The design criterion of thermal conductivity for the GaAs/ AlAs distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) superlattice structure was thoroughly investigated to precisely analyze the thermal behaviors of the optically pumped vertically external cavity surface-emitting laser (VECSEL). A finite element model with detailed configuration of a VECSEL gain chip was constructed to fulfill the analysis. A 1060 nm VECSEL with different pump conditions was further demonstrated to verify the finite element analysis. At the VECSEL thermal rollover point, the analysis results show that the model with the superlattice property predicts more precise temperature values than that using a bulk composite property. It reveals that the accurate determination of the thermal conductivity of the DBR superlattice is significantly important for the VECSEL thermal analysis.