Ah, summer. The time of family barbecues, beach trips, fresh strawberries ... and waking up with sweaty sheets. And there’s not all that much you can do while you’re sleeping to beat the heat—you’re kind of unconscious, after all.
Fortunately, mattress and bedding companies have risen to the occasion of summer's high temperatures, creating cooling nighttime products, from sheets to mattress pads and covers. We scoped out some of the best options to help you chill out overnight—without even touching the AC.
1. A cooling pillow that makes summertime sleeping feel like a dream
Researchers found that people with insomnia can find relief through cooling technology—in this case it was specially designed cooling caps—that directly targets their head. Though not a specially-designed water circulating cap, the Tempur-Cloud Dual Breeze Pillow can feel like just what the doctor ordered, especially on muggy nights, because it’s made with cooling properties that—get this—actually work.
When we put this cooling pillow to the test, we were surprised. Although the pillow itself is actually made from memory foam—a.k.a. a material that often retains heat, so it may seem like the last thing you want to sleep with during the summer—it comes with a zippered cotton case, which has cooling gel on both sides. Just like that, boom. You’ve got yourself one heck of a cooling pillow.
Another perk to this particular pillow is that it provides ample support for side sleepers. If you’re someone who’s hesitant to run your air conditioner throughout the evening—or your partner prefers not to use the A.C.—this cooling option from Tempur-Pedic could be well worth the investment.
2. A lightweight blanket that keeps you covered and comfortable
A lot of people find comfort in sleeping with some sort of cover, whether it’s blankets or just a top sheet. But in the summertime, it can be difficult to find a cover that fills the bill of not making you feel over-baked. The Utopia Bedding Premium Summer Cotton Blanket—which is available in six colors and in sizes twin through king—is here for the job. The blanket is made out of cotton, a natural fiber that’s known for its breathability.
Reviewers who live in hot climates swear by the blanket, and with nearly 5,000 reviews and 4.5 stars, it has a lot of fans. One happy customer writes: “My husband and I have always slept under our comforter, but it gets way too hot during Arizona summers, so I decided to buy a breathable blanket. This blanket has a decent weight to it (it’s actually not super lightweight), but it is not hot—it’s very comfortable.”
3. These sheets that won’t make you overheat
Breathability is the name of the game when it comes to sheets, especially in the dog days of summer. While cotton is the O.G. of breathable fabrics, it’s not the only material worth paying attention to in regard to sheets, particularly if you’re shopping for a set that boasts cooling properties.
Allow us to introduce you to a set that fits that bill and then some: Casper’s Hyperlite sheets. We’ve actually tested these and from the outset, our tester was taken with the fabric’s innovative grid pattern, which helped to create a vent-like system in the material itself, allowing air to move freely through the fabric.
The fabric itself is also made from lyocell—a rayon fabric that’s made of plant cellulose—which helps to draw heat away from the body and release it. A side benefit of this particular fiber is that it also helps sheets to appear smoother and less stiff than pure cotton alternatives typically do. Our tester noticed, however, that these sheets are on the thin side . Those who sweat heavily during the night might notice moisture seeping into their mattresses over time, but a good mattress protector should help to prevent this.
4. A weighted blanket that won’t make you break a sweat
Weighted blankets are all the buzz, but with all that heft, they can be very insulating. Fortunately, Luxome sells a cooling weighted blanket that can be used year-round, and which comes in three sizes and weights, and seven color and fabric combinations. On one side, the blanket has a bamboo cover meant to keep you cool, meanwhile the other is covered in a fuzzy minky fabric for when the season changes. It racked up 4.8 stars with nearly 1,000 reviews on the company website.
One writes: “I love this blanket so much I don’t know where to begin. I’m [so hot at night] that I thought I’d wake up in a pool of sweat. Not so at all! It’s so good I have trouble waking up and getting out of bed. Imagine that from an insomniac!”
5. A foam topper that cradles without feeling swamp-like
We all know the feeling of flipping your pillow over to use the cool side. Unfortunately you can’t do that with your entire bed, so why not try a cooling topper? The cooling Tempur-Adapt + Cooling Topper, a specially designed version of the Tempur-Pedic Tempur Topper Supreme, is a great option. This topper comes in regular mattress sizes, as well as twin XL and California king, and the fabric covering on this topper is designed to help keep you cool throughout the night.
Reviewers like the topper, in both the cooling and regular version. One reviewer on Mattress Firm writes: “The cooling feature is amazing for the hot southern summers. We both stay cool and are able to sleep longer.”
6. A cooling cover to transform a hot mattress
Maybe you’re happy with the surface texture of your mattress but still wake up all hot and bothered because it seems to absorb heat. That’s where the right mattress pad could help. These protectors are important in keeping your bed clean, and finding one with cooling properties can contribute to making your nights a little more chill. The Oaskys mattress pad cover—which comes in six sizes, including twin XL and California king—is made from a hypoallergenic down-alternative fill encompassed in breathable cotton.
The cover is loved by Amazon reviewers, with over 7,000 ratings and 4.4 stars. One reviewer raved that its soft and cooling features saved his marriage after his wife bought a “concrete slab” mattress. He writes: “From the first night, it exceeded all my hopes and dreams. I was able to sleep again! It doesn't slip off even with my tossing and turning, and it stays cool.”
7. A hot water bottle by day, ice pack by night
Hot water bottles have a deceptive name, as many can be used as cold packs, too. Of course, using one won’t cool your whole body, but you can use it strategically on places with veins close to the skin like your wrists, neck, and chest. This can quickly lower the temperature of the blood running through the veins, allowing you to feel cooler overall. Just be sure you don’t do it for too long, and use a cover to protect your skin.
The Attmu Hot Water Bottle is not only well reviewed but also inexpensive, and it comes with its own knit cover. The water bottle is beloved by reviewers, with over 3,000 ratings and 4.5 stars, for its versatility year-round. One writes, it’s “great for freezing and sleeping with it on a 100-degree night with no AC.”
8. A mattress that won't roast you
If you swapped out your sheets, your pillows, and your blanket during the summer for cooling alternatives but you’re still feeling suffocated by heat every night, the issue might be coming from below. Specifically, it might be that your beloved mattress is doing you wrong in the hot vs. cold department, trapping in warmth because it’s made from materials that aren’t quite as breathable as they ought to be, at least if you’re a hot sleeper.
If you want a traditional mattress feel, the Awara mattress is tough to beat. Unlike Purple, the Awara is made of more widespread mattress materials, namely foam and springs. Its combination was a winner in our book for not only sleeping incredibly cool, but also for lending a firm and well-supported sensation, which made it reminiscent of a good-old innerspring (but comfier, of course). It uses latex foam and a wool cover, which likely improves its breathability and adds to the cool-sleep effect it has. Its price is steep, and may be prohibitive, but we think investing in your sleep is worth it.
As a brand, Purple is one of our faves, and while the unique hyper elastic polymer that the company is known for can seem weird at first (and makes the mattress and Purple’s much-loved pillow weigh approximately a gazillion pounds), it’s also designed to cradle the body along sensitive pressure points, providing much-needed relief to sore spots along the way. We were blown away by the Purple mattress and one-of-a-kind feel, and forced to begrudgingly admit that despite its still steep price (about $100 off Awara’s, depending on the size), this firm bed is worth the hype, and great if you’re looking for a cool, restful night’s sleep.
9. A cooling pad for your bed
If you really want to put sweaty nights to bed, you can buy an electronic cooling pad for your mattress. We tested the Chilipad Sleep System, which is available in twin to king bed sizes, and though it was a few steps away from perfect, our tester thought it has the potential to change your life and sleep. “If you, like me, only have a fan and an open window at your disposal, and often find that your bed becomes bog-like with sweat in the night, it could change your life—or, at least, the way you sleep,” she writes.
Online reviewers seem to agree. The product has 4.5 stars from more than 1,100 write-ups. One raves: “I’ve tried numerous mattress toppers, different blankets, fabrics, and nothing has improved my sleep as much as the Chilipad Sleep System.”
10. A set of curtains to filter out unwanted light
You might not realize it, but your bedroom might feel hotter than usual during the summer months on account of how much light is filtering in through your windows—and causing bedroom temperatures to rise. That unwanted heat can linger even into the dead of night, when you’re trying to catch a little shut-eye.
The solution is simple—just grab some curtains. Anthropologie is one of our favorite places to buy them, and the Mindra curtain could be a great investment if you’re looking for thicker panels that’ll help to soften the sunlight beaming in during the day. These 4.8-star rated panels are available in five different shades, feature cute tassels, and offer a pop of playfulness, which helps set them apart from the often heavy and drab style of many other popular light-blocking curtains.
“The curtains are light filtering,” described one happy Anthropologie shopper. Another noted: “Honestly the most I've ever paid for a panel, but totally worth it. The material is thick and sturdy. The tassels are sewn on [are] great and high quality as well.”
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.