Is Memory Foam Mattress Too Hot for a Good Night's Sleep

Is Memory Foam Mattress Too Hot for a Good Night's Sleep?

Memory foam mattresses are popular for their soft mattress surface and body contouring properties. Many of us prefer a cloud-night-like sleeping surface that hugs our bodies whenever we lie. Unfortunately, the properties that make us love memory foam mattresses are the same reasons we experience discomfort at night.


Is Memory Foam Mattress Too Hot?

Is Memory Foam Mattress Too Hot

Memory foam mattresses are known for their contouring and pressure-relieving properties, which make them popular with many sleepers. However, we may not achieve the quality sleep we all desire with memory foam mattresses because they have a reputation for trapping heat, which can make people feel uncomfortably warm and is the culprit why we tend to sleep hot during the night.

Memory foam is designed to react to body heat and conform to your body's shape, so it can initially feel cosy and comfortable. However, as it conforms to your body, it can create a close-fitting cocoon, which may limit airflow and trap heat, especially during the summer. The density and composition of memory foam primarily cause this heat retention.


Why Temperature is Important for a Good Night's Sleep?

bedroom temperature

Waking up in the middle of the night with night sweats can be very frustrating. But did you know that disrupted sleep with night sweats can be caused by the type of mattress we use to sleep? Temperature is important for a nightly slumber because our body's internal thermostat is closely tied to our sleep-wake cycle. If our mattress cannot provide the adequate temperature regulation that our body requires, disrupted sleep will continue, affecting our mood and mental health.

Another factor to consider is the sleep environment. If your room is too hot or cold, it can disrupt the body's ability to regulate its temperature and make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Hence, choosing the right mattress and bedding accessories is important for sleeping comfortably.


What Causes Heat Retention in Memory Foam Mattress

What Causes Heat Retention in Memory Foam Mattress

Heat retention in memory foam mattresses occurs due to the unique properties of memory foam, like traditional memory foam. Specifically, here are the primary factors that contribute to why body temperature drops when using memory foam mattresses:

Viscoelastic Nature

Memory foam is a viscoelastic material, which is both viscous and elastic. While its ability to conform to the shape of your body is what makes it comfortable, it also tends to retain heat because it absorbs and holds onto your body's heat.


The density of the memory foam plays a role in heat retention. Like traditional foam, higher-density memory foam tends to retain more heat than lower-density foam because denser foam has a smaller open-cell foam that reduces airflow and ventilation.

Closed-Cell Structure

Memory foam typically has a closed-cell structure, which restricts air circulation. This lack of breathability can trap body heat within the mattress.

Cover and Layers

The mattress's cover materials and additional layers can also affect heat retention. Mattresses with thicker, non-breathable covers or additional foam layers may trap heat more than those with breathable materials.


How to Mitigate Heat Retention in Memory Foam Mattresses

How to Mitigate Heat Retention in Memory Foam Mattresses

Mitigating heat retention in memory foam mattresses is essential to sleep cooler and to ensure a comfortable and restful night's sleep, promoting overall health and well-being, which is beneficial, especially in Southeast Asian countries with warm climates.


Gel Foam

Some memory foam mattresses are infused with gel beads or particles designed to dissipate heat and make sleeping cooler.


Open Cell Foam

Some manufacturers produce memory foam with an open-cell structure, which enhances breathability and reduces heat buildup.



A mattress with a well-ventilated base or a mattress topper promoting proper air circulation can help reduce heat buildup.


Cooling Mattress Toppers or Mattress Pads

Consider using cooling mattress toppers or pads specifically designed for temperature regulation and to provide a cooler sleeping surface.


Bedding and Room Temperature

Using breathable and cooling sheets and maintaining a cooler room temperature can also help offset the heat retention of a memory foam mattress.


Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid mattresses combine memory foam with other materials like innerspring coils, improving air circulation and reducing body heat.


Cooling Memory Foam Materials

Cooling Memory Foam Materials

If you are still considering a memory foam mattress, before you go shopping, it is important to look for cooling materials designed to provide a more comfortable sleep experience by regulating temperature and dissipating heat more effectively than traditional memory foam mattresses.

If you're wondering what materials are used to make our sleep cooler, even though we're using memory foam mattresses, here are some of the standard methods used to make memory foam mattresses and pillows cooler:


Gel Infused Memory Foam

Gel beads, or cooling gel layers, are incorporated into the memory foam. These gels can absorb and disperse heat, helping to regulate the mattress or pillow's temperature, which helps us sleep cooler.


Open Cell Foam

Cooling memory foam often features an open-cell structure, which allows for better airflow and heat dissipation, which helps to reduce heat buildup and improve breathability.


Phase-Change Materials (PCMs)

Some memory foam products use phase-change materials that change from solid to liquid at a specific temperature. So when your body heats up, the PCM absorbs the excess heat, and when you cool down, it releases that heat, helping to maintain a consistent temperature.


Ventilation and Air Channels

Memory foam mattresses may have specific designs, such as convoluted or perforated surfaces, to enhance airflow. These air channels encourage heat dissipation and prevent heat buildup.


Moisture-Wicking Covers

Cooling memory foam mattresses often come with covers made of wick moisture materials that help your body stay cool throughout the night by pulling and wicking away moisture from your body.


Breathable Fabrics

Cooling pillows and mattress covers made from breathable materials and moisture-wicking fabrics, such as bamboo or Tencel, can enhance cooling properties and improve comfort.


Adjustable Bed Frames

Pairing a memory foam bed with an adjustable bed frame can also help with temperature regulation by elevating your head or legs, improving air circulation, and reducing the sensation of overheating.


How to Make Memory Foam Mattress Cooler

How to Make Memory Foam Mattress Cooler

Is there anything for hot sleepers to do to minimise the heat in memory foam? Consider the following tips and tricks to make your foam mattress cooler for a cooler sleep, especially in a warm climate.


Use a Cooling Mattress Topper

A cooling mattress topper can help regulate the temperature of your memory foam bed, so look for options made from temperature-regulating materials like gel foam beds, latex, or other cooling materials. Place it on top of your mattress to provide a cooler sleeping surface.


Choose Breathable Material for Bedding

Opt for breathable materials for bedding that wick away moisture, such as cotton or bamboo, because these materials allow for better and more air circulation and can help dissipate heat and moisture.


Use Cooling Sheets

Cooling sheets are designed with temperature-regulating materials that make you sleep comfortably, so look for sheets made from materials like Tencel or moisture-wicking fabrics.


Keep Your Bedroom Cool

Make sure that your bedroom is at a comfortable temperature for sleep. Using fans and air conditioning during hot months can help, and maintaining good airflow in your bedroom can also prevent heat from getting trapped around your mattress.



If possible, lift your mattress and allow it to air out during the day to release trapped heat and moisture.


Sleep with Less Bedding

Consider using fewer blankets or comforters to avoid trapping heat during hot weather, and use a lighter sheet or a thin, breathable blanket instead.


Practices to Improve Comfort on a Memory Foam Mattress

Practices to Improve Comfort on a Memory Foam Mattress

Sleep habits and a warm bath before bedtime can make your memory foam bed cooler, as they impact your body temperature and overall sleep quality.

Sleep Habits

Sleep position or how you sleep can influence how warm or cool you feel. For example, sleeping in a position that allows for better airflow around your body, such as spreading your arms and legs out, can help dissipate heat and prevent heat buildup.
As mentioned, maintaining a cool bedroom temperature can significantly help you sleep comfortably. Keeping the room cool with the help of fans and air conditioning can counteract the possible heat buildup in your memory foam mattress.

Warm Bath

Warm baths are often associated with relaxation; reducing stress and tension can help you fall asleep more comfortably. And when you're relaxed, you might be less aware of any warmth the mattress retains.

However, while these practices can improve your comfort on a memory foam mattress, it's still important to remember that memory foam is known for its heat-retention properties. If you continue to experience discomfort due to heat retention, you may want to explore additional solutions, like using cooling toppers, sheets, or bedding, to address these issues directly. If the discomfort persists, it may be time for a new mattress.


When It's Time for a New Mattress?

When It's Time for a New Mattress

To put it simply, the best time to replace your memory foam mattress is when it no longer provides you with a comfortable and supportive sleep surface. However, if your memory foam mattress is still intact, you can still sleep hot, and if you already follow the tips we explore in this article and yet you can still feel night sweats and experience disrupted sleep, maybe it's a perfect time to consider buying a new mattress.

Memory foam beds have a lifespan of about 8–10 years. Over time, mattresses can lose structural integrity, causing uneven support and creating uncomfortable pressure points that lead to poor sleep quality. As for the memory foam beds' heat-trapping tendencies, they can exacerbate discomfort if the foam has started to degrade.

Therefore, if you're experiencing discomfort and overheating during the night, resulting in night sweats, it may be the perfect time to invest in a new mattress that offers better temperature regulation and support for a restful night's sleep.




When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, keep in mind that the mattress you sleep on is really important. Mattresses can get less comfortable, and memory foam beds can make you sleep hot if they're no longer in good shape. If you find yourself getting too warm or uncomfortable, and if you follow the tips and tricks in this article, it might be the perfect time to consider getting a new bed that suits your needs better.

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