It’s a well-established fact that exposure to natural sunlight is necessary to get a good night’s rest as it plays a vital role in ensuring that your body knows when to be alert and when to sleep.
Unfortunately, due to the recent global health crisis, it’s become a lot harder to expose oneself to natural sunlight. As a result, it’s become harder to get the right amount of sleep. Such is the current scenario that the vast majority of the population is facing. For that reason, the industry is making an effort to develop products that can alleviate sleeping problems and improve sleep quality.
Among the many products with that exact purpose, cooling pillows are perhaps the most convenient sleeping aid of them all. But what is a cooling pillow?
Cooling Pillows And How They Work
Like exposure to natural sunlight, a ‘cool’ temperature is yet another condition for the body to enter a state where it can quickly get its much-needed sleep or rest. That’s precisely why when you sleep, the body automatically drops in temperature by expanding the blood vessels in your skin, as though to respond to that sleeping condition or requirement.
But as you may imagine, if your room’s temperature doesn’t harmonize with your body’s temperature, it can inhibit the effects of this natural phenomenon. For example, even if the body adjusts its temperature to 18.3°C, which is optimal for sleeping, it may prove useless, or at least less effective, if the room temperature is around 25°C.
A cooling pillow is essentially one of the products that solve this issue as it has a built-in feature that promotes a cool environment. It does this by minimizing heat retention, improving airflow, and inhibiting the pillow’s ability to store heat over time. Because of that, the heat slowly dissipates before too much of it accumulates in the cushion. Moreover, the material for cooling pillows is often breathable, further improving their heat retention property.
Note that while they generally have similar characteristics, in reality, there are several types of cooling pillows according to their functionality and structure.
Different Types Of Cooling Pillows
If you intend to purchase these products, you have four options to choose from, namely:
- Breathable Pillows
Unlike other types that use a gel for its heat retention properties, a breathable pillow takes advantage of materials that allow for air to flow easily inside it.
For example, manufacturers may use feathers to create a cooling pillow since they’re relatively spread out, which means air can flow without a problem. With smooth airflow, heat doesn’t quickly accumulate within the product, thereby reducing the overall temperature. When you shop for a cooling pillow, you’ll find that the majority belongs to this category.
Common materials for breathable pillows include latex, buckwheat, down, and wool.
- Water Pillows
Perhaps the most basic type of cooling pillows, a water pillow has a casing made of either polyester, foam, or down. At its center, there’s a layer of water surrounded by a shield. This component keeps the heat away from your body—more specifically, your head— and it’s what gives the pillow its cooling abilities. Certain water pillows also contain a gel component, which further increases their functionality.
- Gel Memory Foam Pillows
If you’ve been looking into pillows for quite some time, you may have heard of memory foam pillows. These automatically adjust their shape to better support your head and neck. Hence, they’re excellent pillows in terms of comfortability.
Alas, they tend to heat up quite quickly. Manufacturers have solved this issue by putting in them the same gel you’ll find in water pillows, hence the subcategory gel memory foam pillows.
- Hybrid Cooling Pillows
As their name suggests, these carry properties from different types of pillows in an attempt to make the ultimate cooling pillow.
An example of a hybrid cooling pillow is one that contains feather filling for breathability, a layer of water to promote heat retention, and a gel to top it all off.
Since each of these has different properties and benefits, you must select the type of cooling pillow you’re going to purchase after taking into consideration your purpose as well as your preferences.
Potential Benefits Of A Cooling Pillow
Their cooling abilities alone are enough to entice buyers, but there are other reasons that many people have cooling pillows as their favorite bedroom item. Here are a few examples:
- Tension Relief
When you’re sleeping, there’s a good chance that your neck is under constant pressure, especially if you’re in an uncomfortable position. This may result in neck pain the following day, which can be a bummer as it may interfere with your daily routine or even your work. Since cooling pillows are generally soft, they should serve as an excellent form of tension relief.
- Hypoallergenic Quality
This refers to the property of having a relatively low chance of causing an allergy. It’s a particularly useful characteristic for pillows to have since common filling materials like feathers or down often trigger allergic reactions. Fortunately, a lot of cooling pillows, especially those made of foam, wool, and latex, are hypoallergenic.
- Adjustability Or Customization
Most cooling pillows are adjustable, meaning you can remove or add fillings whenever you want. With this feature, it’s possible to adjust the amount of stuffing according to your preferences and achieve the firmness or softness you prefer.
Most materials used for cooling pillows, such as gel, down, memory foam, and latex, are highly durable. Hence, they tend to last longer than regular pillows.
These are the characteristics that cooling pillows have and that ordinary cushions don’t. It should now be more apparent to you why the product has become incredibly popular over a short period.
However, as appealing as they may be, cooling pillows aren’t for everyone.
Who Should Get A Cooling Pillow?
As eager as you may be to purchase a cooling pillow, it’s worth noting that it’s not for everyone. Some may find it helpful, while others may prefer regular pillows. But if you’re one of the many individuals who belong to the following categories, you’re likely to enjoy and benefit from cooling pillows:
- Hot Sleepers
These people constantly feel hot in the middle of the night. Considering the functionality of cooling pillows, it’s clear that they’re the target market of such products.
- Night Sweaters
Though not necessarily the same as hot sleepers, there are individuals who sweat a lot while sleeping. This may result in health complications over time. Cooling pillows with moisture-wicking properties prove to be the perfect product for those people as it absorbs sweat from the body.
- Side Sleepers
Since cooling pillows use materials that are spread out from each other, they tend to have a higher loft than the typical pillow. And because side sleepers need sufficient support to keep their head at the right elevation, cooling pillows are the perfect product for these individuals. Moreover, since the pillows are adjustable, you can further increase their height if necessary.
- Back Sleepers
Similarly, back sleepers must use cushions with a relatively high loft to get into a comfortable and optimal sleeping position, so cooling pillows are ideal for them.
If you belong to any of these categories, a cooling pillow would likely be your new favorite bedroom item. However, that may not be the case if you sleep on your stomach since you’d need a pillow with a low loft. Still, you can give cooling pillows a try if you really want to since they’re adjustable.
Where Can You Get A Cooling Pillow?
At this point, you may have already decided to get a cooling pillow. If that’s the case, you should be able to purchase one from a local mattress store or furniture shop.
But if you don’t want to go to a brick-and-mortar establishment, it’s possible to buy a cooling pillow online. You only need to look for it in digital marketplaces. When doing so, make sure to do your research first since you can’t trust online stores easily nowadays. However, it’s undoubtedly the most convenient way of getting a cooling pillow.
You can also buy one from a company that specifically manufactures cooling pillows. They likely have the highest quality products you can find on the market, but those might also be the most expensive ones.
Considerations When Selecting A Cooling Pillow
Although they have the same purpose, not all cooling pillows are the same. They may vary in terms of price, material, and firmness. In short, there are several things you must take into account when choosing a cooling pillow. Below are a few of those factors.
First off, you need to decide on your budget for the cooling pillow. For your reference, its price can be as low as USD$10 and as high as USD$150.
The cheapest of the bunch would be polyester pillows, while the most expensive are those made from organic materials. Naturally, the latter option is more comfortable and has better cooling abilities, but that doesn’t necessarily mean polyester pillows aren’t excellent products. Nevertheless, price should be one of your primary considerations.
Certain materials, particularly memory foam and latex, have an unpleasant smell that lingers for a long time. This can be an obstacle when you’re trying to sleep, so it might be best to look for one that’s odorless if you’re sensitive to certain smells.
A noisy pillow can also hinder your sleep. Some materials produce a lot of noise, although there are options that generate little to no sound.
- Quality Of Materials
Although choosing specific materials is one of the steps to selecting a cooling pillow, you must also remember that the same materials may vary in quality depending on the manufacturer. For example, natural latex would have a better quality than cheap latex. The higher the quality, the more durable the pillow would be.
Some cooling pillows, such as those made of latex, need to be dry-cleaned or spot cleaned, which is more of a hassle than regular washing. This should also be one of your considerations, especially if you don’t want to spend more time or money to keep your pillows in good condition.
- Loft And Sleeping Position
The loft is a measure of the pillow’s height, and if you’ve been paying attention, you should know that sleeping positions require different levels of loft.
Side sleepers need high loft, back sleepers need medium loft, and stomach sleepers need low loft. While most cooling pillows are indeed adjustable, it’s still best to choose a pillow with a loft that’s suitable for your sleeping position in order for you to get the most out of the product.
Depending on the cooling pillow you choose, it may end up as your top bedroom item or a product you’ll rarely use. Hence, it’s advisable to take these factors into consideration.
FAQs On Cooling Pillows
This section will cover other common questions regarding cooling pillows.
How Long Will A Cooling Pillow Last?
The average life span of cooling pillows is anywhere from two to four years, with latex and memory foam pillows being the longest-lasting types. However, this isn’t set in stone as you can prolong their life span with proper maintenance and washing.
How Do You Wash Cooling Pillows?
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all instruction for washing cooling pillows since manufacturers may have varying requirements for doing it. Some may require simple washing, while others may need spot or dry-cleaning. However, wiping the pillow down with soap and rinsing it with water should be adequate for regular washing.
How Often Should You Change The Stuffing?
It’s common knowledge that you must change the fillings of your pillows regularly, and that’s especially true for cooling pillows. In the case of breathable pillows, experts suggest replacing the stuffing every one to two years, so you generally need to change it twice during the entire lifespan of the pillow. But if you have a water pillow, you may need to replace the water every six months.
With all the information above, it’s easy to see why many people like cooling pillows. And if you get one yourself, it shouldn’t be long before it becomes your number one bedroom item.
Of course, you must remember that not every cooling pillow is the same. One may work for you, while others don’t. For that reason, you have to know how to pick one that suits your preferences and needs, and this article should be able to help you in that regard.
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