Best Cooling Pillow For Hot Sleepers – Top 7 Pillows for 2020

If you are in a hurry and just want to know what the best cooling pillow is, I recommend the ComfyComfy Premium Buckwheat Pillow.

Whether you get really hot when you sleep, even in the deepest, coldest winters, or whether you are looking ahead to a hot summer, below you will find my reviews for the Best Cooling Pillows you can buy. 

Keep reading to find the best cooling pillow on the market.

Looking for a new mattress?  Read my guide on what to consider when buying a new mattress or bed.

The Best Cooling Pillows I Will Be Reviewing Today

Woman and man holding pillows

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What is a cooling pillow?

A cooling pillow is exactly what it says, it’s a pillow designed specifically to absorb heat away from your neck and head, redistributing that heat across a layer of gel, or through the use of phase change materials.  

Phase change materials can release or absorb energy in different phases, thereby creating a cooling or heat effect.

Pillows that are made of breathable foam or memory foam can also provide a cooling effect as it allows air to flow through the pillow’s fill, effectively redistributing the hot air coming off your body.

How does a cooling pillow work?

I’m not going to bore you with the science, so I will keep this short.

Different types of technology work differently.

Foam is generally more breathable, allowing hot air to flow through the pillow, and away from your body.

Gel pillows will redistribute the heat across the gel layer.

PCM pillows are designed based on technology invented by NASA. Originally designed to help astronauts deal with the intense temperature fluctuations during space walks (250 F to -250F) by making gloves that help to maintain a “just right” temperature, it has now found its way into our underwear and our beds.  Read more about it here, and here.

How long do cooling pillows stay cool?

That depends entirely on what the pillow is made of.

Certain technologies will cool faster than others, and stay cool for longer after the source of heat is removed.

Since there hasn’t really been any hard scientific studies done by anyone, it’s really hard to say which is better, cools down faster or stays cooler longer.

Any evidence you’ll find on the internet will be purely anecdotal, and most likely designed to sell you a specific brand.

Should you put a pillowcase on a cooling pillow?

Yes. Pillow cases ensure your pillows stay clean and hygienic.  

It’s easier to wash a pillow case than a pillow.

Do cooling pillows lose their cool?

Unfortunately, cooling pillows have not been around long enough to know how they stack up across years of use.

But just like a normal pillow, I would expect you to need to change your pillow at least every 2 years.

How to choose the best cooling pillow?

Consider how you sleep, and how hot you get, and your budget. Some cooling pillows can sell for $100 plus. 

If you are a stomach sleeper you’ll want a flatter pillow than someone with big shoulders who prefer sleeping on their side.

For someone who gets really hot, even in the deepest darkest winters, then get a pillow with a satisfaction guarantee. This means if you find that after a few weeks you are not satisfied, you can send it back for a refund.  In my opinion, the best way to make sure you have the right pillow for your needs.

There’s also lifespan to consider.  The buckwheat pillows are more expensive than foam pillows, but won’t need to be replaced every 1-2 years so will potentially work out the cheapest.  

How To Clean Your Pillow

A note on Memory Foam

When buying anything made from memory foam there are some things you should know. 

It’s unlike any other pillow or mattress you’ve ever encountered.  

It’s not bouncy like a normal spring mattress, when you press your fingers into it, your imprint will remain there but will slowly disappear as the memory foam relaxes again.  However, this is what makes it so good for your spine.

It comes vacuum packed, so it’s really flat.  You leave it out for a while and it will expand to the size it was designed to be.  For pillows, you can put it in the tumble dryer on a low setting which will expand it faster.

Lastly, and most importantly, memory foam can have a very strong chemical smell, especially if it’s been vacuum sealed for a while in a storage facility somewhere.  

It’s really weird, and disturbing, especially since you have to sleep on it.  

But it is not toxic.

The smell will disappear if you are patient.  

When I bought my mattress last year, the smell was really overpowering for a few weeks and I had started to consider sending it back, but now I can barely remember that it ever smelled in the first place.

So be patient.  And if it really bothers you, then put some extra pillowcases on your pillows until you can’t smell it anymore, that should help until the smell dissipates by itself.

2 boys pillow fight

The Best Cooling Pillow For Hot Sleepers: Product Review

Editor’s Choice For The Best Cooling Pillow – ComfyComfy Premium Buckwheat Pillow

best cooling pillowbest cooling pillow

Pros:  

  • Made from organic buckwheat hulls grown sustainably in the USA
  • Fill is 5 lbs of hulls
  • Cover is an organic cotton twill, also grown in the USA
  • There is a side zip so you can remove/add the buckwheat to adjust the pillow as you see fit.
  • Shipped with an extra 1 lb buckwheat hulls so you can customize your pillow
  • The company also has other pillow sizes, each has its own level of buckwheat fill, for example the Queen size pillow will have 10lbs of fill as opposed to this Classic size that comes with 5lbs of fill.
  • The cooling effect comes from the buckwheat hulls which allow air to circulate throughout the pillow.
  • The buckwheat hulls will move and adjust around your head, providing perfect support for your head, neck and spine.
  • Will never collapse like foam or down. 
  • No fluffing necessary
  • Made in the USA
  • Not noisy at all
  • Buckwheat pillows have a longer lifespan than other types of pillows, which makes them really good value for money.
  • Bedtime Specialist Rating (out of 5):  5

Cons:  

  • Quite expensive for a single pillow, however, since buckwheat pillows have such a long lifespan, it’s still good value for money compared to a foam pillow which you should replace every 1-2 years.

Sleep Innovations Cooling Gel Memory Foam Pillow

best cooling pillowbest cooling pillow

Pros:  

  • Most people class these pillows as firm, and not very lofty
  • 5 Year Warranty
  • There are 2 sides to the pillow, one side is the cooling gel memory foam, the other side is a blue gel memory foam designed to support your neck and head.
  • On the higher end of the price range, one King size pillow costs more than most that are sold as a 2-pack.
  • Good for stomach sleepers
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Made in the USA
  • Bedtime Specialist Rating (out of 5):  3

Cons:  

  • Memory foam is known to have a chemical smell when removed from its packaging.  The smell will disappear after some use.  However, given that you have to sleep on it with your nose only inches away from the pillow, it might take some time getting used to.

The Purple Pillow (The Strangest Looking Pillow You Can Buy!)

best cooling pillowbest cooling pillow

Pros:  

  • The strangest looking pillow you can buy!
  • Made from a patented Hyper-Elastic Polymer arranged in “The Purple Grid” that won’t lose its shape. It’s a fancy way of saying it’s a purple polymer arranged in a honeycomb like pattern.
  • The cooling factor comes from the honeycomb structure (ok it’s actually triangles), allowing air to flow through the pillow.
  • It’s a very flat, rectangular shaped pillow.
  • A lot of people rave about it’s perfect level of head and neck support.
  • The Hyper-Elastic Polymer is CertiPUR-US certified, so about as non-toxic as they come.
  • You will never have to fluff it.
  • Naturally antimicrobial and hypoallergenic
  • Good for people who sleep on their back
  • Bedtime Specialist Rating (out of 5):  4

Cons:  

  • The pillow weighs 4.5 Kg / 10 Pounds
  • It’s a very expensive pillow
  • There are reports of the polymer having a horrible chemical smell that won’t disappear even after washing it.
  • It is a set size so your normal pillow cases won’t work
  • It’s very flat, so not recommended for anyone that likes to sleep on their side, especially if they have wide shoulders, however, some people have been putting another pillow under the purple pillow to raise it higher.
  • Earlier versions of this pillow came with an additional inflatable pillow top for additional loft, but those have now been retired. However, it seems to confuse most buyers as they think they are missing those parts when they buy the pillow. 

Mastertex Cooling Bed Pillows

best cooling pillowbest cooling pillow

Pros:  

  • A thick, fluffy pillow with a 1.5” gusset for maximum loft.  It makes it feel like you are sleeping in a cloud.
  • Made from an ultra soft, down-like, microfiber filling
  • The cooling effect comes from the breathable microfiber filling
  • Washable
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Very well priced for a Standard Size 2-Pack
  • Bedtime Specialist Rating (out of 5):  3

Cons:  

  • Not as supportive as some of the other pillows
  • You can find pillows that have better cooling technology than this one.

Purple Plush Cooling Pillow

best cooling pillowbest cooling pillow

Pros:  

  • Made from, what the company calls, “smart fluff”, or if you prefer the mouthful “interlocking poly fiber ball technology”.
  • The cover is made from a lyocell-blend that is moisture-wicking and cooling.
  • You can adjust the loftiness by zipping or unzipping the side, making it more firm or less firm.
  • Washable
  • More affordable than the other Purple Pillow reviewed on this page.  It’s priced more like a normal pillow.  Still pricey though.
  • The range of Purple products, which includes mattresses and pillows, come highly recommended.
  • Bedtime Specialist Rating (out of 5):  3

Cons:  

  • Some people have complained that after a few months of use the pillow becomes too flat and no amount of fluffing makes it lofty again.
  • While more affordable than other pillows, it is sold as a single Standard size pillow while others will sell 2 pillows for the same price

PLX Cooling Bamboo & Shredded Memory Foam Bed Pillows

best cooling pillowbest cooling pillow

Pros:  

  • Best value for money
  • Made from shredded memory foam so very firm with good support
  • They incorporate a cooling gel foam that absorbs heat throughout the night along with the shredded memory foam.
  • Memory foam is great for your spine
  • The bamboo pillow case/cover is moisture wicking
  • You can make them more fluffy (expand them) by putting them in the tumble dryer
  • Washable (the cover/pillow cases)
  • Hypoallergenic 
  • FULL 10 year warranty
  • Great price range for the 2-pack Queen sized pillows
  • Bedtime Specialist Rating (out of 5):  4

Cons:  

  • Memory foam is known to have a chemical smell when removed from its packaging.  The smell will disappear after some use.  However, given that you have to sleep on it with your nose only inches away from the pillow, it might take some time getting used to.

Beans72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow

best cooling pillowbest cooling pillow

Pros:  

  • Made from 100% US Grown Organic Buckwheat Hulls
  • Fill is about 4 – 5 lbs of hulls
  • The cooling effect comes from the buckwheat hulls which allow air to circulate throughout the pillow.
  • The buckwheat hulls will move and adjust around your head, providing perfect support for your head, neck and spine.
  • Will never collapse like foam or down. 
  • No fluffing necessary
  • Made in the USA
  • The cover is made from unbleached cotton
  • There is a side zip so you can remove/add the buckwheat to adjust the pillow as you see fit.
  • Washable (the cover/pillow cases)
  • Not noisy at all
  • Buckwheat pillows have a longer lifespan than other types of pillows, which makes them really good value for money.
  • Bedtime Specialist Rating (out of 5):  5

Cons:  

  • Bit pricier than other types of pillows but if you consider that you won’t have to replace this every 1-2 years like a normal pillow, really good value for money.
  • Not a standard size pillow in the sense that it is not Standard, Queen or King size. It’s its own custom size, however it does come with it’s own pillow case that you can wash.  I would just put it in a bigger pillow case if need be.

Editor’s Choice

After reviewing so many pillows (not all of them made it on this list), I’m surprised to say the buckwheat pillows have won.

I’ve never even heard of a buckwheat pillow until I started this review, but they are clearly the winners on more than just being the best cooling pillows.

Buckwheat pillows have a very long lifespan, so even though they are more expensive to buy than other types of pillows, their longevity will make them the better value for money.

I also thought they would be noisy, but they’re not. There is a slight crunchy sound when you first put your head on the pillow as the hulls move around your head, but once they settle they are very quiet.

Of the 2 buckwheat pillows reviewed, I like the ComfyComfy Premium Buckwheat Pillow the most, that would be my recommendation for the best cooling pillow, but if the price puts you off, then try the Beans72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow instead.

Don’t miss my guide on what to consider when buying a new mattress or bed.

For luxury bedding recommendations, why not consider cotton or silk?

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