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How To Choose a Cooling Pillow and Do They Really Work

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best pillows

So many of us find ourselves tossing and turning while we are trying to get to sleep. Why does this happen so often? Maybe because of stress or too much coffee in the evening? There could be a number of reasons but it may simply be because you are too hot.

You may be surprised to find out but the ideal temperature range for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. That might seem a little bit on the low side but that is the range when you are able to get the best rest.

Of course, you can try to adjust the temperature of your bedroom but you could also try a cooling pillow to keep your body temperature down while sleeping. But do cooling pillows actually work?

Cooling pillows actually do work to help keep you cool throughout the night. They especially help lower the temperature around your head, neck, and shoulders which will, in turn, help you rest more deeply.

There are other considerations when looking for the best cooling pillows. We have put together this guide to help you better understand what a cooling pillow is, how it works, and how to find the best cooling pillows for you.

Types of Cooling Pillows

Like most things, finding the right cooling pillow is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It really depends on your personal preferences in many cases and that will differ from person to person. The good thing is that pillows are a little bit easier to switch out when compared to when you are looking for the best mattresses.

Gel-Infused or Water BasedPillow

There is no doubt that memory foam is a very popular material when it comes to sleep. You will find many popular memory foam mattresses and memory foam pillows with great customer reviews. 

Memory foam is very supportive which for many people means that they experience less pain after waking up. Maybe the biggest downfall to traditional memory foam pillows and mattresses is that the material tends to retain heat.

Heat retention in memory foam can be a major issue. Some people are more sensitive to it than others but there is an alternative to standard memory foam pillows and mattresses.

Gel-infused cooling pillows are a new way to help combat and eliminate the problem of heat retention in memory foam. All while still giving you the feel and support that many people have come to love about memory foam.

The gel memory foam was designed to help keep the pillow cooler to help dissipate heat and make it more breathable. The gel is able to disperse the heat from your head and neck and thus make the pillow feel cooler.

Breathable Pillow

A breathable cooling pillow is simply that, a pillow that is breathable. It basically just means it is made from materials and designed to allow for more airflow through the pillow. These types of pillows are effective cooling pillows because they not only allow for more airflow but they also do not retain heat. Not retaining heat is an important part of the equation.

When you are looking at breathable cooling pillows some of the more popular options will be made out of materials such as buckwheat or bamboo. These types of pillows are usually more natural and are often hypoallergenic as well. They can be a very good choice if you have allergies or just want to stay away from synthetics.

The design and material composition of breathable pillows are intended to increase airflow which means that heat won’t get trapped inside the pillow and it also means that moisture can be evaporated. The combination of these effects produces a very nice cooling effect.

Phase-Changing Pillow

Phase changing cooling pillows are made of phase change material. This material is also known as PCM. It is really a fancy way of saying they are made of a material that helps to regulate your body temperature so you and your pillow won’t become too hot.

That’s the simplified version. It’s actually a bit more complicated than that in how it works. PCM was actually developed initially by NASA.

You will often find PCM used alongside memory foam which is a good thing since so many people are partial to the feel and support of memory foam. PCM is able to regulate temperature to some degree so it’s not only a cooling pillow. If you are cold it can help heat you up but if you are too hot it will help to cool you down.

PCM is often used as part of pillow covers with the pillow itself being mainly memory foam. The combination allows you to fall asleep and stay asleep for a great night’s sleep.

Which Type of Cooling Pillow Is Best

If you are someone who finds yourself sweating during the night, taking your covers off to let your feet hang out, or flipping your pillow over to find the cool spot then you could probably benefit from a cooling pillow.

Breathable pillows and even gel-infused pillows are great. You can find ones to fit your sleeping needs and positions and they can absolutely help you to sleep cooler than a traditional pillow. Pillows come in all shapes and sizes so choosing the right one for your needs is important.

But if you are looking for a pillow that will provide the most cooling then one made of phase change material (PCM) is what you should be looking at.

For the most cooling effect that will last the longest throughout the night, there is really no substitute for PCM. And one of the great things about this type of cooling pillow is that it has the look, feel, and support of a traditional memory foam pillow.

You do not have to sacrifice any of the features of a pillow that you love but you get to add the temperature regulating properties of the phase change material. It really is a win-win situation.

Considerations Based On Sleeping Position

Finding the proper pillow based on your sleeping position is critical. Unfortunately, it’s something that people often overlook or don’t even think about when they are searching for the best pillows

Your sleeping position and sleeping style definitely plays a role in which pillow you should buy. The so-called best pillow will not be the best one for you if it does not fit you correctly.

For instance, if you normally sleep on your side then a firmer pillow with a higher loft will provide the proper support for your head and neck. This is in contrast to a back sleeper who will require a much thinner pillow. Keeping the proper spinal alignment during sleep is key to waking up refreshed without more aches and pains.

Fortunately, with the cooling pillows available on the market today, you can sleep comfortably and stay cool at the same time. Whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach you are sure to be able to find the best cooling pillow to suit your needs.

Can You Get a Trial Period or a Warranty On a Cooling Pillow?

Trial periods and warranties are a fairly common practice when you buy pillows online. Cooling pillows are no exception when it comes to this. There are many out there that offer trials and warranties. One option is to find some of the best pillows on Amazon

A company that makes a quality product should stand behind that product and have confidence in it. Most of the best cooling pillows will offer a trial period of at least 30 days and many have warranties that will extend out to 3 years or even longer. These are things you should consider when purchasing a cooling pillow.

Are There Any Drawbacks to Cooling Pillows?

With a cooling pillow, you can get the same great support and feel that you can with other types of pillows. The added benefit is that you will sleep cooler and more soundly with a cooling pillow.

There really aren’t any drawbacks to using a cooling pillow. That is especially true if you choose one with phase change material. PCM regulates body temperature so it does not get too cold. With some other types of cooling pillows, it is possible to sleep too cold if the room temperature is not warm enough. PCM helps to alleviate that.

Final Thoughts From Sleep Reports

If you know that you sleep too hot then a cooling pillow is definitely something that we would recommend looking into. Even if you don’t know if you sleep too hot then we would recommend that you take a look at getting a cooling pillow. 

It’s very possible that you are not getting the proper amount of restful sleep at night because your body temperature is just too warm. A cooling pillow will allow heat to dissipate from your head, neck, and shoulders and will help provide the optimal sleeping environment.