Last Updated On September 19th, 2018
Doctors recommend you get 8 hours of quality sleep a night, which means spending at least a third of your life in bed. If you’re a hot sleeper, a mattress topper can be a cool and convenient solution to get you a good night’s rest. In this article, we compare the top 5 options to help you find the best cooling mattress pad for you.
What To Look For In A Cooling Mattress Topper Or Pad
Don’t be surprised if you’re initially overwhelmed by all the mattress topper options. There are many possible features to consider. Here, I’ll provide a general overview of the various alternatives, and what to look for when buying. At the most general level, you’ll find two main categories: pads and toppers. The terms mattress pad and topper are often used loosely (even in this article). The line between pad and topper is blurry but comes down to a few features. Mattress pads are frequently thinner and made with fiber filling or wool. Mattress toppers are usually thicker and made with memory foam or latex.
Mattress cooling is all about airflow and heat retention. Fiber-filled mattress pads are naturally cooling. Often filled with down feathers or a down-alternative, each of these materials provides natural airflow and breathability. When it comes to temperature, memory foam has a mixed history. Early generation memory foam is one of the leading culprits behind hot mattresses today. While it provided the support and comfort that people wanted, the initial foam formulations were closed celled and didn’t allow air and heat to flow. Modern generations of memory foam improved heat flow by using open cell foam and gel mixtures. Open-cell foam enables increased airflow, while gel mixtures help absorb heat. Users of all the mattress pads and toppers that I compare below have reported significant cooling effects.
Comfort and Support
Fiber filling is soft and aptly described as a “pillow top.” The pads are cozy and can add a significant degree of comfort to a stiff mattress. However, the pads won’t add much support. For that, a memory foam topper is a better option; it is denser but temperature sensitive, becoming more elastic as it warms up. The result is that a mattress topper will mold to your body as you lay there and provide better support than the soft, pillowy pads. Check our mattress topper reviews for more information and recommendations on this comparative.
Mattress pads are usually machine washable, whereas toppers are not. Some toppers do include a machine washable cover. We should also note that a mattress pad or topper will also significantly help keep your regular mattress clean and prevent wear and tear.
A common misconception is that memory foam mattresses, in contrast to spring options, are hypoallergenic, because dust mites won’t be able to settle within the foam. However, a 2002 study found that memory foam mattresses had more evidence of dust mites than spring mattresses. It is unclear how a memory foam mattress topper might compare to a down-alternative mattress pad in this regard. However, there are two things to consider. Mattress pads are usually machine washable, which might help reduce the presence of dust mites. Also, you could always use a hypoallergenic dust mite cover in addition to either memory foam or down-alternative.
Safety and Eco-friendliness
As recently as 2008, there were concerns that foreign countries were importing foam constructed with chemicals banned in the U.S.
CertiPUR-US is a certification company that formed in response to these concerns. CertiPUR-US certified foam is made without ozone depleters, PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (”Tris”) flame retardants, mercury, lead, and other heavy metals. The foam is also made without formaldehyde, phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and is low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions for indoor air quality.
An easy mistake to make when buying a mattress is to go to the mattress store, try a lot of different options, and then buy the one that felt the “best.” The mistake in that process is that you’re going to be laying on your mattress for eight hours straight and a quick test in the store doesn’t replicate that setting. Different mattress cooling technologies will work for some people and not for others. You need to spend time on a mattress to see if it works for you. Luckily, many mattress pads and toppers come with 30-day return policies. These are extremely valuable because it gives you the opportunity to genuinely test the topper to see if it keeps you cool.
While sizes typically range from Twin to California King, every company defines those sizes differently. Be sure to compare your current mattress’ dimensions to each potential topper. Too big is better than too small. If your mattress pad is bigger than your mattress, you probably won’t notice, because the skirt will wrap it around the edges. Whereas if your mattress topper is bigger than your mattress, you can always trim it down to match. If either is smaller than your mattress – and some companies do purposefully err on the small side so that your sheets fit – then that’s just lost sleeping space for you.
Our Top 5 Mattress Pads Reviewed
We know this is why you’re here. So, let’s get into the reviews. We will provide you with an in-depth overview of each product and highlight the top features as well as the drawbacks.
ExceptionalSheets Extra Plush Bamboo Cooling Mattress Pad
The bamboo cooling mattress pad is 1.5 inches thick and filled with Revoloft cluster fiber. Cluster fiber is engineered to enhance breathability, fill-power, and durability. Revoloft is a down-alternative. Some people are allergic to down feathers, which can also poke through the fabric, and some have ethical concerns with using real animal feathers. Down alternatives provide the authentic feel of goose and duck down without the allergies, poking, or ethical issues.
The stitch has a double needle baffle box pattern, which refers to vertical walls stitched on the interior of the pad. These walls prevent the fiber filling from shifting around over time and increases the filling’s loft. More loft means a cozier, more breathable mattress pad for cooling with ease.
eLuxury’s pad uses a 160-thread count, Bamboo-Rayon, and polyester fabric blend cover. The Rayon and Polyester blend attempts to capture both the cooling effects of natural fibers and the durability of polyester. The cover includes a skirt that secures the pad to mattresses up to 18 inches thick. The pad is also machine washable, which makes it a cinch to clean.
eLuxury is a large, online bedding retailer, having sold over 1 million mattress pads. Customer satisfaction is their top priority. Their cooling mattress pad comes with a free 30-day return policy, including a pre-paid return label. Additionally, the pad comes with a 1-year warranty for any quality issues. All of eLuxury’s mattress pads are lab-certified to pass flammability standards without the use of flame retardant chemicals.
eLuxury boasts that their product is used and praised by 5-star resorts and hotels around the world. Overall, the Extra Plush Bamboo Cooling Mattress Pad could be a good choice if you’re looking for breathable materials, down-like coziness, and simple care.
- Toddler and Crib: 27.5″ x 52″ x 1.5″
- Twin: 39″ x 76″ x 1.5″
- Twin XL: 39″ x 80″ x 1.5″
- Full: 54″ x 76″ x 1.5″
- Queen: 60″ x 80″ x 1.5″
- King: 76″ x 80″ x 1.5″
- California King: 72″ x 84″ x 1.5″
- Split King: 2 Twin XL pads (39″ x 80″) x 1.5″
- Breathability and durability of Rayon/Polyester blend cover
- Cozy comfort of Revoloft, down alternative
- Good customer service
- Easy to clean
Leisure Town Overfilled Mattress Pad Cover
The Overfilled Mattress Pad Cover is similar to the eLuxury pad. It also uses a down-alternative, fiber filling. At about 2 inches thick, the Leisure Town mattress pad for cooling is thicker than the eLuxury, making it a good option if you’re looking for that added softness.
The Leisure Town option is 300-thread count and made with 100%, combed cotton. The cotton fabric will provide more breathability than polyester, and combed cotton is longer-fiber cotton, meaning it is softer and stronger than other cotton varieties. It is also both hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. The antimicrobial feature means that it prevents the growth of bacteria. However, the mattress pad is also machine washable. So, it is unclear how much benefit there is from being antimicrobial. Although, it can’t hurt to have both!
Leisure Town, made by Tekamon, doesn’t appear to be as established as eLuxury and doesn’t offer any warranty. However, Leisure Town does provide a money-back guarantee if you are not 100% satisfied.
Overall, the benefits of the Leisure Town option are comparable to the eLuxury option. However, with this cooling mattress pad, you get an extra half inch of thickness and a 100% combed cotton, 300-thread count cover, both of which will make your bed that much cozier. The cover includes a skirt that will secure the pad to mattresses up to 21 inches.
- Twin: 39″ x 75″ x 2″
- Twin XL: 39″ x 80″ x 2″
- Full: 54″ x 75″ x 2″
- Queen: 60″ x 80″ x 2″
- King: 78″ x 80″ x 2″
- California King: 72″ x 84″ x 2″
- 2-inches thick
- Cozy, breathability of down-alternative
- 100% combed cotton, 300-thread count cover
- Hypoallergenic and antimicrobial
- Machine washable
Advanced Sleep Solutions Gel Memory Foam Topper
The gel infused topper on review here is 2-inches thick, with 3.5 lb. density, open cell, gel memory foam which helps to relieve pressure points and reduce the disturbance of others moving in bed. Advanced Sleep Solutions guarantees their products will reduce neck, back, and hip pain.
The open-cell and gel technologies will help to prevent heat accumulation compared to conventional memory foam. The foam is also odorless. Their design improves airflow and dissipates heat and moisture three times faster than traditional foam.
Advanced Sleep Solutions manufactures their products in the USA, based in Mississippi. They state that customer’s health and happiness is their priority. CertiPUR-US certifies this product as using healthy foam.
Overall, this cooling topper for mattresses is an excellent choice if you’re looking for the support of memory foam with the open cell and gel heat regulating technologies. It comes with a 60-day money back guarantee and a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Twin: 38″ x 74″ x 2″
- Twin XL: 38″ x 79″ x 2″
- Full: 53″ x 74″ x 2″
- Queen: 59″ x 79″ x 2″
- King: 75″ x 79″ x 2″
- California King: 71″ x 83″ x 2″
- Gel and Open-Cell Cooling
- 3.5 lb. density implies durability and support
- CertiPUR-US Certified
- Good Customer Service
Sleep Better Iso-Cool Memory Foam Cooling Mattress Topper
The Iso-Cool Memory Foam Cooling Mattress Topper is 3-inches thick to provide you with extra support and comfort. On top of the foam, the cover uses Outlast Certified Gold technology to regulate temperature which is great news for hot sleepers. Based on principles similar to gel mixtures, the Outlast technology relies on phase change materials that absorb or release heat as you need it to prevent you from becoming too hot or too cold. Gold is the highest level of cooling that Outlast offers.
So, while the foam itself isn’t cooling, Iso-Cool uses the cover to regulate temperature. The cover is also made of 100% cotton and is 300-thread count. Unlike other toppers, the Iso-cool comes with a skirt that fits mattresses up to 20 inches.
Carpenter Co., the world’s largest producer of comfort cushioning products, owns SleepBetter. SleepBetter.org provides sleep information and advice, as well as marketing the Iso-Cool product line, which they make in the USA. So the Iso-Cool has a lot of experience and science behind it.
Overall, the Iso-Cool topper is a good option if the extra support from 3-inches of memory foam is especially important to you. The downside of a 3-inch thick topper is that it might make it more difficult to get your sheets over both the topper and mattress.
- Twin: 37″ x 72″ x 3″
- Full: 51″ x 72″ x 3″
- Queen: 58″ x 77″ x 3″
- King: 76″ x 77″ x 3″
- California King: 70″ x 80″ x 3″
- 3-inch memory foam for extra comfort and support
- Cover features Outlast Gold cooling technology
- 100% cotton, 300-thread count cover
- Fitted Skirt to prevent the topper from moving around on the bed
Red Nomad Gel Memory Foam Topper
The Red Nomad Gel Memory Foam Topper is similar to the Advanced Sleep Solutions gel product we reviewed above. The Red Nomad is 2-inches of 2.5 lb density, gel-infused memory foam. Compared to the Iso-Cool, Red Nomad represents more of a balance between support and cooling. It is also CertiPUR-US certified, so you can rest well knowing your topper is safe for you and the planet.
Overall, the Red Nomad is an excellent option for the support and comfort of memory foam with the cooling provided by the infused cooling gel.
The downside of the Red Nomad option is that it is less dense than the Advanced Sleep Solutions option, being 2.5 lb. Versus 3.5 lb. It is also unclear whether Red Nomad uses open or closed cell foam.
Overall it is an effective product for helping people who sleep hot, offering excellent support and keeping the body temperature down as required.
- Twin: 36″ x 73″ x 2″
- Twin XL: 36″ x 78″ x 2″
- Full: 52″ x 73″ x 2″
- Queen: 58″ x 78″ x 2″
- King: 74″ x 78″ x 2″
- California King: 70″ x 82″ x 2″
- Gel cooling
- 2-inches of memory for comfort and support
- CertPUR-US certified
So, Which Is The Best For Cooling?
In our opinion, it is the Leisure Town Overfilled Mattress Pad Cover, as it would be a significant improvement to any mattress, but especially to one that runs hot. The combination of a down-alternative filling and a 300-thread count, 100% combed cotton cover makes for a cool and cozy topper.
Regarding cooling, mattress pads appear to be a better option just because of the breathability of fiber compared to memory foam, which is naturally hot. Open cell foam and gel mixtures are great solutions, but they are just that, answers to a problem. With fiber filling, no over-heating problem needs fixing. It’s already naturally cooler. The down-alternative and ability to machine wash also means that the Leisure Town mattress pad will be great for people with allergies. Plus its antimicrobial, which none of the other products featured.
The Leisure Town mattress pad won over the eLuxury pad because it is thicker, is combed cotton instead of a polyester blend, and has a higher thread count. If you’re going with the mattress pad, it has to be cozy. The higher quality cover and added filling cinched the deal for the mattress pad category. The eLuxury pad might be the right choice for you if place more weight on the fact that it has excellent customer service, a free 30-day return policy, and a 1-year warranty, all of which go along with it being a more established company.
Regarding comfort and support, memory foam wins. Mattress pads won’t do a lot to fix a very stiff mattress, and you will still feel any of your partner or pet’s movements. Modern gel and open cell technologies are vast improvements over earlier generation foam. So, these type of options could be right for you if you want more of a balance between cooling and support.
The Advanced Sleep Solutions and the Red Nomad topper both take similar approaches to cooling using the gel mixture, but the former is also open cell foam and higher density, which is a good indicator of its quality.
It’s difficult to compare the Iso-Cool and Advance Sleep Solution toppers because they take different approaches to cooling. Iso-Cool cooling is not unlike a mattress pad, in that, it sits on top of a regular piece of memory foam, and the topper does all of the cooling. If your mattress is exceptionally stiff or if you place a high priority on support, Iso-Cool could be an excellent option.
In the end, the right mattress for you will depend on your priorities. I hope this article has helped you sort through the options and find a cooling mattress pad/topper that works for you.