There are plenty of factors that go into getting a good night’s rest including temperature regulation. If you’ve ever woken up feeling hot and sweaty no matter how thin your sheets are, your mattress may be the issue. Luckily, there are plenty of mattresses on the market that offer cooling effects, but it can be hard to tell which ones are worth investing in and which ones will match your other sleep preferences. To help you out, we’ve rounded up the best cooling mattresses you can buy online as tested by Strategist editors and writers over the past four years.
The best all-around pick happens to be the one I tested myself. Both my boyfriend and I run hot and usually sleep with a fan on. Even then, in the past we’ve kicked off our sheets in the middle of the night or woken up sweaty. But since we’ve tested the Tuft & Needle Mint Mattress, this hasn’t been an issue — and the mattress has a nice plush yet supportive firmness that caters to both our sleeping preferences (more on that below).
All of our reviews are based on at least a week’s worth of sleep by different types of sleepers, so if you have a preference on firmness, look for the Strategist editor who matches that. If you don’t see something you like here, don’t worry: We’ve reviewed nearly 30 mattresses here, and we’ve got roundups of all-foam options and firm mattresses too. (Note that for ease of comparison, the prices given below are for queen-size mattresses, but all are available in different sizes.)
Best all-around cooling mattress | Best (less expensive) cooling mattress | Best memory-foam cooling mattress | Best mattress with cooling gel | Best cooling mattress for side sleepers | Best cooling mattress for athletes
What we’re looking for
Material: It’s important to take into account how the mattress is constructed because the type of foam and how it’s layered can factor into temperature regulation and affect how warm or cool you feel on it. The materials will also determine how much support the mattress provides and how comfortable you feel when you lie down at night.
Cooling features: All of the mattresses mentioned in this post have some sort of unique cooling or temperature-regulating feature whether that be a proprietary foam or something like a water pump. Most mattresses on the list feature some sort of cooling foam or memory foam, but if you’re looking for more options with your temperature regulation, try a mattress with a cooling cover or app.
Firmness and support: Often, manufacturers rate their mattresses on a firmness scale from 1 to 10, but we’ve seen that the way you sleep will have an impact on the type of mattress you find most comfortable and how you experience its firmness. Side sleepers, for example, need pressure relief on their hips and shoulders along with a mattress that supports the alignment of the spine, shoulders, and pelvis. Back sleepers will do better with a firmer mattress, which helps support the spine, and stomach sleepers often prefer softer mattresses that cradle their body but are not so soft that they sink in.
Best all-around cooling mattress
Foam | Proprietary foam | Plush but supportive
This premium Tuft & Needle mattress features two additional layers of Adaptive Foam compared with the Original’s one. Its two-inch middle layer of Adaptive Foam is infused with a purportedly cooling ceramic gel, and its three-inch top layer of Adaptive Foam is infused with graphite that the brand claims will “pull body heat away.” Those claims proved to be true when my boyfriend and I tested this for ourselves. It was so cooling, in fact, that there were a couple nights I forgot to turn our fan on, and we didn’t wake up drenched. As for its firmness, the Mint accommodated both of our preferences — I like something more plush, while my boyfriend prefers a firm mattress. The Mint was more supportive than our old Zinus mattress, which was great for my boyfriend, who claimed he woke up more refreshed than ever. I was hesitant about the firmness, but the Mint never felt too firm on my hips or shoulders whenever I rolled to my side. Instead, I’d describe the feeling as being cradled, something I also felt when sleeping on my stomach.
Best (less expensive) cooling mattress
Foam | Proprietary foam | Plush but supportive
Strategist writer Jenna Milliner-Waddell tested a less expensive cooling mattress from Nolah, which claims its proprietary foam makes mattresses cooler than any other memory-foam mattresses. Milliner-Waddell, who’s a side-to-stomach sleeper, writes, “I don’t get overheated as fast sleeping on the Nolah Original as I have on other mattresses. In fact, I slept on it as summer turned to fall in New York City and actually needed to turn on the heat in my bedroom a few times — something I’d do in the past, but usually not until it was closer to winter.” She also notes that the mattress is much firmer and supportive than her old one, but the top layers of memory foam have “a soft bounce.”
Best memory-foam cooling mattress
Memory foam | Gel-infused memory foam | Firm
The Nectar Memory-Foam Mattress is an all-foam bed with a quilted cover on top of layers of “gel-infused” cooling memory foam, support memory foam, and high-density poly foam. Former Strategist senior editor Casey Lewis says the firm mattress “has just the right amount of give, in that it’s comfortable for me to move around on, but I don’t feel anyone (or anything) else moving around.” As for its cooling properties, which Lewis admits “sounded a little dubious to me,” they really do work: “My worries about the memory foam overheating me never came to fruition … While I still woke up with stress dreams, I never once woke up with sweat-soaked sheets,” she writes.
Best mattress with cooling gel
Coils, memory foam, polymer | Polymer material | Firm
If you’re not a fan of all-foam mattresses, consider the Purple Mattress. It’s made with a combination of different materials, including several inches of Purple’s proprietary polymer material, a strong but moldable gel-like material that’s been used in medical beds, Dr. Scholl’s soles, and toy balls. Former Strategist deputy editor Jason Chen, who’s a side sleeper that prefers a firmer mattress, says “it was like being cradled rather than smothered, the way I felt on my old foam mattress.” He concludes, “With a truly unique construction and anomalous materials, Purple’s mattress is well suited to those who sleep hot and hate foam — and who are game to try something very different.”
Best mattress with cooling technology
Memory foam | Water pump | Medium firm
The Eight Sleep Pod Mattress is the only mattress the Strategist has tested that has shown any quantifiable ability to make those who sleep on it actually feel warmer or cooler by using an app and a water-filled pump. When former senior editor Peter Martin, who’s a stomach sleeper, tested it for himself, he and his wife appreciated the temperature control abilities the most. “When it was in the 50s and 60s at night, my side of the bed could be set to cool while my wife’s side automatically warmed up before bedtime, letting me use the covers all night and keeping me from waking up hot and annoyed and trying to kick my way free,” he writes. “In the summer, I imagine this would be a much more comfortable (and inexpensive) alternative to cranking the AC.”
[Editors’ Note: We tested Eight Sleep’s original Pod mattress, which the company is phasing out as of February 2022. Though you can still buy the original Pod as of the publication of this update, Eight Sleep is now focusing on its Pod Pro and Pod Pro Max models, which offer the same cooling technology and have been updated with new features, like a smart “alarm” that can wake you up with gentle vibrations and gradual temperature changes. These updated models are on our watch list for future testing.]
Best cooling mattress for side sleepers
Foam | Cooling memory foam | Plush yet supportive
Associate editor Louis Cheslaw, who tested the Emma, always sleeps on his side, and though the Emma is on the softer side of its medium-firm designation, it’s a nice option for side sleepers. “When I sat on the side of my bed (to put socks on, or before fully getting out of it), I sometimes felt like I was slipping off of it, a sensation I have not experienced with firmer mattresses.” Nevertheless, he was still “incredibly comfortable” sleeping on the Emma. “I never woke up after falling asleep until the morning, when I woke feeling well rested.” Not to mention, Emma’s top cooling layer kept Louis comfortable throughout his trial — even during the peak of a hot New York City summer.
Best cooling mattress for athletes
Foam | Mattress cover | Medium-firm
Bear says that its original, all-foam mattress is designed for athletes, with foam layers that are designed to relieve pressure, keep you cool, and restore strength. All of those benefits are thanks to a mattress cover made of Celliant, a synthetic fiber that’s “designed to direct body heat back into the muscles as restorative infrared heat,” according to some studies. According to senior writer (and devoted runner) Karen Iorio Adelson, who tested this mattress with her husband, “It may be totally psychological — my legs did feel fresher and less fatigued than they normally would on days after doing sprints and thigh-punishing barre workouts.” If you’re an athlete or on a rigorous gym schedule, the Bear mattress may be worth the try — but if nothing else, it’s a nice option for stomach or back sleepers who want a touch more support from an all-foam mattress. (And Bear’s 100-night trial allows for hassle-free returns.)
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