The Best Mattresses for Cool Sleeping
Summer is quickly approaching, which means you'll probably be looking for ways to stay cool at night. Sleeping too hot is one of the most common obstacles to getting quality shut-eye, which can be a problem particularly in the warmer months.
The ideal room temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, but you need to take into account a lot more than just the thermostat setting to stay cool. The right mattress, bedding, and pillows—as well as the right sleeping attire—will all go a long way toward ensuring you don't wake up sweating in the middle of the night.
Mattresses differ greatly as far as heat retention and breathability are concerned, with some sleeping hotter than others. If you're looking for the best mattress for cool sleeping this summer, choose one that is either naturally cool or one that features cooling materials to keep you comfortable all night long.
The best mattresses for cool sleeping
Some mattresses are built in such a way that they are naturally breathable, while others feature specially engineered cooling materials. Both are good options, so your choice will come down to personal preference. Here's how different mattress types keep you cool.
In addition to the classic mattress feel, an innerspring mattresses also provides for excellent temperature control, as the space between coils allows plenty of air to circulate around a sleeper's body. If your innerspring mattress is made with natural fibers such as wool or organic cotton, it will be even more breathable. Hybrid innerspring mattresses that layer foam and coils strategically also provide cool sleep.
Memory foam mattresses
If you tend to sleep hot, you should be particularly careful when choosing a memory foam mattress. Traditional memory foam warms up in response to body heat, which is what allows it to soften and closely contour to your body shape—but it is also a very dense material that traps body heat.
More recent generations of memory foam, especially those that are made with plant-based ingredients, are better at staying cool. Additionally, some types of memory foam are infused with cooling materials such as cooling gel or graphite that reduce its heat retention properties.
Both graphite and cooling gel can be either mixed into the foam or applied as a thin layer on top of the mattress. If you prefer the body-hugging feel of a memory foam mattress, go for one that is infused with one of these cooling agents, especially if you have a tendency to get hot at night.
Latex, a natural material, has many of the contouring properties that memory foam is known for, but it doesn't absorb as much heat or respond to temperature changes in the same way. That means it can be perfect for people who like the hugging feel of memory foam but tend to sleep hot. Made from the sap of rubber trees, latex has a naturally open cell structure that allows for excellent airflow.
A latex mattress is also usually perforated with pinholes at regular intervals. The purpose of these pinholes is to fine-tune the firmness of the mattress, but they also serve to increase its breathability. In other words, latex mattresses are an excellent choice if you want to ensure a cool sleeping experience. Not to mention that latex is naturally hypoallergenic, renewable, and free of harmful chemicals. Make sure to get a mattress made of 100% natural latex, as blended or synthetic latex will not have the same breathability.
Our Best Mattresses for Cool Sleeping
Other ways to stay cool
A cooling mattress is a big step toward a comfortable summer sleep, but there are other things you can do to prevent overheating at night. Make sure your bedding and pillows are breathable and appropriate for hot summer nights.
Like mattresses, the best cooling pillows are made of latex or memory foam that has been infused with a cooling agent (gel or graphite). Down pillows are not recommended for hot weather, as down tends to trap heat. If you crave the cloud-like feeling of sleeping on down, go for a good quality down-alternative pillow. These are pretty good at imitating the softness of down but do not have its heat retention properties. Make sure your pillow comes with a cover made of a breathable fabric, such as organic cotton.
When choosing sheets for the summer, stay away from synthetic materials such as microfiber or polyester sheets, which tend to trap heat rather than wick it away from your body. Go for natural breathable fabrics such as cotton, linen, bamboo, or lyocell. When choosing cotton, look for sheets made of long-staple single-ply (ideally organic) cotton with a thread count between 200 and 400 for optimal coolness while you snooze.
Our Best Bedding for Cool Sleeping
For more advice on sleeping cool as the weather heats up, check out our guide to creating the perfect summer bedroom.