Sleeping hot is an important concern many sleepers raise when purchasing a new mattress. Sweating overnight can lead to tossing and turning – a disruptive sleep that could affect you until the next day.
Why do some people sleep hot?
- Climate – where you live dictates how hot or cold your surroundings are. Surely if you live in a humid, tropical area, you will need a cooler mattress.
- Room temperature – this is a problem for people who do not or cannot set their room temperatures. There are also some people cannot sleep cool despite adjusting the room temperature. This brings us to the topic of…
- Weight – your body temperature is impacted by your weight. Heavier sleepers tend to sink deeper in the mattress, trapping heat. This is why getting the perfect firmness level matters – so you get the right one for your size. Weighing heavier also means more energy is needed to move around – producing more body heat.
- Body conditions/ailments – specific underlying conditions or body changes may lead to sleeping hot. Examples are some sleep disorders, pregnancy and menopause.
Cooling Mattress Materials
Springs and Coils
- What makes it cool: The springs underneath an innerspring/coil mattress will have spaces between them that allow for air passage. This means they don’t retain heat that much.
- The downside: They have a shorter lifespan in general. The spaces between the springs also mean that some pressure points are not supported as much as they should be. Over time, sagging may occur.
Gel-Infused Memory Foam & Other Infusions (Copper, Graphite, etc)
- What makes it cool: Since memory foam has a reputation for sleeping hot but has good contouring abilities, engineers thought of gel infusions to make mattresses cooler. These prevent the retention of body heat in the mattress by absorbing it.
- The downside: Some gel-infused mattresses only have little concentration of infusions in them that result in less heat absorption. It’s crucial to find out how much the concentration of gel infusions there are in the mattress. The higher the concentration, the cooler the sleep for a sustainable period of time.
Open-Cell and Traditional Memory Foam
- What makes it cool: Open-cell foams are an improved version of traditional memory foam. From the name itself, the openness of the cells allows for better breathability. Heat is not trapped in the foam.
- The downside: Because of its contouring feature, traditional memory foam tends to sleep hot. Always check for the mattress construction to see if they use any cooling materials or mechanisms.
Advanced and Traditional Polyfoam
- What makes it cool: Advanced polyfoam is an improved version of the traditional polyfoam. Both of them are open-cell foams which promote breathability. Unlike memory foam, polyfoam does not mould to the body because it doesn’t have a viscoelastic property.
- The downside: Traditional polyfoam is not as durable as memory foam. They are prone to sagging over time – expected much earlier than that of memory foam and latex, but longer than innerspring.
- What makes it cool: Latex is not a temperature-sensitive material. It won’t contour to your body shape like memory foam does.
- The downside: It’s not as cool as gel memory foam. Manufacturers remedy latex heat by puncturing it with small pin-holes to facilitate air flow and keep the temperature steady. Others would even result to reducing the thickness. Also watch out for synthetic latex mattresses. They won’t sleep cool as much as natural latex because of the added chemicals.
Other Cooling Mechanisms
Aside from cool materials, some mattress companies introduce additional cooling features.
Air Ventilation/Circulation Systems
Perforating foams is one of the techniques used to get air to flow through the entire mattress. It involves piercing tiny holes in some or all layers of the mattress to optimise breathability.
The Ecosa mattress’ air circulation system is a good example of this technique. It allows hot air to flow both horizontally or vertically through every layer of the mattress – ensuring a cool night’s sleep.
Metal/Plastic Air Vents
Some older mattresses will have metal or plastic air vents on the sides to let air out. However, this may limit the air flow due to the holes being small and only located on one or two sides.
Which cooling mattress is the best?
Mattress decisions are inherently subjective. You may want the coolest mattress out there – innerspring for example – but also want a more durable option. So, when talking purely about a compromise between cooling, durability, and support – open-cell or gel memory foam easily makes it to the top.
Weigh in your needs and desires in a mattress. How cool do you want it to be? How much support? Is it a long-term mattress? Coolness, after all, is only one of several things you need to consider when buying a mattress.
Sleep cool, stay cool. Remember that.