Memory Foam Mattress Too Hot? Here is Why and Solutions

Is Memory Foam Mattress Too Hot?

Looking for a solution for when your memory foam mattress is too hot? Then we've got you covered. In this article, we'll look at some of the most common causes for foam mattress heat retention, and what you can do to prevent them.

The tips below may also help you if you're a hot sleeper, so without further ado, let's figure out what's up with your mattress.

3 Reasons Why Your Memory Foam Mattress is Too Hot

Poor Air Circulation

Yes, it's a mattress, and mattresses are, in general, a pretty compact object. But that doesn't mean they don't need to circulate air. See, if they don't, heat becomes trapped inside, and from there, goes straight up to your body.

Memory foam is a synthetic type of polyurethane foam. It's a dense, stuffy material that does not usually allow air to circulate properly. It's also a pretty thick material that has trouble absorbing moisture. It takes the moisture in the air and the one in your body, traps it inside, and then reflects it back at you.

Trapped Body Heat

As we just mentioned, memory foam is a dense and hot material, so not exactly ideal for sleeping in warm temperatures. While memory foam mattresses have a hoard of great benefits, unfortunately, ventilation is not among them.

Instead of helping to cool your body, a memory foam mattress will take the heat and send it right back to you. Instead of getting a cooling experience from your mattress, you're lying on something even hotter.

It creates a vicious cycle. Your body sweats and is hot, making your mattress hot, which makes your body even more heated and sleeping that much more difficult.

Your Body Moving

A memory foam mattress can respond to the way your body contorts during the night admirably well. That's what makes it such a good product in the first place – the special foam remembers and adapts to your particular body and needs, creating the ideal sleeping shape for you.

However, that is also the quality that is causing you to wake up with night sweats. The memory of the mattress doesn't only remember how you move, but also catches on to the heat, making it quite hard for your body to cool down during the night.

Are memory foam mattresses hot?

Yes, the short answer is they are. See, a memory foam mattress has a unique design. It consists of hundreds of tiny air bubbles all squished together inside. And when your body gets on the mattress, it compresses the bubbles, even more, making airflow almost impossible.

4 Ways to Cool Down a Memory Foam Mattress

We've looked at the reasons, and you're probably hitting yourself right about now, going “why didn't I think of that before”. If you are, don't worry, because we've got quite a few solutions for you, as well.

Luckily, there are various cooling technologies meant to keep both the sleeper and the mattress itself cool even in the hottest of nights.

Improve Air Circulation

This one seems like a no-brainer. If the problem is there's no airflow, then why not increase it, right? And while there's little you can do to the mattress itself, you can change what is around it. Or, in this case, underneath.

We've established that heat gets trapped inside the mattress and then projected outside of it. On one side, that is you, on the other, it's the foundation. And if you have a hard plywood bed board, then the heat has got nowhere to go, so back into the mattress it goes, and travels all the way up to… you!

By changing the board beneath your bed to slats rather than a solid board, you give your mattress better air circulation. Instead of all that heat rising up to you, some of it will go under the bed, making you cooler at night.

Sleep on Wool

Wait, what? I thought wool was supposed to keep you warm!

It is. But it is also an excellent, highly breathable material to sleep on, which makes it ideal for covering your mattress in the hotter months. There are special wool covers that you can buy in stores, and these work well in releasing heat, as they absorb moisture.

By absorbing moisture, a wool topper or duvet will eliminate that clammy feeling that we know as night sweats.

Other Bed Cooling Technologies

You can, of course, switch to cooling mattresses, but the point of this article is how you can cool the mattress you already own.

So a cooling pad might be the best choice for you.

First of all, what is a bed cooling pad (topper), and how does it work exactly?

A cooling pad is a sort of protective layer (kind of like a mattress protector) that you place on top of your mattress, but under your linen.

Different pads use different temperature regulating technologies and all focus on catching and releasing heat. Here is a couple of bed cooling systems used for optimal thermal comfort.

  • Some come with a tiny generator that sits under your bed or close by, and that allows you to program your ideal sleeping temperature, so that you never have to deal with hot nights again.

    These specially designed cooling pads are very breathable, using water, air tubes, and other such technologies to circulate air, and thus make for more breathable bedding.

    What's especially cool about cooling pads or toppers (pun intended!) is that they can generate different temperatures at different times. For example, they can stay warmer while you go to sleep, and then cool off in the middle of the night, when people tend to experience night sweats the most.

  • Others do not have any programmable options, but do come with some other cool features. For instance, Outlast technology offers an interesting set of phase change materials (PCM), specially designed to absorb and either store or release body heat, in order to create the perfect temperature.
  • Others, like the 37.5 technology, use volcanic sand to capture and release moisture vapor, which has a cooling effect.
  • Alternatively, if the idea of sleeping on one of these pads isn't for you, you can look for a cooling blanket. This item is very similar to the cooling pad, only instead of going underneath your body, it goes above, but maintains the same benefits. It still regulates your body temperature and helps you sleep better.
  • Some products contain a special cooling gel that naturally makes your bed more airy, and makes you less likely to wake up during the night.

A cooling product can be particularly useful for your circadian rhythm, as it reduces the risks of waking up because of the heat and allows you to slip into a deep sleep and be better rested in the morning. Our bodies have a rhythm they need to follow in order to function correctly, and insomnia and hot, sleepless nights can disrupt that rhythm.

Finally, consider your sleepwear

Actually, that's the first thing people think about when they're trying to get cool. It's common to want to sleep naked during the summer, especially if you're struggling with extra hot nights, but that is counter-productive.

Though it makes sense that fewer layers would keep you less heated, this is a mistake. Because if you sleep naked, then all the sweat off your body goes straight into your mattress. And as we've seen, memory foam mattresses are great at trapping moisture.

Instead, you'll want some light, cotton sleepwear that is just light enough so as not to trap heat and allow your body to breathe, but just thick enough to absorb sweat.

Additional Cooling Down Tips

You should also pay attention to the overall room temperature. Simply opening your window or adjusting the thermostat can do wonders for the temperature of your mattress.

Another excellent idea is to switch up your bed linen. Again, you want a fabric that does not overheat, and can absorb moisture while remaining cool. It is the same as with sleepwear, so cotton and bamboo (anything with natural fibers, really) are ideal.

Bottom Line

It's possible to get hot with a memory foam mattress, and while some just accept it as one of the downsides of having smart bedding, you don't have to. We hope this article has given you some ideas on how to cool your mattress tonight!