Your Mattress Is Absorbing Body Heat
If youve ruled out your own body or the temperature of your bedroom as possible causes of getting too hot at night, the problem could very well be your mattress. Some mattress materials particularly certain types of foams dont have great airflow, and therefore absorb and trap body heat. The result? A sweaty, uncomfortable night with very little sleep.
You Sleep In Hot Climate
Seemingly enough, you cant do much about this problem. You live in an area that is either too humid or too dry, but also extremely hot in the process. Sleeping in a hot climate can lead to so many problems with having a proper nights rest. If the climate is humid, your mattress pad might be absorbing too much heat and making you hot in the summer.
Editors notes: This can be fixed with additionally cooler sheets like those made out of percale, as well as pillowcases made of cool cotton material. Investing in the cooling pad, air conditioner, or electric cooling pad also seems like a good idea.
What Is Memory Foam
Most types of this foam are made from a material called viscoelastic. It is both absorbent and soft while molding to your body in response to pressure and heat. These are meant to evenly distribute body weight so not to create pressure points while relieving pain. When you have painful areas in your body, they give off more heat and the mattress responds to this by molding itself to you. Today, this kind of foam is made in different firmnesses to better accommodate different pain areas.
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Cool Your Bedroom Down
A quick and cheap way to cool your mattress is to make some changes to your bedroom. The cooler the room your mattress is in, the cooler your mattress will become.
It’s important to get your bedroom to the right temperature for you before you go to sleep. The recommended temperature is 16 – 18°C with 30% – 50% humidity. This environment promotes good sleep hygiene and keeps your room cool enough to prevent bacteria from growing.
Here are some easy ways you can keep your bedroom at the optimal temperature:
Make Cold Air With Fans And/or Ice Packs
A two-way fan that sucks hot air out and blows cool air in form outside can be especially helpful in hotter months of the year when a normal fan simply moves hot air around. Placing an ice pack or frozen plastic bag filled with water in front of a fan will also help create new cool air for circulation. Increase the size of the ice pack or frozen bag of water to improve longevity.
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Opt For A Mattress Pad Or Topper
One of the benefits of memory foam beds is that they are so comfortable that you do not need a topper. Yet for those who find their bed too hot, a mattress topper or pad may be an inexpensive investment that creates a much cooler night.
Mattress pads are thin layers that are often used to protect a mattress from spills and other damage. Some mattress pads are designed to help people sleep cooler. These are typically made from all-natural fibers such as cotton and wool.
Toppers are thicker than mattress pads. As a result, they are usually more expensive, and more effective, than mattress pads. You can buy a cooling gel memory foam topper, a fluffy down topper, or a latex topper. Each of these offers a different feel with added cooling potential.
How Bed Composition Influences Sleep Temperatures
Aside from personal factors and room temperature, mattresses play perhaps the biggest role in how cool or warm you will ultimately feel. Each bed type has different materials and properties, and if temperature is a concern for you, it can be helpful to know the differences when choosing a new mattress.
Percentages in our comparisons are from independent review sites like SleepLikeTheDead.com.
- About 7% of latex mattress owners report sleeping too hot.
Latex mattresses have a pretty low rate of heat complaints, but can vary considerably depending on material type and bed composition. Beds with natural latex may sleep cooler, while beds with synthetic latex can feel warmer, and those with thick layers of regular foam on top of the latex may sleep warmest. Latex mattresses with pinholes throughout also perform better on breathability, as can beds with breathable covers made of cotton or wool. Overall owner satisfaction ratings stand at 80% with latex mattresses.
Memory Foam Mattresses
- About 9% of memory foam mattress owners report sleeping too hot.
Overall, memory foam beds have a fairly high rate of heat complaints compared to springs and other non-foam mattress types, but significant differences are present across different brands and types of memory foam. For traditional temperature-sensitive memory foam, complaint rates tend to be around 8-12%, with higher density beds sleeping hotter.
Innerspring or Coil Mattresses
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What Is The Best Temperature For Sleep
There is no single sleep temperature thats ideal for all people. Experts suggest that most adults ideal sleep temperature lies is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. There are, of course, many people who fall outside of the norm.
Some people will find they prefer a warmer room, while others who sleep hot might find they need their bedroom even cooler. Individuals can experiment with different sleep temperatures to see what feels most comfortable to them.
Why Does Your Mattress Pad Make You Sweat
Sweating is a natural physiological process that regulates our body temperature. However, over sweating is an unfavorable process especially when it interrupts your continuous sleep.
One reason your mattress pad makes you sweat is because the protective layer inhibits air circulation in your mattress. For example, a waterproof vinyl mattress pad will trap hot air and prevent air circulation within your mattress.
A waterproof mattress pad has a vinyl layer, which protects the mattress against accidental liquid spills that can leach down into your existing mattress. Many sleepers have complained that this protective layer can cause you to overheat and leave you waking up feeling sweaty and uncomfortable.The liquid-proof insulator incorporated into the mattress pad interrupts the air circulation making it more difficult to regulate body temperature. Consequently, you may sweat even more than you probably would without a mattress pad. Weve discussed how to properly protect a mattress pad in our article.
A breathable gel-infused memory foam mattress pad that optimizes airflow and distributes body heat evenly. Image from
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What To Do If Your Memory Foam Mattress Is Too Hot
No one likes waking up in the middle of the night feeling hot, clammy and sweaty. However, this is often the case for many hot sleepers. Does this sound all too familiar? If it does, did you know that sleeping on a memory foam or gel mattress could be making things worse?
The material in a memory foam mattress can actually make you heat up, leaving you feeling sweaty and increasingly uncomfortable. If you own a memory foam mattress and are concerned about what to do, then weve got some tips to help you keep cool at night.
Boost The Airflow In And Around The Mattress Topper
Air can get trapped under the mattress topper and make one feel hot and sweaty. Therefore, make sure that the surface underneath the mattress allows plenty of air circulation. If a bed base is made of solid plywood for instance, then replace it with another bed base that allows good airflow underneath. Use a box spring or a platform with open slats that are not more than 3 inches apart to promote proper airflow whilst still providing adequate support to the mattress. We like this modern metal bed frame because of its strong mattress support and breathability.
Keeping the room at a cooler temperature is also a good idea to boost the airflow around the bed. Adjust the thermostat, open a window or turn on a fan to eliminate heat from the mattress topper. This will prevent heat accumulation and lower the rooms temperature to assist with better sleep at night. Read our other article about bed foundations where we discuss the different bed foundations and the mattresses that compliment them.
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Choose The Right Sheets
Breathing bedding made from the right material can make your sleeping environment more breathable versus insulating.
Look for natural materials with high breathability, like bamboo and cotton. Natural fibers wick away moisture and help you stay cool. Avoid polyester bed sheets, like flannel, as they have a habit of insulating heat.
Choosing sheets with a thread count that promotes airflow is just as important as choosing the right fabric. Natural, breathable materials can retain heat if they are thickly woven, although a weave that is too loose wont be durable. For example, cotton sheets are most breathable and durable between a 200 to 350 thread count range.
Can You Use A Heating Pad On A Tempur
Tempur-Pedic foam is designed to respond to your bodys temperature and regulate it accordingly. There is no need to use a heating pad with a Tempur-Pedic mattress, as the foam will quickly respond to your body temperature to keep you warm.
Using a heating pad on a Tempur-Pedic mattress is not recommended. Exposing it to heat from heating pads or electric blankets may damage the product.
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Hot Mattress Solutions: How To Keep Cool On A Memory Foam Mattress
- Keep your room as cool as you can by leaving a window open or running a fan. This should help to reduce your body heat and stop your mattress being too hot.
- Keep a glass of cold water by your bedside and make sure you take regular sips, particularly if you find yourself beginning to sweat. This should help to cool you from the inside out.
My Favorite Hot Mattress Solution: This Cool Gadget
If you love a gadget and want one that thousands of people swear by to transform their sleep, BedJet could be just what youre looking for. Unlike anything else in this article, BedJet is a compact machine that sits under your bed, with a hose attachment that blows air into your bedding.
You have total control over the temperature, intensity, and timing of the airflow, and even better, you can control it either with the easy to use remote or via an app on your smart phone. If youre a couple who have different preferences, BedJet even has systems to allow individualized air flow on each side of the bed.
- Quiet, air based system
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Reasons Why A Bed Can Be Hot Besides The Mattress Topper
The wood slats on this bed frame make the perfect mattress foundation as they provide enhanced airflow inside and around the bed. Image from .
There are various reasons why a bed can be hot besides the mattress topper such as restricted airflow around the bed, lack of phase change materials in the mattress, or a faulty gel-memory foam mattress.
Choose A Cooling Mattress Topper
Cooling toppers are a great way to cool your mattress down while also providing an extra touch of comfort. A topper is a layer that sits on top of your mattress to give it a new lease of life.
All you need to do is pick the cooling topper that suits you and enjoy an instantly cooler night’s sleep. They’re easy to remove, too, so you can take it off depending on the season and how warm or cold you feel in the night.
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If Your Bed Is Too Hot At Night:
- 100% cotton or bamboo sheets are an ideal choice for hot summer nights, as they excel at breathability and moisture wicking.
- Use lightweight covers on your bed made of natural, breathable fibers .
- Choose a mattress type known to sleep cooler, such as an innerspring without foam padding, plant-based memory foam mattresses, or waterbeds.
- Uncover part of your body, as your blood circulates it will cool the rest of your body.
Why Does Heat Wake Me Up
Body temperature helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle, and our body temperature drops as we wind down for sleep. Some researchers think taking steps to cool down before bed, such as a hot shower or bath to increase blood circulation and disperse heat, can help us fall asleep faster.
Our body temperatures drop even lower as we slip into REM sleep. We rely partly on environmental factors to keep our body temperatures just right if our surroundings are too warm or too cool, it may wake us up and hinder time spent in REM sleep.
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The Ideal Sleeping Environment For Hot Sleepers
Your mattress isnt the only thing you should focus on when trying to find ways to sleep cool. Instead, consider your entire sleep environment. Many mattress and sleep accessories can help or hinder your efforts toward temperature neutrality.
Figuring out the ideal sleep temperature for your body is a step you can take toward a better nights sleep. Then, opt for bedding items that will help support your goal of staying cool throughout the night.
Get Air Circulating Under Your Mattress
A lot of heat should naturally escape through the base of your mattress, so if youve got your mattress on the floor or a solid base or box spring, it could be trapping heat. This is also a hygiene issue, as mattresses are more prone to grow mould if air does not circulate properly moisture gets trapped, creating perfect conditions it.
First and foremost here is dont have your mattress on the floor the mattress should be elevated about six inches off the floor for good air circulation. If youre using a bed base or frame, ask yourself if air can flow around it. Wooden slat bases are going to allow for the most air circulation, moreso than a flat platform or even an adjustable base.
Note: if your mattress has a spring support core from either pocket coils or an innerspring unit, this is less of an issue as air will circulate freely around the springs and out of the base. However, if youre using an all foam mattress on a solid base, youll need to change at least one of those two things to improve the feel of your bed.
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Why Does A Memory Foam Mattress Get Hot
Many memory foam mattresses have an issue retaining body heat because memory foam is a rather dense mattress material. Plus, these beds lack interconnected air channels. Once the heat is absorbed by the mattress, its not easy for it to work its way out.
The structure of a memory foam bed is a common reason it retains too much heat, but some memory foam mattresses overheat because theyre paired with warm bedding or an incorrect mattress foundation. These two factors can make heat retention worse.
Sleep With A Fan Or Dehumidifier
Decreasing humidity and increasing airflow in the bedroom can also help you get a better nights sleep especially during summertime when even the coolest sleepers can wake up in a sweat. A dehumidifier will help keep the relative humidity levels between the ideal 30%50%, and a fan will help keep air circulating through the room. .
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The Cooling Ability Of Different Types Of Mattresses
There are multiple types of mattresses sold in the current mattress market. Different types of mattresses are able to keep sleepers cool throughout the night to varying degrees. Generally, mattresses that fall under each category are constructed similarly and share many of the same features.
Of course, there is still plenty of variation within each mattress type. Quality of materials, construction methods, and additional features of specific models will affect how good a particular mattress is for you.
Make Sure That You Are Choosing The Right Type Of Mattress
The type of the material from which your mattress is made will greatly affect its tendency to get too hot or too cold. Latex mattresses are the least that get too hot. Only 7% users of latex report feeling hot during sleep. Synthetic latex tends to feel warmer and latex mattresses that have extra foam layers feel a lot hotter than those made of latex alone.
Memory foam mattresses tend to get too hot during sleep. This is especially true with high density memory foam mattresses. The higher the density the hotter the mattress will get. There are a lot of types of memory foam so make sure that you are choosing a mattress that wont get too hot.
Inner spring or coil mattresses are made of metal that is covered by comfortable foam layers. Due to their design these mattresses tend to get hot while sleeping. The thicker the foam layers the hotter the mattress will get.Waterbed mattresses are usually more cold than hot. Their owners usually report feeling too cold during sleep rather than feeling too hot. This is due to the fact that water absorbs body heat during night.
Choosing the right type of mattress is essential for having a good quality sleep. But like we mentioned before, your body temperature and your comfort level will fluctuate during the night. That is why you always need to come up with solutions for hot mattresses.
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