Best Cooling Mattress Pads and Toppers – Our Picks and Buyer’s Guide

Our Review Process
Tuck’s mattress and sleep product recommendations are based on more than 300,000 verified customer experiences and our team’s exhaustive testing procedure. We never recommend a sleep product we haven’t personally experienced and tested in our lab. You can rest assured, when you’re ready to buy, the product you pick meets Tuck’s lofty standards.

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Quick Summary

Many sleepers do not get enough cushioning from their mattress alone. To remedy this problem, some turn to mattress pads or toppers. Both are used as individual layers of cushioning to complement the bed’s sleep surface. Pads tend to be thinner and provide minimal cushioning, while toppers are thicker and provide more cushioning. In addition to beds, pads and toppers can be used in guest rooms, RVs, and other sleeping areas where the bedding surfaces may lack proper support.

Additionally, some toppers offer good temperature neutrality that can cool down mattresses that tend to sleep hot. Toppers that sleep cool without altering the temperature of the bed are known as passive cooling toppers; most of these are made from materials like latex or gel-infused foam. Active cooling toppers actually create colder sleep surfaces using built-in components, such as fans or water tanks.

This guide will explore important considerations for purchasing a cooling topper, including our picks for the best cooling toppers made today. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.

Best Cooling Mattress Pads and Toppers

Editor’s Pick Mattress Pad – Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Pad Protector

Best Value Mattress Pad – ExceptionalSheets Bamboo Mattress Pad

Best Luxury Mattress Pad – Parachute Down Mattress Pad

Editor’s Pick Mattress Topper – Saatva Graphite Topper

Best Value Mattress Topper – Latex for Less Topper

Best Luxury Mattress Topper – PlushBeds Handmade Wool Topper

How We Decided

 

72 toppers and pads considered –– 115 hours of research –– 6 sleep experts consulted

Best Cooling Mattress Pads and Toppers – Tuck's Top 6 Picks

Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Protector - Editor's Pick Mattress Pad

Avocado organic cotton mattress protector

Highlights
  • Made of 100% organic cotton
  • Sustainably made
  • No off-gassing odors
  • Durable construction

The Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Pad Protector combines luxury, protection and sustainability all in one product. Made of 100% GOTS organic cotton, this pad adds a layer of clean and cool breathability to your mattress. Durable, easy to care for and with no off-gassing odor, this is the no-hassle experience desired in a mattress pad.

The Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Pad Protector is handmade in Los Angeles with sustainably sourced 400 thread count long-staple cotton ticking and 400 gram/yard cotton fiber fill. This detail of production results in not only its fair trade and vegan certifications, but also a soft, clean product that will last a long time. The only downside of this organic construction is that it is not waterproof, but its high degree of absorbance all but makes of for this. A quality product that happens to be one of the most breathable mattress pads on the market, the Avocado Organic Cotton Mattress Pad Protector is an easy choice for Best Cooling Mattress Pad.

Good for:

  • People who get hot while they sleep
  • People who value sustainably-made products
  • Sleepers of all kinds (stomach, back, side)

ExceptionalSheets Bamboo Mattress Pad - Best Value Mattress Pad

Highlights
  • Cover made of plush rayon from bamboo
  • Fill made of hypoallergenic down alternative
  • Fits mattresses up to 18” deep
  • Doesn’t make extra noise

You’ll enjoy this bamboo mattress pad for both its value and cruelty-free materials. The top-quilted fabric is soft and cool to the touch, and will help with thermoregulation while sleeping. Inside, the RevoLoft Cluster Fiber Filling is a down alternative and allows more air flow to counteract any mattresses that cause you to overheat. Baffle box stitching keeps the fill from shifting too far to one side or another.

The silent protection keeps a noisy mattress pad from waking you up, and matches well with all kinds of mattresses, whether you already have latex, memory foam, or innerspring. This product also includes a 30-day return period if it’s not the right fit for you.

Good for:

  • People looking for a cooling effect
  • Sleepers of all kinds (stomach, back, side)
  • People who want the feel of goose down without feathers

Parachute Down Mattress Pad - Best Luxury Mattress Pad

Highlights
  • 100% sateen cotton shell
  • 75% down and 25% down and feather fibers
  • Double stitched to prevent fill from escaping
  • Easy to wash

Luxury is the key word for this mattress pad, with high-quality materials that will make you feel like you’re sinking into a soft cloud. The sateen cotton shell and down feathers hug your mattress like a fitted sheet, and are ideal for padding a mattress that’s a little too firm for comfort.

Customers rave about the way this product relieves back and neck pain and feels like sleeping in the Ritz Carlton. This pad fits on mattresses up to 18 inches deep and can be dry cleaned or machine washed cool. Customers can take advantage of the three-year warranty, 90-day trial, and free US shipping and returns.

Good for:

  • Softening a hard mattress
  • Sleepers of all kinds (back, stomach, side)
  • Relieving back and neck pain

Saatva Graphite Topper - Editor's Pick Mattress Topper

Highlights
  • Created with advanced cooling technology
  • Graphite material cools during the night
  • Made of organic cotton and memory foam
  • Provides pressure relief and contouring support

Graphite isn’t a material you find often in mattress toppers, but that’s what makes this product stand apart. Saatva’s Graphite Topper is made with high-quality materials and advanced cooling technology that won’t allow you to overheat at night.

The 3-inch graphite layer combines with memory foam to contour to your body and relieve pressure points. Saatva is great for a hard mattress that needs a little softening, or one that is made of materials that easily heat up. Its four anchor bands also allow the topper to fit snugly and not move around during the night. Most customers will have access to free shipping and a 120-night trial.

Good for:

  • People who get hot while sleeping
  • People who toss and turn at night
  • Back and neck pain relief
  • Softening a hard mattress

Latex for Less Topper - Best Value Mattress Topper

Highlights
  • Made of 100% natural latex
  • No synthetics, fillers, or chemicals
  • Oeko-Tex and Eco-Institut certified
  • Great for pressure relief

If you’re concerned about harmful or synthetic materials, Latex for Less is a win on two different fronts: it’s both a monetary value and the company has gone the extra mile to assure safe materials. This mattress topper boasts multiple certifications for safety, including Oeko-Tex, Eco-Institut, and GOTS certified organic cotton. That translates into no fillers or synthetic additives, and no toxic chemical smell.

Customers have found this product to be comfortable and resilient, along with offering pressure relief that helps with support for hips, knees, back, and shoulders. The 100% natural latex material provides a balance between sink and buoyancy, along with plenty of distributed aeration to keep cool. Make sure this is the one you want to buy — it’s one of the few products that doesn’t allow returns.

Good for:

  • Customers interested in non-toxic materials
  • Pressure point relief
  • People looking for a bargain

PlushBeds Handmade Wool Topper - Best Luxury Mattress Topper

Highlights
  • 100% premium Eco-Wool® fill
  • Chemical and cruelty free
  • Wicks moisture and provides insulation
  • Ideal for both summer and winter

This mattress topper may not be cheap, but many customers found the splurge to be worth it. PlushBeds prioritizes ethically sourced materials. Beyond their chemical-free cred, they also go the extra mile to ensure cruelty-free and sustainable materials. Their wool vendors are held to high standards, including humane growing and gathering processes without adding scouring agents, chemicals, or dyes.

The wool material is adaptable on the full spectrum of temperature, allowing for a cooling effect in the summer and a warming effect in the winter. The all-natural materials also inhibit pests like dust mites and mold spores. While this material is great to sink into, they suggest their latex product instead if you’re looking for pressure or pain relief. This product also doesn’t process returns, so make sure you order the correct size the first time around.

Good for:

  • Eco-friendly and ethical-minded customers
  • All types of sleepers (back, side, stomach)
  • Temperature regulation

Best Cooling Mattress Pads and Toppers Buyer's Guide

Many different factors go into choosing a mattress pad or topper. In the following section, we’ll walk you through several different factors, including:

  • The Difference Between a Mattress Pad and Topper – Although the two sound similar, they actually have some key differences, from lifespan to effectiveness and additional performance ratings.
  • How Cooling Pads and Toppers Work – Learn more about active and passive cooling toppers, including the materials they use and how that changes their effect.
  • Overall Pros and Cons Between the Two – We’ll go through item-by-item to compare criteria such as temperature regulation, durability, odor potential, and noise between active and passive cooling toppers.

Taking all these elements into consideration will help you pick a mattress pad or topper that fits your needs and helps you sleep better every night.

What’s the Difference Between a Mattress Pad & Topper?

A mattress pad, also known as a ‘mattress protector,’ is a relatively thin layer that tucks over the top surface of a mattress with elastic edges similar to those of a fitted sheet. The pad’s primary purpose is to protect the mattress. The term ‘mattress topper’ refers to an individual layer of additional cushioning that can be placed on top of a mattress or other sleep surface in order to provide extra softness, comfort, and support.

Some toppers rest freely on the uppermost layer of the mattress (known as the comfort layer), while others are designed to fit beneath the top sheet. Pads and toppers come in sizes that correspond to standard mattress sizes. Toppers may also be used to create a ‘dual-firmness’ surface for couples using Queen- or King-size mattresses.

How do Cooling Pads & Toppers Work?

A ‘cooling’ pad or topper is designed to help sleepers maintain a moderate, well-regulated body temperature throughout the night. They can also reduce sweating. These pads and toppers can be beneficial for people who tend to sleep hot or warm, as well as those using mattresses that act as heat traps.

Generally speaking, two types of cooling pads and toppers are available. Below, we’ll go over the differences between active and passive cooling pads and toppers, including factors that will help you pick the right one for you.

Active Cooling Pads and Toppers

Active cooling pads and toppers go beyond padding materials to heat you up or cool you down. These products are outfitted with attachable fans or water pumps that help sleepers remain cool and comfortable.

Many are customizable, allowing owners to maintain their ideal sleep temperature. They may also be used to warm up sleep surfaces during colder times of the year.

Passive Cooling Pads and Toppers

Rather than using fans or other attachments, passive cooling toppers are constructed with specialty materials (such as gel-infused foams) that absorb and transfer body heat. The term ‘passive cooling topper’ also refers to toppers made with materials that are naturally cool, such as:

    • Natural latex, a material extracted and processed from the sap of rubber trees.
    • Gel-infused memory foam, or viscoelastic polyfoam, a polyurethane-based material treated with chemicals to make it exceptionally soft and responsive to temperature, then infused with cooling gel beads or swirls.
    • Feathers from ducks or geese.
    • Wool from sheep or lambs.

Regardless of the cooling topper type, most models feature covers made of materials that help sleepers stay cool. These include cotton, rayon, and/or bamboo fabric. Additionally, some models feature covers made from phase-changing material, or PCM.

PCM absorbs body heat until the sleeper reaches a certain temperature and then stop retaining heat, allowing the sleep surface to maintain a steady, comfortable temperature throughout the night regardless of how hot the sleeper feels.

Please note: some brands offer toppers that need to be placed in a refrigerator or freezer prior to being used. Most of these toppers keep sleepers cool for a reasonable length of time, but their coldness will wear off — and most need to be refrigerated or refrozen each night. These toppers are fairly rare compared to active and passive cooling toppers. As a result, we have exclusively evaluated active and passive cooling pads and toppers for the purposes of this article, and did include any refrigerated pad or topper models in our analyses.

Pros and Cons

Both active and passive cooling pads and toppers carry unique benefits and drawbacks for owners. The table below looks at some of the similarities and differences between the two product types in terms of lifespan, effectiveness, and other performance metrics.

Criteria Active Cooling Topper Rating Passive Cooling Topper Rating Explanation
Effective Temperature Regulation Good to Very Good Fair to Good Active cooling pads and toppers are more effective at regulating sleep temperature than passive cooling models, according to owners.
Thickness and Firmness Selection Poor to Fair Good to Very Good Due to limited availability of active cooling pads and toppers, customers may have a hard time finding models that accommodate their sleep preferences. The options for passive cooling models are much more extensive.
Durability Fair to Good Fair to Good Most cooling pads and toppers perform for at least two years. Active-cooling models are prone to breakdowns due to their technical components, while passive-cooling models may lose their temperature-regulating abilities over time.
Noise Poor to Fair Very Good to Excellent Active-cooling pads and toppers with electrical components can be quite noisy. Passive-cooling models are much quieter on the whole; memory foam, latex, and wool are virtually silent, whereas feathers may produce slight rustling sounds.
Odor Potential Good to Very Good Fair to Good Active-cooling pads and toppers may emit some odors when they are unpackaged, but these models are not associated with long-lasting smells. Memory foam, natural latex, and feathers all have relatively high odor potential, while smell complaints for wool are not as common.
Ease of Moving Poor to Fair Good to Very Good Active-cooling pads and toppers can be quite heavy and difficult to maneuver during the night due to extraneous parts. Passive-cooling pads and toppers tend to be much lighter, although latex and memory foam models tend to weigh much more than wool and feather models.
Ease of Cleaning and Maintaining Poor to Fair Poor to Fair Cleaning cooling pads and toppers can be a hassle. Most models need to be spot cleaned or dry cleaned, and active-cooling pads and toppers with water pumps may develop mold if they are not regularly cleaned. The exception: passive-cooling wool models, which can often be machine washed.
Upkeep Costs Poor to Fair Fair to Good Active-cooling pads and toppers can lead to repair expenses down the road, in addition to cleaning fees. Passive-cooling models almost never need the same level of repair, but dry-cleaning bills can add up.
Availability Poor to Fair Good to Very Good A limited number of active-cooling pads and toppers are currently available, whereas passive-cooling models are fairly common.
Average Price (Queen) $700 or Higher $100 to $400 Due to their high-tech design and electrical components, active-cooling pads and toppers tend to be much more expensive than their passive-cooling counterparts

Additional Resources

Selecting the right mattress topper and other cooling products might feel overwhelming. Check out our other resources on sleeping cool that can help you pick the best sleep products for your needs.