Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most convincing.
We’ve put our heads down and reviewed a ton of pillows in the past, including offerings for side-sleepers, stomach sleepers, expecting mothers, and one divoted pillow that miraculously alleviated one writer’s neck pain. Here, we’ve rounded up the most cooling pillows available on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
Best cooling pillow with ventilation
“I’m happy with it! The pillow is thick, but it feels soft and everything about it is nice — gentle on the neck, feels cool as well. I bought two and my mom came to my house and demanded I give her one after trying it out. She left my house with it that day because she was in love with it.”
Best cooling pillow with gel foam and ventilation
“These pillows are unbelievably comfortable! I bought two because they were rather inexpensive for memory foam, and was a little concerned about the quality after reading the reviews. However, my boyfriend and I both absolutely LOVE them! They stay relatively cool throughout the night (so no need to flip it over to switch to the ‘cool side’) and are firm and supportive. So if you like mushy, heavily broken in pillows, this isn’t for you. They’re seeming to hold their shape very well, and I never noticed an unpleasant smell like is mentioned in many reviews. These feel like you’re resting your head on a cloud all night.”
Best cooling pillow with adjustable foam filling
“I have looked for a replacement pillow for many years now, one that would replace my flimsy expensive down pillow. As a side sleeper, I’m extremely picky with my pillows, and in fact, even when I travel I pack my own pillow, as I cannot sleep without it. Once I get a new pillow, it takes me weeks to get used to it. First time using it I was able to quickly fall asleep and remain comfortable, which isn’t typical for me with other pillows. Even after a week of use, I can say this is by far the best pillow I have ever used. It’s soft like down, but is a bit firmer, thus holding its shape and stays cool, which I like.”
Best cooling pillow with gel pad
“I’ve been through seven pillows and this one really is THE one. I’m a side sleeper with wide shoulders, and this is exactly what I’m looking for. My head doesn’t sink in too much and it keeps my neck well-supported. Super cold, almost too cold at first … amazing.”
Best bamboo cooling pillow
“If you’re looking for ‘the’ pillow, this just may be it! I needed something firm and thick, but not so firm that my head wouldn’t sink into it to support my neck since I’m a side sleeper. And I hated waking all night long to flip my pillow to get cool again. This pillow sleeps firm, yet supportive and no more sweating head at night! I never would have believed a memory-foam pillow could sleep cool, but the cover on this one makes it happen! It feels soft and doughy, like a really interesting texture, and the bamboo must be what makes it stay so cool. Whatever it is, I am one happy customer.”
Best affordable bamboo cooling pillow
“I have tried several different types of pillows with claims they will provide the ‘best’ night’s sleep, from memory-foam pillows that tend to retain body heat to cooling pillows that are not supportive. This pillow truly stands out! It is firm, but comfortably supportive. It stays cooler than all other memory-foam pillows I have tried. I have only had it for a couple of days so far, but have slept like a baby ever since it arrived.”
Best water cooling pillow
“I first purchased one of these pillows for my partner, who suffers from moderate back pain. The way it works in our house is, if she doesn’t like something, I eventually inherit it. However, she loved this pillow from the start, and she’s not one to chance new things. A month later, she still loves the pillow and in fact bought me one as well. I have noticed in the last two weeks that I no longer toss and turn in the night, the pillow stays cool and is very plush, and the constant tension pain I wore in my neck and the base of my skull has disappeared. It’s just really, really comfortable.”
Best cooling travel pillow
“I have a regular sized version of this pillow, and I loved it so much I ended up getting this travel sized one. It is the perfect size to bring with you on any kind of trip. The memory foam is very comfortable. My favorite thing about this pillow is the gel pad on the front. I really hate sleeping with a warm pillow, and the gel pad does a great job of keeping the pillow cool.”
Best cooling pillow mat
“I was skeptical about trying this mat (but I’m skeptical about nearly everything these days!). For lack of other options, I decided to give it a shot. Well, bottom line is that it works. Even without refrigeration, I find that this mat stays very cool. I place it under the pillow case and there is a dramatic difference between a normal room-temp pillow and the coolness of the mat. Whereas on my unadorned pillow, I would get uncomfortably warm within ten minutes, which kept me tossing and turning. With this Cool Pillow Mat in place, I am kept sufficiently cool to get to and stay asleep.”
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.