If you’re in the market for a new mattress, you’ve probably come across memory foam options and wondered—are memory foam mattresses hot to sleep on? As one of the most popular mattress materials today, memory foam conforms closely to the contours of your body for excellent pressure relief. But with all that hugging and cradling, it leaves little room for airflow. The result? Many sleepers feel uncomfortably warm throughout the night.
At Mattress To Door Corp, Canada's premier mattress superstore located conveniently in Mississauga, we understand the discomfort of sleeping hot. As your trusted source for quality mattresses like plush foam, cooling hybrid, and compressed mattresses-in-a-box, we aim to help you find your ideal match—cooling properties included. Keep reading to learn all about the heat factor with memory foam.
What is Memory Foam?
Before diving into why memory foam traps heat, let’s explore what exactly memory foam (aka viscoelastic foam) is and what makes it hug sleepers so closely.
Memory foam first emerged in 1966, created by NASA to cushion aircraft seats. They found it molded perfectly to the body with each impression then bouncing back to its original form once pressure lifted. Mattress makers quickly realized sleepers would love that same custom cradling feeling.
Table 1: Memory Foam Facts
Polyurethane foam + additional chemicals
High-density with tightly compact cells
Slow response to pressure; melts with heat
Relieves pressure by cushioning body prominences
So what gives memory foam its signature body-hugging sensation that sleepers know and love? Its highly dense, yet pliable structure reacts slowly to exerted pressure, taking time to compress then decompress as weight shifts. It also responds to the sleeper's body heat, becoming softer to mold deeply around curves. Think slowly melting into the mattress then bouncing back after you get up.
Why Do Memory Foam Mattresses Get Hot?
Clearly body heat activates memory foam's impressionable properties. But why does all that cozy contouring tend to heat up these mattresses and leave sleepers sweating?
There are a few key reasons memory foam mattresses tend to sleep hot:
- Dense structure prevents airflow through the tight cell structure of quality memory foam. Little air circulation means no heat dissipation.
- Foam compresses tightly around and absorbs body heat. With no room to escape, heat gets trapped against the skin.
- Mattresses mold closely to every curve and crevice for personalized comfort. But close contouring seals in body warmth.
Research confirms the sleep hot dilemma with memory foam—around 20% of memory foam mattress owners report issues with heat retention and sleeping too warm overnight. But the news isn’t all bad. There are solutions if you prefer foam yet want to stay cool. We’ll tackle those tips next.
How Your Body Heat Affects Memory Foam
You now know why memory foam is a big heat absorber, but how exactly does your body heat interact with these mattresses? Let's closely examine the science of how body heat activates a memory foam bed's impressionable properties:
As you first lie down, the foam remains fairly firm and cool. But after a few minutes of contact, it starts responding to your body heat and weight distribution. Here is the step-by-step process:
1. Body heat first softens the foam's uppermost comfort layer, slowly allowing for deeper compression under areas like your shoulders and hips.
2. Pressure from body weight further pushes down into the softened foam layers to fill space around the body's curves.
3. Impressions steadily deepen over the next few minutes as body heat activates more foam softening while pressure continues compacting the foam tightly to the sleeper's shape.
4. This full-body contouring effect gently cradles joints, aligning the spine and relieving peak pressure points.
5. When you change positions or get up, the foam remains compacted for a few seconds before the impressions bounce back to full height, ready for full re-contouring.
This responsive compression and shaping lies at the heart of memory foam's pain and pressure relieving abilities. But with those body-hugging properties also comes extensive heat buildup.
Table 2: Timeline of Memory Foam Compression
First 10-30 seconds
Top comfort layer begins softening
Pressure pushes down into softened foam
Deeper impressions form along all body curves
When you move or get up
Mattress slowly returns to original form
Because the foam cradles so closely with minimal airflow, it essentially absorbs and traps your body heat against your skin all night long. No wonder many hot sleepers have trouble getting comfortable and staying cool in memory foam beds!
What About Gel Memory Foam?
With traditional memory foam's heat capturing tendencies, many mattress brands now infuse gel into some foam layers with claims it keeps sleepers cooler. But does adding cooling gels to memory foam really help dissipate body heat effectively?
Gel memory foam contains beads of gel swirled into the top comfort layers of foam. As you lay down, the gel works to pull heat away from your body then distribute it through the foam, regulating temperature. Rather than absorbing all your body warmth like standard memory foam, it moves warmth elsewhere so you stay cooler against the mattress surface.
But while gel infusion might sound like the perfect cooling solution, expert assessments reveal mixed effectiveness:
- Initial cool-to-touch feel when first lying down
- Heat redistribution for potentially better breathability
- Adds some moisture wicking for less sweatiness
- Doesn't prevent body impressions and airflow blockage
- Traps some heat in the foam with nowhere to escape
- Gel warms up quickly and stops cooling
The biggest issue is that while gel foam offers initial cooling benefits, studies show it stops being effective after 30-45 minutes—right when deeper sleep kicks in. The takeaway? Gel infusion helps but isn't a miracle fix for keeping cool all night long.
How to Make Memory Foam Sleep Cooler
If you want that sweet body-cradling comfort of quality memory foam but still need to sleep cool, there are solutions. Let's explore several easy ways to help your memory foam bed sleep cooler overnight.
Adding an air-flow-friendly mattress topper creates some space between your body and the foam to prevent direct heat absorption. Cooling toppers like our 3-inch ventilated with conductive copper gel infusion also pull heat away from the skin's surface.
- Extra plush cushioning comfort
- Latest models have cooling gels, minerals or perforations
- Allows more airflow next to your body
- Easy to add onto existing mattress
Breathable Mattress Protector
Moisture-wicking mattress covers like our Bamboo Charcoal Infused protector feature special ventilated fabrics. Bamboo charcoal fibers also help regulate temperature and absorb humidity. This lifts perspiration off your skin for better cooling against the mattress.
- Creates air channels for breathability
- Naturally cooling bamboo & charcoal materials
- Layers easily over your mattress
Cooling Sheets & Bedding
Breathable sheets and bedding with moisture-moving technologies can make all the difference for sleeping cool. Our silky smooth Tencel bed sheets offer superior temperature control and airflow to traditional cotton. The more your sheets and blankets can whisk away humidity and heat, the cooler you'll stay against a memory foam mattress.
When Is It Time for A New Cooling Mattress?
If you've tried these cooling tricks for your existing memory foam mattress but still can't get comfortable enough to sleep, it might be time to consider one of our newer cooling mattress options.
You know it's time to replace a mattress that's sleeping too hot if you experience:
- Can't get cool even shifting positions
- Still feel sweaty and overheated when waking up
- Notice your partner moving more from being too warm
- Your mattress is 5+ years old and sagging
Which Mattress Doesn't Sleep Hot?
If you decide memory foam just retains too much heat for your preferences, two alternative mattress styles known to sleep cooler are latex and hybrid models.
1. Latex Mattresses
All-natural or synthetic latex foam contains an open-cell structure full of tiny air pockets. So rather than absorbing your warmth like memory foam, airflow circulates freely around latex to whisk away body heat.
Our responsive Fresh Collective pairs a 3-inch gel-infused latex comfort layer over high-density support foam. The perforated latex design boosts breathability while the gel infusion adds extra cooling power.
- Natural bounce replaces body-hugging feel
- Air circulates freely through tiny holes
- Moisture-wicking properties
- Antimicrobial and resistant to allergens
- Exceptional pressure relief still cushions joints
2. Hybrid Mattresses
For those wanting memory foam's contour support minus the heat, hybrids give the best of both worlds. They combine supportive coils with plush foam for comfort that still breathes.
Our top-rated hybrids like the 14-inch thick iComfort 1000 feature perforated gel memory foam layers wrapped around a coil base. The spring system allows ample airflow while foam gives cushioning relief at pressure points.
- Individually pocketed coils offer airflow
- Gel foam adds cooling and cradling comfort
- More bounce than solid memory foam
- Natural fibers like wool and cotton regulate heat
- Softer feel than basic innerspring styles
Still have some questions surrounding memory foam heat issues and sleeping cool? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Do all foam and memory foam mattresses sleep hot?
While heat retention affects around 20% of memory foam mattress sleepers, results vary widely based on factors like material quality, mattress age, sleeper size/shape, and environmental temperatures. So you can find some memory foam models that sleep cooler than others. Key is choosing breathable designs matched to your sleep needs.
Which memory foam mattress is the coolest?
If you want that cushy molded memory foam feel, some of the coolest models combine conductive gels, open-cell foams, moisture-wicking covers, and perforations for maximum airflow. Our Dream Catcher hybrid pairs all these advancements. For a fully adaptive all-foam pick, try the Aegan.
What mattress materials sleep the coolest?
For the absolute coolest sleep, latex and hybrid mattresses top the temperature regulating charts. Both balance contoured support with airflow. For a plush latex pick, choose our 3-inch ventilated latex Encore. If you prefer coils and foam, the copper gel and perforated foam infused Emperor's Dream is expertly engineered for cooling.
While many memory foam mattress sleepers deal with uncomfortable heat retention, solutions do exist! With advanced comfort materials like cooling gels and latex along with breathable accessories, you can customize an ultra-chill sleep sanctuary.
Finding your ideal match is all about balancing plush pressure relief and proper temperature regulation best suited to your preferences.
At Mattress To Door Corp, our sleep specialists excel at mapping your unique needs to the perfect cooling mattress fit. With free custom recommendations plus 90 risk-free nights to try mattresses at home, you'll rest easy knowing your ultimate comfort match awaits!
To unlock your cool, rejuvenating sleep potential, contact our team today at (647)-530-9100 or visit one of our Mattress To Door Corp locations across Mississauga. Tell us your top priorities, and we'll take care of the rest.
Here's to chill vibes from head to toe as you drift off each night! We can't wait to help craft your dream sleep sanctuary.
At the end of the day, whether memory foam mattresses sleep hot comes down to your preferences balancing contouring comfort and temperature regulation. But with advanced material innovations from Mattress To Door Corp, finding your ideal blend is easier than ever. Contact our team and tell us exactly what you want. We'll take care of the rest to deliver your coolest night's sleep!