Best cooling mattress toppers – combat overheating and night sweats for a more restful night's sleep

The best cooling mattress toppers for a cooler and more breathable sleep – tried and tested options from Simba, Panda, Emma, Silentnight, and more

A picture of the SImba Hybrid mattress topper
(Image credit: Future)

The best cooling mattress toppers can prevent overheating at night by adding breathability and better temperature-regulation to your sleep set-up.

All of our bodies release warmth and humidity as we sleep, and if you're regularly finding yourself waking up hot and sticky at 3am then it's possible your mattress could be the problem. 

Adding a cooling mattress topper to the top of your mattress provides a breathable 'breaker layer' between your body and the mattress surface. This extra air circulation helps to wick heat and moisture away from the body for a cooler and more restful night's sleep, which is great news if you don’t have the budget to invest in one of the best mattresses for hot sleepers right now.

To help you find the best cooling mattress topper for your sleep needs we've put multiple options through their paces to see which toppers live up to their claims. We’ve taken into account cooling performance, comfort levels, and value for money to find the cooling mattress toppers that really work.

The quick list

Short on time? This quick list is an overview of the very best cooling mattress toppers. You'll find more information on each topper and why our testers recommend it if you keep on scrolling.

Best cooling mattress toppers

Why you can trust Ideal Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best cooling mattress topper overall

The S-mba Hybrid mattress topper rolled up

(Image credit: Simba)

1. Simba Hybrid Mattress Topper

Best cooling mattress topper overall

Specifications

Sizes available: Single / Small Double / Double / King / Super King
Depth: 6.5cm
Materials: Memory foam and micro springs
Care instructions: Removable machine-washable cover
Manufacturer sleep trial: 200-night

Reasons to buy

+
Breathable for a cooler sleep
+
Supportive and cushioning
+
Good motion isolation
+
Anti-slip base and straps
+
Rolls up for easy storage

Reasons to avoid

-
An investment

The Simba Hybrid Topper is constructed of three main layers – a memory foam top layer, a layer of pocketed micro springs, and a base layer of high density foam. In terms of comfort, during testing we found that memory foam layer did a great job of adding extra cushioning to a firm sleep surface, whilst the pocket springs delivered a good level of support for side and back sleepers. 

Springs are something of a rarity in the world of mattress toppers, and make this topper one of the most capable of transforming an uncomfortable mattress. However, they're also good news for breathability. Springs mean increased airflow, and better airflow meant our testers found any excess body heat dissipated away from them rather being reflected back towards them during the night.

Breathability is helped further by Simba's use of open-cell memory foam rather than denser 'old school' memory foam. On the bed, we found that meant better airflow, so you get the cushioning benefits of responsive memory foam without the overheating that denser versions of the material can be prone to. Plus, that open-cell memory foam is infused with graphite, a mineral popular with mattress manufacturers thanks to its ability to conduct heat away from the sleeper. All of these attributes added up to a very cool and breathable night's sleep during testing.

This topper isn't cheap, but all in all our testers felt it was a great buy if you're looking to revive an old mattress that's seen better days, you want to soften up a firm mattress or sofa bed, or you want to add a cooling layer to a mattress that's causing you to overheat. 

Best memory foam cooling mattress topper

Panda mattress topper rolled up with box beside

(Image credit: Panda)

2. Panda The Topper

Best memory foam cooling mattress topper

Specifications

Sizes available: Single / Small Double / Double / King / Super King / EU Single / EU Double / EU King / EU Emperor
Depth: 5cm
Materials: Foam
Care instructions: Removable machine-washable cover
Manufacturer sleep trial: 30-night

Reasons to buy

+
Breathable for a cooler sleep
+
Reasonable price point
+
Wide range of sizes

Reasons to avoid

-
Won’t transform a lumpy/sagging mattress

If you have a sleep surface that's too firm for comfort, then a memory foam mattress topper is a great way to add an extra layer of cushioning. Memory foam responds to body heat, which means it moulds around you as you sleep to cushion and support joints. This makes is a particularly good option for side sleepers as it adds a cushioned layer that hips and shoulders can sink into to keep the spine in better alignment.

However, 'old school' memory foam is a dense material that can be prone to making sleepers overheat – not what we want in the seach for a cooling mattress topper! But, Panda combats this by using what it calls '3rd generation, gel-infused memory foam'. This is open-cell memory foam that allows for better airflow, and airflow means our bodies can better regulate their temperature during the night, reducing the risk of overheating. 

Our tester was very impressed by this topper's breathability saying she was 'very pleasantly surprised' by how cool she slept, especially considering she'd had unpleasantly hot and sweaty experiences with memory foam in the past. 

In fact, this toppers breathability combined with its mid-range price point and wide range of size options (that mean there's likely a size to fit even the most awkwardly dimensioned sofa bed) mean we think that this is one of the best memory foam cooling mattress toppers you can invest in.

Most cushioning cooling mattress topper

Emma cooling mattress topper

(Image credit: Emma)

3. Emma Premium Topper

Most cushioning cooling mattress topper

Specifications

Sizes available: Single / Small Double / Double / King / Super King
Depth: 9cm
Materials: Foam
Care instructions: Removable machine-washable cover
Manufacturer sleep trial: 100-night

Reasons to buy

+
Breathable for a cooler sleep
+
9cm depth is very cushioning
+
Good motion isolation
+
Anti-slip base

Reasons to avoid

-
An investment
-
Depth means you may need new sheets
-
Lack of edge support
-
Strong off-gassing smell

If you're trying to nail two sleep problems at once and want deep cushioning for a more comfortable night's rest, and a cooler sleep, then the Emma Premium topper could well be worth the investment.

At 9cm deep – which is almost double the depth of most other mattress toppers – it's one of the most cushioning mattress toppers we've tested. Our side sleeping tester in particular found it did an excellent job of cushioning her hips and shoulders as she slept. She also found it makes a great addition to the bed if you have a sprung mattress and restless partner who tosses and turns during the night. This topper absorbs movement so motion transfer from one side of the bed to the other is greatly reduced.

Our testers were also thoroughly impressed by this topper's breathability. One tester who had been struggling with overheating on her existing memory foam mattress found that adding this topper to the bed instantly delivered a cooler night's sleep. Likely this is thanks to the 'ThermoSync' foam layer which is infused with graphite to draw heat away from the body.

This topper is an investment, coming in as the most expensive option in our round-up, but it is the deepest and therefore the most cushioning, so if you're craving comfort as much as a cooler night's sleep, this could be the option for you. You might just have to factor in the addition of some deeper fitted sheets to cater to the additional height once it's on the bed.

Best cooling mattress topper for menopause

Woolroom Deluxe Wool Mattress Topper strapped onto a mattress

(Image credit: Woolroom)
Best cooling mattress topper for menopause

Specifications

Sizes available: Single / Single XL / Small Double / Double / King / Super King / Emperor / EU Double / EU King / Large Emperor
Depth: 4-5cm
Materials: Organic cotton and 100% traceable British wool
Care instructions: Dry clean only
Manufacturer sleep trial: 30-night

Reasons to buy

+
Breathable for a cooler sleep
+
Eco-friendly natural materials
+
Free from chemicals

Reasons to avoid

-
Dry clean only
-
An investment

If you're suffering from hot flushes or night sweats then it's particularly important to have breathable bedding materials and, after much testing, wool is one of the most breathable bedding materials we've come across.

Naturally temperature regulating, unlike many synthetic materials wool does a brilliant job of wicking humidity away from the body as we sleep rather than reflecting our own body heat back towards us during the night. That's great news if you're menopausal or simply a hot sleeper, as it reduces the likelihood of overheating causing you a disturbed sleep.

In fact, Woolroom states its wool-filled bedding 'delivers 25% better sleep than polyester, down and feather through superior moisture management and heat regulation'. On testing this topper, our reviewers agreed, with our hottest sleepers quickly convinced to add this 'breaker layer' to their synthetic mattresses to help reduce night sweats. 

This is also one of the most eco-friendly toppers we've come across. OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified, it's made from 100% natural materials and is chemical-free thanks to wool's natural fire retardant properties. Plus, it has the Allergy UK Seal of Approval thanks to wool's naturally hypoallergenic properties.

It's not the most supportive topper we've tested and it won't transform a mattress that's seen better days, but if it's simply extra breathability and a cooler night's sleep that you're after then this topper comes highly recommended.

Best budget cooling mattress topper

Silentnight airmax topper on corner of the bed on mattress with logoBudget buy badge

(Image credit: Silentnight)
Best budget cooling mattress topper

Specifications

Sizes available: Single / Double / King / Super King
Depth: 5cm
Materials: Polyester
Care instructions: Machine-washable
Manufacturer sleep trial: None

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Adds extra comfort
+
Offers some breathability
+
Easy to wash
+
Lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
No support or cushioning
-
Needs shaking regularly so the hollowfibre doesn't flatten

According to Silentnight, the Airmax mattress topper 'will revolutionise your sleep with its unbeatable breathability'. It aims to do this by way of its hollowfibre fill and air mesh sides that are designed to provide better air circulation. 

Compared to the other mattress toppers we've tested, the Airmax is one of the thinnest, but that does make it very lightweight and easy to get onto the bed. It also means that the entire topper can be put in the washing machine and washed, in contrast to most toppers where it's only the cover that can be cleaned.

Hollowfibre is a polyester fill that's often used in duvets, and that's what this topper most reminded our tester of. It offers a degree of extra comfort on the bed, but because the hollowfibre compresses quite a lot under the body it didn't deliver the same cushioning or comfort levels as the other toppers included in this round-up.

However, our reviewer still found that the hollowfibre layer was enough to add a 'breaker' of breathability between the body and mattress. That's particularly good news if you have a solid foam or memory foam mattress that's causing you to overheat at night. That said, she did find she needed to shake this topper regularly so the hollowfibre didn't become compressed and its breathability compromised.

All in all, Silentnight's Airmax topper isn't the best cooling mattress topper we've tested, but it is the most affordable. So if you're waking up hot and sweaty because of a mattress that lacks breathability, this topper could help you to sleep better without breaking the bank.

Most affordable memory foam topper

Aidapt 5.0cm Memory Foam Cool Mattress Topper

(Image credit: Aidapt)
Most affordable memory foam topper

Specifications

Sizes available: Single / Double
Depth: 5cm
Materials: Foam
Care instructions: Spot clean
Manufacturer sleep trial: None

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
5cm of cushioning memory foam
+
Stays in place on the bed without using straps

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as cooling as we hoped
-
Only three size options
-
Doesn't quite fit the bed
-
Strong off-gassing smell

If you love the cushioning effect of memory foam, but can't stretch to the price tag of the Panda Topper, then this is an affordable option that delivers some of memory foam's benefits without getting too hot and sticky.

The Aidapt Memory Foam Cool Mattress Topper comes in a rather unusual shade of blue and is two-sided. One side of the topper is flat, and the other features an 'egg crate' texture designed to increase airflow and aid breathability. 

On the bed, we found the foam felt soft and spongy to lie on and did add an extra layer of cushioning to a firm mattress, although at 5cm deep it wasn't the most cushioning in our round-up. Our reviewer wasn't keen on the textured side of the topper as its irregular surface could be felt through the sheets, but she was impressed by the gel-infused foam which she felt didn't cause her to overheat in the same way that denser memory foam can.

Overall, this topper doesn't feel like a premium option, but then its low price point doesn't suggest that it will be. Our reviewer didn't like the strong off-gassing smell which the topper emitted, or the fact its measurements didn't quite fit with a standard mattress' dimensions. But, for its budget-friendly price tag, it did the job of increasing comfort levels, and didn't leave us waking up in a hot and sweaty mess in the night.

How to choose a cooling mattress topper

The best mattress toppers deliver cushioning and support, but the best cooling mattress toppers need to go one step further and offer breathability or temperature regualtation as well. 

Sadly, no mattress topper is going to be able to actively cool down the bed, but a cooling mattress topper can help to increase the airflow between our bodies and the mattress surface. This in turn allows heat and humidity to dissipate which helps to prevent overheating and leads to a cooler night's sleep.

A mattress topper on a mattress on top of a wooden bed frame

(Image credit: Slumberdown)

A cooling mattress topper could be of particular use if you have an older memory foam mattress. Memory foam is comfortable to lie on because it's designed to become more malleable when exposed to warmth, like body heat. That means that after you've laid on it for a little while, the memory foam starts to mould around your body. This can feel very cushioning and supportive, particularly if you're a side sleeper as it allows shoulders and hips to sink deeper into the mattress to create good spinal alignment.

However, memory foam – particularly older forms – is made from very dense polyurethane. That density means very little air can circulate through the mattress, so the natural heat that all of our bodies release at night gets trapped between us and the mattress, often leading to overheating. Memory foam is also very non-absorbent, meaning the humidity our bodies release has nowhere to go and is reflected straight back towards us, often resulting in disturbed sleep where we wake feeling hot and sticky in the night and have to throw off the covers.

A cooling mattress topper can combat this by adding a 'break' layer in between your body and the mattress. 

A mattress topper on a bed with green cushions

(Image credit: Slumberdown)

When shopping for a cooling mattress topper look out for natural materials, like wool. Wool is naturally thermoregulating, which means it has temperature regulating properties that can help you to stay cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold. Wool is also naturally absorbent, wicking moisture away from the body and releasing it into the air, therefore creating a breathable sleep surface that's ideal for hot sleepers.

However, synthetic mattress toppers can also aid breathability. Many manufacturers infuse graphite or gel into their synthetic mattress toppers, both of which can help to regulate temperature. And if you opt for a cushioning memory foam topper then look for one with an 'open cell' construction. This delivers a cooler sleep as there's space for air to circulate between the fibres for a more breathable night's sleep.

A Woolroom mattress topper on top of a mattress

(Image credit: Woolroom)

FAQs

Do cooling mattress toppers really work?

Even the very best cooling mattress toppers aren't going to actively cool down your sleep surface and make it feel like climbing into a fridge – and who hasn't considered that solution mid-heatwave?! (NB. this definitely isn't recommended). 

What the best cooling mattress toppers will do is increase airflow and breathability between the body and the mattress, therefore helping to prevent body heat from being reflected back towards the sleeper, and allowing moisture to dissipate which helps to prevent the sleeper from overheating and waking up hot and sticky in the night.

If you want to make sure you understand the basics before you shop, then our guide to what is a mattress topper can help.

Can I clean a mattress topper?

Yes, most mattress toppers can be cleaned – see our guide to how to clean a mattress topper for expert advice – but the best approach is to keep your mattress topper from getting dirty in the first place. 

Many mattress toppers have removable covers that can be unzipped and machine washed, but if yours doesn't you can add one of the best mattress protectors over the topper and mattress to keep both clean and fresh. 

(Not sure on the difference between a topper and protector? Find out which you need in our guide to mattress toppers vs protectors).

Six cooling mattress testers in a bedroom with grey carpet

(Image credit: Future)

How we test

You'll find full details of the Ideal Home review process on our how we test page.

Our team of reviewers tested a host of bestselling mattress toppers to compile this guide. We slept on each topper for a number of nights to compare cooling performance and comfort levels. We also compared ease of care and value for money, as well as taking into account third party reviews from multiple happy and not-so-happy customers to bring you our top recommendations.

Amy Lockwood
Content Editor

After studying Print Design at Winchester School of Art, Amy spent multiple years working in the interior industry as a copywriter, content creator, and product stylist. She’s now Content Editor at Ideal Home, offering expert advice on the best products for decorating your home and ensuring it functions smoothly. That includes sourcing stylish yet affordable furniture – from the best sofa beds for combining style, comfort, and function, to the best artificial Christmas trees for a stress-free festive season – helping our readers to find the best mattress for their sleep style, and testing top-rated dehumidifiers and air purifiers to narrow down the best-in-class.