The Best Gel Pillows for a Cool & Comfortable Night’s Sleep
May 14th, 2021 •
Do you find yourself kicking off your blankets at night or sweating through your sheets? Many people struggle to stay cool throughout the night. One way to address this issue is by creating a sleep environment with cooling bedding.
Gel pillows are designed to help you stay cool at night. When you enjoy comfortable sleep, you’re more likely to sleep well and wake up feeling refreshed.
The best gel pillows regulate body temperature and wick away moisture, supporting a good night’s rest. Read on to see which cooling pillows made our list of top picks.
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Best Gel Pillows in 2021
- Best Gel Pillow on Amazon – Coop Home Goods
- Best Orthopedic Gel Pillow – PharMeDoc Pillow
- Best Cooling Gel Pillow – TEMPUR-ProForm Pillow
- Best Hypoallergenic Gel Pillow – Buckham Hotel Pillow
- Best Budget Gel Pillow – Classic Brands Pillow
- Best Gel Pillow for Side Sleepers – Columbia High Performance Pillow
The Coop Home Goods Eden Adjustable Pillow is made from shredded memory foam with cooling gel distributed throughout. Because you can add or subtract the memory foam fill, this pillow can be made to accommodate any sleeper.
We love shredded memory foam because it offers the moldability and support of memory foam but with room for air circulation. Even without gel, shredded foam pillows are much cooler than their traditional foam pillow counterparts. With their gel-infused shredded memory foam, Coop Home Goods creates a pillow that is at once supportive, comfortable, and cool.
What made the Eden pillow shoot up to our top pick is not only its impeccable support and cooling power, but its quality ingredients. The Coop Home Goods pillow is GREENGUARD and CertiPUR-US certified, keeping you and your family safe from harsh chemicals. And with a 100-night guarantee, you have time to test it out and ensure that it’s the right pillow for you.
Best Orthopedic Gel Pillow
Orthopedic pillows are designed for sleepers who battle pain and stiffness in their back and neck upon waking. With a curved design, PharMeDoc’s Orthopedic Memory Foam Pillow with Cooling Gel cradles and supports the neck. Improved spine alignment helps you sleep peacefully and wake up feeling energized.
Along the top of the foam pillow is a layer of cooling blue gel. As your head releases heat, the gel absorbs the heat and disperses it away from your body. Its soft pillowcase is breathable and machine washable.
Best Cooling Gel Pillow
Tempur-Pedic is a leading luxury memory foam brand that continues to provide loyal customers with the highest-quality memory foam products available. They used innovative technology and proprietary materials to create their ProForm Cooling Pillow.
The middle of the pillow consists of Tempur-Pedic’s iconic memory foam. On top and bottom of the foam layer is their cooling gel which dissipates body heat. Their cover is created to be both breathable and cool to the touch so that you don’t need another pillowcase.
The feel of the ProForm pillow is medium, shaping to your head for a custom fit. With a high-loft and low-loft option, you can choose the right pillow based on your sleeping position.
With a 5-year limited warranty, this luxury pillow is designed to stand the test of time.
Best Hypoallergenic Gel Pillow
Not everyone loves the feel of memory foam. For those who adore the fluffy comfort of the traditional polyester pillow, the Buckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow combines a plush feel with gel for cool comfort.
Related: Best Hotel Pillows
The 100% cotton shell is 240 thread count, creating a soft and smooth surface to rest your head (although we do recommend pairing them with cooling pillowcases).
These pillows are dust mite resistant and hypoallergenic, a necessity for people with allergies or asthma. Plus, they’re machine washable, making it easy to keep them free from irritants like pet hair and household dust.
Best Gel Pillow on a Budget
One great thing about memory foam and cooling gel is that you don’t have to break the bank to get it. For shoppers looking for high-quality cooling power at a competitive price, we recommend the Reversible Cool Gel and Memory Foam Pillow from Classic Brands.
A combination of a gel layer on top and visibly thin and breathable mesh cover promotes airflow, supporting cool, dry sleep. And for cooler nights, you can flip the pillow over for the memory foam comfort without the gel.
The feel is medium-plush with a 5-inch loft, making it a solid choice for back and side sleepers.
Best Gel Pillow for Side Sleepers
Not everyone sleeps hot 100% of the time. Rather than swap pillows in the hopes that you choose the right one for your evening temperature control, try Columbia’s High Performance Extreme Cooling Memory Foam Pillow.
Columbia is well-known for producing quality products. Their proprietary extreme cooling gel completely covers one side of the pillow to keep your nice and cool. And while the other side is gel-free, it is still incredibly breathable, wicking away moisture if you do happen to get a bit warm.
With a medium-firm feel, this pillow offers the support and structure that side sleepers need.
What Are Gel Pillows?
Gel pillows are any type of pillow that includes gel as a means of supporting temperature regulation. They typically sleep cooler than their counterparts.
There are a variety of gel pillows on the market. Memory foam pillows with gel are the most common thanks to memory foam’s ability to absorb heat and feed it back during the night. Gel infusion, whether as a layer on top of the foam or distributed throughout, minimizes heat transfer back to you.
Some polyester pillows also include gel to make them cooler. These are called poly-gel pillows, and they are usually a softer, more plush option when compared to foam pillows.
How to Choose the Best Gel Pillow
1. Consider the Pillow Fill
Finding the right gel pillow requires first deciding what you’re looking for in a pillow. Do you like a moldable pillow that you can conform to your favorite position, or do you love the supportive contouring effect of solid memory foam? And what level of firmness and loft do you require?
When it comes to loft and firmness, the ideal selection varies based on sleep position.
- Back sleepers require a medium-to-firm pillow with a moderate loft.
- Side sleepers need a lofty, supportive pillow to adequately support the head and neck.
- Stomach sleepers can sleep with no pillow at all. If they use a pillow, it needs to be very flat to avoid further neck, shoulder, and back pain.
As to the feel and experience of a pillow, you must consider the fill material.
- Solid memory foam is medium-firm and supportive with exceptional contouring. This type of pillow is generally best for back and side sleepers. If too thick, it can cause neck pain in stomach sleepers.
- Shredded memory foam allows you to mold a pillow to your body shape while providing a soft-feeling but incredibly supportive pillow. These attributes make it a solid choice for side sleepers. Stomach sleepers can also benefit as you can often remove the fill to create the ideal pillow thickness.
- Poly-gel fill pillows are much softer, with a plush, traditional pillow feel. People who snuggle their pillow or move their pillow around with them at night benefit from the lightweight comfort offered by poly-gel pillows.
2. Examine the Cover Material
It’s not only the pillow itself that determines whether or not it promotes a comfortable night’s sleep. The pillowcase will influence how hot or cold a pillow feels. Look for a pillow that comes with a cover that supports air circulation and wicks away moisture.
3. Are there any Unique Features?
Pillow manufacturers use a variety or proprietary technologies and unique pillow shapes that might benefit you. You can find pillows that are:
- Adjustable pillows: filling can be removed or added.
- Reversible pillows: offer versatility with different feels or added cooling potential.
- Orthopedic pillows: designed to support alignment and relieve neck and back pain.
- Made for specific sleepers in mind, such as side sleepers.
4. Look for Warranties and Trial Periods
The best pillows often come with extended trial periods and warranties. Trial periods are the initial period during which you can try out a product with little-to-no financial risk. While most companies will allow returns within 30 days of purchase, others will extend this trial period to 60 or 90 days, with a no-questions-asked guarantee.
Warranties are prolonged guarantees that cover manufacturer’s defects. Long warranties show that the company stands behind the quality and longevity of their pillows.
Do all gel pillows sleep cooler than traditional pillows?
Gel pillows are designed with cooling gel that absorbs body heat without feeding it back to you over the night. However, not all gel pillows are going to offer the same level of temperature regulation.
There are other factors, too, that will determine how well the pillow dissipates heat. Solid chunks of memory foam tend to sleep hotter than their shredded counterparts. This means that a shredded foam pillow without gel could sleep cooler than some solid memory foam pillows with gel.
We chose gel pillows with exceptional customer reviews in the cooling department because we know this is why you’re choosing a gel pillow over a regular one. But understand that what is cool to one person may still not be the level of relief that you require. Every person, and every pillow, is different. Review each pillow’s specs and reviews and consider your needs before choosing a pillow.
How do I launder a gel pillow?
Every pillow comes with guidelines for washing and drying. Memory foam pillows tend to require spot cleaning, with only the removable shell or case able to be washed and dried. Poly-gel pillows tend to be easier to wash, with some being both machine washable and dryable.
To maintain comfort and prolong lifespan, follow the directions provided with your pillow. And if easy care is important, it may be best to go with a poly-gel pillow.
Should I use a pillowcase with a gel pillow?
Most high-quality gel pillows come with their own breathable or cooling cover. As a general rule, it’s best to not add another pillowcase as that could result in extra heat retention. If you do want to use your own pillowcase, find one designed to sleep cool.
What if I still sleep hot?
While a cooling pillow is a great step to relieve night sweats, it’s by no means the only way that you can encourage a cooler night’s sleep. There are other bedroom accessories, like cooling mattresses and cooling comforters, designed to promote temperature control.
Another tip: Keep your thermostat set to between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Most people sleep better in a cool environment.
Compare our top picks for the best gel pillows in the chart below:
|Pillow||Best for||Customer Rating|
|Coop Home Goods||Best Overall||5/5|
|PharMeDoc Pillow||Best Orthopedic Pillow||4.3/5|
|TEMPUR-ProForm Pillow||Best Cooling Gel Pillow||4/5|
|Buckham Hotel Pillow||Best Hypoallergenic Pillow||4.5/5|
|Classic Brands Pillow||Best Priced Gel Pillow||4.1/5|
|Columbia High Performance Pillow||Best for Side Sleepers||4.1/5|
Cooling gel pillows are a good choice for hot sleepers and those who experience night sweats. This type of pillow is designed to disperse body heat, rather than feeding it back to you all night long. The right cooling pillow offers temperature regulation, comfort, and support, encouraging a good night’s sleep.
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