Is a memory foam mattress too hot? Do you have a cooler foam bed?

Cool Memory Foam MattressWe’ve been shopping around for a memory foam mattress online, and there are a lot of reviews saying they are too hot. Are your mattresses hot? Is there a way to make a memory foam mattress cooler?

Memory foam is a good insulator, and that’s nice in the winter or for people who like to be cozy warm when they sleep. But what about keeping cool in the summer months, or people who have trouble sleeping because they get too warm at night?

All memory foam is composed of thousands of tiny cells with an open wall structure. Think of a sponge and the way they can soak up water. Sponges can soak up water because they have an open wall cell structure. Similarly, there are tiny holes in the cell walls of memory foam that allow air to flow between cells. This is what allows memory foam to conform so well to your body.

A lot of mattress sellers say that memory foam is cool because it has an open wall cell structure. And that’s true. Memory foam dissipates heat because it passes heat away from your body while you sleep. But still memory foam mattresses are warmer than traditional innerspring beds that everyone is used to sleeping on.

Some memory foam mattresses have “air flow” channels cut into the top surface or interior of the mattresses that allows air to move or “bellow” when you move about on the mattress. The idea is that this will allow heat to pass away from your body and keep you cooler. I agree with this concept, and I understand why it should work, but I’ve slept on a lot of beds in deciding which ones to sell in our store, and I’ve honestly not seen any difference in the warmth / coolness of mattresses with air flow channels.

The main thing that makes traditional innerspring mattresses cooler is a top layer of fiber fill. Fiber filling does a great job of preventing heat build up, promoting airflow, and whisking away heat from your body. Fiber fill is the polyester, Americore, or Dacron fiber batting which is quilted into the top of a mattress. It is super soft and comfortable, and does an excellent job keeping you cool, but is not as good as memory foam at reducing pressure points.

Memory foam is a superior pressure reduction material. For best performance, you want your body to be as close to the mattress as possible. A “tight top” memory foam mattress has a top layer of memory foam and then a mattress cover over it. The mattress cover is all that’s between you and the memory foam.

For better heat reduction, you can get a memory foam bed with a CoolMax, Bamboo, or Aloe Vera Cover. These special materials will wick heat and moisture away from your body.

A pillow top layer of fiber quilted into the top cover can also help keep you cool. This type of memory foam mattress will keep you much cooler because it has a highly breathable airflow layer right next to your skin.

If you’re ready to go high tech and splurge a little, the heating and cooling mattress pad by Chilipad is a sure fire (or maybe “sure ice”) solution to regulating your body tempurature at night. And it comes in a his / hers side too!

14 thoughts on “Is a memory foam mattress too hot? Do you have a cooler foam bed?

  1. jean

    i just purchased a sleep innovations memory foam mattress last night at Costco and set it up to sleep ……had a terrible night’s rest due to the high heat from body contact with the mattress….. i even put a pad and used egyptian sheets between me and the mattress and still baked my bod. the air temperature wasn’t even hot last night yet i was miserable.
    i sure hope that i’m able to find some type of fill that will go over this mattress to protect my body from the heat cause i will return this bed if not.

  2. doris huneycutt

    Yes, a memory foam mattress is HOT~! It doe not disperse body heat. I’ve spent many miserable nights in this bed, but due to its cost, am stuck with it. I purchased a $300 Cool Breeze mattress pad, recommended to me, but it helped not at all. In my view, Serta sold me a mattress with a major defect, but said nothing about the overheating problem. Even now, they will only agree that some people may find the foam mattress “warm”. On the upside, it is very comfortable, but comfort means little when the bed is so hot, you cannot sleep!

  3. Kay Wilson

    We purchased a new bed last August and bought a memory foam mattress, as advised by the salesman for the bed. Much as I agree that the mattress is very comfortable to sleep on I cannot sleep as it is far too hot. When we asked the salesman about the heat when we bought the mattress (we had heard from friends that it was exceptionally hot) he said it a cooler protector that stopped this. I ca be in my bed for only 10 minutes and the sweat is lashing off me. Over the last 6 weeks I have not had a full nights sleep and this is obviously affecting my life.

    What can I do? Is there anything else I can purchase to stop the heat as if I can’t change the heat factor then I have told my husband that we will have to change the mattress as I can’t take any more of it.

  4. Julia Baker

    We were suffering with our memory foam mattress bought from John Lewis and on the point of buying another. A friend recommended we contact who are specialised in bedding for those overheating at night. Very sceptical but incredibly they solved our problem for just over £100.00. They seem to know their stuff and offered me a full money back guarantee if the Climarelle duvet nd protector I bought didn’t do the job – throughly recommend them.

  5. mike

    Hi All
    just saw a thread about the tempurpedic mattress being to warm, i had the same problem with my tempurpedic mattress and i was ready to ditch it and get me a futon to sleep on when i was recommended to try outlast products. Outlast originally developed by nasa, a material that is temperature regulating. i got a mattress pad with outlast and it made wonders for my tempurpedic, it keeps me cool and comfy, im no longer sleeping too hot on my tempurpedic.
    I have since then added sheets with outlast, im becoming a total outlast fan!
    the best place to get the outlast products that i have found so far is

  6. Annabelle

    we bought a mattress too, and found it way to warm to sleep on, the store where we bought it recommended cooling bedding products with Outlast material, we got the mattress pad from and it was a perfect fit for us. The pad keeps us cool, it is truly amazing. And our dog loves it, it seem to keep him cool too… Im now a “outlast bedding collector”, ive got the sheets and blanket too and can enjoy the comfort of my new mattress without overheating!

  7. Lindsay Adams

    Tempur mattresses are grossly overpriced. There is no doubt they are are comfortable and excellent for backs. But they are way too hot. I would stay away from them if i were you. Disastrous waste of money.

  8. Emily

    I have aches and pains and am at the age, like many women, when I’m very warm at night. Foam toppers and Tempurpedic mattresses are not the answer for me. At a friend’s house I slept on a foam topper and had to get up at 1 a.m. and rip the bed apart— I felt as if my back was on fire. I can’t sleep on plastic or anything polyester. At home I sleep on a thick wool mattress pad, which comforts the aching bones and wicks away moisture. It was about $350 – it’s washable in cold water. It seems silly to get a foam topper which heats you up and then have to spend MORE money on a device to cool you down. The wool pad works winter and summer. I also dumped my old “pillow top” mattress which just bunched and lumped and wasnot comfortable. I bought a “discontinued” style mattress at an outlet so I wouldn’t have to have a 16-inch thick behemoth on top of our antique four poster. Bigger is not better in this case.

  9. tina

    I have a foam mattress and it gets very hot ,but I still love the mattress because it is so comfortable. I solved the heat issue, but purchasing temperature regulating sheets, pillow and mattress pad from Now this menopausal mom is sleeping better than ever!!

  10. tina

    I have a foam mattress and it gets very hot ,but I still love the mattress because it is so comfortable, I solved the heat issue, by purchasing temperature regulating sheets, a cooling pillow and cooling mattress pad from Now this menopausal mom is sleeping better than ever!!

  11. Diane

    I tried using a wool blanket over the topper under the sheet and it helped considerably, but not enough for me. And the blanket needed pulling out every morning.

    So I experimented, and you’re not going to believe what worked until you try it. Put the topper under the mattress!

    I have my 2″ queen size topper under my mattress (and over a blanket that’s over the bed slats). My foam is 3 lb/cf (16 lbs total) and easily supports the mattress and me but allows the mattress to ‘give enough’ to solve all my comfort problems. (Having a bed board over the slats would be best but I don’t currently need one.)

    And if you have a bed frame with drawers that has your mattress 2″ below the side frame and you hurt your knuckles whenever you adjust the sheets, your problems are solved.


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