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Bed Too Hot or Too Cold? Find a Solution

Bed Too Hot or Too Cold? Find a Solution

Sleep Tips
Read Time: 6 minutes
  • Understanding the various factors that contribute to sleep temperature, including room temperature, mattress composition, and individual preferences, can help individuals identify the root causes of their discomfort and make informed decisions when choosing bedding and sleep solutions.
  • Different mattress types, such as latex, memory foam, innerspring, and waterbeds, possess varying levels of heat retention and breathability, which can significantly impact how hot or cold individuals feel during sleep.
  • Electric blankets, heated mattress pads, temperature-balancing fabrics, and mattress toppers, can help regulate body temperature and create a more comfortable sleep environment, especially for individuals who experience fluctuating temperature preferences or couples with differing temperature needs.

Trying to get a good night’s rest in a bed that is too hot or too cold can be extremely difficult. Does your mattress have you tossing and turning as a result of an uncomfortable temperature? Don’t mess with your sleep. There are some things you can do to keep your cool….or lose it, whichever you fancy.

Sleeping too cold at night can contribute to arthritis and fibromyalgia symptoms as well as making it hard to sleep well. But, uncomfortable sweating, tossing and turning and disrupted sleep can all be caused by a bed that is too hot as well. No one wants to try to sleep in either situation.

Keeping your bedroom and mattress at an optimal sleep temperature and finding a workable solution, especially for partners who may have different temperature preferences, can seem difficult but is not impossible. In this article, we’ll look at ways to warm up and cool down at night, or do both.

Why Do You Sleep Hot or Cold?

Numerous factors can combine to make a bed feel too hot or cold to sleep comfortably. Some that come to mind include room temperature, mattress composition, bedding, as well as individual metabolisms and preferences. A mattress’s breathability and heat retaining properties can affect how hot you feel. Each mattress will vary in breathability, some more than others.

Because temperature is largely dependent upon individual preference and how hot or cool your body naturally feels, couples can have fairly different ideas of what feels good. One person may prefer hot while the other cold. This obviously can be a problem in one bed!

Another thing to consider is that we aren’t always the same body temperature. Our bodies experience temperature fluctuations throughout the night, so what feels good at 10 PM may feel too cold at 12 AM or too warm in the morning!

Keep reading to see how different mattresses and fabrics can factor in to your sleep temperature.

How Bed Composition Influences Sleep Temperatures

Aside from personal factors and room temperature, mattresses play perhaps the biggest role in how cool or warm you will ultimately feel. Each bed type has different materials and properties, and if temperature is a concern for you, it can be helpful to know the differences when choosing a new mattress.

Percentages in our comparisons are from independent review sites like SleepLikeTheDead.com.

Latex Mattresses

  • About 7% of latex mattress owners report sleeping too hot.

Latex mattresses have a pretty low rate of heat complaints, but can vary considerably depending on material type and bed composition. Beds with natural latex may sleep cooler, while beds with synthetic latex can feel warmer, and those with thick layers of regular foam on top of the latex may sleep warmest. Latex mattresses with pinholes throughout also perform better on breathability, as can beds with breathable covers made of cotton or wool. Overall owner satisfaction ratings stand at 80% with latex mattresses.

Memory Foam Mattresses

  • About 9% of memory foam mattress owners report sleeping too hot.

Overall, memory foam beds have a fairly high rate of heat complaints compared to springs and other non-foam mattress types, but significant differences are present across different brands and types of memory foam. For traditional temperature-sensitive memory foam, complaint rates tend to be around 8-12%, with higher density beds sleeping hotter.

Gel infused memory foam feels cooler initially, and these mattresses tend to have heat complaint rates of about 6-8% (with models that have gel close to surface feeling coolest). Plant-based memory foam can sleep up to 25% cooler than other types according to some studies, and plant based mattresses have lower heat complaint rates from 2-6%. As a whole, memory foam mattresses have an owner satisfaction rating of about 81%.

Shopping for a new mattress?  Read our guide on the best mattresses in a box

Innerspring or Coil Mattresses

  • Up to 10% of innerspring owners report sleeping too hot, depending on type.

Spring mattresses have a core made of metal coils, topped with layers of foam and fiber. Some types of spring mattresses rate as low as 5%, but others are more likely to sleep hot, specifically those with thick comfort layers and those with thick memory foam layers, of which 10% of reviewers report a heat issue. Overall owner satisfaction is around 63% with coil mattresses.

Waterbed Mattresses

  • Waterbed mattress owners are more likely to report sleeping cold than hot.

Since water adapts to room temperature and absorbs body heat, very few waterbed mattress owners have problems sleeping too hot. Usually, the more common issue is feeling too cold, which can be remedied with a waterbed heater. Then you can set the temperature.

Sleep Temperature Solutions

Finding solutions that will help you and your partner sleep at the ideal temperature can help minimize aches and pains while improving your quality of rest. Specialists and studies have estimated that the ideal range for good sleep is somewhere between 60-72 degrees, though as we said, this can vary from person to person. If you can’t get the mattress for your needs, use some of the following remedies to balancing your temperature at night

If your bed is too cold at night:

bed too cold

  • Electric blankets help keep covers toasty and warm in the winter, and can help warm up your mattress. Electric blankets are not recommended for memory foam, as many react to heat.
  • Heated mattress pads can help warm your body and the mattress surface.
  • Use a higher weight blanket that offers strong insulation.
  • Find what to wear in 70 degree weather, buy socks and keep your hands under the blankets, as your feet and hands are most sensitive to temperature.
  • Use a waterbed heater with water mattresses to reach a more comfortable temperature.
  • Use a memory foam topper to provide a little warmth on water beds that feel too cool.

If your bed is too hot at night:

bed too hot

  • 100% cotton or bamboo sheets are an ideal choice for hot summer nights, as they excel at breathability and moisture wicking.
  • Use lightweight covers on your bed made of natural, breathable fibers (as opposed to polyester and other synthetics which can trap heat).
  • Choose a mattress type known to sleep cooler, such as an innerspring  without foam padding, plant-based memory foam mattresses, or waterbeds.
  • If you’re not ready to looking into buying a new mattress, a cooling mattress topper can establish a pleasantly chilled surface.
  • Uncover part of your body, as your blood circulates it will cool the rest of your body.

If your preference fluctuates:

  • Natural wool mattress pads, covers and toppers can help keep you cool in the summer while wicking away moisture, and can also help keep you warm during winter.
  • Natural silk also excels at balancing temperatures and wicking moisture.
  • You can also use a couple layers of bedding, like a thicker top cover and lighter blanket, so that if you get too warm you can just peel the thicker layer back without having to remake the whole bed.

If you and your partner like different temperatures:

  • There are products that heat and cool sleep surfaces. They can be an ideal solution for couples that have different ideas of comfort, as dual models allow each person to choose different temperature settings.
  • You can use different types of comforters to suit your preferences. The hot sleeper can opt for a lighter-weight blanket while the cold sleeper can use a heavier one.
  • Using temperature balancing and moisture-wicking fabrics like wool and bamboo for mattress covers and sheets can help keep you both happy.

If you are too cold or too hot at night, it can be frustrating and difficult to fall asleep, and it can also affect how well you sleep throughout the night. One of the best ways to stay comfortable is to be conscious of how different materials interact with body heat when choosing mattresses and bedding. Generally, natural fibers prove more breathable which can help keep you cooler, and dense foams tend to be better at insulating and retaining body heat.

Read our take on why mattress reviews are essential to the bed buying process

When trying to find a solution, consider how how you sleep, your natural body temperature, your partner’s preferences, your mattress and your bedding. The answer could be as simple as changing your sheets, adding a mattress cover, or opting for two covers, or you could upgrade to a bed that is a better fit.

Hopefully you’ve found a couple helpful solutions for improving a too cold or too hot mattress, and feel free leave your own bed tips in the comments.

David Klose is a Certified Sleep Science Coach who is a full-time writer focused on sleep health and the mattress industry. David has personally tested hundreds of mattresses and is obsessed with helping others find their perfect sleep solution.

Through his research, David has learned about other contributing factors to getting a good night’s sleep – such as diet and exercise. He now focuses on writing articles to help improve the reader’s quality of life.

A non-exhaustive list of some of the topics he has written on: the causes of sleepwalking, the sleep habits of high school students, and the relationship between a good night’s sleep and living a successful life.

David Klose has his undergraduate degree from Arizona State University where he studied English Literature and interned as the Student Editor-in-Chief of the university’s online literary magazine. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in writing from Lesley University.

Comments (50) Leave a reply

  • I am an extremely cold sleeper. I have to sleep with socks on and use one sheet and two blankets. I have degenerative arthritis so my joints and circulation are bad. My goal is to sleep with less blankets and no socks if able to. Not sure which mattress and box springs to use or the correct bedding. Help me out

    • Hi Jan,

      Thank you for your comment! If you’re looking to sleep warmer, we recommend starting with bedding. Jersey cotton or flannel cotton sheets are a go-to for many because they can insulate body heat and keep you warm throughout the night.

      When it comes to mattresses and foundations, they usually aren’t designed to promote warmer sleep. In fact, most mattresses are designed to promote cooler sleep since night sweats are a problem for many. With that, you’ll just want to avoid beds with cooling technologies like gel foams.

      If you want to cut down on blankets but still enjoy sleeping with one, we recommend a weighted blanket. These offer a variety of sleep-promoting benefits, but they can also help you stay warmer.

      We hope this helps!

  • I’m looking for a quilted heating mattress pad but only for my wife’s side of the bed. This summer we bought a king size memory foam mattress and it’s very comfortable. But this winter my wife put on our heated mattress pad and I find the pad takes away comfort (and cooling) of the memory foam bed. I want her to be warm but I don’t want a mattress pad between myself and the memory foam. Are there any mattress pads that can be installed only on one side of our mattress?

    Any help would be appreciated – thanks

    • Hi James,

      Thanks for your question! There are two ways you can go about doing this: one, you could buy a quilted heating mattress pad in a twin XL size so it’s large enough just for your wife’s side of the bed (king mattresses have the same dimensions of two twin XL mattresses placed side by side, so you can customize your side of the mattress by buying twin XL-sized accessories for your side of the bed), or two, you can invest in an electric blanket, as these are relatively inexpensive and would keep your wife warm without causing night sweats or overheating. We should note, though, that your wife may be more elevated in the mattress depending on the thickness of the mattress pad, so we recommend looking for one on the thinner side.

    • Hi Erin,

      Great question! We actually put together a list of waterproof mattress pads, and many of them designed to encourage airflow through the mattress and keep you cool. Mattress protectors can vary quite a bit, so it may just take finding the right one to get better sleep. You can read more about our recommended waterproof mattress protectors here.

  • I keep on tossing and turning in my bed trying to get cool and once I get cool then it starts to get to hot again. How do I cool down?

    • Hi Ruby,

      Thank you for your question! Have you tried switching to more breathable bedding and pajamas? Turning the thermostat in your home down to 60-67 degrees and setting a small fan in your bedroom can help combat hot nights, too. If none of the tips in this article help, it may be time to buy a new, more breathable mattress.

      We hope this helps!

  • I think sleeping on my innerspring mattress directly with no sheets or mattress pad under me is best my body heat is wicked away into mattress

  • we purchased 30 days ago a Temp Pro Hybrid from Mathis Brothers in OKC. – the first nite I woke up ringing wet and it has been the same every nite – called store and all we can do is exchange – have severe back problems and this sleeps wonderful, except I wake up numerous times a nite – am 82 and husband has cancer – cost us $3,690 and we can’t get our money back – they suggested we spend 300.00 more on a cooling cover – feel we are in a mess and disrupted sleep is awful. Have box springs under mattress. Please suggestions. carol & maurice

    • Hi I found great relief with a gel simple topper and cotton sheets and 100 percent cotton blanket I was using my big synthetic blanket and it with the mattress was trapping heat

  • Hi, I have a Harrison 8000 pocket sprung mattress… it has a thick natural fibre built in topper… I am too warm with almost no covers…

    Any tips please?

  • I have a new tempurpedic Rapsody Lux without breeze but the bed is so cold at night I need a heated mattress pad on all the time, I have a 3/4″ piece of plywood under the mattress on top of the box springs could that be a problem for the coolness? Thanks for your help

    • Hi Dick,

      Sorry to hear about that issue! Sleeping on a mattress that is too cold is no fun. The plywood shouldn’t be causing any issues or, at least, we can’t think of a way in which it would cause a mattress to get so cold a heated mattress bed is needed.

      Sometimes using a thick mattress pad and high thread count sheets will do the trick (it helps restrict air flow, catching heat, and promoting a warmer sleeping environment).

      Hope that helps!

  • Do memory foam beds get firmer when the temperature in the room gets too cool? My hips get very sore when it is very cool in the room.

    • Hi Julie!

      Great question. While it does depend by specific brand, memory foam beds do tend to respond to the temperature of the room. Higher-density memory foams (over 4lbs density), from what we have read, tend to react to temperature more (they get firmer when it’s cold and softer when it’s hot) than foams at 4lbs or less density. Sometimes you will hear from a salesman that once you get a memory foam mattress home, it will take a while for it to “break-in”, that’s your body’s weight and temperature breaking in the cells of the memory foam. Of course, we also want to consider how cool you are talking. Most sleep journals recommend we keep our room at around 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Look for mattresses which help promote breathability and aren’t extremely dense.

      Thanks for the question!

  • There are no modern cool mattresses. Am using a forty year old one. Cool, but losing its support fast.

  • i like to get into a warm bed, but cannot sleep if too hot, I
    the electric blanket I bought was polyester, and I felt I was burning all night. Consequently got up in the middle of the night to take it off and remake the bed. waste of money then

  • We are moving to much warmer and humid tropical country from East Coast. Looking for a mattress that is breathable and keeps us cool at night, Latex mattress is too expensive and we don’t prefer wool based mattress. Any insight would be helpful! Thanks.

  • Last month I purchased a Sealy Posturepedic Mahoe Bay Pillow Top Plush mattress, softness 7, from Hassless Mattresses in Brookfield, WI. I find myself getting up every two hours because I’m so warm. There is a 100 day warranty and want to exchange it, however, I’m afraid I’ll pick the wrong mattress again. I am currently considering the Simmons Beautyrest Ocean Springs mattress, softness 5ish, because of its aircool foam layers. I have no idea if they are plant based or not. Could you please give me your opinion and/or suggestions? Thank you.

  • Hi i bought a sealy matress and its extreamly warm. I guess poor quality. I cannot sleep at all. I bought a coolmax matress pad and it is a desaster. It does not help at all plus it gave me an allergy reaction. I bought this item at sleep country and its not refundable. How can they robbed this way to customers selling products that do not work. I will never buy any product at this store.

  • Hi i bought a sealy matress and its extreamly warm. I guess poor quality. I cannot sleep at all. I bought a coolmax matress pad and it is a desaster. It does not help at all plus it gave me an allergy reaction. I bought this item at slerp country and its not refundable. How can they robbed this way to customers selling products that do not work. I will never buy ant product at this store.

  • Hello, we recently bought a new mattress that has gel top. Happy with the support it provides. However, by 1 am my husbands body heat as transferred through the gel over to my side. It’s way to hot. It wakes me up every night. I have tried sleeping on top of a thick quilt but I still wake often over heated. Do you have any ideas on what else I can try? Very open to ideas. The mattress has helped my hip pains. Which is why we purchased this mattress.

  • I am always freezing in any bed except my own. I need a new mattress now and I need one the same. It’s got to have NO springs and and be memory foam/latex. Most of all it needs to keep me warm all night!

  • We have an Englander foam rubber mattress with a built-in memory foam topper (about 3 inches) on a Tempur-pedic platform. It was hot to sleep on because it was so soft. After reading various reviews of mattresses I realized sinking into the foam top was the main problem so we flipped the mattress over and solved the problem, no more sinking. Now we still have an adjustable bed but it stays cool because we are sleeping on the latex rubber only. My wife and I like the support better as well. I love free solutions!

  • What would say is the best mattress for a woman that is menopausal? My preference is a adjustable mattress.

      • New mattresses of top quality often have “cool to the touch covers” now.

        They retain that cooling for (at least) much longer than the mattresses made even 3 years ago.

        The very top ones, mattresses like Tempurpedic, are just coming out with mattresses that claim to keep you as much as 8 degrees cooler
        through the night.

        I honestly cannot say that is 100% true yet as these mattresses are just coming out.

        I do sell mattresses though, and have for many years.

  • i want to learn about water bed. that how to water cool in summer.
    what we use to maintain water cool.

  • It’s always super hot at night when I try to go to sleep during any season other than winter. I didn’t know that the mattress can be a factor into how hot it is. I’ll have to watch for that in the future, when I need to replace my mattress again.

  • We have tried 4 different beds: Sleep #, Beauty Rest Black pillow top and hybrid, and lastly Diamond “Relieve”. They all feel like my car seat heaters after contact with my shoulders , back and hips. My husband is fine and starting to think finding a new wife would be cheaper and less frustrating. After reading your article, and MANY others, we have now concluded that memory foam is the culprit. None of our previous beds had this issue. Memory foam is now so universally used, and, obviously, the majority of sleepers aren’t affected or there would be protests in the streets! Yes, you can have a bed designed for “you” thru Helix, but you must have the correct support system waiting…and returning such a mattress looks nearly impossible. Please….if you will….provide us with a mattress brand that caters to hot spot sleepers like myself. The “cool touch” memory foam in our present bed (going into the guest room) becomes “warm touch” in short order. I am obviously not alone or mattress companies would not be advertising all of their cooling properties. i.e. Diamond Dust and gel infused. I will be trying a wool topper when we get to a Duxiana store to check one out in person. Bamboo sheets? Perhaps but are they better than plain ole cotton? Have even checked out the Bed Jet, but concluded that it would not solve this issue as it cannot keep the “contact spots” cool. Just everything around them.

    Any further insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    • Kathy my spine surgeon says not to get a memory foam mattress for two reasons, they conform toyour body making moving difficult not good for my back and they are hot to sleep on. You need to look for a coil mattress to solve your hot sleeping problem. They talk about cooling gel but this is still foam infused and does not stay cool for very long. Good luck in yur search. I see your comment is old so hope you found a solution.

    • Buy a chili pad/chili cube. I’m a hot sleeper and it controls the temperature of your bed, cold as 58 or hot as 110. I never need to set it at less than 71! Game changer

    • I read your post and have been throught the EXACT same issue. My husband thinks I am ready for the looney bin. We have had 6 mattresses in the past 5 years. Current is a Serta Hybrid which is very comfortable in every way except the heat is unbearable. I too considered the crazy BedJet, but also concluded that it would not likely help the problem of the hot spots from underneath. I was just wondering how you are doing, if you have found a solution and if so, what mattress you are using? I am now considering returning the Serta for some type of latex. BTW, I tried the wool blanket insulation suggestion, but didn’t find that to be of much help either.

      • I have major issues with mattresses that sleep hot! We have just tried 3 mattresses, 1 from one company and 2 from another. Every one of them retained body heat and prevented me from getting a good night’s sleep. The first store allowed us to return the mattress and get our money back, but the second company would only allow exchanges and kept promising us that “Oh, no, THIS mattress is one of our “coolest!” Can’t remember what the first mattress was we purchased from Mattress Firm, but the 2 we purchased from Mattress Gallery Direct were a Stearns and Foster and a Jamison mattress – both too expensive. They wanted us to exchange the last one for an Englander Resort mattress which cost $3,900 with a gel material in the top of the mattress. We refused and told them we did not trust them. We are now stuck with their Jamison mattress that is too hot!

        PLEASE someone suggest a mattress that is NOT HOT!

    • I can only sleep on bamboo sheets on our sleep number bed. Hubby runs very warm and the air bladder on his side heats up the one on my side making me think I’ve lost my mind, never a problem before sleep number bed. Now using bamboo sheets and a cooling mattress pad during cooler times and add 3 (yes 3) fans blowing in summer. I sleep just fine on any other mattress. Sleep number wants $1600 for a cooling system to fix their design flaw! I think not!

    • Kathy,

      what did you find as a solution? I am about to return my Breeze Temperpedic because
      I can’t stand the heating effect. Researching this takes so much time and then there is the return of the mattress, etc. I”m wondering what you found eventually…

    • Have you ever considered a cold foam mattress the ones without memory or gel topping? They can be manufactured very cheap and it has been tested by orthopedics in Europe receiving very good results. But mattress industry in NA isn’t willing to give up their 1000% margins so they come up with tons of ideas how to confuse customers. Just give a try an IKEA foam mattress for example. I always used logic less sinking into the mattress less overheating during the night.

    • Kathy I am feeling your pain. I also am struggling to find a cool sleep option. I had no problem with our previous mattress that unfortunately got flooded, or with other older stye mattresses I have slept on recently. If you have found a workable solution I would love to know. Surely the manufacturers have to start listening soon.
      Best of Luck

    • Mattresses with “cooling” properties work towards keeping your body cooler vs other mattress brands that don’t. If you naturally sleep hot you will want to find a mattress brand that will not exaggerate this. I recommend a plant based memory foam as its 5x more breathable than traditional memory foam and 25% cooler than gel. There are not any memory foam mattress brands that will make you sleep cold, there are many that can cause over heating.

  • My partner and I have concerns about getting the right type of mattress. We are larger XXL plus would be the correct term.
    Need a material that won’t over heat our bodies yet provide the optimum back and hip support with out causing circulation problems. It’s truly overwhelming.
    A knowledgeable sales person would help a great deal.
    What mattress and or please tell us what your suggestions you may have, to help us make a better decision. Also hiw can we tell if the mattress doesn’t give off or made harmful products ie; petroleum based products.

    • You might prefer latex foam over other mattress types for a couple reasons. All natural latex, particularly Dunlop type, is among the most durable mattress materials so if you choose a quality option it will last longer than an average foam or spring bed. Latex also is good for both pressure point relief and back support, and the natural version should not contain any harmful products. Have a look at our guide to latex for more information.

      Thanks for reading!

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