How to Fix a Mattress Topper That’s Too Warm
Foam mattress toppers have changed the way we sleep. They add great comfort and offer tremendous relief to anyone who sleeps poorly at night or suffers from back and neck pain.
Their airy internal structure is perfect for molding to the contours of our bodies. It ensures that the body weight is evenly distributed across the entire surface of the mattress. However, considering it's a synthetic material, foam mattress toppers have their quirks. One of the negative aspects is excessive heat retention. Over 15% of users claim that their mattress topper retains heat or that it sleeps warm, resulting in restless and sweaty nights. So, how do you fix a mattress topper that’s too warm?
To fix a mattress topper that’s too warm, first complement the mattress topper with breathable sheets or a cover, then try to boost the air circulation around and beneath the mattress, and if these solutions don’t work, look for a mattress topper with cooling features incorporated into the design.
The reason heat gets trapped inside the foam is because of its unique structure. The foam is porous and filled with tiny bubble-like spaces. However, it is not interconnected to allow a greater amount of airflow between and through these spaces. The weight of the body also compresses and displaces these small pockets of air, which means that there is no space for it to circulate. If interested, you may also find useful information in our article addressing how to choose a mattress topper for a heavy person.
Considering how prevalent the problem is, many manufacturers have produced specialized mattress toppers with built-in cooling properties. With this in mind, not only is it possible to enjoy the incredible contouring and pain relief properties of a mattress topper, but also the ability to sleep cool and comfortable throughout the night. Read this article about the study of different mattress fabrics to learn more about their features including heat and moisture retention. Mattress toppers are especially important when using a hospital bed. Make sure to also take a look at our article on how to choose a mattress topper for a hospital bed for more information.
Step 1. To Fix a Mattress Topper That’s Too Warm, Complement the Mattress Topper With Breathable Bedding
If your mattress topper is too warm, covering it with covers made out of natural and breathable materials such as bamboo or cotton can lower its temperature to more comfortable levels. Mattress covers are easily removable, which makes life easier because they can be washed as many times necessary. We like this breathable mattress cover from Amazon because it is hypoallergenic and lightweight.
There are covers specifically made to increase airflow. Some of them even draw moisture from the skin and distribute it evenly across the cover’s surface area. This will help to keep a person cool during the night. Usually, a 270 thread count ensures a good balance of durability and breathability especially for hot sleepers. Read this article from the Journal of Industrial Textiles to learn more about the correlation between sheet fabrics and thermal regulation.
Step 2. Boost the Airflow In and Around the Mattress Topper
Air can get trapped under the mattress topper and make one feel hot and sweaty. Therefore, make sure that the surface underneath the mattress allows plenty of air circulation. If a bed base is made of solid plywood for instance, then replace it with another bed base that allows good airflow underneath. Use a box spring or a platform with open slats that are not more than 3 inches apart to promote proper airflow whilst still providing adequate support to the mattress. We like this modern metal bed frame because of its strong mattress support and breathability.
Keeping the room at a cooler temperature is also a good idea to boost the airflow around the bed. Adjust the thermostat, open a window or turn on a fan to eliminate heat from the mattress topper. This will prevent heat accumulation and lower the room’s temperature to assist with better sleep at night. Read our other article about bed foundations where we discuss the different bed foundations and the mattresses that compliment them.
Step 3. If the Mattress Topper Is Still Too Warm, Look for a Mattress Topper With Cooling Properties
For people who are prone to rising body temperatures whilst sleeping, it's a good idea to pick a gel memory foam topper. These toppers have all the great qualities of traditional memory foam, with the additional benefits of a cooling gel. Read our gel vs. memory foam mattress topper article to discover the similarities and differences between these two popular types of toppers. Ever wonder how heavy a mattress topper is? Take a look at what's the weight of a mattress topper for the answers!
Gel memory foam mattress toppers provide the support that promotes comfortable rest, and they absorb movement, so that those who share a bed can enjoy peaceful sleep. What makes them better is that these gel-infused mattress toppers allow for extra air circulation that will keep the bed cool all night. We like this gel infused mattress topper from Amazon because the gel helps to dissipate excess heat.
Are Mattress Toppers Hot To Sleep On Generally
The type of material used in manufacturing the mattress topper will usually determine its features, like whether it is a cooler or warmer mattress topper.
Mattress toppers are not generally hot to sleep on but there are certain materials such as memory foam that retain heat more than other materials like down or wool. Additionally, high density mattress toppers retain more heat than low density mattress toppers. Cooling features like gel foam can reduce heat retention.
Most types of foam are tight-structured materials and viscoelastic—meaning that their contouring properties are actually activated through pressure and body heat. So when a person feels pain, the foam cradles the pressure points and gives off more heat to relieve the pain. Read our article about how to fix a mattress pad that sleeps too hot to find out more tips to reduce overheating in bed.
Memory foam is dense, traps more heat, and sleeps warmer. Latex foam sleeps cooler, and polyurethane sleeps somewhere in between. Mattress toppers made of loose natural fibers like wool and cotton sleep cooler than other materials. We like this 100% cotton mattress topper because it has a down alternative inside it which also assists with creating a cooler sleeping environment. Make sure to read our mattress topper density guide too for more useful information.
If you're still in the market for a mattress topper, you may also find our article on how to use a mattress topper to soften a bed informative as well.
How To Maximize Mattress Topper Ventilation
Memory foam toppers are made from high-density foam that molds to the body shape in response to body heat. This is great for people who get cold while they sleep. However, when temperatures heat up too much, a person may have trouble sleeping.
To maximize mattress topper ventilation choose breathable bedding, upgrade the mattress topper to one with cooling features, and keep the bedroom well ventilated.
Cooling down the temperature of a memory foam topper by placing a mattress pad over it is a solution we recommend. Look for a cotton top mattress pad, which will help provide a barrier between the topper and the sheets for more breathability. Also consider a mattress pad that is made of wool as it helps absorb moisture and prevents the growth of mold and reduces allergens. Read our article about mattress pads vs. mattress covers to find out about the differences between these two products. Another cooling option is to choose moisture-wicking sheets such as Egyptian cotton sheets to sleep cooler at night. We love these 800 thread-count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets because they come in a variety of colors to suit any taste.
Lowering the thermostat a degree or two in the room can make a difference. It’s helpful to install a programmable thermostat and set it to lower the heat about half an hour before bedtime, so that it will auto-adjust the next day. If sleeping too hot in the summer is an ongoing issue, install a ceiling fan in the bedroom. We like this programmable thermostat because it has smart response learning that will save the cooling and heating cycles and automatically regulate the room temperature.
What are Good Cooling Mattress Toppers?
A cooling mattress topper is constructed with materials that enable it to absorb extra heat and regulate your temperature for a comfortable night's sleep. The cooling topper can identify when your body is too hot or too cold and works to regulate your nighttime body temperature accordingly to ensure you have a goodnight’s sleep.
A good cooling mattress topper eliminates body moisture, circumvents uncomfortable temperature levels, gives a mattress extra cushioning, and provides more comfort by promoting air circulation.
A cooling mattress topper is an excellent investment for anyone’s lifestyle and health. Instead of purchasing an entirely new mattress, adding a cooling pad to a bed is a much cheaper and effective solution to creating a comfortable sleeping environment. In addition to the extra comfort and rest provided, a cooling topper will also eliminate the need for additional cooling agents like fans and air conditioning units, thus cutting down on utility bills.
Below are 3 examples of good cooling mattress toppers and their benefits:
|Cooling Mattress Toppers on Amazon||Why Is It A Good Cooling Mattress Topper||Price|
|SleepBetter Iso-Cool Memory Foam Mattress Topper with Outlast Cover, Queen||This product absorbs body heat to keep you cool during your sleep.||~$275|
|Allrange Breathable Coolmax Quilted Mattress Pad, Coolmax and Cotton Fabric Cover||This product draws moisture away and helps regulate the body temperature due to its breathable fabrics.||~$35|
|Elegant Comfort Premium Bamboo Mattress Pad - Overfilled Extra Plush Cooling Topper||This product is made up of bamboo which helps regulate body heat to sleep cooler at night.||~$40|
Make sure to also take a look at our ultimate guide to mattress topper types for additional information and suggestions. And if you travel a lot, you will be interested to learn how to make a hotel bed softer too.
Reasons Why A Bed Can Be Hot Besides the Mattress Topper
There are various reasons why a bed can be hot besides the mattress topper such as restricted airflow around the bed, lack of phase change materials in the mattress, or a faulty gel-memory foam mattress.
Reason 1. Restricted Airflow Around the Bed
A mattress needs to breathe to ensure a cool and comfortable sleep. So choosing the right bed base is important to promote proper airflow in and around the bed.
If the bed base is a flat solid surface, it will restrict the air circulation and will encourage the accumulation of body sweats and oils, moisture, and dust mites. Slatted bed bases are best for people seeking well-ventilated beds that prevent trapped heat. These interconnected bed slats from Amazon are ideal because the space between the wooden slats is not more than 2.4 inches, and it is easy to install.
Innerspring mattresses generally have more airflow than foam mattresses, but an innerspring mattress with a thick foam layer on top of it can still have issues. If a person knows their body temperature tends to rise during sleep, it’s best to pick a gel memory foam topper. They have all the great qualities of traditional memory foam—but gel memory foam mattress toppers provide the support that helps with comfort, as well as cool the topper down significantly. They also absorb movement, so those who share a bed with a restless partner can still sleep in peace.
If you're wondering if you can use a mattress topper on a box spring instead of a mattress to help with airflow around the bed, make sure to read this article first.
Reason 2. Lack of Phase Changing Materials In the Mattress
Some mattresses have something called phase change materials (PCMs), which improve the heat dissipation of the human body and keep the mattress at a constant temperature.
When heat is released from a body and the temperature rises to a specific point, The PCMs begin to melt into a liquid and absorb larger amounts of heat. This quickly cools down the mattress and allows one to sleep cooler throughout the night.
If a mattress lacks PCMs, then it will trap a lot of heat and make the bed too warm. Read this excerpt from the book titled “Smart Fibres, Fabrics and Clothing” to learn more about how PCMs provide temperature insulation and prevent body perspiration. For example, this mattress topper from Amazon is made of a proprietary “Omniphase” phase change material.
Reason 3. Faulty Gel-Memory Foam Mattress
Some memory foam claims to sleep cool because it uses gel mixed into the foam. Gel foam can make the mattress feel thicker or more supportive, but it doesn’t keep cool. If any mattress claims that it sleeps cool merely because it uses a layer of gel foam, be very skeptical about that claim. This is one of the most oversold new features in mattresses. It may take slightly longer to warm up, but that’s it. Read our memory foam mattress shopping guide to find out how to choose the ideal mattress. Gel foam can have other benefits, like making the foam feel thicker or a little more supportive, but it doesn’t keep the bed cool. In this case it would be a better idea to invest in a mattress that has ventilation like this one from Amazon.
In a Nutshell
A mattress topper that sleeps too hot can easily be remedied by using breathable bedding, increasing air circulation around the mattress topper and choosing a mattress topper that has cooling features worked into the design. Read our other article on mattress topper care to find out how long mattress toppers last and the best way to maintain them. Additionally, if you find that you're annoyed by a mattress topper that's always sliding around, make sure to take a look at our article on how to hold down a mattress topper for some smart ideas.
Ready to store your mattress topper for a while or do you need to move it to another location? We address how to roll up a mattress topper properly to keep it looking and feeling new.