Cooling Pillows: How They Work + Why You Need One

Last Updated on July 10, 2024

by Marc Werner, Founder - GhostBed

Did you know it’s natural and healthy for your body to cool down while you’re sleeping? A cool body helps to promote the release of melatonin–the hormone that makes you sleepy–maintain thermoregulation, and ensure you’re comfortable while you snooze.

So if you’re waking up sweating, you can be sure you’re not getting the best quality sleep.

There are plenty of things you can do to ensure a cooler sleeping environment, like keeping your room in the mid 60’s Fahrenheit and wearing breathable pajamas. But one of the most important steps is to be mindful of the pillows you’re using.

The wrong pillow can trap the heat generated by your body and limit airflow, making for a toasty sleep experience. So it’s important to choose a cooling pillow instead.

What is a Cooling Pillow?

As the name implies, a cooling pillow pulls heat away from your body, so you don’t wake up with a face glistening with sweat.

There are different ways to make a pillow “cooling” and some are more effective than others. At GhostBed, we’re known for our innovative cooling techniques, like patented phase change technology (more on that soon!).

Most cooling pillows are made with breathable fabrics and ventilation, and some are infused with special gels that absorb and dissipate heat from your body. Some pillows also have an adjustable loft, which can help maximize airflow.

How do Cooling Pillows Work?

Different cooling pillows work in different ways, but one of the most interesting is the pillows that use phase change material, or PCM. It’s an innovation first created by NASA to protect astronauts from extreme temperature fluctuations.

The organic compounds in PCM shift between solid and liquid form to maintain temperature balance, so heat is wicked away from your body and you always have a cool pillow. We use this special technology in our customer-favorite GhostPillow - Gel Memory Foam.

Plus, our pillow has a special, patented design for maximum cooling inside and out. Its ventilated and gel-infused memory foam core is topped with a temperature-regulating phase change layer for extra cooling. And it includes a washable cover made with our Ghost Ice fabric–a proprietary cool-to-the-touch fabric with cooling fibers woven into the fabric of the cover.

There are plenty of other techniques to keep a pillow cool, too. Like the breathable cotton on our faux down pillow and the airflow-enhancing foam in our shredded pillow.

Do Cooling Pillows Work?

Yes, cooling pillows work! But it’s important to understand what “cooling” means. A cooling pillow will not be ice-cold or uncomfortable to lie on. Instead, its name comes from the fact that it pulls heat away from your body and never warms up. That said, the Ghost Ice covers on our pillows do feel comfortably cool.

Two women sit on bed holding GhostPillows.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cooling Pillows

At GhostBed, we’re many folks’ go-to brand for cooling pillows, so we get asked lots of questions about how they work. Here are a few of them:

Should you put a pillowcase on a cooling pillow?

Yep! Just like any other pillow, a cooling pillow needs a pillowcase to help it stay clean and protected. Don’t worry, you’ll still reap the benefits of the cooling pillow underneath.

It’s kind of like spreading a picnic blanket over snow. When you sit down, you definitely feel the snow!

Are gel pillows safe?

The gel used in cooling pillows (like our GhostPillow - Gel Memory Foam) is totally non-toxic. Just make sure you’re purchasing your cooling pillows from a reputable brand.

How long do cooling pillows last?

The lifespan of your pillow will vary depending on how you treat it. If you wash your cooling pillows regularly, use a pillowcase and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures, moisture or sunlight, it will be in prime condition for up to five years.

Do cooling pillows help you sleep better?

Absolutely! Being too warm can wake you up at night, or prevent you from falling asleep in the first place. A high-quality cooling pillow can help you keep your body temperature regulated so you sleep soundly.

Find Your Perfect Cooling Pillow

Ready to invest in a few cooling pillows for better sleep? At GhostBed, each of our GhostPillows provides perfect support for your head, neck and spine while keeping you at a comfortable temperature through the night.

Browse and compare our pillows or chat with a GhostBed Sleep Expert now. We’re standing by to help you get your best-ever sleep.


Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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Marc has spent the last two decades designing & manufacturing mattresses and other sleep products, drawing on a lifetime of experience working with the material sciences. With several patents to his name, he works closely with the GhostBed team to create products with the perfect balance of comfort & support. Learn More

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