sleeping position, comfort preferences, and other pillow requirements are unique. What’s the best cooling pillow for one person may be the worst ever for you. So, do your research, keep trying, and eventually you’ll find the perfect pillow.