The 12 Best Cooling Mattresses for Active People

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The most dedicated athletes continuously push their bodies to the limits, and the harder you train, the more important a good night's rest becomes to your physical and mental health. It can be easy to underestimate the role a mattress plays in sleep quality, and the last thing you need after a day of high-intensity exercise is a heat-trapping mattress that's tough on the body. So if you're leading an active lifestyle, it may be time to whip your sleeping situation into shape with the best cooling mattress that'll help you spring out of bed feeling recharged and ready to crush it.

The expert review team at Mattress Advisor did the heavy lifting for you, putting together a list of the 12 best mattresses for active people just like you. And since many athletes tend to sleep hot, we curated our list to feature mattresses that'll keep you cool through the night.

The Best Cooling Mattresses for Athletes — Our Top Picks

Editor's Pick: Helix Midnight Luxe

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The Helix Midnight Luxe takes top prize as our recommended cooling mattress for athletes. A common problem with mattresses is that body heat can get trapped in the top layer and surround you in sweat. This hybrid's breathable cooling cover maximizes airflow while a gel-infused memory foam layer also absorbs heat. By moving body heat away from you while you sleep, you're less likely to have annoying night sweats and stay at an optimal sleeping temperature. Even cooler (literally), the Helix Midnight Luxe contains a layer of pocket-wrapped coils, supporting your body with the cushion of a foam mattress while maintaining the breathability of a spring mattress.

BUY: Helix Midnight Luxe, Queen, $1,749

Best Cooling Innerspring Mattress: WinkBeds

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Nearly every feature of the WinkBeds mattress was designed to keep you cool at night—from its breathable cover and gel-infused foam, to its two internal coil systems that move body heat away from you. As an added perk, the WinkBeds mattress also gives you top-notch comfort and support, which is great if you're an athlete who tends to suffer from some aches and pains in the morning. Plus, its impressive durability means you'll get your money's worth for a long time. 

BUY: WinkBeds, Queen, $1,299

Best Cooling Mattress for Athletes: Bear Hybrid

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The team at Bear set out from the very start to design a mattress geared toward athletes. It crossed the finish line in glorious fashion with its Bear Hybrid. With its blend of cushioning foam and responsive coils, it does an incredible job of keeping your lower back supported as you sleep. Meanwhile, its cooling gel layer and quilted cover pull heat from your body, making this one cool and supportive mattress for anyone with an active lifestyle.

BUY: Bear Hybrid, Queen, $1,365

Best Cooling Mattress for Back Pain: Saatva Classic

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For athletes contending with back pain, the Saatva Classic is the mattress that can help you fight it off for good. Its built-in lumbar support layer reinforces the middle of the bed to prevent your hips and lower back from sinking. Meanwhile, two layers of coils adapt to your body to support you as you move around while still letting air easily flow through. This mattress is also a great choice for anyone with higher-than-average body weight (we're looking at you, bodybuilders).

BUY: Saatva Classic, Queen, $1,299

Best Cooling Mattress for Couples: Nectar

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The Nectar mattress is a well-rounded foam mattress that does two things exceptionally well: It moves heat away from you and keeps your motion transfer to a minimum. So if you sleep with a partner, you can rest peacefully as they move around. That's why it's our top pick as the best cooling mattress for athletic couples. It contains five foam layers that relieve common pressure points beneath shoulders, hips and legs—no matter your sleeping position. It also provides good support for edge-of-the-bed sleepers, making it a solid (yet, supportive) choice for anyone who tends to toss, turn or move around to every corner of the bed. 

BUY: Nectar, Queen, $899

Best Cooling Mattress for Side Sleepers: GhostBed Luxe

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The GhostBed Luxe dubs itself the "coolest mattress in the world." Upon further review, our team couldn't help but concede that it very well might be the coolest mattress on the market today. Utilizing a seven-layer design with top-to-bottom cooling technology, every component stops overheating before it even begins. Even better, we found the Ghostbed Luxe to be the top mattress for athletic side sleepers. If you're a side sleeper, you need a mattress that cushions pressure points in the shoulders and hips, and the GhostBed Luxe gets the job done with exceptional proficiency. It also offers the pressure relief of memory foam with impeccable responsiveness and support rarely seen in an all-foam bed.

BUY: GhostBed Luxe, Queen, $1,572

Best Cooling Hybrid Mattress: Brooklyn Aurora

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The Brooklyn Aurora offers a level of coolness you'll be hard pressed to find from its fellow hybrid mattress peers. Its cooling technology consists of gel beads that liquefy at higher temperatures, which makes its top surface quite literally cool to the touch. It also features a patent foam layer that contours to your body and gives you targeted pressure point relief. Coils also work to support your body atop the mattress while letting body heat flow away from you, so you'll keep the night sweats at bay, support your body and maintain the perfect sleeping environment all night long.

BUY: Brooklyn Aurora, Queen, $799.20

Best Cooling Mattress for Back Sleepers: DreamCloud

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Are you a back sleeper hoping to find a mattress made just for you? The DreamCloud is not only well suited for your sleeping style, but it keeps you cool all night as well. It boasts a five-layer design with a quilted top layer and a secondary gel foam layer absorbs and transfers heat away from your body. The mattress also helps evenly distribute your weight to eliminate pressure points, and it keeps your spine in neutral alignment while easily adjusting to your movements—which is especially helpful if you tend to move around a lot in your sleep.

BUY: DreamCloud, Queen, $999

Best Affordable Cooling Mattress: Cocoon Chill 

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You don't have to settle for a subpar cooling mattress just because you're on a budget. And the Cocoon Chill by Sealy proves you can have a quality mattress at an affordable price—without having to make a compromise. Your Cocoon Chill memory foam mattress will come with three foam layers, each one engineered from heavy, robust foam for increased durability and resiliency. You'll keep your body evenly supported, spine better aligned and budget under control.

BUY: Cocoon Chill, Queen, $799

Best Organic Cooling Mattress: Birch 

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For athletes who are conscious of their bodies and the environment, the Birch by Helix is impeccable at protecting both. This is hands down one of the most eco-friendly, high-quality mattresses we've ever reviewed. That's because it's sustainable without falling short on comfort, with foam layers made entirely of naturally cooling, non-toxic materials that contour to your body while dissipating body heat. Each Birch mattress is processed in compliance with rigorous environmental standards, and its wool is organically sourced from New Zealand.

BUY: Birch, Queen, $1,299

Best Cooling Memory Foam Mattress: Leesa

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Sometimes with all-foam mattresses, overheating and sagging can become an issue. That's out of the question with Leesa, which dispels any of the typical shortcomings you might expect to find. It sleeps exceptionally cool with layers that promote airflow and stop heat from getting trapped inside. Its cover is made from a breathable twill fabric, followed by a top layer made from polyfoam for added breathability. The bottom two layers support your lower back while also giving soft pressure relief. 

BUY: Leesa, Queen, $949

Best Luxury Cooling Mattress: Tempur-Pedic LUXEbreeze

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From the second you lie down to the moment you get up for your morning workout, the LUXEbreeze keeps you cool. It boasts an ultra-breathable design and four layers of cooling technology that work together to bring your sleep temperature down eight degrees, which is pretty significant if you live in a warmer climate or run hot. This is a high-end luxury mattress, so its price might be at the very top of your budget—but in reviewing the LUXEbreeze, we found that every single aspect of this mattress has been heavily scrutinized by its designers and engineered for a cool, deep sleep.

BUY: Temper-Pedic LUXEbreeze, Queen, $4,999

MA Score: The Mattress Advisor Score is a weighted score that takes into account 14 different factors related to the mattress' performance, function and convenience, as well as the brand's social responsibility.

How Cooling Mattresses Work

Cooling mattresses incorporate all types of materials that draw away or absorb what your body radiates while you sleep. These materials can be anything from gel beads, phase change material that adapts to your temperature, minerals, polyfoam and wrapped wire coils that let air circulate inside the mattress. Here's a quick rundown of the different types of cooling mattresses and some of the technologies they use to keep you sleeping cool.

Innerspring: When compared to other mattress types, an innerspring mattress has an advantage in the temperature-cooling department because it tends to have the greatest potential for air circulation. For the coolest sleep possible, look for an innerspring design with individually wrapped wire coils, which create space for heat to move away from your body and escape through the mattress.

Hybrid: A hybrid mattress can give hot sleepers the cooling airflow of an innerspring mattress with the comfort and support of memory foam layers. Heat gets trapped in certain foam materials, but many hybrid cooling mattresses incorporate technologies, like gel-infused foams and cooling fabrics, to alleviate this problem. In the case of gel memory foam, it can hold liquid gel or gel beads to actively remove heat from your body and either dissipates it or disperses it elsewhere.

Memory foam: Believe it or not, there are all-foam mattresses on the market that sleep very cool. Many of them use gel-infused layers like the hybrid mattress type we just mentioned. Others also take advantage of minerals like graphite and copper, both of which are fantastic heat conductors. Polyfoam is another material known for its ability to help keep sleepers cool, and it's being increasingly used in many all-foam and hybrid designs.

Latex: Natural latex sleeps much cooler than synthetic latex, so keep that in mind if a latex mattress catches your eye. Synthetic latex can contain polyurethane foam and polyester, both of which trap heat. In contrast, all-natural latex is very porous, meaning it allows air to easily pass through your bed during the night. This breathability results in a noticeably cool mattress surface. There are two types to look for: Dunlop and Talalay latex are all natural and temperature neutral. 

Will a Cooling Mattress Help My Performance?

Research has shown that sleep plays a critical role in physical training. The more high-quality shuteye an athlete gets, the better they perform. Studies have also shown that sleeping cooler is much better than sleeping warmer when it comes to maintaining or improving athletic ability—as cold as 60 degrees in fact. So if you want to recharge, remain competitive and reach peak performance, choosing the right cooling mattress is as vital as finding the right pair of running shoes.

Mattress Factors to Consider

Firmness: Athletes need a mattress that will help relieve pressure points and keep their spine aligned. Posture is just as important to maintain while lying down as it is standing up. Of course, athletes come in all shapes and sizes, so it's important to understand that while one level of firmness might provide adequate neck, shoulder, back and hip support for a professional bodybuilder (i.e. a firm or extra firm mattress), a professional cyclist might be better off opting for a medium firm mattress instead. Factor in your weight and sleeping style when choosing the right level of firmness for you.

Budget: Cooling mattresses run the gamut in terms of price, from affordable to higher-end. But just because you find one you like at a bargain price, it doesn't mean you'll necessarily be missing out on good quality sleep. Do your homework on any and all mattresses, regardless of price, to learn about the cooling technologies each one contains. You might be surprised how finely engineered some very affordable cooling mattresses are.

Cooling Sleep Accessories: There are plenty of ways to keep upping your cooling game even after you've purchased your mattress. You can find everything from wearable sleep technology to moisture-wicking bamboo sheets, all designed to regulate your body temperature. 

How We Test

The Mattress Advisor team uses a combination of customer feedback, in-depth interviews and a proprietary testing methodology to conduct reviews. After we conclude testing for each mattress, we generate our Mattress Advisor Score. This is a weighted score that takes into account 14 different factors, including:

Pressure relief:  How well the mattress relieves pressure, (particularly on the hips, shoulders and thighs) and provides even body weight distribution.

Spinal alignment:  How well the mattress keeps your spine in its natural alignment. 

Edge support: How much edge support the mattress provides, accounting for functional use of the end of the mattress and how comfortable it is to sleep on the edge of the bed.

Responsiveness/Ease of movement: How well the mattress responds to your movement and adjusts to your body position. This is especially important for combination sleepers or those who change positions throughout the night.

Motion transfer: How well the mattress isolates movement and absorbs it. Motion transfer is important for couples who don't want to be disturbed by their partner moving around or getting up in the middle of the night.

Durability/Lifespan: Quality and durability of materials, structural support and expected lifespan of the mattress.

Cooling properties: How well the mattress promotes airflow and breathability, factoring in heat retention and any substantive cooling properties and features.

Ease of setup: How easy the set-up process is, including factors like weight, mobility, the time it takes to unbox and set up and how many people are needed.

Trial period: Length of time offered to decide whether or not you like the mattress.

Return policy: Ease of return process, including refund policy and how the mattress is removed from your home.

Warranty: Length of warranty and what is covered.

Shipping: Time and cost (if any) for shipping the mattress to your home.

Customer service: Response time, level of detail provided to answer questions and how helpful the support team is.

Social impact: Evaluates social missions, charitable causes, sustainability efforts, including the quality of the mattress materials used and where they are made. This matters for two main reasons:

  1. Mattress companies that care about social mission and actively give back are not only more financially stable but also care about their communities and the world around them. Some customers prefer to buy from companies that are making a difference.
  2. Companies that make their mattresses using quality, sustainable materials made in the U.S. care about the durability and safety of their mattresses. The U.S. also has the highest standards for safety and quality in the world.

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