Sometimes, people sleep hot – and that’s not good if you’re trying to get a good night’s rest! Fortunately, cooling mattress toppers are highly effective at siphoning heat away and allowing you to rest at a comfortable temperature. Here are our choices for the best cooling mattress toppers in 2018.
How We Chose Our Ratings
As we narrowed down this list, we focused on a few key elements.
First, and most importantly, does the topper work with most bed and sheet combinations? If it’s not cooling you down, then it doesn’t matter what other virtues it may have – it’s not suitable for hot sleepers. To judge this, we examined both the manufacturer’s claims and the reviews from people who tried the topper in question.
Second, we looked at the expected lifespan of each topper. Depending on the materials used, some toppers can last far longer than others, making them a better purchase even if they’re more expensive than the competition. Chances are you want to use a cooling topper every night for the foreseeable future, so our emphasis is on the long-term value.
Third, we examined the reported comfort of each topper. Again, we analyzed both the manufacturer’s description and the opinions of people who tried each mattress. We valued this more than the lifespan of the topper – if you can only cool off by sleeping on something uncomfortable, you’re just replacing one problem with another. We prefer to solve problems, not change them.
Finally, we looked at the average pricing. This is a relatively minor consideration – over the span of a few years, even the most expensive toppers tend to cost pennies a night. That said, we don’t want to suggest anything that’s clearly ripping you off, so anything too high or too low, when compared to the other factors, got tossed.
We did not consider the appearance of the toppers. The huge majority of them are white in various patterns, and they tend to be covered by sheets anyway. What they look like is irrelevant in comparison to their feel and effectiveness.
How Do Cooling Mattress Toppers Work?
Cooling mattress toppers allow air to circulate beneath you. Remember, toppers aren’t solid – nor are they intended to be. If air can flow beneath you, heat is naturally carried away. This, of course, leads to one important point: cooling mattress only works if the outside air is cool enough to make a difference. If you’re in a hot room, even the best cooling mattress won’t do much.
Before you even start using a cooling mattress, make sure your room is between 60 and 67 degrees at night. Similarly, you may want to take a warm bath or shower about 60 minutes before you go to bed. If you’ve been uncomfortably hot at night, this can help lower your temperature.
Top 4 Cooling Mattress Toppers
Now that you know how we evaluated the products let’s take a look at our winners.
#1: ExceptionalSheets Bamboo Mattress Pad With Fitted Skirt – Extra Plush Cooling Topper
This mattress pad features a bamboo rayon cover – quite unusual for a mattress topper, but also one of the things that help it stand out from the competition. The backing of the topper is a cotton/polyester blend (for strength), while the included skirt is mostly polyester with a mix of nylon and spandex for stretching.
The interior of this cooling topper features Revoloft, an artificial down-like fill used throughout the world. The threads are designed to be comfortable and hold their shape well, even when slept on for a long period. That helps to make this product durable enough to be worth noting.
The fill is also the key to how effective it is as a cooling topper. By allowing plenty of airflows, the fill of this topper is better at removing heat and ensuring your comfort at night.
The product itself weighs about ten pounds, and you may need to get some help when putting it on your bed. The toppers are available in all standard sizes from Twin to California King (including Twin XL and Full XL, which is more than some manufacturers can say). The prices are a little on the high side, ranging from $90 to $120 unless you can catch them on sale.
Comments from buyers are almost entirely positive, with a majority of people citing the comfort of this particular topper. In one particularly notable review, a 70-year-old with degenerative back issues cited the topper as just the right level of comfort. About 86% of all backers are satisfied with this product.
That said, there’s still the 14% who aren’t. Critical reviews noted that some parts of the pad seem to be cheaper than they should be – especially at this price point and that it might fall apart in the wash even if you carefully follow all directions. If your pads tend to get dirty, this may not be the best choice. On the bright side, even critical reviews noted that the manufacturer tends to have good customer support.
While some problems do exist in this line, most of the toppers work fine, so this is worth considering as a first-choice purchase.
#2: Advanced Sleep Solutions Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper, 2 Inch Thick
Here’s a break from the white pads that otherwise dominate the industry. I’m not saying the usual look is bad, but let’s be honest, white isn’t all that exciting to look at. Many people buy this topper strictly for its comfort and feel, but as cooling pads go, it’s one of the better choices on the market.
If you take a look at the pictures of this product, you’ll notice swirls of darker blue. That’s the gel they added, and it’s what separates this product from most types of memory foam. Normal foam is a viscoelastic polyurethane substance, and to be comfortable to sleep on, it needs to be dense enough to support the weight of a sleeper.
Unfortunately, a denser foam is also worse at transferring heat away from the body. The addition of gel helps to counteract this by providing another substance that can draw heat away.
This product was available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, and Queen size at the time of this review, with King and California King being out of stock. If you’re considering a memory foam topper (which may be significantly more comfortable than fiber filling!) and need a topper in that size, check to see if they’re back in stock yet.
The price is competitive with our #1 pick, ranging from about $83 for a Twin to $100 for a Queen. Like all memory foam toppers, you may need to let it air out and inflate for a day before you can use it.
Reviews for this product are mostly positive, with comments often praising its cooling properties and effectiveness at reducing back pain. It’s considered especially helpful if you have a mattress that’s firmer than it should be. Some reviewers also noted that it was measurably better than other foam toppers they’d tried.
On the critical side, some people claimed that they did not experience any cooling benefits. This may be because of the irregular manufacturing process, where the gel is not evenly distributed across all versions of the topper. While that was the main complaint – and clearly something to watch out for – a few people also felt that the foam was too soft for their beds.
That’s heavily affected by personal preference, so I can’t say if this type of foam will be comfortable for you or not. I do recommend keeping the box just in case you need to ship it back, though. For context, about 87% of people are happy with this topper, so chances are you’ll like it.
#3: LEISURE TOWN Overfilled Mattress Pad With Snow Down Alternative
This cotton-based mattress topper offers an excellent blend of cooling and comfort. One of its best traits is the ability to fit mattresses as deep as 21 inches – that’s way more than most toppers and ensures this one will stay put on almost any mattress. This, all by itself, makes Leisure Town’s overfilled pad worth taking a closer look at.
As far as cooling goes, though, the major part is what the manufacturer refers to as “HNN Cooling Technology”. This isn’t described as well as it should be, but the gist of things is that the design of the mattress helps to improve airflow, and that’s how the cooling actually works. This is especially helpful if memory foam toppers are too dense to provide the kind of cooling you need.
The inside of the pad uses Snow Down Alternative Fill, a synthetic down-like filler that’s both antimicrobial and hypoallergenic.
Available sizes for this topper include Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, and King – and the lack of selection here is why it’s a bit further down the list than our other options. Pricing ranges from $60 for the Twin to $80 for the King, making it more affordable than most. Unusually, the Queen size only costs $50 instead of being in line with the others, suggesting a special pricing deal somewhere along the line.
Reviews of this product are about 85% positive, and while most people like it, one common note among satisfied buyers is that this topper takes some time to inflate back to its proper thickness. The manufacturer recommends putting it in the sun for several hours or letting it fluff up somewhere in your house for as long as needed.
Complaints about this product are fairly rare but included comments about how thin it is. A few people also claimed they received a used version that had been repackaged for sale (and it’s extremely difficult to repack once it’s inflated, so pay attention to that).
#4: Oaskys Mattress Pad Cover – Cotton Top With Down Alternative
Our “budget” recommendation, this particular topper ranges from $40 for the Twin, Twin XL, and Queen up to $64 for the King and California King. The Full is a little out-of-place at $50 (despite being smaller than the Queen), but while there’s no explanation for the disparity in price, it’s still more affordable than the other toppers.
The top of this mattress features 300 thread count cotton, while the inside is packed with 62 ounces of combed cotton fill. The pockets are about 18″ deep and rated for mattresses as thick as 21″, but in practice, you’ll be better off if your mattress is thinner than that.
There’s nothing that’s truly exceptional about this pad when compared to the others on this list – and that makes sense when you’re selling at a budget level. $40 is the lowest you should consider paying because anything below this point really isn’t good enough to consider for long-term use. (Making a visitor comfortable for a short time, maybe. Long-term? Nah.)
Overall reviews are about 90% positive, with many people praising the comfort of this topper. A few positive reviews hastened to point out that while this topper gets the job done, it’s not exactly the plushest thing on the market. One reviewer compared it to a packed blanket of about medium firmness.
The overall thinness of this pad was the chief complaint among negative reviews. While these are quite rare in comparison to the positive reviews, enough people have complained about the thinness to make it clear it’s a genuine issue. If you want comfort and cooling, buy one of the plusher options on this list instead.
On their merits, we recommend the toppers in the order they’re presented above. The ExceptionalSheets topper is the best overall, though it clearly has a few issues with manufacturing you’ll want to be wary of. The Advanced Sleep Solutions cooling memory foam topper has a very different feel and is ideal if you mainly want to change the feel of your bed with a bit of cooling alongside that.
The Leisure Town topper is essentially the middle of the pack, but it’s excellent at staying put on beds and many people like it for that reason alone. The Oaskys topper is the budget model and offers to cool with minimal change in the feel of your mattress. That may be the best choice if you like how comfortable your mattress is now.