There’s nothing worse than being trapped in bed like a hot and sweaty mess; uncomfortable yet desperate to sleep. You need a way to keep cool, but it seems impossible when the bed itself seems to be the problem.
I’m a classic “hot sleeper” myself. There have been too many times when I have woken up, drenched in sweat, and completely tangled in the sheets.
It’s a problem so many of us face, but so few of us beat.
One of the best ways to fix an overly toasty bed is with a cooling pillow. With such a wide choice of pillows touted as “cooling”, it can be hard to know where to begin.
The most important aspect you need to bring into your bedding is breathability. A breathable pillow will allow unwanted heat and moisture to escape. Other aspects like moisture-wicking and cooling materials all depend on your pillow having airflow and are there to boost the benefits of breathability.
I’ll get into more detail down below and then you can read my reviews of the top cooling pillows available in the UK.
Check out the box below for a quick rundown of the best cooling pillows, just click the name and you’ll be taken to their website where you can get some more info and buy yours.
Top 5 Best Cooling Pillows UK
- Top Choice – Kally Cooling Pillow For Night Sweats
- Best For Night Sweats – Rohi Hotel Quality Pillow with Stay Cool Bamboo Cover
- Best Cooling Memory Foam Pillow – Panda Life Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow
- Best For Side Sleepers – The Fine Bedding Company Synthetic Pillow Breathable Temperature Regulating
- Best Budget – Slumberdown Climate Control Pillow
1. Top Choice – Kally Cooling Pillow For Night Sweats
Filling: Hollowfibre and Memory Foam
- Supreme Breathability
- Hybrid Design
- Air Vents
- Hand Washable
The Kally Cooling pillow has a clever hybrid design. The inner core is made of air-permeable memory foam, surrounded by cool hollowfibre. This amounts to a pillow with both the supportiveness of memory foam and the breathability of hollowfibre.
The outer is made of lovely soft 100% cotton with air-vents built into the sidewalls. The mesh sidewalls give the airy inners space to breathe through.
This pillow is built with breathability as a priority.
Being able to wash your pillow is a really important feature for hot sleepers. The Kally Cooling Pillow is washable by hand. Just leave it to dry naturally on a flat surface.
2. Best For Night Sweats – Rohi Hotel Quality Pillow with Stay Cool Bamboo Cover
Filling: Shredded Memory Foam
- Adjust the shape to suit you
- Excellent Support
The Rohi Bamboo pillow is filled with shredded memory foam. This is a fairly unique feature which serves to both improve airflow and allow you to shape your pillow to suit you. That’s right, you can shape this pillow as you like and it stays put.
Being able to shape the pillow as you like, it is suitable for all sleep positions. Back sleepers, side sleepers, and stomach sleepers alike. What’s more, is it’s darn supportive.
The cover is wonderfully soft. It is made of 43% bamboo viscose fibres and 57% breathable polyester. It is supple and stretchy, aiding in its shape-changing ability.
Being made from bamboo, it is a sustainable product. Bamboo grows quickly, doesn’t require as much space as other crops, and produces 35% more oxygen than other crops.
To top it off, this pillow is hypoallergenic. It is resistant to allergens such as dust mites, pollen, and mould.
The Rohi Bamboo Pillow brings a wonderful balance of breathability and support.
3. Best Cooling Memory Foam Pillow – Panda Life Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow
Brand: Panda Life
Filling: Memory Foam
- Excellent Support
- Super Soft
- 30-Day Trial & 10-Year Warranty
I am a big fan of the Panda Life Memory Foam Pillow. It is genuinely made from bamboo fibres. Bamboo is darn soft and breathable, but it is also extremely sustainable.
Bamboo is naturally hypoallergenic, inhibits bacterial growth, and dries super fast. So it is very easy to keep clean. It is also moisture-wicking and immensely breathable.
Of course, the plush pillow cover is machine washable.
The memory foam inner has a triple-layer foam design. The multiple layers promote airflow through the foam itself while allowing the memory foam to mould and contour to your head; providing optimum support.
Memory foam pillows are particularly great for people who suffer from neck pain and shoulder pain.
If you want to read more on the Panda Life Memory Foam Pillow, check out my full review on it here.
4. Best For Side Sleepers – The Fine Bedding Company Synthetic Pillow Breathable Temperature Regulating
Brand: The Fine Bedding Company
- 2-Year Warranty
- Hotel Quality
- Moisture Wicking
- Machine Washable
The Fine Bedding company keeps their pillows simple and effective by selecting the highest quality materials. They also supply top hotels with bedding. This is a pillow that really gives that luxury hotel-bed feel.
While microfibre may be a fairly standard filling material, they opted for Modal and Smartfil fibres. Microfibre is well known as a breathable material; Modal and Smartfil fibres have been treated to be moisture-wicking. So this filling encourages moisture to pass out of the pillow along with unwanted heat.
The cover is made of super-soft cotton with a silky feel to it which helps to reduce friction against the pillow and inside of the pillowcase to give extra durability.
I am a sucker for fresh clean bedding. This pillow is machine washable at 60°C. If that’s not a way to guarantee the leanest pillow then I don’t know what is.
5. Best Budget – Slumberdown Climate Control Pillow
- Excellent for Side Sleepers
- Machine Washable and Tumble Dryer Friendly
- Keeps Its Plump Well
- Great Value Breathability
The Slumberdown Climate Control Pillow is really a fairly lofty pillow and by far the best budget option. It is ideal for side sleepers. It will fill the gap between your shoulder and ear just nicely while not being overly bulky.
Slumberdown has sustainability at heart as they produce their bedding. They source ethical materials, minimise waste, and make their products locally in the UK.
The filling is made from dacron. This is an extremely breathable synthetic material which was originally used to make cushions stay plump and soft. It is hypoallergenic, non-absorbent, and mildew-resistant. So it truly makes an excellent filling for a climate control pillow.
It is both machine washable at 40°C and tumble dryer friendly. So keeping your bed clean and fresh will be a breeze.
For such a simple filling, I am surprised at the support this pillow is able to provide while maintaining a pleasant squishy softness. An excellent choice for people who don’t want their pillows firm.
Cooling Pillow Buying Guide
For “hot sleepers”, night time can quickly descend into a nightmare. Especially if you’re trying to sleep in a hot and humid climate.
While you can’t control the climate, you absolutely can choose bedding more suited to providing that much-needed cooling feeling.
The cooling technology in your pillow is key to ensuring you stay as cool as possible through the night.
Fabrics that allow air to pass through it will enable heat to escape, cool air to enter, and even allow moisture to disperse. Ensuring your pillow has these features will be paramount in preventing night sweats before they even start.
Some materials may be naturally inclined toward enabling air to pass through it easily, other materials might achieve this through clever engineering such as shaped air-flow channels.
Pillow materials with moisture-wicking properties will work in tandem with the breathability of the pillow. A material that is moisture-wicking, also known as hydrophobic, is less inclined to allow moisture to stick to it.
If a pillow is both breathable and moisture-wicking, then sweat and damp are unlikely to linger.
This will drastically reduce humidity in your bedding.
Some cooling pillows have a special gel pad built into them which feels cool against you.
It works on a little bit of physics called heat capacity. It’s the reason metal can feel cold to the touch despite not being in a particularly cold place.
Cooling materials do have the potential to bring the opposite result if they hinder breathability. So this particular aspect could be a hit or a miss.
Whether your bedding has clever built-in technology to help keep you cool, if you are going to be sweating up the sheets, washable bedding is an absolute must-have.
I absolutely love clean fresh bedding. Nothing beats jumping into a bed of clean sheets. I am also a clear-cut “hot sleeper”.
You certainly don’t want to leave sweat in the sheets to fester. Machine washable bedding is an area you cannot compromise on. At the very least, it needs a washable cover.
Designed For Your Sleep Style
For sweaty sleepers, discomfort can simply come part and parcel. You don’t need pillows that don’t match your sleep style on top of that.
Everyone has a different sleep style. Whether you’re a side sleeper, stomach sleeper, or a back sleeper, you need a pillow made to provide just the right neck support for you.
Other Ways To Stay Cool At Night
Getting clean fresh air in your bedroom will make a massive difference in keeping you cool.
While leaving a window wide open through the night might not be possible for everyone, some windows have locking mechanisms that allow them to be fastened while remaining just slightly open. Many windows have little vents built-in at the top which can just be flipped open to improve airflow.
So maybe leaving a window open isn’t for you. You can get many of the benefits of an open window with a fan.
Keeping the air in the room moving will provide a gentle windchill effect and help to carry unwanted heat away from you.
I’m sure we’ve all heard that heat rises. So where is it cooler? Down low!
While sleeping on the floor will absolutely achieve this; a hard floor pales in comparison to just about any bed.
It might sound a bit odd, but a low bed is actually a fair bit cooler than tall beds.
A Cold Water Bottle
Do you have a hot water bottle lying around? Just fill it up with cold water straight out of the tap and throw it into your bed.
For bonus points, you could plan ahead and pop your cold water bottle into bed an hour or so before bed-time for a pre-chilled slumber chariot.
If you don’t mind a bit of moisture, try hitting the hay with damp hair.
This is also an age-old hairstyling method. Going to bed with braided damp hair is a sure way to wake up with volumous wavy hair.
Do cooling pillows really work?
There are so many cooling pillows on the market with all kinds of different designs. This has led to a bit of a mixed message over whether cooling pillows truly work or not. Let’s debunk that noise.
Many cooling pillows have clever materials built into them which actually feel cold to the touch. The key aspect you want in a cooling pillow is breathability.
Breathability and airflow allow unwanted heat and moisture to pass out of your pillow.
On the flip side, pillows that are designed to actually feel cold are not necessarily breathable. Yet some can still be breathable. It’s a bit of a “not all fingers are thumbs” kind of situation.
The material which gives that cold feeling can end up becoming warm from your body heat. If it also has poor breathability then you’re primed to overheat.
You need that airflow.
Is there a pillow that stays cool all night?
So like we talked about earlier; pillows which actually feel cold against your skin, but don’t necessarily allow air to pass through them, may not do the trick.
The key aspect you need in your pillow is breathability. You need the airflow to allow heat and moisture to escape.
There are many breathable pillows on the market. So, yes, there are pillows that will keep you cool all night. That’s what this guide is all about of course!
Do cooling pillows lose their cool?
Whether cooling pillows lose their cool goes back to this cooling material vs breathability aspect.
If a pillow has a material that initially feels cold against your skin but has poor breathability, then it will lose it’s cool.
If a pillow has a cold-feeling material but also has great breathability, then it will not lose its cool.
Do you put pillowcases on cooling pillows?
I recommend you put a pillowcase on your cooling pillow. Just make sure the pillowcase is made of a breathable fabric, that is key.
The reason I recommend a pillowcase is to help keep your pillow clean.
Hot sleepers are the people most prone to sweaty sleeping. When you sweat a lot in your sleep, you absolutely need to be able to keep your bedding clean. A pillowcase is an extra layer of cleanliness protection; it prevents as much sweat soaking into your pillow.
Besides, nothing beats a fresh clean bed.
Other Cooling Pillows
Silentnight Airmax Support Pillow
- Excellent Budget Option
- Minimal Plumping
- Machine Washable
Silentnight’s Airmax technology does an impressive job of balancing comfort and breathability with value. It has earned a strong reputation for being comfy at a low cost.
The filling is hollowfiber; cheap and cheerful. It is comfortable and doesn’t need as much plumping as the likes of a feather pillow or down pillow. While it can be a good feather or down alternative it won’t last quite as long.
It is built with mesh sidewalls to allow plenty of airflow into that airy hollowfibre inner. This is becoming a fairly common feature on pillows because it is very effective at promoting breathability.
It is machine washable at 40°C, hypoallergenic, breathable, and easy on the pocket.
Sealy Posturepedic Coolsense Pillow
Filling: Memory Foam
- Cooling Feel
- Super Soft Touch
- Spot Clean
The outer is super soft and made of DuPont Cotrano fibres which are breathable and cooling to the touch. It is spot clean only, so unfortunately not washing machine friendly.
The inner is designed to maximise the cooling effect of the outer material with large air channels built into the memory foam core. When I say large air channels, I mean they make about half of the inner volume just air.
With so much air inside this pillow, it really is amazing it still provides medium-firm support. Memory foam is made softer by your body heat. Under your body weight memory foam contours and moulds to provide unique support to suit your shape.
The delivery packaging is certainly pretty large for the size of the pillow itself. Maybe Sealy should vacuum pack the Coolsense Pillow similar to how mattresses are packaged.
Woolroom Natural Hypoallergenic Temperature Regulating British Wool Pillow
- Naturally Hypoallergenic
- Breathable and Climate Controlled
- Machine Washable
- Adjustable Height
I really like wool as a bedding material. It is naturally hypoallergenic, keeping dust mites and other allergens at bay. It is also naturally climate controlled, making it a perfect pillow filling to keep you cool.
All of the wool used in Woolroom products are ethically sourced from British farms that follow The Five Freedoms. There is only kindness in these pillows. Wool is also very durable, you can expect to get a long life out of this pillow.
The wool balls are contained in a cotton case with a thread count of 200; which makes it soft, but not like silk, just how I like it.
The pillow really does feel soft. I would grade it as a medium firmness but it certainly also has some great support.
Another great feature to this pillow is that you can remove some of the wool filling if you find it too lofty, making it an excellent unintentional adjustable pillow.
LIVIVO Memory Foam Pillow with Built-in Cool Jelly Pad Top Laye
Filling: Memory Foam
- Cooling Layer
- Brilliant Support
- Washable Bamboo Cover
The LIVIO Memory Foam Gel Pillow is made for people who like a pillow with really firm support. It has a cool gel layer which feels lovely and refreshing to the touch.
The removable bamboo cover is lovely and soft. Bamboo is both moisture-wicking and breathable. It is also naturally hypoallergenic, inhibits bacterial growth, and dries about twice as fast as other fabrics.
While the memory foam inner does an excellent job of moulding and contouring to your head and neck to provide optimum support; it is not as breathable as other options.
I think an improvement in the LIVIO Gel Memory Foam Pillow design would be building air vent channels into the memory foam. Without vents, the memory foam has the potential to be too insulative and prevent the cooling gel side from staying cool.
Filling: Memory Foam
- Machine Washable Cover
- Certified Quality
- Great Value
The Amazon Basics Cooling Memory Foam Pillow is a keep-it-simple, yet effective, low-cost option for people who like a firm pillow.
It is both CertiPur-EU and OEKO-TEX certified which mean this pillow follows strict guidelines on quality, safety, and sustainability.
The cover is made of ice silk, also known as rayon. It is a fabric made of viscose fibres, which is also what memory foam is made from. As a fabric, it has a similar moisture content to human skin; it is also smooth, cool, and very breathable.
The inner is made of fairly standard memory foam. Firm, flat, and rectangular. It will likely look a bit out of place amongst regular bed pillows.
While the cover certainly is light, airy, and breathable; the inner is just regular memory foam, so it is actually quite insulative and could be more breathable. Air ven channels built into the memory foam inner would make a big improvement.
While hunting for the best pillow to combat overheating at night; breathability is key. An airy pillow is what will allow unwanted heat and moisture to escape.
Cooling aspects alone don’t make the pillow perfect. It also has to suit your favourite sleeping position to ensure it is as comfortable as possible. There is no point in having the best cooling pillow if it is still uncomfortable.
So are you a side sleeper, a back sleeper, or a front sleeper? Ensure the pillow you choose is built for you. With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to find the perfect cool pillow, but that’s why we have this buyer’s guide after all.