Properly hot weather is on its way, which (hopefully) means plenty of fun in the sun, but potentially less fun when it comes to trying to get a decent night's sleep. Figuring out how to sleep in a heatwave, when you're all hot and bothered and your sheets are sticking to you, can be a major challenge. I've been updating T3's best mattress cooling pads guide, and come across a product that seems like the perfect solution. It's extremely well-reviewed and it's a stone-cold bargain too.
The JML Chillmax pillow (opens in new tab) is a gel-filled pouch that's designed to draw heat away from your body and cool you down, and everywhere I look there are reviews singing its praises. Which is all the more surprising when you consider it costs under £10 (a darn sight cheaper than any of today's best fans, and you don't need to plug it in, either).
The world of mattress cooling pads is typically quite an underwhelming one. It's the kind of marketplace that's filled with plenty of options, but they come almost entirely from brands you've never heard of, and disappear every few months to be replaced by a suspiciously similar looking model with a different company name. The JML Chillmax is a clear standout.
It's a simple design: a wipe-clean pouch filled with gel that reacts to your body to absorb excess warmth, offering a cooling sensation for up to three hours. For an extra hit of cooling, JML says you can pop it into the fridge for a few hours before use. The compact, foldable size is meant to fit comfortably into a pillowcase (so you don't end up with plastic against your face), but it's versatile enough to be used in a variety of situations – a common recommendation from reviewers is sticking it under your feet in bed, instead, to cool you down from the toes up.
Once it has absorbed your body heat, this pad is not going to feel cool any more, so it's not an all-night solution – you'll need to leave it on the side to cool down again before reusing. This is the most common complaint amongst the reviews that aren't ultra-enthusiastic, but to me it seems reasonable for such a cheap option. It should stay cool plenty long enough to help you drop off comfortably, after all.
This cheap and very cheerful pad is also one of our Best gadgets to beat the UK heatwave. Dive in.
If you need something that'll actively regulate temperature all night, you'll need to stump up an awful lot more for something like the Eight Sleep Pod Cover; a mattress cover with an internal network of water-filled tubes that offers precise, dual zoned heating or cooling, as well as plenty more smart features besides, as detailed in our Eight Sleep Pod review. That one is an outstanding option if you consistently struggle with overheating at night, but it's understandably in an entirely different ball-park when it comes to price.
Back to the JML Chillmax Pillow, though. On Amazon (opens in new tab), it has clocked up an impressive average of 4.4 out of 5 over 5,500+ reviews. On Argos (opens in new tab), it scores a 4.3 average over 612 reviews, with customers praising how cool it feels even without pre-refrigeration, while on Wilko (opens in new tab) it's 4.2 over 94 reviews. Check out today's best prices in the widget below.