- How Sleep Works
- Sleep Disorders
- Sleep Resources
- Sleep Health
- Sleep Medicine
Sleeping hot is a common occurrence for many adults. Our body temperatures drop when we sleep, causing us to lose heat that is then reabsorbed by the mattress, sheets, and other bedding materials. Some people naturally give off more body heat than others, which causes them to sleep hotter as a result.
Your mattress can also play a role. Certain mattress materials absorb more body heat, leading to overly warm conditions that can cause discomfort and disrupt sleep. Other materials pick up less body heat and provide better air circulation, allowing the sleep surface to feel cooler. This property is known as temperature neutrality. The best mattresses for hot sleepers will neither sleep too hot nor sleep too cold.
Read on to learn more about the best mattresses for hot sleepers, including our picks for the top beds sold today. Our picks are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.
Hybrid mattresses tend to sleep cooler than other mattress types. They feature pocketed coil layers that circulate air throughout the interior of the bed, and many are constructed with cooling comfort layers for added temperature neutrality. The DreamCloud, our Editor’s Pick, is a standout hybrid because of its complex construction. The mattress is built with three memory foam comfort layers followed by a transitional layer of durable latex for added reinforcement. These layers offer a ‘Medium Firm’ (6.5) feel and consistent conforming that results in pain and pressure relief for many.
The DreamCloud offers exceptional edge support. In addition to the latex transitional layer, the bed’s pocketed coils are encased in high-density foam that maintains an even, sag-free sleep surface and minimizes sinkage around the perimeter. The DreamCloud has a 15? profile, making it much thicker than average and a great choice for heavier individuals who prefer extra cushioning and support layers. Air circulation and temperature neutrality are other key strengths of the mattress. Despite three foam layers, the DreamCloud does not absorb much body heat from sleepers and feels fairly cool throughout the night.
Customers in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free shipping when they order a DreamCloud hybrid. The mattress is backed by a 365-night sleep trial – one of the longest trials available anywhere – along with a lifetime warranty.
The Saatva is a sophisticated innerspring mattress that offers exceptional temperature neutrality, thanks to its innovative coil-on-coil design. A layer of pocketed coils is included in the comfort system, along with additional polyfoam and memory foam layers for extra cushioning. The Saatvas support core is composed of durable, steel-tempered bonnell coils that reinforce the entire bed and help prevent sagging in the sleep surface. Strong air circulation through both coil layers helps cool off the bed and maintain a comfortable sleep temperature for most.
The Saatva also offers a wide range of settings to accommodate sleepers with different preferences. Three firmness settings are available: Medium Soft’ (4), ‘Medium Firm’ (6), and ‘Firm’ (7.5). The Saatva is also sold in 11 1/2″ and 14 1/2″ profiles. Lighter people and side sleepers typically prefer the softer, thicker settings; the comfort layers conform closely to alleviate aches and pains in their most sensitive areas, and also improve spinal alignment for side sleepers. Heavier people and back/stomach sleepers, on the other hand, tend to feel most comfortable on the firmer Saatva designs because they do not sink excessively. Unlike other innersprings, the Saatva also isolates motion transfer fairly well and produces a minimal amount of noise.
Saatva offers free White Glove delivery to customers in the contiguous U.S. This service includes in-home mattress assembly and old mattress removal; comparatively, most competing brands charge at least $100 for this service on top the mattress price. The Saatva is also backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty; both are considered longer than average.
For hot sleepers who are ready to take sleeping cool to the next level, there’s the Eight Sleep POD, our pick for the Best Luxury mattress for hot sleepers. The Pod features a liquid-based temperature control system: water that has been cooled or heated to a specific temperature flows through small tubes underneath the mattress cover. The system allows you to control the temperature of the bed from 55° to 115° F. This is an extremely powerful tool to maintain a comfortable feel throughout the night.
An added benefit of this system is the extensive system of sensors that Eight Sleep has built into the Active Grid mattress cover. These sensors gather data that is analyzed in the company’s software to help you improve your sleep. You can even let the POD adjust the temperature for you throughout the night. A temperature based wake-up system can be used to modify the bed’s feel to gently wake you up in the morning without an alarm. Each side of the bed can be set to different settings, which makes this a perfect fit for partners who have diverging temperature preferences.
The layered design of the mattress works to relieve pressure and promote spinal alignment as well. The comfort layer is made up of 2” of Luracor, a latex-like polyfoam, and 2” of memory foam. These materials contribute both contouring and bounce, culminating in a firmness feel of a 5.5. The other two layers of this mattress are a 2” transition foam layer and a 5” layer of high-density polyfoam that serves as the support core.
Eight Sleep ships the POD for free, in two separate boxes, and provides a 100-night sleep trial for you to test out the bed and the technology to see how well it works for you.
Lightweight sleepers typically prefer softer mattresses because they conform more closely to their bodies; this is particularly important for side sleepers who need extra cushioning beneath their shoulders and hips. Our pick for lightweight hot sleepers is the Muse Mattress, which is available in a ‘Medium’ feel that provides close conforming with even weight distribution and no sagging. The mattress is also available in two firmer settings, as well.
Unlike many of its all-foam competitors, the Muse Mattress sleeps exceptionally cool. This is largely due to its cover made of phase-change material (PCM), as well as a gel-infused memory foam comfort layer that does not absorb as much body heat from sleepers as standard foam. Other strengths of the mattress include great motion isolation and no noise when bearing weight, both of which make the bed ideal for couples who awaken easily.
The Muse Mattress has a below-average price-point for memory foam beds. Muse Sleep also offers free shipping to all 50 states and most of Canada. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
Some mattresses come with covers that greatly improve temperature neutrality. One example is the Aurora from Brooklyn Bedding, our pick for the best mattress for average weight sleepers who tend to sleep hot. This bed has a cover made of phase-change material (PCM) that absorbs body heat until the sleeper’s body reaches a certain temperature. As a result, the bed offers exceptional temperature neutrality. Additionally, the PCM is infused with copper to cool down the bed even more; copper also helps improve blood flow in sleepers with poor circulation.
The Aurora is highly supportive as well. A base layer of high-density polyfoam reinforces the pocketed coils to ensure an even sleep surface and minimize sinkage around the edges of the bed where people tend to sit. The mattress also isolates motion better than other hybrids and produces minimal noise, making it a good choice for couples.
The Aurora is somewhat expensive (currently $1,699 in a Queen-size) and is a good option for shoppers who aren’t on a shoestring budget, though it’s important to note that this price-point is substantially lower than the average cost of a Queen-size hybrid. Brooklyn Bedding offers free mattress shipping in the contiguous U.S. as well as a 120-night sleep trial for the Aurora.
Finding a comfortable mattress can be difficult for people in the heavy weight group (more than 230 pounds), as many beds sink excessively and lead to aches and pains for larger sleepers. The WinkBed Plus is a specialized ‘Medium Firm’ setting for the standard WinkBed mattress that is specifically designed to support heavier individuals.
The WinkBed Plus features a thick comfort system that features layers of gel polyfoam and latex. A compressed cotton ‘lumbar pad’ is also included to aid those with back and hip pain. The mattress is also highly supportive, thanks to a foam encasement around the pocketed coil layer that helps minimize sinkage around the edges. Additionally, the WinkBed Plus sleeps very cool. The cover is made of Tencel® lyocell, a highly breathable fabric, and the coil layer has great air circulation. The latex component also helps the bed sleep cooler – and because latex is highly durable, the WinkBed Plus has a relatively long lifespan.
WinkBeds offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S. The WinkBed Plus comes with a lifetime warranty, which can save owners a lot of money if a defect develops. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial, as well.
Sleeping hot is an issue for roughly 1 in 10 adults, and excessive warmth during the night can lead to poor sleep quality and feelings of tiredness the next day. People who sleep hot require more cooling than other sleepers. Some mattresses retain very little body heat, and tend to sleep relatively cool. Others absorb and trap heat, and often sleep hot as a result. Although some mattress types are associated with sleeping hotter or cooler than others, there are other factors that affect temperature neutrality in mattresses. These include mattress firmness and comfort layer materials, as well as the sleeper’s body weight and bedroom settings.
This guide will look at the best and worst mattresses for sleeping hot, and also look at strategies and products that can help ensure you maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the night.
Arguably the two factors that have the biggest impact on sleeping hot or cool are mattress firmness and the sleeper’s bodyweight.
Firmness is normally rated on a 1-to-10 scale, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest, but most mattresses sold today fall between a 3 (Soft) and an 8 (Firm). Mattresses rated below a 5, or Medium, tend to sink beneath a sleeper’s body to create a cradle-shaped impression. While this type of sleep surface has noted benefits — such as motion isolation and pressure relief — the deep conforming can create a heat trap and restrict air circulation. Mattresses rated between a 6 (Medium Firm) and an 8 do not conform as deeply and, as a result, usually sleep much cooler than their less-firm counterparts.
Sleeper bodyweight is important because heavier people tend to emit more body heat and sleep warmer compared to lighter people. There are two reasons for this. One, heavier people sink further into the mattress than lighter people, often resulting in a heat trap. Secondly, heavier people must use up more energy to move in bed, and this can drive up their body temperature.
The bottom line: anyone who tends to sleep hot — especially people who weigh more than 200 pounds — will probably feel most comfortable on a mattress rated at a 6 or higher on the firmness scale.
Various components in the comfort layer and support core of a mattress will affect how hot or cool the bed sleeps. These components include:
Steel Coils and Springs: Innersprings are generally regarded as the coolest mattress options because they absorb a small amount of body heat and usually do not sleep warm. This is largely due to their support cores, which are constructed with steel springs and coils that are evenly spaced to provide sleeper support and equal weight distribution. Air circulates in the spaces between these metal parts, which helps the mattress stay cool. Exceptions to this rule are hybrids and innersprings with thick foam comfort layers, which may sleep hotter than those with thin comfort layers.
Latex: Latex mattresses feature at least one layer of latex in the comfort layer, and may also have latex-based support cores. Unlike polyfoam or memory foam, latex does not absorb much body heat or respond to temperature changes. Latex layers are often perforated, which can promote better air circulation. However, latex that is blended or entirely synthetic may not sleep as cool as natural latex.
Gel-infused Foam: Many mattress manufacturers tout models with ‘gel-infused memory foam’ as sleeping much cooler than mattresses made from standard memory foam. This is a reasonable argument, since gel must absorb a certain amount of body heat before its temperature will change. However, owner experiences with gel-infused foam mattresses are fairly mixed, and some say they retain as much body heat as standard foams. The key distinction here is how much gel is infused into the foam; foams with a high gel concentration tend to sleep cooler than those with lower concentrations. Other foams may feature beads or other trace gel components, but these materials have little — if any — effect on the foam’s body heat retention.
Other Specialty Foams: In addition to gel foams, specialty foams may be infused with other materials like copper or graphite. And similarly, the cooling properties of these foams will depend on the concentration of copper, graphite, or other specialty materials.
Airbeds: Airbeds feature air chambers in the support core that can be adjusted to change the firmness of the mattress. The comfort layer is typically made from polyfoam or memory foam, and how hot or cool they sleep often depends on comfort layer thickness. Generally speaking, comfort layers that are more than 3″ to 4″ thick sleep significantly hotter than thinner comfort layers.
Advanced Polyfoam: Some advanced polyfoams are designed to regulate temperature more effectively than regular polyfoam, but owner experiences have been somewhat mixed and advanced polyfoam is generally not recommended for people who usually sleep hot.
Open-cell Memory Foam: While memory foam is regarded as the hottest mattress material available, open-cell memory foam may sleep somewhat cooler because of improved air circulation.
Regular Polyfoam: Polyfoam is generally cooler than memory foam due to its open-cell structure and relatively low density, but it tends to sleep warmer than materials like latex. One contributing factor to the above-average warmth is the support core, which is often made from high-density polyfoam. Mattresses that feature convoluted polyfoam in the comfort layer may sleep cooler due to air channels that form between the grooves in individual layers.
Regular Memory Foam: Memory foam can be quite problematic for people who sleep hot, and roughly 10% of mattress owners claim this material negatively affects their sleep. Memory foam responds to temperature changes by conforming to the sleeper’s body, which can create a heat trap. Additionally, many memory foam mattresses feature support cores made from high-density polyfoam, another material known to sleep hot.
The table below rates each of these materials in terms of sleeping hot.
|Mattress Material||‘Sleeping Hot’ Rating|
|Springs and Coils||Very Good to Excellent|
|Latex||Good to Very Good|
|Advanced Polyfoam||Fair to Good|
|Open-cell memory Foam||Fair to Good|
|Regular Memory Foam||Poor|
In addition to materials found in the comfort layer and support core, the mattress cover can also affect body heat retention and temperature regulation. Let’s look at four common cover materials and how they rate in terms of sleeping hot or cool.
Non-quilted covers also tend to be the thinnest. The thinner the cover, the better the air circulation. As a result, non-quilted covers often sleep cooler than other cover options.
Quilted covers are thicker than non-quilted covers, which means the air circulation may not be as good. Additionally, many quilted covers feature thin layers of polyfoam or memory foam that can affect the sleep surface temperature.
‘Phase-change materials’, or PCMs, refers to materials that are designed to retain body heat until the sleeper’s body reaches a certain temperature, at which point it will stop absorbing heat. This allows phase-change covers to maintain a steady, moderately cool temperature regardless of how much body heat the sleeper is emitting. Phase-change material may not sleep as cool as a non-quilted cover, but many mattress owners claim these materials effectively keep the heat down throughout the night.
For more information on phase-change materials, check out the website for Outlast, the premier PCM used in mattress covers made today.
Some mattress are advertised with covers made from ‘cooling fabrics’, such as:
Now that we’ve discussed comfort layer, support core, and cover materials that affect mattress temperature, let’s look at a few bedding options and bedroom accessories that may help you stay cool and comfortable while you sleep.
As many people have seen firsthand, the options for bedsheets are seemingly endless. Sheet options fall into one of two general categories: natural fibers or synthetic materials. Natural fibers used in sheets include:
Natural fibers tend to be softer and more breathable than other cover fabrics, which can help regulate temperature and maintain a cool sleep surface. Long-staple cotton and linen are considered exceptionally cool. Additionally, wool naturally wicks away moisture; it also sleeps warmer or cooler depending on the room temperature, making wool sheets a good choice for year-round temperature regulation.
The most common synthetic fabrics used in sheets are polyester and rayon. These are not as breathable as natural fibers and will sleep warm by comparison, although certain synthetics — such as polyester microfibers — are able wick away moisture, which can help lower the sleeper’s body temperature.
Some sheet fabrics may be all-natural or blended natural-and-synthetic. For example, bamboo viscose is made from cellulose and bamboo fabric, and may or may not contain chemical ingredients. These fabrics often sleep cool, but in most cases natural-fiber sheets will sleep somewhat cooler.
A mattress topper is used to provide an extra inch or two of cushioning to the comfort layer, and is usually purchased separately from the mattress itself. These are different from mattress pads, which are primarily used to protect the mattress. Not surprisingly, memory foam toppers tend to sleep the hottest. Toppers made from fabric/fibers or latex also absorb body heat to a fair extent. The coolest topper options include feather toppers (also known as featherbeds) and toppers made from wool.
Pillows sold today are crafted from a wide range of materials, including natural fibers like buckwheat, down or feathers, cotton, wool, and silk, as well as synthetics like down alternative, memory foam, and polyester. The table below compares eight common pillow materials based on how cool they sleep.
|Pillow Material||‘Sleeping Cool’ Score|
|Buckwheat||Good to Very Good|
|Down||Good to Very Good|
|Down Alternative (Imitation)||Good to Very Good|
|Feathers||Good to Very Good|
|Latex||Good to Very Good|
|Memory Foam||Poor to Fair|
|Natural/Organic Fibers (Cotton, Silk, Wool, etc.)||Good to Very Good|
|Polyester||Fair to Good|
Fans improve airflow throughout the bedroom and can help sleepers stay cool, particularly during hotter times of the year. Some louder models may cause sleep disruption, although some sleepers find the background noise is conducive to sleep. Ceiling fans may also be suitable, although some mattresses may be too low to the ground to have a noticeable effect.
In addition to fans, some products can be used to regulate mattress temperature by releasing cool or warm air into the bed. These systems can be useful for individuals who sleep excessively hot or those who tend to get too cold during the night.
One example is the BedJet, an accessory that releases currents of convective air onto both sides of the mattress using a hose attachment. Owners can adjust the air settings to find the right temperature, and the BedJet is capable of releasing warm and cool to opposite sides of the bed for couples who have different sleep preferences.
In addition to accessories, some mattress bases also provide climate control. Take the WinkBeds coolControl™, a base equipped with four air tubes that fit into the bottom of the mattress and supply currents of air that rise to the top surface. Using a smart app, owners can adjust the settings until they reach a suitable temperature.
Climate control systems can be quite effective at helping sleepers stay cool, but there is a major downside: the price-tag. The BedJet starts at $269, while the Wink Beds coolControl™ base will add a $2,200 surcharge to the mattress price. Simply put, there are less expensive ways to help you sleep at a comfortable temperature.
Many mattress manufacturers offer sleep trials, during which time the purchaser can test out their new mattress to ensure it will meet their needs and preferences. Most sleep trials span 60 to 120 nights; if the purchaser is dissatisfied with their new mattress, then they will be able to return and/or exchange it for a product refund.
If you sleep hot, then a mattress sleep trial can prevent you from committing to a mattress that will make you uncomfortable. The costs associated with most sleep trials are minimal. Some manufacturers require the mattress buyer to cover shipping and handling costs associated with returns or exchanges, while others will handle these expenses. In most cases, a full product refund will be issued to those who return their mattress before the sleep trial ends.
In terms of warranty coverage, it’s important to note that most — if not all — mattress warranties will not cover issues pertaining to owner comfort preferences, including sleeping hot. So if you purchase a mattress that sleeps hot but do not return it during the sleep trial, then there is a strong chance you will not be able to return or exchange the mattress for a full, or even partial, refund.
If you and/or your sleep partner tend to sleep hot, be sure to keep the following points in mind when shopping for a new mattress or bedding accessories: