Best mattress cooling pads 2022: 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 many of today's best mattresses, if you pick the wrong one, it can trap your body heat and leave you a sweaty mess. While you shouldn't find this issue with today's best memory foam mattresses, old and/or cheap memory foam is notorious for overheating.

There are a couple of mattress cooling pads on the market that will actually, definitely lower the temperature of your bed: the Eight Sleep Pod Cover (opens in new tab) is one, and the SleepMe Dock Pro (opens in new tab) is the other. Both of these actively cool (or warm) your bed using water distributed via an internal network of tubes. However, they're both pretty expensive options. For something cheaper, opt for a gel-filled pad that's designed to absorb excess body heat. There are quite a few of these on the market, many from unknown brands with varying reviews, but some (namely the JML version) that seem to be genuinely effective. 

Another tactic is to go for a topper that's designed to regulate your body heat. While you should temper your expectations when it comes to how much these will cool you down (sleep brands often make very bold, some would say unfounded, claims in this area), they could well help the situation if you have a particularly heat-trapping mattress. Most of today's best mattress toppers will take heat-retention into account when it comes to the materials they use. Read on for our pick of the best mattress cooling pads on the market today. 

Best mattress cooling pad 2022

JML Chillmax pillow cooling pillow padT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: JML)

1. JML Chillmax pillow

The best cheap cooling pad

Specifications

Thickness: not stated
Sizes: 51 x 33.5cm

Reasons to buy

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Can refrigerate before use
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Low price
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Can be used in a pillow or as a seat pad

Reasons to avoid

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Relatively small
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Only three hours of cooling

Looking for a cheap and cheerful cooling pad? The JML Chillmax pillow is the best we've found, based on customer reviews. The design is simple: it's a pouch filled with gel that's designed to absorb excess heat from the body. It's pillow- rather than bed-sized (there is an 'Extra Large Cooling mat version, but we can't find it in stock anywhere). Those compact dimensions do add versatility though – JML suggests it can also be used as a seat cushion or even under a laptop – as well as being a great option to slot into your pillowcase or under your sheet to help keep you cool as you slumber.

This is an entirely analogue affair, so there's no charging to speak of, you don't even need to refill it, and it's wipe-clean if it does get a bit sweaty. You can (as we'd be tempted to do) whack it in the fridge before use to amp up the cooling properties. JML says it'll work for up to three hours, so this isn't necessarily an all-night solution, but it should do its job long enough to help you drop off comfortably. Reviews for this kind of product tend to be variable, but the JML version has garnered the most positive responses we've seen. Almost everyone's been impressed with it. And for such a low price, it's not a big risk to give it a go.

Eight Sleep Pod Pro CoverT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Eight Sleep)
The best advanced mattress cooling pad

Specifications

Thickness: not stated
Sizes: US Full, Queen, King, Cal King / UK Double, King, Super King

Reasons to buy

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Precise, dual-zone temperature control
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Cool or heat from 55°-110°F
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Automatically adjusts temperature in the night

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive option
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Requires water reservoir next to bed

The Pod Pro Cover is the best mattress cooling pad around. This is for those who are serious about keeping their chill at nighttimes. The cover slots over your existing mattress like an other cover, but this one contains a network of water-filled plumbing that can be cooled or heated to your exact preferences. Don't agree with your partner on the ideal bed temperature? It's dual-zone, so you don't need to. As well as being able to adjust your own side of the bed to any temperature from 55°F to 110°F (13-43°C), the cover will also automatically adjust its temperature throughout the night, based on your sleep zones. 

That's not all though! The Pod Pro Cover also has an integrated sleep tracker that'll give you data about the quality of snoozing you're doing, and there's 'GentleRise' function that can wake you up silently by gently vibrating and cooling/heating your side of the bed. Any downsides? Well, as you might suspect, all that tech doesn't come cheap (but there are sometimes Eight Sleep deals to take the price down) and you'll need to make room for a water reservoir next to your bed. 

This brand also sells an all-in-one option with an included mattress, although the tech for the cover is the same in both, so if you have a decent mattress already you should just grab the cover. Our testers absolutely loved this gadget in our Eight Sleep Pod review

Eve mattress topper on a mattress in a white roomT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Eve)
An excellent memory foam topper that won't trap body heat

Specifications

Thickness: 5cm
Sizes: Single, Double, King, Super-King

Reasons to buy

+
Doesn't trap heat
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Very comfortable and supportive
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Isolates movement well

Reasons to avoid

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Will be too firm for some

The Eve mattress topper isn't specifically sold as a cooling pad, but it is a mattress topper with temperature regulation built in. The site claims this is 30 times more breathable than 'the old kind of foam', which is suspiciously vague, but in our Eve mattress topper review our tester was suitably reassured that it didn't trap body heat overnight. The Eve topper is made from two layers of foam – a 2cm open cell comfort layer, and a 3cm supportive base foam layer – which together deliver a comfortable yet supportive sleep surface that isolates movement from wriggly sleepers well. Check out our Eve vs Panda mattress topper face-off to see how it compares to a softer, cheaper memory foam mattress topper.

M&S Comfortably Cool Mattress TopperT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Marks & Spencer)

4. M&S Comfortably Cool Mattress Topper

A cooling topper that doesn't use foam

Specifications

Thickness: UK Single, Double, King, Super King
Sizes: not stated

Reasons to buy

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Foam-free (recycled polyester stuffing)
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Machine washable
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Breathable cotton cover  

Reasons to avoid

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Stops overheating rather than actively cooling

Those who want a cooling topper that's not made from foam – it's not for everyone, after all – should pick up this Comfortably Cool Mattress Copper from Marks & Spencer. Instead of foam or gel, this one's stuffed with recycled polyester. The cover is cotton – which is known for being breathable – and M&S has doubled down on the temperature regulation front by adding its own climate control technologies that claim to draw moisture away from the body to keep you cool (despite that, we'd still probably put this in the 'stops you from overheating rather than actively cooling you down' camp). It's received some consistently great reviews and has the added bonus of being machine washable to help keep things fresh (assuming you can get it into your washing machine), as well as providing an extra-comfortable top layer for your bed.

Sleepme Dock Pro Sleep SystemT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Sleepme)
Another system that'll actively cool your bed

Specifications

Thickness: not stated
Sizes: US Queen, King Cal King (and half versions of each)

Reasons to buy

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Dual-zone cooling and heating
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Set from 115ºF (46ºC) down to 55ºF (13ºC)
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Machine washable cover

Reasons to avoid

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No UK sizes as of yet
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Not that comfy to sleep on
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Sleep tracking needs honing

The Dock Pro Sleep System from sleepme and chilisleep is a similar idea to the Eight Sleep cover (in at #2). It comprises a dock unit and a mattress cover, through which warm or cool water is piped to your exact temperature preferences, and again, you can pick a different temperature for each side of the bed. The cooling pad is controlled via a companion app, which allows you to set times for the Dock Pro to turn on and off, and at what temperature, as well as the ability to specify temperature adjustments through the night. We tried out a sample for our sleepme Dock Pro review, and our tester was suitably impressed with this system's cooling and heating features, although found the pad itself a little uncomfortable to lie on. Its sleep tracking and sleep zone features are also not as advanced. 

Slumberdown Airstream Memory Fibre Mattress TopperT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Slumberdown)

6. Slumberdown Airstream Memory Fibre Mattress Topper

A breathable fibre topper with a cool-touch cover

Specifications

Thickness: 4.5cm
Sizes: UK Single, Double, King

Reasons to buy

+
Breathable fibre filling
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Cooling cover

Reasons to avoid

-
Polyester cover – some may prefer cotton

Another cooling mattress pad with a fibre filling rather than gel and foam, this 4.5cm topper from Slumberdown is designed to reduce heat build-up in the night and also gives your mattress an extra level of firm support and pressure relief. Its breathable fires are designed to 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 should help wick away moisture.

Jim McCauley
Jim McCauley

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

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