When it's time to hit the hay, after a long, hard day, the most miserable experience is feeling too hot. You toss and turn, trying to get comfortable, but it's no use. And if you do manage to fall asleep, you promptly wake up covered in dreaded night sweats.
According to the Sleep Foundation, you're not alone. In a study with over 2,000 sleepers, researchers found that 41% of the patients experienced interrupted sleep because of night sweats within the last month.
Sometimes, hot sleepers break out in a sweat during the night time due to unavoidable hormonal issues, such as those experienced in menopause. However, there's a lot you can do to ensure you remain cool throughout the night, and opting for the best cooling memory foam technology for your mattress is a gamechanger.
Let's take a look at some of the cooling mattresses for hot sleepers and the pros and cons of each type of technology that claims to help you sleep cool at night.
Why Is Cool Sleep Important?
Crafting the optimal sleep experience is still something we're studying. Based on the research we have so far, what we know is that temperature plays a significant role in how deep and restorative your sleep is.
The bottom line is that sleep deprivation can affect everything from your immune system to your memory so it's in your best interests to make sure you're getting a good night's sleep.
When your room temperature is lower, around 60℉-67℉, you sleep better, deeper, and remain asleep through all the requisite cycles your body goes through at night. Personal preferences vary, of course, so even a room up to 72℉ is fine for some sleepers.
Even though we're not quite sure why yet, science helps us point to all the benefits that sleeping cool can trigger in the body.
- As temperatures drop during the night, your body's production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, simultaneously rises. Melatonin secretion allows you to sleep deeper and experience a more therapeutic sleep in which everything in the body, from your gut to your skin and your eye muscles, have time to restore themselves.
- HGH, also known as Human Growth Hormone, reaches its peak levels during the deep sleep phase. Your body relies on HGH for cell repair and daily cognitive processes. If you sleep hot, you may have trouble falling and staying asleep, which means you may never reach the deep sleep phase where the pituitary gland triggers essential HGH production.
- Certain health conditions like insomnia and sleep apnea improve when you sleep in a cooler setting. Studies also find that sleeping in cool temperatures stimulates brown fat growth, which is a good type of fat, and crucial for your body to burn energy efficiently, stave off diabetes, and protect against obesity.
Sleeping “cool” goes beyond maintaining optimal room temperatures. You can enhance your sleep experience and draw heat away from the body by sleeping on a cooling firm mattress. These mattresses use materials designed to wick away moisture and help the body naturally drop its temperature to match its cooler surroundings during the night.
It's only when you switch your low-quality, polyurethane foam mattress for something like a gel-infused memory foam bed for a week that you realize how important it is to sleep on mattress types that support temperature regulation and stay cool to the touch.
What Kinds of Mattress Cooling Technologies Exist?
These days, sleep manufacturers include mattress materials with cooling features. As these technologies have evolved and developed, there's undoubtedly a great level of sophistication and utility available — and that means more options for those who sleep hot.
Whether it's the use of cooling gel in a gel memory foam bed or including pocketed coils for more airflow, there are a variety of ways hot sleepers can gain some relief through the night.
However, not all of these mattress technologies are effective over time, nor do they all combine other priorities like firmness levels, allergy reduction, or pressure relief.
Here are seven different technologies used by cooling mattresses today:
1) Open cell vs closed cell mattress for hot sleepers
Open-cell mattresses are made from polyurethane and latex. The structure of these rubbery materials naturally allows heat to travel through the mattress without becoming trapped.
The trade-off is that this type of memory foam layer is less dense. It can affect how well you sleep if foam with less density is used in the upper comfort layers because they won't be able to absorb as much impact.
A typical memory foam mattress, though incredibly soft and plush, is essentially a closed-cell mattress. So, while it's denser than open cell foam, and also water resistant, it also chokes airflow, which can cause a sleeper to wake up in the middle of the night. The use of closed-cell material is why most memory foam mattresses trap body heat and elevate your sleep temperature.
2) Convolutions/Contour Cutting
Convolution and contour cutting is a method that mattress manufacturers use to create air pockets in the mattress. This promotes better airflow and a cooler sleep surface for customers who sleep hot. You'll usually see this innovation used on a foam mattress-type base for improved cooling properties.
3) Perforations for Air Circulation
Perforations used in mattress construction achieve a sleeping experience similar to contour cutting. You'll usually see these applied to latex mattresses as they help improve air circulation and cool down the mattress's surface temperatures.
4) Pocketed coil (Often Used in Hybrid Mattresses)
Thousands of mattresses on the market still use coils. However, mattress companies across the world are innovating their coil mattresses by implementing pocketed coils. Pocketed coils increase airspace in the mattress while also providing consistent support.
However, springs do not belong in the conversation on sleeping cool. The spring unit in a mattress is a lower-level component that is distanced from the surface. On low-quality mattresses, the padding on the mattress may be minimal, however the higher the quality of the mattress, the further the distance of the coil unit from the surface. Economical spring mattresses where the coils are close to the surface are finished in polyurethane and polyester with no cooling benefits. But in all cases, the springs have nothing to do with any cooling or ventilating benefits. These benefits exist and must start at the surface.
5) Gel Infusion
Using cooling materials like gel is not a new technology but it certainly is a popular one used to help individuals stay cool when they first lie on the mattress. A cool gel memory foam bed counterbalances the heat retention of the foam, naturally cooling you down as you sleep a person.
Cooling gel is mainly used as an effective marketing spin and most recently has been introduced as low density, low support, comfort layers on affordable mattresses. The concept behind the cooling gel was to add tiny particles of gel blended into the polyurethane memory foam. Theoretically, as the gel is a surface that does not absorb heat, the gel does initially feel cool and does cool down the surface quickly if the mattress is not in use. However, once the gel is heated to your body temperature it is no longer cool. Thus, cooling gel is not a dynamic cooling option.
Most of today’s gel foams no longer carry the memory foam title. Many of the newer foams have opted for microgel particles so they blend more consistently, and there is a higher percentage of gel within the formula. You will often see it as a low-density surface comfort layer on price-sensitive or lower-priced mattresses. The low-density polyurethane foam combined with a higher content of gel eliminates the support feature that memory foam is known for.
6) Phase Change Materials
PCMs or phase-changing materials work by absorbing or releasing large amounts of "latent" heat when they change states (for example, going from solid to liquid).
The general concept of using phase changing materials in a mattress goes like this: PCMs capture your body heat as it escapes into the mattress and contain it in capsules. This is supposed to cool your body down and your temperature drops. Then, as you sleep, PCMs release heat and this raises your temperature to an optimal and stable level.
In reality, phase-changing technologies are micro-encapsulated chemicals that are applied to textiles and foams. The chemicals react when exposed to heat. While most common chemicals typically generate heat when they cause a reaction, these phase changing chemicals generate a “cooling” reaction. These chemicals are very volatile and unstable which, for safety purposes, requires fire barrier chemicals within the microencapsulation in order to stabilize the reaction. So phase-changing technology in mattresses and pillows is a chemical-laden process that requires additional fire barrier chemicals, all of which then exposes you to chemical off-gassing.
More than just the chemical off-gassing, phase-changing technologies when it comes to sleeping cool and achieving deep sleep is that it does not last. The initial “cooling” reaction only occurs once, which means outside of that initial 60 seconds of cooling, the surface you are sleeping on still generates and holds heat throughout the night. The only way to spark the reaction again is to change your sleeping position in order to have contact with a new portion of the surface that has not yet reacted. These movements are both consciously and subconsciously repeated through your sleep cycle constantly interrupting and reducing the quality of sleep.
Over the years, companies have been searching for ways to implement all-natural elements into their mattresses. Minerals like charcoal and metals like copper and silver do just that while also improving sleep quality and increasing its cooling characteristics.
The Technology Behind Essentia’s Cooling Organic Foam Mattress
As you can see, all cooling technologies, with the exception of PCMs, rely on additional, structural changes to the mattress. These could be in the form of using cooling gels, individually pocketing support coils, or using open-cell polyurethane foam for your comfort layer.
However, these options don't get right at the heart of the matter: high-quality materials and an improved production process. In other words, the best mattress for hot sleepers needs to go beyond these technologies and address the latent issues with the use of memory foam comfort layers.
That's precisely why we went back to the drawing board with all our mattresses, rethinking and redesigning latex foam from the ground up. Our process entirely transforms the production process so that what you're actually sleeping on is the world's first (and only) natural organic slow response latex foam.
Materials like gel-infused foam may be cool to the touch but they don't offer cooler sleep the whole night through. Essentia's all-natural organic latex foams, as well as our hybrid options, help sleepers stay cool all night long.
Essentia’s cooling mattress is a breathable material that pulls heat away from the body and allows it to flow out through the mattress. This constant air flow through the mattress allows your body to self-regulate its internal temperature. In fact, a recent study shows that Essentia mattresses keep the body cooler by up to 8.1℉.
This technology helps the body self-regulate and maintain a comfortable sleeping temperature, thereby improving the sleep cycle and helping you get a more restful sleep. Contrast this with a polyurethane memory foam mattress, which forms a core of concentrated heat and raises the body's temperature by a whole degree.
Moreover, Dr. Jace Provo MD, MS, CASQM has tested the Essentia mattress in his evaluation of sleep pattern relationship with circadian rhythm and found that:
“The Essentia mattress core provides an effective solution to minimize the impact of temperature affected sleep deprivation. Evidence suggests that a reduction in surface temperature could prevent fluctuations in skin temperature and maximize the total time spent on sleep.”
Essentia’s organic cooling mattresses combine six organic components to create its unique foam:
#1: Hevea Milk
Hevea milk is a milky sap sourced from Indonesia. Hevea Milk comes from a rubber tree and provides the best cooling mattress with a solid base for its memory foam.
#2: GOLS Certified Organic Latex
GOLS stands for Global Organic Latex Standard. GOLS is the highest possible standard for latex used in mattresses. When a company is GOLS-certified organic latex, your bed contains more than 95% organic raw material.
#3: Organic Latex Support Foam
Dunlop latex derives from Hevea Milk. This material produces a strong, durable inner core to the mattress.
#4: Organic Essential Oils
Grapefruit seed, coneflower, and jasmine essence are added to the mattress to provide a relaxing and peaceful sleep that energizes the body.
#5: Natural Plant Extracts
Using natural plant extracts like hydrolyzed corn help Essentia mattresses last longer while retaining their original shape and structure.
#6: GOTS Certified Organic Cotton
Global Organic Textile Standard is an established standard for creating necessary textiles without harming the environment. To be GOTS certified, a company must follow strict standards for farming, harvesting, and processing. Essentia uses cotton grown without harmful chemicals and pesticides.
Two of the Best Cooling Mattresses From Essentia
Every Essentia natural organic latex mattress can help a sleeper achieve a deep, long-lasting nighttime rest. However, when it comes to cooling features, these are two of the best cooling mattresses available today. In fact, even Essentia’s Lifestyle mattresses are temperature neutral meaning they do not trap heat. But with Essentia patented natural memory foam technology featured in the Performance and Wholebody Recovery categories, an Essentia sleeper can experience active cooling throughout the night.
1) Classic REM5
The Classic REM5's claim to fame was as Essentia's original organic foam mattress. Today, it delivers an elevated mid-contour designed to support proper spinal alignment, regardless of sleeping position.
Sleepers who rely on the Classic REM5 will benefit from a mattress designed to draw heat away and decrease your body's temperature by five degrees over an eight-hour cycle.
2) Dormeuse REM9
If a three-degree difference is not enough for you and you need a medium-firm mattress that contours to your body, the Dormeuse REM9 is for you.
Its design calls on our patented molding technology that responds intuitively to you through the night as you shift and turn. Furthermore, the Dormeuse REM9 helps sleepers sleep up to nine degrees cooler than your internal body temperature over an eight-hour cycle.
When it comes to finding the best cooling mattress for sleepers who sleep hot, you want to focus on the production process and high-quality materials. Essentia's cooling technology helps our products surpass the required mandates for mattresses sold in the United States.
Each of our products meets chemical-free manufacturing standards, including GOTS and GOLS certifications. They only use clean materials for their mattress designs, manufactured without harmful chemicals. This stringent qualification system guarantees you are purchasing the best cooling mattress on the planet.
To learn more about how a revolutionary mattress is changing the way that everyone from stressed-out insomniacs to high-performance athletes achieve the best sleep of their lives, browse the Essentia difference today.
All of the latex we use now is GOLS certified organic, so we no longer refer to it as dunlop latex but rather the organic latex support foam