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 – Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Cooling Topper

Best Value Cooling Topper – Milliard Gel Memory Foam Matress Topper

Best Active Cooling Topper – ChiliPad Cube

Best Luxury Cooling Topper – PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper

Best Cooling Topper for Pressure Relief – Sleep on Latex Pure Green Natural Latex Topper

Best Organic Cooling Topper – Avocado Green Natural Latex 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

Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Cooling Topper – Editor's Pick

Highlights
  • ‘Medium’
  • Gel-infused memory foam
  • 2-year warranty
  • Close conforming and pressure relief

The Alexander Signature Cooling Topper from Nest Bedding is constructed from gel-infused memory foam and built onto a 2″ profile. The foam hugs the sleeper’s body closely to help align the spine and alleviate pressure points in the neck, shoulders, lower back, and other sensitive areas. The gel-infused material also allows the topper to sleep cooler than standard foams, making it a good option for those with hot mattresses.

Stability is a common complaint among topper owners, many of whom have to constantly reattach and adjust their topper during the night. The Alexander Signature Cooling Topper solves this problem with elastic straps at all four corners, which keep the topper in place. The topper is also available in the six standard sizes – Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King – to accommodate customers with different bed dimensions. This topper is backed by a two-year warranty; comfort exchanges may also be available upon request.

Good for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in the light and average weight groups
  • Back and neck pain sufferers

Milliard Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper – Best Value Cooling Topper

Highlights
  • ‘Medium Soft’
  • Gel-infused memory foam
  • Cool bamboo-rayon cover
  • Great durability and low price-point

The price for most cooling toppers starts at $150, and some models cost as much as $350 to $400 in larger sizes. The Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper from Milliard, our Best Value pick, costs much less than the average model; all four sizes (Twin, Full, Queen, and King) are widely available for less than $120. However, the Milliard topper offers the same close conforming and pressure relief as other, more expensive toppers. The foam is also highly durable, giving the topper a healthy lifespan.

In addition to the gel-infused memory foam, this topper comes with a cover made of breathable rayon from bamboo that absorbs minimal body heat and sleeps quite cool. The topper is ‘Medium Soft’ and built onto a 2″ profile, making it a good pick for anyone who weighs 230 pounds or less. Milliard sells the Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper through a wide range of retailers, including Amazon.com; sleep trial and warranty offers will vary by distributor.

Good for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in the light and average weight groups
  • Back and neck pain sufferers

ChiliPad Cube – Best Active Cooling Pad

Highlights
  • Single and dual zones available
  • Cools bed with built-in water tank
  • 90-night sleep trial and two-year warranty
  • Machine washable and low-maintenance

Our pick for the Best Active Cooling Pad is the ChiliPad Cube. This innovative product regulates bed temperature by circulating hot or cold water through a network of small internal tubes; this means the ChiliPad Cube is an effective heating and cooling source. The pad measures .25″ thick and has a breathable cotton cover.

Customers can choose from single-zone ChiliPad Cubes, which regulate temperature on one side of the bed, or dual-zone models that provide individual temperature setting for both sides and can be beneficial for couples with different preferences. Owners may adjust the temperature settings manually or with a wireless remote control. The ChiliPad Cube is available in all six standard mattress sizes, as well as a smaller Single size and a Split California King size; Single through Full as well as Split California King are single-zone, while Queen through California King are dual-zone. The ChiliPad Cube is backed by a 90-night sleep trial and a two-year warranty.

Good for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average heavy)
  • Couples

Check Price | Read Our Full ChiliPad Cube Review

PlushBeds Natural Latex Topper – Best Luxury Cooling Topper

Highlights
  • Multiple firmness and thickness options
  • Aerated natural latex
  • Cool organic cotton cover
  • Exceptional conforming and pressure relief

The Natural Latex Topper, priced between $279 and $519 (depending on size), is our Luxury Cooling Topper pick; it is a good option for shoppers with bigger budgets. Despite the steep price-point, this topper is a high-value option for several reasons. One is durability; the topper is made from pure latex, which does not deteriorate as quickly as foams and other topper materials, and has a long expected lifespan. Pressure relief is another perk. The PlushBeds topper conforms very closely without sagging to alleviate aches, pains, and pressure points throughout the body.

In addition to the latex, which is aerated for better airflow in the interior, an organic cotton cover helps the topper sleep very cool. In addition to the six standard mattress sizes, the Natural Latex Topper is also available in 2″ and 3″ profiles, as well as ‘Soft,’ ‘Medium,’ ‘Medium Firm,’ and ‘Extra Firm’ settings. This wide selection ensures most sleepers will find a design that works for them. PlushBeds will ship the topper for free to customers in the contiguous U.S.

Good for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Couples

Sleep on Latex Pure Green Natural Latex Topper – Best Cooling Topper for Pressure Relief

Highlights
  • Multiple thickness and firmness options
  • Aerated natural latex
  • 5-year warranty
  • Body-cushioning comfort and pain relief

The Pure Green Natural Latex Topper from Sleep on Latex is available in a wide range of designs to accommodate different sleepers. Customers can choose from 1″, 2″, and 3″ profiles, as well as ‘Soft,’ ‘Medium,’ and ‘Firm’ settings. This makes the topper suitable for most sleepers regardless of their height, weight, or preferred sleep position. The topper also has a below-average price-point and is considered a high-value pick due to its exceptional durability and long expected lifespan.

An organic cotton cover is available at an extra charge for customers who want the topper to feel extra cool, though the aerated latex circulates air very well on its own. Sleep on Latex manufactures the topper using 100% natural latex with no fillers; this makes the topper a good option for green-minded shoppers. The Pure Green Natural Latex Topper is backed by a five-year warranty, which is much longer than average.

Good for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in all weight groups
  • Eco-friendly shoppers

Avocado Green Natural Latex Topper – Best Organic Cooling Topper

Highlights
  • Multiple firmness options
  • Natural Dunlop latex
  • 10-year warranty
  • Breathable and body-conforming

The Avocado Green Natural Latex Topper is our choice for Best Organic Mattress Topper. In addition to an interior made from aerated, natural Dunlop latex, the topper also features a top layer of organic New Zealand wool and an organic cotton cover. The topper is built onto a 2″ profile and available in Twin, Twin XL, and Full sizes, as well as ‘Soft’ and ‘Firm’ settings. This makes it suitable for single sleepers of different heights and weights.

Craftsmanship is another key strength of the Avocado Green Natural Latex Topper. The exterior of the topper is hand-stitched with reinforced seams to reduce deterioration and prolong the product’s lifespan. The wool layer also bolsters temperature neutrality by wicking away moisture in sleepers, allowing them to remain comfortable and dry throughout the night during hotter times of the year. Avocado offers free shipping and returns for this topper, as well as a longer-than-average 10-year warranty.

Good for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in every weight group (light, average, heavy)
  • Single sleepers

Best Cooling Mattress Pads and Toppers Buyer's Guide

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.

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:

  • Active Cooling Pads and Toppers: 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 of Active and Passive Cooling Pads/Toppers

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

Conclusion

For more information on this topic, please visit our Best Mattress Toppers guide, as well as our individual review pages for convoluted polyfoamfeatherfibermemory foamlatex, and wool mattress toppers.