In plants, brassinosteroids (BRs) are a class of steroidal hormones that are involved in numerous physiological responses. However, the function of BRs in cold tolerance in cotton has not been explored. In this study, cotton seedlings were treated with five concentrations (0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5 and 1.0 mg/L) of 24-Epibrassinolide (EBR) at 4°C. We measured the electrolyte leakage, malondialdehyde (MDA) content, proline content, and net photosynthesis rate (Pn) of the seedlings, which showed that EBR treatment increased cold tolerance in cotton in a dose-dependent manner, and that 0.2 mg/L is an optimum concentration for enhancing cold tolerance. The function of EBR in cotton cotyledons was investigated in the control 0 mg/L (Cold+water) and 0.2 mg/L (Cold+EBR) treatments using RNA-Seq. A total of 4,001 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including 2,591 up-regulated genes and 1,409 down-regulated genes were identified. Gene Ontology (GO) and biochemical pathway enrichment analyses showed that EBR is involved in the genetic information process, secondary metabolism, and also inhibits abscisic acid (ABA) and ethylene (ETH) signal transduction. In this study, physiological experiments showed that EBR can increase cold tolerance in cotton seedlings, and the comprehensive RNA-seq data shed light on the mechanisms through which EBR increases cold tolerance in cotton seedlings.