It’s summer and, now more than ever, you need your sleep. But staying cool enough to stay asleep all night long can be a real challenge. That’s why I’m obsessed with trying to find, not only the most comfortable bed and bedding, but the coolest.
I grabbed an infrared touchless thermometer from Lowes and got up close and personal with mattresses and sheets from the top manufacturers to find out what actually keeps me cool during these sweltering summer nights.
Cool Mattress – Brooklyn Bedding Aurora
The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora is a hybrid foam mattress made here in the U.S. The composition of the mattress is fairly standard, with layers of foam of various densities surrounding individually encased springs. You can adjust the firmness when you order your mattress, from firm to soft, and it’ll be manufactured to order.
The top two layers of the mattress are what drew me to the Aurora. They’re made with the company’s proprietary TitanCool technology. It’s a phase change material that liquifies when it heats up over 91 degrees, then shifts back once it cools down. And I noticed that, as soon as I sat down on the mattress, it was indeed cool to the touch.
But how does it sleep? The Aurora is an extremely comfortable mattress. It does sleep cooler than a standard foam mattress, but not the 88 degrees promised. Waking up first thing in the morning and grabbing my infrared thermometer, I registered 91 degrees. However, the key takeaway here is that I woke up in the morning after a night of unbroken sleep.
My wife sleeps considerably hotter than I do and said she noticed a drastic difference in how hot she got overnight. Indeed, there was less tossing and turning than usual from both of us. The phase change material keeps the top layer of the mattress cool. Whenever I’d shift positions, there was always an ice-cold spot to move to.
The Aurora is a solid, American-made mattress that goes beyond the basics. Brooklyn Bedding does a considerable amount of charity work and are currently manufacturing hospital beds to help with the Covid crisis. In all, it’s a compelling mattress from an interesting company. Plus, everything on their site is currently 25% off for their July 4th sale.
The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora starts at $999 for a twin mattress.
Cooler Mattress – Purple Hybrid Premier
If you’re willing to spend more, though, go with Purple. Their hybrid mattress is topped with a grid of their proprietary material. The Purple Grid’s open design is not only extremely supportive, it allows for airflow around your body, something that even the best foam layer can’t do. The result is a mattress that sleeps considerably cooler. The morning reading on the Purple mattress? A “breezy” 89 degrees.
The Purple Grid does take some getting used to if you’re used to firmer mattresses. It provides the support of a firm mattress, but is squishy and soft. You can get a 3″ topper of Purple Grid on the Hybrid Premier instead of the 4″ layer to combat that a bit. For a firmer sleep, you can go with the Hybrid or original Purple Mattress that each have a 2″ layer of grid material.
While you’re there, take advantage of Purple’s July 4th bundling deal and get up to $250 off when you also purchase pillows (made from the same Purple Grid material) and a set of their super-soft, super-stretchy sheets. The appropriately named Purple SoftStretch sheets are incredibly comfortable. They’re moisture-wicking as well to keep you cooler at night. The Bamboo/Poly/Spandex blend is smooth and sleek. Somewhere between silk and fine cotton. Their stretchiness means they’ll accommodate even the tallest of mattresses.
With the July 4th deals, Purple’s hybrid mattress starts at $1,174, the hybrid premier at $1,749, and their original starts at $599. Go to purple.com to get started.
Coolest Mattress – EightSleep Pod Pro
If you’re looking to truly hack your sleep, and won’t rest, literally, until you’re as cold as you can possibly be all night long, then you need to check out EightSleep. Their latest, the Pod Pro is a full-foam mattress topped by the most technology I’ve ever seen in a bed.
The Pod Pro topper is water-cooled and can maintain a temperature anywhere from 55-110 degrees. As you heat up overnight, the Pod Pro cools down to keep your side of the bed exactly at the temperature you want (each sleeper can choose their own preferred temperature). It also has built-in sensors to measure heart rate, restlessness, and more.
EighSleep wasn’t able to get a unit to me in time for this article, so I couldn’t run my oh-so-scientific “point and shoot” test. But I’m looking forward to getting “hands-on” with the Pod Pro soon. I’ll dive deeper into the app-supported technology as well.
The Pod Pro doesn’t come cheap, starting at $2,795 for a full mattress. They’re sweetening the deal between now and July 4th with a free weighted blanket (a $300 value) and $150 off their sleep essentials kit (which includes two carbon air pillows, a set of sheets, and a mattress protector). You can check them out at EightSleep.com.
Natural Alternative – Avocado
Made from wool, cotton, and all-natural latex foam, Avocado has proven that you can create a mattress that’s environmentally friendly and extremely comfortable. Consumer Reports has given Avocado its top mattress spot for two years in a row.
I haven’t had a chance to test out Avocado for myself yet, but the overwhelmingly positive opinions towards it, plus its Earth-forward attitude make it a standout in an industry that’s very much dominated by trying to differentiate between layers of the same materials, sprayed with chemicals, and glued together.
Not only does Avocado have its own herd of sheep, it has its own organically-kept forest of rubber trees from which it creates its own latex. Spend any amount of time on their site and you’ll see that Avocado cares about those workers in its supply chain as much as they do creating a product without destroying the environment in the process. Their manufacturing doesn’t use harsh chemicals and the materials they use are naturally flame-retardant. The result is a chemical-free mattress that you don’t have to feel guilty about buying.
Wool is famous for being moisture-wicking and thermal-regulating, but if you’re looking to sleep cooler, skip the plush topper (or just get a removable topper for the summer months). Find out more about Avocado on their site.
If It’s Good Enough For Sheep – Casper Humidity Fighting Duvet
Speaking of wool, Casper uses a layer of merino wool in their Humidity Fighting Duvet to keep moisture away from your skin.
It might seem counterintuitive to add a duvet to your bed when it’s insanely hot outside, but the moisture-wicking properties of wool make it worth it. Less moisture equals a cooler feel, means better sleep quality overall.
Especially if you’re the kind of sleeper that absolutely has to have a heavier duvet or comforter over your sheets, no matter what the weather, this is the one to choose. Not only will it keep you more comfortable in the summer months, it will retain your body heat in cooler months to keep you toasty warm.
It’s a well-constructed duvet insert, with sewn-in chambers filled with down (so that you don’t have to constantly rebalance the filling) and corner loops so that you can tie it into your favorite cover. Starting at $350, Casper currently has 10% off everything on their site for the July 4th holiday.
Just the Sheets – Sleep Number True Temp
If you’re not in the market for a new mattress, but want to add cooling properties to the bed you already own, Sleep Number’s True Temp sheets employ impressive material science to seriously hack the microclimate between your sheets.
True Temp sheets use 37.5 technology, named so because they keep you at 37.5 Celsius (that’s 99.5 Fahrenheit) and the relative humidity at 37.5%. Embedded with microscopic bits of volcanic sand, the sheets are triggered by vapor sweat that forms before it turns into liquid sweat on your body. As you heat up, the sheets get to work, wicking away sweat and lowering the relative humidity so that it doesn’t build up. Without humidity building up, you aren’t compelled to rip off the sheets at 4 in the morning. The sheets are powered by the infrared heat of your body and also absorb and trap odors.
It’s a stunning amount of material science packed into a very nice set of sheets. They’re a little stiffer right out of the package, but will wear like cotton as washed (don’t worry, washing doesn’t reduce the effectiveness of the 37.5 tech). They also have some nice Sleep Number touches. Each corner has an anchor band to keep the stretchy fitted sheet in place, even if you have an oversized mattress. And the lower-left corner of the top and fitted sheet have a handy tag to help you align your sheets.
While they might not cool you down past your body temp, with their humidity-fighting tech, Sleep Number’s True Temp sheets will make you feel much cooler than just about any other sheets on the market. And right now, they’re 20% off, starting at $159.
Big Ass Fan – Haiku
One of the best ways to keep cool when the temperature rises is to use a ceiling fan. My favorite from Big Ass Fans is the Haiku. With aluminum and bamboo finishes it looks amazing, it responds to voice commands, integrates with your smart thermostat, can automatically sense when you enter and leave a room, and, coming this summer, will employ UV technology to kill germs in the air.
But, most importantly, the Haiku moves more air than I’ve ever seen. Turning it on full blast in a room will have you running after stray papers and shuddering at the number of dust bunnies uncovered. You can also employ the app to have it set its speed automatically based on your room temperature.
A fan seems like such a basic piece of technology. But Big Ass Fans has elevated it to something that people will take notice of and that you’ll actually be excited about. I can’t recommend it enough. The Haiku fan starts at $1,244.