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August 2013

Why does memory foam get hot?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions. Memory foam works by reacting to heat which allows the materials open cell structure to change and flex to the warm shape placed upon it. Like any foam, it will retain heat.  For some people, this is not a problem they barely notice, but for other 'hot sleepers' they have complained that it becomes too hot. It really is a personal preference but by its very nature memory Foam is heat-retentive.

Due to Memory Foam reacting and softening to heat it can, therefore, feel softer in the summer warmer months and firmer in the winter. This depends on the temperature of the room. Some people love the heat retention and comment on how it keeps them nice and warm. Others dislike the heat and prefer a cooler material such as a Hybrid Foam mattress or Latex. All foams will, however, be warmer and more retentive than a Pocket Sprung Natural Mattress, again it is personal preference.

Memory foam mattress handprint
All foams retain heat and are far warmer than natural fibre mattresses

 

Memory foam needs heat to work properly

One of the main reasons people complain that memory foam mattresses such as Eve, Simba and Casper get hot is that they don’t realise when they buy them that these foams need heat and pressure to work. They rely on the heat and pressure for their open cell structure to compress and expand accordingly. So if you’re already a hot sleeper you need to avoid these at all costs.

Woman lying in pain on a bed
Some people with foam mattresses have told us they can’t sleep directly on top of memory foam due to the heat

What mattress should I buy if I’m a hot sleeper?

If you already know you’re a hot sleeper then a Natural fibre traditional mattress will be far more suitable than any foam model. They don’t require heat to provide their comfort and during the summer months, Natural Fibres can help wick moisture away from the body helping to keep you cool. They are also far longer lasting than synthetic foams that tend to compress quickly.

What about the new Hybrid Memory Foams?

The new Hybrid range of mattresses uses more innovative types of foams that have heat dispersing properties. These Hybrid foams evenly distribute the heat through the material providing a cooler sleeping experience for the person, such as Coolblue or don’t rely on heat at all to provide their softness and comfort, Laygel is a perfect example of this. Latex is naturally breathable allowing air to circulate preventing the mattress from retaining too much heat but will still be warmer than natural fibre. So either way, if you’re a warmer sleeper you should avoid.

There are also aeration layers, such as castellated foams, that are put into mattresses which have benefits and drawback as well. Due to the fact that castellations can change the feel and firmness of the foams we don’t currently use or manufacture with these methods. We believe with the newer Hybrid Foams and Latex this is unnecessary.

Summary

Our advice if you’re concerned is to either try out a memory foam mattress from a friend or in a hotel first to establish just how warm you will get. Another idea is to change the tog of your duvet, kind of bed sheets you have or room temperature. Failing that if the temperature is the main concern we would advise either a Hybrid Foam, Latex or Traditional Pocket Sprung mattress.The preference is really down to you, If you took two people on the same winters day and gave them an identical jacket, one may feel smothered in it whilst the other loves the snug feeling so it really is very subjective.

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