What sort of mattress topper won't cause overheating in bed?
September 6, 2012 5:38 PM   Subscribe

I need a mattress topper that will dampen the effect of my husband rolling over in bed without causing overheating. I like memory foam, but am worried it will be too hot, especially in summer. What would people recommend?

My husband "rolls over" by flinging himself into the air and bouncing up and down when he lands. He claims he's asleep when he does this, and hasn't seemed to be able to stop, although he's very apologetic. Recently we stayed with someone who had a memory foam egg-crate-style mattress topper that was AMAZING for fixing this problem. I planned to buy one for us.

But when I started reading the other AskMe threads and various reviews around the web, I found people saying that they would not recommend memory foam for people who get hot when asleep. This is my husband's biggest sleeping problem. He can't sleep unless he's cold, takes a cold shower before bed, and he still overheats at night even with our current set-up. Even with no blankets or sheets in summer. We didn't notice a heat problem with our friend's bed, but that was in winter.

So, can anyone (a) reassure me about memory foam's effect on overheating in bed or (b) recommend an alternative topper that will solve our problem? We would prefer not to pay more than $200 and it has to be available in Australia.

We don't want to replace the whole mattress (e.g. with two singles) because we only bought it last year and it was a bit of a stretch financially. We are very happy with it apart from the bouncing problem.
posted by lollusc to Shopping (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My husband used to complain I did the same thing. After a sleep study for daytime sleepiness, I was surprised to be diagnosed with periodic limb movement disorder. Treatment was simple (with an anti-Parkinson's medication) and both my husband and I were better rested after treatment. Just a suggestion that if your husband has other sleep symptoms, it might be something to investigate. Good luck!
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 5:57 PM on September 6, 2012

While I don't have the same need for cold that your husband does, I am very sensitive to heat in that I sweat profusely no matter what the temperature.

My SO got a memory foam mattress (Tempur-Pedic), and graciously allowed me to sleep on it. I can say that I haven't really noticed a marked difference in how much it traps heat. It's not cooler, but it's not noticeably hotter.
posted by baniak at 6:08 PM on September 6, 2012

I overheat in bed easily and we use a memory foam topper. It actually helped lead me to the understanding that while all warm blooded mammals produce heat, I had a crisis mode of massive heat production when I got too cold. I was entering that mode because I wasn't wearing enough clothing after my nightly shower. So I know it sounds crazy, but if he doesn't wear much try to get him to wear long sleeves and pants legs. Medical scrubs work great for me, despite the light material. I use a thermal top too.

You can test this now, BTW. It might help with the decision. It hasn't reduced my night movements, but my wife doesn't seem to notice as much. I get the massive bursts that catapult me above the surface too. Sometimes I remember them, but usually my wife tells me about them (I fall asleep first).

Regardless, the transition of the seasons reacts a bit of havoc for me for a few weeks (thermal top vs. not), but beyond that it's a sound approach for us. I can have a lousy night of sleep now without feeling dead the next day. It still weirds me out.
posted by jwells at 6:18 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have a latex mattress and can’t tell when my wife gets out of bed. I don’t know if a topper would be the same though. It doesn’t get hot.
posted by bongo_x at 8:05 PM on September 6, 2012

I have a foam mattress with memory foam on the top, and I find it feels much cooler with a waterproof mattress cover and crisp, smooth, high-quality sheets.
posted by ootandaboot at 10:10 PM on September 6, 2012

I have a 3 inch memory foam topper on my bed and I've never noticed it making a whit of difference in how warm or cold I am when I sleep, and I've tried all sorts of combinations between heavy duvet, thin blanket, various states of dress, and various weathers. I haven't added any new sheets or anything since I got the foam topper, either.

I vote no difference (for temperature - it makes a significant difference to my sleep quality, and definitely a good kind of difference!)
posted by Hakaisha at 12:19 AM on September 7, 2012

Okay, please forgive me for going slightly off-topic and not directly answering your question, but I wanted to jump in to offer some advice for the future; we have a very similar issue in our household, and the way it eventually got resolved is that we got a Sleep Number bed. It is a king size, so it has two independent air chambers. We placed the frame directly on the floor, without legs (it has sort of a box-frame-like frame under the main mattress part, though it is not a normal box frame). So my restless husband could flop around or even get out of bed and I wouldn't have the slightest idea. The frame never moves, and because he's on a separate air chamber my side of the bed never moves. No temperature issues at all. Best sleep ever.

The reason I say it's advice for the future is it's obviously not in the budget you are working with at the moment, but it's sooo worth saving for. The bed has a 20yr warranty; if you get a new bed every 5-10 years, you would end up spending the same amount of money in the long run, or more. We're only 4 years in, so I can't comment on the long run performance, but I'm sure there are plenty of reviews out there that can.

/(I swear I'm not a shill...)
posted by vignettist at 11:35 AM on September 7, 2012

Best answer: We have a latex topper and neither of us really notices the other moving around or getting out of bed. We looked at memory foam, but it seemed too warm for us (we tend to run very warm ourselves), so we tried latex and we haven't had any temperature problems. But we will use our air conditioner rather judiciously in the summer to make the air temp cool enough to need to pull the sheets/blanket up over our shoulders.
posted by sazanka at 11:53 AM on September 7, 2012

We have a latex topper from Ikea. they don't sell ours any more- this is the closest equivalent.

We have it on a foam mattress, so I can't say how much of a difference it makes by itself. We did get a foam mattress in the first place for the movement dulling properties. The topper was to help distribute our weight over the mattress because it was beginning to get divots in it. The topper is great- very firm and cool. We chose this one for the other natural fibers because plastic makes me feel overly sweaty and gross and latex is cooler than memory foam. However, latex has different foam properties than memory foam, so if you can go to Ikea and try it out, I recommend doing that- even if you don't want to buy at Ikea,you can compare different materials and get a better idea of what to look for. Also, natural latex has a strong smell and it took months for it to go away completely. Don't know about possible smells with memory foam.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:46 PM on September 7, 2012

Oops, I read your price as 500, not 200. The pad I linked is more than that, especially in AU$.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:49 PM on September 7, 2012

Best answer: Without a doubt - a latex mattress topper. Open cell which is disburses body heat and instant recovery which means you never feel like you are in a hole. Great for pressure relief. 3" works better than two. I have the Rejuvenite model on my bed and it works great to eliminate motion transfer. Not to mention it's eco friendly with no chemical smell often associated with memory foam toppers
posted by ecomattressman at 4:37 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

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