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If you love almost everything about your mattress but want to make small changes to customize your sleep environment, a mattress pad is worth considering. A mattress pad is a thin layer that sits on top of your current mattress, and is secured with elasticized straps or a skirt much like a fitted sheet. Not only does a mattress pad let you customize the feel of your mattress, but it also adds a layer of protection.
While a mattress pad does not necessarily change the overall firmness of your mattress, it can change certain qualities like temperature regulation. A cooling mattress pad actively or passively regulates temperature and prevents sleeping hot. Some are made with breathable materials, like cotton or wool, while others are infused with gel to draw heat away from the body and dissipate moisture. Certain styles use technology to actively cool down the surface of the mattress.
We’ll cover our top picks for the best cooling mattress pads and what to look for when shopping for one. We’ll also break down what type of cooling mattress pad is best, along with answers to frequently asked questions.
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The Slumber Cloud Nacreous Mattress Pad stands out with its proprietary Outlast technology, which is engineered for optimal temperature regulation. Outlast is a phase change material (PCM), which has the ability to absorb, store, and return heat.
The pad’s fabric lining is engineered to reduce heat and moisture buildup when you’re too hot, but it also releases heat if you start to get cold. Additional temperature-regulating technology is added to the top cover. The PCM technology may appeal to couples with differing temperature preferences, as the mattress pad is designed to adjust to each person’s unique needs.
The pad is available in the six standard mattress sizes, as well as split king. Shoppers can choose between blue and white, which differ slightly in fabrication. The blue model’s top fabric consists of 40% Outlast viscose and 60% cotton, while the top panel of the white pad features 100% lyocell. Both compositions are effective at regulating temperature.
The pad features a small amount of polyester fiberfill padding for greater breathability, without changing the overall feel of your mattress. Its elastic skirting has a 360-degree grip to ensure a snug fit, and the pad will fit mattresses with profiles between 5 inches and 20 inches.
The Nacreous Mattress Pad is hypoallergenic and machine-washable. It comes with a 60-day trial, and Slumber Cloud offers free shipping for all U.S. orders.
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The ViscoSoft Copper Pillow Top Mattress Pad has a breathable, heat-wicking design, with copper-infused fabric and down alternative fill. The copper threads are intended to prevent the buildup of bacteria and reduce odors in your sleeping environment. This model is hypoallergenic and machine-washable, making it a suitable choice for those with environmental sensitivities.
The pad features a deep pocket skirt that can accommodate mattresses up to 18 inches tall. Sturdy elastic helps promote a snug and secure fit, making the mattress pad less likely to shift throughout the night.
Because of its 750 grams per square meter (GSM) down alternative fiberfill, the pad has a plush feel. This can help soften a firm mattress and provide additional cushioning for the shoulders and hips.
The Copper Pillow Top Mattress Pad is backed by a 60-day return period and a 3-year warranty. ViscoSoft also provides free shipping for the mattress pad.
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The Saatva Organic Mattress Pad naturally wicks away moisture and heat for a cooler sleep environment. Cotton is lightweight and breathable and the Saatva Organic Mattress Pad uses 100 percent Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton in its quilted construction. It is made without the use of chemicals or synthetic materials.
The 300 thread count of the Saatva Organic Mattress Pad is soft and breathable, allowing air to flow through the mattress pad. Organic cotton side panels with a wide elastic band secure the pad to the mattress. The pad can fit mattresses up to 16 inches thick, making it a great choice for those with higher mattress profiles. The mattress pad includes 0.75 inches of plush cotton fill, so it will add some softness to the mattress.
The Saatva Organic Mattress Pad is easy to clean as it can be machine washed on the gentle cycle and tumble dried. The mattress pad is available in standard sizes twin through California king. Saatva also offers an Upper-Flex option for the queen and king sizes, which corresponds to the Saatva Upper-Flex split top mattress.
Saatva offers a 45-day sleep trial for the Organic Mattress Pad and issues a full refund if you decide to return the pad. The company asks that any bedding is washed before returning. The Organic Mattress Pad is covered by a 1-year limited warranty.
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The Brooklyn Bedding Cooling Mattress Protector has a cool to the touch feel and breathable construction. The mattress protector improves the overall breathability of the mattress and draws heat away from the body. It resists dust mites and other allergens.
The company’s TitanCool technology is infused in the surface of the Cooling Mattress Protector. This phase change material (PCM) increases the conductivity of the protector and draws heat away from the body. The breathable elastic fabrication increases airflow.
Shoppers who want an easy to clean mattress pad will appreciate that the Brooklyn Bedding Cooling Mattress Protector can be machine washed in cool or warm water and tumble dried on a low setting. The mattress pad adds a layer of protection to the mattress, reducing normal wear and tear. The waterproof fabrication prevents spills from staining the mattress below.
The Brooklyn Bedding Cooling Mattress Protector is a thin cover, so sleepers should not expect it to add softness or change the firmness of the mattress. It is ideal for shoppers who want to protect their mattress from spills and stains while improving its overall breathability.
Brooklyn Bedding offers a 30-day sleep trial for the Cooling Mattress Protector.
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Unlike mattress pads that passively regulate temperature, the Chili Ooler Mattress Pad actively customizes the temperature of the bed with a hydronic pad and control unit. This gives sleepers the option of setting a temperature for the bed between 55 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit for personalized comfort.
The hi-loft jacquard knit of the mattress pad has a Tencel lyocell surface for breathability. The pad also features an energy-reflective waterproof polyester bottom. The hydronic pad is 0.375 inches thick and includes 0.125-inch tubing with leak-proof connectors. Water flows through the channels and adjusts the temperature of the pad.
The Ooler Mattress Pad is controlled by an attached unit with a water tank. The control unit has a low profile so it can fit underneath the bed. It auto-cleans with a UV light. There is variable ambient noise, which can be adjusted on the control unit.
The Ooler Sleep System can be optimized for one or two sleepers. It is available in sizes half queen, half king, half California king, queen, king, and California king. The half sizes are designed for one sleeper and cover half of the mattress. Whole sizes cover the entire mattress and include two control units. This is beneficial for couples with differing comfort preferences, as each side can be individually adjusted.
The mattress pad pairs with a smartphone app for temperature control, customizable schedules, and notifications. Sleepers can set the Warm Awake feature in lieu of an alarm clock. This option warms the bed slowly to wake you up naturally. The Ooler Sleep System has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce sweating for hot sleepers.
Chili offers a 90-night sleep trial for the Ooler Sleep System, though the customer is responsible for any shipping costs in the event of a return. The company covers the Ooler Sleep System with a 2-year limited warranty.
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The Cozy Earth Bamboo Mattress Pad is a lightweight model with a thin profile. The breathable viscose derived from bamboo is particularly suitable for hot sleepers or those living in humid climates, as it helps wick away moisture and regulate temperature.
The pad is hypoallergenic. Cozy Earth sources bamboo from USDA-certified organic farms, which means that it is free of chemicals and pesticides. The company does not use dyes, and the pad is a natural white color. The bamboo-derived viscose is highly breathable, which helps the mattress pad prevent the buildup of moisture and bacteria.
The pad is available in twin, queen, king, and California king sizes and fits mattresses up to 20 inches deep. It has a strong elastic band to help keep the mattress pad in place. In order to preserve the mattress pad’s structural integrity and soft feel, it should be machine washed on the delicate setting.
Cozy Earth offers free shipping and returns for U.S. orders. The Bamboo Mattress Pad is backed by a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty.
Sometimes, companies use misleading terminology or overstate the features of a mattress pad, which can make it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. Additionally, every shopper has unique needs and preferences. What works for one person may not work for another.
Focusing on the following features will help narrow down the vast selection and differentiate between a mattress pad that suits your needs, and one that does not.
There are different types of cooling mattress pads available, each of which has benefits and drawbacks. We’ll break down what types are best at cooling here. Keep in mind that mattress pads enhance the features of your current mattress. Additional factors, including bedding, room temperature, and personal preferences, will also determine which mattress pad is best for you.
Memory foam mattress pads react to heat and pressure to conform closely. This can restrict airflow around the body. These pads may also retain heat. This is especially the case for mattress pads made of traditional memory foam. Newer styles of memory foam often have an open-cell structure for better airflow. Memory foam can also be infused with copper or graphite to draw heat away from the body, or gel for additional cooling.
Polyfoam is less conforming than memory foam, which allows for better airflow around the body. There are many types of polyfoam, some of which regulate temperature better than others. Basic polyfoam may still retain heat, but is going to be less restrictive than memory foam. Like memory foam, advanced polyfoam can also have an open-cell structure, or be infused with copper, graphite, or gel.
A cooling gel mattress pad draws heat away from the body. Gel-infused foam dissipates heat and moisture to prevent overheating. Some gel foams are better than others. How well it performs depends on the type of gel used and how it is incorporated into the foam. Heat retention is still possible.
Latex is a natural material made from sap harvested from rubber trees. It is more breathable than synthetic foam and regulates temperature well. There are two types of natural latex: Dunlop and Talalay. Dunlop latex is more dense. Talalay latex is light and breathable, and it is often used to regulate temperature in mattresses. Latex can be aerated to maximize airflow and improve breathability.
Wool and cotton are natural fibers that wick away moisture and regulate temperature. Cotton is lightweight and breathable. It prevents moisture from building up in the mattress pad. This is beneficial for hot sleepers who are prone to sweating throughout the night.
Wool acts as natural insulation. The fibers absorb and retain heat in cooler months, and dissipate heat when it is warmer. This keeps sleepers comfortable throughout the year. Wool and cotton fill can also add softness to a mattress.
Gel mattress pads draw heat away from your body to help keep you cool. This is most noticeable as you are falling asleep. Since foam has a tendency to retain heat, a gel-infused foam mattress pad may not keep you cool all night.
How well a gel mattress pad keeps you cool depends on the type of foam and how the gel is incorporated into it. A gel mattress pad will likely feel less warm compared to a traditional foam pad, but may not stay cool to the touch.
Conductive materials like graphite and copper can improve the temperature-regulating qualities of a gel mattress pad. These materials pull heat away from the body and prevent it from building up in the foam.
Yes, many cooling mattress pads work as advertised and help cool you and your mattress down. Determining how well a cooling mattress pad will work depends on if it has active or passive cooling properties. Active cooling properties give you more control over the temperature of the mattress pad, while passive properties prevent heat from building up.
Read verified customer feedback and reviews to understand how well a product has worked for other customers, but keep in mind that a cooling mattress pad may not be a cure-all. It is one measure you can take to make your sleep environment more comfortable. Your mattress, bedding, and sleep environment play important roles as well.
A mattress pad and a mattress topper are not the same. A mattress pad is thinner than a mattress topper. A mattress pad adds a layer of protection to the mattress, reducing the likelihood of wear and tear or stains. Mattress pads are usually up to one inch thick. They do not change the firmness or comfort level of the mattress, but they can enhance its performance in terms of things like temperature regulation. Some mattress pads have hypoallergenic properties to resist dust mites and other allergens. Mattress pads can be made of cotton, wool, polyester, or thin layers of foam or padding.
Mattress toppers are at least one to three inches thick and serve as an additional comfort layer on the mattress. A topper sits on top of the mattress and can be secured in place with a fitted sheet. Some toppers have elastic straps. Mattress toppers are often made of foam, latex, wool, or down. They change the firmness level of the mattress and can offer additional pressure relief.
Bedding is an essential part of creating a comfortable sleep environment, and you can purchase sheets that prevent overheating. When shopping for cooling sheets, look for ones made with lightweight and breathable materials. This increases airflow and helps dissipate heat.
Natural materials are often better at regulating temperature than synthetic materials. Sheets made of bamboo, eucalyptus, cotton, and linen are often the most breathable. These plant-based fibers wick away moisture and provide comfort for hot sleepers.
The weave of sheets should also be considered. Percale sheets are not as tightly woven and have a crisp feel. These sheets are less likely to retain heat than those with a sateen weave. Sateen sheets are often thicker and heavier.
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