From blocking out sound and light to optimizing your spinal alignment, many factors contribute to getting a solid night’s sleep. If you’ve ever woken up feeling hot and sweaty, you know that temperature regulation is a big part of the equation. While products like cooling sheets and pajamas can help, you don’t want to cancel them out by sleeping on a surface that locks in heat. If your current mattress is making you sweat and you don’t want to invest in a new one that’s designed to help regulate temperature, a more affordable solution to consider would be a cooling mattress topper.
While many brands tout the cooling benefits of their mattress toppers, Michael Grandner, the director of the sleep and health research program at the University of Arizona, says to keep in mind that there are few scientific studies proving any one material or technology is superior for keeping cool. Often it comes down to personal preference. Therefore, he advises looking for a mattress topper that’s comfortable and that has a good return policy so you can sleep on it a few nights and see if it works for you. To give you an idea of the different materials and types of toppers out there, we’ve rounded up a selection of expert-recommended styles that should appeal to a variety of sleepers.
Best cooling memory-foam mattress toppers
Best overall cooling memory-foam mattress topper
“People love memory foam because it’s so comfortable and relieves pressure so well,” says Joe Auer, the founder of the review site Mattress Clarity. While foam mattresses have climbed in popularity — in reporting this story, we heard about foam toppers more than any other kind — they are known for sleeping hot and not promoting air flow. Fortunately, there are foam mattress toppers infused with cooling materials that allow you to enjoy the comfort of memory foam without overheating. This ViscoSoft topper, recommended by both Annie Schlecht, an occupational therapist and certified sleep consultant, and Sarah Riccio, a senior writer at Sleepopolis, combines two of these technologies. First, it’s infused with copper, which Schlecht explains “draws heat away from the body and dissipates into the environment.” Riccio says it “offers a classic memory-foam feel, but the copper infusion serves to dissipate body heat and prevent the foam from warming up.” Second, its exterior is made from phase-change material, something Joshua Tal, a psychologist who specializes in sleep disorders, says to look for in cooling mattress toppers. “What it does,” he says,” is that when you’re hot, the material liquifies and becomes really nice and cool, and when you’re cool, the material then solidifies, trapping in the heat.” Schlecht says this material keeps the ViscoSoft topper “cool to the touch.”
Best (less expensive) cooling memory-foam mattress topper
In addition to copper and phase-change material, gel is also used to help cool down memory foam mattresses and toppers. Bill Fish, a certified sleep-science coach and co-founder of sleep-product review site Tuck, says this cushy topper is one of his favorites because “it is constructed with a gel-infused memory-foam core, which helps to pull that heat away from the body to keep you cool”
Best (even less expensive) cooling memory-foam mattress topper
For something even more affordable, Brandon Lee, an Airbnb host, recommends this gel-infused memory-foam mattress topper that’s wrapped in a soft cover made of bamboo-rayon fabric. Not only does the cover “feel very soft against the skin,” according to Lee, it also “aids in the overall cooling process” — something other experts have said about bamboo in recommending the best cooling sheets. Importantly, it’s very comfortable, too. “This topper is both dense and well ventilated, offering a cloud-like sleeping experience,” Lee says. “Its airy-yet-firm design allows it to contour to your body.” While this particular version is 3 inches high, it’s available in 2- and 4-inch thicknesses as well. The topper also comes with a 10-year warranty, leading Lee to conclude: “It’s a great budget option without sacrificing quality or durability.”
Best cooling fiber mattress toppers
Best overall cooling fiber mattress topper
Filled with cotton or polyester, a fiber mattress topper adds softness to a firm bed and can counteract the heat retention of a foam mattress. Heather Turgeon, a psychotherapist and author of The Happy Sleeper, often recommends Slumber Cloud products to her patients who suffer from temperature regulation, because the brand uses innovative cooling technologies. This polyester-filled topper is lined with a “NASA-inspired” fabric designed to let heat escape from the body. It’s also a favorite of Logan Block, director of content at Sleepopolis, who says it’s durable and sleeps cool.
Best (less expensive) cooling fiber mattress topper
With a fluffy fiberfill and a 100-percent cotton exterior, this topper features phase-change material and is one of Tal’s top picks.
More recommended cooling mattress toppers
Best cooling hydro-powered mattress topper
For her clients who “really struggle with temperature regulation at night,” Schlecht turns to this high-tech mattress topper (also recommended by Tal and Grander) that can be set to an exact temperature anywhere from 55-115 degrees. It’s lined with water-filled silicone tubes and connects to a power unit that cools or heats the water to a steady temperature. Available in half-queen and half-king sizes (as well as full-size versions), it’s also a good solution for bed partners who prefer different temperatures.
Best cooling latex mattress topper
Although generally more expensive than foam or fiber, toppers made of latex are preferred by some sleepers because they’re all-natural, long-lasting, and allow for better air circulation. Fish likes that this one, from PlushBeds, comes in multiple firmness levels to easily customize the feel of your bed and, he says, “the aerated feature allows for consistent airflow to keep the sleeper cool throughout the night.”
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