Your body temperature has an enormous effect on your sleep quality. Aside from the fact that waking up sweating is just really uncomfortable, elevated body temperature can negatively affect your ability to fall and stay asleep. That's where the best cooling mattresses for hot sleepers come in.
But first: "The sleep cycle follows the core body temperature cycle," says Michael J. Breus, PhD, aka "The Sleep Doctor," a clinical psychologist, diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
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"The body gets warmer through the early evening, and then about 10:30 p.m. it hits a peak and then drops. This drop signals the brain to release melatonin, which is the key that starts the engine for sleep. If the body is too hot, it does not have the temp drop and there's no release or a delayed release."
In other words, being too hot can negatively affect your hormones and your sleep/wake cycle.
Keeping the temperature around you in check can help. But if you're a hot sleeper, breathable bedding can make a big difference, too. Here are the best cooling mattresses for all types of sleep styles.
(Psst: Check out LIVESTRONG.com's guide to the best cooling sheets.)
How We Choose
We interviewed sleep experts and dug into the research to understand what to look for in a top cooling mattress. The following products fit these criteria:
- Created with cooling technology such as gel pods, copper fibers and/or ultra-breathable covers
- Made for a variety of sleeping styles and/or specific sleep needs
- Good or excellent customer reviews
- Variety of price ranges
The Best Cooling Mattresses
- Best Overall: Helix Midnight LUXE ($1,199 to $2,499, HelixSleep.com)
- Best Value: Cocoon by Sealy Chill Hybrid ($1,139 to $1,999, CocoonbySealy.com)
- Best Gel: Bear Pro ($1,265 to $1,865, BearMattress.com)
- Best Memory Foam: Nectar Premier Copper ($1,299 to $2,698, NectarSleep.com)
- Best for Back Sleepers: Purple Hybrid ($1,899 to $3,798, Purple.com)
- Best for Side Sleepers: GhostBed Luxe ($1,895 to $4,090, GhostBed.com)
- Best for Stomach Sleepers: Saatva Classic Mattress ($887 to $2,296, Saatva.com)
- Best for Couples: Eight Sleep Pod ($2,795 to $3,495, EightSleep.com)
- Best Breathable: Tempur-Pedic LUXEbreeze ($3,899 to $9,798, TempurPedic.com)
- Best for Back Pain: Casper Wave with Snow Technology ($1,795 to $3,495, Casper.com)
- Best Topper: Lucid 3-inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper ($70 to $120, Amazon.com)
1. Best Overall: Helix Midnight LUXE
Helix makes mattresses for every body size and type of sleeper, but the Midnight LUXE is a great all-around option that's likely to please almost everyone. It has a medium feel, so it can suit side, back and combination sleepers, and it's a nice middle ground for couples that can't agree on a firmness level.
Because it's a hybrid mattress — meaning it combines a base layer of coils with layers of memory foam — it allows air to flow more freely than memory foam-only options. It also has a premium quilted pillow top that's designed to maximize airflow and prevent heat from getting trapped in the mattress layers.
Buy it: Helix Sleep; Price: $1,199 to $2,499
2. Best Value: Cocoon by Sealy Chill Hybrid
Mattresses can be a pretty lofty investment, but you don't have to spend a fortune to get what you need.
This budget-friendly model from Cocoon by Sealy is a hybrid mattress that combines a layer of steel coils with an adaptive memory foam that contours your body and relieves pressure where you need it most. These layers work together to absorb and dissipate excess heat and then channel it out of the mattress so you feel cooler throughout the night.
If you need more advanced cooling technology, there's an option to add the brand's "Extra-Chill" technology (for $200), which integrates another layer of cooling into the memory foam, plus a cooling cover.
Buy it: Cocoon By Sealy; Price: $1,139 to $1,999 (+ $200 for Extra-Chill)
3. Best Gel: Bear Pro
Another budget-friendly option, the Bear Pro is a five-layer cooling gel mattress that combines comfort with breathability.
The middle gel memory foam layer pulls out excessive heat, while the copper layer sitting on top of it contributes to temperature control and acts as a natural antimicrobial to keep the mattress fresh and feeling clean.
The other foam layers are mainly for comfort, but they also have an open cell design that allows air to circulate through the cooling layers so heat doesn't get trapped in the middle of the night.
Buy it: Bear Mattress; Price: $1,265 to $1,865
4. Best Memory Foam: Nectar Premier Copper
Traditional memory foam mattresses can trap heat, negatively interfering with sleep duration and quality.
Nectar aimed to solve that problem with the Nectar Premier Copper Mattress, a five-layer mattress with strategically placed foams that adapt to your body temperature as it changes throughout the night.
This best cooling memory foam mattress incorporates four inches of gel memory foam and phase-changing material that pulls excess heat away from your body. The quilted cover has integrated copper fibers that wick away heat and moisture, keeping you cool and dry.
Buy it: Nectar Sleep; Price: $1,299 to $2,698
5. Best for Back Sleepers: Purple Hybrid
If you're a dedicated back sleeper, you need something that offers enough give for your shoulders and butt, but not too much that you sink into the mattress and end up with spinal misalignment.
The Purple Hybrid has a two-inch grid layer that answers that call. It helps take pressure off where you need it, but also cradles your back and legs so you go to sleep — and wake up — comfortable.
The cooling magic is in the proprietary Purple Grid. The hyper-elastic polymer has large air channels that let air flow through and it doesn't trap heat at all. It's also extremely reactive and conforming, immediately responding to movement and then bouncing back to support you if you do change positions during the night.
Buy it: Purple; Price: $1,899 to $3,798
6. Best for Side Sleepers: GhostBed Luxe
On the other hand, side sleepers need a mattress that has a little more give to properly alleviate pressure on the hips and shoulders. The Ghostbed Luxe is classified as a medium plush, which means it's ideal for body contouring but not so firm that it presses against you when you're lying on your side.
The Ghostbed is among the best temperature-controlled mattresses because of it's various cooling technologies, including a gel memory foam layer, a heat-transferring layer that dispels heat and keeps the entire mattress cool and a plush cover with phase-change material that reacts to your body temperature and stays cool to the touch.
The cover also has an additional inch of cooling fibers woven directly into it.
Buy it: GhostBed; Price: $1,895 to $4,090
7. Best for Stomach Sleepers: Saatva Classic
Because it can throw your neck and spine out of whack, stomach sleeping is the position most likely to cause back pain and other sleep-related problems. As such, stomach sleepers need a firmer surface that supports proper alignment.
While the Saatva Classic mattress comes in three comfort levels — plush, luxury firm and firm — the firm option is the best choice for stomach sleepers.
This mattress is made of breathable organic cotton and has a dual-coil base that allows for better airflow as you sleep. The hybrid construction also makes it more reactive to movement, meaning you won't sink into it as much, and gives it better edge support, so if you sleep near the edge of the mattress it will hold you up and you won't feel like you're about to roll off.
Buy it: Saatva; Price: $887 to $2,296
8. Best for Couples: Eight Sleep Pod
Sleeping with a partner comes with its own set of challenges. And if you're a hot sleeper, having another body next to you can make things even more toasty.
Instead of resorting to separate mattresses, try the Eight Sleep Pod Pro Mattress. In addition to cooling materials woven into its construction, this luxury mattress has ambient sensors that measure room temperature, humidity and local weather conditions in real time. Based on this data, the mattress can automatically adjust the temperature of each side of the mattress independently.
If that's not enough, you can upgrade to the Pod Pro Max, which includes an additional layer that's infused with silver, copper and graphite for even heat distribution.
Buy it: Eight Sleep; Price: $2,795 to $3,495
9. Best Breathable: Tempur-Pedic LUXEbreeze
All cooling mattresses are breathable to some degree, but Tempur-Pedic took things up (or down, if you will) a notch with its Tempur-Breeze collection.
The LUXEbreeze is the coolest model in the bunch, promising (based on lab testing) to help you sleep at least eight degrees cooler. It accomplishes this through four specialized layers.
The first is a ventilated memory foam layer that's exclusive to this particular model. On top of that sits a proprietary comfort layer and an advanced cooling layer that work together to dispel and release heat and humidity while you sleep. Everything is wrapped up in a specialized cover that has cooling fibers woven in to ensure that it stays cool to the touch.
Buy it: Tempur-Pedic; Price: $3,899 to $9,798
10. Best for Back Pain: Casper Wave with Snow Technology
Back pain can be a multi-faceted problem, but sleeping on the wrong mattress has a major effect on how you feel. If you're struggling with back pain, especially if that pain seems worse right when you wake up, it's a good indication that it's time to upgrade your setup.
The Casper Wave is a hybrid model specifically designed to cradle your body and properly support your spine. It has a zoned support layer that utilizes gel pods to alleviate pressure and trigger points, so you wake up with fewer aches and pains.
As far as cooling technology goes, the regular mattress has thousands of perforations in each layer that allow air to flow freely through the mattress, but the real standout is the optional Snow Technology.
This upgrade increases the overall price (by about $500), but in addition to the perforated layers, it includes integrated heat bands that pull heat away from the body and a specialized gel cooling cover.
Buy it: Casper; Price: $1,795 to $3,495
11. Best Topper: Lucid 3-inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper
If you're not ready to fully upgrade your sleep setup, or you love the mattress you have but just wish it kept you a little cooler, the Lucid 3-inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper is a good solution.
This mattress topper is made with three inches of high-density gel memory foam that adds a layer of softness to the top of your bed, but is also ventilated to allow maximum airflow without any heat trapping.
The gel in the topper pulls heat away from your body and dissipates it so you sleep more comfortably. It also makes it more responsive so you don't feel like you're sinking into the mattress and getting too hot, which is why it's ranked among the best products for hot sleepers.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: $69.99 to $119.99
What to Look for in a Cooling Mattress
Here are some things to keep in mind as you shop for cool-top mattresses:
1. Fits Your Sleep Style
Perhaps the most important thing to consider is your sleep style. Are you a side sleeper, a back sleeper or a stomach sleeper? Or maybe you switch sleeping positions throughout the night?
These specifics make a difference in the type of mattress you need. Take this into consideration before landing on your final choice.
2. Addresses Your Specific Needs
In addition to sleep style, you also want to consider any specific needs. Do you have back and/or neck pain? Do you sleep with a partner, or do you have the bed all to yourself?
Those with back pain may need a medium-firm mattress to properly support the spine during sleep, according to two older but unique studies, one published in The Lancet in 2003 and another published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine in 2009.
People who sleep with a partner need more motion isolation, while solo sleepers don't need to consider this feature as much.
"Weight is another determining factor when choosing a new mattress, as cooling, support and feel of a bed can be affected by how much you weigh," Sanam Hafeez, PsyD, neuropsychologist, director of Comprehend the Mind and faculty member at Columbia University, tells LIVESTRONG.com.
Some mattresses note that they're made for heavier people.
3. Made With Cooling Technology
When you're looking for a cooling mattress, the type of cooling technology is of utmost importance. Some mattresses promise a cool night's sleep but don't actually deliver much when it comes to cooling materials.
Look deep into the mattress' layers and make sure there are at least two additional cooling technologies. A cooling foam combined with a breathable cover is a good start, but added copper fibers and phase-change materials, like specialized waxes, that adapt to your body temperature is even better.
Who Is It Right For?
If you regularly wake up sweating or you feel like your mattress traps heat or feels humid and sticky to the touch, you may benefit from a mattress with some additional cooling technology. Breus says the following people may also benefit:
- People going through menopause
- Those with thermoregulatory issues
- People in larger bodies
- Those who live in very warm environments
"Mattresses are built for support and comfort," Breus says. "Once you get one that gives you and your partner great support and comfort, then see about cooling features."
Do Cooling Mattresses Really Work?
Yes — if they're made with the right materials, Breus says.
On a basic level, cooling mattresses work by pulling heat away from the body and dispersing it, rather than trapping it in the mattress' layers.
One of the most commonly used cooling materials is gel, which is often infused into traditional memory foam in order to alleviate its heat-retaining tendencies. That's because gel absorbs heat from the surrounding materials, meaning the foam doesn't warm up quite as quickly as it would otherwise.
However, this usually isn't sufficient for mediating body heat all night long, Breus says, which is why you should look for at least two kinds of cooling technology.
Other mattresses use graphite, which is a naturally occurring form of carbon that's heat resistant.
Finally, keep in mind that cooling mattresses tend to be most effective when the room temperature is set in the optimal sleep zone (around 65 degrees). "You will always want to have a supportive sleep environment in addition to your cooling mattress or tech," Breus says.
- Sleep Medicine Reviews: "The Relationship Between Insomnia and Body Temperatures"
- BMJ: "Identifying Relationships Between Sleep Posture and Non-Specific Spinal Symptoms in Adults: A Scoping Review
- Journal of Chiropractic Medicine: "Changes in Back Pain, Sleep Quality, and Perceived Stress After Introduction of New Bedding Systems"
- The Lancet: "Effect of Firmness of Mattress on Chronic Non-specific Low-back Pain: Randomised, Double-blind, Controlled, Multicentre Trial"
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