Are you a fan of memory foam, at least when it comes to your bed? The way it cradles the contours of your body makes you feel relaxed and supported. And this is the single best thing about this popular mattress material.
But if you own one, depending on the other components it comes with, you probably feel some warmth as you lie on it longer. For some people, a little rise in temperature is not a bother. But for others, it may disrupt their sleep or keep them from getting a shuteye altogether.
“What to do if a memory foam mattress is too hot” is an oft-Googled phrase. So we assume the latter happens to a good number of people. The problem lies in the design and construction of memory foam. Yet, unlike in the past, there are several potential solutions to this dilemma.
We’ll be discussing a few of them in this article. Read on to learn more.
Table of Contents
Why Does Memory Foam Get Hot?
Inside memory foam, you’ll see these open cells that adapt their structure to the source of heat and pressure. This property makes the material conform to your shape. When you think about it, this close conformity is the primary reason people choose memory foam. Ironically, heat retention can also cause them discomfort, especially when it starts feeling toasty while they sleep.
Not everyone dislikes the warm sensation they get from sleeping on a memory foam mattress for hours. But for those who sleep hot, it can be a problem. The heat retention that produces conformity can drive hot sleepers to sweat buckets even when the air conditioning unit is on.
One positive effect of this process is that the mattress softens during the hot months, bumping up the comfort level for users who prefer a softer sleeping surface.
Still, traditional memory foam models are notorious for being a heat trap. So, over the years, manufacturers have been innovating on this beloved material. Gel-infused, hybrid, and phase-changing versions have been added to the mix. These components or technologies exhibit breathability, cooling, or temperature regulation to improve on the market offerings.
Types of Memory Foam
As the mattress industry innovates, different types of memory foam emerge. Here are some of the most common ones:
Memory foam stole the spotlight from innerspring in the 1990s. The commercial version is called Tempur, which was based on the cushioning technology developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It gained popularity because of how effective it is in conforming to the body. It can also relieve pressure points.
Manufacturers also prefer this material for its affordable cost. Plus, it can be antimicrobial and resistant to dust mites. There are several features to desire in the traditional memory foam. However, it tends to retain heat. This makes it less ideal for hot sleepers, people experiencing excessive sweating at night.
Rising in the 2010s, gel-infused memory foam mattresses came along with online mattress brands. This gel component is usually in the form of beads. These are mixed with memory foam, so the resulting product has conforming properties. It adapts to and cradles pressure points. At the same time, it is antimicrobial and dust-mite resistant.
The value-adding feature of gel is its cooling capability. It makes the mattress surface cool to the touch, but this works only for a few hours. As some users report, the bed can heat up after some time. This may still not help hot sleepers and their issues.
Adding cooling gel to memory foam, however, makes the bed more durable than traditional models. This innovative material may bump up the price of the product, though, as sourcing it is not cheap.
Some manufacturers have built on the properties of memory foam, such as conformity, motion isolation, and microorganism resistance. However, they have introduced their respective take on making a better version than the notorious heat trap, the traditional memory foam.
The air cooling foam is one of the more common results. This material sports an open cell structure that allows air to circulate throughout the mattress. Some designs include this layer with a gel memory foam layer to boost the cooling effects. However, this tech can still cause the bed to sleep warm.
It seems the basic issue remains, and the added features can only fix it up to some point. Let’s see what the last type can do.
Memory foam is blended with bio-based materials that are not only safe for humans, but also for our planet. These plant-based components are breathable, promote airflow, and regulate temperature. This combination takes it up a notch when it comes to cooling down sleepers.
The most important feature to take note of is temperature regulation. It means the mattress can cool you down when it is hot, while it can warm you up when it is cold.
When blended with other cooling components, plant-based materials boost their ability to neutralize the heat-trapping mechanism of traditional memory foam.
These are some of the ways you can make memory foam cooler. But if you have an existing model that doesn’t contain any of the materials mentioned above, you may want to try the steps enumerated in the next section.
What to Do If Memory Foam Mattress is Too Hot
Change What’s Underneath
It’s not a dead-end if the memory foam mattress is not well-ventilated. You may be able to change what is under it. For a start, see if the bed frame or foundation is exacerbating the issue of lack of airflow. Is the mattress lying on top of a solid object, such as plywood? This can block the air and cause heat to be trapped here as well.
You may need to replace your underbed support. Find a bed frame with slats or any model that will allow air to circulate. Getting a new frame or foundation may also be less expensive than taking out a new or existing mattress.
Cooling Pads & Toppers
If fixing what’s underneath will cost you more, modifying the surface may be easier. You can try this option if you are okay with adjusting the bed’s profile by at least one inch. You’ll have to consider loft because you will be adding a mattress pad or topper with cooling properties.
You can choose from a variety of models for this one. Gel memory foam toppers are available, but you may want to consider other more breathable materials. Natural latex and wool are the top picks. Bamboo viscose has also been getting more attention. Infusing phase change technology into any of these materials will enhance their cooling capabilities.
Sometimes, the amount or type of padding can also determine how cool or warm the pad will be. Softer ones will probably be hotter because they are more prone to compression. So, find a firm version if you sleep hot.
Keep a Cool Bedroom
If you have an AC, you can set it to a cool and comfortable temperature for the whole duration of your sleep. Alternatively, you can use a fan, specifically a two-way window fan that can push warm air out of the bedroom and bring in cooler air from outside. If you don’t have one, you can put a pack of ice or ice cubes in front of your fan during summer.
Turning lights and electronics off can also help you cool down and prepare for drifting off. Around 30 minutes before your bedtime, start switching off overhead or bedside lamps. Don’t use gadgets or use a blue light filter when using your laptop or smartphone. If you’re having a hard time falling asleep, we suggest you forgo checking your mobile devices in bed.
Make sure you’re well-hydrated. Drinking a glass of cold water before sleeping or taking a cold shower can help you cool down.
Don’t worry. Nothing is totally hopeless. You’re not alone in asking what to do when memory foam mattress is too hot. And as our research suggests, you have a few solutions to consider to solve this dilemma. The good thing is, these are not as expensive as buying a new mattress.
After reading the sections above, you probably know which step is applicable to your situation. Once you try it, please share your thoughts and experiences with us. Another reader may benefit from your ideas.
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