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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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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.
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Finding a mattress topper that’s both high-quality and affordable can be challenging, but the Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper from Brooklyn Bedding nicely tows the line between affordability and performance. The topper is composed of plush, adaptive memory foam that responds slowly to the body and contours closely for optimal pain and pressure relief. Our testers liken the feel of this topper to lying on a cloud and two profiles are available depending on how uneven your mattress feels, yet the sticker price falls well below average compared to competing memory foam models.
A cooling gel infusion helps combat heat retention and help you stay cool. The foam also has a lower density, so air circulates more freely throughout the material. The 3-inch topper has a medium soft (4) feel that is ideal for many side and back sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds. This firmness is best suited to people who own mattresses with heavy wear and tear. The 2-inch topper is medium (5), so it contours less closely and is a better fit for slightly used mattresses with at least a couple more years left. Side and back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds may also prefer this option.
The topper does not come with a cover and the foam should only be spot cleaned as needed, so you may want to invest in a protector to safeguard it against stains and other types of damage. Brooklyn Bedding offers free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. The company allows returns within 30 days of delivery, and each topper is further backed by a 3-year warranty.
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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.
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.
Best Moisture Wicking
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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.
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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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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.
Best for Side Sleepers
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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.
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The Puffy Mattress Topper has a soft all-foam construction that is designed to cushion the body and relieve discomfort from pressure buildup. Side sleepers and those who experience joint pain may benefit from this topper’s soft foam and above-average pressure relief.
Shoppers can choose between two different firmness levels, which are soft or firm. Both versions, however, are made using layers of memory foam that evenly distribute body weight. 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.
The topper features a thin anti-slip grip on the bottom to 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 the contiguous United States. The Puffy Mattress Topper also comes with a 101-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
Best for Back Pain
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The TEMPUR-Topper Supreme from Tempur-Pedic is an excellent choice for sleepers looking to enhance their current mattress’ comfort. This memory foam topper has a medium feel that easily compresses beneath high-impact areas like hips and shoulders, helping to cushion pressure points. The topper has an above-average price-point, but Tempur-Pedic’s products are well-known for their durability and this model should have a lengthy lifespan.
Adding this topper to your current mattress can also help enhance its motion isolation. When you shift sleeping positions on a highly responsive mattress, the movement your body generates can transfer across the surface. TEMPUR memory foam traps most motion, which lets couples move on their side of the bed without disturbing their partner.
The topper is 3 inches thick to provide substantial contouring and pressure relief. Hot sleepers may find this model retains some body heat, but it shouldn’t greatly affect your mattress’ overall temperature regulation.
The topper itself should not be machine-washed or dry cleaned, but each purchase includes a removable and washable cover that protects the foam. The TEMPUR-Topper Supreme carries a 10-year warranty and ships free to addresses within the contiguous U.S.
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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At Sleep Foundation, we personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. This hands-on approach allows us to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations for mattresses, pillows, sheets, and other sleep essentials.
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