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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 who want to enhance their mattress’ performance with a higher-profile topper will appreciate the Active Cooling Copper Topper from Viscosoft. With its competitive price-point, this topper is also a good pick for shoppers on a budget. The topper features two copper-infused foam layers, one made from polyfoam and the other from memory foam. Together, these layers provide a combination of support and pressure relief that’s suitable for sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds.
The Active Cooling Copper Topper has a 4-inch high profile, so sleepers are likely to feel the hugging sensation that memory foam is known for. Side and back sleepers might enjoy this topper the most, since it may not provide enough support for people who sleep on their stomachs. Side sleepers often feel pressure points under their hips and shoulders, which this topper is engineered to relieve.
People who sleep hot but prefer the feel of memory foam over other materials may also find this model a worthy choice. All-foam mattresses and toppers can often sleep hot, but Viscosoft uses copper-infused foam to mitigate this issue. These types of foams are engineered to help regulate temperature by drawing body heat away from your mattress and releasing it.
The fabric cover is also designed to sleep cool and can be washed in your home machine. Elastic straps keep the cover securely fastened to your mattress. Viscosoft ships the Active Cooling Copper Topper free to the contiguous U.S. Shoppers have 60 nights to try their topper and it’s backed by a 3-year warranty.
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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 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.
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A common complaint about memory foam toppers is that the material absorbs and traps body heat, causing sleepers to feel uncomfortably warm. The Lift by Amerisleep is designed with a top layer of Bio-Pur, a proprietary open-cell memory foam that offers better-than-average breathability and shouldn’t retain heat to an excessive degree – especially for those who weigh 230 pounds or less. A breathable cover also helps the topper sleep cool.
For optimal temperature control, shoppers should choose a firmness level for the Lift that corresponds to their body type and sleep position. The medium soft (4) feel contours somewhat closely to the body, making it best suited to side sleepers and those who weigh less than 130 pounds. The medium firm (6) feel offers more support, ensuring better surface airflow for those in the range of 130-230 pounds and back or stomach sleepers.
The Lift is also a great topper for couples. The Bio-Pur top layer and high-density polyfoam base isolate motion and nearly eliminate transfer to help cut down on nighttime disturbances for sleep partners. Another handy feature is the cover’s micro-grip bottom, which prevents shifting and keeps the topper in place when one of you gets in and out of bed.
The Lift’s 3-inch profile and dual-layer construction make the topper very effective at adjusting the feel of your mattress, whether you opt for the medium soft or medium firm feel. Its price-point is also reasonable given its high-quality construction, and shipping is free for all customers in the contiguous U.S. Amerisleep backs the topper with a five-year warranty against structural defects.
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The Molecule AirTEC mattress topper is a multi-layer topper that uses some of the same foams found in the Molecule mattresses.
The topper features a cooling fiber cover designed to draw heat away from the sleeper. Under this is a 1-inch layer of MolecularFlo foam, which is meant to have more airflow than traditional memory foam. This is followed by an inch of open-cell AirTEC foam, a synthetic foam made to mimic the buoyant and breathable properties of latex. Finally, an inch of RecoveryFlo foam adds some support.
The contouring foams in the Molecule AirTEC mattress topper help prevent motion from travelling across the bed, making this a good choice for people who sleep with a partner.
The foams are produced using a variable pressure foaming process that minimizes emissions and waste. Molecule backs the mattress topper with a 30-day sleep trial and 5-year limited warranty.
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The Eight Sleep Pod Pro Cover is an attachable mattress top that allows you to make use of Eight Sleep’s advanced temperature control and sleep tracking technology on your current mattress. The cover is designed to wrap around a 10- to 16-inch mattress and secure the liquid-cooling pad top with a zipper. Adjustable, tightening straps secure the cover to the mattress.
The topper is controlled entirely via the Eight Sleep smartphone app. Through the app, you can manually adjust the temperature of the pad as needed, as well as set automatic periods of heating and cooling through the night. The Pod Pro Cover has a learning function that allows it to make automatic adjustments to the temperature based on your personal sleeping patterns.
Water flows through the cooling pad to an external hub device that regulates its temperature according to your desired settings throughout the night. Available temperatures range from 55 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. While the Pod Pro Cover attaches to the top of an existing mattress, it is thin enough to not significantly alter the feel of the bed.
The mattress top has a dual-zone setup, meaning that each side of the bed tracks sleep data individually and can be customized to meet each sleeper’s personalized heating and cooling settings.
The Pod Pro Cover ships free to the contiguous U.S., and comes backed by a 30-night trial as well as a 2-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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