The real question is: What makes a pillow a cooling pillow? "Cooling pillows help provide a cool or temperature-neutral sleep surface through a two-stage process," Vice President Of Product & Merchandising at luxury bedding company Saatva, Byron Golub, tells Refinery29. That means it can either draw heat away or have better airflow than traditional pillows — or both. Golub says that natural latex, graphite-infused memory foam, shredded memory foam, or down alternative synthetic polyester materials are your best bet for a cooling pillow that truly delivers.
Armed with this knowledge, we went on the hunt for the breeziest cushions the internet has to offer. Not only do they feature the elements Golub tipped us off to, but they also have to pass the test of pleasing picky sleepers, with lots of real-life five-star reviews to show for it. Scroll on for the best cooling pillows — from luxe Tempur-pedic gems to under-$50 Wayfair finds and more.
Best Cooling Memory Foam Pillow
The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars and 22,625 reviews
Shredded memory foam is not only adaptable, but it's also ideal for breathability. Wayfair Sleep's fluffy filling has those bases covered with an extra cherry on top: it's hypoallergenic. On-site Wayfair reviewer Jessica raves that "these pillows are the best" and the "memory foam aspect is wonderful." In terms of cooling, Wayfair reviewer Anika E. says "They keep fresh all night never get hot."
Best Gel Cooling Pillow
The Hype: 4.3 out of 5 stars and 3,353 reviews
Memory foam has a reputation for being bad for hot sleepers, but the memory foam masters at Tempur-Pedic know how to conoct a top-rated gel cooling pillow that gives you the support of memory foam without the trapped heat. According to one on-site Tempur-Pedic reviewer, it provides "great support and keeps your head cool." With a crisp 100%-cotton cover and one cozy cushion sandwiched between two Tempur-Breeze gel layers, you can't go wrong with this luxury cooling pillow.
Best Down Alternative Cooling Pillow
The Hype: 4.8 out of 5 stars and 376 reviews
Golub mentions that down alternative synthetic fibers can, in fact, "mimic the feel of down but absorb very little body heat offering a much cooler sleep experience than traditional down." And seeing how Refinery29 readers can't get enough of Quince's down alternative comforter (according to our anonymous shopping data), we think the retailer's cost-effective pillow is worth carting. Plus, Quince reviewer Sarah S. writes, "It really is a nice addition when sleeping. It's soft and feels cool and crisp."
Best Latex Cooling Pillow
The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars and 164 reviews
Of course, Golub recommends Saatva's plush latex pillow, but it's the 100+ 5-star on-site reviews that have us convinced of its comfy cooling abilities. Verified buyer Roger G. loves its high-quality shredded latex filling. "I am sensitive to pillows that get too warm," he writes. "This pillow is the coolest one I have ever slept on. It's comfortable and very cool in temperature. I highly recommend it."
Best Cooling Pillow On Amazon
The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars and 35,741 ratings
According to one passionate Amazon review, this cooling cushion is "extremely cool and breathable," "really comfortable," "highly conforming," and simply doesn't retain heat. The secret? It's gel-infused, ventilated, and constructed from supportive memory foam.
Best Cooling Pillowcase
The Hype: 4.8 out of 5 stars and 77 reviews
For the hottest of heads, score a cooling pillow and pillowcase. If silky, moisture-wicking, and antimicrobial fabric sounds dreamy, Rest's Evercool+ threads are the ones for you. For on-site Rest reviewer and verified buyer Jahna B., it was a game changer. "I was skeptical both for the comforter and the pillow cases," she mentions. "Since putting on the pillow cases I haven't woken up with sweat soaked hair once. I used to flip my pillow over and over many times a night. I haven't once since I put on my Rest Pillow Case. Thank you Rest!"
Best Cooling Pillow For Side Sleepers
The Hype: 4.8 out 5 stars and 62 reviews
It's called "CloudSupport" for a reason: Sijo's plush pillow keeps sleepers both cool and relieves neck pressure with its eucalyptus fibers. Sijo reviewer Karen D. says it best, "I have tried every pillow out there no matter the price. This is the perfect pillow for a side sleeper. Supportive but soft. Oh, and refreshingly cool! A total win!"
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