7 Tips for Sleeping Cool on a Memory Foam Mattress

Are you a hot sleeper who loves the marshmallowy feel of memory foam? Use these tips for sleeping cool on a memory foam mattress to have the best of both worlds.

By Nicole Gleichmann

Jan 29th, 2021

Do you fall asleep just fine, but wake up tossing and turning as your body temperature skyrockets? This is an all-too-common occurrence on memory foam mattresses.

Drinking a glass of cooled water may be helpful in the moment, but it is only a temporary fix. Fortunately, there are ways of staying cool on memory foam throughout the night. Implement a few simple tips, and you can say goodbye to sleeping hot at night.

Why Memory Foam Sleeps Hot

Memory foam is a synthetic fabric that was designed by NASA to absorb shock. The result was a dense material that does an impeccable job at molding to warm objects that come into contact with it. This is why memory foam feels like it wraps perfectly around your body.

Unfortunately, another result is that memory foam absorbs heat and feeds it back to you during the night. When you lie down on memory foam, your body weight compresses the material, leading to poor air circulation and abundant heat retention.

15% of memory foam mattress users report that their bed sleeps too hot or that they wake up from night sweats. While this is the minority of those who sleep on memory foam, it represents a large number of people that struggle with the heat-trapping properties of memory foam.

Fortunately, there are things that you can do to ensure a much cooler night while sleeping on a memory foam mattress.

How to Sleep Cool on Memory Foam Mattresses

1. Use the Right Sheets

It is not only the material that your mattress is made from that impacts your temperature throughout the night. The bedding that you use will either add to heat retention or detract from it.

Look for all-natural, breathable bedding. One of our favorite materials for sheets is bamboo. Bamboo bedding is smooth and cool to the touch. It is naturally breathable and moisture-wicking, resulting in a dryer, cooler night’s sleep. Cotton sheets are a close runner-up.

2. Choose the Right Foundation

Memory foam mattresses are fairly forgiving when it comes to how they’re supported. You can put them on the floor, plywood, a very firm box spring, or a slatted bed frame. However, these options are not equal when it comes to breathability.

As your mattress absorbs your body heat throughout the night, it will either trap it or get rid of it. If your mattress is on a solid foundation, such as the floor or a sheet of wood, the heat will have nowhere to go but directly back to you.

Instead, opt for a slatted foundation. Either wood slats or metal slats will do. The space between the slats increases the ability for heat to escape, allowing you to sleep more comfortably.

3. Wear the Right Pajamas

There are two optimal choices for nighttime attire if you sleep hot: cool fabrics or no clothing at all. The last thing that you want is for your PJs to result in your waking up hot and sweaty. Either go for light, breathable materials like silk or bamboo, or go sans clothing.

Often times, nude is the best choice. Your body is much better at regulating its temperature when you aren’t adding an extra layer of complication. Over time, you may find that you naturally adjust in ways that keep you at the right temperature. Your arms and feet may slip out of the covers from time to time, allowing all-natural thermoregulation.

4. Cool Your Surroundings

Sometimes, all you need to do to not wake up during the night is control your sleep environment. Turn down your thermostat, open a window, or turn on a fan to increase air circulation. A light breeze can help to dry night sweats and keep your body at the right temperature.

And if you have an adjustable thermostat, do some detective work and figure out when you wake up hot. Set your thermostat down a degree or two shortly before that time to allow you to keep sleeping without disruption.

5. Limit Cuddling

Do you sleep with your partner, kids, or furry family members? The body heat from someone sleeping near you can be even warmer than memory foam itself. If you share your bed, there may be only one way to sleep less warm: demand personal space.

When your bed buddies are cuddlers, it can be tough to carve out your own space. But understand that sleeping well throughout the night is important for your health and happiness. You may need to set rules where there is no cuddling in bed.

And if your bed isn’t large enough for you to have this extra space? Either buy a new, bigger mattress or have your animals or kids sleep somewhere else.

6. Opt for a Mattress Pad or Topper

One of the benefits of memory foam beds is that they are so comfortable that you do not need a topper. Yet for those who find their bed too hot, a mattress topper or pad may be an inexpensive investment that creates a much cooler night.

Mattress pads are thin layers that are often used to protect a mattress from spills and other damage. Some mattress pads are designed to help people sleep cooler. These are typically made from all-natural fibers such as cotton and wool.

Toppers are thicker than mattress pads. As a result, they are usually more expensive, and more effective, than mattress pads. You can buy a cooling gel memory foam topper, a fluffy down topper, or a latex topper. Each of these offers a different feel with added cooling potential.

7. Buy a Large, Cooling Memory Foam Mattress

Our final tip is intended for those who are on the prowl for a new mattress. This is the best time to do the legwork to help you sleep cool throughout the night.

Many memory foam beds are created to be more breathable than traditional memory foam. One of your best options is to go for a gel-infused memory foam mattress. These beds include cooling gel throughout that absorbs your body heat without feeding it right back to you during the night.

By purchasing a cooling mattress and using the tips above, even the hottest sleeper may be able to sleep comfortably through the night on a memory foam mattress.


One of the biggest qualms with memory foam is that it tends to trap heat. By utilizing the tips and tricks above, you can enjoy the pressure-relieving benefits of memory foam while sleeping much cooler. And don’t forget—there are cooling gel memory foam mattresses for those who are on the market for a new, cooler memory foam bed.