For many sleepers, sleeping warm is a nightly frustration that is a perpetual detriment to restful and comfortable sleep. Your weight, home, climate, age, and personal preference can all impact how hot you sleep. These factors play into the bed you’re sleeping on as well. The combination of your mattress, mattress protector, sheets, and bed foundation are all involved in how cool or warm your sleep experience is.
For this guide we’re going to focus on the best mattress for hot sleepers. These are sleepers who I would describe as above average in terms of their cooling needs. The reason why you sleep hot isn’t as important, all that really matters is you sleep warm and you need the right combination of mattress and other bedding accessories to help better manage the temperature regulation of your bed.
Best Cooling Mattresses
These days almost every mattress that comes to market is thinking about sleeping cool, and incorporates some design elements to combat sleeping hot. Good news for us! However, I’ll provide you with some of my personal top picks (which of course represent my personal preferences and biases) to get you started.
- Temperature Neutral: Purple
- Budget: Casper Essential
- Luxury: GhostBed Luxe
- Gel Memory Foam: Loom and Leaf
- Best of Foam: Leesa
- Copper Infused Foam: Layla
- Innerspring: WinkBeds
- Hybrid: Helix
- Latex: Zenhaven
I’m going to focus this guide mostly around some of my favorite cooling mattresses, though I’ll briefly touch on a few key materials to watch out for, bedding and accessory options that can further help to improve the cooling of your mattress.
Top Cooling Mattress Picks Detailed
Temperature Neutral – Purple
The Purple mattress is made with a unique hyper-elastic polymer layer that is unlike anything else we’ve tested at Sleepopolis. It is very distinct from foam, and clearly does not absorb much heat (or cold) at all.
It is the closest to a “temperature neutral” comfort layer that we’ve tried at Sleepopolis, meaning it is good for both people that tend to sleep hot and tend to sleep cool.
There are a number of mattresses that combat cooling well (as you’ll see as you read along in this article), but Purple is really the only one I’d classify as temperature neutral. Learn more in my full Purple mattress review.
Budget – Casper Essential
All of the mattresses in the Casper line think about cooling. In fact, I’d say the Casper and Casper Wave have more design elements to be better at cooling. But the one that does it best for those on a smaller budget is their most streamlined mattress, the Casper Essential.
The Essential has a mix of foams to provide cooling and bounce, but still have a supportive and conforming feel. Learn more about the feel and construction in my full Casper Essential review.
Luxury – GhostBed Luxe
GhostBed Luxe is the upscale version of the GhostBed, and it is packed with a number of features to make sure you sleep cool (as well as address a number of other sleep factors). This mattress actually felt a bit cool to the touch!
Though it comes with a more luxury price tag, the luxury mattress construction is there to match. Learn more in my full GhostBed Luxe review.
Gel Memory Foam – Loom and Leaf
Back in the day when memory foam first came to market, people loved the feel, but often complained that it slept hot. Over the last number of years many companies have moved to address the “sleeping hot” factor with gel memory foam, one of my favorites being Loom and Leaf.
Loom & Leaf comes in two firmness options, both with a comfort layer of gel memory foam, as well as a few other construction aspects to address sleeping hot. Learn more in my full Loom & Leaf review.
Best of Foam – Leesa
Some people like the conforming feel of memory foam, some like the bounce and cooling of latex, and some want it all! With Leesa’s latex-life foam (Avena) over memory foam construction, you get the best of both foams.
In addition to being a great option for sleeping cool, Leesa is one of the most popular mattresses there is due to its affordability, comfort and feel. Learn more in my full Leesa mattress review.
Copper Infused Foam – Layla
A relatively new method for sleeping cool is copper infused foam, executed very well by Layla. Copper infusion is used in a number of other industries for a variety of benefits, including cooling and healing. Layla was the first mattress to use this technology that Sleepopolis reviewed.
The Layla also has a number of other attractive construction features, including being flippable and being quite comfortable (in my opinion). Learn more in my full Layla mattress review.
Innerspring – WinkBeds
Innerspring mattresses in general do a good job of sleeping cool since they have less foam to trap heat in the mattress, but some still end up sleeping hot due to the very top layer of foam. WinkBeds has a great airflow construction with its springs, as well as foam designed to keep you from sleeping hot.
If you really want to sleep cool, I’d check out the WinkBeds CoolControl base. This base can actually make cold air flow through the mattress to give you the ultimate sleeping cool environment. This is absolutely the best option for ensuring you sleep cool on the market. Learn more in my full WinkBeds review.
Hybrid – Helix
The Helix mattress is actually a customizable option, so they will adjust the mattress construction based on how cool to sleep. So no matter where you are on the spectrum in terms of sleep temperature, Helix will be there to suit your needs.
Learn more about the construction and how Helix custom makes your mattress in my full Helix mattress review.
Latex – Zenhaven
Many people consider latex when they love a foam-feel mattress but are worried about potentially sleeping hot with memory foam. Zenhaven is a great latex option that sleeps cool and has a great feel.
Zenhaven also has a few other great construction qualities, in that it is flippable and made entirely with all-natural materials. Learn more in my full Zenhaven mattress review.
The materials used in the mattress are an important factor in determining whether it sleeps cool, warm, or hot. In any case, there really is just one fundamental factor that determines cooling. How well (or poorly) a material is able to breathe, allowing air in and out of the material.
For example, a traditional spring coil can easily breathe, given that the coils are very thin and at most will be wrapped in a thin layer of foam or fabric, however, there is still lots of air between each coil. A material like memory foam may not breathe as well as a coil, as there is simply more material preventing air from circulating in and out of the mattress.
Similar to breathability, a material’s heat conductivity and heat retention is important. A steel coil isn’t great at absorbing your body heat and it’s even worse at holding onto that heat. However, a traditional memory foam soaks up body heat and retains it, usually causing that memory foam to feel a bit softer and warmer.
Over the course of the last couple of years I’ve tested all major online mattress companies in the US and a handful of the big brands as well. In that testing I’ve come to believe that the cooling of materials is generally ordered as follows (from most cool to least cool):
- Advanced poly foams
- Advanced memory foams
- Basic poly foams
- Basic memory foams
It’s important to remember that the materials used alone are not the only factor that determines the cooling of a mattress. The combination of materials, layer design, and cover also play an important part.
Coils & Springs
These are what you would describe as the most traditional of mattress types. They use one or more layers of coils / springs. As such, they are primarily air with thin coiled metal springs that provide comfort and bounce for the mattress. Bear in mind, most coil mattresses still contain some foams (usually poly foam or memory foam). These foams are mostly quilted within the covers of the mattress. Many times they are not explicitly disclosed.
Latex foam doesn’t change its feel based on how hot or cold the room is because it is not a good conductor of heat. It always will feel the same. Additionally, most latex foam layers are aerated, which allows for greater airflow. This combination of factors makes latex a great option for cooling in a mattress.
However, this is only true of 100% natural latex. Blended or synthetic latex is aerated in the same way, but they also share qualities of a poly foam, in some respects. This isn’t to say that all synthetic or blended latexes are bad or not cool, they certainly can be. However, you’ll want to be sure you know the types of latex being used in the mattress to make a proper judgement call.
Gel & Infused Materials
In shopping for a mattress you’ll see lots of gels, gel infused foams, copper infused, graphite, and other materials. Using these materials isn’t bad, in many cases they can and will help to regulate temperature within the mattress. However, it is heavily dependent on how those materials are being used.
A true gel works like water. Water helps cool because it can absorb an enormous amount of heat before the temperature of the water has been discernibly changed. Gel works the same way. It absorbs heat and holds it. In this way, a gel has a maximum level of heat it can absorb before it too will begin to heat up.
That said, it’s important to note that just because a mattress has gel in it doesn’t mean it’s going to make that big of a difference. Swirled gel and gel beads have very little impact, in my opinion. That doesn’t mean that the foams aren’t cool, they still may offer great cooling due to other factors in the foam and mattress at large. However, gels and other infused materials included like this have a small impact.
Some foams are more completely infused with these materials, and the gel, graphite, copper, or other conductive materials permeate the foam more fully. In these cases, there is more of a notable impact on cooling performance.
Polyurethane Foam & Memory Foam
All thumbs are fingers, but not all fingers are thumbs. This type of relationship is also true about polyurethane foam and memory foam. All memory foams are poly foams, but not all poly foams are memory foam.
Memory foam, also known as visco elastic memory foam and visco elastic poly foam, is a type of polyurethane foam with visco elastic properties. Visco elastic simply means that memory foams have both viscous and elastic characteristics when under pressure. Essentially, they are slower to respond when pressure is applied / released. This affect creates great hug and contour, but for some sleepers it can lead to a trapped feeling that can diminish cooling.
Poly foams are made from the same basic stuff as memory foam, however, they do not have a visco elastic qualities. This usually means they respond more quickly when pressure is applied / released. It also means the type of hug they create is generally less dramatic.
It’s important to note that the material “memory foam” is not a single type of material. Memory foam is simply a classification of a poly foam that is visco elastic. As such, there are scores of different types of memory foam with different qualities and attributes. The same can be said about standard non-visco elastic poly foams.
What’s the best mattress design for hot sleepers?
While it is important to understand how the material a mattress is made from can impact cooling and heat performance it’s more critical to understand how these materials work together within the larger design of the mattress itself. For example, you will almost never see a mattress that is 100% traditional visco elastic memory foam from top to bottom. Instead, you’ll have a layer or two of memory foam and a layer or two of poly foam. These materials work together to create airflow and a comfortable cooling surface on the mattress.
Below are some of the designs for the most popular mattresses and how these designs facilitate cooling:
Leesa – a top layer of Avena foam sits on top of a layer of memory foam and then finally on top of a layer of base poly foam. Avena foam is similar to latex in its cooling properties, which is why it makes more sense to have it closer to the sleeper. Placing the memory foam below Avena helps to prevent any of the heat retention issues of that memory foam from impacting the sleeper.
Saatva – a euro-style pillow top sits on top of two layers of coils. The two layers of coils means the Saatva is mostly air. There’s not much material to get in the way of breathability or allow for heat retention. The euro-style pillow top does contain some memory foam, but the layers are thin enough that they cannot absorb a significant amount of heat.
Purple – a top layer of a gel elastic polymer on top of two layers of poly foam. The elastic polymer top layer does not absorb a significant amount of heat. Additionally, the grid design of this polymer layer means more airflow. Having this layer on top ensures sleepers have the most cool surface closest to contacting them.
Helix – layers of performance poly foam, microcoils, and transition / support poly foam. In most Helix configurations the layer of Helix dynamic foam is on top. Having this on top helps prevent any type of heat retention. The microcoil layer is mostly air, which further improves breathability. The poly foam layers are generally used more in the core and base of the mattress, helping to mitigate any type of heat retention they might create.
Winkbed Cool Control – Last, but certainly not least, the Winkbed with the Cool Control base. The Winkbed Cool Control is an active cooling base that uses fans built within the base to blow warm or cool air through the mattress. It’s capable of raising the temperature of the mattress by 30 degrees or lowering the temperature by 10 degrees. It’s not cheap at $3,499 for a Queen, but for those with serious cooling or heating needs it can provide significant relief.
Cool Mattress Designing with Airflow in Mind
Many companies understand how important a cool mattress is and take their material design to the next level by further improving the airflow capabilities. These companies use special machines to mold, compress, or cut the foam into a design that allows greater movement of air.
The most basic level of this technique is to punch holes within the top of the foam.
More advanced techniques create deeper and more pronounced channels within the foam, dramatically improving airflow.
How does a cover effect mattress cooling?
The mattress cover is perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of the mattress’ functionality. However, the cover can play a major role in how cool or hot a mattress sleeps. In general, the less material within the cover the better the cooling will be. This is simply due to having better airflow in and out of the cover.
Bear in mind, the cover can only be as cool as the foam / coil layers below (except in rare cases, see phase change material below).
Non-quilted / thin covers are the most popular and widely used cover on many online mattresses. In part because they are less expensive than quilted covers, but also because they offer better breathability. A thin cover simply has less material. Less material means less to get in the way of air circulating in the mattress, which ultimately means better cooling on the sleeping surface.
Quilted covers offer a more traditional look and feel, but can also mean a little more heat as there is simply more material now surrounding your body. The materials that are quilted within the cover also can play a factor here. Usually a thin low density memory foam or poly foam will be quilted within the cover.
Most traditional mattresses use a quilted cover.
Phase Change Material
In describing these materials they almost sounds too good to be true. A phase change material works by absorbing your body heat and then releasing it at a certain temperature. Phase change materials, also known as PCMs, are tuned to a specific temperature. They will continue to absorb heat until the heat source (your body) has reached that temperature.
If your body’s temperature drops below that tuned temperature point then the PCM will release that heat back out, seeking the equilibrium temperature that it has been designed to achieve. In this way, phase change materials are great for both sleepers who sleep too hot and those that sleep too cold.
Other Cooling Fabrics
Other special fabrics and fibers can help to enhance breathability and cooling as well.
- Celliant – this is a thermo-reactive fiber that turns your body heat into infrared light. Infrared light has been shown in studies to increase oxygenation of the body, which results in better internal temperature regulation.
- Lycra – this a special fiber you more commonly see in sports clothing. It has an elastic type of a feel, moves freely, and wicks moisture away.
- Performance Polyester – these are also more commonly seen in sports clothing, like Nike’s Dri-FIT collection. They work in the same way as Lycra, by helping to allow free movement and wick moisture.
Mattress Softness & Sinkage Impact on Cooling
As discussed above the more material that is wrapping around your body the more likely you are feel warmer. This is simply due to the fact that you have more foam and fabric coming into contact with your body.
As a general rule, mattresses that are softer mean more sinkage and more hug, which in turn means more material coming into contact with your body. As a result, softer mattresses are usually going to be warmer than medium or firm mattresses. This isn’t to say that you cannot find a soft mattress that’s also cool, you absolutely can. However, you may want to step up your budget in order to get the right combination of softness with impactful cooling features that can help manage cooling better for you.
On the other hand, firmer mattresses are usually a little cooler for the exact same reason. With a firmer mattress you usually will have a little more of a floating feel above the mattress. The mattress won’t wrap around your body or envelop and hug you in the same way that a soft mattress will. This means you have less material in contact with your body and more opportunity for air to easily flow into contact with your skin. This results in a cooler feel. As a result very firm mattresses usually don’t suffer from heat issues in the same way that softer mattresses sometimes can.
Mattress & Bedding Accessories for Hot Sleepers
Depending on your cooling needs, budget, and the mattress that meets your needs the best, you may find that it’s important to add a combination of one or more cooling accessories. These accessories can help take breathability and cooling of your mattress to the next level.
- Outlast mattress pad – this mattress pad has both an interior and exterior layer of Outlast, a phase change material. It has a cool to the touch feel and can add excellent temperature regulation to any mattress.
- Sheex sheets – these sheets are made from performance polyester. They have a feel very similar to Nike’s Dri-FIT collection. High elasticity, highly breathable, and moisture wicking.
- Purple sheets – these sheets are made from a combination of bamboo and polyester. Like the SHEEX, they are designed to feel similar to performance sportswear. High elasticity, great cooling.
- Malouf Ice-tech mattress protector – this mattress protector provides both excellent protection and a cool to the touch feel. Technically, it’s not a a phase change material, but instead is a phase change treatment to the fabric.
- Nest Easy Breather latex pillow – latex pillows sleep cool for the same reason that latex mattresses do. Good response, no heat retention, and the noodled version of latex allows for better breathability. The latex used is 100% natural.
Best Cool Mattresses for Hot Sleepers
So, here we are at last, the end! We’ve got through virtually every factor and consideration you’ll want to be aware of when deciding on the best cooling mattress for you. With all of that information in mind the following are the best cool mattresses for hot sleepers:
|Mattress||Best For||Mattress Brand||Description||Price (Queen)||Coupon||Review|
|Purple||Temperature Neutral||Uses a combination of foam and a proprietary hyper-elastic polymer comfort layer that is formed into a grid structure. This unique layer provides an even mix of support and pressure relief and has temperature regulating benefits as well.||$999||See Current Offer||Read My Review!|
|Casper Essential||Budget||The Casper essential uses a mix of poly foam and memory foam to provide a balanced feel. The mattress does a good job of sleeping cool and comes in at a value price.||$600||No Current Offers||Read My Review!|
|GhostBed Luxe||Luxury||The GhostBed Luxe is a plush mattress that allow sleepers to sink in for great pressure relief. The construction of the mattress has several materials that are designed to help with temperature regulation so the mattress does a great job of helping to sleep cool.||$1,475||See Current Offer||Read My Review!|
|Loom and Leaf||Gel memory foam||This is the Saatva company's memory foam model. The Loom & Leaf uses an all foam construction, including a memory foam comfort layer, to provide pressure relief with the classic contouring feeling.||$1,099||No Current Offers||Read My Review!|
|Leesa||Latex alternative||The Leesa has an avena foam comfort layer over a layer of memory foam. Placing the avena foam over the memory foam gives the mattress some bounce while allowing the sleeper to sink in for pressure relief, so it defends against the feeling of being stuck in the mattress.||$940||See Current Offer||Read My Review!|
|Amerisleep||Foam||The Amerisleep line includes five mattresses of differing constructions. The line goes from the firmest mattress, the AS1, to the softest, the AS5. While the feels of these mattresses range quite a bit, they all have a comfort layer of Amerisleep's proprietary memory foam.||$999 - $1,899*||See Current Offer||Read My Review!|
|WinkBeds||Innerspring||The construction uses a coil on coil support system that provides a good bounce to the mattress. The WinkBed comes in three different firmness levels as well as a plus version for heavier individuals.||$1,299||See Current Offer||Read My Review!|
|Helix||Hybrid||Helix is a bed in a box that customizes a hybrid construction based on your responses to questions on their website. They take feel preference, support need, temperature regulation and point elasticity into account for the construction and can also build queen size mattresses and above with split constructions if you and your partner have different sleep preferences.||$995||See Current Offer||Read My Review!|
|Zenhaven||Latex||All natural construction that uses four layers of talalay latex creating a mattress with a good amount of bounce. The Zenhaven is flippable to allow for a choice of different firmness levels.||$1,899||No Current Offers||Read My Review!|
As always, if you have any specific questions, comments, or concerns please don’t hesitate to drop me an email via my contact form.