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Once you've selected your mattress and your bedding is carefully laid out, you may want to opt for a third component to make the setup just right. A mattress topper, pad or protector can add an extra shot of comfort to the mix while simultaneously adding years to an otherwise-dreary bedroom set -- and one hot option this season is a topper with cooling properties. 

Whether you go for a mattress topper with a generous layer of memory foam or a mattress pad or protector with hypoallergenic and dust mite-resistant properties is a matter of personal preference, as is what type of cooling you're after. 

Are you adding cushion to a too-hard mattress, and you just need a bit of subtle cooling for your best night's sleep? Or are you less concerned with cushioning, but a super chilly cooling pad to calm a fever or nighttime hot flashes is more what you need? Give some thought to your goals, and shopping for your cooling topper will be a breeze.

Today I'll share the highlights of some of the hands-on reviews of the top cooling mattress toppers on the market so that you can find the best cooling mattress topper, protector or pad for you or your family.

We'll be adding more toppers to this list as we get our hands on them, so keep an eye on this space. This summer is a hot one, and we've got to help cool off our readers so they can sleep!

Please note that for each product, I tried a twin size in order to fit my bed at home. However, the price shared at the end of each review is for the queen size (the most popular size) without any sale discounts applied. 

Read more: Best air mattress for 2021

Tempurpedic

Ideal for making a too-firm or aging mattress more comfortable, the Tempur Adapt + Cooling Topper is a luxurious 3 inches thick, and the cover is breathable and cool to the touch. 

This topper is said to have remarkable pressure-relieving power, and offers customized support. Customer reviews on the company site shared that it's great for alleviating back pain as well. 

The Tempur Adapt + Cooling Topper arrived neatly packaged with the white foam base with thin blue stripes sealed in plastic separately from the white cover. After it was unboxed, unrolled and decompressed, I noticed the foam base was already soft and plush-feeling.

Lying on it and falling asleep felt truly decadent, and I would absolutely buy this product with my own money. You'll very likely wake up cool, pain-free and refreshed. The Tempur topper material is available in a noncooling finish as well. 

The cover is conveniently washable (as long as you follow the directions carefully -- please do not wash the inner foam base). The cover is also hypoallergenic and dust mite-resistant. This is absolutely the next best thing to buying a brand-new mattress. 

Tempur-Pedic products are assembled in the US and come with free shipping and a 10-year warranty. Its site says it does not accept returns, however, "due to the personal nature of these products."

Cozy Earth

The next mattress pad I tried was made by the creator of Oprah's favorite bedding, Cozy Earth. Ideal for those of us who sleep hot, or have bedrooms stuck in the most insufferable of humid environments, this hypoallergenic, temperature-regulating, highly breathable mattress pad is crafted with 100% bamboo-derived viscose -- a lightweight, absorbent material. 

My first impression of the Cozy Earth Mattress Topper upon unboxing was that the stitching looked to be of high quality, it felt soft to the touch and the zippable tote that came with it was unexpected and adorable. It's a high quality coral and white striped canvas bag and would make a great overnight bag, beach bag or storage bag for your mattress pad when not in use. 

Since the mattress pad didn't feel particularly cool in my hands, nor did it feel warm, I decided to sleep on it without a sheet covering it in order to fully experience the fabric. 

As I slept, I did notice feeling comfortable, neither hot nor cold, but as I turned over or moved around, I could always look forward to the coolness of the fresh areas of fabric. And while it wasn't a thick pad, it was still noticeably butter-soft.

What I especially loved were the deep pockets on the mattress pad, oversized so that it won't come untucked no matter your mattress size, even if you move around a lot while sleeping like I do. I normally need to get up and fix my bedding at least once a night, but I didn't need to with this mattress pad. I could stay in bed all cozy and sleep on until morning.

I would buy this product if I had more humidity to deal with, and I would probably buy it with a set of Cozy Earth sheets in order to get the full cooling experience. Here in my home, I have a super firm mattress and need something with a bit more cushion, as well as something with cooling properties. The Cozy Earth mattress pad has temperature-regulating qualities which would work well for many, and the company says it will "fix overheating by sleeping degrees cooler and half as humid."

The purchase of a Cozy Earth Mattress Pad comes with a 30-day refund policy so you can decide if you really like it or not, as well as free shipping and returns, certification to prove it passed testing for harmful chemicals and a fully transparent supply chain. Its bamboo is harvested from only sustainable, pesticide-free sources. Be sure to read the care instructions and ways to freshen the mattress pad naturally on the company website for best results. 

Brooklyn Bedding

My next review was of the Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector. Inspired by the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora mattress cover, the fabric on this does the double duty of protecting your mattress from spills and other catastrophes as well as cooling you off. Waterproof, hypoallergenic and crafted of high-quality cotton terry material, this mattress protector feels soft and cool to the touch, and was a delight to rest on. 

Since the fabric is made of components designed to pull heat away from your body, I still felt cool when I placed my sheets over this mattress protector. And with just a light blanket to go on top, I found myself able to turn off the air conditioning for the night. (That's a bill I can always use some savings on!)

While it didn't really solve my problem of a too-hard mattress, the Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector does offer innovative cooling properties as well as a way to keep the bacteria, bed bugs and dust mites at bay. The best part in my experience is the fabric is crafted to "deliver cooling on contact," which it does -- and it's really pleasant. It even feels cool while you're just putting it on the mattress.

Conveniently machine-washable, this mattress protector is easy to care for if you follow the laundering instructions. It's designed to fit average-sized mattresses, with a thickness of anywhere between 11 and 14 inches. The deep pockets will cover any height in that range too, so no worries there.

I would certainly buy this product, although once again I think I would buy it with some sheets of the same brand to enjoy the full experience. I'd love to try the Aurora mattress sometime to see how the cover feels and compare it to this mattress protector since that was its inspiration, too.

Additionally, I think hot sleepers in general, anyone with allergies, or folks who have a hard time sleeping -- especially those who like to toss their bedding into the washing machine as needed -- would benefit from a mattress protector like this. Its hypoallergenic, silky soft fabric and conductive cooling qualities would help you relax, fall asleep easily and stay cool all night.

When you buy a Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector, you'll have a 30-day refund time frame, but you'll need to contact it for a prepaid shipping label before sending it back. You'll also get free shipping and a three-year warranty for defects.

Brooklyn Bedding also partners with local organizations to donate mattresses and other bedding to children in foster care and adults living in shelters and transitional housing. Read more about that here

Helix

The Helix Ultra-Cool Pad uses something interesting called phase change material, which Helix describes as a material that "absorbs and regulates heat." In doing so, it apparently keeps the surface fabric cool to the touch, as it remained so throughout most of the time I used this mattress pad. 

The sides are cotton and fit like a fitted sheet on just about any mattress, even as deep as 15 inches. It's also antimicrobial, hypoallergenic and made in the USA. Additionally, the fabric is soft and smooth, and you can even put it in the washing machine. 

The Helix came with a handy tote bag too, similar to the Cozy Earth tote, which I really like -- but please be gentle if you try to store your mattress pad in the tote when you're finished using it. I tugged too hard on the zipper putting this one away and ended up with a little rip on the side. (Insert sad trombone sound here.)

Other than that, I was quite pleased with the coolness of this mattress pad, as well as impressed at its low price. Conveniently machine-washable to boot, this became my favorite in the mattress pad mix so far.

When you buy a Helix Ultra-Cool Pad, you'll get a 100-night sleep trial to decide whether you really want to keep it, a one-year warranty, free shipping and free no-contact delivery. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the Helix Ultra-Cool Pad from the moment I unboxed it to find it sitting in its nifty tote bag, to removing it and tucking it around its new mattress.

Saatva

Saatva's Cooling Graphite Mattress Topper has three inches of foam infused with a layer of cooling graphite enveloped by a super soft cover -- perfect for a long, rejuvenating slumber. It should fit around the sides of your bed comfortably no matter how thick your mattress is (well, up to 16 inches high, that is) since it has straps to hold it in place, and it molds nicely to your body's contours. It's a medium-firm feel, and the high density of the foam in this topper is also said to limit motion transfer when your sleep partner moves. 

Unboxing the Saatva was a delight, since I've long wanted to try out anything Saatva-related. This topper was fun to squeeze (gently, of course) as it was unrolled and placed on the bed. It required no time to decompress, and there was no off-gassing smell that I detected. It held its proper position nicely with the large elastic corner straps, and I'm pretty sure it stayed in place all night even though I move a lot as I sleep. It didn't feel extremely cool to the touch at first, but it did seem to keep me cool as I laid on it. 

I would likely buy this product, but I would make certain it stayed pristinely clean since it can only be spot-cleaned. You can't wash it in the machine or send it to the dry cleaners, which means eating or drinking nearby is going to be a no-no. And with my family in mind, with the amount of coffee and other drinks we spill on a regular basis, a guest bedroom would likely be the only space where this product could be properly shown off. 

This topper is said to work with any Saatva mattress of the same size, as well as other brands as well. It also provides not only a cooling sleep but better support overnight, thanks to the foam and enhanced pressure relief when you need it.

When you buy the Saatva Graphite Cooling Mattress Topper, you'll get free shipping and free returns within 45 days. There's also a one-year limited nonprorated warranty. 

Saatva products are sustainably sourced with concern for the environmental resources used in their creation, with a close eye on the supply chain from the organic cotton farm to your home. It also works solely with Fair Trade Certified factories, which promote and adhere to the highest of working standards for their employees. 

Cool Care Technologies

Unlike other cooling pads on this list, the Cool Flash Pad is pressure activated, so just lying or sitting on it is good enough to get it started. It's also designed for a single person to use, rather than covering your entire bed. That's great if your sleep partner sleeps colder than you, or if you don't want to invest in a larger topper.

Made primarily of vinyl, the cooling pad is lightweight and easy to store for travel if needed. You can use it either above or below your bedsheet, depending on your own preference. Once you've had enough cooling, remove it and let it "recharge" itself. According to the company website, it stays cold for approximately three hours, then needs about 30 minutes to recharge. It can be wiped clean using a damp cloth and gentle soap. 

One thing I noticed is that while I used it, it felt wet to the touch to me -- but it wasn't. There's not a drop of water in this body pad. Nor is there any refrigeration, freezing or electricity involved -- although the company website says you can put it in the fridge or freezer for the ultimate chill level. 

While this undoubtedly would be great for people with muscle aches or other medical issues that cause them to become too hot, I found I couldn't sleep on it all night -- it's just too cold! 

It still felt really nice and refreshing briefly, however, and it's easy to imagine how good it would feel if you did need it. I do get headaches from hot weather sometimes, so this might be just what the doctor ordered next time one of those drops in. 

Note: You can get a large pad for your body (measuring 43.4 by 27.6 inches), or a smaller pad for your head and shoulders only (11.75 by 15.75 inches). Some customers mentioned in the reviews they bought one of each to help with their recovery from chemotherapy and other cooling needs.

The body pad comes with a 12-month limited manufacturer's warranty from time of purchase with proper care. They accept returns within 30 days of purchase. Cooling Care Technologies also make similar body pads and products for pets.

If you need to cool off fast, I highly recommend this product. Whether you're feeling achy from a bad cold or the flu, cramping from your menstrual cycle, recovering from a spring-break sunburn or heading into your hundredth hot flash of the night, this little body pad packs a wallop of chilly relief.

PlushBeds

I originally planned to review PlushBed's Cooling Gel Memory Foam Topper, but it's being discontinued. In its place, the company offered the PlushBeds Natural Talalay Latex Topper for testing. Rather than using specialty materials for cooling, this topper is 100% natural latex, meaning it's different but still sleeps cool due to its open cell structure. 

I received the Latex Topper in the 3-inch height (there's also a 2-inch option), in medium-firm density (there's also soft, medium-soft, medium and extra firm), with no cover in twin size (38 by 75 inches) -- and I'm glad I did. 

This topper is super thick and sturdy but has a bit of give to it too, ideal for stretching the life of an older mattress or trying to make an uncomfortable one a bit more cozy. It's definitely long enough as it fits at least an inch past the end of my bed on both sides, but that's fine because it tucks in a little when covered with the fitted sheet. 

Lying on it all night feels lovely, and its pressure-relieving power is significant. Others have described the sensation of lying on a latex topper like this as similar to floating. I couldn't agree more! And after sleeping on it all night, you'll feel rejuvenated. The open-cell airflow design (aka the "holes") allows for optimal cooling because they carry and distribute heat throughout the topper while letting the sleeper stay cool. 

My favorite part about natural latex is that it's naturally antimicrobial, dust mite- and mildew-resistant and hypoallergenic. There were no fumes or off-gassing with this topper, and it was a pleasure to sleep on. My assistant claims this topper as his personal favorite and asked if he could try sleeping on it too. How could I say no?

I would buy this product as well as any cover it comes with, although it works fine just with a sheet too. 

When you purchase a Natural Latex Topper from PlushBeds, you'll get free shipping and a five-year warranty -- but your topper could easily last up to 20 years. However, the company site explains that it does not offer returns on this product due to "safety and sanitary regulations." 

Brooklinen

This mattress topper got high praise from my assistants and models (both furry and human), as they lounged on it longer than the rest and even took a short nap on it when I did my assessment. While it's not as thick as the rest of the toppers I reviewed and it doesn't come in twin size (full is the smallest), there is a lovely feel to it that I felt must be attributed to the down alternative material. 

Also cooling, breathable, antibacterial and hypoallergenic, this mattress protector lengthens the life of your mattress while protecting it from spills, sweat, bed bugs and dust mites. The quilted top is integrated into the rest of the cooling components to bring you optimal temperature regulation, and the mattress protector fits the mattress like a fitted sheet to remain in place all night. This one is also machine-washable, a highly convenient feature. 

I would be pleased to buy this for myself and would also consider it as a gift for others. The down alternative is ideal for those who have allergies or simply wish to avoid feathers or other animal products in their bedding. It's also good for those with little ones who tend to climb in bed with them, as there's a waterproof barrier at the bottom to catch leaks from diapers and other spills. It's excellent for all mattress heights up 18 inches, too, so nearly any bed will work with this topper. Those interested in a thicker or more plush topper may not like this one, as it's somewhat slim. 

When you buy the Brooklinen Down Alternative Mattress Topper, you'll have 30 days to return it, but you must contact it for a prepaid shipping label before sending it back. There's also a three-year warranty for mattress protector defects. 

Nature's Sleep

This package comes with a light green speckled memory foam base, which my assistant said felt and looked a lot like cotton candy, and a soft white cover to put over it once fully decompressed. 

It took several hours, as indicated on the instructions, for the memory foam topper to reach its desired fully decompressed and flattened shape. When it was flat, I put it on the mattress where my assistants once again rushed to lie down on its cushy softness. 

The accompanying white cover goes over the foam as well as the rest of the mattress, and it all fit very well on ours with room to spare.

I definitely would buy this mattress topper, and one for each of my assistants as well. We loved the three full inches of plush gel memory foam and breathable, quality fitted cover, as well as the additional Airflow Gel Memory Foam for top level cooling -- and we especially loved that this mattress topper comes in at a low price.

When you buy a Nature's Sleep Air Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper, you'll get free shipping throughout the 48 contiguous states. Regarding refunds, any unused or unopened toppers may be mailed back to the company at the customer's expense. 

At this moment, there are only Twin, Twin XL and King sizes available. The suggested price size is King.

What to look for in a cooling mattress topper

When shopping for these or other similar cooling bedding, you can try to look for clues as to the cooling components used, as well as language describing whether the item is a mattress topper, protector or pad. On the packaging, for example, you might find that the product design includes an aerated feature, which helps promote a cooling airflow throughout the product, or that the top layer is infused with a cooling gel. It may also say something about copper, graphite or charcoal being utilized, each of which act to absorb and draw heat away from the body, then dissipate it elsewhere. 

Memory foam, while usually known for trapping heat, might be described as infused with a certain cooling element to create a new heat-wicking innovation. Phase-change material, which liquifies and turns cool when placed against something (or someone!) hot, then once comfortably cool, returns to a solid state, may also be used. While each of these has a certain cooling proficiency, a topper integrated with a combination of them would actually be ideal.

What's the difference between a cooling pad, cooling protector and cooling topper?

Since I wanted to check out the cooling components of each (and we have a couple of each in our review), let's start by clearly defining the difference between mattress pads, mattress toppers and mattress protectors.

When you buy a brand-new mattress, a mattress protector is in order. It isn't thick, but it gives the bed an additional thin layer of comfort plus waterproof protection from damage and staining. 

A mattress topper, on the other hand, is often thick, typically between one to four inches, designed to give greater comfort to a too-hard, aging or otherwise less-than-perfect bed surface when you don't want to buy a whole new mattress. Since it's expected to be thicker, the topper can be found with a range of materials in it, such as memory foam, latex or down. 

Finally, a mattress pad is similar to a protector in that it's thinner, offers a slight bit of additional comfort and is usually integrated into a sheet or fitted with straps to help hold it in place on the mattress. 

To find the best cooling toppers, or protectors and pads with cooling properties, be on the lookout for heat-wicking or dissipating qualities, graphite, cooling gels or beads, or other components specifically included for cooling off the sleeper.

They can usually be found in different sizes and used in a variety of settings including dorms and campers.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.