We updated this guide in June 2022 to ensure all products tested and vetted by the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab were in stock and reflected current prices.
If your mattress is not feeling as comfy as it used to, a mattress pad or mattress topper is an easy fix. For many, mattresses can trap in heat causing night sweats, especially during warm weather. Cooling mattress pads can make your mattress feel cooler and plusher. But what's the difference between a mattress pad and a mattress topper anyway?
- Mattress pads add a cozy top layer with a bit of cushioning.
- Mattress toppers are usually thicker and offer more cushioning.
At the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab, we make it easy to build your dream summer bed to get your best sleep. These mattress pads and toppers from brands we love have innovative features for ultimate cooling. For hot sleepers, our Textiles pros recommend looking for cooling technologies like Outlast, which stores and releases body heat as needed, and 37.5, which works by wicking away sweat before it forms. For your ideal, cool bed, make sure to have a cooling comforter, cooling blankets and cooling sheets, along with your new cooling mattress pad. We chose these picks ahead based on our categorical expertise and decades of testing bedding.
Our top picks:
1Best Overall Cooling Mattress PadCore Mattress Pad SlumberCloud Read More
2Best Value Cooling Mattress PadCooling Quilted Mattress Pad SLEEP ZONE Read More
3Best Overall Cooling Mattress TopperMemory Foam Mattress Topper ViscoSoft Read More
4Best Value Cooling Mattress TopperGreen Tea Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper Zinus Read More
5Best Electric Cooling Mattress PadDualTemp Individual Layer Mattress Pad Sleep Number Read More
- Outlast technology
- Multiple color options
- High marks from testers for staying in place
SlumberCloud offers a traditional-style mattress pad that goes on your mattress like a fitted sheet — and it uses Outlast technology to keep you cool. Outlast absorbs heat when you get overheated and releases it when you are too cold, preventing night sweats in the first place. Using a mix of Outlast viscose and cotton fabric on the top, it has a soft feel while the pad is made of Lyocell to wick away moisture for extra cooling. Our testers raved about this pick's cooling capabilities with one saying it "substantially helped regulate my temperature and kept me cool through the night."
- Moisture wicking materials
- Deep pocket fits up to 21" mattresses
- Ultra soft and plush pillowtop
- Some reviewers note shrinkage after laundering
For an impressive value at just $40, this cooling mattress pad from Sleep Zone has over 8,000 Amazon reviews. The microfiber yarns are treated with NANOTEX cooling technology, which helps the material wick away moisture to keep you cool. Reviewers love the plush, quilted down alternative pillowtop that feels like "sleeping in a cloud." GH Lab pros cannot wait to put this style to the test.
- Three thickness options
- Perforated foam for increased airflow
- 10,000 Amazon reviews
- Some testers note that it took a few days for the initial foam smell to dissipate
If your mattress has lost the soft, supportive feel you love, opt for a thicker mattress topper that will transform your sleeping experience without having to purchase a whole new mattress. This pick from ViscoSoft has two-inch, three-inch and four-inch thickness options. Because of its memory foam material and thicker height, testers said it was a bit more challenging to unroll onto their bed, but appreciated the corner straps to keep everything secure. The foam is perforated throughout to help dissipate heat and allow more airflow. With high marks for comfort and support, we recommend this pick for those who prefer a firmer feel.
- Under $100
- Gel-infused foam
- Testers gave high marks for support
- Some reviews note that you must follow unboxing instructions closely
Most mattress pads will cost at least $100, but this topper comes in on the more affordable side. Made of gel-infused memory foam, this mattress topper from Zinus is designed to give you the feel of memory foam without storing the heat like traditional toppers can. The foam is infused with gel to prevent a hot, stuffy feel. Testers raved that it "never moved out of place" with an overall firm, supportive feel.
- Remote controlled temperature settings
- Airflow technology heats or cools each side
- Testers love the comfort of Sleep Number products
- Need to purchase two for each side of the bed
This electric mattress topper lets you control the temperature of your side of the bed while your sleeping partner can control theirs. With both cool and warm settings controlled with a remote, airflow technology changes the temperature of the pad. You can also set automatic shutoff if you do not want it running all night. While this pick is definitely an investment, testers rave that the comfort from Sleep Number products is "unmatched." Note that each side is sold separately, so to cover the entire mattress, you would need to purchase two.
- 37.5 technology
- Waterproof to protect mattress
- Combines comfort of a mattress pad with a protector
- Less cushioning than other picks
When looking for a mattress topper, you want the added comfort, but keeping your mattress safe from wear and tear is a bonus. This mattress pad from Pottery Barn is waterproof, protecting your mattress from spills and leaks. Made with 37.5 technology that stores and releases heat throughout the night, this pick is designed to prevent night sweats. If you want more protection, check our top mattress protectors too!
- 37.5 technology
- Extra deep pockets for thick mattresses
- Moisture wicking materials
- Limited size availability
If you have a deep mattress, it can be tough to find a mattress pad that fits. This cooling mattress pad from SHEEX fits mattresses up to 22 inches deep with its secure, stretchy sides that easily stay in place. SHEEX is a popular brand among GH testers for cooling sleep products. Made with 37.5 technology, this plush pick is designed to store and release heat to keep your body temperature stable.
- Precise temperature control
- Cools via water tubes
- Control temperature easily from a phone app
- Some testers didn't like the appearance of the control box
Finally, you can bring your AC into your bed... well, almost. The OOLER Sleep System has a control unit that attaches to the mattress pad, and water flows through to actually cool your bed to a specified temperature. The system is controlled from an application on your smartphone that testers said was easy to use. The pad has 1/8-inch tubes throughout with a waterproof polyester backing to keep everything in place. Testers were impressed at just how cool it can get without feeling the tubes through the padding. Check out its first-generation ChillPad for a more affordable option.
- Three-inch thickness
- GOTs certified organic cotton cover
- Testers love its soft, plush feel
Wool has natural temperature regulating properties: it'll cool you down in warm weather and keep you warm in colder temps. Testers rave that this topper from PlushBeds felt like "a big hug, " giving their mattress a much softer feel than before. GH Institute fiber scientists love this luxurious pick's quality materials like the GOTs certified organic cotton sateen cover and the ethically sourced virgin wool fill.
Pros in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab have sent over 30 mattress pads and toppers to ~100 consumer testers, leading to hundreds of data points to analyze before making these picks. Testers provided feedback on comfort, support, ease of set-up, feel and more. In addition to having testers try them out first hand, GH fiber scientists reviewed product claims and evaluated each pad or topper's construction. These picks are from top-performing brands with vetted cooling technologies or materials.
Many products claim to provide cooling benefits, but there are actually no set definitions of what "cooling" means. Therefore, brands can make these claims with nothing to back them up. GH textiles pros are here to help you shop for cooling bedding that will actually work. Here's what to look for:
✔️Cooling technologies: Phase change materials actually store and release heat to keep you at a stable body temperature. Threads are treated with phase change technologies to provide real cooling effects. Opt for well-vetted technologies like Outlast and 37.5.
✔️Perforated foam: Memory foam is known for holding onto heat. If you're looking for the supportive feel of memory foam without the risk of overheating, try foam that's perforated throughout. It'll allow increased airflow for a more breathable feel.
✔️Temperature regulating materials: Certain materials can help provide a cooler sleep like polyester and lyocell/Tencel, which wick away moisture. Wool also has great temperature regulating properties, making it a great pick for both warm and cold weather.
Emma Seymour is a senior textiles product analyst. She’s been at Good Housekeeping for over three years, overseeing Lab and consumer tests for electric blankets, pillows, cooling bedding and more. With a degree in Fiber Science and Apparel Design from Cornell University, she has extensive research experience, particularly focused on athletic wear. As a lifetime sewer with previous product development experience, she has a strong fashion background with expertise in proper fit and construction.