Cooling Mattresses: Everything You Need to Know

Cooling Mattresses: Everything You Need to Know

Posted in Sleep Science
read time
4.5 mins

Summer is here! For many of us, this means barbecues, beach holidays and cocktails in the sun.

However, for some of us summer can mean other things - like tossing, turning and disrupted sleep. Sweating through the night is no fun at all and some of us just find it harder to sleep when the weather gets warmer.

You may feel you have to resign yourself to three months of fitful sleep, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Intelligent mattress technology has been developed just to help you keep cool throughout the night. Whether they have moisture-wicking covers or breathable foam cores, there are many varieties of cooling mattresses to get you through summer sweat-free!


Memory foam


Viscoelastic or memory foam is a type of foam which responds to the person's body heat. It shapes and moulds itself to the contours of the body and when used in mattresses, provides a comfortable, more personalised sleeping surface.

Originally developed by NASA in the 1960s, this space-age material made its way into the homes of everyday people, being used in mattresses, toppers and even pillows.

When memory foam was first developed, there was very little available in the way of temperature control. However these days, manufacturers have introduced foams with open cell structures to allow air to flow through more freely as well as different combinations of materials which prevent the mattress from retaining too much heat.

For instance, the Luna Memory 1000 Pocket Mattress is a supremely comfortable memory foam mattress with an open-cell structure to promote airflow, a blend of natural materials such as soybean oil and refreshing balm as well as a moisture-wicking Adaptive® cover. All the benefits of memory foam with none of the heat retention!

Luna 1000 Memory Pocket Mattress

If you'd like to learn more about memory foam, visit our handy advice page.

Gel foam


Possibly the most innovative form of foam on the market today, gel foam has all the benefits of memory foam but with significantly less heat retention.

Gel beads are mixed in with standard viscoelastic foam to create a mattress which has all the cooling properties of gel, as well as the comfort and support of memory foam. During periods of warm weather, you are sure to feel the benefit of a cooler, fresher bed.

The Studio by Silentnight range boasts sumptuous top layers of gel foam with a high-density memory foam base to offer support alongside the lovely cooling sensation of gel-infused foam.

To learn more about gel foam, be sure to visit our advice page on this topic, or view this informative video by Sealy on their Geltex range.



Latex foam


Plant-based latex foam, as opposed to memory foam, is a naturally-occurring material which regulates temperature organically without the aid of gel or other substances.

Memory foam mattresses respond to heat and mould to your body shape. Latex, on the other hand, responds to weight and body shape. This means it is less reactive and less likely to retain your body heat through the night.

One of our favourites is the Sealy Nostromo Posturepedic Pocket 1400 Latex Mattress, which includes a cooling, moisture-wicking Tencel cover as well as natural latex. Enjoy twice the freshness of a standard latex mattress at a great price!

Interested in finding out more? You can learn about latex here.


Natural mattresses


Natural materials tend to have organic cooling properties and are highly breathable.

Some mattresses are made with silk or cotton covers, to make them feel fresh and cool to the touch. These covers are breathable so heat is released easily from your mattress and will not build up.

A natural comfort filling in your mattress such as wool may seem like it would be warm. However, the filling is dense and springy enough to allow air to flow through for better temperature control and breathability.

Browse our selection of natural filling mattresses, or read more about natural mattresses.


Sleeping in summer toolkit


Perhaps you're not ready to invest in a new mattress for summer. If not, here are some other items to keep yourself cooler during the night.


Invest in cotton pyjamas


A pair of natural cotton pyjamas will keep you cool and fresh throughout summer. Cotton is light, highly breathable and allows heat to escape far easier than man-made fibres such as polyester. No more peeling off sweaty PJs in the morning!


Try a cooling pillow


A breathable pillow made with light fillings such as hollowfibre or polyester is perfect for summer. Look out for cotton covers which will promote cooler sleep.


Use a 4.5 tog summer duvet


Another issue may be the thickness and density of your duvet. Although many claim to be all-season bedding, in summer you are bound to want something much thinner. Our favourite is this light summer duvet by Silentnight which is supremely cool and comfortable.

Happy sleeping!