Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and you are sweating? Has your mattress ever made you hotter such that it’s hard to even get to sleep in the first place? Sleeping hot is a big issue with mattresses, and it’s something you should definitely keep in mind when shopping if you think that it might be an issue for you.
The issue of sleeping hot generally comes up with foam mattresses. As I mention in my memory foam article, memory foam mattresses are known to get hot more than other types of mattresses. Manufacturers attempt to address this issue from a few different angles. Some will infuse a cooling gel into the memory foam in an attempt to keep the mattress cooler. There has been a lot of marketing around this “gel-infused” approach, but I have seen little evidence so far that this approach has a significant impact on this issue, especially compared with other approaches. My advice would be to at least use caution when looking at a gel-infused mattress.
Another approach some companies take is to add an actual gel layer within the mattress. From personal experience, speaking to industry insiders, and the studies I’ve seen, this can be a very effective approach to addressing the issue. You will generally see a lot more gel-infused mattresses rather than this gel layer approach, mainly because the layer approach is more expensive to make.
Yet another approach is using bio-based foam. This also has been shown to be effective in addressing heat issues, but it also usually comes with a higher cost. These three examples show that generally the more effective approach comes at a higher cost. There are certainly trade-offs to be made with this issue.
Latex mattresses generally do a great job on this issue. Certain hybrid mattresses will put latex over memory foam in part because latex does a better job on the getting hot issue. Coil mattresses generally do not face this issue because there is so much breath-ability with a coil construction.
There are certainly many different approaches companies take to address this issue. Generally, a large portion of companies explicitly say how they address this issue in their marketing message. This is because they know how important this issue is to the consumer and how it can affect someone’s sleep.