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Finding The Best Cooling Mattress
Great mattresses for those who sleep hot.
Being unable to sleep peacefully is never enjoyable, but it’s especially unenjoyable if you are uncomfortably sticky, sweaty, and hot. Many people struggle with being hot at night, resulting from weight, body or room temperature, or any combination. Another possible culprit for being hot and uncomfortable at night is that your mattress could be trapping your body heat and keeping you in a sweaty cocoon. Some mattresses are associated with sleeping hotter or cooler, but many other factors such as comfort materials and firmness levels can affect temperature and body heat retention. If you struggle with sweaty nights and want to find a mattress that will keep you cool and comfortable, we have some tips to help you find a mattress that can help keep you cool.
What Type of Mattress Will Help You Sleep Cooler?
Whatever type of mattress you choose, the goal is actually temperature neutrality. This way, your body heat does not remain trapped and cause you to feel sticky and sweaty, but allows both body heat and cool air to be circulated freely. With fresh air circulation, you will feel cooler and sleep more comfortably.
Memory Foam — Memory foam mattresses are notorious for sleeping hot, particularly in a softer bed. You may find yourself sinking down and getting stuck in a little pit with your body heat. The bonus of memory foam beds though is their ability to conform to your body, allowing for relief from pressure points. Thanks to new materials currently available, you can likely find a conforming, comfortable bed that also has cooling properties.
Not all foam is created equal; the type of foam can make or break a cool, comfortable night’s sleep. Traditional memory foam may be the most problematic; as mentioned above, you can get stuck in a sort of heat trap while the foam conforms to your body. Alternatively, specialty foams such as gel-infused foam and foams are made with materials such as graphite or copper. The customer reviews for these specialty foams seem to be mixed; some found they did sleep cooler, while some felt their body heat was retained as much as with traditional memory foam. Open-cell memory foam can really help cool you down as it allows for air to circulate more freely. Polyfoam is also an option for foam mattresses, and it is generally cooler. However, if the mattress’s core contains high-density polyfoam, you may still have an uncomfortably warm night. Still, some mattresses may have convoluted polyfoam in the comfort layers, which can help with air circulation. Advanced polyfoam is also an option that may help you sleep cooler, though reviews are a bit mixed here, too.
Innerspring — Innerspring mattresses are typically the coolest of all mattresses. Because of the coils and springs in the support core, the air can circulate freely throughout the mattress, and body heat is distributed evenly on top.
Hybrid — Like an innerspring mattress, hybrid mattresses typically feel cooler thanks to the support core allowing for optimal airflow. Because they are hybrid, which means they also have a conforming foam top comfort layer; if this layer is very thick, you may still find that body heat retention is an issue.
Latex — Latex mattresses generally do not absorb too much body heat and feel cooler. Many latex mattresses are perforated, which helps with airflow, so your body heat doesn’t get trapped. However, not all latex is created the same, and many consumers find that natural latex leads to cooler sleep than blended and/or synthetic latex.
In addition to materials used in the core of mattresses, the cover can also affect the temperature neutrality and possibly trap too much body heat in the cover. There are thin, non-quilted covers with the best air circulation. These will likely keep you cool, whereas the quilted covers are a bit thicker and may contain polyfoam or memory foam, and will likely trap more body heat than non-quilted.
A mattress cover could also include phase change materials or PCMs. These materials are designed to maintain a steady, relatively cool sleep temperature by retaining body heat only until the sleeper reaches a certain temperature. Many consumers report that a mattress cover with PCMs does help them stay cool throughout the night.
There are other materials used in mattress covers that are marketed specifically as cooling fabrics. These fabrics include Celiant fibers, which are Thermo-reactive minerals used to improve sleepers’ circulation and regulate body temperature; Lyocell, which is a type of rayon made of cellulose and is thin and lightweight; lastly, there is Lycra spandex, which is often used in activewear because it wicks away moisture from sweat fantastically. All of these cooling materials seem to aid in keeping mattress covers cool.
The options seem endless when it comes to cooling accessories, especially when it comes to bed sheets. Compared to synthetic, natural fibers such as cotton, linen, wool, hemp, or silk tend to help you keep cooler. The most common synthetic fibers used in sheets are polyester and rayon, and while not typically as breathable as natural fibers, can help wick away the moisture from sweat. There are plenty of sheets on the market that contain both natural and synthetic materials. Though all-natural sheets will likely keep you cooler, you can find a set of comfortably cool sheets with synthetic or combination sheets, too.
Pillows will be similar to sheets because the more natural the pillow materials, the cooler it will be for your head. Some of these natural materials include buckwheat, feathers, silk, cotton, wool, or down. Polyester or mixed fabric pillows are a nice middle ground, and memory foam pillows tend to be the hottest. While good for relieving neck pressure, your head can sink down too deep into a memory foam pillow and make a little heat trap.
When it comes to mattress toppers, again, memory foam toppers will most likely keep some of your body heat trapped, but if it is a thinner mattress topper, you could get the conformity and pressure relief while skipping the heat trap. Other fabrics and latex will also trap body heat to a certain extent, but similar to a memory foam topper, you could forgo some of the heat retention if you can find a thinner mattress topper. Feather toppers and, surprisingly, wool toppers, absorb the least amount of body heat, helping you stay cool throughout the night.
Mattress Shopping Tips
If you have been struggling to keep cool at night and want to purchase a new mattress to help you sleep more comfortably, there are some points you may want to consider. Look at how long your mattress company’s warranty is; that may give you a feeling of security before you invest. Also, consider how long a mattress company’s sleep trial is if there is one. If you decide your mattress is not the best for you after all, will you be able to return it hassle-free? This is another aspect to consider when mattress shopping, as it can give you some peace of mind. Lastly, see if your new mattress can be set up for you and/or your old mattress taken away. This kind of perk is something that can make getting a new bed a much simpler process.
If you are tired of waking up hot and sweaty, do not just run the fan higher. Here are some tips to help create a cooler sleeping environment. One of them is to consider looking at a new mattress that is manufactured with naturally cooler materials. In addition to the materials of a mattress, take a look at your sheets, mattress topper, and pillow, too. With a wide variety of mattresses available, you can find something to lead to cooler, more comfortable nights.