There are a number of factors that can interrupt a good night’s rest, and one of the most prevalent is sleeping too hot. What many don’t realize is that it’s recommended you sleep in a room with a temperature between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. While you may have your thermometer set low, your body is 98.6 degrees, and this heat can often penetrate and basically marinate in the various layers of your mattress. When this happens, you can easily find yourself awakened in a hot sweat.
The good news is that there is so much innovative technology that has been implemented in the mattress industry that is intended to facilitate proper airflow, and, when you take the time to understand what’s out there, you can find a product that will help you sleep cool and comfortable.
The Sleep Judge Heat Test
As I review sleep products, I always take the time to actually take a look at heat dispersion using thermal imaging technology. I test each product in a temperature-controlled setting of 64 degrees and lay on the product for a period of 30 minutes. This is because it takes a bit of time for my body heat to penetrate the various layers of any particular product. I then use my thermal camera to see how long it takes the product to return to room temperature.My thermal camera is able to pinpoint the hottest and coldest points within it’s scope, and I focus on the crosshairs on the area of the mattress I lay down on. You can watch on its temperature setting as the heat escapes the product.
Why Does the Body Temperature Lower During Sleep?
To understand why your body temperature lowers during sleep, it’s important to take a look at the various stages that take place during the process. First, you enter a stage of light sleep, and this is that transitional period. During this time, you may find yourself suddenly jolted when someone taps your shoulder or whispers in your ear.
Eventually, you slip into stage two of sleep, and, at this time, you begin to become disengaged with your surroundings. It’s at this time that the body temperature begins to lower, and it does so due to your human circadian rhythm. Stages three and four occur when the rate of temperature change and body heat loss is maximal.
Stages three and four represent the most restorative sleep. Since this requires a slight decrease in body temperature, it’s impossible to get the quality of sleep you need when you have a mattress that sleeps hot. Just a few of the beneficial processes that occur in your body during these sleep stages include:
- Tissue repair
- Increased blood supply to muscles
- Restoration of energy
- Hormone release such as the growth hormones, crucial for growth and development
As you can see, attaining the proper body temperature is crucial in the assurance that you’re able to make the most of your sleep.
Things to Look for in a Cool Mattress
The great news is that there are a number of features that certain products have to offer that will help you sleep cool. These features are typically clearly delineated on the company website. In fact, if they make it a point to highlight these features, there’s a good chance the company has taken specific measures to increase heat transfer capabilities.
- If you’re considering a memory foam product, take a close look at any particular manufacturing practice utilized as traditional memory foam is not known for heat dispersion properties.
- One such measure is the implementation of copper as this metal is known for its high heat conductivity. Copper is known to be utilized within the cover of certain products in order to help disperse heat more efficiently.
- Placement of cooling technology within the layers is closer to the sleeper.
If you are stuck with a mattress that makes you too hot at night, you can also consider a cooling mattress pad.
A Look At Heat Transfer Capabilities in Common Materials
Not all mattresses implement the use of specific technologies for heat dispersion. However, when you analyze the material makeup of any particular product on the market, there are some that are better than others when it comes to heat transfer capability. I would like to take a moment to walk you through some of the best cooling mattress reviews to help you better understand what you can expect when you decide to make a purchase. I have placed these in order of high to low when it comes to heat transfer capability.
Springs and Coils
These are typically the most traditional mattress types on the market, and they are produced using springs or coils that are either individually wrapped or combined together. To find the best innerspring mattress for hot sleepers, I would recommend you look for those which are wrapped individually. In most cases, the coils will be found at the support layer with various types of foam placed on top. Either way, however, springs and coils typically offer a high degree of heat transfer capability.
I am a big fan of latex, and this is because it offers a number of qualities. Aside from the fact that it’s generally very durable, it is also not known to conduct heat. This means, regardless of the temperature of the room, you can generally expect this material to feel the same. Furthermore, since they often contain holes and other forms of aeration, they are known to be breathable.
It’s worth noting that the cooling properties of latex are more pronounced in natural products. Therefore, these are typically the best mattresses for hot sleepers. Be sure to check the type you’re considering investing in as some synthetic products on the market do not include the use of aeration properties that promote air flow.
There are many different types of gel foams on the market, and it’s important to understand how this technology works. It can help put things into perspective when you imagine how gel conducts heat by comparing it to water. Water is able to absorb large amounts of heat energy before the temperature increases, and gel can work the same way. It’s important to note that there is a limit to how much heat can be stored. Once the gel beads have reached their capacity, the bed will start to heat up.
Some types of gel work better than others, and I have had the opportunity to try out some of these products. While gel beads sometimes do not provide the level of heat transfer to make much of a difference, just a few technologies you can generally rely on in this capacity include:
- Gel materials more heavily infused into the mattress
Of all the foam types, traditional memory foam products are typically the least capable of properly dispersing heat. This is because they are viscoelastic. This means just what the name implies… they feature higher viscous and elastic properties.
Many consumers enjoy these features as they are typically slow to respond and give you the feeling that the mattress is hugging you as you apply pressure. However, keep in mind that they also respond to heat, and heat can easily become trapped.
Not all memory foam should be avoided, however. As you shop, take a close look at the type of memory foam you’re considering. Some include technology such as gel that can make them among the best cooling memory foam mattresses.
A Quick Side Note on Materials
While heat transfer is an important aspect to consider, there are many others to also balance as you decide what will be the best cooling mattress for you. From durability and firmness to motion transfer and more, you have to make sure the choice you make is one that will provide you with overall comfort to best facilitate restful sleep.
Here at The Sleep Judge, we understand that there are many components to consider. While these heat transfer tips are good to consider, I encourage you to compare them with other properties of the various materials available in our comprehensive guide on foam types.
So Many Combinations
Okay, so we’ve pretty well covered the various materials you’ll typically find on the market. However, as you shop, you’ll often find various combinations of these materials all included on the same product, and this can make it confusing to figure out which one will be best suitable for hot sleepers.
Fortunately for you, I’ve had the opportunity to try out numerous products for myself, and I can offer my insight to help you better decide what will work best for you.
Best Cooling Mattress Reviews
1. Dreamfoam Ultimate Dreams EuroTop Latex Mattress
- Offgassing: About 12 hours
- Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
- Trial Period: 90 days
- Heat Test Times: 5.5 minutes
- Warranty: 10 years
Our top contender for the best mattress for hot sleepers is the Dreamfoam Ultimate Dreams EuroTop Latex Mattress. After laying on the mattress for 30 minutes, it only took five and a half minutes to drop nearly 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The layer combination utilizes bamboo fibers and breathable Talalay latex that not only keeps you cool but also provides a very soft feel that makes it easy to get comfortable. Best of all, after you order, Dreamfoam will contact you to ask a few questions to customize just the right firmness level for your unique needs.
- Quickly disperses heat
- Timely delivery, often arriving early
- Reduces aches and pains
- Great motion transfer reduction capability
- Quick and personalized customer service
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Sinking sometimes experienced for those who carry a lot of weight
2. PangeaBed Copper
- Offgassing: About 12 hours
- Weight Capacity: Less than 250 pounds
- Trial Period: 100 days
- Heat Test Times: 7 minutes, 40 seconds
- Warranty: 10 years
Whether you’re a back, side, or stomach sleeper, the PangeaBed Copper can offer the comfort you’re looking for. This product implements the use of copper, which we talked about earlier. Aside from helping you sleep cool, the cover also offers antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. The 100 percent pure Talalay latex that lies beneath further helps facilitate proper heat transfer.
- Quickly disperses heat
- Great motion isolation features
- Hypoallergenic properties
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Low degree of edge support
When it comes to facilitating hot sleepers, the Dreamfoam Ultimate Dreams EuroTop Latex Mattress is the clear winner. I think it’s worth noting that, as we made our way through the list, the prices tended to increase along with the cooling properties. Therefore, you do get what you pay for. However, if your budget is tight, all of these products proved to perform well when it comes to heat transfer. If you can afford it, though, the Dreamfoam model is definitely worth the slightly higher investment. It was very comfortable, and I found it so easy to find that perfect position to fall and stay asleep in. Even if you don’t tend to sleep hot, this is an excellent product I’d certainly recommend.