According to Sleep.org, the ideal bedroom temperature should be between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the body won’t produce sweat, allowing for a restful sleep at night. However, not all people have the luxury to sleep at ideal bedroom temps, particularly those who live in places where the climate is humid or places prone to heat waves.
The fact is, the body temperature drops as you fall asleep. If the indoor air is too hot, there’s a good chance that you’ll spend the rest of the night tossing and turning in bed. Sleeping in a cool – not cold – room makes it much easier for you to fall asleep because it reduces restlessness and sweating. In addition, setting the ideal room temperature before sleeping at night improves the quality of your sleep.
Image used under Creative Commons from Pete Markham
In an interview, Chris Idzikowski, director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, explained why bedroom temperature plays a critical role in better sleep. According to the Sound Asleep author, the body releases heat through the face, hands, and feet on the onset of sleeping time. The body release heat continuously until 4 in the morning and if something is preventing the decrease in temperature, sleep quality is affected. This could be the reason why some people have a hard time falling asleep or are unable to enjoy a refreshing night’s sleep.
That’s where stay-cool pillows come in handy! Unlike ordinary pillows, stay-cool pillows have the uncanny ability to maintain a relatively cool and comfortable surface temperature all night long. Stay cool pillows’ materials – particularly breathable covers, shredded fiberfill, and gel inserts – are designed to wick away moisture to prevent shivers or night sweats.
Stay-cool pillows come in all shapes and sizes, so choosing just one is daunting indeed. To help you make an informed decision, let’s get to know more about these products and discover the benefits of developing an ideal bedroom temperature:
Table of Contents
- 1 Types of Stay-Cool Pillows
- 2 Factors to Consider When Shopping for Stay-Cool Pillows
- 3 The Best Stay-Cool Pillows
- 4 Ways to Keep Your Room Cool at Night
- 5 How to Create a Perfect Sleep Environment
Types of Stay-Cool Pillows
On the hunt for a stay-cool pillow? Before you hit that BUY button, get to know the different types of stay-cool pillows and discover which product suits your needs the best:
Water pillows are pillows that come with a water-filled insert placed below a polyester, down or foam layer to keep the surface temperature nice and cool all night long. The water-filled insert is often protected by a therma-shield to prevent the body heat from altering the surface temperature of the pillow.
Water pillows may also come with a gel insert or pouch for added comfort at night. While these products are effective in terms of keeping a comfortable sleeping temperature night after night, they make a sloshing noise whenever you move.
Memory Foam Gel
As the name implies, this product features a new type of memory foam, one that’s filled with cooling gel to reduce heat spots. Memory foam, which was developed by NASA in the 60s, was a popular pillow material but it is notorious for developing heat spots. The new material offers the same uncanny ability of the foam to conform to the unique shape of a sleeper’s body but without developing heat spots that could otherwise disrupt sleep.
While memory foam gel pillows do a great job at improving indoor temps, the texture is often on the firm side so these pillows may not work for people who are accustomed to soft pillows.
This pillow is filled with a mix of down feather and feather so the texture is airy and soft. Down pillows are quite breathable and they offer ample support to the head and neck. As long as the pillow is washed according to instructions, it should retain its shape for years to come. On the downsides of using this pillow type, the quills can be a problem because they will poke out of the surface. In addition, down pillows retain heat effectively so they are prone to heat spots.
Buckwheat is a popular material for pillows because the grains do not retain heat, they promote better airflow and are eco-friendly too. The material provides excellent head and neck support. As for the disadvantages of buckwheat pillows, they are quite firm so they might not be the best choice for those who are used to soft pillows. Also, the buckwheat hulls make a crunching noise whenever a sleeper moves so this could affect sleep among light sleepers.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for Stay-Cool Pillows
When it comes to choosing stay-cool pillows, comfort trumps everything. The wrong pillow will make sleeping uncomfortable, causing persistent neck and back stiffness as well as sleep deprivation. Our advice is to choose a stay cool pillow with a cooling base, one with the right cushioning for spine support and ergonomic design to adjust to the shape of your head and neck.
The quality of your sleep depends on many factors, including the firmness of your pillow. If your pillow is too soft or too firm and you’re not used to this kind of texture, you’re likely to spend the rest of the night tossing and turning in bed. To find out what firmness level works for you, you need to know if you’re a side, back or a stomach sleeper. Firm pillows work well for those who sleep on their sides while thinner, softer pillows are best for stomach sleepers. For back sleepers, the most preferred firmness level is medium.
If the material of your pillow is the reason for your night sweats then consider getting a pillow made from cooling materials. Regular memory foam pillows are known for retaining heat that they make sleeping uncomfortable.
If you love the features of traditional memory foam but you dislike the heat spots, get a gel filled memory foam pillow instead. If you prefer eco-friendly pillows made from natural products, opt for buckwheat-filled pillows. If you live in places that get a lot of snow or you sleep with the air conditioner on full blast, down pillows are your best bet. The bottom line is, choose a pillow that suits your needs the best, one that offers better airflow to prevent night sweating.
Stay-cool pillows are pricier than regular pillows for a reason. These products come with high quality, breathable materials to keep you cool and comfortable all night long. If you’re eyeing a stay-cool pillow, we recommend choosing a high-quality pillow with uniform and sturdy stitching. The fillers should be made from high quality and durable material so the sleeping surface won’t turn lumpy or uneven after several uses. When it comes to pillows, you get exactly what you pay for.
The perfect pillow size will depend on the size of your head and the size of your bed. Too small pillows will not yield enough support for a restful sleep while too-large pillow overwhelms, causing uneven sleeping surface. If you have a queen size bed, opt for a standard sized pillow for maximum relaxation.
Stay-cool pillows aren’t exactly cheap so if you’re investing on one, make sure you’re getting your money’s worth! That being said, not all people can afford to get the absolute best cooling pillow so our advice is to set a budget, stick to it, and choose a pillow that offers the best quality at the price you can afford. Do not let the price of the pillow be the sole deciding factor when choosing a cooling pillow, always go for quality.
You might not know it, but you sweat a lot while you sleep. This means your pillow absorbs so much sweat so the material should be treated to prevent dust mite, mold, and bacteria growth. This goes especially if you live in hot, humid places. In addition, you shed dead skin cells so it’s only a matter of time before the pillow gets dirty. To keep your pillow clean and prevent it from turning into a cesspool of bacteria, choose high-quality pillows that are dust mite, mold, allergen, and bacteria proof. These pillows are expensive but the low upkeep will be worth the investment.
The Best Stay-Cool Pillows
Good Life Essentials Shredded Memory Foam Pillow with Stay Cool Bamboo Cover
- Shredded memory foam
- Dust mite and allergen resistant
- Bamboo silk cover
- Hypoallergenic material
- Not washer-friendly
This luxe stays cool pillow by Good Life Essentials features shredded memory foam for maximum comfort and deeper sleep. The cover is hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant. The material is made with polyester and 50% bamboo silk so the sleeping surface is smooth, cool, and soft. The shredded filling is made from high-quality memory foam. The foam conforms to your unique shape, cradling the head perfectly to promote proper alignment of the spine so you don’t wake up with stiff, sore muscles!
We love the materials of the pillow; they are definitely luxurious and high in quality. The thickness of the pillow is just enough for us but for those who love plush, thick pillows, you do have to fluff this one to achieve the right level of thickness. Our only gripe is that this isn’t really a washer-friendly pillow. Over time, the shredded foam starts to cause lumpy, uneven sleeping surface so wash this pillow according to the manufacturer’s instruction.
SleepBetter Iso-Cool Memory Foam Pillow
- Breathable material
- Features Outlast Adaptive Comfort and microscopic PCM beads
- Visco-elastic memory foam filling
- Too thick for some users
The Iso-Cool memory pillow by SleepBetter is specifically designed to improve airflow, reducing heat and adjusting to the body’s changing temperature for a relaxing sleep. The pillow is comprised of different materials, layered to keep you cool at night. The first layer is a 100% pure cotton cover, which features the brand’s “Outlast Adaptive Comfort” material. The material has microscopic PCM beads that release heat and keep the skin nice and cool even in humid climates.
The second layer is comprised of Visco-elastic memory foam for a plush texture. Another variant of this pillow is filled with spiral-spun polyester instead of memory foam. As for the thickness, this pillow is nice and thick, able to mold to your unique shape without compromising support. It can be a bit too firm but this is a matter of preference. This pillow is perfect for those who love thick, plush stay cool pillow that won’t break the bank!
Classic Brands Cool Sleep Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Gusseted Pillow
- Performance knit cover and cool pass fabric
- Gel infused memory foam
- Gusseted sides for side and back sleepers
- Unique shape
Classic Brands’ Cool Sleep ventilated pillow is made from gel-infused memory foam with a perforated surface for optimum airflow. The brand’s performance-knit cover with cool pass fabric releases heat while wicking moisture away from the skin, allowing you to stay cool and comfortable while you sleep. The sides of the pillows are gusseted so it’s a great pillow for those who sleep on their back or sides.
The second layer features cool gel memory foam that further disperses heat, creating a comfortable sleeping surface anytime so there’s no need to flip your pillow for cool relief! The foam is treated to prevent bacterial, parasitical, and fungal growth. It’s also resistant to allergens so it’s a great pillow for those suffering from severe allergies and respiratory issues.
The pillow is neither too flat nor too thick, so it will appeal to most people. The surface is also perforated to create an X shape when you lie on it and this, according to Sleep Brands, is key to the pillow’s amazing moisture absorbing properties.
Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
- Biogreen® & Certipur-US memory foam
- Orthopedically designed to support the spine
- Free from harsh chemicals and ozone depleters
- Hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant
- Luxurious bamboo silk covers and visco-elastic shredded memory foam
- 90-day sleep trial and 20-year warranty
Made with Biogreen® & Certipur-US memory foam, the Snuggle-Pedic shredded memory foam pillow is orthopedically designed to support the neck and head while providing unparalleled softness and comfort all night long. This stay cool pillow is free from harsh chemicals and heavy metals so it’s safe enough for children. According to Snuggle-Pedic, this product contains zero traces of ozone depleters, PBDE flame retardants, mercury, lead, and formaldehyde so it’s not just safe for kids and you, it’s also eco-friendly and we’re diggin’ that! It’s also hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant, a great option for those who are prone to allergies or suffering from serious respiratory issues.
The Snuggle-Pedic stay cool pillow is filled with shredded foam and the shape is perfect for side, stomach, and back sleepers. We love the extra breathable material along with the luxurious micro-vented bamboo covers. It does the job right, helping you stay cool and comfortable all night. The brand promises that this pillow never goes flat and it never turns lumpy. However, it’s critical that you wash the pillow according to the manufacturer recommendations just to be on the safe side.
Overall, this a great stay cool pillow, a little on the expensive side but the Snuggle-Pedic is throwing in a 90-day sleep trial and a 20-year warranty for a totally risk-free purchase.
Ways to Keep Your Room Cool at Night
It’s not always easy to keep cool at night especially during the summer season but there are ways to create a cool and comfortable sleeping environment without turning on the AC! Here are some tips you should try:
Close the Blinds
Did you know that 30% of unwanted heat comes through your windows? Closing the blinds or curtains will lower indoor temperature by up to 20 degrees, especially if your windows are facing the south and west side. In addition, closing the blinds and curtains will help save up to 7% on your electric bills!
Be Smart About Sheets
The type of material your bed sheet is made of will affect your comfort level at night. Flannel and fleece sheets are best if you live in extremely cold places but not so much if it’s hot and humid! Avoid sheets made from synthetic materials like polyester because these fabrics trap moisture and heat like nobody’s business.
To stay cool and comfortable, choose bed sheets made from 100% cotton. The material is light, breathable, and it wicks moisture off your skin, helping you achieve a restful sleep night after night!
Open the Windows before Bedtime
While keeping the blinds closed at daytime helps keep the bedroom cool, cracking open the window at nights ensures maximum airflow while you sleep. Hot summer months makes sleeping a struggle so we recommend keeping the windows open before going to bed and putting your fans on full blast in strategic spots in your room to create a cross breeze. Just don’t forget to close the windows in the mornings!
Switch to LED and CFLs
Traditional incandescent converts 90% of the energy they consumed into heat. The heat generated increases the indoor temperature, which inevitably leads to hotter, more humid sleeping environment. Changing your indoor lights to LEDs to CFLs help decrease indoor air because these light bulbs are incredibly energy efficient. The energy they consume is converted into light, not heat thus, the indoor temperature remains cool and comfortable. On the plus side, expect lower electric bill each month when you make the switch.
Regardless if you suffer from night sweats or you live in an extremely hot, humid environment, it’s important to stay hydrated so drink at least eight glass of water every day. In addition, keep a cold glass of water in handy at all times, particularly at night. Iced water helps lower the core temperature, providing temporary relief from the heat and makes sleeping at night easier.
Light Room Colors
While a dark paint job helps keep sunlight out during daytime thus mimicking nighttime, these colorways are actually increasing the heat in the bedroom. Dark colorways absorb and retain heat more effectively than light, neutral and cool colors. In addition, certain types of dark hues – like reds and oranges – tend to subconsciously increase energy and excitement, which makes sleeping at night a struggle. If you want to achieve a restful sleep in a cool bedroom, opt for varying colors of whites, greens, and blues.
Be Smart about Your Bedroom Setup
The hottest spot in the bedroom is the area near the window so avoid setting up your bed on this spot. It’s tempting to set the bed near the window to enjoy the cool breeze at night but once the sun starts shining, it’s going to heat up the material of the bed and this heat will be retained well into the night! To create a cool sleeping environment, move your bed in the shadiest area of the bedroom, away from direct sunlight.
Freeze the Sheets?
If you have no AC and it’s positively sweltering at night, try freezing your sheets. That’s right, chuck your bed sheet in the freezer for several minutes to an hour. As soon as you remove the sheets from the freezer, bring it back in the bedroom and bask in the coolness of the material. Cooling the sheets is an ancient practice that originated in Egypt. Egyptians would soak their beddings in cool water and wring them dry until they are damp. Once damp, they will use the sheets, helping them stay cool as the moisture evaporates.
How to Create a Perfect Sleep Environment
Is it possible to create the perfect sleep environment? Investing on a high quality stay cool pillow is one way to improve sleep quality but there are other ways to achieve a restful sleep! A sleep environment is the space where you attempt to sleep and in many cases, this space is the bedroom. Of course, our sleeping environments vary from time to time, particularly those who are sleeping away from home often.
The perfect sleeping environment is crucial to a deep, invigorating sleep. And regardless of the reasons why you end up tossing and turning in bed, these tips will help you maximize a bedroom for sleep:
Reduce Outside Noise
Noise of any kind will disrupt sleep and/or makes it difficult to fall asleep so make sure your bedroom is nice and quiet during bedtime. Sleeping in a quiet room helps you reach the deeper stages of sleep and the opposite is true if you sleep in a noisy bedroom. If say, you live near the street and sleeping is hard, use earplugs or drown the street noises by turning on the radio and playing soothing songs on low volume. It helps if you could soundproof your bedroom. Other people swear by white noise machines or a fan.
If your sleep environment is too hot, you’ll wake up drenched in sweat and if it’s too cold, you’ll be shivering under the sheets. The temperature has to be perfect to achieve a restful sleep. Using cooling pillows are one way to create a perfect sleep environment especially during the summer season. Turning on the AC or fan, keeping the blinds closed and being smart about your bed setup helps keep temperature nice and cool at night.
The Right Lighting
Did you know that the light that enters your bedroom could disrupt sleep too? Total darkness is ideal for inducing sleep but for those who are not used to sleeping in the dark, a night light helps. The fact is, the human body’s natural circadian rhythm follows the natural dark-light cycle, which is why we fall into a deep sleep at night and wake up in the mornings. Exposure from artificial light – from the TV, mobile devices, etc. – can disrupt sleep at night so it’s best to power down an hour or two before going to bed.
Bedroom Set Up
Is your mattress too firm? Are your pillows too flat? Are your sheets too thick? Is your blanket too thin? The key to glorious sleep is comfort. Your bedroom set up does affect sleep so choose the right material for your needs. However, don’t think investing in expensive sheets or mattress will solve the problem. You have to consider the softness of the material, the firmness of the mattress as well as the thickness of your beddings.
Limit Electronic Use
Let’s face it, most times the bedroom is not strictly used for sleeping and it often turns into a multipurpose room, which is a no-no if you have trouble sleeping. When you use the bedroom for other activities – such as playing video games, working, tinkering on your mobile devices, etc. – the space becomes just another room in the house and this is not good if you’re trying to create a relaxing sleep environment.
Our advice is to make the bedroom off limits to electronic devices. This way, you won’t use your mobile devices at times when you should be sleeping. Media devices will disrupt your sleeping routine, making it harder for you to fall asleep or remain asleep.
For severe cases of sleep deprivation, it’s important to talk to a specialist to determine the root cause of the problem. Considering all elements that disrupt sleep and creating a space that’s conducive to sleep is the best way to achieve a restful slumber and ensure a productive day ahead