Foam top mattress way too hot
June 26, 2009 3:09 PM   Subscribe

How can I make my foam-topped mattress less hot?

It was fine in the winter, but now I find myself sweltering in bed. I hate it. Just now at 6 pm: Sitting on my sofa? Not sweating. Lying immobile in bed? Sweating.

I already sleep with my feet sticking out from under the sheets but it's still too hot. I use high thread count, cotton sheets. Would a wool mattress pad help? Maybe a featherbed between me and the mattress? I searched the archives and found this thread which mentions a wool mattress pad. This Google search result suggested using a poly mattress pad, but I'm currently using one and it's not much help.

I'd like something that I can launder regularly because I don't have access to a clothesline or any other way of airing it out/exposing it to direct sunlight.
posted by Majorita to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I have a wool-filled mattress cover (of the type like a quilted sheet, rather than the thicker mattress pad) that I layer under a cotton-filled mattress cover. That seems to do the trick with my foam-topped mattress. eBay list (relatively) reasonably priced wool mattress pads.
You could try layering a couple of old wool blankets (cheap on Craiglist or eBay). Wash them well (but in warm/cool water, one at a time, with low agitation cycle) before use and you'll be fine (dust mites don't like wool, so you're really just making sure they are clean). Way cheaper than a wool mattress pad and you can test out the concept before taking the plunge.
posted by Susurration at 4:25 PM on June 26, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks Susurration. I have a wool blanket, so I'll try that. Do you also machine wash the wool mattress cover? How about putting the cover and blankets in the dryer?
posted by Majorita at 4:32 PM on June 26, 2009

I have that problem, I've found that bamboo sheets help a bit.

A feather bed will be really, really hot. If nothing else works, you can get a few chillows.
posted by necessitas at 4:55 PM on June 26, 2009

Summers here in Los Angeles get very hot. I put a cotton quilt on top of my foam futon bed that has breathable sections, and sleep on that with a linen sheet. Take a cool shower before you go to bed so your skin pores are nice and clean and breathable.
posted by effluvia at 5:33 PM on June 26, 2009

From 1999 to 2002, my sleep went from great to horrendous.

I'd wake poorly rested and often with muscle pain.

It took me some time to figure out why, but it was exactly the problem you're having: the evil pillow top mattress.

I would move from one side of the bed to the next and back again (every half hour), all night long, because the pillow top mattress would get too hot.

The solution: I gave the damned thing away to the Salvation Army.

I now sleep on a double futon mattress, the bottom a very firm foam one, the top a traditional.

It's the most comfortable, most breathable setup I've found so far (and also one of the cheapest).

I'm sure you don't want to give yours away, but sleep is sleep, few things more important to your health.
posted by foooooogasm at 6:02 PM on June 26, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions.

foooooogasm, I'm almost at that point. It's hell. I'm lying on it right now and can feel heat radiating against my entire body. I'll never buy another foam topped mattress again. I'll try the suggestions for bamboo sheets and wool/cotton toppers. If they don't work, I'm getting rid of this thing.
posted by Majorita at 6:57 PM on June 26, 2009

I just sleep on top of my duvet (which means I also don't have to find room in my tiny apartment to store it), and that seems to work fine. Without it, yes, I wake up sweltering.
posted by dame at 7:36 PM on June 26, 2009

I have the same problem. I'm a hot sleeper.

One partial solution I've found is to buy a duvet and the world's crappiest comforter to fill it with. That gives my bed the appearance of having a very nice look without having a super warm blanket or comforter. God, it seems like the nicer the comforter looks, the warmer it will be. AND I ROAST!

Granted, that won't solve the problem of a hot mattress, but it helps a little.

When looking for your next mattress, DON'T buy one of those memory foam mattresses. Holy crap do they sleep hot.
posted by 2oh1 at 10:02 PM on June 26, 2009

Feather beds and pillows are significantly cooler than foam. Air can move through them. I have owned both. Worse are the non-breathing synthetic covers hotels often use on their pillows and mattresses.
posted by bz at 11:03 PM on June 26, 2009

Best answer: The first reply is right on. I went to my thrift store and bought, for about 5 bucks, 2 wool blankets, for 3 layers total, and that's my mattress pad. I'm a long ways from any synthetics, which cause the heat reflection, and totally comfortable. Been using these blankets for 3+ years now, I wash them occasionally, and I sleep nice 'n' cool. If you like your mattress other than the heat problem, consider it solved.
posted by davoid at 11:34 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

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