From blocking out sound and light to optimizing your spinal alignment, many factors contribute to getting a solid night’s sleep. And if you’ve ever woken up feeling hot and sweaty, you know that temperature regulation is a big part of the equation. We’ve covered cooling sheets and pajamas, and while those 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, you might want to consider adding a cooling mattress topper.
Keep in mind, though, that while brands tout the cooling benefits of their mattress toppers, Michael Grandner, director of the sleep and health research program at the University of Arizona, says 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 with 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
“People love memory foam because it’s so comfortable and relieves pressure so well,” says Joe Auer, founder of the review site Mattress Clarity. But while foam mattresses have climbed in popularity, 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.”
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”
For a less expensive cooling memory foam topper, Auer likes this “very comfortable” (and under-$100) option. “The gel infusion means it won’t sleep as hot as other memory-foam toppers,” he says.
Best cooling fiber mattress toppers
A fiber mattress topper, filled with cotton or polyester, 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.
With a fluffy fiberfill and a 100% cotton exterior, this topper features phase-change material and is one of Tal’s top picks.
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.”
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.
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