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Home / Best Mattress Pads of 2022 / Best Cooling Mattress Pads

Best Cooling Mattress Pads

Keith Cushner

Written by

Keith Cushner, Sleep Product Expert

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Methodology

We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guide to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations. Learn More

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We recently updated this page to include the SHEEX Original Performance Mattress Pad as our most comfortable pick. The Cozy Earth Bamboo Mattress Pad remains our top pick.

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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. A cooling mattress pad actively or passively regulates temperature and prevents you from 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 designs use technology to actively cool down the surface of the mattress.

Our team has tested dozens of cooling mattress pads and determined which models are worth purchasing. Side, back, and stomach sleepers across multiple weight groups put our top picks to the test, analyzing each one for comfort, value, and temperature regulation.

The Best Cooling Mattress Pads

Cozy Earth Bamboo Mattress Pad

Best Overall

Cozy Earth Bamboo Mattress Pad

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Brooklyn Bedding Cooling Mattress Protector

Best Value

Brooklyn Bedding Cooling Mattress Protector

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Saatva Organic Mattress Pad

Best Luxury

Saatva Organic Mattress Pad

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SHEEX Original Performance Mattress Pad

Most Comfortable

SHEEX Original Performance Mattress Pad

SHOP NOW
Slumber Cloud Performance Mattress Pad

Best Temperature-Regulating

Slumber Cloud Performance Mattress Pad

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Birch Organic Mattress Pad

Best Organic

Birch Organic Mattress Pad

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ViscoSoft Copper Pillow Top Mattress Pad

Best Moisture Wicking

ViscoSoft Copper Pillow Top Mattress Pad

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Puffy Mattress Pad

Softest

Puffy Mattress Pad

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The Company Store Cool Zzz Mattress Pad

Best for Deep Mattresses

The Company Store Cool Zzz Mattress Pad

SHOP NOW
chilisleep OOLER Sleep System with Chilipad Cool Mesh

Most Innovative

chilisleep OOLER Sleep System with Chilipad Cool Mesh

SHOP NOW

How to Build the Coolest Bedroom - Video

Watch the video below for some tips on how to create a cooler sleep environment.

Along with the featured cooling mattress pads in our top picks, we’ve also included a comprehensive buyer’s guide. This section tells you what to look for – and what to avoid – when shopping for a cooling pad. We’ll also break down how cooling mattress pads work, answer some frequently asked questions, and help you choose the right style for your sleep preferences.

Product Details

Cozy Earth Bamboo Mattress Pad

Best Overall

Cozy Earth Bamboo Mattress Pad

Cozy Earth Bamboo Mattress Pad
Price: $203
Cover: Viscose derived from bamboo
Fill: Fiber fill derived from bamboo
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers or people living in humid climates
  • Individuals who are sensitive to chemicals
  • Sleepers who don’t want to change the firmness level of their mattress
Highlights:
  • Lightweight design with a thin profile
  • Soft fabric construction made from bamboo-derived viscose
  • 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Save up to 25% sitewide

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.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The bamboo-derived fill in Cozy Earth’s pad feels noticeably cooler than down, down alternative, or even cotton. This would be a good purchase for people who sweat in their sleep.”

Brooklyn Bedding Cooling Mattress Protector

Best Value

Brooklyn Bedding Cooling Mattress Protector

Brooklyn Bedding Cooling Mattress Protector
Price: $129
Cover Material: TitanCool phase change material-infused fabric
Fill: N/A
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers who are prone to sweating
  • Sleepers who want a waterproof mattress protector
  • People with allergies to dust mites and other allergens
Highlights:
  • TitanCool and phase change materials meant to pull heat away from the body
  • Waterproof and resistant to bacteria, dust mites, and bed bugs
  • Thin profile protects mattress without changing firmness or feel
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Booklyn Bedding products

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.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The Brooklyn protector feels cool to the touch whenever I use it, even on hot nights. The fabric is pretty slick, so people who want a smooth protector will probably enjoy this one.”

Saatva Organic Mattress Pad

Best Luxury

Saatva Organic Mattress Pad

Saatva Organic Mattress Pad
Price: $175
Cover Material: Top panel: GOTS-certified organic cotton Side panel: GOTS-certified organic cotton, spandex
Fill: Organic cotton
Who it's best for:
  • Environmentally-conscious shoppers
  • Sleepers who are sensitive to chemicals and synthetic materials
  • People with a thick mattress
Highlights:
  • Made of certified organic cotton
  • Breathable and moisture-wicking fabric
  • Machine-washable for easy care
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Buy more, save more. Get up to $450 off!

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.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The Organic Mattress Pad strikes that balance between a plush surface feel and excellent cooling. It was much more comfortable compared to a lot of pads I’ve tested with real down fill.”

SHEEX Original Performance Mattress Pad

Most Comfortable

SHEEX Original Performance Mattress Pad

SHEEX Original Performance Mattress Pad
Price: $219
Cover Material: 87% polyester, 13% spandex
Fill: 100% polyester down alternative fibers
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People who prefer a pad with light cushioning
  • Owners of thick mattresses
Highlights:
  • Moisture-wicking fabric helps keep you dry and cool
  • Lightly quilted with down alternative fibers for softness
  • 18-inch pocket depth fits high-profile beds
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on SHEEX products

The SHEEX Original Performance Mattress Pad is designed with coolness and comfort in mind. Unlike some competing pads that can feel stiff, this one excels at protecting your mattress from wear and tear without compromising on comfort.

The mattress pad is made with a polyester and spandex fabric that feels silky to the touch and wicks moisture from your body. It’s quilted with a down alternative fiber that’s engineered to promote cooling on the surface. These cooling materials help dissipate heat buildup and prevent excessive sweating, so you should sleep fairly cool if you’re a hot sleeper or live in a humid climate. The quilted surface also adds a touch of plushness to any mattress.

You can purchase the pad in a queen or king/California king size, and both options are designed with a mesh skirt that can accommodate mattresses up to 18 inches deep. The pad is machine-washable if you use a large capacity washer and dryer. SHEEX recommends washing in cold water on a gentle cycle and tumble drying on low.

SHEEX offers a 30-night sleep trial for this mattress pad, as well as a 1-year warranty. Reasonable flat-rate fees apply for orders up to $150, and shipping is free to the contiguous U.S. for orders over $150.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“I often find mattress pads to be uncomfortably crinkly and rigid, but the SHEEX Original Performance Mattress Pad stands out for its softness. The fabric also feels nice and cool, which is helpful for nighttime sweating.”

Slumber Cloud Performance Mattress Pad

Best Temperature-Regulating

Slumber Cloud Performance Mattress Pad

Slumber Cloud Performance Mattress Pad
Price: $209
Cover Material: Tencel
Fill: Down alternative fibers
Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers who fluctuate between being too hot and too cold
  • Couples with adjustable beds
  • People with high-profile mattresses
Highlights:
  • Breathable Tencel-based Outlast fabric cover helps regulate temperature
  • Down alternative fiberfill provides gentle padding
  • 60-night sleep trial
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Slumber Cloud products

Slumber Cloud products are known for using proprietary Outlast technology, which is engineered for optimal temperature regulation. Outlast is a phase change material (PCM), designed to absorb, store, and return heat. The Slumber Cloud Performance Mattress Pad elaborates on this technology using Tencel-based Outlast meant to reduce heat and moisture buildup when you’re too hot, and releasing heat if you start to get cold.

Down alternative fiber fills the mattress pad’s interior, adding cushioning to the surface without changing the overall feel of your mattress. The pad is available in seven sizes, including a split king option where you’ll receive two twin XL mattress pads. This is a great option for couples who own adjustable beds. Its elastic skirting has a 360-degree grip to ensure a snug fit, and the pad will fit mattresses with profiles up to 20 inches thick.

Slumber Cloud ships free to customers living in the contiguous U.S. All orders come with 60-night sleep trials and 180-day warranties against structural defects.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The Slumber Cloud Performance Mattress Pad is one of the most effective pads we’ve tested when it comes to passive cooling. The Outlast technology ensured a comfortable temperature for both hot- and cool-sleeping testers.”

Birch Organic Mattress Pad

Best Organic

Birch Organic Mattress Pad

Birch Organic Mattress Pad
Price: $199
Cover Material: GOTS-certified organic cotton sateen
Fill: GOTS-organic cotton
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Shoppers who value bedding that’s organically sourced
  • Those seeking a mattress pad that is softer and quieter than competing pads
Highlights:
  • Soft cotton layers absorb moisture and protect bed from spills
  • Cotton has GOTS certification to ensure organic sourcing
  • Breathable cotton design keeps pad cool
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Birch products

Birch is known for producing quality mattresses and bedding products that are made with eco-conscious materials, and the Organic Mattress Pad is no exception. The materials are sustainably sourced and excel at absorbing moisture, making this an ideal product for shoppers who prioritize environmentally friendly pads that keep you dry.

The pad is composed of cotton with a GOTS organic certification. The cotton cover has a 300 thread count with a sateen weave that gives it a smooth, silky feel. It is quilted with cotton fibers that wick moisture from the surface to prevent sweat and other liquids from seeping into your mattress. The pad is designed with an elasticated skirt that fits over your mattress. Measuring 16 inches deep, the skirt is compatible with most mattresses. Note that the skirt is made mostly of cotton but contains a small amount of lycra to ensure a snug fit.

Cotton has natural cooling properties, so the cotton composition of the Birch Organic Mattress Pad makes it a highly breathable option – which is not always the case with mattress pads. The quilting also creates a soft and slightly plush surface, which some may find more comfortable than mattress pads that feel stiff or crinkly.

The pad is available in a twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king size. It is machine-washable, though Birch recommends a washer and dryer with high capacity to ensure it can handle the pad. Wash in cold water on a gentle setting, then tumble dry on low heat.

The Organic Mattress Pad comes with a 100-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty. Shipping is free to all 50 states.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“A lot of mattress pads are good at wicking moisture, but few feel as soft and comfortable as the Birch Organic Mattress Pad. This product keeps you dry but doesn’t feel as stiff as some competing mattress pads out there.”

ViscoSoft Copper Pillow Top Mattress Pad

Best Moisture Wicking

ViscoSoft Copper Pillow Top Mattress Pad

ViscoSoft Copper Pillow Top Mattress Pad
Price: $160
Cover Material: Copper-infused fabric
Fill: Down alternative fibers
Who it's best for:
  • Those who tend to sweat in their sleep
  • People with mattresses that feel overly firm
  • Shoppers who own thick mattresses
Highlights:
  • Moisture-wicking shell fabric is woven with copper yarns to provide exceptional cooling
  • Fiber fill improves the comfort level of your sleep surface
  • 90-night trial
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

SF customers receive 25% off + free shipping

A cooling mattress pad can be a worthwhile investment for sleepers who want to reduce heat buildup on their sleep surface, but most pads provide minimal – if any – comfort adjustments for your mattress. The ViscoSoft Copper Pillow Top Mattress Pad manages to sleep very cool and make your mattress feel noticeably softer thanks to a layer of plush fiber fill. The shell fabric is woven with copper yarns intended to capture and dissipate body heat. The fabric also has moisture-wicking properties to keep you dry on humid nights.

The pad is available in six sizes that correspond to standard mattress dimensions. A deep-pocket elastic skirt makes the pad compatible with any mattress measuring up to 18 inches thick. For added convenience, the pad is fully machine-washable.

The Copper Pillow Top Mattress Pad is competitively priced and all orders qualify for free ground delivery. Your order comes with a 90-night trial period, giving you ample time to test out the pad.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“This ViscoSoft pad’s cooling properties are on par with other pads we’ve tested, but few match the plushess of its fiber fill-padded surface. The pad is a great option for people who sleep hot and want to make their mattress feel softer.”

Puffy Mattress Pad

Softest

Puffy Mattress Pad

Puffy Mattress Pad
Price: $229
Cover Material: Bamboo-derived fabric
Fill: Down alternative fill
Who it's best for:
  • Those who find their current sleep surface too firm
  • Anyone who owns a mattress up to 15 inches thick
  • Hot sleepers
Highlights:
  • Consistent cooling thanks to a shell composed of breathable, bamboo-derived viscose
  • Quilted surface delivers plush cushioning
  • Elasticated corners ensure a secure fit
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Puffy products

The Puffy Mattress Pad features a quilted surface cushioned with plush down alternative fill. The result is a luxuriously soft design that is well suited to anyone who finds their current mattress too firm. Elasticated corners allow you to secure the pad over your mattress, rather than simply tucking it beneath your fitted sheet, so there shouldn’t be any uncomfortably clumping or shifting while you sleep. The pocket depth is 15 inches, making the pad compatible with most mattresses on the market today.

The shell is made of viscose derived from bamboo, a highly breathable material that wicks moisture away from the body. The fill – unlike real down – also retains very little heat. Since the fill is completely synthetic, this pad is a good option for people who are allergic to real down as well as those who prefer not to buy products with animal-based materials. You can wash and dry the pad in any household machine. Six sizes are available, all of which correspond with standard mattress dimensions.

Puffy offers free ground delivery to all customers in the contiguous U.S. Your order will include a sleep trial that spans 101 nights. Should you decide to keep the Puffy Mattress Pad, you’ll also receive a lifetime warranty against structural defects.
​​

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“Anyone hoping to make their sleep surface feel plusher should consider the Puffy Mattress Pad. The soft fiber fill quilted into the pad made it feel like I was lying on a cloud.”

The Company Store Cool Zzz Mattress Pad

Best for Deep Mattresses

The Company Store Cool Zzz Mattress Pad

The Company Store Cool Zzz Mattress Pad
Price: $129
Cover Material: 100% cotton jersey
Fill: 80% cotton, 20% COOLMAX polyester fibers
Who it's best for:
  • People who want to make their mattress feel softer
  • Those who own exceptionally thick mattresses
  • Shoppers looking for a mattress pad they can test out before making a financial commitment
Highlights:
  • Fill consists of breathable, moisture-wicking COOLMAX down alternative fibers
  • Two pocket depth options cover any mattress up to 18 inches tall
  • Approachable pricing and a 90-night trial period
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on The Company Store products

Finding a suitable mattress pad can be tricky if you own a mattress with a profile of 16 inches or thicker, as most standard pads can only accommodate beds that measure up to 15 inches. With the Cool Zzz Mattress Pad from The Company Store, you choose between pocket depths of 11 or 18 inches. The shorter option should work for any adult or child’s mattress with a low to medium profile, whereas the taller pad is suitable for luxury pillow-top hybrids and other mattresses known for substantial height.

All versions of the pad are quilted with COOLMAX down alternative fibers. This fill is engineered to dissipate body heat on contact and has moisture-wicking properties to keep you dry at night. COOLMAX is also quite plush, mimicking the softness and loftiness of natural down without triggering allergy symptoms or using animal-based materials. The outer shell is composed of cotton with a stretch-jersey skirt to ensure a secure fit. You may wash and dry this pad in any household machine.

The pad is available in six sizes that correspond to standard mattress dimensions. The Company Store also allows you to test out the pad for up to 90 nights before deciding whether to keep it. Used and laundered pads returned within the 90-night window qualify for a full refund. Comparatively, many mattress pad manufacturers do not allow returns at any point past the point of sale. The Cool Zzz is reasonably priced, and ground shipping is free for all customers in the contiguous U.S.
​​

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The COOLMAX fibers work exactly as advertised. Not only does this fill retain little to no heat, but I felt bursts of cooling beneath my body while I tested the mattress pad.”

chilisleep OOLER Sleep System with Chilipad Cool Mesh

Most Innovative

chilisleep OOLER Sleep System with Chilipad Cool Mesh

chilisleep OOLER Sleep System with Chilipad Cool Mesh
Price: $1,499
Cover Material: Poly/Tencel blend
Fill: 3.2mm silicone tubes
Who it's best for:
  • Shoppers with bigger budgets
  • Those who want a mattress pad that can be paired with a smartphone app
  • Couples
Highlights:
  • High-tech design allows you to control temperature settings for one or two sleepers
  • Temperature settings range from 55 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Tencel fabric promotes breathability
Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on chilisleep products

Unlike mattress pads that passively regulate temperature, chilisleep’s OOLER Sleep System with Chilipad Cool Mesh 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 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 pad 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 Sleep System has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce sweating for hot sleepers.

chilisleep offers a 30-night sleep trial for the OOLER Sleep System with Chilipad Cool Mesh, though the customer is responsible for any shipping costs in the event of a return. The company covers the product with a 2-year limited warranty.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The Ooler is the real deal – a must-own for sleepers who want customizable temperature control. The Warm Awake feature is pretty slick too.”

Why You Can Trust Us

Our team is well-versed in a wide range of sleep products, including mattress pads and other types of bedding. Each member brings years of experience and expertise to our hands-on product testing, and we’ve personally evaluated dozens of mattress pads using a comprehensive methodology that incorporates many different design and performance elements.

How We Evaluated These Mattress Pads

In order to choose the best cooling mattress pads listed above, we primarily focused on breathability and temperature regulation during our evaluations. However, we also took other factors into account, including quality of materials and design, level of comfort adjustment, the pocket depth of elasticated edges (when applicable), ease of care, and overall value. These top picks received the highest ratings during our tests.

How to Choose a Cooling Mattress Pad


There are multiple types of mattress pads, which can make choosing the best cooling mattress pad somewhat overwhelming. Understanding what you are looking for will help narrow down the search. There are several factors for shoppers to keep in mind, which we will break down here. This includes the cooling properties of the mattress pad, how it performs, and what price-point you have in mind. Shoppers will also want to consider what they want to change about their current mattress.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Cooling Mattress Pad

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.

  • Cooling Properties: The main reason for purchasing a cooling mattress pad is to prevent overheating and stay comfortable throughout the night. Some mattress pads draw heat and moisture away from the body. Others actively cool the mattress surface. A mattress pad with active cooling properties often circulates air or water to cool down the surface of the bed. These types of mattress pads can be set to a specific temperature with a control unit, remote, and/or smartphone app. Passive cooling properties mean the mattress pad is made with breathable materials that dissipate heat. Conductive materials like copper, gel, and phase change materials are meant to draw heat away from the body for a cooling feel. These types of mattress pads do not allow you to customize the temperature of the bed.
  • Price: Like mattresses, mattress pads are available at various price-points. Setting a budget before shopping can help customers narrow down their choices. Natural and organic materials are often more expensive than synthetic materials, but they may have a longer lifespan. Pads that incorporate technology or a complex construction can be more effective, but also more of an investment.
  • Sleeping Position: Sleeping position affects how much pressure relief a person might need. It also impacts mattress firmness and overall support. A mattress pad does not change a mattress significantly, but it can offer additional cushioning. Side sleepers may opt for a thicker mattress pad to soften the mattress at their shoulders and hips, while back and stomach sleepers may prefer a firmer sleeping surface.
  • Quality Materials: The quality of materials used in a mattress pad determines how durable the mattress pad is. This can also affect how well the mattress pad regulates temperature. High-quality, natural materials like wool and cotton wick away moisture and heat. A mattress pad also protects the mattress, so a high-quality pad can further extend the life of the mattress. Investing in quality materials means shoppers will not have to replace the pad as often.
  • Firmness Level: Mattress pads are not very thick, so most will not alter the firmness level of the mattress. Some cooling mattress pads have wool or cotton padding, which can add softness to the mattress. Others are thin fabric covers that simply act as mattress protection. Shoppers who want to change the firmness level of their mattress may want to consider a mattress topper instead.
  • Thickness: Mattress pads are thinner than mattress toppers. Most mattress pads are less than 1 inch thick, which adds some height to the mattress. The mattress pad sits between the mattress and the fitted sheet. Keeping the mattress height in mind is important when purchasing sheets, as mattresses that are more than 12 inches tall will likely need deep pocket fitted sheets. Some mattress pads are ultra-thin and do not affect the thickness of the mattress at all.
  • Pressure Relief: Soft, thick mattress pads can cushion pressure points. Pressure often builds in the shoulders and hips, especially for side sleepers. Most mattress pads will not dramatically alter the amount of pressure relief a mattress provides. Those who want additional pressure relief may consider using a memory foam pad or topper.

Which Type of Mattress Pad is Best at Cooling?

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

Memory foam mattress pads react to heat and pressure to conform closely, which 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 with the intent of drawing heat away from the body, or gel for additional cooling.

Polyfoam

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.

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

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

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do cooling mattress pads work?

    Standard mattress pads have two primary functions: to protect your mattress from spills and contaminants, and to slightly improve the comfort level of your mattress. These traits distinguish pads from mattress protectors, which offer stronger protection – most are 100% waterproof – but do not change the feel of the mattress very much. Pads also differ from mattress toppers, which protect the mattress to a minimal extent but will significantly adjust the feel of your sleep surface.

    Cooling mattress pads perform a third function by regulating the surface temperature of the mattress to keep you comfortable while you sleep. Every cooling mattress pad has a unique design, but most fall into one of two categories: active cooling or passive cooling pads.

    As their name suggests, active cooling pads are designed to actively cool your mattress. Many circulate air or water to maintain a steady, comfortable temperature across the mattress surface. These pads usually have dials or remotes, and may be programmed for specific temperature settings. Some newer models are also compatible with smartphone apps.

    Passive cooling pads are constructed from breathable materials that draw heat away from your body without actively regulating the surface temperature. These materials include copper, gel, and phase change material. Breathable shell fabrics like cotton, Tencel, and rayon from bamboo can also enhance the pad’s cooling properties.

  • How do you wash a cooling mattress pad?

    Most passive cooling pads can be washed and dried in any household machine. Specific care instructions vary, but these pads should usually be washed in cool or warm water on a delicate cycle and tumble dried on a low setting.

    Cleaning instructions may differ for active cooling pads. Some should never be machine washed or dried because they contain fragile tubes, electrical parts, and other components that can be permanently damaged if exposed to water. Other cooling pads are washable in household machines, but you may be limited to delicate wash cycles and no-heat dryer settings. If your machine-washable active cooling pad includes a power cord, you should secure it with a rubber band to prevent damage to both the cord and your appliances.

    These are general cleaning suggestions, and specific care instructions vary by pad. Whether you choose a passive or active cooling pad, always check the care tag before washing and drying it for the first time.

  • Who should buy a cooling mattress pad?

    Some people sleep hot regardless of the season or local climate, and an uncomfortable temperature in bed may impact overall sleep quality. A cooling mattress pad can help maintain a comfortable temperature for hot sleepers and help them rest soundly throughout the night.

    Even if you don’t need active or passive cooling to sleep comfortably, mattress pads also improve the feel of your sleep surface and protect the mattress from liquid damage and contaminants. Cooling mattress pads can be a worthwhile investment if you’re looking for bedding with any of these features.

  • Will a cooling mattress pad help with night sweats?

    Moisture control is an important element of keeping hot sleepers comfortable, so many cooling mattress pads are constructed with absorbent, breathable materials that wick sweat away from the body. These materials include organic cotton, rayon derived from bamboo, Tencel lyocell, and certain types of wool. You should consider a mattress pad made with moisture-wicking fabrics if you tend to sweat in your sleep, and the same goes for those who reside in humid places.

  • What is the difference between a mattress pad, mattress topper, and mattress protector?

    Mattress pads, toppers, and protectors differ by thickness and function. Toppers typically range from 2 to 4 inches and can significantly adjust the feel of your mattress. Mattress pads are usually less than 1 inch thick. They add cushioning to the surface, but less so than a topper. They may also enhance cooling or heating properties on your bed surface. The main purpose of a protector is to protect your mattress from moisture, dust, allergens, and damage. These are often waterproof and fit snugly over your mattress, sometimes encasing the entire bed.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] or call us at (877) 672-8966 with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

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About Our Editorial Team

author
Keith Cushner

Sleep Product Expert

Keith is a sleep product expert with nearly a decade of experience researching, developing, and testing sleep products.