Best Cooling Mattresses for Hot Sleepers
Buying a Mattress as a Hot Sleeper
Unless you’re taking a nap at a tropical beach, waking up and feeling hot can be a real problem. In order to get a good night’s sleep, experts say that it’s important to be comfortable and for your bed to be inviting. But if you’re constantly overheating, it’s almost impossible to achieve this goal.
Fortunately, choosing the right mattress can go a long way to addressing sleeping hot. We’ve identified the top 5 best cooling mattresses to guide you to an option that should help you avoid overheating at night. In addition to describing these mattresses, we also share key information about sleeping hot and about the factors that influence your nighttime temperature.
Our Top Picks
|BRAND||MODEL||MATTRESS TYPE||FIRMNESS LEVEL / OPTIONS||PRICE|
|Tuft & Needle||Foam||Firm||$575 (Queen)|
|Pure Green||Latex||Soft / Medium / Firm|| $899 – $1,199
Even though some foam mattresses have issues with overheating, this is rarely reported as an issue with the Leesa mattress. This is because of the design of the foam comfort layers. On top, the Leesa has a highly-resilient latex-like foam (known as Avena foam) that contours to the body without too much hug. This Avena foam helps to moderate the effect the second layer made of memory foam, which, when used in isolation, can have heat retention issues. As a result, the Leesa has a reputation for offering pressure point relief without cutting off airflow to the body.
Leesa as a company also has a strong track record with tens of thousands of highly-satisfied customers. For a comfortable, supportive, and cooling mattress at an affordable price, customers should take a hard look at the Leesa.
Interested in the Leesa Mattress?
Tuft & Needle
The original Tuft & Needle mattress doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles. It’s just two layers of foam, highlighted by the company’s proprietary Adaptive Foam, a polyfoam that has a reputation for a higher level of firmness than traditional memory foam. By avoiding excessive sink that plagues many memory foams, this mattress can still give cushioning but without excessive heat retention.
It is hard to beat the price of the Tuft & Needle mattress, so it is especially appealing for customers looking for a budget option. But given its performance, it also makes for a great value even for people who may have set aside more money for their mattress purchase.
Interested in the Tuft & Needle Mattress?
The original Purple mattress sleeps cool in large part because the material in its comfort layer is naturally open to airflow, resilient, and responsive without caving in to the entire body. This material is called the “Smart Grid,” and it is a hyper-elastic polymer. Those are big words, but in short, it is a collection of squares that compress when weight is applied and rapidly bounce back when the weight is removed. This specific material is beloved by many customers for pressure point relief without sleeping hot.
Despite using a patented material in the comfort layer, the Purple mattress is available for under $1,000 for a Queen mattress and is a top choice for anyone who wants an innovative mattress design and composition.
Interested in the Purple Mattress
Sleep on Latex Pure Green Mattress
Made with just one or two large pieces of latex (depending on whether the 7” or 9” height option is chosen), the Sleep on Latex Pure Green mattress offers a simple yet high-performance choice for people who want to sleep cool. In addition to the two heights, the mattress is also available in three firmness options. As a material that does not retain much heat, latex can also enhance airflow through its moderate level of sink and its significant resilience.
Latex is a fantastic option for sleeping cool, and the Sleep on Latex Pure Green mattress leads the pack when it comes to value, performance, customer reviews, and the availability of options to suit your firmness preferences.
Interested in the Sleep On Latex Mattress
Customers who like the general feel of an innerspring mattress but also want to make sure that they get proper support while staying cool should give serious consideration to the Helix mattress.
This hybrid uses pocketed coils along with polyfoam, including a proprietary polyfoam in its construction. But what’s most unique about Helix is that each mattress is customized based on responses to a sleep quiz. Using this data, the company applies a proprietary algorithm to build your bed. This allows for it to be designed specifically to reduce the risks of sleeping hot.
Customization can go a long way, and with a price point under $1,000 for a Queen, can be a real value. Many customers have put their faith in the tailored design of the Helix mattress and have come away extremely satisfied with their sleeping surface that can be cushioning, comfortable, and cool.
Interested in the Helix Mattress
About Sleeping Hot
Sleeping hot is a problem that affects a significant number of sleepers. While there aren’t many studies on the issue, it is one of the more common issues that is reported as disrupting sleep.
What Causes Someone to Sleep Hot?
There is no one single cause of sleeping hot in all cases. Overheating at night can be caused by one or more of the following issues:
- Natural body temperature: some people just naturally have a warmer body temperature or “feel” hotter. For these individuals, this is often not just at night, but it may be more disruptive when they try to go to sleep.
- Obstructed airflow: the body’s natural cooling system involves the skin being exposed to airflow, which can help reduce our overall temperature. In order for this system to work, though, the skin has to be exposed to air. The parts of the body that are pressed up against the mattress, then, can’t cool down the way that they otherwise would. The more that a person sinks into a mattress, the more that the airflow around the body gets blocked, and the easier it is to keep heating up. For this reason, mattresses that permit more sink and have more contouring effects can in many cases contribute to sleeping hot.
- Heat buildup in the mattress: When you lie down on a mattress for a prolonged period of time, some of your body heat transfers to the mattress. Some mattress materials retain this heat, warming things up further and making it harder for heat from the body to effectively dissipate. Mattress manufacturers have worked to create new designs that don’t have as much heat retention, but this can still be an issue with many mattress types.
- Warm bedroom: this may seem obvious enough, but if your bedroom is kept at a high temperature, it’s a lot easier to sleep hot. If you feel stuffy and warm when you go to bed, it’s likely not going to get better through the night.
- Warm blankets and sheets: not all bedding materials have the same heat retention properties. Some materials, like flannel sheets or down comforters, are known for holding in heat. The choice of bedding can thus directly influence sleeping temperature.
- Health issues: while not normally the cause of sleeping hot, sometimes a medical condition is an underlying reason why a person has this problem. As an example, numerous different medical issues can cause night sweats, including soaking night sweats. If you find that you have ongoing, serious night sweats, you should talk to a doctor. This is even more important if you have noticed any other abnormal health changes (fever, unexplained weight loss, diarrhea, etc.). A doctor can review your symptoms and order any tests that may be needed to rule out a more serious health issue as a cause for sleeping hot.
What are the Consequences of Sleeping Hot?
Sleeping hot is not just an inconvenience. First, it can directly disrupt sleep. If you’re hot when you go to bed, it may be harder to fall asleep, and if you wake up in the night having overheated, going back to bed may also be difficult. This can lead to fragmented sleep, which studies have found creates problems for daytime concentration and mood.
Second, sleeping hot can also interrupt a partner’s sleep. If you’re tossing and turning in the night and throwing off bedding, it may affect anyone who is sharing the bed with you. Third, if overheating causes you to sweat, it can create more need to wash your bedding and your mattress. Sweat and the dirt and oils that go with it can over time soil your mattress.
How Does a Mattress Influence Sleeping Hot?
As outlined in the prior section, your choice of mattress can play a central role in your sleeping temperature. Both heat retention and airflow are tied to your mattress choice, and as a result, there are some key features to look for when searching for the best cooling mattress.
What Characteristics Help Keep a Mattress Cool?
As you seek out a mattress that will help avoid sleeping hot, keep these factors in mind.
- Contouring: the best cooling mattresses have a moderate amount of contouring. While contouring in a mattress can play a key role in helping with support and pressure point relief, it can also pose issues when it comes to sleeping hot. If a mattress has a lot of “hug,” it may feel as though you are being enveloped in the mattress. In this situation, your skin becomes pressed tightly against the mattress with little to no ability for airflow around the body. This isn’t to say that you need to completely avoid contouring to have a cooling mattress, but it is important for the extent of sink into the mattress to be limited so as to ensure airflow around the body. Among different mattress types, memory foam tends to have the most pronounced contouring effects.
- Firmness: most people who want to sleep cool should avoid a super-plush mattress. This is also because of how a very soft mattress can obstruct airflow. If you’re sleeping “in” the mattress as opposed to “on” the mattress, the odds are that your body is going to have a hard time cooling down during the night.
- Resilience: resilience is a way of describing how quickly a mattress goes back to its original shape when weight is removed from a part of the mattress. Resilience tends to be associated with a spring-like or bouncy feel, and a good cooling mattress often has a high level of resilience. Resilience can help with airflow because it makes it easier to move on the mattress to prevent getting stuck in one position on the mattress.
- Mattress Materials: the best cooling mattresses obviously do not use materials that retain a lot of heat, especially in the topmost layers of the mattress (the comfort layer). Among the most popular mattress materials, memory foam has the worst reputation for heat retention while latex generally has the best.
What Other Considerations Influence Sleeping Cool?
While the factors mentioned in the previous section tend to have the biggest impact on whether a mattress sleeps hot, there are some other considerations to take into account as well.
- Mattress durability: of course, everyone wants a durable mattress because it helps to make sure that you get the most value out of your purchase. But durability is also important for a cooling mattress because when a mattress starts to break down, the first sign is usually an increase in sagging. This sagging can lead to airflow obstruction issues even if those issues weren’t present when you initially bought the mattress.
- Pillow choice: don’t forget about your pillow when you’re thinking about overheating at night. If you’ve seen steam rising from a football player’s head on a cold winter Sunday, you know that our head plays a key part in the body’s temperature regulation system. Some pillows, such as one-piece memory foam pillows, tend to have issues with heat retention, which can affect you in the night in the same way that heat retention in the mattress can.
- Bedding: choose your bedding wisely for your sleeping temperature. If you’re worried about sleeping hot, stay away from heavy comforters or thick sheets. Seek out materials that don’t retain heat, and use thinner layers that are easier to add and remove depending on your temperature in the night.
What Types of Mattresses are Available?
What is a foam mattress?
- A foam mattress does not use any materials besides foam. Types of foam can include memory foam, polyfoam, and/or latex foam.
- Layers of foam are stacked on each other by mattress makers to give the bed a specific feel and firmness.
- The topmost layer of the mattress — the one you sleep on — is known as the comfort layer.
- Beneath the comfort layer is a support layer that generally has a thicker and less dense foam. There may be layers of transition foam between this base and the comfort layer.
Are foam mattresses good for sleeping cool?
- Foam mattresses have the greatest propensity to have issues with sleeping hot because of their tendency both for contouring and for heat retention.
- In particular, traditional memory foam — which has high levels of contouring, is naturally inclined to become softer as it warms up, and is not particularly resilient — is known for causing many people to sleep hot.
- Every foam layer and foam mattress, though, has a different feel because foams can be produced to have different characteristics. As a result, whether a foam mattress is good for cooling has to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Mattress makers have worked hard over the past few years to try to improve foams so that they can get the benefits of contouring without the issues related to overheating. If you’re considering a foam mattress, you may find some of these innovations listed in a mattress description.
- Open cell foam: rather than using one thick chunk of foam, the foam may be poured so that there are holes (ranging from tiny, microscopic ones to significantly larger) that are intended to prevent heat from building up in the foam.
- Measured sink: there are fewer and fewer extremely plush foam mattresses on the market. By reducing the amount of sink and giving a foam more resilience, mattress makers have hoped to mitigate issues of obstructed airflow.
- Gel-infused foam: in this type of foam, small beads are filled with gel and spread through the foam. The gel is supposed to help prevent heat retention in the foam, but the data is mixed about how effective this truly is for cooling.
- Copper-infused foam: copper is an element that many tout as offering cooling properties. As with gel-infused foams, copper-infused foams have small beads or pieces of copper interspersed in the foam. Similarly, there is limited data on the effectiveness of this.
- Phase change material (PCM): this is a type of textile that is in some cases woven into a mattress cover and is designed to help respond to changes in body temperature and to keep that temperature from ever becoming too hot or too cool. As a newer material, this also has inconclusive evidence about how effectively it works in the context of sleeping hot.
What are latex mattresses?
- A latex mattress is composed entirely of latex rubber.
- Other terms for these mattresses are “all latex” or “true latex,” which differentiates them from mattresses that have latex as one layer among layers of other materials.
- Dunlop and Talalay are the two types of latex used in mattresses. Both are resilient and have moderate contouring, but Talalay is generally softer and bouncier.
- Latex is a heavier material and also generally is more costly.
Are latex mattresses good for sleeping cool?
- Latex does not retain heat as much as other materials.
- Latex does respond to the body to help relieve pressure points, but it is rarely extremely soft or over-contouring.
- At the same time, latex is known for being resilient, which helps keep from being stuck in one position in the night and building up heat in that position.
- Latex is also normally quite durable, which helps to prevent sagging and any resulting heat retention.
What are innerspring mattresses?
- Innersprings have a support core of metal coils, but their comfort layer is less than 3”. If the comfort layer is 3” or thicker, it is a hybrid mattress.
- The type of coils that you will normally come across in mattresses sold online are pocketed coils. These move more independently from other coils, providing more responsiveness. The rebounding action of coils means that innersprings usually have a relatively high level of resilience.
- The amount of contouring and sink in an innerspring mattress varies dramatically based on the composition of the comfort layer.
Are innerspring mattresses good for sleeping cool?
- The support core of coils normally provides both bounce and a hedge against sinking too deeply into the mattress. These features help reduce heat retention and airflow problems.
- Even if a more contouring material is used in the comfort layer, because that layer is usually thinner, it is rare to have serious heat retention issues.
- Though they may help with cooling, though, many innersprings do not go far enough in providing responsive support. So even if they may not sleep hot, they also may not be able to prevent issues associated with back pain, for example.
What is a hybrid mattress?
- A hybrid mattress has a support core of metal coils, but in a hybrid, the comfort layer is 3” or thicker.
- The goal of the comfort layer in most hybrids is to greatly increase responsiveness through the use of memory foam, latex, or customized polyfoams.
- Hybrids are growing in popularity, with more and more being offered online in a wide range of designs.
Are hybrid mattresses good for sleeping cool?
- Because a hybrid has the built-in bounce of an innerspring, it can give the bounce needed to prevent feeling stuck in the bed.
- Many hybrids are built with newer materials in the comfort layers that are intended to dissipate heat and/or to maintain high levels of airflow.
- As with innersprings, the ability of a hybrid to sleep cool will be highly dependent on the type of materials used in the comfort layer, how thick they are, and how much they hug the body.
What is an airbed?
- An airbed is a mattress that can be adjusted to have a different feel by adding or removing air from the bed.
- These beds are not like a cheap air mattress — they have a built-in air chamber that is controlled by a remote or smartphone.
- Firmness of an airbed can be adjusted in real time and usually can be different for each side of the bed.
- An airbed may have a comfort layer on top of the air chamber.
- Airbeds are often more expensive than other mattress types, especially if they have a robust comfort layer.
Are airbeds good for sleeping cool?
- Because the firmness level of an airbed can be increased easily, they are excellent at preventing excessive sinking into the mattress.
- Air chambers are also not nearly as inclined as other materials to retain heat.
- While cooling is a plus for airbeds, we rarely recommend these mattresses because of other drawbacks. Specifically, airbeds usually do not give sufficient responsiveness for pressure point relief. In addition, they tend to be very expensive relative to other mattress types.