Abstract Copper-based composites could be widely used in automotive, electronic or electrical industry due to their very promising thermal properties. In the present paper, Cu-AlN metal matrix composites with ceramic volume fractions between 0.1 and 0.4 were fabricated by hot pressing method in vacuum. Dependence of the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) and the thermal conductivity (TC) on the chemical composition of composites has been investigated. The measured values of the thermal expansion coefficient have been compared with the analytical models’ predictions. A numerical model based on FEAP 7.5 in 3D space has been used to evaluate the influence of the porosity on the thermal properties (thermal conductivity) of the composite. A fairly good correlation between the FEM results and the experimental measurements has been obtained.