How To Choose The Best Mattress For Hot Sleepers

Written by
Purple Staff
Last Updated
January 26, 2023
min read

Sleeping hot can be a big problem, especially if you live in a warmer area. Even if your mattress is supportive and comfortable, it may not lead to restful sleep if you keep waking up covered in sweat. Fortunately, cooling mattresses can be the difference between a good night's sleep and a sweaty night's sleep.

However, what makes a high-quality cooling mattress will depend on the material used, brand, and other additional features. If you’re a hot sleeper and looking for a cool mattress, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about cooling mattresses and how to pick the right one.

What Is A Hot Sleeper?

A hot sleeper is someone who feels hot while they sleep, often leading to night sweats. Hot sleepers tend to struggle with discomfort from sweating at night, which can make it difficult to fall asleep.

There are several reasons why you might experience hot sleep:

Facts About Hot Sleepers

Knowing a few facts about different sleeper types can help you better understand why hot sleeping happens and how you can prevent it. Here is what you need to know:

  • Women often sleep cooler than men because their hormone cycle makes their fingers, toes, and feet stay three degrees Celsius colder. Women’s bodies also tend to have less muscle, so they generate less heat.
  • A study suggests that warm colors can trick your body into thinking some objects are warmer than they are. Some of these colors include red, dark oranges, and yellow.
  • Hot sleepers, particularly women who suffer from hot flashes, are more likely to experience insomnia. According to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, wearing a cool circulating cap can significantly reduce the chances of insomnia. 
  • What you eat before bed can impact how hot you sleep. The jury’s still out, but several studies have found that caffeinated drinksspicy/sugary snacks, and alcoholic beverages may make you sweat more at night.

What Is A Cooling Mattress?

A cooling mattress is a mattress made with temperature-regulating materials like memory foam. These mattresses have high breathability, preventing heat from being trapped. By helping the body stay cool, these mattresses can help hot sleepers avoid sweaty nights.

Cooling mattresses have a few different core layers and can range from innerspring coils to hybrid materials. They also have a top layer that contains gel memory foams, organic mattress fibers, phase change molecules, and metallics with cooling properties.

Staying Cool At Night Can Improve Your Sleep Quality

Sleep experts consider 60 F to 67 F to be the ideal sleeping temperature range. Sleeping within this ideal range can act as a “sleep switch” that helps your body’s core temperature cool down faster and signals to your body that it’s time to snooze. 

A lowered temperature triggers the release of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. This can help you fall asleep faster and more deeply, improving the quality and duration of your sleep.

Choosing The Best Mattress For Cooling / Hot Sleepers

Shopping for the right type of mattress with cooling features isn’t as straightforward as you might anticipate. Consider these best practices when choosing the right type of supportive mattress for you.

  • Set your budget: How much a cooling mattress cost varies depending on the quality of materials used and how durable it is. More durable and longer-lasting mattresses can cost more. The good news is that most mattress companies offer flexible financing options and extensive mattress warranties.
  • Think about materials: Depending on how much body heat you transmit, some materials may suit you better than others. Keep in mind materials that retain heat more vs others.
  • Consider sleeper types: The best way to get the most out of a cooling mattress is to match it to your sleeper type. Don’t waste money on a mattress that isn’t firm or soft enough to provide a good balance of comfort and support.
  • Read reviews: Reading reviews can inform your decision, especially if you can’t try a mattress out in person. Don’t just read one mattress review either – consult many. Another option is to consider online mattress companies that provide trial runs for their products.

What To Look For In A Cooling Mattress

Not all cooling mattresses are alike, so how do you choose the right one? Here are a few things you might want to consider when picking a cooling mattress.

  • Mattress materials: Materials that promote cooling sensations include high-density foam, gel memory foam, natural latex, and natural fibers.
  • Price: Cooling mattresses can vary widely in price. The price may depend on materials, mattress type, durability, and more.  
  • Firmness level: Different mattress firmness options cater to various sleeper types. For instance, heavier sleepers might find a firmer mattress more supportive, while lighter people may prefer the cushioning of softer mattresses. Combination sleepers may want to see if a medium-firm mattress can prove support and pain relief.
  • Mattress type: How well a product retains or dissipates heat will depend on the mattress type and construction. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses are more breathable and less likely to trap heat, which may help you cool down.
  • Sleeper types: Keep body types in mind when choosing a cooling mattress. Heavy sleepers will have different requirements than light sleepers.
  • Noise: Some mattresses make noise when you move around at night. Hybrid and innerspring mattresses have more parts in them to make noise.
  • Mattress cover: If you live in an area with frequently changing temperatures, consider a mattress cover with phase change materials or other cooling technologies.
  • Other preferences: Consider additional needs like pressure relief, edge support, and contouring. 

6 Best Mattress Types For Hot Sleepers

different types of mattresses

While mattress brands may manufacture models with varying features and construction, they will have commonalities with models from other brands that put them squarely within these types.

The mattress type that feels most comfortable to you will depend on your sleeping position, preferences, and other sleeping needs. See if these features sound like they’d best help you stay cool at night.

GelFlex Grid Mattresses

Definition: GelFlex mattresses are made with a flexible, supportive hyper-polymer grid. They have 1,400 individual air channels for additional airflow to keep sleepers cool and comfortable at night.

Key features: Extra supportive, breathable surface

If you are a hot sleeper looking for comfort, a cooling mattress, Purple’s GelFlex Grid mattresses adapt to your body. While providing over 1,400 individual air channels for airflow. Its geometric structure keeps heat from being trapped. This keeps hot sleepers from enduring uncomfortably sweaty nights.

Foam Mattresses

Definition: Foam mattresses will have at least two layers, with the top consisting of a softer comfort foam layer and the bottom of a firmer, supportive foam base. The top layers come in a range of firmness levels from different manufacturers. Some all-foam mattresses have the addition of memory foam for extra softness and cushioning.

Key features: Soft, responsive surface

All-foam mattresses can give a “hugging” feeling to the body’s pressure points. Because of this extra cushioning around areas like the hips and shoulders, sleepers may consider this mattress type highly comfortable. Hot sleepers might want to look for foam mattresses made from cooling types of material such as gel foam or added charcoal.

Hybrid Mattresses

hybrid mattress

Definition: Hybrid construction mattresses combine top foam layers with coil construction. The top comfort layers can be made from latex foam or memory foam, while the coil layer can be made with a traditional innerspring core or pocketed coil system.

Key features: Durable and breathable

Because of the airflow provided by their spring construction, hybrid mattresses are an affordable cooling mattress option for hot sleepers. Look for foam layers made with gel-infused foam or latex foam for improved temperature control, as some foam types may trap heat at night.

Latex Mattresses

latex mattress

Definition: Latex mattresses are made from natural latex, synthetic latex, or a mix of these two latex types. Derived from rubber, latex is highly flexible and elastic. The two commonly available types of latex for this type of mattress are Talalay and Dunlop. Talalay is softer and less dense than firm, durable Dunlop, so Talalay is typically used for top comfort layers while Dunlop is used for supportive mattress base layers.

Key features: Breathability and temperature regulation

Latex is very soft and highly breathable, so hot sleepers who need extra cushioning may want to consider trying this mattress type. Note that some latex mattresses have additional perforations or aeration for increased airflow, which can lead to intense cooling even in warm weather.

Innerspring Mattresses

types of innerspring mattresses

Definition: Innerspring mattresses are made with a metal coil support system, with the coils connected into a single unit. The gauges, springs, and sizes of these coils will vary between manufacturers, resulting in varying levels of firmness, responsiveness, and durability.

Key features: Affordability and flexibility

Innerspring mattresses are one of the most widely available and budget-friendly mattress types on the market. The airflow-promoting coils make innerspring mattresses highly cooling for hot sleepers. If you’re considering getting this mattress type, look for one with reinforced support so the mattress lasts longer and doesn’t sag easily.


air mattress

Definition: Airbeds are made with inflatable air chambers and external comfort layers. A remote control or mobile device app is typically used to deflate or inflate this bed type’s air chambers, allowing for easy customization of firmness levels.

Key features: Fast firmness level customization

Airbeds are easy to deflate and inflate to your preferred level of firmness. If you’re thinking of getting this mattress type, look for one made with breathable top layers as well as additional cooling features. Co-sleepers might also want to see if this mattress can address their individual sleeping preferences, as some airbeds allow you to adjust firmness levels on separate sides of the mattress.

Still unsure what mattress to buy? See our best mattress guide.

Best Mattress Types For Hot Sleepers

When shopping for the right cooling mattress, sleeper types matter more than you’d think. No matter how cooling a mattress is, one that is incompatible with your favorite sleep position may not feel comfortable or supportive enough to sleep restfully. Consider the following mattresses depending on different sleeper types.

Best Mattress For Hot Side Sleepers

Side sleepers who require ample pressure relief and additional support may want to try sleeping on a hybrid mattress. Hybrid construction mattresses are body-contouring without being too warm, and their innerspring cores limit motion transfer while increasing breathability.

Best Mattress For Hot Sleepers With Back Pain

Mattresses with medium firmness can provide significant relief for those with back pain. This mattress’ firmness provides a good balance of support and ample comfort. Latex mattresses have also been found to evenly distribute body pressure, reducing peak pressure on the torso for different sleeping positions.

Another option to look into is a high-quality hybrid mattress that combines coil systems with foam layers. Their coil systems provide additional bounce, support, and pushback, all of which reduce motion transfer as you sleep.

Need adjustable support? Learn more about best mattress for adjustable beds.

Best Mattress For Hot Stomach Sleepers

If you are a stomach sleeper who tends to get night sweats, you may want to see if hybrid mattresses with medium firmness are comfortable. Hybrid mattress models combine supportive coils and memory foam to provide cushioning and support. 

Best Mattress Topper For Hot Sleepers

Mattress toppers are additional layers designed to make your bed feel more comfortable. Some toppers are firmer or softer, to provide extra pressure relief. Fortunately for hot sleepers, a wide selection of cooling toppers can improve sleep temperature and relieve pressure. Buying a mattress topper is also a sensible compromise if you can’t yet invest in a new cooling mattress.

Here are a few tips for buying and using a mattress topper:

  • If you want maximum cooling, a latex mattress topper with phase-change materials can increase airflow.
  • Another thing you’ll want to consider is topper thickness. Most mattresses are roughly 25 inches tall, so you won’t want to purchase a topper thicker than three inches.
  • Keep your mattress topper from sliding by picking one with an anti-slide design or purchasing straps to secure it in place. Some mattress toppers also come with grippy bottoms.

Best Mattress Protector For Hot Sleepers

A breathable, cooling protector could suffice if you don’t need a mattress topper but still want to protect your mattress from damage. Compared to toppers, mattress protectors are thinner. They are also often made from naturally cooling materials like cotton or wool.

Many protectors are 100% waterproof, reduce heat-trapping, and circulate air. There are two main types of mattress protectors you can choose from: 

  • Passive cooling: Passive cooling mattress protectors often contain copper, phase change materials, and gel to stay breathable. Hot sleepers who require minimal to moderate cooling may find this suitable for temperature regulation.
  • Active cooling: Mattress pads that actively cool your bed often come with remotes or dials that circulate air or water. Newer models are programmable and can even connect to smartphones. If you have an adjustable bed, it might already have active cooling features.

Like regular mattresses, protectors come in different materials. Consider a protective mattress pad made from gel, polyfoam, or latex if you need ample cooling.

You’ll also want to remember the following factors when choosing a cooling mattress protector: firmness level, pressure relief, thickness, and price.

Choosing The Right Mattress For You

Not every mattress marketed with cooling properties will live up to your expectations. That’s why doing your research is so important. 

If you’re unsure about what kind of cooling mattress you need, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What are my and/or my partner’s sleeper types? Am I a side, back, or stomach sleeper?
  • Do I want a softer or firmer mattress?
  • What price range can I afford?
  • What cooling properties do I need, and what can I compromise on?
  • Can I afford a new cooling mattress, or will a topper/protector/breathable sheets suit my needs?
  • Do I have specific needs like a relief for joint pain, arthritis, or other medical conditions?

How Do Purple Mattresses Offer A Cool Night’s Sleep?

Purple mattresses offer a cool night’s sleep thanks to their unique GelFlex technology and materials. Purple’s GelFlex Grid mattresses have over 1,400 air channels for increased breathability, air circulation, and temperature regulation – these extra channels help you stay cool at night. The GelFlex Grid is also made of temperature-neutral gel polymer, keeping you from feeling hot and sweaty as you sleep. 

While Purple mattresses may vary in size, GelGrid thickness, and extra features, all of them have this special grid and provide an excellent balance between support and cooling comfort.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mattresses For Hot Sleepers

What is the best temperature for sleep?

The optimal sleeping temperature for adults is between 60 and 67 F. For babies and children, a comfortable sleep temperature is between 65 and 70 F.

Keep in mind that as you age, your body temperature decreases, so you may have to adjust your sleeping temperature over time.

What mattress types sleep cool at night?

Mattress types that sleep coolest at night include hybrid, innerspring, latex, and polyfoam. These mattresses are often firmer and aerated to increase airflow and prevent heat-trapping.

How can you cool down a mattress?

You can cool down your mattress with a breathable cover or cooling pillows and toppers. These products disperse a great deal of heat through a mattress’ construction, making it easier to enjoy a good night’s sleep.