Experts agree that having a cool night of restful sleep is crucial to enjoying quality restful slumber. In order to lower core body temperature and ensure restful slumber, experts suggest taking a lukewarm to warm shower or bath prior to bedtime in order to mellow out your system and prepare your body.
Many mattresses feature cooling materials like copper and graphite that dissipate heat away from the mattress surface. These cooling materials may either be mixed into foam layers or sewn into cooling covers to promote better airflow and ventilation.
1. Ventilation Grids
FROLI (German for “flower”) is an innovative mattress cooling system that stands out from traditional bed air flow systems you might have seen on television. Instead of employing water-cooling pads to cool a mattress surface, FROLI cools via square copper ventilation grids beneath your mattress surface.
Grids can be found on several foundation bed base models and are intended to promote airflow for cooler sleeping. You might even come across them on some bed frames designed to support box springs or innerspring mattress cores.
Purple Grid mattress top layers provide another example of cooling grids. Crafted from proprietary hyper-elastic polymer material that acts like 3D tic-tac-toe boards when weight is applied, but quickly recovers to minimize motion transfer while offering ample ventilation to reduce heat build-up.
Chili Technology now SleepMe has designed both the FROLI and Purple Grid systems under their SleepMe brand name, Chili Technology now SleepMe. Previous products such as Ooler and ChiliCube helped foster an entire industry of smart sleep solutions; now for 2022 they have developed more advanced Dock Pro product that offers even higher performance while being smaller and sleeker in design.
2. Contour Cutting
Foam mattresses can have an enormous influence on many key sleep factors, from contouring (how a bed conforms to your curves), responsiveness, pressure relief, breathability and responsiveness all the way through to creating heat trapping and keeping you from sleeping comfortably through the night. That is why mattress makers provide mattresses infused with cooling gels which draw heat away from you while keeping you cool all through the night.
Contour cutting — or adding convolutions to a mattress surface — is another strategy used by mattress makers to increase airflow and decrease heat accumulation beneath covers. Used by nearly all foamers, contour cutting alters the feel of the bed for an overall cooler sleep experience.
Foamers may add layers of reticulated latex, which features cell walls with more open spaces for oxygen to pass through than conventional foam materials. HSM, for instance, began offering its Preserve Hi Flo mattress toppers with this layer in 2013, touting improved temperature regulation over traditional foams.
Small coils in a mattress’s comfort layer or transitional layer can reduce heat build-up during sleep. Commonly known as nanocoils or minicoils, microcoils work similarly to pocket springs in that they offer pressure relief without creating unnecessary heat build-up. They often measure 1 to 3 inches tall; their flexible metal wires add responsiveness, durability, and create a deep cradle of balanced pressure relief and support.
Microcoils differ from continuous wire coils by having more space between each coil, which allows manufacturers to layer on core support foam as well as soft and memory foam for increased thickness without bulkiness.
Offset coils with squared designs are also widely offered by suppliers and can flex like hinges under lighter pressure while providing greater pushback at heavier weights, helping limit motion transfer and maintaining bed quietness. Other cooling technologies such as Celliant or Tencel phase change materials convert body heat to infrared energy which can then be used either to warm the body directly, or chill it away via infrared.
Many cooling mattresses, pillows and toppers are constructed using materials such as Tencel or bamboo that are highly breathable to allow your body to regulate temperature while simultaneously wicking away moisture from your body. Although these materials can help you sleep cool, this only works if the mattress underneath them is also breathable; otherwise it will trap heat in and make things even hotter!
If you want a mattress designed specifically to cool you down while sleeping, look for one with a honeycomb or egg crate core design. This will provide more surface area for air to circulate around and can prevent the body from overheating while you rest.
Some individuals experience difficulty sleeping due to conditions like anxiety, menopause or pregnancy; or because of medications or diet; which can trigger hot flashes and anxiety-induced sweating that leads to feeling of being hot at night. If this is something you are experiencing then be sure to discuss with your physician possible treatments to keep sleeping cool at night.
5. Egg Crate Surfaces
A sound wave striking a hard, nonporous surface bounces around and can create an echo in the room. By contrast, when meeting porous egg crate foam instead, its porous structure absorbs and dissipates soundwaves more efficiently, significantly reducing their reverberation times and echoing.
Leesa and Loom & Leaf use egg crate foam surfaces on their mattresses to minimize heat retention, creating air channels with its peak-and-valley design that help the foam breathe while remaining comfortable for sleeping on.
Foams with pinholes and lateral or vertical perforations add another cooling layer. These breathable materials circulate air throughout the foam to keep it at an ideal temperature, and may also be combined with other methods that slow heat transfer such as contour cutting waves and channels, PCMs or gels.
Egg crate foam is typically an acoustic foam material, yet manufacturers can customize its shape into more traditional pillow or mattress topper shapes like pyramid or wedge-shaped wedge acoustic foams with zig-zag patterns for increased comfort when sleeping on old beds. Softer and more comfortable toppers may help rejuvenate an older bed and enhance sleepers’ relaxation levels.
6. Keyhole-Like Cuts
Innerspring mattresses account for more than 90% of mattress sales due to their superior heat distribution capabilities, while cooling designs with features like wrapped coils can draw heat away from sleepers’ bodies and keep them comfortable throughout the night.
The Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper contains memory foam infused with graphite that draws body heat away from its surface to keep sleepers cool while sleeping. Additionally, this mattress topper contains both horizontal and vertical holes to promote breathability and airflow.
Cut-and-sew specialists such as Creative Ticking specialize in custom engineered covers for their clients, featuring zippered closures that create one unified unit comprising of top panel, border and bottom piece. Perimeter zippers often recessed in fabric on the bottom are popular among companies that manufacture two-sided mattresses.
When cutting foam, the best tool is usually a sharp utility knife or shears which will leave an even surface. An electric knife or saw may work but requires skill to prevent distorting of the foam. Finally, there’s always the hot wire if intricate carving or pattern etching needs arise in higher density foams.
Memory foam mattress materials infused with cooling gel have become a popular choice, thanks to their ability to dissipate heat more effectively than traditional ones and keep sleepers cooler throughout the night. Furthermore, its gel is also effective at relieving pressure. Many brands like Saatva and Loom & Leaf make use of memory foam in their mattresses.
One way to ensure a cool sleeping environment is to select breathable bedsheets. These sheets are specifically designed to wick away moisture and prevent the buildup of heat; usually comprised of high-quality yet lightweight materials.
Some fabrics feature higher thread counts than others, but you should avoid adhering to the “higher the better” mentality when searching for sheets. Higher thread counts reduce airflow and make it harder for your body to ventilate properly.
Some mattress makers use grid-like foundations to increase airflow. These bed base platforms typically consist of wood or metal slats spaced evenly apart to support and breathability of their mattress, as well as open cell foam layers that further lower temperatures under sheets.
8. Gel Infusions
Many mattress manufacturers now offer cooling mattresses by infusing various materials with cooling properties. Graphite, for instance, is a naturally cooling mineral which can be added as an infusion into memory foam or layer to dissipate heat more effectively. Cooling gel is another popular choice; its millions of liquid beads help wick away moisture and keep the bed cooler over time.
Copper’s natural conductivity makes it an excellent way to regulate core body temperature, which is crucial for restful sleep. Brooklyn Bedding’s Aurora Luxe hybrid features a copper-infused layer which works to dissipate heat away from your body and promote better sleep.
Many people who sleep on foam mattresses report sleeping hot. Therefore, some manufacturers employ cooling techniques to address this issue. This may involve infusing their foams with cooling gels, adding layers of cooling gel inside mattresses or using advanced polyfoam (a type of memory foam with smaller pores to improve breathability and regulate sleep temperature).