Sleeping in a hot bed is a huge pet peeve for most sleepers. It is nearly impossible to sleep well if your bed is hell bent on giving you the experience of an African desert. Many people feel so uncomfortable in a hot bed that even air conditioning can’t provide them with any comfort. A survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation suggested that about 4 in every 5 people consider cool temperature as a requisite for a good sleep. Another survey by the same organization linked high temperatures as one of the greatest causes of unhealthy sleep patterns among both children and adults.
8 Leading Mattress Cooling Technologies
To counter this persistent problem, mattress manufacturers came up with the concept of ‘cooling mattresses’ by combining innovative designs and construction mechanisms with cooling technologies that can keep your mattress cool. In fact, there are so many variants of cooling mattresses that it is hard to identify which one works the best for you. However, this one’s not that difficult to work. All you need is some information about the various cooling technologies employed in mattresses and then pick a product that is equipped with your preferred technology and fits in your budget as well. So here’s a brief introduction to the 8 leading mattress cooling technologies.
Open-cell foam consists of multiple partially-open foams. The empty spaces between the foams allow a smooth airflow through your bed. The insulative properties of air prevent heat accumulation and creates a free passage for warm air to escape out of the bed. This escaping warm air is replaced by fresh air around your bed and this process ensures that the mattress temperature doesn’t rise.
Most memory foam mattresses have gel foam as their topmost layer. The integration of gel, either as a thin layer or as a structure of beads at the mattress’ top, increases heat dissipation. As soon as you lie down on a gel foam cooling mattress, you feel an instant sensation of pressure-relief and coolness. The slow heat retention keeps the bed cooler for a longer duration.
Latex mattresses have small perforations that are formed naturally during production. The perforations in such mattresses increases ventilation and reduces heat accumulation within the mattress. When paired with breathable mattress covers and sheets, perforated foam becomes even more effective.
Convoluted Foam/Contour Cutting
Some mattress manufacturers make cuts on the foam surface to create convolutions that improve the flow of air into the bed. Structurally, convoluted foam is similar to an egg tray. The contours are made on one side of the top layer, which allows the formation of air channels that help dissipate both heat and moisture and increases cooling.
Innerspring mattresses make up for about 90% of the total mattress sales. All innerspring mattresses have pocketed coils and as do most hybrid mattresses as well. The advantage with pocketed coils is that there is ample free space to allow free and adequate airflow, which, in turn, ensures that heat and moisture could escape from the mattress with ease.
Phase Change Material (PCM)
PCMs are a recent addition to the cooling mattress industry and also one of the most effective ones. The idea of PCMs is based on the concept of ‘latent energy’ (defined as the minimum amount of energy that a material needs to change its phase). While this may be a tricky concept to grasp for the layman, it is easy to understand how PCMs work. When the mattress becomes too hot, PCMs absorb heat; when it gets too cold, it releases heat. So you don’t just get a solution for hot mattresses but for extra cold mattresses as well.
Breathable Mattress Covers
If your mattress cover isn’t breathable enough for warm air to escape, then there aren’t many mattress cooling technologies that could help you escape from the troubles of sleeping in a hot mattress. Thankfully though, manufacturers realize that and they utilize various fabrics, such as natural fibers, polyester, and lycra to weave ventilation grids into the mattress cover. This seemingly simple technique goes a long way towards ensuring that your core body temperature stays optimal.
Air and Water-Cooled Systems
In air-cooled systems, cooled air is forced under the bedding to reduce the temperature. They are among the most efficient mattress cooling systems out there, along with water-cooled systems where cooled water is forced through a collection of tubes that are embedded in a cooling pad.
Now that you know the basics of the 8 leading mattress cooling technologies, you would be able to make a well-informed decision when you buy a cooling mattress the next time.
Sleep cool, sleep well!