Chill out, doze off: These are the top cooling pillows for sleeping (2023)

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Sinking your head into bed is the simplest luxury of all, but achieving optimum pillow comfort can be a bit more complicated.

Pillow shopping factors to consider start with whether you like a soft, medium, or firm composition, while body temperature tendencies are just as important.

Should you be prone to overheating or getting hot and bothered from feeling restless at night, a cooling pillow is the ideal option. These solutions vary from temperature-regulating materials to breathable layers, and even cooling gel fillings.

The cooling pillow intensity of choice depends on personal preference, and if you’re looking for help with night sweats or hot flushes, or simply a more refreshing sleep set-up, we’re here to help with a few options for side, front, and back sleepers, covering all cooling bedtime bases.

How we tested

We trialled a range of pillows over several weeks, sampling them one at a time with different bedding layers. Our tester looked at how much cooling comfort the pillows provided, for sleeping on and sitting up in bed. We also compared firmness and value for money, as well as breathability and any additional design features.

Read more:

  • 10 best pillows for side, front and back sleepers
  • 12 best mattress toppers to feel like you’re on cloud nine
  • 11 best silk pillowcases that reduce frizzy hair and wrinkles
  • Best mattress 2022: Memory foam, pocket sprung and hybrid

Read on for our pick of the best cooling pillows, from gently refreshing to noticeably chilling.

The best cooling pillows for 2022 are:

  • Best overall –Silentnight cool touch pillow: £28,
  • Best for height adaptability –Simba hybrid pillow: £109,
  • Best fluffy pillow –Emma premium microfibre pillow: £59.50,
  • Best for neck support –Dreams therapur memory foam ice pillow: £80,
  • Best for gently cooling relaxation –Soak & Sleep pure silk pillow: £80,
  • Best fresh feeling surface –John Lewis & Partners synthetic smart cool pillow: £30,
  • Best firm pillow –Eve Sleep memory foam pillow: £59,
  • Best mesh for air circulation –Kally Sleep cooling pillow: £39.99,
  • Best budget buy –M&S 2 pack comfortably cool pillows: £29.50,

Silentnight cool touch pillow

Best: Overall

Rating: 9/10

  • Firmness: Medium
  • Size: 74cm x 48cm

The knitted cover of this Silentnight cooling pillow holds medium-firm filling inside, with a top layer of gel bubbles. These tactile bumps released intense, instant coolness when our tester’s head pressed onto the hypoallergenic pillow. We appreciated the immediate chill, especially when waking up too warm or turning over. The gel pad is soft enough to lay your head on, while bringing the crisp relief of a cold surface.

Although the gel bubbles warmed up slightly after resting for a while, we found their freshness returned by shifting our head’s position. Our tester noted the pillow has shape flexibility and works well as a fairly flat headrest, or as part of a stack. We couldn’t fault how consistently cooling the top layer is, making the under £30 price tag a very reasonable spend.

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Simba hybrid pillow

Best: For height adaptability

Rating: 8/10

  • Firmness: Adjustable
  • Size: 70cm x 50cm

This hypoallergenic pillow arrived with a drawstring mesh bag to store any excess foam cube filling which can be removed for adjusting the firmness. As the “nanocubes” are small, we liked being able to tailor the height precisely. The top temperature regulating pillow layer is immediately cooling to touch, and we were soothed by this when turning over in bed. Continuous moving around at night doesn’t diminish that fresh feel either.

On the other side is a smooth cotton surface, while the mesh outer border keeps airflow moving, and we noticed a refreshing airiness. The overall outer composition has a durable high-quality thickness to match the premium price. Because of the adjustability, we were comfy in all sleeping positions and even at its firmest, the machine washable pillow is spongy enough for resting on.

Read the full Simba hybrid review

Emma premium microfibre pillow

Best: Fluffy pillow

Rating: 8/10

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  • Firmness: Adjustable
  • Size: 70cm x 50cm

The zip closure case with blue piping contains separate bulky and flat microfibre layers, which are removable to cater for different firmness preferences. We mostly kept them both in place, liking how much our head sank into the super fluffy overall composition. It felt similar to a down pillow, minus any feathers.

The freshness we noticed comes from the top “UltraDry” sweat-eliminating cover. We noted a comforting crispness to this supremely soft pillow top, bringing a gentle airiness rather than overt chill. Plus, because of the squishy filling, we found it supportive in all sleeping positions. The entire pillow is machine washable for thorough cleaning too.

Dreams therapur memory foam ice pillow

Best: For neck support

Rating: 8/10

  • Firmness: Firm
  • Size: 70cm x 48 cm

This memory foam pillow has a dense shape with enough movement to mould, and a cooling knitted cover. Our tester found the firm form best for side sleeping, while being noticeably supportive. We could feel the firmness hold our neck well in particular.

Both sides are cooling to the touch and bring that flipped pillow feel, offering instant respite from being too warm. There’s breathability in the memory foam as well, adding an airiness. The pillow’s depth is level throughout so, usefully, it lies flush with other bedding. Although an investment pillow purchase, the firming support accompanying its breezy coolness would also suit head or neck achiness.

Soak & Sleep pure silk pillow

Best: For gently cooling relaxation

Rating: 8/10

  • Firmness: Medium
  • Size: 75cm x 50cm

Hypoallergenic silk has natural temperature regulating qualities, wicking away moisture and warmth like sweat. The satisfyingly plumped-up, yet soft, fibres were gently cooling on our face while we fell asleep, and retained freshness overnight. We also found it easy to settle into the composition across all sleeping positions, which we noticed most during a few restless nights we spent tossing and turning.

The effect of sinking into this pillow is luxurious relaxation, with it being light and breathable to rest on, rather than really chilly. We could also feel a soothing skin comfort from this pillow, too.

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John Lewis & Partners synthetic smart cool pillow

Best: Fresh-feeling surface

Rating: 8.5/10

  • Firmness: Medium/ firm
  • Size: 74cm x 48cm

This synthetic-filled pillow has a cotton cover and a medium-to-firm thickness, perfecting the balance between sinking into the pillow and being supported. Because of that, we found it most comfortable for lying flat on our back and in a side-sleeping position. The cooling surface layer can be felt through a pillowcase and provides a freshness our tester noticed on both the face and head.

Lying down, we noted a newly washed bedding feel of airiness each night that didn’t fade with use. Pressing our skin against the pillow brought a reactive cooling effect that helped lull us back to sleep. Plus, the entire pillow is machine washable as an extra bonus for long-term cleanliness.

Although currently out of stock, the synthetic smart pillow will be back soon.

Eve Sleep memory foam pillow

Best: Firm pillow

Rating: 8/10

  • Firmness: Firm
  • Size: 66cm x 42cm

The yellow-piped pillow comes complete with a removable machine washable polyester cover for keeping it clean. There are tiny holes in the PU memory foam, adding breathability which we noted when resting our head on its surface. That’s where we saw the coolness come into play, as a refreshing airy release, rather than a chilly overall surface area.

The firm foam is supportive and held our head and back in place without any squishiness. There is some give though with movement, but just the right amount for a dense firmness. We found this pillow to be a useful height for reading on our back or side, too.

Read the full Eve Sleep memory foam pillow review

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Kally Sleep cooling pillow

Best: Mesh for air circulation

Rating: 8/10

  • Firmness: Medium
  • Size: 70cm x 40cm

This fluffed-up medium firm pillow contains inner foam, and an outer microfibre filling with a mesh surround for boosting air circulation. We found the composition really comfy to prop us up when lying on our back or side. Each side of the pillow is equally fresh, and we noticed the breeziness from the mesh while hugging it too.

Resting our head on the smooth surface felt refreshing and lightly cooling. But for us, the mesh surround brought the most coolness – sometimes, we placed our hands on it while sleeping. It’s worth knowing that the pillow can be hand washed too.

M&S 2 pack comfortably cool pillows

Best: Budget buy

Rating: 8/10

  • Firmness: Medium
  • Size: 74cm x 48cm

This polyester-filled pillow pair has a cotton exterior that we noticed felt fresh when first laying our head down. Layering both together lets you sit up in bed, and when separated, we found using one was enough to sleep on our side. They are a simple composition as pillows go, if you do prefer a classic shape and style, and we appreciated the crisp cotton effect they add to bedding, with a light, refreshing feel on our skin. Machine washable too, we were impressed by the price point for a matching pair.

The verdict: Cooling pillows

For a noticeably chilled pillow effect, Silentnight’s cool touch pillow was our consistently cool favourite. Meanwhile, the Simba hybrid pillow offers height adaptability and a soothing coolness. Finally, for breezy cooling, plus back and neck support, we’d recommend the Dreams therapur memory foam ice pillow.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on pillows and mattresses, try the links below:

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  • Made discount codes
  • Soak and Sleep discount codes
  • Very discount codes

Front, side and back sleepers, we’ve found the best memory foam pillows for extra neck support and comfort


Which is the best cooling pillow? ›

Best cooling pillows: At a glance
  • Best gel pillow: Silentnight Wellbeing Cool Touch pillow | Buy now.
  • Best for back sleepers: DUSK cooling medium support pillow | Buy now.
  • Best for side sleepers: OTTY Deluxe Pure Pillow | Buy now.
11 Aug 2022

What is the coolest pillow to sleep on UK? ›

What are the best cooling pillows UK?
  • Simba. Pillow. Price from £ 70.85 £ (109 ) The Simba Hybrid Pillow is an excellent choice for those in need of adjustable support. ...
  • Kally Sleep. Cooling Pillow. Price from £ 39.99. ...
  • Tempur. Cloud CoolTouch Pillow. Price from £ 129. ...
  • Silentnight. Wellbeing Cool Touch Pillow. Price from £ 44.
26 Sept 2022

Do cooling pillows work UK? ›

If you're a hot sleeper or tend to wake up in a sweat, then a cooling pillow will definitely help. They lower the temperature around your head, neck and shoulders which, in turn, helps you to sleep a lot more soundly.

Do cold pillows help sleep? ›

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.

Is there a cooling pillow that actually works? ›

A lot of foam pillows we've tested claim to sleep cool while still trapping heat, but the Luxury Cooling Memory Foam Pillow from Brooklyn Bedding is the real deal. A ventilated core and breathable, cool-to-the-touch cover allow you to enjoy the foam's adaptive, pressure-relieving qualities without feeling too warm.

How long do cooling pillows last? ›

“Generally, cooling pillows can last anywhere from two to four years,” says Dr. Dalal. “[You can] expect cooling pillows to last longer, or rather maintain their shape and firmness [longer] compared to standard pillows, as a result of them being made from more durable materials.”

What pillow material stays the coolest? ›

"The best cooling pillows are usually made out of gel or latex and feature a cotton or bamboo fabric cover," says Foley. While she notes that memory foam can trap heat, shredded options are usually a bit more breathable as they allow for more airflow.

What are the cold pillows called? ›

ActiGel: ActiGel is a common cool pillow filling as it features a typically cool touch which pulls heat away from the body. These gel pillows also help with supporting and cushioning the neck. Latex:Latex pillows are breathable, meaning they can maintain a cool sleeping surface.

How can I keep cool in bed? ›

  1. Choose a cooling mattress topper. Cooling toppers are a great way to cool your mattress down while also providing an extra touch of comfort. ...
  2. Try cooler pillows. ...
  3. Cool your bedroom down. ...
  4. Increase air circulation. ...
  5. Swap to cotton bedding. ...
  6. Use a lightweight duvet. ...
  7. Try using a hot water bottle. ...
  8. Adjust your clothing.

Can cooling pillows be washed? ›

The pillow itself can only be spot cleaned with mild soap and water. Do not immerse the pillow in water, this breaks down the foam.

Are cooling pillows safe? ›

Are Cooling Pillows Toxic? If pillows are using only natural materials, such as wool, which are known to naturally regulate body temperature, then they wouldn't be toxic. However, most “cooling pillows” are using gels, foams and other man-made materials that promise to whisk away heat.

Do cooling pillows stop working? ›

Both the gel pillow and the water-filled cooling pillow insert only work for a limited time. They quickly absorb the heat energy from your body. They're cool initially, but the heat slowly builds up and stays inside.

What is the coldest cooling pillow? ›

  • Purple Harmony Pillow. ...
  • Weekender Ventilated Gel Memory-Foam Pillow. ...
  • Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Shredded-Memory-Foam Pillow. ...
  • Tempur-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow. ...
  • Allswell Gel Cooling Pillow. ...
  • Sleep Number True Temp Pillow. ...
  • Nestl Bedding Ice Gel-Infused Adjustable Memory-Foam Body Pillow.
16 Sept 2022

Do you use pillowcases on cooling pillows? ›

Since it requires air to flow and circulate inside, it is strongly recommended that you use a breathable pillowcase. A cotton cover or even a silk pillow cover can be a perfect fit. For cooling pillows, a waterproof pillowcase that defends against dust mites, bacteria, molds and mildew is ideal.

Why do cold pillows feel good? ›

Well, it turns out that keeping a cool head helps the body to regulate its core temperature. If we heat up too much, then we try to dissipate the heat by pumping blood to our hands, feet, and head. By transferring the heat through to the pillow, our bodies cool down and allow us to sleep more deeply.

How do you make a cooling gel pillow cold again? ›

Just like placing an ice pack into the freezer, you can put your (hopefully clean) pillowcase inside too. This is an excellent option if you don't have an air conditioner. Go a step further and place your pillow in the freezer. I guarantee you'll meet your match for cool.

How often should you change your pillows on your bed? ›

Most experts recommend replacing pillows every 1 to 2 years. Doing so helps to ensure that you're using pillows that are supportive, clean, and free of allergens. It is also important to care for the pillows you use to ensure their longevity. Generally, you'll be able to tell when it's time to replace your pillows.

Are Cool gel pillows any good? ›

Cooling pillows can work, but there can be issues. A pillow with a cool gel pad or a water pillow, for example, will help you feel instantly cooler when you get into bed. The downside is that these types of cool pillow warm up overnight because of your body temperature. A breathable pillow can be a good option.

What pillow material stays the coolest? ›

"The best cooling pillows are usually made out of gel or latex and feature a cotton or bamboo fabric cover," says Foley. While she notes that memory foam can trap heat, shredded options are usually a bit more breathable as they allow for more airflow.

Do cooling pillows keep you from sweating? ›

Cooling pillows help regulate body temperature and may prevent overheating and relieve night sweats. These pillows draw heat away from the body through a cooling gel or breathable fibers. Many of them come with covers made from breathable, moisture-wicking fabric.


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