Best mattress cooling pads 2021: don't get hot under the covers

Sleep better with the best mattress cooling pads, designed to protect you from memory foam's heat-retaining powers

The best mattress cooling pads

The best mattress cooling pads can be an essential part of your sleep setup, especially if your mattress is retaining your body heat and leaving you sweltering in the early hours. While memory foam is a key component of most of the best mattresses, it's notorious for overheating, and you can't beat a cooling layer in between you and the mattress to keep temperatures down.

Fortunately, the mattress market has taken note, and now there’s a huge array of cooling pads or cooling toppers that work to regulate the temperature of your bed for optimum sleeping conditions. They're especially useful in summer, but they're often just as effective on the coldest winter nights, helping you sleep at a temperature that's neither too hot nor too cold, but just right.

The best mattress cooling pads, such as our top pick the Gel Fusion Memory Foam Mattress Topper (opens in new tab) from Dunelm Mill (opens in new tab), use cooling gel to dissipate heat, rather than retain it, and still provide you with the support you need from a mattress. 

Other than that, you’ll need consider the thickness of your cooling pad – you don’t want a princess and the pea effect going on in your bed, but you don’t want to compromise on comfort, either. Also consider firmness – the firmer it is, the more cooling it will be. 

Best mattress cooling pads: Dunelm Gel Fusion Memory Foam Mattress Topper

(Image credit: Dunelm)

1. Dunelm Gel Fusion Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Combining comfort with cooling properties, this topper is a great all-rounder

Reasons to buy

Gel infused foam
Deep and supportive

Investing in mattress cooling pad can be more cost-effective than purchasing a brand new mattress. If you like the idea of memory foam but you’re apprehensive about the heat factor, this gel fusion mattress is a great compromise. The gel particles absorb and disperse body heat while the tiny air holes in the topper increase airflow and breathability to ensure you remain cool and comfortable on even the hottest nights. 

Best mattress cooling pads: Sealy Performance 3-Inch Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

(Image credit: Sealy)

2. Sealy Performance 3-Inch Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Another great memory foam topper with cooling gel

Reasons to buy

Gel-infused foam
Allergen-resistant cover
Five year warranty

This cooling memory foam mattress topper from Sealy will give your bed an extra three inches of medium-soft comfort, and its gel-infused foam draws heat away from your body while responding to your body shape for an even better night's sleep. It comes in a washable, allergen-resistant cover so you can keep things nice and fresh, and there's also a five-year limited warranty for extra peace of mind.

Best mattress cooling pads: AmazonBasics Cooling Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. AmazonBasics Cooling Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper

A budget alternative memory foam topper

Reasons to buy

Open airflow channels
Gel-infused foam

If you fancy the look of the memory foam options above but you're on a budget, this three-inch topper from AmazonBasics is a great, cheaper alternative. It's infused with cooling gel to keep temperatures down at night, and it features open airflow channels for enhanced breathability. Like most memory foam mattresses, this topper comes vacuum-packed, so bear in mind that once it's delivered it'll need up to 72 hours to fully expand when opened.

Best mattress cooling pads: Gel'O Cool Mat Gel Topper

(Image credit: Gel'O)

4. Gel'O Cool Mat Gel Topper

For those with perfectly comfortable mattresses

Reasons to buy

Can be put in the fridge for doubling up as an ice pack
Disperses heat away from your body

Thin in comparison to our first pick, this gel pad is the perfect topper if you don’t want to override the comfort level of your existing mattress. The gel works to disperse the heat away from your body. It doesn’t retain heat in one spot, but redistributes it, so it should keep you cool all night. Doubling up as an ice pad for the injured and a heat pad for the cold, this is an incredibly versatile buy.

Best mattress cooling pads: M&S Comfortably Cool Mattress Topper

(Image credit: Marks & Spencer)

5. M&S Comfortably Cool Mattress Topper

Add an extra layer of cooling fibre to your mattress

Reasons to buy

Machine washable

This mattress topper from Marks & Spencer doesn't use foam or gel; inside its sustainable cotton cover it's all polyester and cotton, created with M&S's own climate control technologies to help regulate your temperature throughout the night. It's received some great reviews and it comes with the added bonus of being machine washable to help keep things fresh, as well as providing an extra-comfortable top layer for your bed.

Best mattress cooling pads: Slumberdown Airstream Memory Fibre Mattress Topper

(Image credit: Slumberdown)

6. Slumberdown Airstream Memory Fibre Mattress Topper

A breathable fibre topper with a cool-touch cover

Reasons to buy

Breathable fibre filling
Cooling cover

Another cooling mattress pad with a fibre filling rather than gel and foam, this 4.5cm topper from Slumberdown reduces heat build-up in the night and also gives your mattress an extra level of firm support and pressure relief. Its breathable fires allow air to flow freely and keep things cool and dry, it has elasticated straps enabling you fit it easily on top of mattresses up to 35cm deep, and its soft knit Coolmax cover is cool to the touch and designed to wick away moisture.

Best mattress cooling pads: Gelify Orthopaedic Super King

(Image credit: Gelify)

7. Gelify Orthopaedic Super King

A cooling, supportive mattress topper for aches and pains and warm summer nights

Reasons to buy

Latex foam offers superior support
Contours to your body shape but remains cool

It may not be as attractive as our first pick but if you’re looking for all the support and coolness that a gel mattress can give you without the hefty price tag, this orthopaedic one from Gelify should do the trick nicely. In addition to contouring to your body shape, it retains less heat so its not radiating your own body heat back to you, keeping you cool and comfortable all year round.

Best mattress cooling pads: Panda Mattress Topper

(Image credit: Panda)

8. Panda Mattress Topper

Sleep well on this 3rd generation memory foam topper with a breathable cover

Reasons to buy

3rd generation memory foam
Breathable bamboo cover

The Panda Mattress Topper is designed to keep you cool in summer and warm in the winter, with a breathable (and washable) bamboo cover that keeps air flowing and which we assume is the inspiration for its name. It features a Hydro Foam layer: 3rd generation memory foam infused with minute capsules of cooling gel that works with the cover to help stop you overheating in the night, and crafted to relieve pressure points and support your entire body. And to keep things steady, as well as its elastic straps it has a silicone dot anti-slip layer to reduce movement between the topper and your mattress.

Best mattress cooling pads: Silentnight Cooler Summer Mattress Topper

(Image credit: Silentnight)

9. Silentnight Cooler Summer Mattress Topper

An alternative to gel, this microfibre mattress topper ensures heat and humidity escape for a cool night’s sleep

Reasons to buy

Lightweight and breathable
Lets your body heat escape

Not everyone gets on with the idea of gel, so it’s worth looking at this microfibre offering from Silentnight. This cooling pad or mattress topper won’t offer the same level of support as thick gel but it will provide that additional layer of comfort with coolness in mind, thanks to its breathability. If you do happen to get a bit sweaty one night, you can stick this mattress topper in the washing machine; all in all, a great way to a fresh bed all summer. 

Best mattress cooling pads: Lifemax Cool Gel Pillow Pad

(Image credit: LIfemax)

10. Lifemax Cool Gel Pillow Pad

Love the cool side of the pillow feeling? You’ll love this then

Reasons to buy

Cool side of the pillow all the time
Prevents sweaty heads

There’s nothing better than the cool side of the pillow on a warm night but when it’s so warm there’s just no cool side any more, at least you have this gel pillow cooling pad to rely on. Simply place it under your pillow case and the gel will disperse your body heat to ensure your head remains cool and dry. Apparently, it’s also pretty good to use when you’re suffering with a headache or a sunburned forehead!

Jim is a freelance writer who has been covering tech, games, design and more for magazines, websites and brands over many years.