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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.
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Tempur-Pedic is an industry powerhouse when it comes to memory foam sleep products. The TEMPUR-Adapt+ Cooling Topper features 3 inches of patented memory foam that excels at relieving pressure, making it a particularly good fit for side sleepers. Though its price-point is on the higher side of average, the TEMPUR-Adapt+ is crafted from high-quality materials that are likely to have a long lifespan.
TEMPUR ES, the proprietary foam used in this topper, is designed with maximum pressure relief in mind. This foam is engineered to feel softer than some of Tempur-Pedic’s other memory foams and it closely contours to alleviate pressure points. Sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds may find that this topper doesn’t offer rigorous enough support and they may sink too deeply into the foam to be comfortable.
Though memory foam can often retain body heat, users should find that this topper’s cover helps regulate temperature better than some other all-foam models. The cover is breathable and designed to feel cool to the touch. It’s washable and resistant to mites and allergens. Shoppers can purchase this topper in six standard sizes. Shipping is free to those who live in the contiguous U.S. Though returns aren’t accepted, the TEMPUR-Adapt+ Cooling Toppers is backed by a 10-year warranty.
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Shoppers may assume a low-cost mattress topper is also lacking in quality, but this is not always the case. The PandaZzz Cooling Topper is a great example of a memory foam topper with an attractive price-point that still performs at the same level as many of its more expensive competitors.
Memory foam toppers get a bad rap for sleeping hot, but some models are engineered for better cooling and temperature control. The Cooling Topper is constructed from open-cell memory foam infused with cooling gel. Open-cell foam is fairly breathable and doesn’t trap too much heat, while the gel is intended to draw heat away from your body.
The topper’s 3-inch loft produces a significant comfort adjustment for your mattress. Five sizes are available: twin, full, queen, king, and California king. The topper does not come with a cover but can be spot cleaned with a gentle cleanser.
PandaZZZ offers a 100-night sleep trial with free returns and a 1-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects. Orders placed in the U.S. ship free and generally arrive within five business days. The topper is delivered compressed and needs about 24-hours to expand before use.
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Many memory foam toppers sleep uncomfortably warm because the material absorbs and traps body heat, but the Select High Density Mattress Topper from ViscoSoft is an exception. This topper is composed of dense, durable memory foam infused with cooling gel intended to draw away heat and maintain a cool surface. A breathable cover with a mesh base promotes added airflow. This topper should be a welcome departure for anyone who’s had bad experiences with memory foam in the past.
Measuring 3 inches thick, the topper is thick enough to transform virtually any mattress into a comfortable sleep surface – even if deep dips or impressions have formed over time. People who own mattresses that have become overly responsive with use should also consider the topper, especially if they’ve experienced sleep disruptions from their sleep partner’s movements.
Pressure relief is another major benefit. The foam contours closely and evenly to improve spinal alignment for side sleepers and reduce pressure points in the shoulders, lower back, and hips. Back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds should also be able to lie comfortably without sinking too deeply – a common source of pain and pressure points for those who primarily use this position.
An affordable price-point coupled with free shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. make the Select High Density Topper a great pick for value seekers. All customers receive a sleep trial that allows them to test out the topper for up to 60 nights before deciding whether to keep it. Each order is also backed by a five-year warranty against structural defects.
Best for Back Pain
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When people think of memory foam, the word “cooling” may not immediately spring to mind – memory foam has a tendency to bottle in heat and sleep uncomfortably warm. However, some topper manufacturer’s have introduced innovative touches to help the material sleep cool and regulate temperature better. Take the Memory Foam Topper from GhostBed. The entire surface is cut with intricate channels that circulate air and dissipate body heat. The topper’s cover is also made from Ghost Ice Fabric, a proprietary material that feels cool to the touch.
A zoned layout also makes the topper ideal for sleepers with back pain. Firm foam located beneath the chest, stomach, and hips provides extra support to these areas because people tend to carry more weight there, while the rest feels softer by comparison. By keeping the entire body on an even plane, the topper can reduce aches and pains that often occur with mattresses that have become more uneven with use.
The topper’s removable, machine-washable cover has elastic edges for fitting snugly around the corners of your mattress. While most topper covers encase the topper and nothing else, this one is more similar to a fitted sheet. The pocket depth measures 18 inches. Additionally, the fabric is completely waterproof.
All customers in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free ground shipping with their order. GhostBed does not allow returns and all sales are considered final, but each order includes a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty.
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Brooklyn Bedding’s Cooling Talalay Latex Topper offers both support and contouring with a cooling surface. The high-end materials and durable construction cater to those on the market for a premium topper.
The topper is 3 inches thick and made with 100% Talalay latex, a type of latex that tends to be lighter in weight. The topper has a medium (5) firmness and feels bouncy with moderate contouring. This even balance of support and conforming helps relieve pain or discomfort in areas of the body where pressure commonly builds up during sleep. Side sleepers especially will benefit from the pressure relief, since this sleep position exerts pressure on the shoulders and hips.
Hot sleepers will find many appealing features in the Cooling Talalay Latex Topper. Latex has naturally cooling properties, and Talalay latex is especially cool because it is typically less dense than other types of latex. The topper is also encased in a zippered cover made with proprietary TitanCool fabric, which is designed to wick excess heat away from the body.
Brooklyn Bedding ships free within the contiguous U.S. The topper comes with a 3-year warranty and may be returned for a full refund within 30 days.
Best Pressure Relief
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The Layla Memory Foam Mattress Topper uses a copper-gel infusion to balance contouring and cooling.
While memory foam hugs the sleeper’s body to relieve pressure buildup, it can also trap heat against them. The Layla Memory Foam Mattress Topper combats this with an infusion of copper-gel that conducts heat away and adds antimicrobial properties for a cleaner sleep surface. The cover of the topper uses the same hexagonal quilted fabric as its mattress covers.
This topper measures 2 inches thick and it has a soft (3) feel, so it may be best suited for sleepers under 230 pounds who want to soften the surface of their bed a bit while still enjoying their mattress’s support. The topper should also enhance the pressure relief for most sleepers while reducing motion transfer across the surface of the bed. However, its soft feel and close conforming may not be as responsive as many couples would like for sex, but it can add traction.
Each of the six standard mattress sizes is available. You can try the Layla Memory Foam Mattress Topper at home during its 120-night trial period. A 5-year warranty protects against cracking or splitting foam and defects in the cover.
Best for Side Sleepers
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The Cooling Gel Memory Foam Topper from PlushBeds is a luxurious model that’s designed to sleep cool and relieve pressure. Made from gel-infused memory foam, this topper is available in 2 or 3-inch profile options. Though it may not be as budget-friendly as other models, some sleepers will find the high-quality materials and comfort worth the added cost.
Memory foam can often feel hot at night, which PlushBeds combats by using open cell memory foam that’s designed to dissipate body heat. The gel that’s infused within the foam is also intended to feel cool to the touch.
Couples who have different sleep schedules or those who toss and turn will likely appreciate this topper’s motion isolating qualities. Instead of transferring motion across the mattress’ surface, memory foam absorbs movement so that you don’t disturb your partner.
PlushBeds has designed this topper to be hypoallergenic, anti-microbial, and resistant to dust. You can purchase this model in six sizes and can opt to add on a breathable organic cotton cover. Sleepers who prefer a deeper cushion should opt for the 3-inch model. The Cooling Gel Memory Foam Topper ships for free within the U.S. and carries a 5-year warranty.
Best for Couples
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Many cooling mattress toppers regulate temperature through passive cooling, which means they are made from breathable, moisture-wicking materials that dissipate body heat and maintain a comfortable sleep surface. The innovative Smart Topper from Perfectly Snug is a bit different because it provides active cooling. The topper is designed for dual settings, so both you and your partner can program your side of the bed for a specific temperature without affecting the other person.
The topper is constructed with a power cord you plug into a wall outlet, fans located at the foot of the bed, and channels that allow air to circulate throughout the interior. Simply flip on the switch and set your desired temperature using the Perfectly Snug Controller smartphone app. You can opt for heating on chilly nights or if you naturally sleep cool. Likewise, cooling is available for hot sleepers and warm or humid climates. The cover is ventilated for extra breathability.
In addition to its cutting-edge temperature controls, the Smart Topper is also quite comfortable. The core consists of solid memory foam with a balanced medium feel, which creates a surface that’s both invitingly plush and supportive for people who weigh up to 230 pounds. Its 2-inch profile ensures a noticeable comfort adjustment without drastically changing the feel of your mattress. Twin and twin XL sizes are available for single sleepers, while couples can opt for a queen, king, split king, or California king topper.
The Smart Topper’s high price-point will be too expensive for some shoppers, but this may be a valuable investment for couples who constantly contend with sleep temperature issues. Your purchase comes with a 30-night sleep trial, during which you may return the topper in reasonably used condition for a full refund. Those who keep the topper will also receive a one-year warranty.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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