Are Memory Foam Mattress Toppers Hot To Sleep On?

Are memory foam mattress toppers hot to sleep on? This question pops up often, especially when summer rolls around. You see, memory foam mattress toppers are the stars of the bedding world.

With their space-age origins and ability to conform to the body, it’s no wonder they’ve soared in popularity.

However, this brilliant feature comes with a possible catch: a warmer sleep environment. Memory foam’s dense structure is excellent for support, but it might also retain more heat than other materials.

Did you know? Memory foam was initially made for NASA to improve the safety of aircraft cushions.

In this article, we’ll take a detailed journey through the world of memory foam mattress toppers and temperature regulation, exploring:

  • Other ways to improve the temperature regulation of your bed besides using a cooling mattress topper.

  • How bedding materials and weave of sheets can affect temperature regulation.

  • The pros and cons of using linen sheets for temperature regulation.

  • Other benefits of linen sheets beyond temperature regulation.

  • Pertinent FAQs around memory foam mattress toppers.

So, pull up your duvet, grab a cuppa, and let’s solve this mattress mystery together!

Memory Foam And Heat: A Dynamic Duo?

The perplexity surrounding memory foam mattress toppers and heat retention is understandable.

These cosy companions have a tendency to retain heat, sometimes leading to a hotter sleeping experience, particularly on balmy nights.

But fear not! There are numerous strategies to minimise the heat retention of memory foam and make your nocturnal escapade a cool one.

Let’s delve into these hot tips!

A hand pressing down on a mattress

1. Cooling Mattress Topper or Pad

A cooling topper or pad can help regulate the surface temperature of the mattress and make it feel cooler to sleep on. For more insights on how to layer your bed, you might find this article on whether you should put a mattress pad over a memory foam topper interesting.

2. Gel-infused Memory Foam Topper

Gel-infused memory foam toppers allow for extra air circulation, which can help keep the bed cool all night. It’s a worthwhile consideration if you’re wondering how long does a memory foam mattress topper take to expand and offer its cooling benefits.

3. Latex Foam Topper

Opt for a latex foam topper. Light, airy and heat-retention resistant, latex foam is also durable and supportive, making it a great choice for a mattress topper. This solution addresses a common query on whether memory foam mattress toppers wear out quicker due to heat exposure.

4. Breathable Bedding

Breathable bedding, such as cotton or bamboo sheets, can help improve the overall temperature regulation of your bed and make sleeping on a memory foam topper cooler. It’s crucial to keep this in mind if you’re considering whether memory foam mattress toppers are washable and what type of sheets work best with them.

5. Keep your Bedroom Cool

Keeping your bedroom cool can help reduce the heat retention of a memory foam topper. You can use a fan or air conditioning to keep the room cool. This tip complements the suggestions in our guide on how to stop your mattress topper from sliding due to excess movement in a hot room.

How To Make A Memory Foam Mattress Topper Cooler

Having an uncomfortable, hot sleep is like a broken pencil—pointless. Luckily, the sweltering nights need not be a dread any longer.

Here are some creative, tried-and-tested ways to make a memory foam mattress topper cooler for your blissful night’s rest:

1. Slatted Foundation

Opting for a slatted foundation for your mattress can also assist with airflow, reducing excessive heat and moisture buildup.

Not sure if a slatted foundation is right for you? Our article
does a mattress topper help a bad mattress? covers the topic in detail.

A pair of hands placing a mattress topper on top of a mattress

2. Breathable Mattress Cover

A breathable mattress cover made of linen or natural wool can also contribute to a cooler bed. A copper-infused gel mattress cover can even help regulate the temperature of your bed. For more about mattress covers and their maintenance, take a peek at our article can you recycle memory foam mattress topper?

3. Cooling Pillow

Who said only your body needs to keep cool? A cooling pillow can regulate the temperature of your head and neck, helping you sleep cooler overall. Consider exploring the different types of pillows suitable for memory foam mattresses in this external article.

How Bedding Materials Affect Temperature Regulation

Have you ever wondered how your bedding materials influence your sleep temperature? It’s a game-changer. Let’s dive in to understand why:

Breathability and Contouring

Bedding materials can influence temperature regulation in numerous ways. Some materials are naturally inclined to retain warmth, effectively trapping the sleeper’s body heat.

On the other hand, more breathable materials let air circulate in and out of the sleep surface, permitting heat to dissipate.

A hand touching a mattress topper

The temperature control is greatly affected by the mattress’s breathability and contouring, which are dependent on its materials and construction. If a mattress possesses open areas permeable by air, cooler air can penetrate, relieving heat buildup.

Additionally, less contouring promotes greater air circulation around the body, thereby letting heat dissipate. Intrigued by how mattress construction affects your sleep? Our article
what is a mattress topper used for? provides further insights.

Natural vs Synthetic Fabrics

One of the main distinctions in bedding materials lies in the choice between natural and synthetic fabrics. Opting for natural fabrics such as cotton, bamboo, linen, and silk over synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, and rayon can significantly enhance the coolness of your bed.

For instance, cotton and linen are champions in heat escape, which is advantageous for hot sleepers. Wool strikes a balance between breathability and insulation, making it popular for year-round use. On the other hand, synthetic materials often trap heat, making your sleep hotter. For an in-depth comparison between different materials, read our article do mattress toppers make a bed warmer?.

How The Weave Of Sheets Affects Temperature Regulation

Wondering how the way your sheets are woven can influence your sleep temperature? You’re in for a surprise! The type of weave can play a vital role in how breathable your sheets are and, consequently, how warm or cool they can keep you at night. Here’s a breakdown:

Percale Weave

A percale weave is a bit of a loose cannon. Quite literally! It’s a loose, breathable weave that offers improved airflow and reduces heat retention. It’s an ace choice for those who feel the heat at night. In a nutshell, this weave can help you maintain a cooler body temperature. Here is an external source that lists some of the best percale sheets.

Sateen Weave

In contrast to percale, a sateen weave is much tighter, somewhat like a close-knit family. This weave tends to trap heat, making you feel warmer. If you’re a fan of smoother, silkier feels, you might find sateen quite comfortable, but beware—it’s not as breathable as percale.

Linen Weave

Now, who doesn’t fancy linen? It’s almost like the cool kid in town! Linen sheets come with a weave that encourages more airflow, leading to a cooler sleep. As a bonus, linen has natural temperature-regulating properties and wicks away moisture better than cotton, making it much more breathable and cooling. For all you hot sleepers out there, this is a top choice!

Microfiber Weave

Microfiber is a synthetic material that’s usually soft, lightweight, and a tad shiny. While sheets made of microfiber are often wallet-friendly and low maintenance, they usually don’t allow as much airflow as natural materials, which could cause you to feel like you’re in a sauna.

Silk Weave

And finally, silk. It’s finely woven and, despite having a cool initial touch, tends to trap heat, making it a less-than-ideal choice for cool bed sheets. It may feel luxurious, but silk’s lack of breathability can leave you feeling warmer.

The Flip Side Of Using Linen Sheets For Temperature Regulation

Now, as much as we’ve been singing the praises of linen for its impressive temperature-regulating prowess, it wouldn’t be fair to overlook the flip side. Here are a few hiccups you might encounter if you decide to go down the linen route:

Cotton’s Cool Edge

While linen’s natural breathability and moisture-wicking properties make it a solid choice for temperature regulation, research suggests that it’s not quite the coolest kid on the block. Turns out, cotton has the edge here, reportedly being up to 16% cooler than linen. When it comes to a coolness face-off, cotton sheets outscore their linen counterparts. 

It’s a Bit Rough Around the Edges

Linen’s texture could be a hit or miss for some people. Compared to other materials, linen has a somewhat coarse texture which might take some getting used to. If you’re more inclined towards softer, smoother sheets, this could be a potential stumbling block.

Wrinkle Woes

Another potential downside to linen is that it tends to be a bit of a wrinkly wretch. Yes, linen sheets are prone to extreme wrinkling, which could detract from the aesthetic appeal for some. So if you’re a stickler for sleek, smooth bed linen, this is something to bear in mind.

The All-Rounder Benefits Of Linen Sheets

Alright, so we’ve touched on linen’s temperature regulation prowess, but this humble fabric brings quite a bit more to the table. Linen sheets aren’t just your summer night saviours; they offer a wealth of benefits that make them a worthy bedding choice year-round.

A Long-lasting Pal

One of linen’s most admirable attributes is its durability. This fabric is a stayer, boasting about 30% more strength than cotton. Plus, the great thing about linen is that it’s like a fine wine – it only gets better with age, becoming softer and more supple with each wash. 

Up Your Style Quotient

Linen sheets are an instant style booster for your bedroom. There’s something undeniably chic about the relaxed, naturally crumpled look of linen that can make your sleep space feel cosy and inviting.

Hypoallergenic Hero

Another feather in linen’s cap is that it’s hypoallergenic. Virtually lint-free, it’s a solid choice for those with allergies or sensitive skin. Plus, it doesn’t harbour dust mites, making it an even more allergy-friendly option.

No More Night Sweats

In addition to its impressive temperature regulation, linen’s natural moisture-wicking properties are worth a mention. Unlike cotton, linen doesn’t retain moisture, keeping you dry and comfortable throughout the night. This also means it’s less prone to fostering bacterial growth, making your bed a healthier place to sleep.

Comfort is Key

Linen sheets offer a uniquely comfortable sleeping experience. Initially, they might feel a bit crisp, but fear not – they soften over time and become increasingly cosy with each wash.

Seasonal Superstar

Despite being a go-to for hot summer nights, don’t rule linen out for the rest of the year. Thanks to its temperature-regulating abilities, it’s a versatile option for any season or climate. Pair your linen sheets with a faux fur blanket during the colder months, and you’re in for a toasty treat.

The Pros Of A Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Benefit Description
Increased comfort Memory foam mattress toppers mold to your body shape to give you an extra boost of comfort. They also soothe pressure where you need it most.
Relieves back pain Memory foam mattress toppers provide full-body support, which ensures that your spine is correctly aligned while you sleep. Long term, this kind of support and extra cushioning relieves chronic back, hip, shoulder, and neck pain.
Increases lifespan of mattress Memory foam mattress toppers take some pressure off your mattress, meaning that it won't get worn down as quickly. So you'll be able to get more use out of your mattress and enjoy it for longer!
Hypoallergenic Most memory foam mattress toppers are hypoallergenic, so you won't have to worry about your allergies waking you up in the night. They also repel dust mites, one of the most common causes of nighttime allergy flare-ups.
Customizable firmness Memory foam mattress toppers allow you to customize your bed to the firmness you want – you can instantly make a mattress that’s too firm feel softer and plusher.
Protects mattress Memory foam mattress toppers can protect your mattress from accidents, allergens, and other contaminants. They prevent stains and keep your mattress in better shape for more time, extending the typical lifespan of a mattress.


Can a memory foam mattress topper make my bed cooler?

While memory foam is known for heat retention, cooling memory foam toppers are designed with advanced technology to mitigate this. They use breathable, heat-dissipating materials or gel infusions to create a cooler sleep surface.

How does a cooling memory foam topper work?

A cooling memory foam topper works by facilitating better airflow and dissipating body heat. Some toppers incorporate gel beads or graphite that draw heat away from the body, ensuring you stay cool throughout the night.

How do I care for my memory foam mattress topper?

To keep your topper in good shape, spot clean any spills promptly and use a mattress protector. Most memory foam toppers aren’t machine washable, so check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to ensure it stays fresh and extends its life.

Will a memory foam topper make my mattress softer?

Yes, a memory foam topper can enhance the softness of your mattress. Memory foam contours to your body shape, providing a plush and comfortable feel that can soften a firm mattress.

Is it better to have a thicker memory foam topper?

Thickness is down to personal preference. Thicker toppers provide more cushioning and support but may also retain more heat. Thinner toppers are cooler but may not provide the same level of comfort or longevity. Balance your needs when choosing.


In the quest for a good night’s kip, we’ve taken a deep dive into the world of bedding and mattress accessories, particularly focusing on the vital role of temperature regulation. From perusing various sheet materials and weaves to exploring the ins and outs of memory foam mattress toppers, we’ve shown how small changes in your sleep environment can dramatically impact your comfort and sleep quality.

We’ve also given you a comprehensive look at the benefits and drawbacks of linen sheets, a popular choice for their temperature-regulating and moisture-wicking properties.

In summary, we’ve covered:

  • The effectiveness of different bedding materials in temperature regulation.

  • How the weave of sheets can influence breathability and temperature.

  • The potential downsides to using linen sheets for temperature regulation.

  • The additional benefits of using linen sheets beyond temperature regulation.

  • FAQs around memory foam mattress toppers.

Good night, sleep tight, and remember: the secret to great sleep might just be under your sheets.

– Article by Lewis Hugh

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