Last Updated: May 30, 2018.
Sleeping hot and sweaty at night sucks. It sucks even more when you wake up from the heat trapped between you and your mattress. In this buyers guide, we go through what we feel are the best cooling mattresses that can give you the best cool, comfortable, and confident sleep.
Reviews of the Best Cooling Mattress
Our top recommended cooling mattress is the Nectar. Before we go onto the specifics, we want to quickly note that most mattress brands offer 100 days of risk-free trial. Nectar, on the other hand, offers a trial period of 365 days. This is more than 3 times longer which is pretty much all the time in the world for you to really get used to your bed. If you find that you don’t like it, you can reach out to them and they will refund all your money and collect the mattress for you.
Their mattress is also priced lower than most quality mattress. At the time of this writing, it is at $670 for a queen size because of the New Year Sale promo they are running ($125 off). You can pick it up by clicking our affiliate link here and entering the code SHOP125 when checking out.
Now, for the actual mechanics of the cooling features of the Nectar Sleep Mattress, it comes with a whopping four foam-based layers:
The top layer is a 1-inch gel memory foam that is quilted into the Tencel cover. Tencel, also known as lyocell, is an eco-friendly fabric made from the wood cellulose of eucalyptus trees. If you are environmentally conscious, you can rest assure that those same eucalyptus trees are grown on farms, without pesticides or chemical processing. The gel memory foam and its thinnest gives us a slow responsiveness without the deep sinking of plushier mattresses. Along with the Tencel, the sleeping surface is comfortable and does its job at regulating body temperature. The second layer is also gel memory foam that is 3 inches thick. This layer serves a similar purpose as the top 1 inch layer by absorbing and dissipating heat, while providing another cushion support layer to prevent sinking. The third layer is an “adaptive” hi-core foam that is 1.5 inches thick. You can really feel the denseness of this memory foam and it sort of provides a flooring cushion before the base layer to help reduce more pressure on your body and give a slightly firmer sleeping surface. The final layer is 5.5 inches thick made of breathable polyfoam base layer for deep compression support. This layer gives the mattress its foundation and helps the bed maintain its shape.
Where to buy: https://www.mysleepyferret.com/nectar ($125 off with code: SHOP125 on checkout)
Overall, the mattress is our top choice as a mattress for all sorts of reasons. You have a full year’s time to return the mattress if you aren’t happy with it, the Tencel cover and gel memory foam upper layers help absorb/wick away heat so you get a moderately comfortable body temperature when sleeping on top, and a warranty that is forever. If you find lingering impressions that are 1.5 inches or deeper, Nectar guarantees a replacement for your mattress.
The firmness of the mattress is a 6.5 out of 10 for us, which is a comfortable medium firm feel for most people.
The Turf & Needle Mattress is arguably the most popular mattress online, with 10,000+ reviews on Amazon, and for good reason. There are two layers of foam that makes the mattress a great choice for cool sleep:
The top layer is 3 inches of what is called T&N Adaptive Foam. Proprietary and only available to the Turf & Needle brand, this layer of memory foam uses gel and graphite mix with an open-cell structure to really give the top layer of your mattress the coolness you need. Gel helps absorb and retain heat, releasing it throughout the day instead of trapping it during the night. Graphite, found in all sorts of computer and electronic applications, including thermal paste and pads, help transfer heat away from your body. The open-cell structure reduces the density of the mattress so it might not be as firm for those in need of a really firm bed, but it allows airflow throughout the mattress to help regulate and dissipate heat build up within the mattress. Basically, the Adaptive Foam layer gives you the awesome contouring effects, thus pressure relief of memory foam without the heat trapping thanks to the mixture of gel and graphite, and open-cell structure of this particular layer.
Below the T&N Adaptive Foam is a high-density supportive foam that gives you deep compression support, and help the mattress retain its shape without having your body sink too deep into the mattress.
Another important cooling feature of the Turf & Needle Mattress also has to do with the cover. It is a nylon-polyester blend that provides both durability and breathability. Nylon, a synthetic textile, is often used in swimwear and hiking clothes which helps wick away moisture for a cooler sleep and feels silky smooth. They are also very durable from its synthetic nature, so combining this with polyester (another popular synthetic material known for its durability), and you get a cover that can withstand a beating with years of tossing and turning. We also found the mattress to be a 6 out of 10 in firmness.
Where to buy: http://amzn.to/2GrXzR7
Overall, Turf & Needle has proven itself to be THE go-to mattress. It’s well built for cooler sleep, including graphite a newer innovative ingredient and open-cell engineering for airflow. The Turf & Needle Mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial for you to test out for three months. It’s also made in the USA, so if you purchase from within USA, you should receive your mattress in a box real soon. There is also a 10-year warranty to protect you from any defective products.
Sealy is a company that started making mattresses over 100 years ago. Founded in Sealy, Texas in 1881, its founder first started making mattresses filled with cotton. Today, the company is a well-known brand worldwide for its Posturepedic technology.
The Cocoon Chill Mattress comes from one of the most trusted and top mattress manufacturers in the industry. During our research, we found the Cocoon Chill to provide a very unique approach for a cool sleeping surface. Much of its cooling experience comes from the phase change material found in its soft stretch-knit cover. You can pretty much feel the “coolness” on touch because of the fabric design and material.
Unlike other mattresses, it’s the first time we found a mattress that focused on cooling engineering from the cover instead of within the mattress. One of the big plus to this is that even with a mattress protector on top, you still have the Cocoon Chill cover wick away heat, absorbing it as a way to help regulate your body temperature during sleep. The only drawback is the cover is not removable, so spot cleaning is the way to go if something gets onto the bed.
As for the mattress itself, it came with two layers underneath its covers:
The top layer is 2 inches of memory foam while the base layer is 8 inches of high-density polyfoam. The thick 8 inches base layer is not a common design for most mattresses on the market. This thick of a polyfoam base provides more give and cushion for the body to sink into. The sink wasn’t that bad, but it did mean the mattress layers play a larger role in influencing the firmness and comfort. The top layer memory foam was responsive and provided just enough cushion without too much uncomfortable plushy sinkingness while the high-density base made tossing and turning easy. We found the mattress is on the 7 out of 10 for its firm option and a 5.5 to 6 out of 10 for its softer option.
Where to buy: http://amzn.to/2DUagpr
Overall, the Sealy’s Cocoon Chill lives up to its name, providing a noticeably cool sleeping surface upon touch, much of it being attributed to its stretch-knit cover. We are also pretty thrilled about the thick base layer providing a lot of support and comfort, especially great for those with some back pain. Firmness option would be the solid choice, otherwise if you prefer a cushion-y sleeping surface, you can’t go wrong with the softer alternative.
The first thing that stood out about the Leesa Mattress was its polyester blend cover with notable four white stripes on one end. The polyester blend is a little thick, which is expected given polyester is known to be durable against wear and tear, and felt really soft and cozy. The blend is pretty breathable and gave a noticeably cool surface to rest on.
Inside the mattress, we have three layers of foam:
- The top layer Avena foam
- The second layer memory foam
- The third, base layer poly foam
The Avena foam is 2 inches thick, and is similar to latex foam. Like latex, Avena has a quick response providing some bounce. This means we could toss and turn and change our sleeping positions without sinking uncomfortably into the mattress. The foam is also perforated (with holes) and used an eggshell design at the bottom of the late to provide airflow underneath for better regulating temperatures.
The next layer is made from 2 inches of memory foam. Memory foam, though is known to retain heat, is also known to provide much needed pressure relief for the body. We suspect this is probably why it was placed underneath the Avena foam layer that uses an eggshell bottom on top of this layer. Sleepers get their pressure relief, still, but without the heat build up of memory foam and with more bounce from the Avena foam.
The final layer is 6 inches of high density poly foam that provides deep compression support, and gives the mattress its shape so when you sleep on the mattress, you won’t sink too far deep.
Where to buy: http://amzn.to/2nprjW7
Overall, we found the mattress to be a cool 7 out of 10. One big part to the positive, cool experience has to do with the cover itself, which is made to be durable and be breathable for the mattress. The polyester blend, although not removable and can only be spot cleaned, gives a cozy smooth feel and every night you jump onto the mattress means a fresh “cold” sleeping surface. We found the mattress to be a 6.5 out of 10 in firmness.
The top layer Avena foam does a great job at not trapping heat while during sleep. The eggshell design and the holes along the foam provided airflow, letting heat disperse and flow throughout the mattress. Combining this bouncy layer with the memory foam layer for pressure relief, and you have yourself a rather comfy mattress for sleep.
A nice plus when you buy Leesa is how one out of every ten mattresses sold is donated to a shelter for a good cause. They also have a 100-night risk-free trial for you to test the mattress, and will ship directly to your home from their factory for cost savings passed onto you.
Layla Mattress is one of the last mattresses we review in this guide. Now, it doesn’t mean the mattress is “less cooling” or not a decent choice. What makes Layla special and a cool choice is its infusion of copper ingredient into memory foam, plus double sided use.
So copper is a common metal type. You find them in pennies, as well as in industrial and technological applications for practical purposes. Interestingly enough, copper is the second most conductive metal on earth (silver is first, but it might make your mattress ridiculously expensive if it had any). Conductive means the copper can absorb and take on heat very easily. This is great if you want a cooler sleep as it helps dissipate heat build up over time.
We were originally worried when we first heard of copper being used in mattresses. We were worried about things like heavy metal poisoning or some other weird metallic poison working its way into our skin. Interestingly enough, copper is used in a lot of athletic garments. We’ll write more about copper and other ingredients in a future post, but just know that our worries are over the top and that copper is actually the following:
- anti-microbial, preventing growth and spread of bacterial and viruses
- anti-inflammatory, effectively reducing inflammation (probably why they are in athletic wear)
- hypoallergenic (dust mites can’t do well on it)
- and anti-odor
A lot of these benefits have something to do with copper ions, which are electrical charges at the molecular level messing up things like bacteria, fungus, dust mites, viruses, and so on. We’re no experts, so it’s worth investigating further.
Now onto the specifics… There are four layers to the mattress:
The top layer is 3 inches thick made of copper-infused memory foam. The second layer is 2 inches of convoluted (eggshell) foam. The egg shell design lets heat dissipate without letting it get trapped for long periods within the material. The airflow helps move the heat away, too. After that, we get the third layer of 4.5 inches high-density support base foam for the mattress shape. The last layer is 1 inches of copper-infused memory foam, which lets you make use of this side as well.
The way the Layla Mattress is designed allows for dual side use. One side will be firmer than the other. The side with the 1-inch followed by 4.5 inch base is the firmer side while the 3 inches side provides a relatively softer sleeping surface. Not many mattresses do this nowadays, so it’s a nice engineering design that isn’t “the usual stuff”. Since both sides use copper-infused memory foam, you get the contour-ness of memory foam and the coolingness of copper regardless of which side you pick.
At the time of this writing, you can get $100 off on any mattress size. If you find yourself interested in the Layla Mattress, you can score anywhere between a 10% discount for Cal King or 20% off for their Twin with this promo. There’s also a 50% off pillow prices when you order the Layla pillows with a mattress
Where to buy: https://www.mysleepyferret.com/layla
Another thing that Layla brings to the table is their 120-night trial. Compared to other mattress brands with 100-night trials (or no trials at all), you pretty much get an extra month (for 4 months total) for test running this mattress. If you find you don’t like it, it’s a simple reaching out to Layla and they’ll refund you in full and pick up the mattress. They will also donate your returned mattress to charity so that it can do some good for those in need of a bed.
What Makes A Great Cooling Mattress
Here are a few important points we found that makes a mattress great at providing cooler sleep:
- Has airflow built in for dissipating heat. We want to look for foams that are aerated (holes throughout the mattress) and/or uses open cell engineering (tiny air passages). The nature of innerspring means there is already high airflow and breathability in the open space among the springs and coils. The cover is also a key part to a cooler sleep. If we have a cover that is thick, it won’t matter how amazingly well built the mattress layers are for keeping you cool. All the heat can get trapped at the cover level, so we recommend mattresses that have both a thin cover that is woven to allow airflow for the mattress to breathe well.
- Cooling designs with the right material. Generally, innerspring and latex (Tatalay) are suitable choices for cooling technology. Gel memory foams (infused or with beads) are also an option with the benefits of memory foam that is better at regulating temperature. For latex, we want to ensure it is aerated (with holes) or uses open-cell structural design.
- Includes cooling ingredients. The cooling materials mixed into the mattress can help absorb and disperse heat. Gel beads, gel-infused foam, copper, graphite, bamboo, and celliant fiber are a few of many cooling ingredients. Each ingredient have their own little special cooling properties, like copper for its thermal conductivity and celliant fiber for breathability (and clinically proven to improve oxygenation).
- Sleeps well. This one is a little difficult to measure. During our research and review, we rated all the mattress firmness on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is hard as a rock. Most mattresses tend to fall within the 5 to 8 range, where 5 is medium and 7 is medium-firm. Everyone sleeps differently, but as a general rule, we found that most consumers and reviewers prefer a mattress within the ranges which the mattresses firmness falls into. That’s a good sign since it means mattress companies are doing their own research!