Heating vs Cooling Cushions: Know the Difference

Half of working Americans admit to suffering from back pain. Are you one of these workers in this statistic? If so, you may be wondering how to decrease your back pain. Fortunately, you may not need expensive treatments or dangerous medications — you may only need a new pillow.

Today, back support pillows have advanced technology to treat your aches and pains. For example, many of these cushions are made with heating and cooling mechanisms.

Both hot and cold temperatures can treat pain. But which option is best for you? Here’s the difference between heating vs cooling pillows and choosing the best one for you.

Cooling Cushions

Are hot vs cold cushions right for you? You will first want to consider a cooling cushion.

Cooling cushions offer many benefits. They not only treat your pain but keep your entire body cool. This is beneficial if you tend to get hot and sweat at night. Cooling cushions are also ideal for work; the cooling sensation heals your tissues and muscles, treating your pain throughout the workday.

What Is a Cooling Cushion?

Cooling cushions aim to keep your body cool using specialized technology. Each cushion and pillow varies; for example, your cushion may use ventilation holes to keep the cushion cool.

How It Works

All cooling cushions work differently. If you’re using a ventilated cushion, the cushion is made of a porous material that allows the body to breathe. You won’t accumulate sweat while sitting down, making your body feel cooler.

Many cushions are also made with cooling gel pads. These are commonly seen in travel cushions; the cushion will keep you cool throughout long drives and the cooling mechanism is even stronger when you blast the car’s AC.

The Science Behind Cooling Cushions

Even the smallest cooling sensation offers some serious results. The cooling sensation helps your body recover from pain faster. This recovery not only helps you sleep but you’ll fall into a deep sleep.

Sleeping with the cooling cushion is also recommended if you feel hot while you sleep. Excessive heat and sweatiness are uncomfortable. The cooling sensation is relaxing and will help you fall asleep.

What They Feel Like

A cooling cushion feels cool but not cold. The ventilation gives a cooling sensation because it doesn’t absorb your body heat the same way other cushions do.

Rather than the pillow providing the cooling effect, the ventilation prevents your body from getting warmer and the warmth being absorbed by the pillow.

What if your pillow has cooling gel? The gel matches the temperature of the room and not your body temperature, which is why these pillows feel cool. You’ll usually see gel-infused memory foam cushions; memory foam offers great support but is a dense material, so the gel insert adds a cooling effect.

The Benefits

The biggest benefit is the cooling sensation and how it cools down your body. This will help you sleep and prevent sweatiness when using the cushion.

Cooling cushions can be used for anything — you can use them for long drives, for your office chair, and other situations where you’ll be sitting or lying down for a long amount of time.

There is also a wide selection of cooling cushions. For example, if you need a cushion that provides lumbar support, such as a memory foam cooling seat cushion.

Tips When Using Cooling Cushions

Try to not leave your cooling cushion in the car. If the car is hot, the cooling properties of the cushion may degrade. If you have to leave your cushion in the car, make sure a sunshade covers the dashboard window and prevents light from entering your car.

When you’re not using your cushion, keep it wrapped in a blanket to further preserve its cooling properties.

A cooling cushion is great for cooling down your back or neck and preventing sweatiness. But if your cooling cushion isn’t cooling your entire body, you may need an extra fan.

Common Questions

Is the pillow cool all the time? Most cooling pillows remain at room temperature because of the porous material and ventilation capabilities. Our natural body temperature is significantly higher than room temperature, which is why cooling pillows don’t feel freezing cold.

Do the pillows absorb body heat? It depends on the type of pillow you use. Ventilated pillows absorb body heat better than gel-infused pillows. But both will stay cool and prevent sweatiness.

How do you use a cooling pillow? You can rest your head or neck on the pillow while you sleep. You can also use a back support pillow while you’re sitting, such as in the car or in your office chair. There are also specialty cooling cushions made specifically for sitting down for long hours. It’s best to take a look at all of your options to find the cushion that’s best for you.

Should you use a memory foam cushion? Memory foam is the perfect material to enhance comfort and prevent pain. Since memory foam isn’t the most breathable material, adding the cooling gel will prevent any sweatiness.

Can you clean a cooling cushion? The best cushions are machine washable. Every seller has different washing instructions, so be sure to read the instructions carefully to ensure you don’t damage your cushion.

young man working at the computer

Heated Cushions

Whether you’re sitting in the car for long periods of time during the winter or your office is freezing cold, many people will benefit more by having a heated cushion. The warming sensation will also decrease any body aches and pains.

What Is a Heated Cushion?

Heated cushions combine comfortable materials with technology that uses your body heat to produce warming capabilities. The best-heated cushions retain their shape with every use and provide optimum support.

How It Works

Every heated cushion is different. You’ll want to find a heated cushion that responds to your body heat for the best results. These cushions mold to your unique body shape for plenty of comfort and support. Certain materials, such as memory foam, are great at treating aches and pains.

The Science Behind Heated Cushions

The best-heated cushions are made with gel-infused materials. This gel responds to your body heat, warming up the cushion without making it too hot. The cushion will also mold to your body, insulating the heat.

What They Feel Like

Heated cushions provide a comfortable warmth that’s similar to your natural body heat. This makes heating back cushions safe and comfortable to use all day for different purposes. There are a variety of different heating pillows and cushions available in different sizes, materials, and purposes.

The Benefits

A heated cushion comes with many benefits. First and foremost, you protect your back and neck. Heat increases blood flow, which also increases the flow of nutrients and oxygen. This aids the healing process and prevents pain.

You’ll also stay warm. This is beneficial if you tend to get cold easily, especially when sitting for long hours at a time. If others around you prefer cooler temperatures, such as employees or car passengers, you don’t need to increase the temperature to stay comfortable.

Most heated cushions provide lumbar support, especially if they’re made of memory foam. The memory foam is comfortable enough to heal any back pain and back cushions help keep your spine straight.

There are also many heated cushions for all purposes. These include seat cushions, back cushions, and more. 

Tips When Using Heated Cushions

There are certain tips that will ensure your heated cushion will last a long time.

First and foremost, wash it regularly. The best-heated cushions are machine washable. Every seller has their own washing and maintenance instructions. Be sure to follow these instructions so you don’t damage the cushion.

Only choose a cushion that conforms to your body. If not, then the cushion could slip out of place. This will also limit the capabilities of heating seat cushions; the cushion warms up with your body heat, requiring complete insulation.

You’ll also want to only buy a heated seat cushion from a reputable dealer. While it’s unlikely your cushion will get damaged, a lifetime warranty will ensure you’ll be covered if anything happens to your cushion.

Common Questions

If this is your first time using a heated cushion, you more than likely have some questions. Here are other common questions that buyers have.

When do you experience the effects? You’ll more than likely start experiencing the benefits instantly. That’s because the cushion conforms to your body, rapidly retaining your body temperature.

How long do heated cushions retain heat? While the cushion will constantly retain your heat, you may only feel the effects for a short amount of time. But understand that these cushions will still benefit your body and you’ll experience the comfort and support the entire time you’re using the pillow.

Will the pillow slip out from under you? These cushions conform to your body, preventing any slippage or movement. You can move and change positions without the pillow slipping underneath you. In addition, many cushions are made with a non-slip gel rubber bottom. This ensures the pillow will stay in place on any seat or surface.

How to Choose a Heated or Cooling Cushion

Did you decide if a heated or cooling pillow is right for you? If so, it’s time to choose the best cushion for you. Here are some factors to consider.

Care and Maintenance

We have emphasized the importance of buying machine washable cushions. But you may also find many cushions that require hand washing or different washing techniques instead. If the cushion has any pouches, you may also need to remove them before washing them.

You may also have to let the cushion air dry unless the directions state that machine drying is allowed.


Both heated and cooling back cushions may have gel-infused technology. The gel technology absorbs your body heat, and the pillow either insulates it or leaves a cooling sensation. The gel insulation is often used with memory foam for ultimate comfort.

But this isn’t your only option. For example, you can buy a cushion with plenty of ventilation that cools you down and prevent sweatiness.


You should choose the cushion design based on the way you plan on using the pillow. For example, if you want to use the pillow for your back, you should find a back and seat pillow. But if you plan on using the pillow for your head or neck, find a conventional pillow or a neck support pillow.

If you want to use the pillow while you’re sleeping, identify the type of sleeping position you prefer. Side sleepers will benefit from memory foam pillows while back sleepers will benefit from thinner pillows.

No matter the purpose you’re using the pillow or cushion, you’ll want to find one that conforms to your body. This will offer the most support.

Memory Foam

Many of the cushions you will find are made of memory foam. It’s important to explain this material in-depth so you can understand if it’s right for you.

Memory foam molds to your body. This provides support and relieves any pressure points. But memory foam isn’t ideal for everyone. This material is heavier and denser than other materials, which makes the pillow larger than other pillows.

You can also opt for gel-insulated memory foam. This option is moldable and more lightweight than traditional memory foam. The gel insulation allows for better airflow, offering both cooling and heating benefits.

Heating vs Cooling Seat Cushions: Which One Will You Choose?

young man points to a pillow

Cushions provide lumbar support for your back, neck, head, and more. Temperature therapy also helps decrease pain and discomfort. Is there a difference between heating vs cooling cushions? Both will benefit different people.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to look far to find the best heated or cooling cushion. Shop our products today!

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