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Is Your Memory Foam Mattress Too Hot At Night?

Do you ever wake up hot and sweaty even if it’s not a warm night? Do you find yourself tossing and turning and kicking the covers off in a bid to get cool? Well, what you may not realize is that it could be your memory foam mattress that’s causing your discomfort.

So why is memory foam so hot to sleep on? And what can you do to help you sweat less and get yourself a better night’s sleep?

Why Is Your Memory Foam Mattress Too Hot At Night?

Memory foam sounds great in theory, right? It molds to the shape of your body while you sleep, keeping you comfortable and making sure your spine is aligned. And unlike traditional sprung mattresses, it is said to reduce back pain and other aches by making sure no part of your body is under too much pressure.

However, the question is, does memory foam make you hot? And the answer is yes, it can do.

It’s all to do with the material your foam mattress is made from. Memory foam was invented in the 60s, by NASA scientists looking to keep their test pilots safe and to absorb some of the G-force on lift off. It is, by design, dense and highly energy absorbent. This explains why it reduced the shock so well, but it is also why your memory foam mattress gets too hot. Essentially, it reflects the heat from your body, making for a hot – and sometimes sweaty – sleeping environment.

Why Your Memory Foam Mattress Stops You Sleeping

When it comes to sleeping on memory foam, these are three of the most common complaints:

“My Memory Foam Bed Is Too Hot”

We’ve just explained that memory foam absorbs heat, but it’s what happens next that causes your problems. Because memory foam is a synthetic, non-breathable material it absorbs your body heat, and then reflects it back at you, meaning you will gradually heat up and up, getting hotter throughout the night. To interrupt sleep your body temperature only needs to increase by a few degrees. So could your memory foam mattress combined with your body heat be the cause of your sleepless nights? It’s definitely worth investigating.

“My Memory Foam Mattress Makes My Night Sweats Worse”

As your body heats up, your skin produces sweat in an attempt to cool it down. This is normal. But for some people, the amount they sweat can be excessive. In fact, it is thought that 2-3% of the population suffer from night sweats, leaving them waking up with soaked bedclothes even on a cool night. Suffering from night sweats – or excessive sweating – can be completely normal, but it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition, so it’s worth getting checked out if you’re worried.

Whatever the cause, has it ever occurred to you that your night sweats could be made worse by your mattress? Because memory foam is synthetic, once you start sweating there is nowhere for the moisture to go. This will leave it soaking through your bedclothes and bedding, leaving you uncomfortable and, more annoyingly, awake.

“I Feel Like My Sleep Is Interrupted More”

Tossing and turning at night is normal. In fact, on average we move 70 times a night. During the normal course of sleep this would not wake us. However, when you’re sleeping on memory foam that has molded to the shape of your body, it requires a lot more energy to roll over. Your body will have created an indentation in the mattress, so you effectively have to roll up a small hill to get out of it and create a new one.

It’s quite likely that all that effort will bring you out of deep sleep each time. And that doesn’t need to happen many times each night to leave you waking up feeling less than refreshed in the morning.

Hot Mattress Solutions: How To Keep Cool On A Memory Foam Mattress

So you’ve identified that your memory foam mattress gets too hot and could be causing your interrupted sleep. The good news? All is not lost – there’s no need to throw out your mattress with the trash and buy a new one.

Although that is one option that could eliminate the problem. And if you do decide to replace your mattress, make sure to choose one made from natural, breathable fibers rather than synthetics.

But assuming you’d rather not spend on a replacement at the moment, we’ve come up with a few suggestions. So if you’re wondering how to cool down on a memory foam mattress and get a good night’s sleep, have a read:
  • Keep your room as cool as you can by leaving a window open or running a fan. This should help to reduce your body heat and the heat of the surface of your mattress.
  • Keep a glass of cold water by your bedside and make sure you take regular sips, particularly if you find yourself beginning to sweat. This should help to cool you from the inside out.
  • Try a wool mattress protector. We often think of wool as a material that keeps us warm, so you may be surprised to learn that it is also really good at keeping you cool. A wool mattress protector is made from natural fibers, making it breathable and able to diffuse some of your body heat. And even better, if you do start to sweat, your wool mattress protector can help to take the moisture away from your body so that you stay nice and dry.
  • Choose wool bedding. Just because you’ve gone for a wool mattress protector, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s job done. If you cover your bed with synthetic sheets, comforters and pillows, you will just make yourself hotter. In a similar way to the wool mattress protector, choosing bedclothes made with wool will help to circulate air, and keep you cool and dry. In fact, wool can absorb more moisture and help regulate temperature better than other commonly used materials like polyester, down and even cotton.
If you were wondering, why does my mattress make me sweat? Or, how to keep cool on a memory foam mattress? Hopefully we’ve answered your questions and given you some useful tips. For more advice on sleeping better, visit our Sleep Health & Advice Hub.
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