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Take Your Bed From Sweat Zone To Sanctuary With These 8 Cooling Mattress Toppers

mbg Senior Sustainability Editor

By Emma Loewe

mbg Senior Sustainability Editor

Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of “Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us.”

Image by Danil Nevsky / Stocksy

Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

July 18, 2022

A hot, painful mattress can make getting a good night’s sleep nearly impossible. While switching to breathable sheets and cooling pillows will help make your bed a little more comfortable, buying a topper is the best way to really transform your sleep space–without needing to invest in a brand-new mattress.

Here are eight cooling mattress toppers that will take your bed from sweat zone to sleep sanctuary faster than you can count sheep.

What to look for in a cooling mattress topper.

“Cooling mattress toppers regulate temperature through passive cooling,” explains Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., M.S., a medical content expert at Sleeping Ocean. “[They] dissipate body heat and maintain a comfortable sleep surface.”

In this sleep-deprived age, you can find cooling mattress toppers in a number of materials, thicknesses, and firmness levels. They’re a popular option for people who want to make their mattress feel cooler, more comfortable, or both.

Here’s what to consider when shopping around to find your ideal topper.

Materials

Natural materials tend to be more naturally breathable and moisture-wicking than synthetic ones like polyester and synthetic foam. However, foams can be cut with holes or treated with gels to make them more cooling. If you sleep hot, you’ll want to look for a topper made from one of the following materials:

Natural latexWoolCottonDown alternativePerforated memory foam or gel memory foam

If maintaining a nontoxic bedroom is important to you, you’ll also want to look for materials that haven’t been treated with pesticides. GOLS and GOTS are considered the gold standard certifications for organic latex and cotton, respectively.

If you’re opting for a foam bed, go for one that has been independently tested for safety by groups such as CertiPUR-US or OEKO-TEX. These will be less likely to cause irritation or emit unpleasant chemical odors as you sleep.

Thickness and firmness level

Most mattress toppers come in one of three thickness levels:

1-inch2-inch3-inch

And one of three firmness levels:

SoftMediumFirm

There are a few things to consider when deciding how thick and firm you want your mattress topper to be.

First off, the mattress underneath! If you’re happy with the feel of your existing mattress, a thinner topper or pad (1 to 2 inches) will be best. If your mattress is too firm for your liking, you’ll want a topper that’s a bit thicker (2 to 3 inches).

Your sleep position and pain points also make a difference. Those who sleep on their side tend to need a bit more cushioning under their shoulders and hips and will often want a medium or soft topper. Those who struggle with back pain, though, might need a more supportive, firm mattress topper.

Size

Your topper should fit snug over your existing bed. Not all toppers come in all mattress sizes, so be sure to double-check this before placing your order.

Longevity & customer support

Toppers are largely a matter of personal preference, so you might need to try out a few styles before finding one that works for you. Opting for a company that offers a trial period with free returns is a smart bet. Look out for ones that have responsive customer service, too, as they’ll be able to help you decide on the right style for your needs and answer any questions upfront.

How we picked.

Sustainability

We looked for brands that use certified organic and/or recycled materials in their toppers. We also gave high marks to companies that are offsetting their shipping, utilizing plastic-free packaging, or going above and beyond to practice sustainability in another way.

Return policy

Since finding the right mattress topper takes some trial and error, we prioritized companies that offer sleep trials and free returns. If a company does not offer these things, we make that clear in the product description.

Mattress toppers can be pricey, but we looked for ones that fall into a range of price buckets.

Materials

We looked for toppers made from the cooling materials listed above and prioritized naturally derived options that won’t off-gas.

mbg’s picks for the best cooling mattress toppers of 2022

Best for back pain: Plush Beds 100% Natural Latex Topper

Plush Beds 100% Natural Latex Topper

VIEW ON Plush Beds | $334

Pros

Multiple thickness optionsMade from natural & organic materials

Cons

Not returnableExpensive

Size: Queen, King, Twin, Twin XL, Full, Cal King

Material: Latex

Thickness: 2-inch, 3-inch

Trial: N/A

Warranty : 5 years

Free returns?: No

This ultra-customizable topper gets high marks from those suffering from back pain. It allows you to choose not only the thickness (2 or 3 inches) but also the firmness (soft, medium-soft, medium, medium-firm, extra-firm) level that’s best for your body and sleep preferences. One thing to note is that Plush Beds doesn’t accept returns, so you’ll need to be fairly confident in your choice before ordering.

Once purchased, reviewers appreciate that this non-toxic topper has zero chemical smell thanks to the 100% pure, untreated natural latex. It comes at a high price point (and that’s without the optional ~$100 organic cotton cover) but that’s to be expected with such high-quality materials. And thanks to a perforated design, the topper allows for airflow and shouldn’t trap too much heat.

Best latex: Sleep On Latex Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress Topper

Sleep On Latex Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress Topper

VIEW ON Amazon | $250

Pros

Multiple thickness optionsMade from natural & organic materials

Cons

Some reviewers note the latex has a slight odor

Size: Queen, King, Twin, Twin XL, Full, Cal King

Material: Latex

Thickness: 1-inch, 2-inch, 3-inch

Trial: 30 nights

Warranty : 5 years

Free returns?: Yes

Whether you’re a side sleeper looking to relieve shoulder pain or a back sleeper who wants to make your mattress feel firmer–all while staying cool–you’ll be able to find a Sleep on Latex topper to help. Buyers can choose between 1-inch, 2-inch, and 3-inch pads in soft, medium, or firm to find their ideal thickness and firmness.

Each one is made from natural latex that’s responsibly harvested from Sri Lanka and certified organic by GOLS. This topper is perforated to be super breathable and comfortable for those who sleep hot. Sleep On Latex also takes a lot of pride in the durability of its products, offering an impressive five-year warranty and mega-attentive customer service.

Best wool: Coyuchi Climate Beneficial Wool Mattress Topper

Coyuchi Climate Beneficial Wool Mattress Topper

VIEW ON Coyuchi | $498

Pros

Wool is naturally temperature regulatingMade from natural & organic materialsMADE SAFE certified

Cons

Expensive

Size: Queen, King, Twin

Material: Cotton, Wool

Thickness: 1.5-inch

Trial: 30 nights

Warranty : N/A

Free returns?: Yes

This thin topper harnesses the cooling properties of wool–a naturally breathable, moisture-wicking, and antimicrobial fabric. Coyuchi’s wool is sustainably sourced and MADE SAFE certified, meaning it’s been processed in a way that didn’t harm humans or the environment.

It’s encased in GOTS-certified organic cotton for a luxurious and cool feel. Since the topper is less than 2 inches, it’s unlikely to make your existing mattress feel much softer. However, it can (and if the reviews are any indication, does) make an uncomfortably hot bed feel like the perfect temperature.

Best budget: Quince Premium Down Alternative Mattress Topper

Quince Premium Down Alternative Mattress Topper

VIEW ON Quince | $140

Pros

Machine washable

Cons

Made from synthetic materials

Size: Queen, King, Cal King

Material: Cotton, Down alternative

Thickness: 3-inch

Trial: 1 year

Warranty : N/A

Free returns?: Yes

Quince seeks to make luxury goods more affordable through a unique manufacturer-to-customer shipping model. The company works with factories to help them ship products directly to consumers, cutting out the middle man and reducing the cost (not to mention, the carbon footprint) of each item.

Cast in point: This mattress topper made from a synthetic down alternative. It’s three inches thick and adds a light and fluffy, hotel bed-esque quality to any mattress for less than $160. Did we mention it’s machine washable?

Best down alternative: Parachute Down Alternative Mattress Topper

Parachute Down Alternative Mattress Topper

VIEW ON Parachute | $249

Pros

Super soft and fluffy

Cons

Might not provide enough support for some sleepers

Size: Queen, King, Twin XL, Full

Material: Down alternative

Thickness: 3-inch

Trial: 60 nights

Warranty : 3 year

Free returns?: Yes

This mattress topper is the most cloud-like to make our list. It features three inches of light-and-fluffy down alternative for those looking to make their bed feel infinitely softer. While it’s hit or miss for those who are experiencing pain (down doesn’t lend much support for the joints), it’s more of a comfort play. As one reviewer put it, with the help of this topper, “Going to bed is now definitely my favorite part of the day.” Parachute also offers carbon neutral shipping and free returns within 60 days.

Best for hot sleepers: Slumber Cloud Performance Mattress Pad

Slumber Cloud Performance Mattress Pad

VIEW ON Slumber Cloud | $209

Pros

Machine washableAdapts to your temperature needsExtended size range

Cons

Thin & won’t make mattress feel softer

Size: Queen, King, Twin, Twin XL, Full, Cal King, Split King

Material: Down alternative, Tencel

Thickness: 1/4-inch

Trial: 60 nights

Warranty : 180 days

Free returns?: Yes

This ultrathin topper won’t add much cushion to your mattress. Instead, it’s designed to make your bed feel cooler to sleep on. It features temperature regulating technology that adjusts to your body, keeping you cool as you sleep. Slumber Cloud has even conducted some independent testing to show that it can absorb, trap, and release heat, leading to higher-quality sleep in the process. Since it adapts to your body, it’s a nice option for couples who tend to sleep at different temperatures.

“I LOVE this mattress pad! I suffered from night sweats and hot flashes every night. Waking up soaked through my clothes. Since adding this to the bed a month ago, I have not had a single sweaty night! Temperature control is perfect,” raves one reviewer. Bonus: This topper is also super lightweight and machine washable.

Best for side sleepers: My Green Mattress Organic Latex Topper

My Green Mattress Organic Latex Topper

VIEW ON My Green Mattress | $299

Pros

Made from natural & organic materialsExtended size range

Cons

Might be too thin for some sleepers

Size: Queen, King, Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Cal King

Material: Cotton, Latex

Thickness: 2-inch

Trial: 120 nights

Warranty : 5 years

Free returns?: Yes

Since sleeping on your side puts pressure on your shoulders and hips, side sleepers will want to find a mattress that has some give in these areas. If your current mattress is too firm, this topper from My Green Mattress can make it just right for your sleep position. Made from GOTS-certified organic cotton and GOLS-certified organic latex, it’s 2-inches thick–just the right size to take pressure of the neck and shoulders while not being too soft. (If you’re looking for a “sleeping on a cloud” feel, this option will likely be too firm for you.)

It comes in an extended range of sizes and returns are free within the 120-night sleep trial. The topper’s natural materials mean it won’t absorb excess heat.

Best foam: Nest Cooling Topper

Nest Cooling Topper

VIEW ON Nest | $269

Pros

Comfortable for a variety of sleepers

Cons

Made from synethetic materialsMight not be cooling enough for very hot sleepers

Size: Queen, King, Twin, Twin XL, Full, Cal King

Material: Foam

Thickness: 2-inch

Trial: 30 nights

Warranty : 2 years

Free returns?: Yes

For those who love the feeling of sinking into a plush memory foam bed–but don’t love how hot they tend to be–this temperature-controlled topper from Nest is a great option. While reviewers note that it’s definitely more breathable than a standard foam topper, it’s not overly cool. (Hot sleepers or those going through menopause will want to look elsewhere.)

The CertiPUR-US certified foam is designed to provide pressure relief throughout the body and turn any bed into the perfect firmness for a variety of sleepers.

How to care for a cooling mattress topper.

While some thinner mattress pads and toppers can be run through a washing machine, most should be spot cleaned by hand using a gentle detergent. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning yours for the first time.

The takeaway.

You shouldn’t have to settle for subpar sleep just because you’re lying on the wrong mattress. These toppers can make your bed cooler and more comfortable to help you get a little bit more life out of your mattress before you get rid of it (responsibly!) and move on to the next one.

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