How do you share a bed when it's too hot?
May 12, 2015 7:11 AM   Subscribe

How do you sleep with someone who insists on throwing all the blankets off the bed, when you are a person who needs weight to sleep well?

It's hot and humid. My bed-partner sleeps hot, complains of being sticky, and would rather have nothing on the bed at all. Yet I need weight to sleep well, preferably a blanket--even a sheet is too light for me to feel really comfortable.

Inevitable result: my partner throws the blankets off the bed, I wake up uncovered and drag the blanket back, wash, rinse, repeat. I have tried covering just myself with the blanket, but that somehow ends up on the floor too. It's like the opposite of sleeping with a blanket-hog. Every year we go through this for four months, and I'd really like if we could both get a good night's sleep instead.

Not an option:
King size bed (we have a queen)
Separate beds (though I admit it sounds nice)
Air conditioning (assume the room will be hot regardless)

But I can't think of anything else! What can we do? Please tell me someone has solved this problem in the past. Thanks all.

(Tips for dealing with a bed-sprawler also much appreciated. My blankets and I would like more than 25% of the bed space, please.)
posted by epanalepsis to Human Relations (40 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

It's a quilt that folds up into a pillow.

It's a blanket with a kangaroo pouch into which you can fold up the blanket and use it as a pillow.

But when yoju're sleeping, you tuck your feet in it and the blanket stays with you.

Not a full sized blanket, a you sized blanket.

This has worked for me for 17+ years.

My me sized blanket can tuck just under my feet and reach to my neck, so when I sleep curled up, I'm just right under it.

Alternatively, a small blanket (twin sized) and you fold up the bottom and pin it to be a foot pocket at the bottom.
posted by tilde at 7:15 AM on May 12, 2015 [4 favorites]

Use a single blanket for yourself.
posted by devnull at 7:16 AM on May 12, 2015 [26 favorites]

If the partner is already taking up more than half the bed, then tough patootie for them. 50% of the bed is the land of Blanketania, and it's their own fault that they're crossing the border.

If your partner wakes up with blanket on them, then that is their reminder to get back to their side of the bed.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:16 AM on May 12, 2015 [18 favorites]

Best answer: How are the blankets coming off you if you're the only one in them? I have the same issue re: being unable to sleep without weight on me, and I just sort of burrito myself in the blanket and it would have to be, like, actively removed from me in order for me not to be covered anymore.
posted by griphus at 7:17 AM on May 12, 2015 [16 favorites]

Separate twin sized blankets! You get your blanket, he gets his. If he doesn't want his, that's just fine. Works like a charm for me and boyfriend, who is giant sized.
posted by femmegrrr at 7:17 AM on May 12, 2015 [15 favorites]

Best answer: Separate twin-size sheets/blankets/duvets. You get your own cocoon. He can throw his blankets off at will.

I cured the problem of a bed-sprawler by getting a king-size bed, unfortunately - he still sprawls but he has a lot more room to do it. Before that I waged a pretty aggressive and silent war with a lot of physically poking, elbowing, and rolling the guy back to his side of the bed. Luckily he was a heavy sleeper and didn't seem to mind. If you snuggle before bed, make sure to snuggle on his side of the bed and then roll back to your own side.
posted by muddgirl at 7:18 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Tuck the blankets under the mattress on your side. That is what keeps our blankets in place despite our thrashing.
posted by chaiminda at 7:20 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Twin sized blankets on a queen sized bed. My husband and I have separate bedding. A thin blanket & a sheet in his case a duvet in mine for cocooning purposes. We hide it all under a light coverlet if get around to making the bed.
posted by wwax at 7:21 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: You could put a pool noodle down the middle of the bed under the sheet for a narrow space-divider, or start to sleep with a body pillow between you. Find yourself falling off of the bed, shove it and your partner over.
posted by tilde at 7:21 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Also just seconding that we also fixed this in my house by getting a king-sized bed. I know you mentioned that it's not an option currently, but I'd look into it for the future if this is permanent partner. When we moved, my wife (who was regularly bothered by my shitty bed manners) thought I was just being weird or bourgie insisting on a king-sized bed, but recently told me it was one of the best ideas I've had in the course of our relationship.
posted by griphus at 7:22 AM on May 12, 2015 [4 favorites]

Yep, separate bedding. Mrs. Wallflower sleeps under a foot-high pile of blankets, and I sleep under a sheet. Happiness and comfort for each of us.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:27 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Are you actually making the bed, with the blanket tucked in at the bottom? Stop doing that, loose blanket for you nothing for him.
posted by geegollygosh at 7:29 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Separate bedding, of course. Long term, a big bed. I used to call Mr Fingers "Diagonal Man" because of the way he sprawled in our queen; but it's not an issue in our California King. Small price to pay for good rest and domestic harmony.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:30 AM on May 12, 2015

We don't have the same blanket and territory issues in my house, but I can't sleep with blankets during the warmer months, where my wife needs them. I sleep on top of all the bedding and the missus sleeps under it. It seems to work for us.
posted by slogger at 7:31 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

I am a hot sleeper, and most of the time I just sleep on top of the duvet while my sweetie sleeps under it. Seems to work okay for us—she only complains about my snoring now.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:34 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

We have two sheets and two blankets, and they are put on the bed in a sort of zipper fashion: my sheet, which extends about halfway into his sleep area, his sheet (skewed to his side), my blanket (ditto), his down duvet (which is a twin and so just kind of stays on his side - everything else is King so there's a bunch of overlap and a bunch of hang over the side).

We started doing this because we have big dogs and they would lay in the middle of the bed, effectively short-sheeting us from the sides, but over time we started using different blankets and stuff. When I actually bother making the bed look nice, I have a king bedspread I throw over the whole thing.

The zipper formation holds for about 10 days before it comes completely apart, at which point we just wash the sheets and start over.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:35 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I would go with separate sheets/blankets.

My wife likes to sleep with her covers tucked under the mattress. I like to wrap them around me and tuck them under my feet like a make-shift sleeping bag. If we didn't have separate covers, one of us would eventually murder the other.

Problem: bed-sprawler. Solution: sharp elbows.
posted by JimBJ9 at 7:36 AM on May 12, 2015 [6 favorites]

Realized everyone is assuming your hot-sleeper bed-hog bed-partner is male, which amuses me. I, male hot-sleeper, would probably make same assumption.

It's a bit extreme, but how about a sleeping bag + sleeping bag liner for you? I have to assume that both are available in reasonable bedclothes-similar materials.

Otherwise, yeah: just make the bed, bed-partner sleeps on top of all covers, you sleep under.
posted by supercres at 7:41 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Separate blankets. It makes for odd configurations when making the bed, but it works for us.
posted by stowaway at 7:43 AM on May 12, 2015

I sleep hot, but also need weight to sleep well. I've had my eye on bamboo sleeping mats, but have not yet tried them.

My partner used to want to sleep on top of the covers while I was under them -- this drove me insane. The feeling of being pinned down on one side, even in a king sized bed, made me feel a bit panicy. Our solution is to have one king sized sheet on the bed, under two twin-sized blankets. That way when he pushes the blanket off the bed, I still have mine on me.
posted by OrangeDisk at 7:45 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Get your own blankets.

Optional: devise amusing booby-traps to condition them not to steal those too.
posted by tel3path at 7:45 AM on May 12, 2015

Best answer: Ugh, my partner does this. And if I just use a me-sized blanket, he drags it off me and over himself in his sleep, and then pitches it on the floor. I use a queen-size duvet folded in half with me between the layers and the crease on his side down the middle of the bed, so the worst he can do is drag off the top half, which I can then reclaim; since I'm lying on the bottom half, it doesn't get dumped off the bed.
posted by dorque at 7:45 AM on May 12, 2015 [8 favorites]

Husbunny used to sweat so bad at night his side was actually wet. We bought a silk-filled duvet which is much more breathable. We also installed a ceiling fan, which keeps the air moving directly on top of us (no AC). I think that does the most work to keep him cooled down. You could also get a standing floor fan, but ceiling fans aren't that expensive or hard to install.

As for bed sprawling, since he doesn't wake up anyway, I shamelessly poke or push away offending limbs and he retracts them from my side. I do it in my sleep now.
posted by lizbunny at 7:52 AM on May 12, 2015

Partner sleeps on top of the blanket?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:53 AM on May 12, 2015

You use a larger blanket folded over you so that half of it is under you, with the fold on the opposite side from your partner, so that even if he/she pushes it off, it will still be retrievable by you.

Long term solution: bigger bed.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 8:01 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm not sure why you say separate beds are not an option. If it's a money thing, then I'd say sleep in your own folded blanket (like a taco). And I like the pool noodle under the fitted sheet. Kind of the modern version of the bundling board.

If it's an ideological thing, how about two twin beds pushed together (or at least close-ish)? You are still right next to each other but your covers won't be pushed around. And he will be less likely to encroach on your space. (If he keeps encroaching, push the beds a little futher apart each time.)

And also if it's the second, I totally get it about not wanting to sleep separately but between his snoring, my ultra-light sleeping, and my probable-impending menopause, I'm making some plans along those lines. Less sleep-deprivation can only enhance our relationship in our waking hours!

Good luck!
posted by Beti at 8:19 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

If he's taking up 75% of the bed, no wonder your blankets are falling off - there's not enough blanket remaining *on* the bed for gravity to not take its course.

Because of this, you will need to secure the blanket to the bed somehow. The easiest way is going to be doing so with your own bodyweight. Strip the bed to nothing-but-fitted-sheet, then lay down what you want to be the "outermost" layer (duvet or comforter), face down. Then lay down however many layers of blankets you want, again, face down. Finish with the flat sheet. Then fold the whole thing over from your partner's side of the bed to yours; the fold should land on the vertical halfway mark on the bed. You can tuck the whole shebang in at the bottom. Then you tuck yourself inside all the layers. Then your partner can get into bed. If they cross the boundary, shove 'em back.

On preview, 1, yeah, like a taco; 2, the pool noodle is probably more neutral :)

Also, I am the hot sleeper in my partnership, and I have a fan on low aimed at my core when I go to sleep from about May to September. Mr. Kouti grumbles about fan death, but is perfectly content under his multi-duvet sandwich.
posted by Pandora Kouti at 8:26 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

This may be overkill, but a weighted blanket?
posted by Lucinda at 8:52 AM on May 12, 2015

You can buy a king sized duvet even though you haven't got a king sized bed.


Buy 2 single duvets, one for either side of the bed. The other advantage of this is that you can get those ones that are in two layers, like a 4.5tog and 9tog and then have different ones on either side of the bed through the year, which may be a better fit for your different needs. This sort of set up is pretty common in some parts of Europe.
posted by biffa at 9:03 AM on May 12, 2015

Best answer: This is me and my husband! Flat and fitted sheets like normal (he can typically deal with a thin sheet on top of him), and one or two twin-sized blankets or quilts on my side of the bed. We too have a queen. If your blankets are too big, they will hang off the side too much and fall down during the night. Also we put a stand fan on his side of the bed. This has worked for us for many, many Kentucky summers.
posted by chaoticgood at 9:05 AM on May 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

Two twin blankets, overlapping. On his side, leave it totally untucked, so that he can shove it around the bed and throw it on the floor.

Twin blanket on just your side tucked in loosely to the foot of the bed. It has to be loosely tucked so that there's enough foot-room that neither of you totally un-tuck it. It needs to be anchored at your feet, not his, so that if the blanket wanders, it's easy for you to bring it back to you.

We're also done well with getting King-size light blankets for our queen bed -- with more material, it's harder to drag it completely off the bed. And this may sound obvious, but make sure the blankets are textured rather than smooth, it helps keep them from sliding off so easily.
posted by desuetude at 9:10 AM on May 12, 2015

Sleeping bag for you, nothing for your partner.
posted by Wavelet at 9:26 AM on May 12, 2015

The first night my husband slept over I looked him dead in the eye and said "I don't share blanets. Here's one for you." He beamed with joy and said "thank god." We've literally only shared a blanket in hotel rooms. Separate blankets all the way. Tuck yours under you or into the bed if he steals it. We don't understand how people can sleep sharing blankets in the first place.
posted by Crystalinne at 9:42 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

I am a blanket person; my preferred sleeping method is curled into a ball, under at least one blanket (a sheet is not enough). Husband is a hot sleeper, likes to have JUST a sheet, sprawls widely. So even if I have a blanket on top of the sheet just on my side, his sprawling pushes it off the bed. I now use a throw-sized fuzzy blanket wrapped around me, and then the sheet goes on top of that. If he throws the sheet off, I don't even notice because I'm still tucked into my own blanket nice and warm.
posted by specialagentwebb at 9:44 AM on May 12, 2015

Nothing wrong with two single duvets or quits.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 9:56 AM on May 12, 2015

as a hot sleeper AND someone who likes the weight, I use a pillow/sheet combo in the summer. I find a pillow against my chest is enough to satisfy the "weight" requirement
posted by ghostiger at 10:30 AM on May 12, 2015

I sleep hot, but also need weight to sleep well. I've had my eye on bamboo sleeping mats, but have not yet tried them.

Oh my god that looks awesome. I've also contemplated like, buying a lead-lined blanket like in a dentist chair--they make similar weighted blankets for autistic people--and trying to make sure it has kind of awful heat retention properties. Right now I just use a terribly ineffective comforter though--it adds the weight while not keeping me too warm! Wins all round!

Generally I find that making a blanket burrito that I can poke my feet out of works well. You have to make sure you're sleeping on top of some of it, maybe tucking your feet into it as with the quiltten linked above, but no one can take blankets from you if you're lying actively on top of them with your whole body. Bonus: by pulling the blanket tightly around yourself on the sides, you can increase the pressure and the sensation of weight without actually piling more stuff on top of yourself.
posted by sciatrix at 10:40 AM on May 12, 2015

European beds often have one fitted sheet on the mattress, no top sheet and two single/twin duvets. Instead of washing the top sheet, you wash and replace the duvet covers. Like this Ikea example. Then you don't even have to worry about sharing the sheet.
posted by tracicle at 11:05 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Nthing twin beds pushed together, with separate bedding.

My parents sleep like this. They cuddle and chat for a little while before falling asleep. Then my dad kicks off his covers. My mom cocoons under hers.

Bonus points:
My dad apparently feels the barrier between the two beds as he sleeps, because he is a bed hog in hotel beds but not at home.

As a reference point -
In Japan, it is becoming more popular for couples to sleep in different rooms. Romance has its place, and so does good sleep.
posted by xmts at 3:47 PM on May 12, 2015

Best answer: People think they have no control over their sleep behavior, but they do have some. any time he leaves blankets on you/ the bed, give him praise in the morning. Maybe even during the night. Does he like M&Ms, jelly beans? An actual physical reward is quite a good reinforcement tool.
posted by theora55 at 9:09 AM on May 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

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