The ideal room temperature for optimal sleep is 67 degrees, yet 1 in 10 adults overheat each night. Overheating results in night sweats, sleep disruptions, and daytime drowsiness. If you’re a hot sleeper and struggle with sleep, a cooling mattress might be the perfect solution.
Cooling mattresses are designed for temperature regulation and to prevent overheating through breathable materials with the latest cooling technology, like the Amerisleep AS3 mattress.
Consider the Amerisleep AS3
As one of our most popular models, the Amerisleep AS3 is the best mattress for hot sleepers. It has a medium feel made from plant-based memory foam— perfect for hot sleepers and combination sleepers.
The Amerisleep AS3 mattress is 12 inches thick and contains 3 inches of Bio-Pur®, 2 inches of Affinity with HIVE® technology, and 7 inches of Bio-Core®.
Bio-Pur® comfort layer. The plant-based top layer of Bio-Pur® is made exclusively through Amerisleep. Castor oil partially replaces petroleum during the manufacturing process, resulting in more breathable and responsive memory foam. The open-cell structure of Bio-Pur® conforms to the body, relieving pressure points.
Affinity transition layer with HIVE® technology. The Affinity foam layer uses HIVE® technology— hundreds of hexagonal-shaped segments form a 5-zone support system with softer support to the shoulders and hips and firmer support for the head, back, and legs. The Affinity layer encourages healthy spinal alignment.
Bio-Core® base layer. Amerisleep’s Bio-Core® is a high-density foam made through eco-friendly methods. This base layer evenly supports the body without risk of sagging.
Sleep trial and warranty. The Amerisleep AS3 comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty, one of the best in the mattress industry. During the first 10 years, Amerisleep will replace the mattress free of charge in the wake of a valid defect, including manufacturing defects and sagging greater than 0.75 inches. During the last 10 years, Amerisleep will choose to either repair or replace the mattress at a prorated charge.
What is a Cooling Mattress?
A cooling mattress incorporates different materials and technologies to regulate body temperature and prevent overheating. Cooling mattresses are a great option for hot sleepers or for those who live in a warmer climate.
Best Cooling Mattress Types
Different forms of cooling are found in mattresses, whether through foam or innersprings. These cooling methods include breathable foam, infusions, and advanced open-cell structures.
While traditional memory foam is known to retain heat, manufacturers take extra steps to alter the structure to allow for more airflow or add components to absorb or pull heat away from the body for better cooling.
During the manufacturing process, plant oil partially replaces petroleum, resulting in a breathable, more eco-friendly memory foam. Plus, plant-based memory foam has little to no VOC emissions, leaving virtually no scent behind.
Another way to prevent memory foam from trapping heat is to infuse the foam with cooling gel beads, copper, or graphite. Gel memory foam absorbs and disperses body heat, while copper and graphite pull heat away from the body. Copper may also improve blood flow.
- Ventilation Holes and Air Channels
Some foam layers have altered structures to allow for better air circulation, such as ventilation holes and convoluted foam (also known as “egg crate” foam).
Mattresses with a coiled support system receive their cooling through the open structure of coils, allowing air to flow freely within the mattress.
Not only is it important to look at what type of cooling materials a mattress contains, but you should also look at the mattress cover. The mattress cover may improve airflow and dispersing heat, depending on the type of material and the type of technology used.
Lyocell, or Tencel®, is a rayon-based material derived from bamboo cellulose (wood pulp). Lyocell is thin and lightweight, allowing for easy airflow.
Lycra® is a highly elastic, breathable material with excellent moisture-wicking properties, mostly found in athletic clothing.
- Phase Change Material
Phase change material, or PCM, retains heat until the material reaches a certain temperature before it stops absorbing body heat. When the temperature drops, PCM material evenly disperses heat across the sleep surface to provide an even temperature.
- Quilted vs. Non-Quilted
A quilted mattress cover is thicker and may feature memory foam or poly-foam. Quilted mattress covers provide less airflow because of the dense material— they are better for cooler climates.
A non-quilted mattress cover is thinner and doesn’t include any additional materials like foam. The thin material better circulates air for a cooler sleep.
What to Look for in a Cooling Mattress
For better cooling and improved sleep, choose a cooling mattress based on your current body weight, firmness, preferred sleep position, and mattress type. Additional cooling properties include choosing breathable bed sheets and cooling pillows. Always check to see what type of sleep trial, warranty, and return policy is included with a potential mattress.
Body weight is a major factor in determining the firmness level of a potential mattress. The best mattress needs to offer some type of contouring pressure relief with consistent support— the wrong type of mattress may cause sleep disruptions and aching muscles. For example, a softer mattress is a poor choice for a heavyweight sleeper because it lacks support and has a greater risk of sagging.
Lightweight sleepers weigh 130 pounds and less. They need a soft to medium-soft mattress to allow their weight to slightly sink into the mattress to relieve pressure points. A firmer mattress will feel too hard and may throw the spine out of alignment.
Average weight sleepers weigh between 130 to 230 pounds. They need a medium-soft to medium-firm mattress to conform to the body and align the spine without deep sinkage.
Heavyweight sleepers weigh 230 pounds or more. They need a medium-firm to firm mattress to support and contour to the body’s natural curves without sagging. Heavyweight sleepers also emit more heat than lightweight or average sleepers because they use more energy to move in bed.
Firmness refers to how a mattress feels and is measured on a scale between 1 (the softest) and 10 (the firmest)— most mattresses range between 3 to 8. The right firmness level depends on your current body weight since different body types need different levels of comfort and support.
Each sleep position requires a specific level of comfort and support, all aimed towards keeping the spine aligned. Without proper spinal alignment, aches and pains develop in the body, disrupting sleep and resulting in daytime drowsiness.
Side sleeping is one of the most common and healthiest sleep positions. Side sleeping enables better breathing, reduces acid reflux, and places less pressure on vital organs, like the liver and heart. Side sleepers face more pressure buildup in the shoulders and hips than other sleepers, plus there are larger gaps between the body and the sleep surface. The best mattresses for side sleepers are soft to medium in firmness, as plusher sleep surfaces fill those gaps and relieve pressure points.
Back sleeping is the second healthiest sleep position. It naturally aligns the spine because of the direct contact with the mattress surface and allows for better breathing, but back sleepers have a higher risk of snoring and developing sleep apnea— gravity causes the collapse of soft tissue at the back of the throat, obstructing airways.
Back sleepers need a medium to firm bed to allow a slight sinking of the hips, aligning the spine and relieving pressure points throughout the body.
Stomach sleeping is the least common and least healthy sleep position. The one benefit stomach sleepers receive is easier breathing, but that’s it. Stomach sleepers have a high risk of neck strain, but twisting the head at an unnatural angle and holding it in that position for long periods of time to breathe. They also have a high risk of lower back pain from gravity pulling weight from the midsection down, forcing the natural curve of the spine to straighten.
Stomach sleepers need a medium-firm to firm mattress for some conforming while keeping the body on top of the sleep surface. Adding a thin pillow under the hips may help align the spine.
Combination sleepers, also known as restless sleepers, switch between 2 to 3 positions a night. They enjoy the benefits of each sleep position, including better breathing, less pressure on vital organs, reduced acid reflux, and less snoring potential. However, combination sleepers may also experience the health risks of each sleep position— snoring, developing sleep apnea, neck strain, and lower back pain.
Combination sleepers need a medium to medium-firm mattress for consistent comfort and support to keep the spine in neutral alignment.
The type of mattress you choose is largely based on personal preferences like how the bed feels and additional features, like cooling. Memory foam and latex have less bounce and more of a hug-like feel, a feature some sleepers may prefer while others do not. Check out each mattress type to determine which you prefer.
Memory foam is one of the most popular types of mattresses on the market today and the most common bed in a box mattress type due to how easily they can be compressed. Memory foam is known for its excellent body-contouring properties that relieve pressure points in the body, reducing aches and pains and isolating motion transfer. Traditional memory foam is widely known to retain heat, however, manufacturers have taken steps to alter this material for a cooler, more breathable layer. Both plant-based and gel foams are the most common types of cooling foam found in mattresses, particularly the comfort layer with which the body has direct contact.
A typical memory foam mattress contains a comfort layer of memory foam and a support layer of high-density foam. To determine the quality of a memory foam mattress, look at the density and ILD rating of each foam layer.
The density of a foam layer determines how the mattress supports the layer. Density measures how many pounds are found in one cubic square foot of material.
- Low density: 2.5 to 3.9 PCF
- Medium density: 4.0 to 5.4 PCF
- High density: 5.5 PCF and higher
ILD, or Indentation Load Deflection, determines the firmness of a foam layer by measuring amount of pressure it takes to make a 4-inch indentation on the surface of the mattress.
- Extremely soft: 8 to 10
- Very soft: 11 to 15
- Soft: 16 to 21
An innerspring mattress is the traditional bed many grew up with. As one of the coolest mattress types, innersprings have evenly spaced coils allowing for better airflow within the mattress. An innerspring mattress contains a thin comfort layer of foam or fiberfill (usually in the form of a pillow top) and a support layer of steel coils. While cooler than memory foam, innerspring mattresses lack contouring properties.
To determine a quality innerspring mattress, check the coil gauge and coil count.
Coil gauge refers to the thickness of a steel coil and is measured in millimeters— the higher the number, the thinner the coil. Thicker coils provide a firmer surface, while thinner coils have a softer surface. Some mattress companies use a combination of thick and thin gauges to create a zone support system.
- Thickest: 12mm
- Thinnest: 18mm
Coil count refers to the number of steel coils found in a single layer. Coil count ranges between 500 to 1000, depending on the size of the mattress. Avoid mattresses with a coil count of 300 or less— this may result in uneven support and carry a higher risk of sagging.
Latex foam is either created through a chemical process (synthetic) or made from rubber tree sap (natural). There are two forms of natural latex— Dunlop and Talalay. Dunlop latex is denser and more durable than Talalay latex, which is softer and features a zoned support system through strategically-placed holes. Natural latex sleeps cooler than synthetic latex and memory foam because it doesn’t absorb as much heat.
Generally, a latex mattress contains a comfort layer of latex and a support layer of either latex or high-density foam. To determine a quality latex mattress, look at the density and ILD rating.
A hybrid mattress is the best of both worlds— it has the conforming pressure relief of memory foam combined with the responsive support of innerspring coils. While hybrids offer the benefits of both types of mattresses, they also have drawbacks including heat retention from memory foam and less responsive than an innerspring mattress. Hybrid mattresses also have limited pressure relief and more noise potential because of the pocketed coils.
A hybrid mattress contains a comfort layer of memory foam at least 2 inches thick and a support layer of pocketed coils— coils individually wrapped in fabric. Check the density and ILD rating of the foam as well as the coil gauge and coil count of the innersprings.
Before searching for a new mattress, set a budget based on what you can afford and the type of mattress you prefer. Mattress price ranges between $500 to over $2000— the average price for a quality queen-size mattress is around $1500.
Bed in a box brands are a great way of finding a quality mattress to fit your budget. By cutting out the middleman, online mattress companies can offer high-quality materials at a lower cost. Plus, since the mattress is purchased online without the ability to try it beforehand, online companies provide their customers with extensive sleep trials.
Additional Cooling Properties
Other ways of staying cool include using cooling bed sheets and pillows. Both of these bedding accessories may cause you to overheat at night— it won’t matter if you buy a plant-based foam mattress if you have heavy sheets or a heat-retaining pillow. Changing your bedding to encourage more airflow can keep you cool and improve sleep quality.
Choosing bed sheets made of natural fibers like cotton, linen, wool, and bamboo viscose allows for better cooling because natural fibers offer better breathability than synthetic material. Natural fibers wick away moisture and regulate body temperature, making them ideal for year-round use.
A pillow to cradle the head and neck and encourage healthy spinal alignment may improve your sleep quality, but a pillow that traps heat will not. The right type of pillow creates cooler sleep with fewer disruptions. A good cooling pillow contains buckwheat, down, down alternative, feathers, latex, gel or plant-based memory foam, or natural fibers like cotton and wool.
Sleep Trials, Warranties, and Return Policies
Mattress manufacturers offer sleep trials, warranties, and return policies as a way to reassure the customer of a sound purchase. Be sure to read the fine print of each before committing to a mattress and be wary of a mattress that lacks a sleep trial or return policy and warranty.
Sleep trials allow the customer to try a new mattress within the comfort of their own home. Sleep trials last between 90 to 120 nights depending on the brand. If the customer isn’t satisfied with the mattress, they can return it or have it donated for a full refund as long as it’s within the sleep trial.
A warranty protects the mattress from manufacturing flaws and defects and sagging greater than 1 inch (this measurement varies depending on mattress brands). Most mattresses come with a standard 10-year warranty. Always read through the policy to know what to expect of the manufacturer and what the manufacturer can expect from you.
In the case of a missing sleep trial, take a look at the return policy. Most return policies last about 30 days (some may extend to 90 days, depending on mattress brands). It takes about the same amount of time for the body to adjust to the sleep surface. If the customer is unhappy with the mattress, they can return it for a full refund.
We recommend the Amerisleep AS3 as the best cooling mattress. The medium feel makes it perfect for any type of sleeper— side, back, stomach, and combo. Plant-based Bio-Pur® keeps airflow consistent with little to no VOC emissions, while the lightweight, breathable cover on the AS3 further promotes airflow. The Amerisleep AS3 enables individuals to sleep cooler with fewer disruptions for a more comfortable sleep.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.