Have you ever been woken up from a nice deep slumber in the middle of the night due to a burning sensation at the back or side of your head and you realized it was because of your pillow? Well, maybe a burning sensation if a bit of an exaggeration but there is no doubt an overly warm pillow can be a major contributor to waking up in the middle of your sleep which will negatively impact your sleep quality. This can then have an even more serious knock-on effect on your overall health as research has linked persistently low sleep quality with increased risks of stroke, diabetes, heart disease, depression, obesity, and a weakened immune system, just to name a few.
Therefore, in this article today, we will be sharing with you the types of pillows that are designed to stay cool throughout the night, as well as some additional accessories you can get for your pillow if you are not inclined to switch pillows.
Cooling Gel Pillows
This is by far the most common type of specialized cooling pillows that you will find on the market today. By the term ‘specialized’, what we mean is that these kinds of pillows are specifically marketed and designed toward keeping the sleeper’s head cool throughout the night. They usually take the form of a cooling gel pack stitched onto one or both sides of a latex or memory foam pillow (pillows with cooling gel only on one side of the pillow will be marketed as ‘reversible cooling gel pillows’). It should be worth noting as well that traditionally memory foams tend to retain heat so the addition of a cooling gel layer is quite common, however some gel memory foam pillows are also marketed as cooling gel pillows although gel memory foam and cooling gel are quite different substances altogether. Nevertheless, gel memory foam pillows generally do not absorb heat as much as normal memory foam and these pillows may also come with additional cooling gel layers attached for added coolness. Because most cooling gel pillows are also memory foam and latex pillows, they also make ideal neck pain pillows. If you’re one of those people who have back or neck pain, your sleep is probably not optimal at night. You might wish to take a look at this website for a recommended list of neck pain pillows. We suggest checking out memory foam pillows that are stuffed with cooling gel as the gel helps counteract the heat retention property of memory foam.
Cooling Gel Pads
Cooling gel pads, sometimes also called cooling gel mats, can also be purchased separately. Simply place it on top of your pillow but still within the pillow case of course. The drawback of this is that as it is simply placed on top of the pillow, there is a good chance it might slip off or get off position during the night, something that doesn’t happen with pillows that come with the gel built in.
Microscopic Phase Change Material Beads
While the name sounds like it would be some advanced nanotechnology straight from the nation’s fancies laboratories, microscopic phase change material (“PCM”) beads, is just a simple material that absorbs heat by using absorbed heat energy to change the state of the beads (instead of releasing it back as more heat). This technology is fairly new on the market, and is found on the outer layer of the pillow. The inner fill for pillows with these beads are typically memory foam or polyester.
Memory Foam Gel Pillows
As mentioned above, memory foam gel pillows are the latest iterations of memory foam pillows (being the third-generation of memory foam pillows) and are generally cooler compared to regular memory foam pillows due to the gel that is mixed in with the foam during the manufacturing process. Many such pillows also come with additional cooling ‘add-ons’ such as cooling gel packs.
Shredded Memory Foam Pillows
A simple physical change, it’s just regular memory foam that is shredded to allow for increased ventilation. Shredded memory foam forms the base of many brands of cooling gel pillows.
Buckwheat Hull Pillows
An organic option that not many people know about. For reference, buckwheat is not a wheat or a grain but a type of seed. It is used to make buckwheat flour, however because it is not a grain, it is also gluten-free which is its main selling point. The hulls of the seeds are also put to good use, namely for use in pillows. Because the hulls are hollow and there are so many of them the ventilation is great and they are a great heat insulator. Buckwheat hull pillows are definitely the coolest ‘natural pillow out there and also provide a good degree of firmness as well as ease of contouring. They’re also naturally hypoallergenic. The only drawbacks are the crunching noises it makes when shifting positions, not ideal if you’re a light sleeper, and a sometimes earthy smell.