Some people are just naturally hot sleepers and get poor rest each night because of it. If this is you, there’s definitely some mattresses that directly address this issue of sleeping hot and provide a cool sleeping surface.
The biggest piece of advice I could give is to make sure that you see the company you are looking at has directly addressed this issue with the construction of the mattress. Otherwise, you might be at risk of getting a mattress that sleeps hot.
6 Picks For Best Cooling Mattress
There are many different types of mattresses that can be good for hot sleepers. There are definitely other mattresses that I’m going to miss with this list that are also effective, but I wanted to keep this list shorter. I also wanted to have the list span multiple categories. So without further ado, here are 5 cooling mattresses that I think are very effective.
- Most Effective Foam Mattress: Nolah
- Unique: Purple
- Memory Foam: Amerisleep AS4
- Innerspring: Saatva
- Latex: Zenhaven
- Certain Models Built Specifically To Address Hot Sleeping: Helix
Top Picks Compared
Nolah is in my opinion the most effective foam mattress for sleeping cool. This is from personal experience and because of the design/construction of the mattress. The mattress is actually completely temperature neutral. The company has written a nice blog post describing exactly why this is. I would encourage you to check it out HERE. Long story short, you won’t sleep hot with the Nolah.
What Makes Nolah Stand Out?
- The foam in the top layer is made without heat-trapping chemicals. That makes for a temperature neutral sleeping surface.
- The mattress relieves pressure very well. It is a very good choice for side sleepers. Heavy sleepers can get a great experience from their new signature model as well.
- The mattress has greater durability overall than many of its all-foam competitors.
Purple uses a different material in its comfort layer called hyper-elastic polymer. One look at the grid formation of the material and you’ll quickly see why this mattress sleeps cool. The open space lets any potential heat flow right through. In my experience (and backed up by other customer reviews), the mattress is basically temperature neutral, so you won’t ever have any issues with sleeping hot.
What Makes Purple Stand Out?
- The gel material in the top layer is completely temperature neutral. It is built in a grid format that allows for maximum airflow.
- The gel material is both supportive and pressure-relieving at the same time. This makes it a great choice for people sleeping in any position.
- The mattress is more durable than most of its all-foam competitors.
- The new Purple mattress is especially good for heavy sleepers.
Check out our full Purple mattress review
Why Amerisleep AS4?
For memory foam mattresses, I think the Amerisleep AS4 goes the furthest in ensuring a cool sleeping surface. This is done in a number of ways. The mattress has a celliant cover, which is a type of fabric that can potentially keep a cooler surface. The memory foam is partially plant-based, which studies show is an effective way of keeping cool. The foam also has something called surface modification technology, which is really just channels cut into the foam to allow for more airflow. The memory foam is also very open-celled, making it much more breathable than typical memory foam. When you add everything up, it makes for a pretty cool sleeping surface.
What Makes The Amerisleep AS4 Stand Out?
- The mattress features a celliant cover. Credible studies show that celliant can bring certain health benefits and provide a cooler night of sleep.
- The mattress uses open-celled memory foam and has air channels that allow for airflow. Overall, it is one of the coolest sleeping memory foam mattresses out there (if not the coolest).
- The memory foam relieves pressure very well. This mattress is an especially good choice for side sleepers.
Saatva is an innerspring mattress with “coil on coil” construction, meaning two sets of coils sitting on top of one another. This really means that there is a ton of airflow in this mattress. While there is foam on top of the mattress, it isn’t so thick as to affect the sleeping surface temperature. You can see on the picture to the left that there is a ton of empty space around the steel coils at the bottom. The second layer of coils are individually wrapped, but there is still a lot of room for air to flow in between the rows.
What Makes Saatva Stand Out?
- It features a coil on coil construction that allows for a high amount of airflow
- It is a highly supportive mattress that can be especially good for back and stomach sleepers.
- The mattress is a great value. A comparable mattress found in a retail store would probably cost at least twice as much as the Saatva does.
Zenhaven is an all-natural latex mattress. Natural latex is very breathable and typically isn’t ever associated with any complaints of sleeping hot. As a result, this mattress overall is very breathable and provides a cool sleeping surface.
If you look at the latex itself, you can see that there are little pinholes across the surface of the foam. This is just an extra way to let air flow through the mattress and make sure that the sleeping surface temperature never gets too hot.
What Makes Zenhaven Stand Out?
- It is flippable, meaning it has both a firm side and a soft side. This helps maximize the chances you get the right firmness level for you
- It contains natural latex, which is open-celled and very breathable. There should be no issues with sleeping hot with this mattress
- The mattress will be more durable than many of its competitors. If you are looking at your purchase as a long-term investment, then the Zenhaven really stands out
- The sleeping surface is immediately responsive / bouncy. Whether that is a good thing is a personal preference type of thing, but many people will like this aspect of the mattress
Helix is a unique company because they customize their mattresses to each individual’s preferences. In the case of hot sleepers, they can make a mattress that directly addresses that issue. Overall, it’s a really solid mattress that has a very cool concept.
What Makes The Helix Stand Out?
- The mattress is customizable and is based on the answers you provide during a sleep quiz. You can state that you want to sleep cool, and the company will create a mattress that directly addresses the issue.
- This mattress is great if you are really unsure what type of mattress you want to get. It can really take out the guesswork by allowing them to customize a mattress based on your needs/preferences.
- This mattress is great if you don’t believe that there is one best mattress for everyone.
Best For Heavy Sleepers
If you are a heavier person, you will still want to get a cooling mattress. However, there are many other considerations you will want to keep in account. For example, you need to make sure that the mattress is going to be durable. You’ll want to make sure the mattress can handle the extra weight. Some of the online mattress offerings, for example, are really made for people 200 lbs. or fewer.
We think the Purple 4 mattress is a great choice for hot sleepers for who are also heavier. The Purple 4 has the same gel material as the original Purple mattress (which we wrote about earlier in this article). That means you get a temperature neutral sleeping surface. You also get 4 inches of the gel material, which means heavier sleepers will not bottom out and feel any pressure. The spring system is highly supportive and overall it will be a very durable mattress (even for heavy people). If you are a heavier sleeper who tends to sleep hot a bit, then the Purple 4 mattress might be the way to go.
Best For Side Sleepers
Even if you know you want a mattress that can keep you nice and cool at night, you will still want to find one that is a good fit for your sleeping position. If you are a side sleeper, for example, then you will want to get a mattress that is a little bit softer than average and has a thicker comfort layer. Luckily, there are a few options that can be a good fit for side sleeping as well as cooling.
I think the Nolah is a great fit for side sleeping. It sleeps temperature neutral, so you won’t have to worry about overheating. The mattress is softer than average and the material that the mattress has in its top layer does an excellent job of relieving pressure. I didn’t feel any pressure at all on my hips and shoulders when I slept on it and it excelled in our pressure map testing. I would take a look at the Nolah if you don’t want to overheat and you sleep on your side.
Best Cooling Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam is a very well liked sleeping surface. It can be super comfortable and it relieves pressure extremely well (probably better than just about any other material). As a result, the material has become extremely popular and we are seeing more and more memory foam mattresses hit the market and have success. The biggest complaint people have about memory foam is the propensity to trap heat. However, manufacturers have found many clever ways to address this issue.
We think the Amerisleep AS4 is probably the best memory foam mattress for cooling. It uses a celliant cover, which can potentially bring certain health benefits as well as regulate temperature. The memory foam is open-celled, meaning it is much more breathable than the average memory foam mattress. There are air channels in the second layer that allow for airflow. Further, the memory foam is partially bio-based, which improves breathability as well. As a result, you have a memory foam mattress that sleeps cool as well.
If You Are Really Worried About Cooling, Get This Device
The best possible solution to sleeping at whatever temperature you want is to get a Bedjet. It is a device that is perfect climate control for your bed. You can blow air of whatever temperature you want directly into your bed. That means if you are cold, you can blow hot air into the bed, and if you are warm, you can blow cold air into the bed. It’s highly effective. You can see how the Bedjet works HERE.
Consider A Cooling Mattress Protector Or Mattress Pad.
If you are worried about sleeping hot, then you might want to consider a mattress protector. There are several reasons why you should get a mattress protector, but this is just another reason you might want to consider it. Most people get them to protect against dust mites, bacteria, and allergens. They also will keep your mattress clean and protect against spills and stains.
The Bear mattress protector has a special fabric that can pull heat away from your body and keep you cool at night. Even if you sleep on a hot memory foam mattress, this protector can regulate the temperature. If you are extra worried about this issue, then a mattress protector should be something you might want to get.
In addition, there are electric cooling pads that are thin and lay across the surface of your mattress. Products like the ChiliPad, plug into your wall socket and allow you to choose your exact desired mattress temperature.
Think About Cooling Sheets
If you’re trying to stay cool at night, you might also want to think about your sheets. While thread count usually speaks to the quality of your sheets, higher thread count sheets are usually less breathable than lower thread count sheets. This is because the high thread count sheets are denser, and allow less air to pass through.
You should also think about the fabrics used in your sheets. Although synthetic materials are cheaper and thought to be lower quality, they may actually be more breathable. Microfibers leave more room in their weave, which allows for more air to pass through. You will likely trap less heat when sleeping under synthetic sheets.
That being said, there are natural fibers with cooling properties. Bamboo sheets, for example, are durable, but also quite breathable. You can read about the best bamboo sheets here.
Does Your Mattress Firmness Affect Your Body Temperature?
We have discussed how different mattress designs deal with overheating. However, what about mattress firmness? What is better for hot sleepers, a firmer or softer mattress?
A softer mattress can mean good pressure relief, but it may also mean more heat. Especially if you are talking about memory foam, the more you sink into your mattress, the hotter it can get. It may feel nice to be enveloped by your mattress, but you are getting more contact with the heat-trapping memory foam.
On a firmer mattress, you are going to be sleeping more “on” the surface rather than “in.” Because of this, you will most likely be sleeping cooler on a firmer mattress. You are less surrounded by the mattress and there is more room for air to flow on your skin.
When thinking about mattress temperature, you should also think about your body weight. If you are a heavier person, you will sink into a mattress more than someone who is lighter.
This is not to say that a softer mattress cannot sleep cool. It is just another factor to consider during your buying process.
What Kind Of Cover Should You Get?
When it comes to covers, you may want to consider how they are affecting your sleeping temperature. Considering Non-Quilted and Quilted covers, these different styles are quite different regarding their cooling properties.
- Non-Quilted Covers. These covers are usually going to be thinner and more breathable. They allow you to interact with the layers of the mattress and shouldn’t interfere with heat dissipation airflow.
- Quilted Covers. This cover style means that the cover fabric is quilted together with another material, most likely foam. While this usually adds a level of pressure relief, this can heat up your sleeping surface even more. It can cut down on breathability and stop cooling foams from doing their job. If you sleep hot, it may be best to stay away from quilted covers.
What Fabrics Can Help Keep You Cool?
Along with the overall style of the cover, you may also want to consider what fabrics are used in its construction. Many mattresses, mattress protectors, and pillows incorporate different fabrics that are actually designed to keep you cool. Here are some of the cooling fabrics you may come across.
- Celliant: This fabric is designed to transform your body heat into infrared energy. Instead of trapping heat, it redirects the energy back toward your body. This can increase muscle recovery and blood flow. The increased blood flow can help your body regulate temperature better while you sleep. You can read more about how Celliant works here.
- Tencel: Also known as Lyocell, this fabric is made from the wood fibers found in eucalyptus trees. It is designed to be very breathable, which helps keep the mattress from trapping heat.
- Lycra: Also known as Spandex, this material is breathable and actually wicks moisture away from your body. It can be found in some mattress protectors.
How About Phase Change Materials?
In some mattress protectors and pads, you may find something called phase change materials. To understand how they work, think of water and ice. When it gets too cold, water turns into ice. When it warms up, the ice turns back to water.
That is how phase change materials work in bedding, protectors, and mattresses. They change from one state to another as your body temperature changes. They actually pull heat away from your body and store it if you are sleeping hot. If you get too cold, these materials even release this heat to warm up your body.
You can read more about phase change materials and how they work here.
What About Pillows?
If you find that you are waking up in a pool of sweat in the middle of the night, your mattress may very well be the reason. However, you might also want to consider what type of pillow you are sleeping with. Your pillow could easily be one of the reasons why you are overheating. There a few different ways pillow manufacturers can address this issue. From our experience, if you are looking to get a pillow that will keep you cool, you should check out the Bear pillow. It is very much cool to the touch and it is overall a very comfortable pillow too.
How Do Different Types Perform?
- Innerspring– Innerspring mattresses generally do pretty well with sleeping cool. That’s because the mattresses have so much space for air to flow through. The only times where there could be an issue is when there is a lot of foam sitting on top of the coils.
- Latex– Latex generally doesn’t have heat issues because of its chemical composition and because it usually has air holes punched in it. Some synthetic latex mattresses can potentially be the exception and certainly, mattresses that combine latex with memory or poly foam might have issues as well.
- Memory Foam And Poly Foam– These are the mattresses where heat complaints are most common. With these types of mattresses, you’ll want to make sure the company has done something to address this issue. This might be done by creating a more open-celled structure in the foams, having a certain type of fabric in the cover, infusing gel into the foams, or using plant-based foams
- Gel Memory Foam. Memory foam is known to trap heat, so many mattress companies began incorporating gel in their memory foam. Gel is meant to dissipate heat, but its effectiveness is not always clear. Gel can take on the heat of the foam and, while it may warm more slowly, it may not really cool you while you sleep. You can read more about the properties of gel memory foam here.
Note: These are general statements regarding whether or not a mattress will sleep cool. Sleep temperature depends on a lot of different factors
Why Do We Sleep Hot?
One of the main reasons we sleep hot has to do with how our body acts during REM sleep. When we are in this deep stage of sleep, the temperature regulating system in our brain is asleep as well. Because of this, our body usually matches the temperature of our bedroom.
When we sleep, we release heat, and our mattress, bedding,and pillows trap it. Materials like memory foam are especially known to trap this heat. Also, certain types of bedding can prevent airflow. Since our body isn’t regulating our temperature while we are asleep, these materials can cause us to overheat.
This is the general reason we sleep hot, but there are specific conditions that some people sleep hot:
- Anxiety. People who suffer from anxiety can experience fluctuations in their body heat. During anxious moments, they can experience hot flashes. At night these can cause people to wake up, or have trouble going back to sleep.
- Hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland produces the thyroid hormone which, among other things, helps to regulate body temperature. With hyperthyroidism, the gland produces too much of the hormone, and this can cause you to feel overheated.
- Menopause. Women who are just beginning their menopausal transition can sometimes experience hot flashes. These occur as Estrogen levels change, and a feeling of intense heat comes on. These can cause night sweats as well.
- Medications. Some prescription drugs have also been shown to cause night sweats. Antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs can lower norepinephrine levels, and this can lead to excessive sweating during the day and night.
- Other Conditions. There are other diseases and illnesses that also affect your body temperature, which can cause you to sleep hot. Graves’ Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and some forms of Cancer are accompanied by fluctuations in your body temperature.
[Editor’s Note: The information provided should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a sleep doctor or other medical expert if you have questions related to your own health.]
There are lots of ways to find a good cooling mattress, and in fact most of these mattresses are some of the best mattresses you can find anyways. The number one thing you should look for is whether the company has explicitly tried to address the issue in the construction of the mattress. From there, reading as many reviews as possible is another good way to make sure you’re making the right decision.