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How To Make Your Memory Foam Mattress Cooler

Enjoy a more refreshing night's sleep with these helpful tips for memory foam lovers.

For many, memory foam mattresses are preferred as they can help to provide pressure-relief. However, traditional mattresses can actually trap heat, so it’s important to find ways to keep your mattress cool, especially in the warmer months when it can be too uncomfortable to sleep in the heat!

In this guide, we’ll explain why memory foam mattresses can trap heat, and then provide various ways you can keep your memory foam mattress cool year-round. We’ll also give our top tips on how to keep your body cool too, so you can beat those summer night sweats no matter what kind of mattress you have!

Close up of woman's hands checking the inside of a memory foam mattress.

How to make a memory foam mattress cooler

Memory foam beds are famous for how they mould to your body and relieve pressure. Think of memory foam as a super squishy material with tiny air bubbles inside. When you lay on it, the foam squishes down, and those air bubbles get pushed around, which doesn’t leave much room for air to flow.

Now, our bodies like to stay at the right temperature, and they do this by touching the air around us. But because memory foam is so squishy and doesn’t let much air through, it can get pretty hot when you’re lying on it. So, if you ever feel like you’re getting a bit too warm on a memory foam mattress, that’s completely normal!

Here are four tips for cooling down your memory foam mattress:

  1. Add a cooling mattress topper – consider getting a mattress topper with tiny holes in it, like a latex foam topper which can be a game-changer. Latex foam is not only sturdy and comfy, but it's also fantastic at staying cool. It's light and airy, and those little holes in the foam mean heat doesn't get stuck inside. So, you'll stay nice and cool while you snooze, and you'll also enjoy the added support it provides. 
  2. Change up your bed foundation – if you've got a solid platform under your mattress (or if you're putting your mattress right on the floor), it can trap heat and moisture which can lead to mould growth - not what you want for a good night's sleep. Swap out that solid foundation for a slatted wooden bed base to create more room for air to circulate, both under and inside your mattress. This helps whisk away warm, moist air, creating a cooler and more comfortable sleeping environment.
  3. Consider changing your mattress – it might be time for a mattress upgrade. Luckily, there are some cooler options out there. You could look for a mattress with gel-infused memory foam, which is designed to keep things cooler than regular memory foam. But if you want to avoid memory foam altogether, there are other choices too - you could go for a latex foam mattress – it's the best for staying cool, and it's got little holes that boost airflow. If you love the feel of memory foam but want to stay cool, you can go for a gel foam mattress, where cooling gel beads have been infused into the foam, actively drawing heat away from your body. Read our Gel Foam Mattress Buying Guide for more information.
  4. Choose natural fibre bedding – polyester bedding can stop the airflow around you and make your bed feel stuffy, while natural bedding will decrease the temperature by encouraging more airflow around your body.

How to cool down an old memory foam mattress

Back when memory foam mattresses first came onto the scene, about 20 years ago, foam mattresses used to be super dense and didn't bounce back much. This made them hold onto heat and moisture, which wasn't great for comfort. 

Nowadays, foam mattresses are designed to be more breathable, and they can even whisk away moisture. So, you won't have to worry about feeling like you're in a sauna when you sleep on a modern foam mattress - they're all about keeping you comfy and cool! However, if buying a completely new bed or mattress is out of the question, check out more of our tips below on how to keep yourself cool at night.

Woman in the middle of a bed stretching out smiling.

How to keep cool on a memory foam mattress

Not only can you use these tips to keep your mattress itself cool, but you can use some of our tips to help keep yourself cool too! When the temperature has risen, especially in British houses which don’t tend to have air conditioning installed, trying to stay cool enough to be able to sleep at night can be tricky.

Luckily, there are a couple of quick and easy ways you can keep cool at night:

  • Adjust the temperature in your room – use a fan or open a window when the temperature drops at night to let some cooler air in.
  • Wear natural fibre nightclothes – wearing cotton or linen nightclothes will also help to keep you cooler because the fabric is light.
  • Turn off lights and electronics – your lights and electronics can generate a lot of heat when they’re running, so turning them off well before bedtime can help keep the heat down in your room.
  • Sleep with thinner bedsheets – not only can you make sure you’re sleeping with natural fabric bedding, but you can make sure you’re sleeping with thinner sheets rather than a thick duvet.
  • Put your sheets in the fridge/freezer before bedtime – this might seem strange, but popping your bedsheets in the fridge or freezer a couple of hours before bedtime will make sure they are very cool by the time you want to go to sleep.
  • Take a cold shower before bed – cool down your body with a cold shower before you put your pjs on
  • Stay hydrated – drinking lots of water throughout the day will ensure that you don’t feel too hot throughout the night, although avoid drinking water right before you go to bed or you may find yourself waking up more often in the night than you’d like!
  • Limit exercise and alcohol before bed – drinking and exercise both increase the blood flow around our bodies, making us feel much warmer (ever heard of a beer jacket?) so keeping these activities to a minimum in the late evening will help.

If you find that your sleep difficulties linger into autumn or seem to last all year long no matter the weather, then this might be the perfect time to use our top notch Mattress Finder to help you find your ideal mattress to keep the heat at bay.

You can also find lots more advice on how to get a good night’s sleep in our helpful collection of guides.

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