Best Cooling Pillows of 2022: A Cool Head at Night for Better Performance by Day

Woman using a cooling pillow

Improving your sleep is one of the best ways to improve your athletic performance. And one of the best ways to ensure a good night's sleep is making sure you're comfortable throughout the night. Finding the best mattress for you can help a lot, but research shows that to sleep comfortably you need to keep your head cool at night. And one of the best ways to do that is with a cooling pillow.

Cooling pillows are special pillows that incorporate one or more types of cooling technology. Depending on the material, these features work by wicking away moisture, increasing airflow, or dispersing body heat. The best cooling pillows are ones that are also comfortable and supportive enough to keep your head, neck, and spine in alignment.

We teamed up with the Mattress Advisor expert review team to see how some of the best cooling pillows stacked up in the lab. In this review, we reveal our favorite cooling pillows for a variety of sleep positions and preferences.

Why Trust Us?

ACTIVE.com's editorial team relies on the knowledge and experience of fitness and wellness experts including competitive athletes, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. This helps us ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. Collectively, the team has spent countless hours researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools in order to create the most accurate, authentic content for our readers. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, which is why we only feature products that are highly rated.

The Best Cooling Pillows - Our Top Picks

By clicking on the product links in this article, we may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Sponsorships and affiliate commissions help support our research so we can help you find the best products. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Best Overall - Bear Pillow

Bear Pillow

SPECS

  • Size: Standard/queen, king
  • Weight: Standard/queen - 5 lbs., king - 7 lbs.
  • Material: Memory foam
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Loft: Standard/queen - 5.5", king - 5"

Check Price

The Bear Pillow is the top pick from the Mattress Advisor expert review team, and for good reason. The interior is filled with Bear's proprietary foam that offers the support of memory foam with the buoyant resilience of latex. It's also resistant to dust mites, bacteria, and other allergens. We like the mesh accents on opposing corners of the pillow that promote air flow to help keep the pillow cool on the inside. With a modest 5- to 5.5-inch loft, this pillow works for all sleeping positions.

What We Like

  • Not too firm or soft, making it comfortable for all sleeping positions
  • Cool to the touch
  • Hypoallergenic and antimicrobial
  • 30-day sleep trial

What We Don't Like

  • Higher price point
  • Loft may be too low for larger-framed side sleepers

BUY: Bear Pillow

Best Budget Cooling Pillow - SUPA MODERN Cooling Bed Pillows

SUPA MODERN Cooling Bed Pillows

SPECS

  • Size: Standard, queen, king
  • Weight: 7.92 lbs.
  • Material: Shredded gel-infused memory foam
  • Firmness: Adjustable
  • Loft: Adjustable

Check Price

Pillows can be a pretty expensive investment, ringing in at $100 or more per pillow. But you don't have to spend a lot of money to get one of the best cooling pillows. The price of a SUPA MODERN Cooling Bed Pillow is a bargain at under $35 for a queen-size pillow. But get a package of two and you'll spend even less per pillow. For that price, you're not skimping on quality. SUPRA MODERN cooling pillows are filled with shredded cooling gel-infused memory foam and covered in a naturally wicking, washable and removable bamboo fabric. Another great feature: the pillows are adjustable. Just add or remove pieces of foam to make it as firm or soft as you want.

What We Like

  • Adjustable firmness and loft by adding or removing foam pieces
  • Very affordable with extra discounts if bought in pairs
  • Shredded memory foam pillows can be easily molded into higher or lower loft

What We Don't Like

  • At nearly 8 lbs., this is a heavy pillow
  • Slight "bamboo odor" possible upon unboxing

BUY: SUPA MODERN Cooling Bed Pillows

Best Cooling Pillow for Side Sleepers - Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow

Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow

SPECS

  • Size: Queen
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs.
  • Material: Foam
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Loft: 6"

Check Price

Weighing in at barely 3 pounds with a hefty 6-inch loft, the Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow looks like a cloud of softness. But it provides ample support for side sleepers to sleep comfortably throughout the night without straining their neck or shoulders. The pillows are filled with an airy foam composed mostly of polyurethane along with memory foam and feathers. It's covered in a cool-to-the-touch fabric designed to absorb excess heat and reduce surface temperature to keep you cool through the night.

What We Like

  • Lightweight pillow can easily travel
  • Boxy style and high loft help keep the spine aligned and relieve pressure at shoulders
  • Free shipping

What We Don't Like

  • 6" loft is not a good option for back or stomach sleepers
  • Only comes in a queen size, not available in king

BUY: Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow

Best Memory Foam Cooling Pillow - Saatva Memory Foam Pillow

Saatva Memory Foam Pillow

SPECS

  • Size: Queen, king
  • Weight: Queen - 5 lbs., king - 6.2 lbs.
  • Material: Memory foam, shredded memory foam core
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Loft: 6.5"

Check Price

Memory foam is known for the way it cradles the body and provides comfort and support. However, memory foam can sleep hot. The Saatva Memory Foam Pillow is made with a layer of foam that's infused with graphite to draw heat away from the body to help keep you cool. That layer surrounds a supportive core of shredded memory foam and latex provides increased airflow and durability.

What We Like

  • Made with natural materials like latex and organic cotton
  • Memory foams are CertiPUR-US certified
  • 45-day sleep trial

What We Don't Like

  • Steep price tag
  • 6.5" loft may be uncomfortable for back and stomach sleepers

BUY: Saatva Memory Foam Pillow

Best Cooling Pillow for Night Sweats - TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow

TEMPUR-Cloud® Breeze Dual Cooling™ Pillow

SPECS

  • Size: Queen, king
  • Weight: N/A
  • Material: Gel-infused foam
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Loft: 6.4"

Check Price

It's normal for people to experience variations in body temperature while they sleep. That causes some people to sweat. If you're prone to night sweats, you know it's not pleasant. The TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow is made with a supportive foam core that's covered on both sides with a cooling gel. The entire pillow is wrapped in a removable and washable 100-percent cotton zip-off cover for all-night comfort.

What We Like

  • 2 cooling technologies keep pillow cool through the night
  • 5-year warranty to repair or replace
  • Removable, washable cover

What We Don't Like

  • No sleep trial offered
  • Expensive

BUY: TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling

Best Gel Cooling Pillow - Nestl Cooling Pillow

Nestl Cooling Pillow

SPECS

  • Size: Queen, king
  • Weight: Queen - 3.1 lbs., king - 4 lbs.
  • Material: Shredded, gel-infused memory foam
  • Firmness: Adjustable
  • Loft: Adjustable

Check Price

The ultra-soft Nestl Cooling Pillow is made with stuffed shredded memory foam infused with cooling gel and covered with a removable and washable bamboo and "silky ice" material cover. The firmness is also adjustable by adding or removing pieces of foam through a hidden zipper. Some customers say the pillow is literally cool to the touch. One nice thing about the Nestl Cooling Pillow is that the pillows are CertiPUR-US, OEKO-TEX Standard 100, and OEKO-TEX Made in Green certified.

What We Like

  • Adjustable firmness and loft by adding or removing foam pieces
  • Environmentally-friendly with CertiPUR-US certified foam and OEKO-TEX certified materials
  • Pillows are sold in pairs making them very affordable

What We Don't Like

  • Shredded foam design may not provide enough support
  • Some users say the pillow does not stay cool through the night

BUY: Nestl Cooling Pillow

Best Cooling Body Pillow - Nestl Cooling Body Pillow

Nestl Cooling Body Pillow

SPECS

  • Size: 20" x 54"
  • Weight: 4 lbs.
  • Material: Shredded, gel-infused memory foam
  • Firmness: Adjustable
  • Loft: Adjustable

Check Price

The Nestl Cooling Body Pillow carries the same features and benefits as the Nestl Cooling Pillow, but as a body pillow. It's made with cooling gel-infused memory foam shreds and a bamboo rayon and "silky ice" material cover. And the pillow's firmness can be adjusted to your liking by adding or removing pieces of foam. But this pillow is much longer than a queen or king pillow. Body pillows are ideal if you're pregnant, healing from surgery, suffering from back problems, or just need something squishy to hug.

What We Like

  • Adjustable firmness and loft by adding or removing foam pieces
  • OKEO-TEX certified foam
  • Removeable, washable cover

What We Don't Like

  • Shredded foam design may not provide enough support
  • Some users say the pillow is not as cool as promised

BUY: Nestl Cooling Body Pillow

Best Cooling Pillow for Stomach Sleepers - TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro Pillow (Lo Profile)

TEMPUR-Cloud® Cooling Pro Pillow

SPECS

  • Size: Queen, king
  • Weight: N/A
  • Material: Gel foam
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Loft: 5" (Hi - 6.6")

Check Price

Sleeping on your stomach forces you to sleep with your head turned to the side, which compromises the neck and jaw. Stomach sleeping on a pillow with a higher loft can bend your neck in an awkward position and can cause strains. That's why stomach sleepers need a pillow with a low loft. The Mattress Advisor team found the "Lo" profile TEMPUR-Cloud Pro Pillow to be an ideal option for stomach sleepers. The pillow is made with proprietary foam that offers a medium level of support. That foam piece is topped with a layer of gel on both sides to keep you cool.

What We Like

  • Cooling gel foam on both sides of pillow
  • Low profile ideal for stomach sleepers
  • "Hi" profile 6.6" option available for side sleepers

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Not returnable

BUY: TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro Pillow

Best Firm Cooling Pillow - TEMPUR-Ergo Cooling Neck Pillow

TEMPUR-Ergo® Cooling Neck Pillow

SPECS

  • Size: 20" x 12.6"
  • Weight: N/A
  • Material: Foam
  • Firmness: Firm
  • Loft: 4"

Check Price

The TEMPUR-Ergo Cooling Neck Pillow is made with a solid piece of foam molded to provide natural support to the neck and head specifically for back and side sleepers. This compact pillow has a lower profile on the bottom at the neck and a higher profile on the top with a valley in the middle to hold the head in place. Like other TEMPUR cooling pillows, the TEMPUR-Ergo Cooling Neck Pillow is made with a piece of TEMPUR foam at the core topped with a layer of cooling gel and wrapped in a stretchy, removable and washable cover.

What We Like

  • Ergonomic design helps keep neck aligned
  • Free shipping

What We Don't Like

  • No sleep trial offered
  • Molded ergonomic design may not be comfortable for some sleepers

BUY: TEMPUR-Ergo Cooling Neck Pillow

Most Comfortable Cooling Pillow - Z Carbon Cool LT Pillow

Z Carbon Cool LT Pillow

SPECS

  • Size: Queen, king
  • Weight: 3.6 lbs.
  • Material: Memory foam
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Loft: 6"

Check Price

A lot of cooling technology comes into play with the Z Carbon Cool LT Pillow. At first glance, you can see the holes in the foam that provide ventilation for increased air flow. This phase change material helps provide continuous temperature regulation through the night. It's also infused with graphite molecules designed to naturally pull heat from the head, face, and neck. The entire pillow is covered in a breathable Tencel cover.

What We Like

  • Various cooling technologies keep pillow cool longer than most
  • 101 days to return pillow if you buy through the company website
  • Next-day delivery available if ordered through Amazon

What We Don't Like

  • Off-gassing odor upon unboxing
  • Solid form construction can be uncomfortable for combination sleepers

BUY: Z Carbon Cool LT Pillow

What to Look for in a Cooling Pillow

Size

Most pillows for adults come in three sizes: standard, queen, or king.

  • Standard pillows measure about 20 by 26 inches and are most commonly used with twin or double beds.
  • Queen-sized pillows are a bit longer than a standard pillow—about 20 by 30 inches. Two queen-sized pillows fit the width of a queen-sized mattress.
  • King pillows are even longer—20 by 36 inches. Two king pillows fit the width of a king-sized bed.

Weight

Solid memory foam pillows can be heavy and somewhat cumbersome to move, while shredded memory foam pillows are lighter and airier. If you tend to scrunch your pillow to increase or decrease loft or firmness to accommodate different positions, you may want a lighter pillow. Likewise, if you tend to lug your pillow with you when you travel, a heavier pillow may be more impractical. For the most part, a pillow's weight shouldn't have a bearing on your sleep quality and is more of a personal preference.

Materials

Pillows come in a variety of materials from synthetic fibers and foams to feather and down. Latex and memory foam offer some of the best support and contouring but they can be impossible to adjust. Plus, memory foam can sleep hot if it doesn't incorporate cooling technology such as cooling gel or graphite. Shredded foams offer support and "squishability" while also allowing for more air flow. Some pillows combine different foams and textures for a "best of both worlds" experience.

Firmness

A soft pillow may sound appealing, but without adequate support, it will ultimately become uncomfortable the longer you sleep on it, while a firmer pillow is more resistant to the weight of your head. Pillows should be firm enough to support the head and keep the spine in alignment while soft enough not to bend your neck at an awkward angle.

Loft

Loft refers to how fluffy or thick the pillow is. Loft often goes hand-in-hand with firmness when determining the best cooling pillow for certain sleep positions. A pillow that's lofted too high or low will put your head at an awkward tilt and knock your spine out of alignment.

FAQs About Cooling Pillows


Do cooling pillows really work?

Yes, cooling pillows can really work. The best cooling pillows incorporate cooling technology which can include materials that wick away moisture, disperse body heat, and increase airflow to help you sleep cooler throughout the night.

Are cooling pillows safe?

Many foams used to make cooling pillows get a bad rap for containing chemicals that may be harmful and some may even smell for a few hours after unboxing. But high-quality cooling pillows are safe. If off-gassing is a concern of yours, look for manufacturers that certify their foam and/or use natural materials, such as latex foam, cotton, or wool, to ensure a cleaner sleep.

How often should you replace cooling pillows?

Pillows should be replaced every 1-3 years or when your pillow begins to show signs of wear, such as losing loft or firmness, or your head or neck hurt when you wake up.

Do cooling pillows stay cool all night?

Cooling pillows are designed to wick away moisture, encourage airflow, and even counter body heat. The "cool to the touch" sensation will usually wane as the night progresses, but in general, cooling pillows will sleep much cooler than typical pillows without cooling technology.

Discuss This Article