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Why Your Memory Foam Mattress Is Too Hot (And 6 Ways to Fix It)

Malena Piper


Heat retention is a chief concern for memory foam mattress owners. Thankfully, there are solutions. Memory foam mattresses are now engineered with cooling technologies, which pull heat from the sleeper. Even though cooling mattresses are available, not everyone has the budget to get a new mattress just because they’re sleeping too hot on their current bed.

Simply changing your sleepwear, bedding, or placing your mattress on a foundation can better promote air circulation and prevent you from overheating.

In this article, we’ll explore why memory foam mattresses feel hot and how to overcome heat retention by changing your bedding and sleep habits.

What Makes Memory Foam Mattresses Hot?

Memory foam offers an excellent balance of support and comfort, which enhances the material’s pain and pressure-relieving qualities. However, memory foam mattress reviews tend to mention heat retention with these beds due to their composition.

Trapped Body Heat

Sleeping hot can make falling and staying asleep difficult. Memory foam does not ventilate as efficiently as other materials. It traps body heat, instead of wicking it away, which can make you wake up with night sweats.

Lack of Airflow

Traditional memory foam is a synthetic variation of polyurethane foam. It’s dense and doesn’t allow air to circulate, nor does it absorb moisture well due to the compressed foam particles. As a result, it reflects heat back to the sleeper, which leads to overheating and sweating.

Contours to Your Body

Memory foam’s contouring properties are activated through body heat, which softens the foam. The dense materials hold onto heat well, leading to uncomfortably hot nights.

How Do You Cool Down on a Memory Foam Mattress?

If your memory foam mattress is too hot, don’t panic— there are affordable solutions. Before you buy a new mattress, try these quick-fixes to cool down your mattress’s surface.

Use a Suitable Bed Frame

To decrease heat retention, you’ll need an open, supportive bed frame. Slatted beds are a popular choice as they offer a strong support system. The slats encourage air circulation through the mattress’s base layer, which wicks away heat. Avoid a frame with a solid base or placing the mattress on the floor as it will confine heat under the mattress and make sleeping miserable.

Use a Mattress Topper

Mattress toppers or pads are added to mattresses for comfort and cooling reasons.

Choose a mattress topper made from breathable materials, such as latex, cotton, and wool, to improve heat wicking. The additional layer creates a barrier between you and the memory foam through which air will circulate and wick away heat.

Similarly, a mattress protector is another affordable way to help prevent heat retention.

Keep Your Room Cool

Keeping the room at a cooler temperature by adjusting the thermostat, opening a window, or turning on a fan can remove heat from your mattress.

Turning off any electronics or heating systems will also prevent heat accumulation and lower the room’s temperature.

Choose the Right Sheets

Breathing bedding made from the right material can make your sleeping environment more breathable versus insulating.

Look for natural materials with high breathability, like bamboo and cotton. Natural fibers wick away moisture and help you stay cool. Avoid polyester bed sheets, like flannel, as they have a habit of insulating heat.

Choosing sheets with a thread count that promotes airflow is just as important as choosing the right fabric. Natural, breathable materials can retain heat if they are thickly woven, although a weave that is too loose won’t be durable. For example, cotton sheets are most breathable and durable between a 200 to 350 thread count range.

Use Layers

Some people overheat but cannot sleep without a blanket. In this instance, switching a duvet out for thinner layers of Tencel®, cotton, and bamboo can keep you cool while keeping the comfortable weight of a blanket.

Change Your Sleepwear

Reevaluating your sleepwear is a budget-friendly way to keep cool at night. It’s tempting to buy pajamas based on style and design, but you want to look through your fabric choices for a breathable and moisture-wicking option. Cotton and linen are great options for light, cool sleepwear.


Is gel memory foam better than memory foam?

Whether gel memory foam is better than traditional memory foam based on your personal preference. Gel memory foam uses gel infusions to absorb heat and disperse it through the layer, although the infusions can only absorb so much heat. It has a limit, which means the cooling technology can fail you if you’re experiencing a very hot night. Some find the cooling benefits very noticeable, while others report little difference.

What is the best mattress for hot sleepers?

Several types of mattresses sleep cooler than memory foam, such as latex, innerspring, and hybrid mattresses; however, there are alternatives to gel-infused memory foam which are very cooling. Copper-infused and plant-based foam is said to be cooler than traditional memory foam and competes closely with latex and coil-based beds.


Cutting down on heat retention is a simple matter of improving your mattress’s airflow. Whether you try our tips for sleeping cool or decide on a new mattress, we hope you’ve found our guide useful. With the right mattress and bedding, you’ll be able to enjoy a cool night’s sleep.

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Comments (4) Leave a comment

  • I have a lot of bone pain and love the heat of my memory foam mattress in the winter. I am looking for ways to make it cooler in summer though.

  • Any mattress that gets hot, is not a mattress, It is a giant heating pad. These should be outlawed. How is the consumer supposed to know they’re about to buy a piece of junk?

    • You are so correct. I don’t like my hot Memory foam and I trusted all the hype. Now I’m searching for a mattress topper.

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