· Homekeeping Tips · Crafts & DIY Projects · Love The Cold Side Of The Pillow? This Is For You

Love The Cold Side Of The Pillow? This Is For You


One of my least favorite parts of summer is that the warm, stuffy air in my room makes falling asleep even harder. Especially when it gets to the point where it doesn’t cool off even enough overnight to make it worth it to open the windows! Luckily, this easy DIY project gives me an effective option for keeping my cool at night, and it can do the same for you too!

Related: 7 Better Ways To Make Dinner When It’s Hot Out

This DIY pillow project is a homemade take on a product called a Chillow. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a special kind of pillow you can fill with water and chill so that it feels nice and cool when you rest your head on it. (It also feels really nice to lay on one when you have a nasty headache!)

But you don’t need to buy a Chillow to experience the cooling, soothing relief of a chilled pillow—just follow the simple instructions below!

DIY Chillow: How To Make Your Own Cooling Pillow


You’ll need:



With your pillow placed over a sink or towel, carefully pour water into the valve of the inflatable pillow with the aid of a small funnel or squeeze bottle. (Make sure to pull the top and bottom layers of the pillow apart so the water has somewhere to go instead of spilling over the sides!)


When the pillow has a decent layer of water in it (it doesn’t need to be completely full—just full enough to support your head), squeeze any excess air out and then seal the valve. Place the pillow in your fridge to chill for several hours so that it can get nice and cool.


After that, you can enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep, a cool midday nap, or soothe away a headache. Whatever you use it for, it’s sure to work like a charm!

How do you keep cool during hot summer nights? 

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Homekeeping Tips

  • I used to have chillows when I lived in VA. I always sleep “ hot.” I moved to Japan to teach and they are just such innovators. I bought Cool Feel Fabric pillowcases and sheets, and slept on buckwheat hull pillows. They are a little noisy at first, but are very comfortable and easily pushed into a variety of shapes to suit positions. Many Japanese apartments do not have AC, nor do they have ceiling fans. They rely on breezes through open windows and floor fans.

    I decided to experiment and have been using my results ever since. I see these pillows sold at craft fairs, etc, but have only ever made my own. I sew a rectangle of prewashed and hot dried cotton cloth all around, usually 6”x8”, leaving a 2”” opening in a seam. I fill the little pillow with cheap rice. Not too full, but about 90% full so there is some malleability. Hand stitch the seam opening, and you have a pillow you can keep in the freezer or use in the microwave ! They hold the heat or cold for a long time, and are just so handy.

    Make them any size you like. I have several for eye refreshing size, the small 6×8 ones fit nicely at the back of your neck and under the small of your back. This year I made a pillowcase sized one with channels. It rolls up nicely and I slept on it a couple of nights in the very hot evenings this Spring, which is the hot season where I live, here in Chapala, Mexico.

  • Hi,
    I used to make “cool” icy packs for little hurts at the gym and neck wraps for workers at fairs deep frying vegetables on extremely hot days. I used baby disposable diapers. Added water and froze. The additive in the diapers kept it from freezing solid. They wrap around arms, legs/ankles and necks and torsos. I usually wrapped them in colorful bandannas for the fryers. (The guys objected to wearing a diaper around their neck; but they wanted and needed the coolness) They stayed cold for a very long time and were reusable.
    if I’d use a blow up pillow I’d add a bit of alcohol (keeps it from freezing),to it and store in the freezer between uses. I never thought about using the pillow. Can’t wait to get one; I need a chill on.

    • Try using sandwich bags filled with half water – half ALCOHOL It won’t freeze solid – and then wrap in a towel or put inside your pillow case. MAKE SURE the baggie is doubled or has a VERY GOOD SEAL.

  • Living on the east coast of Australia most of my life I came up with a solution to a cool comfy sleep well before the manufacturers invented the cool pillow by using an empty wine cask insert Fill insert with water, freeze but not solid place into a towel cover made to fit this insert. These inserts have many recycle uses eg: keeping drinks chilled at parties, picnics ice packs ect

  • When temperatures soar, trade in that extra-comfy mattress for a minimalist straw or bamboo mat . These all-natural sleeping surfaces are less comfortable, but they don’t retain heat like a puffy, cloth-covered mattress. Rice and buckwheat aren’t just for eating ! These cupboard staples can also keep you cool on hot nights. Stock up on buckwheat pillows , which don’t absorb heat like cotton and down. And for a cold compress on

      • I was thinking about this too! How about putting it into your regular pillow to help the softness and comfort of the pillow? I really want this to stay cool most of the night!!!

  • Since I’ve switched to 100% silk pillowcase, no more turning the pillow over to the cool side. The silk doesn’t get warm/hot.

    The spritzing of the sheet works beautifully!

    • Mine still does. The house we currently live in doesn’t have A/C and, being a tri level, built in the 70s, there is NO cross current…which strikes me as being very stupid in designing a home with no a/c. We have a window unit in our bedroom, and I use ice packs filled with seed corn on the back of my neck when it gets too bad. I really need to make one of these.

      Now, to find the best price on an inflatable pillow!

      • Hi you can also place a bottle of ice and water in the back of your fans. Size bottles of your choice. This works very well to keep you cool. I do this with my two fans in my garage. Hope this helps!

  • A friend of mine told me that, when they first moved into their home, the house did not have AC. They misted the top sheet and had a fan at the end of the bed on low. She said it was absolutely wonderful during the hot summer months!

  • great idea! I was wondering if it would be safe to lay on. I “had” a chillow, before my other half “stole” it, and I used to use it first to cool down with (head), then for the remainder of the night, I would lay on it as I have a very bad back, and this helped immensely. just wondered if this one would hold up to the job. thanks for all your posts -one day at a time!!!! :)

  • Another way to keep cooler in bed and sleep better is to take a tepid shower just before bedtime, even if you’ve had one earlier in the day. This gets off any sticky sweatiness that reduces comfort levels. London gets the occasional heatwave (like right now) which is doubly bad because of Britain’s high humidity levels. I usually have a fan directed at my chair or bed day and night!

  • We found that if you mix water with rubbing Alcohol ….original instruction was Vodka but the older teenagers suddenly had a lot of headaches…. The mixture doesn’t freeze it stays slushy and bends around the knee or back of neck. Leave room for water to expand if it does freeze. We’ve gone through a few of these until we got it right.

    • It’s a 50/50 mix, or 2/3 alcohol to 1/3 water for extra slushy. I have several homemade ice packs in the freezer for my husband’s knee.

      I don’t know if I’d put alcohol into the inflatable pillow though, but it might work for a rubber ice pack or something similar.

  • This is a great idea and I can’t wait to try it. My husband bought me a chillow. It had terrible off gassing — we couldn’t be in the same room with it. You know it stinks when your dog refuses to go near it. It was not worth the money.

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