Chill Out: A Sleep Expert’s Guide to Mattress Cooling Technology

Last updated on June 4th, 2024 at 04:14 pm

Achieving the right sleep temperature is essential for quality rest, as it directly impacts our ability to fall asleep – and stay asleep throughout the night. In recent years, cooling technologies in mattresses have advanced significantly. They offer innovative solutions for a more comfortable and temperature-regulated sleep environment and, thus, better sleep. So chill out as we explore the science behind sleep and temperature, delve into the various cooling technologies available, discuss the benefits of cooling mattresses, and much more. Let’s dive into the world of mattress cooling tech and discover how it can transform your sleep experience.

The science of sleep and temperature

Sleep expert Tim Osborn-Jenkins says that temperature regulation is important for sleep due to its connection with the body’s circadian rhythm. The human body naturally experiences a drop in core temperature during sleep, reaching its lowest point in the early morning hours. This decrease in temperature helps initiate and maintain sleep as it aligns with the body’s circadian rhythm and promotes optimal restorative processes. Tim says, “A cool sleeping environment supports the natural drop in core temperature, enhancing the product of melatonin and helping the body to transition through the stages of sleep”.

Multiple studies suggest that the perfect temperature for sleeping is between 15 and 18 degrees Celsius – though this varies depending on the research. It is also suggested that for babies and the elderly, it should be slightly warmer than this. Environmental factors, such as room temperature and the thermal properties of our mattresses, can significantly impact our ability to maintain a comfortable and conducive temperature for sleep. Furthermore, according to Heidi Nelson, “people going through perimenopause and menopause report more sleep disturbances and a higher rate of sleep disorders compared to pre-menopausal women.” Additional research supports this, citing hot flashes as the reason.

Understanding mattress cooling technology

The cooling technology utilises various materials and design features to regulate temperature and dissipate heat. Some common cooling technologies include gel-infused foams, phase-change materials, and open-cell structures that enhance airflow and heat dissipation. These technologies work together to create a cooler sleep surface and prevent the buildup of heat that can disrupt sleep. But how do they work? Tim Osborn-Jenkins talks us through some of the different types of tech…

“Gel-infused foam absorbs and dissipates heat, preventing retention* and promoting a cooler sleep experience. Strategically placed gel layers absorb and disperse heat, keeping the mattress surface cooler.”

*Memory foam is known for retaining heat, but the gel’s addition can be counteracted.

Tim says, “Mattresses with breathable and open-cell designs (like the Panda Hybrid Bamboo Mattress) allow better air circulation, preventing heat buildup for a cooler sleep experience. Phase Change Materials (PCM) regulate temperature by changing state based on temperature, absorbing and releasing heat to maintain a consistent sleeping temperature.”

He also talks us through other cooling technologies: “graphite-infused foam enhances heat conductivity, dispersing heat more effectively. Advanced mattresses may feature fans or built-in cooling systems actively circulating air to maintain a comfortable sleeping temperature. Moisture-wicking fabrics in mattress covers draw moisture away from the body, contribute to a cooler feel, and aid with the evaporation of sweat.”

When we talk about moisture-wicking fabrics, these include bamboo! It is a great example of a fabric that helps to wick away moisture, helping to keep you cool and eliminate those pesky night sweats. This is why our Hybrid Bamboo Mattress is perfect if you’re looking for something temperature-regulating to help you sleep better at night.

So, What are the benefits of cooling mattresses?

Investing in a cooling mattress can bring numerous benefits to your sleep quality and overall well-being. The major benefit, of course, is simply that you will be at the right temperature for sleep! As we’ve mentioned, a cooler sleep environment promotes more restful and uninterrupted sleep, allowing you to wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. In addition, cooling mattresses can be particularly beneficial for individuals who are prone to night sweats or those who live in warmer climates. The temperature-regulating properties of these mattresses help maintain a comfortable sleep surface, regardless of external conditions.

Tim Osborn-Jenkins shares more benefits, telling us that “cooler surfaces align with the body’s circadian rhythm, promoting relaxation and signalling the onset of sleep.” He goes on to mention that enhanced breathability is beneficial for both joint and muscle discomfort as well as for reducing pressure points! All of this means you’ll be more comfortable, ready to drift off easily, and more likely to stay asleep without disruption…

Choosing the right cooling mattress

When you’re selecting a cooling mattress, be sure to consider factors such as your preferred firmness level, sleep position, and budget, as well as the size of your bed. It’s all good to opt for the best one on the market, but if it’s too firm for you, it won’t help you sleep. Think about breathability and the materials used, then look at the different brands and models. Compare these in terms of which cooling tech they use, how expensive they are, what the warranty is, etc. Do you want a hybrid, for example, and would you prefer a gel infusion or granite? Research different cooling technologies and their effectiveness in addressing heat buildup.

There are also certain keywords and descriptions to look out for. Pay attention to customer reviews and look for certifications indicating the mattress meets rigorous cooling standards. Don’t just settle for the words ‘mattress cooling technology’ – be sure you understand exactly what is being used and that it is explained well. That way you’ll know you can trust the brand you’re buying from! For example, our Hybrid Bamboo Mattress Pro is cooling in different ways; the bamboo is exceptionally breathable and moisture-wicking, so this really helps, and our BioCell Foam™ is made with open cell technology to keep you at the perfect temperature.

Are there any complementary cooling sleep products on the market?

Alongside these products, you should ensure your bedroom is at the right temperature, don’t have the heating on during the night, and try to encourage airflow during the day by opening the windows slightly. Invest in a smart thermostat so you always know your room is at the optimum temperature for a good night’s sleep – and remember, that’s between 15 and 18 degrees Celsius. Opt for thin and short pyjamas rather than fully covered in fluffy material, or try sleeping with nothing on!

As well as a cooling mattress, there are other sleep products available that can further enhance temperature regulation. Cooling pillows with breathable covers and cooling gel layers can provide additional comfort – they’ll also prevent your head and neck from overheating. Everybody loves that fresh side of the pillow feeling, right? Mattress protectors made from moisture-wicking or breathable fabrics like bamboo can also help regulate temperature; furthermore, they protect your mattress from sweat and spills. Consider investing in breathable sheets and bedding made from natural fibres like organic cotton or super soft bamboo for a spectacularly cool and comfortable sleep experience. They’ll be a very chic addition to your bedroom, too.

Care and maintenance of cooling mattresses

To ensure the longevity and effectiveness of a cooling mattress, it is essential to follow proper care and maintenance guidelines. Read and follow what the manufacturer suggests when cleaning your mattress, as this will ensure it stays in good shape for as long as possible. Typically, it should get wet; recommendations include vacuuming the surface, wiping with a slightly damp cloth, and sprinkling with baking soda to eliminate smells. Regularly rotate and flip if applicable, as this helps even out the natural wear and tear; don’t add electric blankets, as these can damage cooling technology, and consider using a protector.

Chill out with a cooling mattress

Cooling technology is a great addition to mattresses, helping to transform your sleep quality by keeping you at that all-important optimum temperature. Sleep expert Tim Osborn-Jenkins says, “Most people sleep better when their bedroom is optimised for light, noise, temperature, and comfort – highlighting the importance of choosing a quality mattress.” From gel layers to breathable fabrics, there are plenty of options for choosing what’s right for you; be sure to consider your individual sleep needs and your fabric and material preferences.

Take the next step to a good night’s sleep by investing in a cooling mattress or scheduling a consultation with a sleep specialist. Tim says that when shopping around, “established brands with a history of customer satisfaction and positive reviews are more likely to deliver a reliable product. Check for warranty information and customer service reviews.” He says that “some cooling mattresses come with extra features, such as adjustable firmness, smart technology, or customisable cooling zones. Assess whether these features align with your preferences and contribute to the overall value.”

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