Time to sleep on the cool side of the pillow.

By: JLong | February 6, 2020

If you Google ‘stop sleeping hot’, you’ll be inundated with a multitude of bed ritual changes and tricks that can reduce your evening swelter. They almost all include non-bed choices. Install a thicker shade. Create a cross breeze. Try the ancient Egyptian method heat and wrap yourself in wet towels. But soggy isn’t really any better than sweaty. Or just ditch the bed altogether. But these small tricks are only Band-Aids—like dropping a single ice cube in a hot coffee. You may even adopt several changes, drop five or six ice cubes, but then your coffee is just warm bean water.

And if you’re searching on behalf of your partner, and try “sleeping with hot people”, well, you will fall into something else entirely.

Why Am I Sleeping Hot?

Even if you fall asleep at an ideal temperature, you always heat up overnight. Why? A primary reason people tend to warm up is their bed’s material, its firmness and/or its comfort layer composition. At 98.6° sleeping temperature, our bodies emanate heat, which gets absorbed and retained in the mattress. While you can implement various bedroom changes, the mattress design should be your primary focus. We see these jumps in temperature particularly in non-cotton based sheets (stay away from satin in the summer) and memory foam mattresses.

Memory foam has become notorious as a nightly sweat-maker. About 24% of all memory foam mattress owners complain about their bed heating up overnight—with 9% claiming it regularly hits uncomfortable levels. However, the eponymous foam does not constitute the entire mattress. Foam mattresses typically contain roughly five distinct foams with varying densities. The base foam, the largest portion which provides the deep lumbar support, generally retains three times more heat than a low-density foam. The base foam is most responsible for absorbing heat and sending it back up to you.

What’s The Mattress Industry Doing About It?

Memory foam’s notorious reputation for heating up has brought mattress manufacturer’s into the fold. But all these other “cutting-edge” technologies have been unable to cut out the problem.

Purple Mattress boasts a ‘temperature-neutral, open grid’, which claims to disperse heat in the second layer of the mattress. However, none of these layers address top layer heat retention. Other manufacturers utilize a ‘phase changing’ material aimed to regulate the mattress’ core temperature in the same way an ice cube manages temp in a glass of water. The water cools down, but eventually, the ice-melts and the phase-change warms up through the night.

The other most prevalent counter-balance to heat has been the application of gel-memory foam. Manufactures infuse a cooling gel into the foam of the mattress with the intention of the maintaining a cool temperature even as the foam soaks up body heat. And yet, gels also have the propensity to absorb heat, which has produced thin scientific evidence to prove its effectiveness and, moreover, difference isn’t distinctly noticeable.

With all these inner-mattress silver bullet options failing you, you’ve begun to worry whether you’ll have to snuggle your desk fan just to make it through the summer.

But Then Cool Quilt Arrived

With its home base in California, Ortho took a deep look at this problem and with CoolQuilt, they’ve changed the game—or, more specifically, changed the location of the game. Rather than trying to alter and cool down the interior of the mattress, CoolQuilt chills the top layer through the cross-pollination of technologies from the fishing line material into the mattress space. Gel-memory foam does not accomplish the same goal and who would prefer a cool inside of the mattress or top of the mattress anyways. 

We tried sleeping on it for a couple nights. It takes the sensation of the cool side of the pillow and stretches it over eight hours of sleep. We honestly even considered taking off the sheets and going straight body to Cool Quilt.

The CoolQuilt material comes from a specific Turkish fabric that blends a fishing line-type material with a cooling cotton to keep the top layer of the bed four degrees cooler than a traditional mattress surface. Think about how a fishing reel stays cool and completely resists the frictional heat as a fish carries the line out to sea. As you produce your nightly warmth, this very breathable material helps the ventilation process to wick away the heat and promote airflow out of the bed.

This is a powerful step in the right direction. Fishermen take pride. Science nerds rejoice. This invention is cool.