Keep a cool head with these cooling pillows

Where the cold side of the pillow is always in reach
Bedroom ideas and designs
Elsa Young

An investment in your bedding is an investment in a good night's sleep–and a cooling pillow should be considered one with excellent return. Experts suggest that better sleep leads to improved performance both mentally and physically, so if your mattress is looking a little sad and your duvet a touch ragged, it’s time to refresh and redress your bed.

Just like the best mattresses, the best pillows are ones that offer breathable support. As a general rule, you need a pillow that maintains the same alignment between your shoulders and spine as when you’re standing upright. This means the ideal height will vary depending on whether you’re a back sleeper, front sleeper or a side sleeper.

Best cooling pillow to buy at a glance

Don't have time to read our full guide? See our breakdown of the best cooling pillows here:

The Memory Foam Pillow

What is a cooling pillow?

As the name suggests, a cooling pillow, or cool pillow, is one that stays cold throughout the night. Gone are the days of flipping your pillow over to find the cool side. With these pillows, every side is the cold side. Cool pillows feel rather like the best memory foam pillows do, except the former will have a gel pad, or layer of cooling technology over the foam core.

How do cool pillows work?

Cool pillows work by wicking away sweat and utilising temperature regulating fabrics, which prevent overheating. Others use a layer of cooling gel that lowers your body temperature (a thing of joy for hot sleepers).

What are the benefits of a cooling pillow?

Cooling gel pillows lower the temperature around your neck, shoulders and, most importantly, head. The drop in temperature signals that it’s time to sleep, telling your body to slow down and rest. Not only does this encourage our bodies to fall asleep faster, but it improves the sleep we do get.

Best cooling pillows to buy

Why we love it: Top of our ice cold wishlist is Simba Sleep's Hybrid Pillow. It's usually on the very top end of the spectrum at £109, but it's available today for just £70.85. We think its high tech, high spec qualities make it worth every penny. The retailer rather vaguely describes the technology as “space-inspired”, which they do leave unexplained. However, there is a more detailed guide to the pillow's layers that shows exactly what's in your pillow, from the core all the way to the breathable mesh cover. It boasts adjustable height and firmness thanks to its use of removable open cell nano cubes, meaning you need not settle for anything less than perfection.

The Memory Foam Pillow

A winning formula of cooling air holes and memory foam make Eve Sleep's Memory Foam Pillow a truly brilliant addition to your night's sleep. Described as “more supportive than squishy," this pillow is heavier than a normal pillow, which is definitely something to take into account before purchase. However, this does make the pillow ideal for back sleepers and side sleepers, as it's designed to keep your spine and neck aligned.

The Everdene Cooling Pillow

An excellent choice for side or back sleepers. The sleep experts have come up with this clever, thermoregulating pillow, encased in 100% Egyptian cotton and filled with hollow fibre pockets that improve airflow.

Silentnight Cool Touch Pillow

For those less willing to part with their money, there are some great affordable cooling pillows out there. Granted, most of the options are not as brilliant as the more high tech pillows, but we've found a few that match up. Silentnight's Cool Touch Pillow is one of the best on the market as the cooling gel pad is activated by pressure, working throughout the night to keep you as cool as possible. It's perfect for hot sleepers and night sweaters that are hoping for some respite.

Summer Cool Medium Support Pillow, pair

Slumberdown's Summer Cool Medium Support Pillow is another good pick for those on a budget as you can get a set of two pillows for just £16. This one is made from polyester which means it's slightly less effective than the cooling gel picks, but the upside of that is that it's completely machine washable.

Kally Sleep Cooling Standard Pillow

Made in the UK, these John Lewis Cooling Standard Pillows offer soft medium support for those who prefer to sleep on their side or front. The pillow is carefully made up of layers of foam core filling, a cool-layer of hillow fibre and a cotton casing. The foam layer is really breathable, allowing air flow to move throughout the pillow and regulate body temperature.

Silentnight So Cool Pillows

So Cool Pillow

Stomach sleepers will be in need of slightly thinner pillows, or pillows with a little more give. Silentnight's So Cool Pillows come in a set of two and are ideal for the aforementioned. The pillows are filled with DuPont fibres which keep you cool all night long and, thankfully, are machine washable for easy care.

Premium Nectar Pillow, pair

Nectar Sleep's Premium Pillows also come in a set of two. Utilising a memory foam core with quilted outer shell and tencel cooling fabric, this pillow is topped off with a breathable mesh border. With this pillow, you'll always be sleeping on the cool side.

For more sleep content, head to our round up of the best mattressess to buy, as well as the best beds to go underneath it and the best mattress toppers to go on top. We've also got guides to the best pillows, best weighted blankets and best memory foam mattresses. If all you need is to dress the bed, we have all the best bedding, patterned bed sheets and an edit of the best pillowcases. For ultimate luxury, take a look at our gallery of the best silk pillowcases.