One of the ways your body readies itself for slumber is by cooling down. Your circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake cycle, controls this natural process.

In anticipation of sleep, your core body temperature falls, hitting its lowest peak in the early hours of the morning. Feeling too hot can disrupt this cycle, making it hard to fall or stay asleep.

Some people naturally run hot and radiate heat during sleep. Others are stuck in a too-hot sleeping environment, thanks to a noncontrollable thermostat, lack of air conditioning, or hot mattress.

If this sounds familiar, cooling mattress toppers and pads can help you sleep cooler. They work by absorbing excess body heat and keeping it away from skin. Cooling toppers are also much less expensive than cooling mattresses.

How we chose

To choose the mattress pads and toppers on this list, we read scores of unbiased customer reviews on many trustworthy shopping sites.

We chose products sold by well-known manufacturers that use safe, nontoxic materials. We looked at each manufacturer’s customer service history, return policy, and product guarantees.

Neither Healthline nor its employees were paid or influenced to promote any of the products on this list.

A word about price

Cooling toppers and pads are available across several price points, from inexpensive to very expensive.

Many low-cost products rival the more expensive brands, so don’t let cost be your only guide when choosing the best one for you.

It’s also important to note that mattress pads and toppers go on sale regularly throughout the year. The prices indicated below may fluctuate.

Mattress pads and toppers come sized to fit most beds, from twin to king. When comparing prices, we looked at queen-sized pads for uniformity. Price is indicated as follows:

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $101–$200
  • $$$ = over $201

Best overall cooling mattress pad

Nacreous mattress pad

best cooling mattress pad

Price: $$

Key features: This hypoallergenic pad is designed to sit on top of your mattress, underneath standard-sized, fitted sheets that are 20 inches deep or less. It comes in white or blue gray. The blue gray is constructed from two layers of cotton and NASA-engineered Outlast viscose, a temperature-regulating, heat-absorbing fabric that was originally used to make space suits.

The white pad is made from lyocell, a breathable, lightweight rayon that significantly absorbs heat, with an Outlast viscose lining. Users who sleep with a partner have mentioned it’s comfortable for both hot and cold sleepers at the same time. It’s also machine-washable.

Considerations: This mattress pad is specifically designed to help with temperature regulation. It doesn’t supply as much cushioning or padding as a mattress topper will. If you’re looking for additional padding for softness or comfort, this may not be the best choice for you.

Buy the Nacreous mattress pad online.

Best gel mattress pad

Lucid 2-inch gel memory foam mattress topper

Price: $

Key features: This topper is infused with a cooling gel, unlike many other memory foam gel pads, which can get warm to the touch. Its textured design helps promote airflow. Pressure point support in five areas of the body make it a solid choice for a hot sleeper looking for head, neck, back, hip, or knee pain relief. It also has a soft, cushy feel, so you can comfortably use it on a firm mattress for extra padding. Not to mention, it’s budget-friendly.

Considerations: Some users have mentioned it has a chemical smell for around 2 days after opening the box. It’s made from polyurethane, a type of plastic. Polyurethane is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety, but you may prefer natural or organic materials. It’s also not machine-washable, though it does spot-clean easily.

Buy the Lucid 2-inch gel memory foam mattress topper online.

Best foam cooling mattress pads

ViscoSoft 4-inch Active Cooling memory foam mattress topper

Price: $$$

Key features: This high-density mattress topper is made from copper-infused memory foam, which has temperature-regulating properties. It wicks away moisture for added cooling and comfort. Significantly plusher than most cooling toppers, the ViscoSoft has straps for fastening it onto your mattress, ensuring it won’t move around while you sleep. It comes in a removable cover that can be machine-washed cold and dried on a low setting. Bonus: No chemical smell.

Considerations: At 31 pounds, it’s heavy and may be hard for some users to manage. Some users also say it’s too pliant, and they feel like they sink into it.

Buy the ViscoSoft 4-inch Active Cooling memory foam mattress topper online.

Sleep Better Iso-Cool memory foam mattress topper with Outlast cover

Price: $$$

Key features: This topper is made from temperature-sensitive memory foam that absorbs heat. It comes with a 100-percent cotton, removable cover made with Outlast technology. The tight skirt will hold snugly onto mattresses that are sized up to 20 inches deep.

Considerations: This mattress pad gets most of its cooling ability from the mattress pad cover, not the pad itself.

Buy the Sleep Better Iso-Cool memory foam mattress topper with Outlast cover online.

Best bamboo mattress pad

AmazonBasics Conscious Series Cool-Touch rayon bamboo mattress topper pad

Price: $

Key features: Made from bamboo-derived rayon, this hypoallergenic topper wicks moisture, regulates heat, and is soft to the touch. A deeply quilted surface helps promote airflow and supports body temperature regulation. Users find it comfortable and cool to the touch. It’s machine-washable and can be dried on a low setting. Plus, it’s budget-friendly.

Considerations: The topper will only attach easily to mattresses that are 18 inches deep or less. According to the Federal Trade Commission, rayon is derived from bamboo through a process that uses toxic chemicals, which may concern some people. The rayon itself isn’t a toxic substance, though.

Buy the AmazonBasics Conscious Series Cool-Touch rayon bamboo mattress topper pad online.

Best down alternative

Leisure Town cooling mattress topper

Price: $

Key features: This topper has a three-layer construction. The top layer is made from breathable, 300-thread count cotton, which absorbs heat and promotes airflow. The other layers are soft and cushy hypoallergenic, polyester down. It mimics the feeling of down significantly more than many other toppers, according to users. It’s also machine-washable, dryable, and weighs less than 7 pounds. It’s also budget-priced.

Considerations: This topper ships in a vacuum-sealed bag. Some users have mentioned that it takes a significant amount of time, or a long stint in a dryer, before it becomes thick and fluffy.

Buy the Leisure Town cooling mattress topper online.

Best deep pocket cooling mattress pad or cover

Karrism extra-thick mattress topper

Price: $

Key features: The deep pocket skirt that easily accommodates a mattress up to 21 inches. It doesn’t shrink in the wash and will continue to slip easily onto deep mattresses, even after many washings and dryings, according to users. The top layer is made from 400-thread count, 100-percent cotton, which makes it cool to the touch and moisture-absorbent. A “baffle-box” design promotes air flow and keeps the fill snugly in place.

Considerations: Since this topper is almost double the thickness of most other toppers, it may not fit in a standard-sized washing machine or dryer.

Buy the Karrism extra-thick mattress topper online.

Best waterproof cooling mattress pad or cover

WhatsBedding waterproof mattress pad

Price: $

Key features: Unlike many waterproof pads, this one has a cotton topper for added cooling. Its fill is made from fluffy, down alternative polyester. The thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) waterproof bottom doesn’t make noise when you move around in bed. It also features deep-fitted pockets and a “baffle-box” design.

Considerations: Some users have mentioned that the cotton cover has a silky texture that feels slippery.

Buy the WhatsBedding waterproof mattress pad online.

Best pillow top cooling mattress pad

TexArtist pillow top cooling mattress pad

Price: $

Key features: This 400-thread count, soft cotton pillow top wicks away moisture and heat. Users with night sweats say this pillow top keeps them dry and comfortable throughout the night. Polyester fiber filling in a spiral shape maximizes air flow. It mimics a five-star hotel bedding experience, according to some. This topper also holds its shape after countless machine washings and dryings, and weighs less than 5 pounds.

Considerations: You’ll need a large-capacity washer and dryer to clean this topper. While many find it sufficiently cooling, particularly for a dense topper, others have mentioned it doesn’t provide as much cooling as they need.

Buy the TexArtist pillow top cooling mattress pad online.

Best for the value

AllerEase cooling mattress pad

Price: $

Key features: This pad is made from 100-percent cotton and hypoallergenic polyester fiberfill. The fabric is treated with PCM microcapsules that protect you and your mattress from dust mites and other allergens. The covering also adds to the pad’s cooling abilities. Users say they sleep significantly cooler on this mattress pad than on others that are comparably priced or more expensive. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Considerations: This topper can only be used on mattresses that are 18 inches deep or less.

Buy the AllerEase cooling mattress pad online.

Best splurges

SealyChill gel memory foam mattress topper

Price: $$$

Key features: This topper is made from cooling gel-infused memory foam. It’s available in three depths: 1.5 inches, 2 inches, and 3 inches. It provides pressure point support, making it a solid choice for people with body aches or back pain, in addition to cooling needs. The topper comes with a hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and moisture-wicking cover that’s machine-washable and dryable.

Considerations: It’s not bedbug– or water-resistant.

Buy the SealyChill gel memory foam mattress topper online.

Saatva graphite mattress topper

Price: $$$

Key features: In this topper, graphite draws heat away from the body, generating significant cooling. Its memory foam provides pressure point relief and medium-firm support. The foam is also high-density and plush, which helps eliminate motion transfer. This makes it an excellent choice for restless sleepers with partners.

Considerations: This topper can’t be machine-washed or dried, and it doesn’t come with its own cover.

Buy the Saatva graphite mattress topper online.

Best smart cooling pad

ChiliPAD 3.0

Price: $$$

Key features: This pad is filled with silicone microtubes that circulate water. It works by regulating the surface temperature of your mattress, so it can be used for cooling or heating. It connects wirelessly to a control cube that you can place underneath or near your bed. You can control the temperature exactly to your specifications. It also comes with “me” and “we” zones, so each partner can determine their own level of cooling or heating.

Considerations: The ChiliPAD comes with a 30-day warranty. If you return it, either during or after that time frame, you’re responsible for all shipping charges, including the return and those from the original purchase. It’s operated by a fan that runs loud for some people. Also, the water reservoir needs to be manually filled with distilled water every 2 to 3 weeks.

Buy the chiliPAD 3.0 online.

What to look for in a cooling mattress pad

Ease of use

Mattress pads and toppers vary in terms of how much fill they contain. The more fill, the plusher they feel. This equates to a heavier topper that you may have trouble getting off and onto your bed.

Also think about machine washing and drying. Some toppers are too big to fit into standard-sized machines. Others can’t be machine-washed or dried, but can be spot-cleaned.

Features

Are you just looking for cooling properties, or for other comfort features? Some mattress toppers that supply cooling may also be used to relieve back, hip, knee, or neck pain.

If you’re hoping yours will do double duty, make sure to choose a medium-firm, supportive topper that supplies pressure point relief.   

Questions to ask when mattress pad shopping 

When purchasing a cooling mattress pad, pay attention to these considerations:

  • Will this pad be comfortable for two people to sleep on?
  • If not, can you place a pad on only one side of the bed?
  • Will it move around at night, or is it designed to fit snugly onto your existing mattress?
  • How does it generate cooler temperatures?
  • Is it hypoallergenic?
  • What’s the manufacturer’s warranty?
  • Are there shipping costs associated with the original purchase, or for returns?
  • Where is it constructed, and where do its materials come from?
  • How long should you anticipate noticing a chemical smell?
  • Does it come from a trusted manufacturer with a solid track record of positive customer reviews?
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How to keep cool when you sleep

Sleeping cool often takes more than just having a cooling mattress pad.

You may wish to consider purchasing a cooling pillow, and, if budget allows, a cooling mattress.

If possible, keep your room cool by opening a window, lowering the thermostat, or positioning a fan near your bed.

Large cool-mist humidifiers can help moisten dry air and provide cooling comfort to the entire room.

Consider and possibly avoid lifestyle habits that may cause you to sleep hotter. These include:

  • eating spicy foods late at night
  • drinking alcohol
  • smoking cigarettes
  • wearing heavy pajamas or those made from nonbreathable materials, such as acrylic
  • sleeping on flannel sheets

Takeaway

Buying a cooling mattress topper or pad can help alleviate night sweats and lower body temperature. Cooling mattress toppers or pads can be significantly less expensive than buying a new mattress.

They can be made from several different types of material that have cooling abilities. Some smart mattress toppers may also use water circulated through tubes and be controlled remotely.