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 is designed to help regulate temperature, a more affordable solution to consider would be a cooling mattress topper.
Often the best cooling mattress toppers come down to personal preference, but 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. (And though all of these toppers are available in other sizes, we’re focusing on the queen size for ease of comparison.)
What we’re looking for
Material: 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. 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 airflow. Fortunately, there are foam mattress toppers infused with cooling materials that allow you to enjoy the comfort of memory foam without overheating. A fiber mattress topper, filled with cotton or polyester, can also add softness to a firm bed and can counteract the heat retention of a foam mattress. To help you find the right pick for you, we’ve noted the material throughout.
Trial period and warranty: Grandner advises looking for a mattress topper that has a good return policy so you can sleep on it a few nights and see if it works for you. We’ve noted the length of the trial period and any warranty details, but be sure to read the fine print; companies that offer 100-night trials on mattresses don’t always offer the same terms on toppers, and return policies may vary depending on whether you buy the topper directly from the brand or from a third-party retailer such as Amazon.
Best overall cooling mattress topper
Copper-infused memory foam | 60-day money-back guarantee, five-year warranty
“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. And this ViscoSoft topper, recommended by both Annie Schlecht, an occupational therapist and certified sleep consultant, and Sarah Riccio, a senior writer at Sleepopolis, is surprisingly cool despite being made of notoriously hot foam. 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.” With so many expert recommendations, and a nice balance between comfort and cooling — and a 60-day return policy, one of the most generous in this roundup — it’s our pick for the best overall cooling mattress topper.
Best (less expensive) cooling mattress topper
Foam | 30-night trial, two-year warranty
Bill Fish, a certified sleep-science coach and co-founder of sleep-product review site Tuck, says this cushy topper from Nest Bedding is one of his favorites because “it is constructed with a gel-infused memory-foam core that helps to pull that heat away from the body to keep you cool.” It’s the same memory foam that tops Nest’s mattresses, which our kitchen-and-dining writer Emma Wartzman says relieved her of the “back and neck pain that I was waking up with every morning.”
Best (even less expensive) cooling mattress topper
Foam | Ten-year warranty
For something even more affordable, Brandon Lee, an Airbnb host, recommends this gel-infused memory-foam mattress topper that is wrapped in a soft cover made of bamboo-rayon fabric. Not only does the cover “feel very soft against the skin,” according to Lee, but 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. “This topper is both dense and well ventilated, offering a cloudlike sleeping experience,” Lee says. “Its airy-yet-firm design allows it to contour to your body.” While this particular version is three inches high, it’s available in two- and four-inch thicknesses as well. Though the details about returns are sparse, the topper also comes with a ten-year warranty, leading Lee to conclude, “It’s a great budget option without sacrificing quality or durability.”
Best fiber cooling mattress topper
Polyester fill | 60-night trial, 180-day warranty
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) fiber cooling mattress topper
Fiberfill | Not available
With a fluffy fiberfill and a 100-percent-cotton exterior, this topper features phase-change material and is one of Tal’s top picks. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find information on a warranty or return policy, but since this is one of the least expensive mattress pads on our list, we think it’s worth the risk.
[Editor’s note: The queen-size mattress pad is currently out of stock on Amazon, but all other sizes are available.]
Best latex cooling mattress topper
Latex | Five-year warranty
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.” Unfortunately, these toppers are not returnable, so you should be ready to commit if you’re going to go for it.
Best hydro-powered cooling mattress topper
Mesh | 30-night trial, Two-year limited warranty
For her clients who “really struggle with temperature regulation at night,” Schlecht turns to this high-tech mattress topper (also recommended by Tal and Grandner) that can be set to an exact temperature anywhere from 55 to 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 (and for those who want to guarantee that their bed will stay cool at night).
Joe Auer, founder of Mattress Clarity
Logan Block, director of content at Sleepopolis
Bill Fish, certified sleep-science coach and co-founder of Tuck
Michael Grandner, director of the sleep-and-health research program at the University of Arizona
Brandon Lee, Airbnb host
Sarah Riccio, senior writer at Sleepopolis
Annie Schlecht, occupational therapist and certified sleep consultant
Joshua Tal, psychologist specializing in sleep disorders
Heather Turgeon, psychotherapist and author of The Happy Sleeper
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.