We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Even if you've already found your perfect mattress, a cooling mattress pad will keep your body temperature from fluctuating during the night, especially during the hot summer months. Over the past four years, we've spent many days—and nights—researching and testing cooling mattress pads, evaluating quality, comfort, breathability, and overall value.
While the right mattress topper will depend on your preferences, the LUCID 3-inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is the best cooling mattress pad for most people. It's made using gel-infused memory foam that promotes airflow and offers just the right level of firmness.
Here are the best cooling mattress pads available online.
Best Gel: LUCID 3-inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Two height options
High-quality memory foam
Cover not included
Who else recommends it? Prevention also picked the LUCID 3-inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper.
What do buyers say? 85% of 28,500+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
For an all-around solid gel option that comes in at a great price point, we recommend the Lucid Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper. For around $100 (less for the 2-inch thickness topper), you get cooling technology that pulls excess heat away from your body, memory foam that supports all of your pressure points, and convenient delivery to your door.
After testing this topper for two days in The Lab—stuffing items underneath it to simulate a lumpy mattress, measuring the temperature after laying on it for 5 minutes—our editors found it to be a solid option that offered a firm yet airy feel. We appreciated the amount of support it provided, though it wasn't quite as breathable as other non-foam options.
Material: Memory foam | Height: 2 or 3 inches | Size: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Queen, King, Cal King | Certifications: CertiPUR-US | Return Policy: 30 days
Best Budget: LEISURE TOWN Mattress Pad
Not firm support
The cooling mattress pad from Leisure Town hits all of the top features that we recommend when looking for a mattress pad: The material is cooling, it is easy on the budget, and—perhaps best of all—it's machine-washable. The mattress pad provides just the right amount of cushion (unless you want a really firm pad) and is filled with a down alternative that provides a fluffy feel.
After using it on her full-size memory foam mattress for a week, our tester found it to be comfortable and flexible, though not fully waterproof as the manufacturer claims. Its overfilled construction was a positive for her but might be a negative to those who prefer firmer sleeping surfaces. Also note that it works best on taller mattresses, with enough material to fit mattresses up to 21 inches tall. If you have a thinner mattress, this might not be the pick for you.
All in all, though, if you're looking for a mattress cover that provides protection, cooling, and extra padding, the Leisure Town option is a great option that comes in at an equally great price.
Material: Fiberfill | Height: Not listed | Size: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Queen, Olympic Queen, King, Cal King | Certifications: HNN Cooling Technology | Return Policy: Unlimited
"This mattress topper’s 100-percent cotton lining makes it breathable—and therefore delightful—to sleep on. This topper is also described as overfilled, and I would say that description fits the bill after we left it out to re-fluff post-arrival in the mail."—Erika Owen, Product Tester
Best Mattress Protector: Red Nomad Bamboo Hypoallergenic Mattress Protector
A lot of size options
No extra padding
Unlike other options on this list, this option from Red Nomad is actually a mattress protector, meaning that it provides a cooling waterproof barrier rather than extra padding. The bamboo fibers provide a cooling effect and the waterproof protection is great for those with kids or pets (or a tendency to spill their morning coffee).
After sleeping on it every night for a week, our tester was impressed by this mattress protector's overall softness—a particularly impressive feat considering it's fully waterproof. She also appreciated its durability: after sleeping on it for a week and washing it once, there weren't any issues with snagging or ripping. And for $30, it’s hard to beat the value of this mattress pad. It also comes in every size you could ever need, including crib sizes. For such a great price and performance, we can’t think of a reason not to have one for every mattress in your house.
Material: Bamboo, Polyester | Height: Not listed | Size: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King, Crib, Mini Crib | Certifications: Free of PVC | Return Policy: Unlimited
"Given that this material feels very soft and cotton-like, I was surprised at how water-resistant it was. To test its capabilities, I poured a substantial amount of water (about a palm-full) onto it. Eventually, the water did soak into the first layer, but even then there was no sign of the liquid through the underside of the pad."—Erika Owen, Product Tester
Best Extra Thick: Therapedic Tru-Cool 3-Inch Queen Serene Foam Performance Mattress
Elastic can get loose
This is a fantastic mattress pad to keep things cool. It can be used with a traditional mattress or an air mattress, since the elastic cover will keep it secure. Our tester used it for two weeks on both her own bed and an air mattress and found it pleasantly supportive and cool to the touch. The elastic can get a bit loose, though, which may result in some shifting and added adjustments.
This is an expensive mattress pad but definitely worth the cost. While we like the 3-inch profile, some people may prefer something thinner. Make sure that your sheets can accommodate the extra height, particularly if you plan to use it on an already thick mattress.
Material: Foam | Height: 3 inches | Size: Twin, Full, Queen, King, Cal King | Certifications: CertiPUR-US | Return Policy: Varies by store
"Storing the mattress topper when not in use is a little bit tricky if you don’t have a vacuum sealing system. I kept the mattress topper on our guest room mattress since we have frequent visitors for it to get a lot of use in that space. If you plan to store it away, rolling it is the best option. Folding the mattress topper isn’t practical and will take up a lot of space."—Katie Begley, Product Tester
Best Splurge: Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR Adapt+ Cooling 3-Inch Mattress Topper
Material: Memory foam | Height: 3 inches | Size: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King | Certifications: None listed | Return Policy: Unlimited
This mattress topper is pricey but it is high-quality and comes with the well-respected Tempur-Pedic guarantee. It is 3-inches of extra padding with a removable cover that you can put right in the wash. The Tempur material is the same as that in the company’s popular mattresses, so if you like a Tempur-Pedic mattress but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars to replace yours, a topper works really well.
Best Any Size: BedJet3 Climate Comfort System
Material: Plastic | Height: Not applicable | Size: Any size | Certifications: None listed | Return Policy: 30 days
Works with any size mattress
Single or dual zone
Needs set up
This mattress cooling system provides cool air directly to the mattress that you already have and love. For the best setup, use the SingleZone Cloud Sheet to control the temperature of your entire bed or the DualZone Cloud Sheet to set up different temperatures on each side. The unit itself tucks away underneath your bed after you set it up, with only the hose running to the mattress. What’s great about the BedJet3 system is that you can use it with any size mattress without purchasing a new unit. It does need electricity to run the fan, which also creates some ambient noise.
Best Water Cooled: ChiliPAD Sleep System
Material: Cover is polyester/wool | Height: Not listed | Size: Single, TwinXL, Queen, King, Cal King | Certifications: UL certified | Return Policy: 30 days
Two-sided mattress pad
This unit goes under your bed and connects to a water-cooled mattress pad that is included with your (quite expensive) purchase. The pad has two sides: a mesh one for optimal cooling and a quilted one for extra softness. Water runs through the silicone micro-tubes in the mattress pad after being cooled by the underbed unit. You will need to do some set up and have access to electricity to keep this unit powered. The unit allows you to set your ideal temperature, which you can control via an included remote control.
Best Waterproof: SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Mattress Protector
Material: Cotton | Height: Not listed | Size: Twin, TwinXL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King | Certifications: OEKO-TEX Certified | Return Policy: 30 days
No extra padding
The waterproof factor can’t be beat by any other product out there, a must-have feature in my home with kids and pets. It fits snug around the mattress and doesn’t crinkle when you move. You can also wash it when it inevitably does get wet or soiled. The material is a hypoallergenic cotton, making it great for those with allergies or sensitivities.
Best Dual Zone: Sleep Number DualTemp Individual Layer
Material: Vinyl | Height: Not listed | Size: Half-Queen, Half-King, Half-Cal King | Certifications: None listed | Return Policy: 100 nights
Cool or heat
Halves sold separately
SleepNumber is known for their customizable dual-zone mattresses, so it’s no surprise that the SleepNumber DualTemp Individual Layer Mattress Topper is also designed to keep two sleepers happy and comfortable. Each topper fits half of a mattress, so you will need to purchase two to cover your entire bed. The cooling/heating unit fits underneath the bed and connects to the pad itself. You can then set the temperature to your preference, whether that is cool in the summer months or heat during the winter. The pad is made of a vinyl material, which may be uncomfortable if you use thin sheets.
Best All-Season: Slumber Cloud Core Mattress Pad
Material: Viscose/cotton | Height: Not listed | Size: Twin, TwinXL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, Cal King | Certifications: Oeko-Tek Standard 100 | Return Policy: 60 days
Cooling fabric technology
Good for fluctuating temps
This is the most high-tech mattress pad on the list, with its cooling technology approved by none other than NASA. Heat is absorbed by the mattress pad’s material, just like in a spacesuit, and then dissipated to keep you cool as you sleep. This is also one of the only mattress pads that is available in a Split King. It doesn’t provide any padding but will keep you cool at night even if your body temperature fluctuates and can be cleaned in the washing machine.
What to Look for in a Cooling Mattress Pad
Mattress pads come in a variety of materials that can impact the density and cushion. Memory foam pads are popular and one of the denser material choices. Look for one that is breathable or has cooling technology built-in. Mattress protectors are usually less dense with not as much cushion, but they can be a great way to really keep things cool because there's less material for heat to get trapped in.
Most mattress pads are made of foam, gel, cotton, or a combination of these. Some do have water coils inside, which require tubing and wires as well. One of the top things to consider is how much all of these materials will impact your sleep. Waterproof mattress covers are particularly notorious for being loud and crinkly due to their waterproof barrier materials. Look for something that can provide the features you need without interrupting your shut eye.
The main purpose of mattress pads is to provide extra cushion and protection for your mattress. Many also help keep you cool, either through their choice of materials or by using technology like water cooling. Some have detailed temperature controls that you can adjust using a remote. Others feature a waterproof layer that is great for households with kids and pets. Look for a mattress pad or protector that includes the features you need in your particular situation.
How do cooling mattress pads and covers work?
Cooling mattress pads and covers can work in two main ways: material cooling and water or fan cooling. Some mattress pads and covers use special materials to pull heat away from your body as you sleep. These can be proprietary blends or natural materials like bamboo. Other mattress cooling systems have separate units that provide water cooling through a pad with tubes or fan cooling. These tend to be a bit bulkier and more expensive, but many offer a more precise temperature control system.
When should you opt for a cooling mattress pad or cover over a cooling mattress or cooling linens?
A cooling mattress pad is great for homes and areas that experience different temperatures throughout the year. You can use the mattress pad during the hot months and remove it during the colder ones. Dual zone mattress pads are a great choice for couples who may prefer different sleeping temperatures. Many mattress pads have a waterproof layer or cover that is ideal for homes with kids and pets. Even the best cooling mattress or linens can’t beat that.
Can you machine wash cooling mattress pads and covers?
It depends on the mattress pad. Many mattress protectors can be put in the wash and some mattress pads can as well. Thicker mattress pads, such as those made of memory foam, or mattress cooling systems cannot go into the washing machine. For these setups, look for one that has a removable cover that is machine washable.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Katie Begley, a freelance writer specializing in home and family products. To recommend the top cooling mattress pads, Katie compared the materials, features, and price to compile mattress pads that would fit a variety of budgets and needs. She also consulted reviews from our testers, who used the mattress pads in their own homes over the course of a week. All of the options have multiple sizes to make it easy to find the perfect fit.