Regular readers will know that I love my job - especially when that job involves sleeping!
I’ve happily covered many bedding and mattress topics over the years, but the mattress material I probably get the most questions about is latex.
In fact, one of the questions I get asked by TheRoundup readers almost daily is, “are latex mattresses hot?”
The quick answer is NO - or at least not necessarily. It depends on a few factors. Let me explain...
I’ve touched on the topic of latex in numerous articles, such as:
However, judging by how often I’m asked the question, I feel I should dedicate an entire article to the subject of whether a latex mattress sleeps hot or cold.
So, read on as I’ll answer the question once and for all…and maybe free up some space in my inbox at the same time! 😁
Latex mattresses have been gaining in popularity over the last few years.
They’re often hailed as being more comfortable and durable than traditional spring mattresses and better for the environment.
But one of the things that people are most curious about when it comes to latex mattresses is whether they sleep hot or not.
After all, nobody wants to be stuck in a pool of sweat in the middle of the night.
So, do latex mattresses sleep hot? The answer is…it depends!
Many factors can affect how hot or cool a latex mattress sleeps, including:
Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors to see how they can affect the temperature of a latex mattress.
Latex is made from the milk of the rubber tree. When harvested ethically and sustainably, natural latex is a very eco-friendly product.
There are two main types of latex that are used in mattresses, Dunlop and Talalay:
This is the original method for producing latex foam. It was developed in 1929, and the process remains unchanged to the present day. Dunlop latex is made in the following way:
This newer method for producing latex foam is more complex. It was developed in the 1940s and has been tweaked over time:
Talalay latex is often considered more breathable and cooler than Dunlop latex due to the open cell structure caused by the vacuum sealing and freezing steps.
So if you don't want your latex mattress hot to sleep on, Talalay is probably the way to go.
Generally speaking, softer mattresses tend to sleep warmer than firmer mattresses.
This is because soft mattresses conform more to your body’s shape, which can restrict airflow and cause a build-up of heat.
If you’re looking for a latex mattress that sleeps cool, you might want to consider a firmer option.
Thicker latex mattresses tend to sleep warmer than thinner ones because there’s more mass to absorb heat.
However, this general rule of thumb only really applies to solid slabs of latex. The cooling properties significantly change when you add cooling zones and ventilation air holes.
For example, a 14” latex mattress with precision-engineered ventilation air holes will be cooler than a basic 8” mattress made from a solid slab of latex.
Latex mattress covers made from sustainable fabric (such as organic cotton and linen) are more breathable than synthetic fibers like polyester, so they tend to be cooler.
Due to the solid one-piece design of many latex mattresses, some covers can be removed and washed using an eco-friendly detergent.
In addition to the main cover that comes with your latex mattress, the bedding you add to your sleep sanctuary also plays a critical role in the sleep temperature of your latex mattress.
Eco-friendly bedding made from breathable fabrics helps keep you cool at night.
Mattresses made with open cell structure latex (or with many airflow perforations) tend to be cooler to sleep on.
An effective way to boost the ventilation capacity of your latex mattress is to use a slatted bed frame rather than a solid base. The slats allow cool air to flow into the mattress from underneath and also heat to dissipate out.
Latex and memory foam mattresses are often wrongly assumed to be the same.
Memory foam usually goes through more processes (using more chemicals) when being made. This results in a more toxic product that off-gasses more significantly.
Memory foam molds to the body's contours more than latex, resulting in a warmer sleep surface.
Memory foam also traps more ambient heat from the air around it, again resulting in a warmer sleep surface.
However, there are expectations. For example, some bamboo-infused memory foam mattresses sleep nice and cool.
There are numerous reasons why some people sleep hot (regardless of what mattress they use), including:
There are a few things you can do to sleep cool on any mattress, including:
When we sleep cool, we sleep better.
Getting the right amount of quality sleep comes with numerous benefits, including:
Sleeping cool also aids your body in the production of two crucial hormones (HGH and melatonin):
No, 100% natural latex mattresses do not smell. In fact, they are often lauded for their lack of chemical smell compared to other types of mattresses.
If your latex mattress does have an odor when first unpacked, follow the tips here to speed up the off-gassing process.
No, natural latex is not considered toxic. If you are concerned about toxins in your latex mattress, look for one certified by the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS).
A natural latex mattress should last you at least eight to ten years and potentially much longer with proper care.
Don’t forget to flip or rotate it regularly as per the manufacturer's guidelines. Also, avoid extended exposure to sunlight and don't use heated blankets (both cause latex to dry out and deteriorate).
Yes, synthetic latex mattresses have properties similar to memory foam mattresses.
So, there you have it! An in-depth look into whether or not latex mattresses sleep hot.
As you can see, there is no simple answer. It depends on multiple different factors.
Latex mattresses are not inherently hot, but there are a few things you should keep in mind if you tend to sleep hot:
Sleeping cool helps improve the quality of our sleep, which in turn has all sorts of positive effects on our physical and mental health.
So, sleeping cool is a great place to start if you're looking to boost your health!
Do you have a natural latex mattress? How do you find it sleeps?
Do you find natural latex mattresses hot and prefer something else? Do you have any killer air circulation tips for when you’re sleeping hot? Drop me a line and let me know.