Do cooling pillows work?

Last Updated on October 5, 2021

If you are a hot sleeper who sweats or continuously overheats at night, you can find relief in a cooling pillow. There are many cooling technologies available, but pillows are a budget-friendly solution for hot sleepers or people who experience hot flashes.

The ideal temperature for sleep is between 16 and 19 degrees Celsius. Sometimes adjusting your thermostat to a lower temperature isn’t enough for your night sweats. A cool pillow and a cool sleeping environment can lower the temperature around your head, neck, and shoulders so you can fall asleep faster and get more rest.

If a pillow is labelled as a cooling product, it will most likely wick away moisture, dissipate heat and promote increased airflow. That’s why in today’s guide, we will finally answer the question you’ve all been wondering about and that is do cooling pillows work and how.

Do cooling pillows work?

Do cooling pillows work?

For many individuals, feeling too hot in bed is a problem they experience all year round. Drifting off and staying asleep can be challenging if our body temperature doesn’t drop by a degree. A study has shown that cooling your head at night improves overall sleep patterns and reduces body temperature.

There are various types of cooling pillows on the market today. They all work differently due to their different cooling properties, but the primary aim is the same. When looking for any pillow, breathability is an important factor to consider.

A breathable pillow allows air to circulate through it so that you don’t wake up stuck to it and bathed in perspiration. If you are looking for a high-quality option, make sure to check out our guide on ‘Best Pillows on the Market.’

These types of pillows are very comfortable and usually come with a microfiber filling and a natural cotton cover that will keep you dry. Let’s take a closer look at the best cooling options:

Latex

A latex pillow generally offers firm support for your head and neck, while its design features a honeycomb of air vents, enabling the air to circulate. This type of cool pillow is firmer than other options, but it does keep its overall shape better than fibre pillows. As a result, they work best for back sleepers or side sleepers since they need more support. However, if you are allergic to latex or dislike its smell, this might not be the right choice. 

Bamboo

Bamboo is a good material for a pillow because it is easy to breathe on, and it is similar to buckwheat. However, if you are going to stick to natural ingredients, you need to be careful with the models you buy because the cheaper ones might be filled with shredded memory foam. A bamboo pillow offers neck and head support while still being quite comfortable, but it isn’t particularly cooling throughout the whole night.

Gel

One of the best options on the market today for cooling pillows are ones made with gel (layers, beads, infusion) because they actively cool down your head rather than just allowing air to circulate. Gel cooling pads are typically constructed from gel-infused memory foam or contain gel beads. It feels cool to the touch when you rest your head on the memory foam pillow, and it keeps your head cool as you sleep. 

Memory foam products have grown in popularity, but in general, most of them tend to trap heat, which is why gel-infused options are the way to go.

Buckwheat

Buckwheat pillows offer a more natural alternative to the many cooling pads on the market, and that’s why we love the way they work. They are filled with buckwheat hulls, which are dense materials that can provide great support to your head, neck and shoulders.

The triangular shape of the buckwheat hull makes this choice a great one because it allows a lot of air to get through it, so you don’t get overheated. It is an inexpensive cooling remedy that will work well for people who are trying to keep cool with natural materials, but keep in mind that it isn’t an active cooling solution. For example, if the ambient temperature in your bedroom is too hot, a buckwheat pillow will not cool you down.

How do cooling pillows work?

How do cooling pillows work?

If you are suffering from insomnia or experiencing menopause, cooling pillows help keep your body from overheating and restlessness. A breathable pillow can instantly help reduce the body’s temperature by cooling the neck, head, and shoulder area, which will allow you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.  This type of pillow technology promotes increased airflow, improves the quality, and reduces the amount of water inside.

A cooling pillow can provide the relief you are looking for if you suffer from continuous sweating and overheating at night. Buying air-conditioning or adjusting the thermostat inside the room can be expensive and taxing, but cooling pads can fix it without additional expenses.

A cooling option keeps sweat and heat at bay and lowers your body temperature, no matter what cooling technology you choose. With that said, several technologies are being employed to create pillows that keep you cool. Some of the main types include gel memory foam pillows, water-based pillows, pillows with improved breathability, and ones with a phase-changing cover.

How long do cooling pillows last?

How long do cooling pillows last?

Most cooling pillows will stay cool long enough for you to be able to fall asleep. The product’s durability depends on the type of pillow you choose, and its quality. It’s worth paying attention to the fact that you’ll be using the pillow every night, so think of it as an investment and buy a better one that is more likely to last. 

When it comes down to replacing your pillow, the general rule of thumb is once every 1-2 years. However, there are different types of pillows, and their lifespan can vary. The best way to figure it out is by following signs that show you it’s time for a replacement.

One of the most crucial ones is when your pillow isn’t providing enough support, and you wake up with neck pains frequently. Another issue can be the problem of falling asleep and staying that way due to headaches or constant night sweats. Sometimes allergy symptoms can occur like itchy throat, runny nose, watery eyes, skin rashes, or breathing difficulties.

Overall, the condition of your product may affect your health and cause sleep disruptions. If there are evident lumps and it simply feels flat, then it’s time for a change. 

Do cooling pillows lose their cooling property with time?

To put it simply, yes, they do. A gel layer or a gel-infused pillow will feel cool at first because it remains at room temperature, but eventually, it will warm up. So, if you aren’t asleep by then, there is a chance you might feel hot again.

Some fabrics tend to wick away moisture and increase breathability. These fabrics include cotton, bamboo, and wool. Another aspect that can affect how cool a product feels is the shape. For example, a solid piece of foam will generally retain more heat than shredded, gel-infused or punctured products.

To sum it up, some options are better than others, meaning it’s up to you to decide what your personal preference, budget and needs are.

Bottom line

If you are a hot sleeper, a cooling pillow may be a good option because keeping your head cold decreases your body temperature. Cooling pillows can be a great solution to your problems, but still, there can be issues if you don’t know what to look for.

An option with a cool gel pad or a water pillow, for example, will help you feel instantly cooler when you get into bed. However, these types of cooling pillows warm up overnight because of your body temperature and don’t have a long-lasting effect. 

Cooling pillows can be a lifesaver for those who have trouble getting a good night sleep because of sweating and overheating. When looking for the best cooling pillow, you will not only look for its cooling capabilities but also support, firmness, and pressure relief.

We hope we were able to answer the how and why when it comes down to ‘Do cooling pillows work?’, and now it’s our turn to hear from you if any questions regarding the subject were left unanswered. If you want to share some information, we would gladly hear about it in the comments below.

Isabelle Harris
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