How to Make Your Memory Foam Mattress Cooler in 3 Simple Steps

Have you ever wondered what the #1 complaint is with memory foam?

Over 15% of users said that their mattress retains heat or that it sleeps warm, resulting in restless and sweaty nights.

If you are among those people, you are undoubtedly wondering how to make it cooler to a comfortable degree so that you can enjoy incredible contouring and pain relief properties of this fantastic material.

Stick with us and find out three easy ways to cool down your memory foam mattress by 20-50%.

Why Does It Sleep Hot?

It is true that foam mattresses have changed the way we sleep. They managed so in the best possible way by adding an incredible amount of comfort. They offer great relief to anyone who sleeps poorly at night or suffers from back or neck pain.

Their airy internal structure is perfect for adapting to the contours of our body. It spreads body weight pressure across the entire surface of the mattress. It is their best attribute among many others that they offer.

Considering it's a synthetic material, foam mattresses have their own quirks. One of the negative aspects is excessive heat retention due to increased sinkage and “hug.”

It results in sweating and discomfort during sleep. The reason heat gets trapped inside the foam is because of its unique structure. It is porous and filled with tiny bubbly spaces. However, it isn’t interconnected to allow a greater amount of airflow inside.

The weight of the body compresses and displaces these tiny bubbles of air. This means that there is no more space for it to circulate. Considering how important this problem is, manufacturers even created specialized beds designed for cooling in mind.

There are three easy and not so expensive solutions for this annoyance. They will turn your memory foam mattress into a perfect resting and relaxing object.

Create Space for Air to Flow Freely

You cannot change the airflow of a memory foam as its structure is solid. However, you can make sure that the surface beneath the mattress has plenty of open space where air can move.

Air can get trapped under your mattress and keep your body heat accumulating.

This will increase discomfort during the time you are supposed to relax. The best beds for proper air circulation have equally spaced wooden boards. This allows lots of room for the air to move around.

If your bed has one sheath of solid plywood, then you’ve found the reason why your foam mattress gets so hot.

The best advice is to replace your bed’s underside with wooden boards with lots of room to spare. If your bed cannot be modified, exchange it for a model that will allow good airflow underneath. Excessive body heat will soften your memory foam mattress and induce more discomfort. This will enable the bed to keep its shape. It will also provide your body with equally displaced surface area support.
space for airflow

Use Covers on Top of Your Memory Foam Mattress

Covering your foam mattress with covers made out of natural and breathable materials can lower its temperature to more comfortable levels.

bed sheetsSimple mattress covers will keep odors away too, and they will make your life easier as you can wash them more often. Covers will also protect it from being stained and will keep it in pristine condition.

There are covers specifically made for memory foam mattresses with an increased airflow. Some of them even draw moisture from the skin and distribute it evenly across the cover’s surface area.

This will reduce sweat and help to keep you cool during the night. Being easily removable they can be washed as many times as you like. Cleaning them is easy as they are machine washable.

Making Good Use of Memory Foam Toppers

Finally, we have to mention cooling pads and toppers which can somewhat affect the overall feel. As for the material, we highly recommend that you opt for a topper made from gel foam, down alternative or natural cotton. Also, it will add a nice layer of space where air can flow freely and therefore cool you down.

If your bed is too soft for your taste you can grab a firm topper for extra support and breathability. Considering that the cost is around $100-150 it's a good alternative if you want to use your bed for couple more years before choosing a new one.


If you a bought a mattress with traditional and low-end memory foam you can only do so much. My advice would be to get a topper or some nice covers and to get a frame that allows air to flow freely. That will surely help short term. In the long run, you might be better off with a new one. Considering how many great memory foam options are on the market right now, you can grab a good bed even under $500 if you are on a budget.

Sleep well 🙂

Author: Jill Thompson

I've been self-employed for almost four years and I would not change it for anything! I believe that anyone can achieve their goals with the right attitude and determination.

I'm an avid traveler (25+ countries and counting) that loves to meet new people doing amazing things.

When I'm not researching for the Sleep Advisor, you can find me reading, running, traveling, golfing, or meditating.

I wish you the very best on your journey!

  1. Reply
    Adam January 1, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Hi Jill
    Thanks so much for your article. I just purchased a memory foam mattress topper for my classic but too firm mattress. Last night I had my first night on it and while it was comfortable I was definitely too hot. Almost all of the reviews for this topper said that it was not too hot and specifically supposed to keep me cool. I’m hoping it’s just an adjustment.! I was wondering what I should have on top of the mattress topper to help with cooling? Right now I just have a fitted sheet on top of the topper. Is there anything you would suggest? Thank you so so much!

    • Reply
      Sarah Cummings February 8, 2018 at 9:39 am

      Hey Adam, I think that the only thing you should add is proper sheets. TENCEL is a great cooling fabric but cotton works too.

  2. Reply
    Helen O'Sullivan February 8, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Try a topper/mattress cover with climate control such as Coolmax, SlumerCool or Outlast. You can buy memory foam zipped topper covers.

  3. Reply
    Carla February 19, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    I have a foam mattress topper with cooling gel. I hate it it sleeps so hot I wake up several times a night sweating I’m removing it from my California king bed I thought it was was me until I looked it up. Many relatives of mine have bought memory foam mattresses UGH!!!! I’d rather sleep on the floor then on memory foam

  4. Reply
    Joe P April 2, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    I bought a name brand foam cover and on my first night, I was on fire! Loved sleeping on it but not sure if I can take the night sweats.

  5. Reply
    Lana K April 30, 2018 at 4:05 am

    I bought myself a Thermocool from BigBig&Box store( you get it;) was supposed to be a gel cooling memory foam topper at a pretty high price, so it must be good right? NO! You can’t return it, forget trying to squeeze back into a box anyway. It’s soooooooooooo HOT, even hotter than all the different ones on my guests beds. The hottest by far; even with a cotton mattress pad and bamboo sheets it’s awful. Plus the tiny “ gel” flecks imbedded into it fall out like crazy, big mess under the mattress pad. I had to have no covers on top, a fan and keep the room air at 67 to survive.

  6. Reply
    Ellis April 30, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    I have a platform bed made of plywood, would drilling holes be good enough to have air flowing through it, I want to buy a cool gel mattress but can’t afford to buy any extras was wondering if this would work . I am on a fixed income. Thx.

  7. Reply
    Jamie boehman June 22, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    I have Have a memory foam mattress with the gel covered on the top has been cool but is now stopped cooling is there anything I can do to make the gel work again

    • Reply
      Sarah Cummings June 25, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      Hi Jamie. Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry to hear that about your mattress. Maybe you might think about getting a mattress topper that has some of the cooling properties you’re looking for. Best of luck to you!

  8. Reply
    James September 20, 2018 at 11:35 am

    I,m so hot with this memory foam bed that i,m reading this at 5am because i can’t sleep.I just got it today.950 bucks for a full and they haven’t figured out how to cool these down.Now i,m wondering are these memory foam beds just a big hype.Why should i be buying other products to cool it down.I,ll take my cheap foam mattress back.

  9. Reply
    Kent February 17, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Yes, memory foam mattresses are all hype.
    The manufacturers all know that the memory foam traps and reflects body heat like a frying pan, but they keep trying to introduce buzz-words to confuse consumers.
    Cooling this, and breeze that – give me a break.
    I have a Tempurpedic that cooks me every night.
    I recently put a wool mattress topper on it – (which was expensive), and while it helped make it less hot, it is still about 70% of the heat that I experienced with no topper at all.
    So, I am now searching for a pocket-coil mattress that does (not) have any memory foam or other foams embedded in the top.
    The last thing I want is to get a coil mattress and be stuck with memory foam – again – in the design !

    • Reply
      Sarah Cummings February 19, 2019 at 3:08 pm

      Hi Kent. Thanks for your thoughts. If you do sleep hot, latex might be a good choice as it is more temperature neutral. There are many latex hybrids on the market these days that might fit your bill. Best of luck to you, and let us know what you decide on.

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