Why Are You Overheating on Your Memory Foam Mattress?

Posted by Mark Aramli on


Memory foam mattresses, while very comfortable, can often be the culprit behind a hot and sweaty night spent tossing and turning. According to Sleep Like the Dead, the largest independent sleep review site in the USA, about 8% of memory foam mattress owners report overheating or sleeping hot on their memory foam mattress. But, relief from a hot memory foam mattress is achievable.

It’s important to note that only 
some memory foam mattresses are hot at night and depending upon brand and type, there can be significant differences between heat retention levels.


Foam Structure

The memory foam structure itself can cause overheating.   In some industries, foams are used as an insulator.  Because the foam material needs to be dense enough to support your body, air circulation between your mattress and body and within the mattress may be constricted.   

As a result, heat stays trapped and mattress temperatures continue to increase as the night wears on due to the restricted ventilation. Some foam mattresses are more dense than others and the higher the foam density, the higher the heat factor.

Some memory foam mattress brands have changed materials and introduced gel cooling components or plant materials to offset the hot mattress issues. Foam mattresses made from plant material are reportedly slightly cooler than other models.

A foam mattress infused with gel cooling beads may start out a bit cooler than gel-less counterparts. However, the heat reduction is only temporary, as the gel beads only absorb heat rather than dissipate heat out of the bed.  Once the memory foam gel beads (or in some cases phase change material) absorb heat to their maximum capacity, they actually become heat reservoirs, holding onto your body heat even longer than a regular mattress. Although gel mattresses may feel cooler to the touch, as the night wears on, this cool feeling goes away.    

Foam Material

Memory foam is soft, and one of its key advantages is that it molds to your body – essentially enveloping you in a cocoon. As a result, more of your body’s service area touches the mattress which restricts airflow and traps heat. The softness of your memory foam mattress is a primary contributor to hot sleeping.

The firmer your mattress is, the more opportunity there is for ventilation between your body and mattress, which helps keep you cool. Memory foam isn’t firm enough to allow the necessary airflow. Many people cite the same problem with foam mattress toppers as well.

Body Heat

Sleeping with a partner can also cause you to overheat on your memory foam mattress.  As on all mattresses, two people create more body heat than one, and the memory foam can trap that heat between the two of you, resulting in a hot and restless night of sleep.


Breathable Bedding

Sheets and pillow cases made from non-breathable materials can result in overheating. Materials like cotton or bamboo allow air flow as well as offer moisture wicking, which helps to keep you cool. Of note, sheets with a high a thread count (over 400) can restrict air flow considerably, while not providing a softer feel or higher quality sheet.  

Same goes for your blankets and comforters. Choosing ones that are lighter in weight than you might otherwise use with a regular mattress could be a smart play to keep you sleeping soundly through the night.

Consider the Type of Mattress You Are Buying

In order to avoid buying a hot mattress, it’s important that you do your research ahead of time. However, according to Sleep Like the Dead, in general foam mattresses run hotter more often than non-memory foam mattresses.

Bed Cooling Products

If you find yourself overheating on your memory foam mattress, consider a powered bed climate comfort system like BedJet. BedJet uses air to control the temperature of your bed in order to keep both you and your partner at your ideal sleeping temperatures.

BedJet’s Dual Zone system allows you and your partner to adjust your side of the bed based on your individual preferences. Half of the bed can remain cool while the other side is warmer. It’s a win-win.

Compatible with any kind of bed or mattress, the BedJet circulates air through the bed, eliminating moisture and keeping temperatures precisely regulated to your specifications.  

While comfortable, memory foam mattresses tend to sleep hot due to their material and structure. Make sure that you are getting a good night’s rest on your memory foam mattress by doing your research before purchasing and consider using an external cooling system like BedJet. The BedJet provides more powered cooling ventilation than any mattress can supply on its own.