11 Tips to Cool You and Your Mattress

The Sleep Geek Certified

We all know how hard it can be to fall asleep if you're too warm. The tossing, turning and overall restlessness makes it difficult to get a good night's sleep, but we're here to help you get the cooler sleep you've been craving. From changing your bedroom's climate to altering how you sleep, we'll show you some of the most popular ways to cool your mattress.

Some mattresses, especially foam mattresses, are sensitive to heat, whether it's from your room temperature or your body temperature. In this article, we've focussed on changes you can make to your bed, your room and yourself so you know how to cool down your mattress. If you're looking to invest in a new mattress, we've explained the different types of popular cooling mattresses and how they can help you get a better night's sleep.

And we even have our sleep expert, the Sleep Geek (also known as James Wilson) offering some extra hints and tips on the best ways to stay cool.

Man sat in front of a fan on his bed
Find out how to cool your mattress with these top tips

Acceptance is key

The Sleep Geek says...

The Sleep Geek's glasses

James points out that one of the biggest problems with sleeping in the heat is the mindset we get ourselves into when we are ready to go to bed. Before we’ve even gone to bed, we’ve convinced ourselves that it will be impossible to get a good night’s sleep because it’s hot.

And then guess what happens? We get a bad night’s sleep. We’ve focused so much on the heat and convincing ourselves that we won’t sleep that it comes true.

The best thing that you can do is accept that sleep will be more difficult and try to relax as best you can. Remember - we live in the UK, it’ll be raining and cold before you know it.

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1. Choose a cooling mattress topper

Many people choose cooling toppers as a great way to cool their mattress down. They also provide an extra touch of comfort.

If you don’t know what a topper is, it’s a layer that sits on top of your mattress to give it a new lease of life.

The Sleep Geek says...

The Sleep Geek's glasses

The gel within the topper feels cool to the touch when you initially get into bed, although the temperature will eventually equalise during the night.

The Sleep Geek says that alternatively, natural fillings can help your body manage temperature throughout the night This is in part due to the material’s ability to wick away moisture efficiently.

All you need to do is pick the cooling topper that suits you best to feel instantly cooler as you fall asleep. They're easy to remove, too, so you can take them off depending on the season and how warm or cold you feel during the night.

Browse all mattress toppers

A Luna Gel Memory Topper
Made from gel, the Luna Gel Memory Topper will give you a cool night's sleep

Shop our entire summer bedding collection

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2. Try cooler pillows

You might think that your mattress is the main culprit for making you overheat, but your pillow is also a big factor. When it's warm, you may notice that your head feels much warmer than the rest of your body. This is because we lose around 10% of our body heat through our head. Using a cooling gel pillow makes you feel a difference in your overall body temperature while the pillow stays cool.

We have a wide range of cooling pillows to help you fall into blissful sleep. Pillows can have a variety of cooling properties. Some pillows can be cool to the touch and some even have air vents in their structure to increase breathability. Pillows with natural fibres can help you manage the heat throughout the night.

A Silentnight Geltex Premier Pillow
The Silentnight Geltex Premier Pillow has unparalleled breathability so you can stay cool

Browse all cooling pillows

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3. Cool your bedroom down

A quick and cheap way to cool your mattress is to make some changes to your bedroom. The cooler the room your mattress is in, the cooler your mattress will become.

It's important to get your bedroom to the right temperature for you before you go to sleep. The recommended temperature is 16 - 18°C with 30% - 50% humidity.

The Sleep Geek says...

The Sleep Geek's glasses

James points out that some people might find this a little cold. However, for a better night’s sleep, it is best to have the bedroom feeling a little cooler than the rest of the house.

This environment promotes good sleep hygiene and keeps your room cool enough to prevent bacteria from growing.

Here are some easy ways you can keep your bedroom at the optimal temperature:

Use fans

  • Make sure that the blades of ceiling fans are turning counterclockwise to push the cool air to the floor.
  • Try placing a bowl of ice-cold water in front of the fan so the cold air gets circulated around the room.
  • If possible, you could add air conditioning to your bedroom as it allows complete control of the room temperature.
A fan pointing at a bed
A cooler room means a cooler mattress, so try to keep your bedroom to around 16 - 18°C

Keep your curtains shut

Keeping your curtains or blinds shut ensures that your bedroom won't be getting any of the extra heat from incoming sunlight. This means your room and your mattress will be nice and cool by the time you go to bed.

Woman closing curtains
Keeping your bedroom dark will keep it cool

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4. Increase air circulation

Again, this seems like an easy solution but we don't just mean opening your bedroom windows. Try to get as much air circulation in your house as possible and leave all your inside doors open. This will allow the cool air to flow into your bedroom.

Open the attic hatch

Heat rises, so the rooms on your ground floor are more likely to be cooler than your bedroom. Opening your attic hatch means the warm air has somewhere to escape to on the top floor other than your bedroom.

The Sleep Geek says...

The Sleep Geek's glasses

The Sleep Geek knows that managing the temperature and airflow of your house in the warmer months can feel like a stressful game of chess. You may be tempted to keep your windows closed so that your room doesn’t fill with hot air.

This advice may work in warmer countries, but here in the UK our houses have not been built to withstand our current heat waves.

From James’ experience, he says that opening the windows when it’s cooler and getting some airflow around the house and closing the blinds in rooms with direct sunlight can be very beneficial.

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5. Swap your bedding

No matter how you sleep, your bedding makes a huge difference to your sleeping experience. Here we explain some changes you can make to your bedding that will help keep your mattress cool at night.

The Sleep Geek says...

The Sleep Geek's glasses

Don’t put your bedding in the freezer! You may see a lot of advice on the internet that recommends you put your sheets, pillows and even your duvets and The Sleep Geek advises strongly against this.

James explains that the sudden cold will wake your body up, not to mention that the moisture it creates as it melts will leave a wet patch on your bed and will gradually warm up anyway, leaving you in a more uncomfortable position. Nobody likes a wet patch!

Change your sheets

It's always best to buy sheets made from natural materials such as cotton, linen or bamboo. This is because they're more breathable and can wick away moisture if you overheat easily. They're super soft and comfortable while allowing you to stay cool through the night.

The Sleep Geek says...

The Sleep Geek's glasses

The Sleep Geek says cotton sheets give better moisture absorption than man made fibres. However, their higher thread count bedding can reduce airflow. For superior heat dispersion, as well as excellent moisture absorbing properties, James recommends bamboo sheets.

Try linen pillowcases

As with sheets, investing in a pair of breathable cotton or linen pillowcases will instantly soothe you to sleep and help you keep cool during warm nights.

The Sleep Geek says...

The Sleep Geek's glasses

James says a lukewarm shower before bed can help you feel cooler at bedtime. Similarly, filling a hot water bottle with lukewarm water and resting your feet on it will raise your core temperature slightly so you can feel the benefit when it drops.

And if you don’t have a hot water bottle, why not put your bare feet in a bowl of lukewarm water.

And if that still isn’t enough, simply go to bed in your pants!

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6. Use a lightweight duvet

The best way to still enjoy the ultimate cosiness of a duvet and keep your mattress feeling cool is to consider investing in a 4.5 tog duvet, the lightest duvet available.

If you'd like to find out which duvet is best for you, check out our helpful guide.

A Silentnight 4.5 Tog Summer Duvet
Summer duvets are great for keeping you cool, just like the Silentnight 4.5 Tog Duvet

The Sleep Geek says...

The Sleep Geek's glasses

When you share your bed and your duvet with a partner, you unfortunately also share their body heat.

For all those couples out there, the Sleep Geek has a golden tip that will help you peacefully on those hot nights: separate duvets.

James says that with separate duvets, not only can you choose the weight that suits you best, but you also avoid your partner’s heat entering your immediate sleeping environment and heating you up.

View 4.5 tog duvets

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7. Try using a hot water bottle

It might seem weird for us to suggest a hot water bottle, but The Sleep Geek suggests trying this.

  1. Fill your water bottle with lukewarm water - or a bowl if you don’t have a hot water bottle.
  2. Place your bare feet on the water bottle or in the bowl for a few minutes.

The Sleep Geek says...

The Sleep Geek's glasses

The Sleep Geek explains that we don’t need to be cold before bed, only slightly cooler than our regular body temperature.

Shockingly cold water can have the opposite effect and can make you feel more awake, meaning that your body will have to start the wind-down to sleep all over again.

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8. Adjust your clothing

By making simple changes to what you wear in bed, you can dramatically reduce your body temperature during the night.

  • Keep all clothing light and loose-fitting
  • Try to wear natural, breathable materials like cotton
  • Tie long hair back to help keep your head and neck cool

These quick alterations will help you feel cooler in no time!

Woman smiling in pyjamas
Materials like cotton and linen are great for breathable pyjamas

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9. Improve your sleep routine

Your core temperature can also make your mattress warmer, so it's useful to lower your body temperature as much as possible before bed.

Here are some quick tips:

Put a cold compress on your pulse points - it helps to cool you down quicklyDrink alcohol - it dehydrates you, which can make you feel warmer
Drink cool water before bed - it helps to hydrate and refresh youDrink caffeine - it gives you more of a 'buzz', which can make you feel stuffy
Exercise in the morning - this avoids raising your body temperature before bedWear heavy or tight-fitting clothing - it can make you sweat more

For more information on the relationship between sleep and exercise, check out our guide.

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10. Swap your bed

If you feel like your mattress is always too warm, it might be worth checking your bed. There are two types of bed base and each has its pros and cons.

Slatted base

This base is found on most bed frames. There are slats that your mattress rests on with gaps in between. These gaps allow for better airflow to the mattress, which can help to make it feel cooler.

A black Time Living Alderly Metal Bed in a bedroom that is decorated in black and white.
Solid bases can reduce mattress air flow, so why not opt for a slatted base like the Alderley?

Solid base

This base is often found on divans. It is a solid block that your mattress rests on. These bases are good if you want to make your mattress more supportive. They can be a slightly warmer option.

If you'd like to find out more about the impact your base has on your mattress, our helpful guide has a lot more information.

Shop all beds

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11. Invest in a cooler mattress

Do you prefer a cooler night's sleep all year round? Then it might be time to invest in a brand new cooling mattress that can cater to your needs. We have a fantastic variety of mattresses that are designed to give you a cooler and fresher night's sleep.

There are a wide range of cooling mattresses available in an array of comfort and support materials and firmness ratings. We're guaranteed to have the perfect one for you.

Browse all cooler mattresses

Read on to discover more about each type of cooling mattress.

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Types of cooling mattress

Gel mattresses

Possibly the most innovative mattress material, gel mattresses have all the benefits of memory foam but without the warmth that some memory foam mattresses are associated with.

Gel foam is a type of memory foam mixed with gel beads to help reduce heat retention inside the mattress. This helps your mattress feel cool and fresh as you go to bed. The open cell structure of gel foams allows air to flow through the mattress with ease, making it extremely breathable. We have more information about gel foam on our gel mattress advice page.

Sleepeezee Jessica 1800 Pocket Gel Mattress
The Sleepeezee Jessica is a great example of a cooling mattress

Latex mattresses

Plant-based latex can feel cooler than standard memory foam as its natural material regulates temperature organically without the aid of gel or other substance. This means they are less likely to retain body heat, reducing your chances of overheating during the night.

Latex has elastic properties which means it's quickly able to respond to your body shape and weight so you get support exactly where you need it. So this eco-friendly mattress could be the perfect fit for you!

If you want to find out more about this type of mattress, check out our guide on latex mattresses.

Sealy Waltham Latex Advantage Mattress
Check out our great range of cooling latex mattresses, like the Sealy Waltham

Natural mattresses

Mattresses made from natural materials are often highly breathable and have organic cooling properties. Some examples of natural comfort fillings in mattresses are wool, cotton, silk, bamboo and cashmere.

Now, you may think that some of these fillings think they make your mattress feel warmer, but they're actually great for temperature control. The fillings in natural mattresses allow air to flow through the mattress, which makes it more breathable.

This means that these types of mattresses are great for keeping you cool in the summer. To find out more about natural mattresses, our tailored natural mattress advice page has all the information you need.

Millbrook Wool Ortho 1000 Pocket Mattress
The Millbrook Wool Ortho is one of our best selling natural mattresses

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Now you know how to cool your mattress! By making small changes to your bedroom and sleeping environment and customising your mattress, you'll be able to enjoy a fresh and cool night's sleep in no time.

Browse our fantastic collection of summer beddingcooling mattressestoppers and pillows today and find the perfect solution for you!