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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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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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The PandaZzz Cooling Topper is composed of solid memory foam with a balanced medium (5) feel. The foam conforms closely to cushion the body, cradle the spine, and alleviate pressure that occurs due to misalignment from side sleeping. That said, the topper is supportive enough to maintain an even surface for most people who weigh 230 pounds or less.
Memory foam gets a bad rap for sleeping hot. While many foam toppers absorb and retain body heat to an uncomfortable degree, the Cooling Topper is infused with gel designed to draw heat away from the body and release it, rather than storing it in the sleep surface. This makes the topper a good alternative for people who normally find memory foam too warm. A 3-inch profile also means the topper will greatly improve the feel of an old, uneven mattress.
PandaZzz offers free ground shipping for all orders. Each purchase includes a sleep trial that spans 100 nights in length and a warranty that covers manufacturing defects for up to 1 year after the purchase is made.
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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.
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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.
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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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 Pressure Relief
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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.
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The Puffy Mattress Topper comes in two firmness options, firm and soft. The soft option has a deeply plush feel that should appeal to anyone who needs strong cushioning or who simply enjoys very plush surfaces. While toppers with deep contouring can sometimes overheat, this model has cooling features that help offset heat retention.
The topper measures 2.5 inches thick and is made entirely of memory foam. The soft option rates 3 on our 10-point firmness scale, making it quite plush, even for a foam topper. This firmness option is excellent for side sleepers who need generous pressure relief to cushion their shoulders and hips. While some back sleepers may find the soft option comfortable against their spine, the firm option will likely provide better support for their back.
The cover of the Puffy Mattress Topper is made of 40% rayon derived from bamboo and 60% polyester, a breathable blend of fabric that is meant to help with temperature neutrality. The cover is removable and machine-washable. The elastic band can accommodate mattresses up to 15 inches thick, and the bottom of the topper is designed with small nubs that grip the mattress to prevent slippage.
Puffy provides free shipping within the contiguous U.S. The topper comes with a 101-night sleep trial and a lifetime 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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