There are many causes of night sweats from infections to menopause to weather.
Whatever the cause, they are uncomfortable and make your nights restless.
Sleeping on a heat-retaining pillow or mattress can make the situation worse. Your body gets even hotter and you sweat more.
Memory foam mattresses are especially notorious for overheating. Latex foam and innerspring mattresses are the best at cooling.
But if you cannot afford to buy a new mattress, I recommend getting a cooling topper.
As for your pillow, that’s something you can easily replace without spending a lot of money.
Below, I recommend the best cooling pillows for night sweats.
I did not just look at their cooling capability when picking the best ones; I also considered how comfortable and supportive they are especially for people with neck and back problems.
But first, a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a cooling pillow.
What to consider when buying a cooling pillow
a. Cooling capability
Find out which technique the pillow uses to keep you cool. Some methods are more effective than others.
Most cooling pillows use cooling gel which is either infused into the foam or contained in a pad inside the pillow.
Cooling gel improves heat dissipation away from your body to keep you cool.
Pillows that boast about a breathable cover or foam but don’t use gel are not really ideal for combating night sweats.
They may be good enough for someone who doesn’t struggle with excess perspiration at night but for you, only a cooling gel pillow will do.
b. Comfort and support
Don’t get a pillow that keeps you cool but leaves you with a sore neck and painful back. Make sure the pillow is comfortable and provides adequate support.
Memory foam pillows are the most comfortable. The memory foam cradles your head in a comfortable hug and contours around your neck and shoulders for maximum support.
Another advantage of memory foam is that it easily adjusts to different sleeping positions.
c. Whole pillow or insert
You have two options when buying a cooling pillow.
You can either buy an entire pillow with the cooling pad inside it or buy a cooling insert/mat.
Inserts use the same gel found in cooling pillows. But they are much more versatile. You can use an insert with your existing pillow or on its own when travelling, in the office or on the sofa.
d. Easy maintenance
The pillow should be easy to clean.
With some pillows, you can put all of it in the washer without damaging it. With others, you should only wash the cover.
Check manufacturer cleaning instructions before you buy including the ideal water temperature you should wash it in and the best way to dry it.
Finally, make sure the pillow doesn’t cause any allergic reactions especially if you have sensitive skin. Find out what materials are used in the foam as well as the casing.
Memory foam pillows are the best for people who might be allergic to feathers, down and latex. As for the cover, cotton and polyester are safe for most people.
Some pillows also have materials that are resistant to common allergens such as mould, pollen and dust mites.
Best cooling pillows for night sweats in the UK
This doctor-designed pillow provides the optimal head and neck positioning. It is neither too low nor too high.
The Supportiback keeps your spine is in perfect alignment with your head and neck, ensuring you don’t wake up with any soreness or pain.
It is made from high-density memory foam that provides good support and contouring whether you sleep on your back, stomach or side.
If you have back, neck or shoulder pain, this is one of the best pillows you can buy. It’s also ideal for those recovering from surgery, those who experience persistent headaches and those struggling with snoring.
To keep you cool, the pillow contains cooling gel on one side. So on those nights when the night sweats are bothering you, just flip it over to the cool side. And on cold nights, you can flip it over to the non-gel side.
The cover is breathable and does a great job wicking sweat away from your skin.
To clean the pillow, just remove the cover and throw it in the washer.
What we like about it:
- Hypoallergenic cover that is also resistant to dust mites.
- Removable and washable cover.
- A versatile two-sided pillow design. You only use the cooling gel when you need it.
- Reduces and prevents back, neck and shoulder pain.
This one also uses memory foam to provide good support for your head and pressure relief around your neck and shoulders.
The memory foam forms a comfortable cradle that keeps your spine and head properly aligned no matter which position you sleep in.
As for cooling, it uses gel.
A cooling gel pad is inserted into one side of the pillow. So you just need to flip it over to the gel side to enjoy a cooler sleep. Flip it back to the other side on cold nights when you need a bit more warmth.
The memory foam feels a tad firmer than in most pillows. If you prefer a plush pillow, consider one of the others.
The cover is breathable and absorbent, which helps keep you cool and fresh. When it gets dirty, just unzip it and clean it in a washing machine at 40C.
What we like about it:
- Hypoallergenic cover and filling.
- Good support and pressure relief for your head, neck and shoulders.
- Easy maintenance – cover is removable and washable.
The Homescapes pillow has that classic memory foam plushness that envelops your head and neck in a deep hug.
It is especially good for side sleepers but it’s just as comfortable in all other sleeping positions. The memory foam adapts on the fly when you change sleeping position.
The pillow is medium-firm. It feels somewhat firm when you first lie on it but as you settle in, it gets softer.
To keep the night sweats away, the pillow comes with an integrated gel cooling pad on one side. The gel absorbs heat from your body and efficiently dissipates it away from the pillow.
This keeps you cool and reduces sweating. The little sweat you produce is quickly wicked away by the absorbent cover so that the pillow never feels wet.
Keeping the pillow clean is very easy. Just remove the jacquard fabric cover and wash it in the washer at 40C. Do not dry clean, tumble dry or iron the cover.
What we like about it:
- Easy to maintain – removable and washable cover.
- Two-sided design. You can enjoy a cool or warm pillow simply by turning it over.
- Reduces back, shoulder and neck pain.
This is a cooling gel mat, not a pillow. It’s a thin pad filled with hydro gel that absorbs heat from your body and dissipates it away.
To use it, just place it on your pillow. It’s comfortable enough and hypoallergenic that you can sleep directly on it.
Alternatively, put it inside your pillow case. It works well either way.
It helps a lot with night sweats, hot flushes, migraines and anyone who is heat-sensitive in bed.
You can even travel with it and use it on the train, plane or car. Just fold it up and put it in your bag or purse. You can also use it on the sofa, when camping and anywhere else you need something cool to place your head on.
The pad doesn’t leak and you don’t have to add any water or do anything special to the gel. It works just as it is.
What we like about it:
- Works with all kinds of pillows.
- An affordable alternative to buying a whole new pillow.
- Portable and versatile. It’s not just for your bed.
- Polyester finish that feels comfortable against your skin.
Like the FriCARE gel mat above, this one is also just a cooling pad and not a full pillow.
It’s meant to be used as a pillow insert. Just put it inside the pillow case and it provides instantaneous cooling.
You can also lie on it as it is though it doesn’t feel as soft as the pad above.
This cooling pad is quite versatile. For one, you can use it in many other places other than the bed. If you get hot flushes during the day, just put it under your head or back.
You can also use it when travelling, for camping, in your car and even in the office. You can also sit on it during yoga, put it on the car seat, or place your feet on it on hot summer afternoons.
It’s not just for your body. The manufacturer says you can also place it under your laptop to keep it running cool.
What we like about it:
- Affordable – the cheapest cooling gel pad on this list.
- Portable and versatile – foldable and small enough to carry in your bag.
- Instant cooling.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How does a cooling gel pillow work?
Cooling gel absorbs heat from your skin, which makes your neck and head feel cooler.
Q: How to wash a cooling pillow?
How you wash a cooling pillow depends on the type of pillow.
Memory foam cooling pillows are not machine washable. The only part you can wash is the cover. Other pillows have a removable gel pad that you are supposed to remove before washing the pillow.
Always check the manufacturer instructions for cleaning guidance.
Q: Where to buy a cooling pillow?
As with most bedding products, Amazon UK carries a wide variety of cooling pillows at different price points.
Other places you can buy a cooling pillow in the UK include eBay, Dunelm, Costco and B&M.