What Can You Do If Your Memory Foam Mattress Is Too Hot?

Many modern foam toppers feature some variation on the "foam channel" idea, which vents excess heat to cool off the mattress and keep you comfortable.
Many modern foam toppers feature some variation on the "foam channel" idea, which vents excess heat to cool off the mattress and keep you comfortable.

Memory foam is great, but it does have its inconvenient properties. Because the purpose of memory foam is to support you by conforming to your body, it uses heat from your body to provide that "molding" capability. In fact, memory foam wouldn't have the support of capabilities it has if it didn't dissipate heat slowly. Unfortunately, this can also mean that your memory foam bed or memory foam mattress topper may make you uncomfortably hot, in certain situations.

Is there anything you can do about what can be an uncomfortably hot situation sometimes? Actually, yes. Some of the newer memory foam mattresses on the market have channels specifically "cut into" the mattress without compromising support; these channels allow airflow so that heat is drawn away from your body and dissipates, instead of having the memory foam mattress right up against your skin so that body heat is trapped, making you overly hot. With the consistent airflow these channels provide, you stay cool and supported at the same time.

If you already have a memory foam mattress without these channels, there are still things you can do to correct this "hot" situation. Sometimes buying a polyester mattress pad and placing it directly over the memory foam (under the bottom sheet) will give you all of the benefits of a memory foam mattress, but the polyester mattress pad provides just enough of a barrier between you and the memory foam so that you stay cool. This is an inexpensive way to take care of the "heat" problem you can have with your memory foam bed.

Here is an example of one mattress that handles temperature fluctuations well. Note that the firmness (in PSI) of the "average" mattress changes drastically with temperature fluctuations. Consistency is better.
Here is an example of one mattress that handles temperature fluctuations well. Note that the firmness (in PSI) of the "average" mattress changes drastically with temperature fluctuations. Consistency is better.

Using sheets with a higher threadcount (and that are all cotton) can also help keep you cool if you find your memory foam bed is too hot. High thread count all cotton sheets feel soft and silky against your skin anyway, so it's likely that you will get a better night's sleep with these types of sheets than the cheaper ones that can be scratchy or feel rough. And of course the bonus is, they keep you cooler, too.

Finally, memory foam mattress toppers in general don't make you as hot as the mattress itself can, because they're less dense than the memory foam beds and don't retain as much heat. This is also a cheaper alternative, by the way, to getting an entire memory foam bed if you're not in the market to spend that kind of money but you want the benefits of memory foam nonetheless.

Memory foam toppers can provide you quite a few of the benefits of memory foam beds, without the expense. They're thinner, so they won't provide quite the all encompassing softness and support of a memory foam bed, but they can make your standard mattress much softer and much more conforming, for what is usually about $100 or even less.

Whether you choose the all-encompassing comfort of a memory foam bed or upgrade your standard mattress with a memory foam topper, you should be able to stay cool and comfortable all night long, by implementing one of these suggestions.

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Comments 11 comments

pavionjsl 6 years ago

One other Idea for controlling getting hot on a memory foam mattress is to use a sheet set or mattress pad that has outlast material built into it. Memory foam compacts and traps heat, this material actually was designed for space suits to control astronauts body temperature in space.


Stewart 6 years ago

My memory foam mattress isn't to bad, but thanks for the tips!


Stewart 6 years ago

My memory foam mattress isn't to bad, but thanks for the tips!


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SuperiorInteriors 6 years ago from San Diego, California Author

pavionjsl: what is "outlast material"? Thanks!


Julie Butler 5 years ago

Memory foam makes my butt really really hot at night and causes me to wake up!! I hate it!


SettlingDown 5 years ago

I bought a memory foam mattress after taking some time to decide whether to go for memory foam or not. I have to say the best decision I've made, after a lot of time searching I went with http://www.ergoflex.co.uk , Their site looked professional and had detailed information about memory foam.

I have never experienced a problem with getting too hot as the mattress has some type of cooling system. In relation to the article, perhaps going for a mattress which has this, is the way to go!


JSL 4 years ago

The part of my body against the foam is WAY too hot, and the other side is too cold...e.g., if I lay on my tummy the front of me is burning up, but my back and rear are chilly. In the winter it was not so much a problem, but this summer I am sleeping like crap. I can't get comfortable temperature-wise unless I make the room COLD. And who wants to pay for that elec. bill?


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Oakfurnituresol 4 years ago from Bristol

This is an interesting hub - there are lots of memory foam mattresses which are now manufactured with high quality Visco-elastic polymer gel, this reacts to body heat and prevents over heating or a dramatic loss of heat.


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SuperiorInteriors 4 years ago from San Diego, California Author

Interesting... can I ask what kind of memory foam mattress you have?


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SuperiorInteriors 4 years ago from San Diego, California Author

Yes, the overheating issue was really bad PR for the memory foam mattress industry for a while. Most manufacturers took a lot of steps to try and mitigate the heat issue... most of them use a solidified visco-elastic gel now as you say. Many of them have also carved "heat reduction channels" into their mattresses to help the mattress breathe.


Oakfurnituresol profile image

Oakfurnituresol 4 years ago from Bristol

Yes as we are based in the UK we use British made memory foam mattresses and these manufacturers (the main supplier being Visco Therapy) use visco-elastic polymer gel in their mattresses which was originally designed for NASA missions ensuring that it reacts to body heat and weight whilst promoting good circulation. The heat reduction channels sound like a good solution as well.

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