5 Cooling Neck Wraps

You don't have to be an Olympic athlete to benefit from a cooling neck wrap.

When you think of a cooling neck wrap, you might automatically picture an athlete drenched in sweat with a terry cloth towel draped around their shoulders. But keeping your neck cool with a cooling towel can have benefits, even if you're not always at the gym.

A cooling neck wrap can be soothing to anyone who plans to break a sweat, whether exercising, camping, cycling, lounging on the beach, or attending an outdoor sports game or concert.

For most of these types of towels, to activate the cooling technology, you must soak them in water, wring out the excess, and snap them a few times or twirl them overhead. The wrap absorbs the water, expands as it fills up, and then cools you down through evaporation—the same way your body would when you sweat.

Many are designed to stay cold for a few hours, and once your towel loses its cool (literally), just wet it again and give it a snap. The great thing about cooling neck wraps is that they're reusable and extremely durable, so you can wash them over and over again without worrying about them becoming defective.

Benefits of Using a Cooling Neck Wrap

But why are cooling neck wraps so great for workouts, in particular? "When we overheat, it limits our endurance so much," said Chelsey Wilkens, personal trainer at SoHo Strength Lab in New York City. Here's why: Heat illnesses, such as heat exhaustion caused by exercise can cause debilitating symptoms such as rapid breathing, or a weak, fast pulse—which could lead to a more serious heat illness, heat stroke, per MedlinePlus.

This is where a cooling neck wrap comes into play. It helps your body keep from overheating, meaning it can help you keep up a high-intensity workout if you, for example, wear one while you're taking a break.

Additionally, cooling neck wraps can be helpful to those who have conditions that make them prone to overheating. For example, hot flashes are widely associated with menopause, with more than 80% of individuals going through menopause experiencing them. Those going through menopause may benefit from a cooling neck wrap, since it can help bring down their body temperature when it starts to get uncomfortably high.

Here's our guide to the best wraps to keep your neck cool. These options can aid in recovery from an intense workout, keep you cool on summer days, and even help relieve fever symptoms, hot flashes, headaches, and more.

Best for Workouts: Mission Enduracool Techknit Cooling Towel

cooling neck wrap mission

Serena Williams has been spotted with this versatile towel around their neck, and for good reason. When dry, it can absorb the sweat on your neck, and when wet, the company says its technology can cool to 30 degrees below average body temperature and stay cool for hours.

To experience the cooling sensation, toss the towel in water, wring it out, and snap it three times. (Sounds like a magic trick, right?) What's also nice is that it's machine-washable, and the technology in the fabric won't break down no matter how many laundry days it sees.

One reviewer wrote: "Love this cooling towel - Bought two and went back to get a 3rd since I use it daily at the gym. Even after a year + of using this product - washing it, it still works awesome. I put cold water on, ring out, and bring it (to) the treadmill or elliptical with me, and when I start getting hot, I put it around my neck or use it by placing it on and around my face, and it cools me down. I get so hot working out that this has been a life changer for me. I've been able to work out longer (indoors) by having this available so I don't overheat!"

To Buy: Mission Enduracool Techknit Cooling Towel

Best for Hot Days: Chill Pal Mesh Cooling Towel

cooling neck wrap chill pal

Beat the heat with this breathable mesh cooling neck wrap. The towel has built-in evaporative technology to keep it cool for hours, and the construction is thicker than other options on the market (which means more cooling power).

Despite it being thicker, the airy mesh design won't feel overpowering or heavy on your neck or shoulders on sweltering hot days. Tons of reviewers put it to the test in extreme temperatures, and it effectively cooled them down.

"My mother and I both purchased one of these Chill-Pals for a mission trip to Haiti. Where I was working we had a heat index of 100-115 degrees a day for eight days. Since I've previously had a heat stroke, this was a necessity. The towel kept me cool regardless of the temperature of the water I used on it. Most days, it fits comfortably around my neck or sometimes as a headband. After eight days of constant sweat, the towel only had a slight odor to it when I returned home. A quick wash, and it's like new," shared a customer.

To Buy: Chill Pal Mesh Cooling Towel

Best for Headaches: Ergodyne Chill Its 6700CT Cooling Bandana

cooling neck wrap ergodyne

This cute, outdoorsy bandana is lined with absorbent and evaporative material that holds more water and creates a cooling effect that lasts up to four hours on a single soak. Just run it under water for a minute, swirl it in the air, and tie it around your neck or head to feel instantly cooled down.

While it certainly can function as a lifestyle accessory, it also helps to bring down fevers, keeps night sweats at bay, and reduces the effect of heat exhaustion. Amazon customers commented on how well this bandana works for outdoor activities like hiking and how it relieves headaches and helps with mild nausea.

"This little bandana is awesome for fevers, neck aches, headaches, and migraines! I haven't tested it outside, but I totally love it for a bad headache day," said a shopper.

To Buy: Ergodyne Chill Its 6700CT Cooling Bandana

Best Everyday Option: KoolGator Cooling Neck Wrap

cooling neck wrap kool gator

No refrigeration or freezing is required for this soft, breathable cooling towel, which snaps around your neck and lasts through the day. All you have to do to prepare it is soak the neck wrap in water for 20 minutes before you put it on in the morning.

The non-toxic, absorbent crystal polymers, sewn into the middle chamber, can absorb hundreds of times their weight in water. Then, this water evaporates during the day to cool your neck and keep you cool overall. Many shoppers noted the wrap was perfect for working outdoors, and one medical professional even relied on it while working in a hot facility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One reviewer wrote: "I'm working in a covid unit. We have very little air conditioning and paper PPE + on. SO HOT! This really did help me tolerate the heat. I froze it. I need to get three more and keep them in a cooler in my car and swap them out about every 2 hours. If I have time to go get them. Just wetting them did help a little though."

To Buy: KoolGator Cooling Neck Wrap

Best for Multiple Sclerosis: Polar Products Neck & Upper Spine Wrap with Kool Packs

cooling neck wrap polar products
Polar Products

Multiple sclerosis symptoms can worsen when your temperature rises, making body temperature regulation crucial to people with the condition. This cooling wrap helps to cool the neck and upper back, but it works slightly differently than others.

Instead of soaking the towel in water, the water-based cooling packs must be frozen to get results. Once frozen, they stay chilled for up to two hours and work in any climate (yes, even the humid ones).

There isn't enough medical research to say whether or not cooling products are effective for people with MS. These wraps might be soothing, but they aren't considered a treatment. Several reviewers with MS noted that the towel is helpful for making them more comfortable.

"I recently got diagnosed with MS, and I am a very active person who lives in a very warm tropical environment. I love to cycle, but the MS was making it hard, until I got this wrap. It does amazing at cooling me down, and the symptoms I experienced went down by half. Combined with riding early morning, I don't feel anything, and I ride about 30 miles. I'm so happy with the product," said a shopper.

To Buy: Polar Products Neck & Upper Spine Wrap with Kool Packs

A Quick Review

There are many reasons to use a cooling neck wrap, and many different kinds are available. Whether you use one to help with workouts, general cooling, or for a medical condition, it can be a helpful addition to your wellness routine.

However, keep in mind that if you use one for headaches or other symptoms, reach out to a healthcare provider if the symptoms are new or concerning to you.

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3 Sources
Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. MedlinePlus. Heat illness.

  2. Bansal R, Aggarwal N. Menopausal hot flashes: a concise review. J Midlife Health. 2019;10(1):6-13. doi:10.4103/jmh.JMH_7_19

  3. National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Heat & Temperature Sensitivity.

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