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How to Keep Cool on a Memory Foam Mattress

Sleeping cool on a memory foam mattress

How to Keep Cool on a Memory Foam Mattress

Sleeping cool on a memory foam mattress

To combat the issue of heat retention, the best mattress for cool sleeping is one that disperses the heat that radiates from sleepers during the night.

Many owners of memory foam mattresses struggle with staying cool all night. This can cause issues like having trouble falling and staying asleep.

The outdated technology used in a traditional memory foam product retains heat which contributes to an overly hot and sweaty sleep.

Why Keeping Cool Is Better for Sleep

Throughout the day your body temperature can fluctuate. During daytime, your body temperature is higher. As the day progresses and the time for sleep approaches, your body temperature drops. This drop occurs as part of the internal preparations for sleep.

To enjoy restful, uninterrupted sleep, a cool environment and a lower body temperature is ideal. While you sleep your body will even lose heat, lowering your temperature by one or two degrees.

Your temperature will not rise again until morning. This is when your body prepares you for when it’s time to be awake again.

Why Is Memory Foam So Hot?

Memory foam was first developed in 1966 as shock absorbent paddings for NASA’s airplane seats. Back then, it was called “slow spring back foam” due to its tendency to mold to any applied pressure and then slowly regain its shape once the pressure is removed.

From the very start, this technology was designed to be absorbent and comfortable. It was so effective in providing cushioning and comfort, that it was eventually adapted for use in helmets, vehicle seats, and mattresses.

The older versions of memory foam mattresses and mattress toppers were comfortable and soft, with one notable downside: they retained heat because they were so absorbent.

Though there have been updates to this technology to reduce heat retention and improve firmness, mattress products that use the older memory foam technology are still sold today.

If heat retention is an issue with your memory foam mattress, you might have one of these older models.

Update Your Memory Foam Mattress

There are many newer models of foam mattresses that promote cooling and temperature regulation.

The best mattress for cool sleeping will use the latest generation of foam materials and heat adaptive technology, often also used or developed in other fields such as by manufacturers of performance athletic products.

These foam mattresses and toppers help sleepers stay at an optimal temperature for sleep. They achieve this by having the foam layers that are closest to the body disperse heat rather than retaining it.

Another cooling feature is the addition of adaptive temperature fabric that is commonly found in athletic clothing. This fabric is specifically designed to wick away moisture and heat.

The 2920 Sleep Mattress incorporates both new generation top layer foam, and an adaptive fabric layer to help create a cooler sleep environment.

Invest In Breathable Bedding

Not all types of beddings are breathable. Some fabrics can trap heat and moisture. When shopping for cool sheets look for features like moisture-wicking and breathability. Fortunately, there are many different breathable bedding options available.

Types of Breathable Bedding Fabrics

The best breathable bedding fabrics are:

  • Organic Cotton: soft to the touch and well-known for its breathable knit
  • Microfiber: offers a silky feel that is quite cool to the touch
  • Bamboo: celebrated for its natural coolness and soft texture that doesn’t irritate the skin
  • Linen: an alternative to cotton that is preferred for its long-lasting durability
  • Sateen Cotton: a softer knit pattern which is best used with higher quality long-staple cotton fiber and is generally softer and more breathable than percale cotton
  • Percale Cotton: features a tighter knit which gives a crisp, starched feel, but remains breathable and lightweight

Pillows for Keeping Cool

Like your mattress and your sheets, your pillow should keep you cool as you sleep. Certain fabrics and materials are better than others for helping sleepers stay cool and dry.

For sleepers who want the support and comfort of memory foam without the over-heating, latex and poly fiber blend pillows are a good choice.

Latex and poly fiber pillows have a more supportive structure and tend to retain their shape more effectively than traditional memory foam. They also tend to last longer and are better able to put up with regular nightly use.

Release Trapped Air Under Your Mattress

Slat bed photo

Since memory foam tends to absorb and retain heat, it’s important to give that heat a place to go. If your bed frame and the supports under your mattress are solid, the heat released from your body may remain trapped underneath you.

Wooden planks or spaced out metal supports can ensure air circulation under your mattress. The heat generated by your body will be released without a solid barrier to block it.

Avoid using the space under your bed as storage. Instead, leave this space free to allow unhindered airflow.

Lower Your Bedroom’s Temperature

The best temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit or about 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. Any warmer than that, and you may find yourself struggling to fall asleep because it is too hot.

If lowering the thermostat is not an option, opening windows or turning on a fan can help reduce stagnant hot air. Aim to increase the airflow in your bedroom to increase the amount of cool air that surrounds your body while you sleep.

Final Thoughts

There are a number of ways to stay cool and supported while you sleep, including:

  • replacing your old memory foam mattress for a premium foam mattress that promotes air circulation and disperses heat (without using memory foam)
  • investing in cool, moisture-wicking bed sheets
  • replacing a solid bed frame with wooden slats to ensure heat doesn’t remain trapped in the mattress
  • lowering your bedroom’s temperature via the thermostat, opening the windows or turning on a fan

Enjoying the supportive softness of a foam mattress doesn’t mean you should put up with overheating. Invest in creating the optimal, cool environment to reap the benefits of a goodnight’s sleep.

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