Best Gel Pillows to Sleep Like a Baby

To enjoy every night and get maximum pleasure, you should never skimp on bedding accessories. They include not only mattresses and bedsheets but also pillows. The latter can be of various models. Here, we’ll talk about gel pillows that are perfect for hot and side sleepers.

They all have gel inside, but it comes in different forms and designs. Some pillows have laminated gel layers, gel pods, or gel infusions. No matter what the filling looks like, it helps maintain a neutral temperature all night long.

Despite keeping you cool, gel pillows aren’t for everybody. They usually come as down alternative pillows having almost or absolutely no natural materials inside. The loft height of a gel pillow is also a tricky thing that needs to be learned about in advance. All that and more will be discussed further to help you buy the perfect gel pillow.

What is a Gel Pillow?

To put it shortly, cooling gel pillows are filled with gel to reduce heat retention when you’re sleeping. It comes in the following forms:
  • Gel infusions
  • Gel beads
  • Gel pods
  • Laminated gel layers

They all work in the same way by absorbing heat and putting it away. If one combines a gel pillow with a cooling mattress and breathable bedding, you’ll get the finest temperature regulation.

The choice usually comes down to the following alternatives — solid or shredded memory foam pillows. The first one holds the shape better, while the second one is more moldable and breathes easier. Some manufacturers infuse gel on one side only and make this layer removable. In this case, a person can customize it according to the feel. At the same time, others prefer to make gel and a pillow one flowing unit by infusing gel into the fibers. Though, no matter what method is used, gel foam pillows don’t guarantee maximum cooling, especially in warmer climate zones.

How to Choose a Gel Pillow

The final choice depends on the customer’s preferences and needs. Your sleeping position also matters. For example, side sleepers would enjoy gel pillows much more since they have a higher loft. On the contrary, back sleepers would need a medium loft to sleep better. Finally, there are stomach sleepers who need an extremely low loft or no pillow at all.

As a rule, gel pillows have a high loft, and they’re hard to squeeze. Having memory foam infused inside solves this problem but only partly. Generally, gel pillows are widely advertised, and sellers tend to inflate prices for nothing. Instead of paying for a big-name brand, compare all the possible options by particular criteria.

How Do I Clean a Gel Pillow?

If you opt for a gel memory foam pillow, only gentle spot cleaning is allowed. By contrast, down alternative pillows can withstand machine washing and drying. This also plumps up the filling and extends its life period. On top of it, many manufacturers create removable pillow covers that are easy to take off and clean. Anyway, it’s highly advisable to check the label before washing the product.

How Long Do Gel Pillows Last?

If you wash timely and take care of the purchase properly, even a budget pillow can last for ages. As a rule, a gel pillow serves for 2-3 years. By its nature, it’s not that durable to survive longer. As time passes, gel loses its effectiveness and gets compressed. All that leads to an inability to maintain cooler temperatures overnight. Besides, it may struggle to provide the desired level of head support.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Gel Pillow

As has been already mentioned, a gel pillow’s quality depends on many criteria. Make sure to compare your favorite picks by the following factors before making the final decision.

1. Loft

This must be one of the most important things, as the loft should be perfect exactly for you. Remember that gel pillows usually come with a higher loft meaning they’re suitable for side sleepers. At the same time, back and stomach sleepers may think of buying a different type of pillow or looking for a gel one with a lower loft.

2. Firmness

When searching for the ideal firmness level, make the decision based on your personal comfort and preferences. Most of the gel pillows may seem too firm at first, but it only seems so. Remember that purchasing a too-soft pillow means getting less head support. You can buy a gel pillow combined with memory foam to reach a mid-level of firmness.

3. Shape

As a rule, the traditional rectangular pillow shape is preferable. Though, you can choose a pillow with flared ends to have more space for your shoulders. This is especially convenient if you sleep on a side. At the same time, a cervical shape may come to a taste for back sleepers. It provides extra neck area support and doesn’t allow it to become numb.

4. Filling

Speaking of that, there aren’t that many choices when we’re talking about gel pillows. Usually, they have gel infused into the filling, which is a good option since it provides a mid-level of firmness. Some people opt for standalone gel layers, as they guarantee a higher level of coolness.

5. Moldability

Many of us love to squeeze a pillow while sleeping. This may be a struggle with a gel pillow if it comes without a memory foam feature. You can also go for gel fiber pillows, which aren’t too different from the models we’re all used to. Anyway, think of the moldability level in advance not to feel disturbed every night.

6. Temperature Regulation

This is another crucial factor since it’s the main reason for buying a gel pillow. Some hot sleepers won’t be satisfied with having only gel filled in. In this case, look for a product with ventilated holes or breathable cover materials. If a prospective purchase doesn’t provide enough heat repulsion, it’s not worth your attention.

7. Price

Gel pillows are often an over-advertised product meaning that certain manufacturers inflate prices for no reason. Instead of overpaying for nothing, compare your picks by the criteria presented above. Here, at Linens and Hutch, there are options starting from $129.99 to $149.99 coming in two pieces and different sizes.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Gel Pillows?

Being quite a controversial bedding accessory, any gel pillow has its strong and weak sides. They’re definitely not for every sleeper type but can boast the following points:
  • Perfect for warmer climate zones and hot sleepers
  • Provide decent neck support
  • Quite moldable if made of the particular materials
  • Hypoallergenic
At the same time, they have the following minuses:
  • Won't last for too long
  • If not chosen correctly, may feel too firm
  • Difficult or unreal to wash
  • Often emit an unpleasant smell
  • Not effective enough for extra warm climates

What Sleeper Type is Best-Suited to Gel Pillows

The following group of people would benefit from gel pillows the most:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People with neck pain
  • Side sleepers
By contrast, those who prefer to sleep on a stomach, wouldn’t enjoy gel pillows that much because of a higher loft.

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