The 10 Best Cooling Pillows, According to Our Tests

Our top pick is Coop Home Goods’ Eden Pillow, because it’s cooling, adjustable, and machine-washable.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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Hot sleepers or anyone in need of a better night's sleep may consider investing in a set of cooling pillows, which work by drawing heat away from the head and neck and increasing airflow. However, different cooling pillows do this by different means, some more successfully than others.

To determine the best cooling pillows, we sent 28 of the most popular options to real-world testers who slept on them for a minimum of seven consecutive nights (usually more), and evaluated them based on their quality, airflow, comfort, durability, and value. For expert advice, we consulted Dr. Peter Polos, MD, PhD, FCCP, FAASM, sleep medicine specialist and sleep expert for Sleep Number.

Polos says that your pillow "can also have a physiological impact on our sleep quality—meaning that we might wake up more often throughout the night or not spend as much time in deeper stages of sleep that are needed to help us feel energized and refreshed the next day. If you find yourself constantly flipping your pillow to the colder side during the night, a cooling pillow might be a good option for you."

Our top pick is the Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow, because it's filled with a shredded, gel-infused memory foam that can be adjusted based on your sleeping style. Our tester found that it retained its cool-to-the-touch sensation all night long, without needing to switch to the other side. Plus, it's entirely machine-washable.

Below, find more of our selections for the best cooling pillows, based on our tests.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Cooling Pillow: Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow

Tested Pillows
amazon.com

Also available at Coop Home Goods, Target, and Walmart.

Who it's for: People who want a cooling pillow that can be adjusted to any sleeping position.

Who it isn't for: People who prefer the density of a solid foam pillow.

The Eden Pillow performed flawlessly across the board in our testing. It stands out for its gel-infused shredded memory foam fill, which can be adjusted to meet your exact sleeping style: "As a stomach sleeper, I need a flatter pillow, so I really loved that I could tailor this one to be just right," says our tester. "My husband is a back and side sleeper, and he was able to add fill back in so it supported him all night long."

Unlike many gel cooling pillows, which feature a layer of gel somewhere in the pillow, this pillow is filled with gel-infused memory foam, which helped the pillow retain its cool-to-the touch sensation all night long without needing to switch to the other side of the pillow. "I think the fact that the fill has gel infused throughout, rather than in the core of the pillow, makes a really big difference in the cooling capabilities," says our tester. The pillow's cooling sensation could even be felt through the pillowcase.

The pillow comes with a bag of additional fill, as well as instructions on how to fill the pillow based on your sleeping positions. Plus, it's entirely machine-washable. There was a slight odor to the pillow upon first opening it, but that's about the only negative to it we could find. Our tester sums it up best: "To me, the comfort of this pillow is unmatched because the fill is adjustable and it actually does feel cooling."

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Queen, king
  • Fill: Gel-infused shredded memory foam and microfiber
  • Cover: 60 percent polyester, 40 percent bamboo viscose
  • Return Policy: 100 days via manufacturer
  • Care: Machine-washable
  • Certifications: Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US

RELATED: The 10 Best Pillows for Every Type of Sleeper, According to Our Tests

Best Budget Cooling Pillow: Himoon Cooling Pillows

Tested Pillows
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who want a breathable and inexpensive alternative to real down pillows.

Who it isn't for: People who want a pillow with an immediate cooling sensation.

Made from a down-like microfiber filling, this pillow is great for hot sleepers who want fluffy, hotel-quality pillows that you can sink right into after a long day. Our tester notes that this pillow doesn't have an immediate cooling sensation, but it does breathe well and does not absorb heat throughout the night, unlike other polyester pillows.

Despite the fact that it's a down-alternative pillow, it didn't lose much of its loft with use, even over weeks of testing. When it's time for a refresh, it's easy to fluff it back up by popping it in the dryer (it's entirely machine-washable). It's priced at under $30 for a two-pack, which makes it great for outfitting every room in your home. And it's Greenguard Gold- and CertiPUR-US-certified to boot. We think this pillow would be well suited for combination sleepers since it can be flattened or fluffed as needed.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Standard, queen, king
  • Fill: Down alternative
  • Cover: Microfiber
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Care: Machine-washable
  • Certifications: Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US

RELATED: ​​Amazon Shoppers Say These Cooling Pillows Rival the Ones at Luxury Hotels

Best Splurge Cooling Pillow: Purple Harmony Pillow

Tested Pillows
amazon.com

Also available at Purple.

Who it's for: People who want a cooling pillow that will maintain its shape.

Who it isn't for: People who want an entirely machine-washable pillow or people not in a position to spend a lot on a pillow.

Latex pillows are known for their "bounceback," and according to our testing, the Purple Harmony Pillow is no exception: "I love that the pillow always maintains its shape, and it springs right back up once you sit up," says our tester. The solid latex core is wrapped in a moisture-wicking, breathable mesh, which we found stayed cooler than traditional pillows (although it didn't have quite the same cooling sensation as some of the other pillows we tested).

The tester was particularly impressed with this pillow's ability to hold its shape even after many nights of use, and found it comfortable in both side and stomach sleeping positions. However, the pillow comes in three different heights—low, medium, and tall—so you can choose which best fits your needs. According to the manufacturer, low is best for stomach and back sleepers, while medium and tall are best for side or combination sleepers.

There's no denying this pillow is an investment, but fortunately, it comes with a 100-day sleep trial and a one-year warranty, so you can be sure about your decision before you commit.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Standard, king
  • Fill: Solid latex
  • Cover: Nylon/spandex
  • Return Policy: 100 days via manufacturer
  • Care: Machine-washable cover; spot clean pillow
  • Certifications: CleanAir Gold and CertiPUR-US

Best Memory Foam Cooling Pillow: Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud Pillow

Tested Pillows
sleepnumber.com

Also available at Tempur-Pedic and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Who it's for: Back or stomach sleepers who want a memory foam pillow.

Who it isn't for: Side sleepers or people who want a pillow that comes with a sleep trial.

This is Tempur-Pedic's most popular pillow, and it certainly lived up to the hype in our testing. The tester immediately took note of how luxuriously soft the pillow was—the manufacturer describes the feel as "extra-soft" and says it's designed for back and stomach sleepers. And as it's made of Tempur-Pedic's solid memory foam, it molds to your head and neck to cradle and provide support. "No matter how many times I change positions throughout the night, this pillow adjusts and accommodates my body position," says our tester.

In terms of breathability, the tester did not have to turn the pillow over during the night, and found that it remained crisp and cool all night long. Although memory foam is not machine-washable, the pillow comes encased in a polyester knit cover that's fully removable and machine-washable. The manufacturer also notes that the pillow can easily compress and roll up for on-the-go use or easy storage.

In short, this is a breathable pillow that's soft and plush while still providing enough support for back and stomach sleepers. Our tester even said it "decreased the time it takes for me to fall asleep and stay in REM [sleep]." However, Tempur-Pedic does not accept returns unless the product is damaged or defective, meaning there's no sleep trial. But it does come with a five-year warranty.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Standard
  • Fill: Solid memory foam
  • Cover: Polyester
  • Return Policy: No returns unless defective
  • Care: Machine-washable cover
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US

RELATED: The 10 Best Cooling Sheets for a Sweat-Free Night, According to Our Tests

Best Gel Cooling Pillow: Allswell Gel Cooling Pillow

Tested Pillows
allswellhome.com

Also available at Walmart.

Who it's for: People who want an affordable memory foam pillow with a cool-to-the-touch feel.

Who it isn't for: People who want a soft pillow.

If you're in the market for a pillow that gives a cooling sensation the second you lay your head on it, look no further than the Allswell Gel Cooling Pillow. The solid memory foam core is topped with a cooling gel layer that absorbs heat and transfers it away from your head and neck. In our testing, it did provide an initial cooling feel, although our tester occasionally woke up to some sweat on the pillowcase.

This pillow provides substantial loft and firmness, making it well suited for side sleepers: "It cradles my head, but there is some resistance from the foam," says our tester. However, it can be quite heavy, so keep this in mind if you're one who likes to adjust your pillow throughout the night.

The cover showed no signs of wear after washing, and the pillow did not lose its shape or loft after a week of use. On the downside, it's only available in standard sizing. We also noticed a faint rubber smell, which we're hoping will go away with time.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Standard
  • Fill: Solid memory foam with gel layer
  • Cover: Knit
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Care: Machine-washable cover
  • Certifications: Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex

Best Latex Cooling Pillow: Sijo Clima CloudSupport Pillow

Tested Pillows
amazon.com

Also available at Sijo and Nordstrom.

Who it's for: People who want a breathable pillow that doesn't sink.

Who it isn't for: People who don't like the bouncy nature of latex.

Although this pillow doesn't have an immediate cooling effect, it proved that it can absorb heat away from the head and neck overnight. In fact, our tester says they never had to flip the pillow over to the "cooler side."

Made with a perforated latex fill and a Tencel lyocell cover (a eucalyptus-derived material), this pillow is both temperature-regulating and moisture-wicking. Our tester found the latex to be soft and comfortable, yet it maintains its shape and bounces back as soon as you sit up, keeping you from sinking excessively into the pillow. The temperature-regulating Tencel lyocell cover is naturally soft, cooling, and sweat-resistant. And the high loft provides the right amount of support for those with neck pain or side sleepers. Overall, we think this pillow strikes just the right balance of softness and support, while helping to dissipate body heat throughout the night.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Standard, king
  • Fill: Solid latex
  • Cover: Tencel lyocell
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Care: Machine-washable cover
  • Certifications: Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex

RELATED: The 8 Best Eucalyptus Sheets for Hot Sleepers, According to Our Testing

Best Down Alternative Cooling Pillow: Slumber Cloud Core Down Alternative Pillow

Tested Pillows
slumbercloud.com

Who it's for: Hot sleepers who like to sink into their pillow.

Who it isn't for: People who need additional neck support.

Even with all the fancy memory foam and latex pillows available, many still prefer the classic feel of traditional down that allows you to gently sink into the pillow. If you want to avoid down for ethical or allergy concerns though, the good news is that this down-alternative pillow provides the best of all worlds. "The pillow definitely felt cool before sleep and remained the same when I woke up the next day," says our tester. "I did not have to flip the pillow once, which is impressive. It seemed to allow for plenty of air circulation throughout the night."

The down-alternative fiber fill works in conjunction with the 300 thread count cotton cover to provide a breathable, comfortable experience. And the NASA-approved "Outlast" lining fabric helps to absorb heat as the skin temperature increases, and then releases it back as the temperature decreases to prevent chill.

Both the pillow and the cover are fully machine-washable, and our tester found that the pillow retained its plushness and size after laundering. Choose between two different firmness levels based on your preferences and sleeping position: soft/medium and medium/firm.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Standard, king
  • Fill: Down alternative
  • Cover: Cotton
  • Return Policy: 60 days
  • Care: Machine-washable
  • Certifications: Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex

Best Cooling Pillow for Side Sleepers: Saatva Latex Pillow

Tested Pillows
saatva.com

Who it's for: Side or back sleepers who want a luxury, hotel-quality pillow.

Who it isn't for: Stomach sleepers or people who like a thinner pillow.

Our tester's first impression of this pillow was that it looks and feels incredibly well made, with no loose threads or flaws. The pillow comes with three distinct layers: an organic cotton pillow cover, a down-like inner pillow made from microdenier fiber, and a shredded natural latex core. This unique combination provides the buoyant support of latex with the soft cushioning of the down-alternative fiber.

Our tester, a stomach sleeper, was not able to sleep on this pillow for more than a night because of its high loft that propped their neck at an uncomfortable angle. However, their spouse, a back and side sleeper, found the pillow to provide plenty of support: "I liked that he hasn't woken me up with his snoring since he started using it!" says our tester.

Both the inner pillow and the outer cover are machine-washable (just not the latex core), and the tester found them both to hold up well after washing and drying. The shredded latex is not adjustable, but the inner pillow can be removed to reduce the loft if needed.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Queen, king
  • Fill: Down alternative and shredded natural latex
  • Cover: Organic cotton
  • Return Policy: 45 days
  • Care: Machine-washable cover and inner pillow
  • Certifications: N/A

RELATED: The 8 Best Pillows for Side Sleepers, According to Our In-Depth Testing

Best Cooling Pillow for Back Sleepers: Casper Foam Pillow with Snow Technology

Tested Pillows
amazon.com

Also available at Casper and Target.

Who it's for: People who want a sturdy pillow that won't give up its shape.

Who it isn't for: People who want a loftier pillow.

This solid memory foam pillow comes equipped with "Snow Technology" to help draw heat away from your head and neck, and the triple-layer, perforated memory foam fill is designed to increase airflow. Our tester found this pillow to be cool to the touch, and said that despite the fact that the weather had reached over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, they didn't once wake up to a damp pillow.

This pillow is flat and holds its shape well, but it's not overly tall, making it ideal for back sleepers who need neck support but don't want to be propped up at an uncomfortable angle. The removable cover is easy to wash, and didn't suffer any damages during our testing. Our only complaint is that we would have liked to see a longer sleep trial period given the price.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Standard, king
  • Fill: Solid memory foam
  • Cover: Polyester/spandex
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Care: Machine-washable cover
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US

Best Cooling Pillow for Stomach Sleepers: Sleep Number Classic True Temp Pillow

Tested Pillows
amazon.com

Who it's for: Stomach or back sleepers who want a cooling memory foam pillow.

Who it isn't for: People looking for a more budget-friendly pillow.

Like the Saatva pillow, the Sleep Number Classic True Temp Pillow is constructed with three distinct layers: a polyester cover, a down-like fiber fill, and a solid memory foam core. Both the cover and the fiber fill are treated with Sleep Number's 37.5 technology, which is made from volcanic sand particles that are activated by infrared light given off by your body when you sleep. These work to remove moisture vapor and heat when you're hot, or hold their energy when you're cold. In our testing, the pillow did in fact prove to be cool-to-the-touch and breathable: "I never woke up hot during the night and never needed to flip it over to find a new cool spot," says our tester.

After several weeks of use, the pile height did go down just slightly. However, the cover and fiber fill are machine-washable, so they can be refreshed as needed.

It is important to note that we tested the Classic model, which is best for stomach and back sleepers. However, the pillow is also available in Contour, for side or back sleepers, and in Ultimate, which can be adjusted based on your desired height and support levels. All feature the same cooling technology.

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Standard, king
  • Fill: Down alternative fiber and solid memory foam
  • Cover: Polyethylene/polyester
  • Return Policy: 100 days
  • Care: Machine-washable cover
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US

Final Verdict

Coop Home Goods' The Eden Pillow was the clear winner in our testing, because it's made with a gel-infused shredded memory foam that proved to be extremely cooling in our testing. Plus, the shredded foam can be added or removed to suit your sleeping style, and the entire pillow is machine-washable.

For a more budget-friendly pick, the Himoon Cooling Pillows come in a pack of two, and proved to be surprisingly breathable in our testing, even with a down alternative fill. Like our best overall pick, this pillow is also entirely machine-washable.

Our Testing Process

We sent out 28 different cooling pillows to real-world testers, who slept on them for at least seven consecutive nights—usually more. Before the first night, our testers measured the pillow's loft, length, and width. Then, each pillow was placed inside an appropriately sized pillowcase to examine how well it fit. For pillows with adjustable filling, each tester followed the manufacturer's instructions for adding and removing the filling according to their sleep preference.

Our testers noted whether the pillow felt cool to the touch, and whether it absorbed any body heat throughout the night. They also took note of how supportive the pillow was for their sleeping preferences. For machine-washable pillows, our testers washed and dried the pillow and/or cover according to the manufacturer's instructions, and then measured it again for any shrinkage or change in firmness. Our testers also evaluated whether the cooling properties were affected by laundering.

Finally, our testers received the retail price of their pillow, and scored its overall value considering a variety of factors, including its quality, airflow, comfort, and durability.

Our real-world testers will also long-term test the top scoring pillows, and follow up with feedback after three months, and again after six months.

How to Shop for Cooling Pillows Like a Pro

Firmness and Loft

Firmness and loft (or height) are key to choosing a pillow that will help you rest comfortably in your natural sleeping position: "People tend to overlook pillows, but they support sleepers from the shoulders up and play a key role in not only proper spinal alignment, but also comfort throughout the night," says Polos. "Finding a pillow that's also designed to fit the way you prefer to sleep is important."

What's most important is that your neck remains aligned with your spine, as opposed to tilting at an angle. Consider these general guidelines for what firmness and loft to look for based on your sleeping style:

  • Side sleepers: Side sleepers will require the most height and firmness to fill the gap between the neck and the mattress for proper spinal alignment. Look for a medium-firm to firm pillow with a high loft.
  • Back sleepers: The right loft and pillow height for back sleepers is going to fall somewhere in the middle, in order to keep your neck aligned with your spine without craning it forward or tilting it too far backward. Look for a pillow with medium firmness and height.
  • Stomach sleepers: Those who sleep on their stomach should look for a softer, thinner pillow that won't prop the head up at an angle.
  • Combination sleepers: Few people stick to just one sleeping position throughout the entire night, which can make finding the right pillow a bit of a challenge. If you sleep mostly on your back and side, a medium-firm pillow will accommodate those sleeping positions. Those who sleep on their stomach and side should look for something softer, yet still supportive enough for side sleeping.

Fill Material

Pillows can be filled with a variety of different materials, some more cooling than others. "To ensure that your pillow stays at just the right temperature throughout the night, you'll want something that has cooling materials built inside the pillow," says Polos. Here's a quick primer to the most common types of pillow fillings for cooling pillows:

Shredded memory foam: Made with loose chunks of memory foam, this filling can be adjusted to fit your sleep preferences. Add, remove, or reposition the memory foam to create a pillow with the right loft and firmness for your needs. Shredded memory foam allows for more airflow, and is thus more breathable, than solid memory foam. These pillows make a great choice for combination sleepers who need a pillow that can be customized to their unique sleeping style.

Solid memory foam: If you prefer a pillow with more structure that won't lose its shape, a solid memory foam pillow is a great option. These pillows provide the support needed to keep your neck and spine in alignment, particularly for side and back sleepers. Memory foam can be treated with cooling materials, like graphite or volcanic sand, that draw heat away from the body, too.

Latex: Latex is similar to memory foam but is more eco-friendly, plus more springy and usually a bit softer. It's especially well-suited for hot sleepers because it's more breathable than memory foam, but still provides ample support. Like memory foam, latex is available in either solid or shredded forms.

Down alternative: This fill uses synthetic materials, such as polyester, to emulate the softness of real down. Although polyester is known to trap heat, many down alternative pillows are made with extra cooling technology to increase airflow and breathability. Plus, they make a great alternative to those with sensitivities to down products and those who want to avoid any animal-sourced materials.

Gel: Not only does gel provide a cool-to-the-touch sensation, but it's highly conductive, so it draws heat away from the body. Gel is usually added to other fill materials, most commonly memory foam.

Care

Cooling pillows can be difficult to clean, particularly those made from solid foam or those with cooling gel layers. But if night sweats are a concern, regularly cleaning your pillow is important. Some pillows are entirely machine-washable, some have machine-washable covers, and others are spot-clean or dry-clean only. Always refer to the manufacturer's specific care instructions for washing your pillow.

Return Policy

Like other types of bedding, pillows often come with a sleep trial, ranging from 30 days to 100, during which you can usually return them for a full refund. This is important, because even when you've done all your research, there's still no guarantee that the pillow will suit your specific sleeping style.

Product Certifications

You'll come across many different third-party certifications when shopping for pillows, but the most common are as follows:

Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex: When textiles are made, chemicals are used to process them, which can leave residual substances on the product. The Standard 100 label indicates that a product has been tested for harmful substances and proven safe.

CertiPUR-US: Products made with foam—including pillows, mattresses, and furniture—must meet standards for content, emissions, and durability in order to receive the CertiPUR-US certification. All CertiPUR-US certified foams are made without ozone depleters, PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP ("Tris") flame retardants, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and phthalates, and must have low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions for indoor air quality.

Greenguard: Many household items, including pillows, can emit gasses in a process known as "off-gassing," which can then contribute to poor indoor air quality.The UL Greenguard Certification Program tests products for over 10,000 chemicals and VOC emissions. The Greenguard Certification indicates that the product meets strict standards of low emission levels, while Greenguard Gold-certification products emit even fewer VOCs than standard Greenguard products.

Intertek Clean Air: Intertek's Clean Air Certification is another program that independently tests and certifies products based on their environmental impact and VOC emissions. The Clean Air Gold Certification is the highest certification handed out by Intertek.

More Cooling Pillows to Consider

Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow: This is a great foam pillow for the price, constructed from Tuft & Needle's "Adaptive" foam, rather than latex or memory foam. We can't say whether this material is better than other types of foam—all we know is that the pillow exceeded our expectations in terms of both cooling ability and comfort. However, it did have a noticeable odor for several days of testing.

Marlow Pillow: This pillow stands out for its unique design, which allows you to change the firmness to one of three settings by using the hidden zipper—rather than adding or removing shredded foam. Once our tester was able to play with the zipper and adjust the pillow to their preference, they found it comfortable and supportive.

Cozy Earth Silk Pillow: If you can swing it, the Cozy Earth Silk Pillow is made from 100 percent viscose from bamboo with a Mulberry silk filling, making it naturally soft and cooling. But our testers do note that this pillow is on the softer side, and might not be to everyone's preferences.

Questions You Might Ask

Do cooling pillows work?

Polos says "one of the triggers to sleep is a cool environment," which makes cooling pillows particularly effective for getting a good night's rest. In general, cooling pillows work to prevent heat absorption and retention by drawing heat away from the body and increasing airflow. Or as Polos puts it: "They remove heat and humidity away and continuously adapt to maintain your ideal microclimate, for comfortable sleep all night long." Cooling pillows achieve these results by different means, from cooling gel layers to breathable shredded foam, but all with the goal of absorbing heat away from the head, neck, and shoulders.

What type of pillowcase should you use with cooling pillows?

For double the cooling power, use a cooling pillowcase constructed with breathable materials, such as bamboo viscose or lyocell, both of which are moisture-wicking and feature a cool-to-the-touch sensation. Cotton percale is another good option, as it's extremely crisp and breathable.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Melanie Fincher, associate commerce editor for Real Simple with three years of experience writing product reviews and lifestyle content. To compile this list, we sent 28 cooling pillows out to real-world testers who slept on them for at least seven consecutive nights, and evaluated them based on their quality, airflow, comfort, durability, and value. For expert tips on what to look for in a cooling pillow, we asked Dr. Peter Polos, MD, PhD, FCCP, FAASM, sleep medicine specialist and sleep expert for Sleep Number.

What Is Real Simple Selects?

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn't an option. If that's the case, we test the product just like we test anything we buy, but we also disclose that we received it for free to be as transparent with you as possible.

Love our recommendations? Check out more products that have earned the Real Simple Selects, from humidifiers to cordless vacuums.

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