How to buy the best cooling mattress for under $1,000

A woman wearing a white singlet an d denim shorts sits in a chair with her legs restiong on top of the Cocoon by Sealy Chill mattress
(Image credit: Cocoon by Sealy)

As we advance into summer, temperatures continue to rise — which can wreak havoc on our sleep. If you’re a hot sleeper, you’ll be familiar with the toll that waking up in a pool of your own sweat can have on the quality of our slumber. 

While the best mattresses of 2024 will all provide a certain degree of temperature regulation, the best cooling mattresses offer top notch cooling comfort. They do this through the inclusion of breathable materials and build, such as latex, gel-infused or open-cell foam, as well as featuring phase-changing materials (PCM) that work to regulate your temperature while you sleep. 

But many of the best cooling mattresses are specialist beds that command a high price tag — is it possible to buy a cooling mattress for under $1,000? Yes, here’s what to look for. 

How to choose the best cooling mattress for under $1,000

Some of the best cooling mattresses boast the latest in cooling technology - and can come at an eye-watering price tag to match. However, some mid-range mattresses, which sit between $500 and $1,000 for a queen, are durable, supportive and, if you know what to look for, comfortably cooling. If you're looking for the best cooling mattress for under $1,000, these are the five factors you should consider. 

1. Material

Look for mattresses made of cooling materials such as gel-infused memory foam, latex, or open-cell foam. Many of the best cooling mattresses boast these materials, which tend to dissipate heat better than traditional memory foam or innerspring mattresses. This type of cooling is referred to as passive cooling. 

2. Breathability

As a general rule, the best hybrid mattresses provide better temperature regulation than all-foam models, thanks to the air channels that the coils provide. If you've got your heart set on an all-foam model, check if the mattress has features like airflow channels or perforations within the foam that allow air to circulate freely, aiding in temperature regulation.

3. Cooling technology 

Viscosoft Active Cooling Mattress Topper

(Image credit: Viscosoft)

Active cooling systems, like the Eight Sleep Pods favored by Elon Musk, are much more effective at providing temperature regulation, but are much more expensive too. If your budget is for $1,000 and under for a cooling mattress, look for one with gel or copper infusions or Phase Change Material (PCM) which can help draw heat away from your body and keep you cool throughout the night. 

4. Cover material

The cover material of the mattress can also impact its cooling properties. While not cooling per se, the best organic mattresses boast breathable and moisture-wicking fabrics like bamboo, cotton or wool, while materials like Tencel will feel cool-to-the-touch.

5. Firmness level

Personal preference plays a significant role in which firmness level you opt for, but generally, firmer mattresses tend to sleep cooler as they allow for more airflow around your body. In contrast, a mattress that you sink into can sleep a little warmer.

The best time to buy a cooling mattress

The best cooling mattresses with the latest in cooling technology will often command a high price tag. However, timing your purchase to coincide with a mattress sale can help bring prices down. The next major mattress sale event is Labor Day in September, but keep your eyes peeled for any flash mattress sales before then.

However, even if your mattress meets all the above requirements, it doesn't guarantee that it will be comfortable and cooling for you. As such, ensure the mattress comes with a generous trial period and warranty. This will allow you to test the mattress at home and return it if it doesn't meet your sleep needs. 

Top 3 cooling mattresses for under $1,000

Cocoon by Sealy Chill: $839 $539 at Cocoon by Sealy

Cocoon by Sealy Chill: From $839 $539 at Cocoon by Sealy
The Chill boasts cooling features that punch well beyond its budget-friendly price tag, such as a cool to the touch cover and Phase Change Material memory foam, which works to dissipate heat while you sleep. You'll never pay full price for the Chill mattress – the evergreen Cocoon by Sealy mattress sale knocks 35% off MSRP, which brings the price of a queen to an incredible $899, plus you'll get a free sleep bundle (including two memory foam pillows, a cotton sheet set, and a mattress protector) worth up to $199. 

Awara Natural Hybrid mattress: $1,299

Awara Natural Hybrid mattress: From $1,299 $649 at Awara
The Awara Natural Hybrid Mattress is not a cooling mattress as such, but it's made with all natural materials that aid in regulating temperature. Latex foam traps much less heat than traditional memory foam, while the inclusion of Awara's individually wrapped innersprings and all-natural wool-cotton blend cover means you have a mattress that can wick away moisture, promote airflow, and provide most people with a temperate night's sleep. You can regularly save $765 on the Awara Natural Hybrid, which means a queen size mattress costs just $949. 

Lucid 10-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress:

Lucid 10-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress: From $219.99 at Walmart
The Lucid 10-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress is available in three comfort options: plush, medium, or firm. It's also available in three different depths: 10", 12" and 14", which means it's suitable for most types of sleepers. This model from Lucid has a few features geared towards preventing this mattress from trapping heat, the memory foam is infused with gel, and the whole thing is topped with a cool-to-the-touch Tencel blend cover to wick away moisture. Even at full MSRP a queen costs $399.99 at Walmart but be warned - it doesn't come with a sleep trial, and whether or not you can return it depends on the retailer you buy from.

Nicola Appleton
Sleep Features Editor

Nicola Appleton is Sleep Features Editor at Tom’s Guide, specialising in quality news content surrounding sleep and wellbeing. Nicola cut her teeth as a journalist in a busy newsroom in Bristol, UK, 15 years ago as part of a team at Britain's largest independent press agency. Since then, her job as a journalist has taken her to the States, to Sydney, and then back to Blighty, where she has written and edited features for a whole host of prominent British and international brands, including  The Independent, The Sydney Morning Herald, HuffPost, Refinery29, Stylist and more. As well as tackling the vast topic of sleep, Nicola will be joining the raft of expert mattress reviewers at Tom's Guide, helping steer readers towards the very best mattresses on the market.