The Best Cooling Mattresses Keep the Moisture Away, No Matter How Hot You Sleep
We’ve got expert advice on breathable foam and the best times to shop.
Published Jun 13, 2022 11:10 PM
Reading up on Domino’s shopping guides is like having your own personal product concierge. We do the tedious part—deep-dive research, hands-on testing, and tapping experts for advice—so all you have to do is hit “add to cart.” That’s why we call them Simply the Best.
If your time in bed is way more sweat filled than peaceful, you’re certainly not alone, dear hot sleeper. But the best cooling mattresses—equal parts functional and moisture wicking in one glorious package—can help transform your sleeping quarter’s setup and hopefully nip overheating all night in the bud once and for all. Shopping for a mattress online, though, can get rather intimidating without lying on a couple first—especially when searching for a specific feature like materials that allow for optimal airflow. To help you pin down your ideal option, we tapped sleep product experts for tips and slept on a few mattress types ourselves to find our favorites. From known brands to new-to-market picks, all with moisture-wicking materials, we rounded up a list of the best cooling mattresses so you can reclaim your sleep.
- Best overall: Bear Original Memory Foam Mattress
- Best value: Purple Mattress
- Best pressure-point relief: Nolah 15-Inch Hybrid Evolution 15
- Best for side sleepers: Casper Nova Hybrid Mattress
- Best durability: Birch Natural Organic Mattress
- Best for combination sleepers: Nest Quail Memory Foam
- Best premium: Beautyrest Black Hybrid
Best Overall: Bear Original Memory Foam Mattress
Type: Foam | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king | Firmness: Medium | Warranty: Lifetime
What we like:
- Reasonably priced
- Lifetime warranty
- Fiberglass-free fire barrier
- Slight off-gassing odors
Why we chose it: A firm foam with innovative heat-dispersing technology.
Bear’s memory foam mattress does not miss a beat: It’s touted as the ideal pick for the hot, side, and restless sleepers, aka a win-win, especially if you share a bed with someone who doesn’t have the same sleeping preferences as you. The company’s mattress covers are infused with Celliant, a synthetic fiber that converts body heat into infrared energy. Then it has four high-functioning foam layers, including a cooling graphite-gel memory foam and a transition foam that take a tag-team approach to dispersing body heat, contouring, and regulating the mattress’s response to movement and ability to easily regain its shape (in other words, toss and turn all you want). The base is made of a high-density support foam, which contributes to its firm feel.
Best Value: Purple Mattress
Type: Foam | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king | Firmness: Medium | Warranty: 10 years
What we like:
- Nontoxic fire barrier
- Gel layer for added cooling properties
- 30-day return window if purchased on Amazon
Why we chose it: An all-foam mattress with eco-friendly and breathable elements.
As a popular-for-a-reason mattress brand, we’re not surprised that Purple’s offering in this category goes above and beyond to keep you dry and cool at night: The mattress has a top grid layer that neutralizes temperatures with the help of 1,400-plus air channels. It also has a base made of breathable foam that eases tension on pressure points like shoulders and hips. In addition, we like its responsive gel layer, which helps with temperature regulation and body movement (so no worries about your bed shifting when you change sleeping positions or exit the bed).
And allergy sufferers, listen up: This mattress features hypoallergenic materials that are CertiPUR-US certified, so they’re free of ozone depleters, flame retardants, formaldehyde, and heavy metals, and they have low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. One small caveat is that Purple asks that you give the mattress at least 21 nights before returning it, but there’s only a 30-day return window if you buy through Amazon.
Best Pressure-Point Relief: Nolah Evolution 15-Inch Hybrid
Type: Hybrid | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king | Firmness: Customizable | Warranty: Lifetime
What we like:
- Foundation made of recycled plant fiber
- Has mover handles
- Very supportive and stable center
- May slope when sitting on edges
- A bit pricier
Why we chose it: A pressure-relief option with seven foam layers and coils for lumbar support.
We tried this Colorado-based brand’s Hybrid Evolution 15 mattress and found it to be extremely supportive without being overly firm. You can choose your support level, too: plush, luxury firm, or firm. The bed’s quilted Euro topper is designed to disperse excess body heat, and our tester found that to be super-effective (no overheating at night!). The mattress also has seven responsive foam layers and is backed by an 8-inch coil support system, so you get the full benefit of two mattress types in one. Three separate sections of coils offer pressure-point relief and lumbar support, which is ideal for anyone suffering from joint pain or general discomfort when sleeping. Another plus is the Nolah’s motion isolation, which is great if you’re bunking with a partner or pet who changes sleep positions a lot when you’re trying to get some shut-eye. In testing, we did notice a bit of sloping when sitting on the side of the bed, so keep this in mind if you’re an edge sleeper or someone who needs extra assistance getting out of bed.
Best for Side Sleepers: Casper Nova Hybrid
Type: Hybrid | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Firmness: Soft | Warranty: 10-year limited
What we like:
- Perforated foam, so more breathable
- Designed with ergonomic zones
- CertiPUR-US-certified foam
- 100-night risk-free sleep trial
- On the pricier side
Why we chose it: A spring-foam combo that’s a master at molding to the body and staying cool.
Traditionalists will appreciate the classic spring base on this mattress, which is then topped with three layers of foam. And while the Nova has contouring properties, these molding mechanisms don’t impede the bed’s ample airflow, so it’s still supportive without retaining heat. Also the mattress design gives the feeling of sleeping in your bed (as opposed to simply lying on top of it like firmer alternatives). And here’s another standout quality we can get behind: The Nova is split into multiple ergonomic zones that target the shoulders, back, and hips in order to provide spinal alignment, so side sleepers, take note.
Best Durability: Birch Natural Organic Mattress
Type: Hybrid | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Firmness: Medium | Warranty: 25 years
What we like:
- Sustainably sourced materials
- No off-gassing odors
- Handmade in the U.S.
- On the bulkier side
Why we chose it: A plush-topped selection with an individually wrapped coil base for added support and longevity.
Among the mattresses on this list, this organic number from Birch has one of the longest life expectancies, by way of its natural Talalay latex cushioning. (The typical life span of a latex mattress is anywhere from 12 to 20 years.) Combine that with its moisture-absorbing organic wool and cotton layers and you have the ultimate cooling combo. Also the odors from off-gassing that are common with foam-filled mattresses aren’t a factor here: Birch’s Greenguard Gold and GOTS certifications confirm that it’s free of toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, pesticides, and fire retardants. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out the 25-year warranty (and the free pair of eco-rest pillows!) that comes with it. The mattress is heavier than some of its foam counterparts, so you may need the help of a friend to safely scoot it onto your bed and into position.
Best for Combination Sleepers: Nest Quail Memory Foam Mattress
Type: All foam | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split California King-1 side | Firmness: Medium, firm | Warranty: Lifetime
What we like:
- 1-year sleep trial
- Compatible with an adjustable base
- Has a chemical-free barrier
- Has a bouncy feel
- Only the medium option has a SmartFlow breathable layer
Why we chose it: A perfect middle ground, this bed is breathable with a bit of bounce for those who like a medium firmness.
This Nest option focuses on keeping things natural: It’s a 3-inch, latex-free, all-foam mattress made with an assortment of blended minerals that naturally wicks heat away from the body. If you tend to move a lot in your sleep, the aerated top layer pulls double duty by not only assisting with temperature control but helping you reposition with ease (no more getting stuck mid-turn). Thanks to its high-density base foam, the Quail has a bounce to it that non–firm lovers can appreciate. Another (literal) cool point about this mattress is its thermic phase change cooling fabric that promises to increase airflow and keep you dry, two factors that are especially helpful for hot sleepers.
If extra cooling is what you’re after, bear in mind that only the medium-firm option comes with the second breathable layer (probably not for hot, firm sleepers). Based on manufacturer recommendations, this product is compatible with adjustable and nonflexible slatted bases and metal folding frames, no matter if you need a king or twin mattress. If you can’t quite make up your mind, you’ll have plenty of time after you purchase: Nest offers a one-year sleep trial that allows you to make a choice with 100 percent confidence.
Best Premium: Beautyrest Black Hybrid
Type: Hybrid | Sizes: Twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Firmness: Medium, plush, firm | Warranty: 10-year limited
What we like:
- Luxurious, modern look
- 3 different comfort tiers available
- Efficient motion isolation
- Not currently shipping to Hawaii or Alaska
Why we chose it: A sleek bed that comes in three separate comfort levels.
Serta Simmons Bedding recently relaunched its Black collection and introduced a lot of nice perks, including an eco-friendly cooling feature, high-end materials, and a latex layer for customized support. In fact, there’s so much luxury in this mattress that the brand offers three different variations. First, there’s the LX-Class, which features pocketed coils, plant-based cooling technology, and a memory foam layer that alleviates pressure-point discomfort and allows you to move around with ease. You can upgrade to the CX-Class, which has the LX features plus a supportive Self-Response™ Latex and an alpaca, cashmere, and silk layer for an elevated sleeping experience. And if that isn’t fancy enough for you, the KX-Class is the LX and CX combined, with an extra coil layer for added comfort and support, and up to twice as much memory foam for pressure relief.
Compared to other hybrid mattresses, the Beautyrest Black isn’t the lowest priced and this one works with most frames, including adjustable bases and solid surfaces, but you’ll most likely need a box spring, which you’ll want to factor into your costs.
How We Chose These Products
A mattress is a hefty investment, and we understand you need all the facts to commit to one, so we tapped Derek Hales, sleep product expert and NapLab founder, for his mattress-vetting expertise, and at-home tested some mattresses where we could. To start, we narrowed down our focus to those made with materials that enhance their ability to stay cool with details like moisture-wicking top layers or materials that disperse body heat; those that have specific systems in place to guarantee sufficiently supportive memory foam that allows for ample airflow; those with environmentally friendly qualities such as sustainability measures used in production; plus the warranty, sleep-trial options, and window for return.
Our Shopping Checklist
Design and Materials
“The highest airflow and the least opportunity for heat retention are coil mattresses,” Hales explains. “Coils have virtually no medium in which heat could be retained, while also having ample airflow.” But coils aren’t the only way: Natural latex is the “king of cooling,” he says. This material won’t absorb or retain heat to the same degree that poly or memory foam will, which Hales places at the bottom end of the cooling spectrum. “The best poly or memory foams are at or near the cooling performance of natural latex, but the vast majority fall below that line,” he adds.
Overall, if you’re looking for a mattress that cools, go with a coil option. Luckily there are also plenty of hybrid mattresses that incorporate foam and coils, so they can contour and cool, Hales points out. But if you’re a hot sleeper, consider mattresses that don’t have memory foam on the top layer.
Firmness and Contouring
Regardless of mattress type, Hales says it’s essential to go for the firmness level that accommodates your sleeping position.
Side sleepers should stick to slightly soft to medium firmness (you’ll need a bit of contouring so the mattress has to give a little to relieve joint pressure), while back sleepers need a medium-firm to slightly firm feel (with very few needing a firm) in order to give the heavier parts of the body extra support to avoid overextending the spine. And stomach sleepers need a medium to slightly firm feel to enable neutral spinal alignment. Additionally, pay attention to the thickness of the mattress—thicker doesn’t necessarily equal better quality, but Hales cautions against purchasing a mattress that’s less than 10 inches thick because it most likely will not be supportive or comfortable enough.
Whether you shop in-store or order online, having a mattress delivered is generally a breeze. For instance, the Nolah mattress came straight to our front door in a box, and brands like Birch and Casper offer free no-contact delivery. If you prefer the white-glove experience, it’s still widely available from most brands, including Serta, Nectar, and DreamCloudSleep.
Sleep Trials and Returns
As our picks indicate, sleep trials vary anywhere from 30 days to one year. Return policies have an equally broad range, from no-return exchange options (looking at Nest) to sleep-trial windows with relatively tight cutoffs for returns (like Bear). Be sure to read the fine print before you “add to cart.”
These can vary from brand to brand, but we’ve seen everything from a minimum 10-year limited warranty to those that last a lifetime.
Q: What mattress types sleep cool at night?
Unlike their all-foam counterparts, latex mattresses have open-cell construction that prevents body heat from getting trapped in the mattress. Other alternatives include those with a moisture-wicking top layer (gel memory foam is a pro at this) or an innerspring layer that enhances breathability.
Q: What can I do if my bed is too hot?
A mattress can help keep you cool, but Hales says you need the right bedding, too. In the summertime, make your go-to sheets lighter, more breathable fabrics that effectively pull moisture away from the body. Also, invest in one of the best pillows (solid core foam ones tend to sleep warmer, so Hales suggests sticking to latex or poly foam) or a cooling mattress topper. Finally, placing the mattress on a slatted platform helps with air circulation and can keep it from retaining too much body heat.
Q: What are the benefits of a cooling mattress?
Deep and consistent sleep can be some noticeable benefits of using a cooling mattress, says Hales. “Sleeping cooler increases the time you spend in the most restorative sleep (your REM cycles),” he explains. “Ultimately, sleeping cooler improves your overall well-being.”
Q: When is the best time to buy a cooling mattress?
Let’s face it: Quality mattresses aren’t cheap, so we recommend shopping when you know there will be a sale. Keep an eye out for Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, and don’t forget about the countless holiday sales we see from our favorite mattress brands.
Q: Should I go for a cooling mattress with a removable cover?
Not necessarily, says Hales. In most cases you’ll want to use a mattress protector, which is better equipped at keeping your mattress clean and in good condition for as long as possible, he adds.
Q: Are latex mattresses good for hot sleepers?
Absolutely! Latex is known as one of the more breathable mattress types because the open inner structure doesn’t restrict airflow. Also latex typically does not retain heat.
Q: Are memory foam mattresses good for hot sleepers?
Generally, foam mattresses are known to sleep hot. They’re less breathable because the material tends to retain heat; however, some are equipped with cooling top layers that have moisture-wicking properties, and hybrid versions have coils that allow air to travel through the mattress with ease.
Q: Are innerspring mattresses good for hot sleepers?
Innerspring and hybrid mattresses that incorporate coil units are engineered to increase airflow, which makes them an ideal choice for hot sleepers.
Q: Are hybrid mattresses good for hot sleepers?
Depending on the makeup (combos include gel-foam-spring, foam-spring, and latex-spring, just to name a few), some hybrid mattresses have foam top layers that may minimize their ability to remain as cool. But generally, if they have a coil system (pocketed ones have increased durability and are most often used in high-quality mattresses), then air can move throughout the mattress and heat retention is much lower.
The Last Word
While browsing prospective cooling mattresses, keep your eye out for those that pull heat and moisture away from your body and have a specific cooling mechanism like a cotton or latex topper or an airflow-enabling inner layer. While your mattress isn’t solely responsible for the temperature you experience while sleeping, it is a great solution starter to help you hopefully wake up feeling plenty cool.
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