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Research suggests that the ideal temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. While there are many factors that contribute to the temperature of your sleep environment, the importance of your mattress shouldn’t be underestimated. Mattresses that don’t allow room for airflow can trap body heat and lead to an uncomfortably warm night.

If you believe that your mattress could be the culprit for your sleepless nights but you’re not prepared to invest in a new one, a cooling mattress topper may be the best solution. Cooling mattress toppers can be made of latex, wool, gel memory foam, or other materials that draw heat away from the sleeper. They are usually 2 to 4 inches thick and designed to lie on top of your mattress, providing a cooler surface for your body to interact with.

We’ll cover everything you need to know about selecting the best cooling mattress topper, including our top picks and recommendations on choosing a mattress topper based on material, body type, preferred sleep position, and more.

In-Depth Reviews

The Saatva Graphite Memory Foam Mattress Topper offers all the benefits you’d expect from a foam topper, most notably outstanding pressure relief and motion isolation. A graphite infusion helps mitigate heat retention that often occurs in foam toppers.

  • Pros

    1. Foam layers cradle your body for excellent pressure relief

    2. Strong motion isolation due to thick foam design

    3. 180-night sleep trial

  • Cons

    1. High potential for initial off-gassing odors

    2. Some sleepers may find the foam inhibits movement across the surface

Price

$445

Material

1″ Graphite-infused memory foam, 2″ Memory foam

Firmness

Medium Soft (4)

Many memory foam toppers absorb and trap heat, causing them to feel uncomfortably warm for sleepers. The Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper manages to sleep cooler than most competitors thanks to its construction. The top layer is composed of memory foam infused with graphite, which has natural cooling properties. This material is intended to draw heat away from your body and keep the surface relatively cool. A 2-inch base layer of high-density polyfoam reinforces the topper to prevent deep sinkage while you sleep.

The firmness level is medium soft (4), so you should expect close contouring from head to toe. Those who find their current mattress too firm should notice comfort improvements. The 3-inch profile also makes this topper a good option for people with older mattresses that have become uneven over time. A breathable organic cotton cover enhances the topper’s cooling properties by promoting airflow. The cover is equipped with thick elastic bands to secure the topper to your mattress, so it shouldn’t shift too much even if you toss and turn or frequently change sleep positions.

Saatva ships the Graphite Mattress Topper free of charge throughout the contiguous U.S. Each order includes a 180-night sleep trial, giving customers plenty of time to test out their topper and decide whether to return it or keep it. Those who opt for the latter also receive a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.

The ViscoSoft Active Cooling Copper Topper stands out from the competition with a generously thick, comfortable foam design. This translates to deep cushioning and strong relief for pressure-sensitive joints.

  • Pros

    1. 4-inch thickness drastically adjusts comfort level of your bed surface

    2. All-foam design excels at pressure relief

    3. Strong motion isolation is beneficial for co-sleepers

  • Cons

    1. Some sleepers may not enjoy the deep hug

    2. Thick foam design inhibits ease of movement

Price

$350

Material

2″ copper-infused memory foam 2″ copper-infused polyfoam

Firmness

Medium (5)

Memory foam toppers often absorb and trap heat, causing them to feel uncomfortably warm. Viscosoft’s Active Cooling Copper Topper mitigates this issue with a copper infusion that’s meant to offset the foam’s heat-retaining properties. A cooling cover adds to the temperature-regulating design. During hands-on tests, most of our team reported little to no heat retention when lying on the surface, making it much more breathable than the average all-foam topper.

The topper is 4 inches thick. This generous profile significantly alters the feel of your sleep surface, making it a good choice for mattresses with moderate to heavy wear and tear. If your mattress is on its last leg, the topper should hold you over until you buy a replacement bed. The topper is available in six standard sizes and two color options — ivory and black.

The all-foam design is suited to sleepers prone to aches, pains, and sharp pressure points in sensitive areas along their spines. Since the memory foam is highly adaptive, you’ll notice a deep cradling effect as your body settles into the topper. Our tests also show the Active Cooling Copper Topper is a good match for couples. The foam absorbs movement and all but eliminates motion transfer when you or your partner get up during the night.

Each corner is equipped with a thick elastic strap to anchor the topper to your mattress. The base is composed of skid-free material to prevent shifting when you change sleep positions or toss and turn during the night. You may remove and machine-wash the cover whenever a cleaning is needed.

Free shipping is available to all customers in the contiguous U.S. Your order includes a sleep trial that runs for 90 nights. If you keep the topper after the return period expires, it’s further backed by a five-year warranty against material defects.

Many of the foam toppers we’ve tested are prone to overheating, but the Sleep Is the Foundation Cooling Memory Foam Mattress Topper has a perforated design and a breathable cotton cover to help with cooling. At 2 inches thick, it also traps less heat around your body compared to thicker toppers.

  • Pros

    1. Memory foam conforms closely and relieves pressure buildup

    2. Perforated design helps ventilate the foam

    3. Approachable price-point compared to other toppers

  • Cons

    1. Some sleepers may find the 2-inch profile too thin to significantly adjust the bed surface

    2. Noticeable off-gassing odor at first

Price

$175

Material

Perforated memory foam (gel-infused)

Firmness

Medium (5)

Foam toppers are prone to heat retention, but the Sleep Is the Foundation Cooling Memory Foam Mattress Topper is designed with temperature neutrality in mind. This model is a good solution for sleepers who find many other foam toppers too hot.

The topper’s core is composed entirely of memory foam, which adapts closely and provides even pressure relief throughout your body. The foam has a perforated design that allows some airflow through the interior, which helps maintain temperature neutrality. The breathable cotton cover further enhances the topper’s cooling properties.

Our testers report the topper is best suited for back sleepers up to 230 pounds and side sleepers in any weight group. The topper is also beneficial for stomach sleepers under 130 pounds. The mid-range profile allows for ample cushioning, but it’s not so thick that you’ll sink too deeply. That said, if you want a topper that drastically changes the feel of your mattress surface, you may want to opt for a thicker model. Couples will appreciate the motion isolation in this topper, due to the foam’s excellent motion absorption.

The Sleep Is the Foundation Cooling Memory Foam Mattress Topper is available through Amazon.com. You’ll receive a 30-day trial with your purchase, and Amazon Prime members qualify for free shipping.

Side sleepers will appreciate the strong contouring from the Nolah Mattress Topper’s all-foam design. The polyfoam is plush enough to relieve pressure buildup in the shoulders and hips while still ensuring support for the lower back.

  • Pros

    1. Polyfoam gently cushions pressure points

    2. Two firmness options to choose from

    3. Foam absorbs significant amount of motion transfer

  • Cons

    1. Elastic straps can only be secured to mattresses between 10 and 15 inches thick

    2. Customers are responsible for return shipping costs

Price

$399

Material

2″ AirFoam polyfoam

Firmness

Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6)

A foam topper can greatly benefit people who struggle to maintain healthy sleep posture, helping evenly distribute weight across the sleep surface. But unfortunately, these toppers also tend to trap heat and sleep uncomfortably warm. The Nolah Mattress Topper is the best of both worlds: an all-foam design that alleviates pain, keeps the spine in proper alignment, and dissipates heat. The AirFoam core has an open-cell composition that makes the material breathable and resistant to heat buildup. A cover made of moisture-wicking organic cotton further enhances the topper’s cooling properties.

You can choose from two firmness levels. The medium soft (4) feel offers deep contouring and cushioning and that was comfortable for our side sleepers who feel pressure points in sensitive areas along the spine. Our back and stomach sleepers needing more support preferred the medium firm (6) feel. Measuring 2 inches thick, the topper is suitable for mattresses with minor to moderate wear and tear.

Elastic corner straps also make the topper compatible with mattresses measuring between 10 and 15 inches thick. The straps provide excellent stability and prevent the topper from shifting or clumping during the night – even for combination sleepers who frequently change positions or tend to toss and turn. Six sizes are available, all of which correspond to standard mattress dimensions.

Nolah provides free standard ground shipping for all customers in the contiguous U.S. You’ll receive a trial period with your purchase allowing you to test out the topper for up to 30 nights before deciding whether to return it or keep it. Should you choose the latter, the topper is also backed by a 10-year warranty against structural defects.

The Brooklyn Bedding Microcoil Mattress Topper stands out with a unique coil and foam design that ensures plenty of cushioning for sensitive pressure points. The responsive coils offer just enough pushback to prevent uncomfortable sinkage.

  • Pros

    1. Coils and foam offer even balance of pressure relief and support

    2. Strong air circulation through coils

    3. Two firmness options available

  • Cons

    1. Above-average price-point

    2. People who are sensitive to smells may notice some off-gassing odors at first

Price

$495

Material

1.75″ polyfoam, 0.75″ pocketed microcoils, 1.5″ polyfoam

Firmness

Medium (5)

Many foam toppers absorb and trap heat, making them uncomfortable for sleepers who are sensitive to high temperatures. The Brooklyn Bedding Microcoil Mattress Topper mitigates these issues with a three-layer design consisting of top and bottom foam layers separated by pocketed microcoils. Extra airflow through this middle layer, coupled with a heat-dissipating GlacioTex cover, results in above-average temperature control and minimal heat retention from the foam layers.

The topper’s medium (5) feel and thick 3.5-inch profile ensure a significant adjustment to the way your sleep surface feels, and are ideal for mattresses that have become heavily worn and indented with age. You can also benefit from using this topper if you struggle with chronic aches, pains, and pressure points in your shoulders, lower back, or hips. Thanks to even contouring from the foam layers and added microcoil support, the topper can alleviate discomfort in these areas without sinking beneath your weight.

Our hands-on tests indicate the Microcoil Mattress Topper is a good match for side sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds, and back and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds. We also recommend the topper to couples seeking more motion isolation. Despite a bit of bounce from the microcoils, the foam layers absorb movement and prevent ripples of motion transfer from traveling to other areas of the sleep surface. One thing to keep in mind is that the topper does not have corner straps, and may shift if you toss and turn or change sleep positions.

Seven sizes are available, including a split California king for couples who share an adjustable bed in this size. The sticker price is expensive, but Brooklyn Bedding softens the blow with free shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. and a 30-night sleep trial with complimentary returns if you aren’t satisfied. Should you decide to keep the Microcoil Mattress Topper, your purchase is backed by a three-year warranty.

The Silk & Snow Organic Mattress Topper strikes an even balance between contouring and support, and the availability of two firmness options means you can pick a topper that best suits the needs of you and any co-sleepers. GOTS and GOLS organic certifications really sweeten the deal.

  • Pros

    1. Latex design offers a responsive feel with gentle cradling

    2. Available in two firmness levels

    3. GOLS certification ensures organic sourcing

  • Cons

    1. Not suitable for sleepers with a latex allergy

    2. Produces noticeable motion transfer

Price

$270

Material

100% GOLS-certified organic Dunlop latex

Firmness

Medium (5), Firm (7)

The Silk & Snow Organic Mattress Topper is a highly comfortable topper with a Dunlop latex core, which offers gentle contouring to relieve pressure points without excessive sinkage. Latex is a naturally breathable material that does not retain as much heat as adaptive foams, making it a great choice for hot sleepers. Global Organic Textile Standard and Global Organic Latex Standard certifications ensure the topper’s core and cover materials are grown sustainably and processed with ecological and social criteria in mind.

A cover made from organic cotton is naturally breathable. This cover is fully removable and machine-washable for easy care, but the latex core should only be spot cleaned. The topper’s 2-inch profile is suitable for people seeking to correct the feel of a mattress with slight indentations.

Two firmness levels are available: medium (5) and firm (7). Back sleepers on our team enjoyed the medium feel, which alleviates pressure in the lower back without uncomfortable sagging. Side sleepers over 230 pounds may also appreciate the softer feel to reduce pressure buildup in the joints. Back sleepers over 230 pounds and stomach sleepers appreciated the firmer option that kept their bodies on an even plane.

Customers living in the contiguous U.S. and provincial Canada are eligible for free shipping. Silk & Snow offers a 100-night sleep trial, during which you can return a topper for a full refund. The Organic Mattress Topper is backed by two warranties: 3 years for the latex core and 1 year for the cotton cover.

The PlushBeds Latex Mattress Topper is made entirely with latex, which is known for its natural cooling properties, and a perforated design boosts airflow. The topper is available in an impressive array of firmness and thickness options, so you can really zero in on the perfect topper.

  • Pros

    1. Available in five firmness levels and two thickness options

    2. Latex gently cushions sensitive pressure points

    3. Perforated design enhances airflow

  • Cons

    1. Not a good fit for sleepers who are allergic to latex

    2. Must pay extra for cotton cover

Price

$429

Material

2-3″ natural Talalay latex

Firmness

Soft (3), Medium Soft (4), Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Extra Firm (8)

Firmness preferences differ from person to person, so a topper sold in multiple firmness levels naturally accommodates more sleepers. With the PlushBeds Latex Mattress Topper, customers can choose from five different firmness options. Those who weigh less than 130 pounds and find their mattress too firm will likely prefer the soft or medium soft feels. Conversely, sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds and sink too deeply into their mattress will probably feel more comfortable with a medium firm or extra-firm topper instead. The medium feel is a solid choice for those who weigh 130 to 230 pounds and prefer moderate contouring.

Additionally, the topper is available in 2- or 3-inch profiles. The former is best suited to people who want to slightly adjust the comfort level of their mattress, whereas the latter will significantly change how the mattress feels. All versions of the topper are constructed using natural latex, which is both durable and responsive. The latex is ventilated with small holes to promote air circulation and prevent overheating. The latex should only be spot-cleaned, but PlushBeds offers an optional, machine-washable cover made of organic cotton to protect the topper. The fabric is highly breathable and won’t inhibit airflow, so the topper should sleep reasonably cool whether you use the topper or not.

The cost of this topper depends on the selected size and profile. Although the sticker price might seem high, the latex offers excellent longevity and – if properly cared for – could perform for several years before a replacement is needed. PlushBeds also offers free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. Returns are not accepted, but each topper is backed by a 5-year warranty.

Wool and latex layers give the Birch Organic Mattress Topper a luxuriously plush feel, not to mention they both have excellent cooling properties. This topper really hits a sweet spot between cushioning and support.

  • Pros

    1. Latex and wool layers offer excellent balance of cushioning and support

    2. All materials have natural cooling properties

    3. Cotton cover is GOTS-certified organic

  • Highlights

    1. High sticker price

    2. Not suitable for sleepers with a latex allergy

Price

$624

Material

Talalay Latex

Firmness

Medium (5)

If your current mattress sleeps too hot, then a topper that promotes airflow may be a wise investment. The Birch Organic Mattress Topper is constructed with breathable components, including a top layer of natural wool over a base of Talalay latex. The wool has moisture-wicking properties to help you stay dry at night, while the latex is ventilated to push air close to the surface. A cooling cover made of organic cotton completes the design.

The topper has a medium (5) feel, making it a good option for mattresses that feel overly firm, but the latex cushions the body without the deep hugging sensation of memory foam. Latex is also somewhat responsive, resulting in a light bounce when you get in and out of bed. We recommend this topper for mattresses with light to moderate wear and tear.

The topper should also appeal to consumers who prefer to buy and use eco-friendly goods. A certification from the Forest Stewardship Council ensures the rubber trees used to produce the latex are sustainably grown and harvested, while a Global Organic Textile Standard certification indicates the same environmentally friendly practices for the cotton. Animal-conscious individuals should also appreciate the Wool Integrity NZ certification, which recognizes humane animal treatment during every stage of the wool extraction process.

Birch offers free ground shipping to all 50 states. Each order comes with a 100-night sleep trial, giving you plenty of time to test out the Organic Mattress Topper and decide whether it’s right for you. Those who decide to keep it also receive a 10-year warranty against structural defects.

The Puffy Deluxe Mattress Topper has an all-foam design that excels at pressure relief. With two firmness options to choose from, you can pick the model that best suits your body type and sleep position. An approachable price-point is the cherry on top.

  • Pros

    1. All-foam design offers strong pressure relief

    2. Cover contains bamboo-derived rayon for a touch of cooling

    3. Two firmness options are available

  • Cons

    1. Elastic straps will only fit beds between 10 and 15 inches thick

    2. Foam is prone to off-gassing in the first few days

Price

$229

Material

2.5″ memory foam

Firmness

Soft (3), Firm (7)

The Puffy Deluxe Mattress Topper is an affordable all-foam model that closely contours evenly to relieve pressure buildup in the shoulders, hips, and lower back. Thanks to the adaptive feel, we recommend the topper for side sleepers who experience discomfort in these pressure-sensitive areas.

The topper is available in soft (3) and firm (7) designs. The latter feels exceptionally supportive with gentle cushioning for back sleepers weighing 130 pounds or more, while the former offers exceptional plushness that side sleepers up to 230 pounds should appreciate. Both toppers are made from memory foam that evenly distributes body weight, promotes even alignment, and alleviates pressure along the spine.

To help prevent overheating, the 2.5-inch topper comes encased in a cooling cover made of polyester and rayon from bamboo. The cover can be removed and machine washed. A thin anti-slip grip on the bottom helps prevent the topper from shifting along the surface of your mattress. This grip works with elastic corners, which can stretch up to 15 inches, to keep the topper in place. The topper is available in all six standard mattress sizes.

Puffy provides free shipping to customers in all 50 states. The Deluxe Mattress Topper also comes with a 101-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.

If you want to add plushness to your bed surface but don’t necessarily want the deep cushioning of a foam or latex topper, the Brooklinen Down Alternative Mattress Topper is a great candidate. The down alternative design instantly makes your bed softer but without the sinkage you’d experience in some competing toppers.

  • Pros

    1. Plush down alternative fill excels at cushioning

    2. Waterproof design protects mattress from moisture

    3. Compatible with mattresses up to 18 inches thick

  • Cons

    1. Not available in twin or twin XL sizes

    2. May not be plush enough for sleepers seeking a drastic adjustment to bed surface

Price

$109

Material

Gel-infused down alternative fibers

Firmness

Medium Soft (4)

When it comes to toppers, softness and temperature control don’t always go hand in hand. Brooklinen’s Down Alternative Mattress Topper nicely bridges this gap thanks to its construction, which consists of down alternative fill infused with cooling gel encased in a breathable cotton shell. You’ll enjoy exceptional plushness, but the topper doesn’t trap heat to an excessive degree and is suitable for year-round use.

After hands-on tests, we’ve rated the topper as medium soft (4). The down alternative clusters are quilted within thick baffles, which are sewn through to evenly distribute the fill and prevent it from shifting or clumping. An elastic skirt perimeter can be tucked over the corners of your mattress for added stability, and a pocket depth of 18 inches makes the topper compatible with the vast majority of beds sold today.

The base is equipped with a waterproof barrier for added mattress protection. When the topper needs to be cleaned, simply, toss it in your household washing machine and rinse in cool water. Tumble dry on low heat, and remove it promptly when the cycle is finished. Full, queen, king, and California king sizes are available. Hypoallergenic, animal-friendly fill means the topper won’t trigger any allergy symptoms.

The topper is approachably priced and shipping is free for U.S. orders. Brooklinen’s 365-night sleep trial is one of the longest in the online bedding industry. If you decide to keep the topper after the trial ends, it’s backed by a warranty against manufacturing defects for an additional year.

Foam toppers are not always associated with standout support, but the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt + Cooling Topper offers impressive support thanks to the dense composition of the TEMPUR foam. This helps keep the lower back from sinking too deep.

  • Pros

    1. TEMPUR foam balances contouring and support

    2. Cover contains phase change material to minimize heat retention

    3. Foam design offers strong motion isolation

  • Cons

    1. Topper is not eligible for returns

    2. Above-average price tag

Price

$519

Material

3″ TEMPUR ES memory foam

Firmness

Medium (5)

If your mattress is worn out and nearing retirement, you may begin to notice stiffness or soreness when you wake up in the morning. An adaptive foam topper can help alleviate these aches and pains — but foam also has a tendency to trap excessive amounts of heat. The TEMPUR-Adapt + Cooling Topper from Tempur-Pedic offers the best of both worlds, cushioning and contouring to your body for excellent pain relief while dissipating heat to ensure a comfortable temperature all night long.

Measuring 3 inches thick, the topper should significantly improve how your mattress feels — even if the surface is heavily indented from years of use. Proprietary TEMPUR memory foam is renowned for its dense composition and resistance to sinkage. The material is also much more durable than the average topper foam. Since the topper has a medium (5) feel, it’s best suited to side and back sleepers. Our hands-on tests show the TEMPUR-Adapt + Cooling is especially comfortable for side sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds, and back sleepers under 130 pounds.

The cover is made of soft knit polyester woven with phase change material, which is engineered to dissipate heat on contact and feel cool to the touch at all times. You can remove and machine wash the cover whenever it needs to be cleaned. Each corner is equipped with a thick elastic strap to secure the topper to your mattress, so it shouldn’t shift if you toss and turn or change sleep positions.

While the TEMPUR-Adapt + Cooling Topper is on the expensive side, its strong performance, above-average cooling, and lengthy expected lifespan make it a solid long-term investment. Customers in the contiguous U.S. also qualify for free ground shipping with their order. Tempur-Pedic does not allow you to return the topper at any point, so all sales are final, but your purchase is backed by a 10-year warranty against structural and material defects.

How to Build the Coolest Bedroom – Video

Watch the video below for some hands-on tips to creating a cooler sleep environment.

How to Choose a Cooling Mattress Topper

Sleeping cool has become a major buzzword in the mattress industry, and all the marketing jargon about the latest technologies and state-of-the-art materials can be overwhelming. This guide will help you to cut through the hype and help you find the best cooling mattress topper for you.

“I generally recommend looking for breathable, natural fibers for bedding and cooling sheets, especially if you’re a hot sleeper. Regulating your core body temperature during the night can make a huge difference in your overall sleep quality, so breathable materials are optimal to promote cooler temperatures. Consider hypoallergenic materials like cotton, linen, silk, or bamboo, as synthetic fibers tend to be less breathable and trap more heat at night. This goes for bedding/sheets as well as your pajamas or sleepwear. It may also help to keep a frozen cool pack under your pillow and/or feet or invest in a cooling mattress topper.”

Sarah Silverman, Psy.D., a licensed psychologist and holistic sleep wellness consultant who treats patients in New York and Florida.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Cooling Mattress Topper

There are a lot of choices to sort through when buying a cooling mattress topper. From price to material, cooling properties to sleeping position, here are some of the most important factors you should keep in mind while you search.

  • Cooling Properties: The most straightforward way to maintain temperature neutrality is by using materials that allow for airflow, thus carrying the heat away from your body. Some mattress toppers accomplish this with the use of naturally breathable materials, like latex or open-cell foams and cotton or wool covers. Others feature a convoluted or aerated design that increases air circulation.For materials that are inherently prone to retaining heat, manufacturers must resort to other tactics. These include charcoal, graphite, gel, or copper infusions designed to transport heat away from the body. Some mattress toppers incorporate phase-change materials, which regulate temperature by absorbing, storing, and releasing heat.For people who run very hot at night, it might be worth investing in a topper that allows you to control the temperature at the touch of a button. These active cooling toppers work by heating or cooling air or water and pushing it through the mattress to actively control the surface temperature.A few mattress manufacturers make toppers that are cooler in certain areas, such as the core. This can have the added advantage of alleviating aches and pains.
  • Price: The price of a mattress topper can vary widely depending on materials and quality. Cooling polyfoam mattress toppers start at less than $100, but you can expect to pay several hundred dollars for a latex topper, and even more for sophisticated devices with cooling tubes. That said, if the added price means better longevity or reduced air conditioning bills, it might pay off in the long run.
  • Sleeping Position: Since your mattress topper goes on top of your mattress, it’s important to choose a topper with the right firmness to accommodate your body type and sleeping position. Side sleepers usually opt for a plusher surface that reduces pressure points, so they may need a thicker topper to form a cradle for the hips and shoulders. Stomach sleepers should be fine with a firmer, thinner topper, while back sleepers fall in the middle of the spectrum.
  • Quality Materials: Latex and wool toppers offer the best longevity, and you can expect them to last around 3 to 4 years on average.In contrast, a low-quality memory foam topper can develop permanent body indentations before the year is out. Higher-density polyfoam or memory foam toppers will last longer than their lower-density equivalents, but they will also usually trap more heat. Fiberfill and feather toppers are fairly high-maintenance and require regular fluffing in order not to lose loft over time. You can usually expect these to last around 2 to 3 years.
  • Firmness Level: Since a mattress topper can’t add support to a sagging mattress, the main reason people purchase mattress toppers is to adjust the firmness level of a mattress. In general, lighter sleepers and side sleepers are best suited to a plusher topper, while stomach sleepers and heavier individuals are best suited to a firmer topper.Mattress firmness plays a crucial role in heat retention, as a softer surface allows the body to sink in further and causes more heat to build up around the sleeper. The heavier the sleeper, the more they will sink into the mattress, leading to increased heat retention. If you find you run hot, you may want to consider getting a firmer mattress topper.
  • Thickness: Mattress toppers tend to measure between 2 and 4 inches thick. People who exert more pressure on the mattress, such as heavier sleepers and side sleepers, should look for a thick mattress topper that can handle this extra weight without bottoming out.
  • Pressure Relief: Memory foam is usually acknowledged as the best material for pressure relief due to its close-conforming abilities. However, if you overheat with memory foam, a latex mattress topper may do the trick. Latex can have pressure-relieving properties similar to memory foam, but it’s more breathable and forms a looser cradle around your body.

Which Type of Mattress Topper is Best at Cooling?

Most toppers on the market today are made of memory foam, polyfoam, or latex, each of which offers its own advantages. You may also see mattress toppers stuffed with wool, which wicks moisture away from the body to keep you cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold.

  • Memory foam: Memory foam is a popular material for mattress toppers because it offers superior pressure relief and motion isolation. Unfortunately, memory foams, particularly high-density memory foams, have traditionally been known for trapping heat. Modern-day cooling memory foam mattress toppers get around this by infusing the memory foam with charcoal, copper, graphite, or other substances that draw heat away from the sleeper.
  • Polyfoam: Open-cell and convoluted polyfoam mattress toppers are designed to improve airflow, allowing body heat to escape from the sleeper instead of building up on the surface of the mattress. Polyfoam has the added advantage of being the cheapest topper material. The downside is that polyfoam toppers will eventually develop permanent body indentations.
  • Latex: Natural latex is a breathable, open-cell material that is prized for its durability and sustainability. Latex tends to keep sleepers “on” and not “in” the mattress, preventing heat build-up around the body. While natural latex toppers can be expensive, they maintain decent temperature neutrality and are much less likely to develop body indentations compared with synthetic latex or other foams. Many latex toppers are “ventilated” with pincore holes that allow for better air circulation.
  • Gel: Many manufacturers use gel infusions, gel beads, or a top layer of gel in an effort to stem heat retention in memory foam or fiberfill toppers. As we will discuss in the next section, the jury is out on whether or not this is actually an effective cooling technique.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cooling Mattress Toppers

Do gel mattress toppers keep you cool?

While they may help a memory foam topper sleep somewhat cooler at first, cooling gel mattress toppers don’t always manage to keep a neutral temperature all night long. The gel may also lose potency over the years.There are two principal ways by which gel is used to help memory foam sleep cooler. Thermal gels are cool to the touch, whereas phase-change gels regulate heat by absorbing and redistributing it to maintain a constant temperature.

While these techniques can stave off heat retention for a while, many sleepers find that the mattress eventually warms up anyway. However, a cool gel memory foam mattress topper may help keep the temperature low long enough to help you drift off to sleep.

In a nutshell, if you sleep hot but have your heart set on memory foam, then a gel memory foam topper might be the way to go. But for people who sleep very hot, it’s usually better to avoid memory foam altogether.

Do cooling mattress toppers really work?

Cooling mattress toppers have varying degrees of success depending on the type. Materials like latex, wool, and open-cell or aerated foams can help disperse heat, but they won’t actively cool the mattress.

Phase-change material goes an extra step by using a chemical reaction to keep the surface cool to the touch. For people who are very sensitive to temperature changes, the best solution might be a mattress topper that actively works to control the temperature via water or air channels.

What's the difference between a mattress pad and a mattress topper?

Mattress pads are relatively thin and are primarily meant to protect against spills and stains, whereas mattress toppers are usually several inches thick and are designed to change the feel of a mattress.Mattress pads often contain some kind of padding like wool, cotton, fiberfill, or down. While this can add some plushness to a mattress, this is not their main purpose.

Mattress toppers usually come in the same materials you would expect from a mattress comfort layer, such as memory foam, polyfoam, latex, wool, or down. A mattress topper can’t fix an old, sagging mattress, but it can change the feel of a mattress that’s too firm or too plush. This is a cost-effective way to obtain a different firmness level without investing in a whole new mattress.

Can I buy sheets to keep me cool?

The sheets you use definitely play a role in maintaining temperature neutrality. Linen, cotton, and bamboo are all naturally breathable and will help fight heat retention. In terms of weave, stay away from flannel sheets and choose sheets with a breathable percale weave. Some synthetic fabrics also use technology such as phase-change material to keep you cool.

It’s important to remember that the temperature of your sleeping environment is a product of many factors including your mattress and/or topper, sheets, ambient temperature, your pillow, and your own personal body heat.

Still have questions?

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