Cooler pillows for warmer nights

Cool pillows for warmer nights in spring

The fabulous warm sunshine this Easter weekend has made our little team at Pillow Advisor think about summer bedding.

Glorious as the weather is, if you’re suddenly feeling hot in bed I’ve put our advice here on the best pillow to help you get a cooler and more comfortable night’s sleep. There’s advice on duvets too on our sister site Duvet Advisor.

Go natural for breathability.
Natural fillings are best to keep you cool. It’s obvious when you think about it: geese, ducks and sheep do manage through the summer. Even if sheep get their thickest woolly coats shorn off, their summer wool coats are breathable and temperature regulating. Wool also wicks away moisture better than any other material and wool pillows are actually some of the coolest on the market – see Wikipedia for statistics and surprising characteristics of wool or our About Wool Pillows page.

Similarly, down pillows and feather pillows provide better temperature regulation than man-made synthetic pillows. The air circulates around the individual feathers, and they also are great at soaking up any moisture. This can be good as it keeps the moisture away from your skin, but you may need to air-dry your pillow the following day if its been particularly hot in the night.

Cotton pillow protectors and cotton pillowcases.
These also keep you cooler and are much nicer to sleep on. They absorb moisture rather than pushing it back onto your skin – better for you to sleep on and more comfortable all round. The Dorma Sateen protector from Dunelm is excellent value at £7 and 100% cotton, or for a bit more luxury and thicker cotton, try the Anti-Allergy 100% cotton one from The White Company.

Synthetic pillows
Pillows made from polyester (hollowfibre or microfibre) will be hotter for you. The polyester fibres do not absorb moisture and so keep any sweat close to your face and head, rather than absorbing and temperature regulating. Great for a cheap pillow purchase, or a second pillow to bulk up the height but I don’t personally like these next to my skin.

Latex pillows
It may not seem like it, but of course latex is a natural material. Dunlopillo for example, use natural liquid latex (from rubber trees) mixed with water to form the main springy, long-lasting material that fills the centre of their pillows. And even more surprising is that latex pillows are actually very good at dispersing heat and allowing you to have a cooler night’s sleep. I actually bought my husband the Serenity Pillow which gets great reviews on John Lewis and he’s fount it both supportive and surprisingly cool.

What about memory foam?
Memory foam retains heat – that’s how it works, so is not normally the best choice for cooler nights. The chemical structure reacts to any heat it feels and changes shape, becoming softer and more flexible. By lying on a memory foam pillow, your body heat alters the structure of the cells condensing them to the shape of your head. Higher density (better quality) memory foam lasts longer but traps heat more easily as there are fewer space for it to escape and air to circulate.
However, things are changing. Good memory foam pillow manufacturers, such as Tempur, Eve and now Simba for example have tried to compensate for this by using open-cell structures to their memory foam, allowing air to enter and leave the pillow and sometimes by having a core made from different material. Cotton covers neatly protect some of the newer pillows, with a loose-celled padding to allow air to circulate between you and the memory foam – the Simba Hybrid pillow is a bit unusual but is the best cool memory foam pillow we’ve found. Other Memory Foam pillow reviews here.

So what’s the final line?
Best for cool – wool or latex plus cotton covers. Down and feather pillows will be comfortable but if you need the support of memory foam, buy a good pillow which will give you the technology benefits to keep you that little bit cooler and more comfortable.

Duvet advice and reviews are on our sister site Duvet Advisor.
Enjoy the sunshine!