I’ve always wanted to figure out the hot pillow conundrum. I know some companies have given it a shot, but nothing I’ve tried or heard about from others seems to work. I tried the Chillow and I only used it for a few nights. It’s super skinny so it’s not something you’d typically use as a stand alone pillow, but trying to get it to stay in a pillow case with another pillow was impossible. It was also uncomfortable and I didn’t feel any coolness on my hot head.

This is one of those common problems that people have wanted to find a solution to for a long time, but it seems nobody can get it right. It’s not just a comfort thing, but a number of studies (or just people parroting back what they’ve read like me) suggest we sleep better in slightly cooler temperatures.

I know that’s true for me. I’m a bit of a side to side thrasher and usually wake up a number of times each night. If I keep the air conditioner on, I get a much better sleep and rarely wake up at all. I still must flail around since I always wake up with a mohawk look to my hair, but I certainly don’t remember doing so.

So how would we create a pillow that stays consistently cool to avoid having to keep flipping it all night? That idea you had about putting an ice block in a Ziploc bag won’t cut it either. That gave me a stiff neck and I had a wet head by morning.

My first thought was to investigate those cold packs athletes use to control swelling of an injury. If you’re not familiar with them, it’s a plastic bag containing ammonium nitrate crystals and a small pouch of water. When you give the bag a squeeze, the inner pouch of water breaks. When the ammonimum nitrate dissolves in the water, it creates an endothermic reaction that absorbs heat.

The thing is, if I recall correctly those cold packs don’t last more than 15 or 20 minutes, so that won’t cut it. Even if you could devise a way for crystals and water to be combined every so often to create a recurring reaction, you’d still be replacing the ammonium nitrate and water every night, and that could be costly over time.

My second thought was those blue gel packs. You know those blue ice packs you can throw in the freezer, but they don’t freeze completely solid? This might be a solution if you had an inner plastic lining to control condensation or moisture that you could access via a zipper on the pillow or something.

My last thought was similar to the previous, but inspired by the PackIT Freezable Lunchbags. 1 These lunch bags have a freezable gel liner and you can fold them up smaller while it’s in the freezer. It just might work if you used the same concept to create a pillow case with the gel liner. You’d probably have to work with a softer fabric because the lunch pail external material is a bit rougher.

It would still be something you’d have to replace every night, but it doesn’t seem like much of a chore to fold up and throw your pillow case in the freezer on your way out the door. If you’re a tad on the lazy side with making your bed in the morning, just order a few of them so you always have one ready to go.

OK, so who’s gonna take the reigns on this one? Do I at least get one of the first pieces right off the manufacturing line? I’ll even be your first affiliate by mentioning/selling them here.

  1. Amazon affiliate link
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