Nothing spoils a good night's sleep worse than a mattress that sleeps hot. Unfortunately, a mattress getting hot is a common concern for most people, especially during hot months. Like many others, you probably are wondering why this happens.
The reason is that some types of mattresses retain a lot of heat, which causes users to have night sweats and restless, sleepless nights. But factors like bedding, room temperature, and individual metabolisms also contribute to making one sleep hot.
For example, a hot room is likely to make one sweaty at night. The same applies to beddings that aren’t breathable. But mattresses play the biggest role in how warm a person will ultimately feel.
Memory foam mattresses are particularly notorious when it comes to heat retention and night sweats. That’s because foam is a dense mattress material. It also lacks interconnected air channels. Once the mattress absorbs the heat from your body, it is not easy for the heat to work its way out.
Basically, the mattress structure is the main reason it retains heat – and it worsens when you pair it with warm bedding. Memory form mattresses became popular because of their ability to adapt to the body's contours – distributing body weight and pressure across the entire mattress surface for extra comfort.
Mattresses heat retention
You may have noticed that your mattress tends to get hot during summer. That’s to be expected, considering the rise in temperatures. But summer’s usually not the only culprit for sleeping hot. The human body goes through different stages during the sleep cycle.
At some point, it loses its ability to sweat, causing a spike in body temperature. In this case, what feels good at 9 PM may feel too warm in at 3 AM.
Choosing the best mattress
Whether you are a hot sleeper or a cold one, you are sure to find a perfect mattress for you. The goal is to choose one that matches your preferences.
For example, if you’re a side sleeper who is keen on finding a mattress that relieves pressure points but doesn’t sleep hot, you may opt for gel-infused memory foam or plant-based memory foam rather than the usual memory foam mattress. These types of mattresses have lower heat retention abilities. Knowing your options can save you from having to deal with hot, sweaty nights.
As mentioned above, the material your mattress is made from determines how much heat it retains. Here is how different types of mattresses retain heat.
Memory foam mattresses
Memory foam mattresses, especially the high-density ones, are known to get hot. The denser the mattress, the hotter it will get during sleep. If you decide to buy a memory foam mattress, choose one with low density in order to avoid being hot.
Reviews by several users concluded that latex mattresses are the least likely to retain heat. Only 10% of latex mattress users have reported feeling hot at night. Latex mattresses have an open-cell structure and pinholes that provide ventilation. They allow the circulation of air, promoting a cool and comfortable sleep.
Innerspring mattresses (aka coil mattresses) have spaces between coils that allow encourages the circulation of air. This makes them sleep cooler than memory foam.
The breathability helps regulate temperatures across the night. But this varies based on the materials used. Innerspring mattresses with thick foam layers may not sleep cool.
Most waterbed mattress users often complain that they feel too cold during the night. The simple explanation is that waterbed mattresses absorb body heat. Only buy this type of mattress if you get too hot to sleep at night.
Hybrid mattresses are a combination of latex, memory foam, and/or gel. Additionally, they have an innerspring system. They are breathable, supportive, and comfortable, and are arguably the best type of mattress available.
Solutions for hot mattresses
Invest in a mattress that does not get too hot
As mentioned earlier, some mattresses naturally sleep hot. You want to avoid this kind and opt for the cooler ones. For example, rather than going for a dense memory foam mattress, go for a gel-infused one instead. The cooling gel makes the mattress sleep cooler.
Create space for airflow
The structure of a mattress is solid. Therefore, you can’t change the airflow of the mattress. Your best bet would be to ensure there is enough space under the mattress for free movement of air. Not having enough space under your mattress will trap air under your mattress and cause it to heat up.
So, go for a bed that has equally spaced wooden boards. This ensures that there is enough space for air to move around, so the mattress does not heat up during sleeping. Beds made of solid plywood are not ideal as you will be sleeping hot every night.
Invest in cooling mattress toppers
If you love your memory foam mattress, but hate the heat, then cooling mattress toppers can be a great way to keep heat at bay. In this case, you want to find a mattress topper that doesn’t retain heat.
Cover the mattress with a mattress protector
Mattress protectors made from breathable materials play a significant role in ensuring that the temperature of your mattress is at a comfortable level. Other than that, they protect the mattress from stains and keep the odors away, as you can wash the protector often. Go for mattress protectors made of natural fibers.
Use bamboo or cotton sheets
Cotton sheets and bamboo sheets are breathable and therefore don’t retain heat. Do not buy synthetic sheets because they are not breathable. They trap heat and will make you feel hotter at night. Natural silk is also ideal as it stays cool all night so that you will sleep cooler.
While sleeping, uncover part of your body
This may sound silly, but it helps. Uncovering part of your body allows it to cool and allows for more air circulation.
If you bought a mattress that gets too hot at night, you could try using mattress toppers and mattress protectors. Alternatively, modify your bed frame so that it allows enough airflow. These solutions may help short-term, but you should choose the right mattress if you want a longer-lasting solution.