Prone to overheating in bed? Here are the best mattresses for a guaranteed cool night’s sleep
For those that get too hot during the night, the best cooling mattress can be a lifesaver. Made with materials designed for maximum breathability, they’ll keep you comfortable throughout the warmest of summer nights.
But picking out the wheat from the chaff (or in this instance, the cool from the warm) can require some considerable research on the part of the consumer, particularly as most mattress brands claim to be breathable and cool in some way, shape or form. Luckily, we’ve reviewed plenty of mattresses here at Expert Reviews, allowing us to give you the best recommendations whatever your needs might be.
We’ve put together a roundup of some of the best cooling mattresses that we feel are well suited for hot sleepers. And before that, you’ll find a short buyer’s guide on how to find the best cooling mattress for you.
How to choose the best cooling mattress for you
What is a cooling mattress?
In a sense, the term “cooling mattress” is a bit of a misnomer, as no mattress we’ve ever tested will actively cool you down. Ultimately, whether your mattress will help you to keep cool or not depends on the materials it’s made with, and there’s a lot of variation in this respect. Mattresses made with breathable materials will be the most effective in keeping you cool, while denser and more synthetic mattresses will be warmer.
What makes a cooling mattress cool?
Sprung mattresses: Mattresses with a sprung layer, whether they be pocket-sprung mattresses or hybrids (memory foam or latex mattresses with a spring or microspring layer), allow for improved airflow between their coils, meaning better breathability and a cooler night’s sleep.
Wool: Natural materials are often better than synthetic ones when it comes to heat regulation. Wool is particularly good for both its insulating qualities and its breathability, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Two of our top picks in this roundup, the Simba Hybrid Pro and the Harrison Spinks Velocity 4250, contain wool layers.
Latex: The open-cell design of latex foam allows for air circulation and breathability, which is why many have praised it as a cooler alternative to memory foam (which we’ll get into in more detail in the next section).
What about memory foam?
Because it retains body heat, memory foam has gained a reputation as a poor choice for hot sleepers – and not unfairly. However, you shouldn’t be too quick to completely write off memory foam.
Many modern memory foam mattresses use open-cell foam in their top comfort layers to improve breathability. Better still, many bed-in-a-box foam mattresses are hybrids, which, as we’ve touched on above, combine the benefits of foam with the breathability and air flow of a sprung layer.
How we test mattresses
How better to test a mattress than to sleep on it. Though, we don’t just put our feet up for eight hours, there are also a number of key factors we take into consideration. Alongside comfort and support, we look closely at firmness and temperature control – though we also focus on edge support and motion isolation when needed.
To illustrate, when taking temperature into account, all-foam ones might feel warmer than some of its counterparts, which makes them a less viable option for those who may overheat at night.
Where you place your mattress – whether that be on a sprung slatted bed, durable divan base or even the floor – will have an effect on how the mattress feels beneath you. And though we are not able to test a variety of bed bases when reviewing a mattress, we will always factor it as part of our decisions.
Following our primary tests, we take into account any trial runs that might be on offer – which is a common occurrence within the bed-in-a-box market – before tackling the big question, is the mattress good value for money?
In order for you to make the most informed buying decision, we recommend checking out some of our other mattress roundups and buying guides, a few of which are listed below.
- How to choose a mattress
- Best mattress type: Springs, foam or hybrid?
- Best mattress for side sleepers
- Best mattress for a bad back
The best cooling mattresses you can buy in 2023
1. Simba Hybrid Pro: The best cooling mattress bed-in-a-box overall
Price when reviewed: From £1,164 (single) | Check price at SimbaOne of the best hybrid mattresses we’ve ever tested, the Simba Hybrid Pro is constructed from several layers of foam, two microspring layers (one more than the regular Hybrid), an upper wool layer and a “breathable sleep surface”. For this reason, it outperforms many other foam and hybrid mattresses when it comes to heat regulation.
At £1,599 for a double mattress, it’s not cheap (although the Hybrid Luxe holds the title of Simba’s most expensive mattress). However, it does come with a 200-night money-back guarantee, and can often be had at a discounted price in Simba’s regular sales.
Read our full Simba Hybrid Pro review for details
Key features – Type: Hybrid seven-layer (breathable “sleep surface”, wool upper layer, open-cell Simba-Pure foam layer, two microspring layers, high-definition Simba-Pure with edge support, zoned Simba-Pure support base); Sizes: Single to super-king; Trial: 200-night money-back guarantee
2. Otty Hybrid: The best-value cooling mattress
Price when reviewed: From £800 (single) | Check price at OttyIf the Simba Hybrid Pro is a bit of strain on the budget, Otty’s mattress is a good affordable alternative. The Original Hybrid is a firm and supportive mattress, constructed from several layers of foam including an upper layer of temperature-regulating memory foam, as well as a layer of full-size pocket springs (up to 2,000 16cm springs according to Otty) and “airflow side support”.
Otty’s trial period is shorter than Simba’s at just 100 nights, but it’s still plenty of time for you to decide whether or not the Original Hybrid is right for you.
Read our full Otty Original Hybrid review for details
Key features – Type: Foam/pocket spring hybrid (50mm high-density foam, 2,000 140mm pocket springs, 30mm reflex foam, 30mm memory foam); Sizes: 9, from single to emperor (also EU sizes); Trial: 100-night trial, 10-year warranty
3. Harrison Spinks Velocity 4250: The best-value traditional cooling mattress
Price when reviewed: From £800 (single) | Check price at SophaFollowing the methods of the growing bed-in-a-box market, Harrison Spinks delivers its Velocity 4250 mattress to your door, rolled up and vacuum sealed. Aside from this, it’s a much more traditional design than those manufactured by brands such as Simba, Emma and Eve.
Indeed, the Velocity 4250 is made up of two layers of pocket springs and three comfort layers of cotton and wool blends. As outlined in our buyer’s guide, natural materials such as wool and cotton are more breathable than synthetic materials, which makes the Velocity 4250 cooler than some of its foam rivals. What’s more, it’s more eco-friendly, too.
Because of its natural fillings, it’s a bit on the firmer side, but it offers good levels of support in all sleeping positions. Harrison Spinks doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee with its trial period, but you do have the option of swapping your mattress after 60 nights.
Read our full Harrison Spinks Velocity 4250 review for details
Key features – Type: Pocket spring mattress with natural fillings made from cotton and wool; Sizes: 4, from single to super king; Trial: 60-night comfort guarantee
4. John Lewis & Partners Classic Eco 800: The best budget pocket sprung mattress
Price when reviewed: From £279 (single) | Check price at John Lewis
Much like the Harrison Spinks Velocity 4250 above, the traditional design of this John Lewis mattress makes it much cooler than many foam options. The Classic Eco 800 is made from a layer of full-size pocket springs (there are 800 in a king size), with comfort layers made from recycled plastic and a breathable cover made from recycled cotton.
The ‘medium’ firm Classic Eco 800 does a good job of catering to a variety of sleeping positions, making it a great option whether you sleep on your front, side or back – though it is lacking in terms of edge support, and may feel a bit soft if you’re on the heavier side. What’s more, it’s remarkably affordable, starting at £279 in a single and costing as little as £429 in a king size. If some of the bed-in-a-box foam mattresses that we recommend fall outside of your budget, this is a great, traditional alternative.
Read our full John Lewis & Partners Classic Eco 800 review for details
Key features – Type: Pocket sprung with recycled polyester filling; Sizes: Single to super king (plus zip-and-link option); Trial: 60-night trial with exchange guarantee