Most people love the idea of warm summer days, but it's the nights that have the potential to really make you miserable. Trying to fall asleep and stay that way for a continuous eight hours is tough when the room temperature is less than ideal, especially if you're someone who tends to sleep warm, meaning your body temperature rises minutely as you sleep.
If you suffer from hot flashes, are going through menopause or are taking certain medications, long, comfortable sleep is elusive when you find yourself waking throughout the night, overheated. There's a whole science devoted to helping regulate body temperature while you sleep, and cooling pillows are one of the more popular solutions. Do they work? What's the science behind them? Our Best Hot Summer Guide to Cool Pillows has all the answers you need:
How Do I Find the Stay-Cool Pillow That's Right for Me?
Cool is a relative term, and what feels great to your spouse might not seem as perfect for you. To find the best, most comfortable option in cooling pillows, you'll need to experiment. Read reviews, visit cooling pillows in the stores and talk to friends and family members who've used them. This will help you get a general idea of which type of pillow might be best for you. Ultimately, however, it all comes down to experimentation. Familiarize yourself with the options, and then select the most intriguing one to try out. You have several types of stay-cool pillows from which to choose.
What Options Are Available in Cooling Pillows?
When it's time to go shopping for a cooling pillow, the options may seem endless. Most, however, are based on one of three basic designs:
- Gel Pillow or Gel Insert -- Gel pillows typically feature a built-in gel pad or a gel-infused foam that's designed to keep you cool by conducting heat away from your body. They may also come in the form of a gel insert that you slide beneath your pillow case. The gel is significantly cooler than your body temperature when you lay down, usually the difference between room temperature and body temperature, which can be as much as 20 degrees or more. When your head hits the pillow, you immediately feel cool. These pillows will heat up a bit throughout the night, but overall, help to keep you somewhat cooler than traditional pillows. Gel pillows may off-gas volatile organic compounds, however, especially when first opened, and may require time to acclimate.
- PCM, or Pillows Made From Phase Change Material -- These pillows have the unique property of being able to collect and store heat to release at a later time. PCM Pillows may contain the phase change materials in the fabric cover or inside the pillow itself.
- Breathable -- Breathable pillows work exactly how they sound. They're designed with ventilation -- usually in the form of hundreds of tiny holes -- that allow air to pass through your pillow instead of being absorbed by it.
Some pillows use combinations of these methods to help you sleep better on warm nights. You may run across a ventilated foam pillow, for instance, that contains a cooling gel overlay. Will this one work for you? The only way to know for sure is to compare. Many manufacturers of cooling pillows offer money-back guarantees if you're not satisfied with your pillow after 30 or 60 days. This gives you the opportunity to sample for free without committing to a pillow that could be all wrong.
When it comes to a comfortable night's sleep, temperature counts. Take advantage of the science behind keeping cool to help you sleep better and longer this summer.