Looking at the inside of the pillow and the filling, cooling gel inserts are very popular as these work to regulate your body temperature and provide a constant cooling sensation.
Pillows filled with hollowfibre are lightweight and made with breathable open fibres that are often hypoallergenic. The open cell structure allows air to be better circulated and hot air to disperse out of the pillow.
Memory foam pillows tend to absorb heat and should be avoided, although some pillows have tiny “air holes” in the memory foam which does help with airflow. Mesh side walls are another popular innovation, again to help expel hot air.
Just as important as the inner technology is the material of the outer pillow cover. Opting for natural 100% cotton is always a good idea.
Tencel is a soft and breathable fabric that is 30% cooler than cotton, wicks away moisture and provides a silky texture which is cool to the touch.
It’s all well and good having a pillow to cool you down, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of comfort. Making sure the pillow you’re buying is compatible with your sleeping position will not only keep you comfortable and asleep, but will reduce any chance of waking up with neck pain. As a rule of thumb, side sleepers require a firmer, loftier pillow whereas front sleepers are better off with a flatter, softer pillow.
Hot sleepers who sweat excessively during the night will naturally need to wash their pillows more often. Look out for pillows that are entirely washable or have washable outer covers.