Let me preface this by saying that for my first night's sleep on the mattress, I slept directly on top of the mattress with no protector or sheets. I wanted to get a true feel for the mattress without additional layers that would possibly skew my review. I have bursitis, so I get a lot of hip pain. On occasion my lower back will hurt, but really my hip pain was the reason I went out searching for a mattress that would help me. I woke up this morning with NO PAIN. In fact, I slept like the dead last night. The foam is very responsive and conforms quickly. The edges of the mattress are firm enough to sit on if you're putting on some shoes or whatnot, but since it is memory foam, you will still sink down a little. Typically, I like a true medium firmness because I am a combination sleeper (back, stomach and side), so I was really surprised at how comfortable this mattress actually was. It is described as a "gentle firm" mattress, which places it right in between medium and firm. I know that once this mattress gets more use and breaks in a little, the firmness will be a true medium and soften up from where it is now. As far as cooling is concerned, it's cool! Anytime I rolled over last night and hit a new spot of the mattress, I immediately felt how cold the mattress was. In fact, it was probably too cool for my liking, so it will be interesting to see if the addition of a protector and sheets will dull that down, or if the mattress will still be as cold. Albeit i've only had one night on the mattress so far, but with my hip pain being non-existent this morning, my first impression is a great one!