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Advice request for hot sleeper 02 Oct 2016 17:16 #1

I need to replace my 17 year old (!) innerspring mattress and would love to hear any advice or lessons learned regarding people who sleep hot. I currently have a 3" Dunlop/Talalay blend latex topper and a 2" bamboo mattress pad, which help regulate temperature to a degree.
I've delved into the forums in depth and plan to look for a new innerspring with natural fibers. It seems that memory foam should be avoided if temp control is a concern. I briefly considered the KISS mattress by EZSleep, since the foam is high desnity and separated from the sleeping surface. But I'm intimidated to get something foam based with the heat issues.
I should also add that I'm about 200 lbs, so finding an appropriate construction is important. My thought is to find a very firm mattress, and soften it with the (replaceable) topper and mattress pad. I'd absolutely love to find a pillow top mattress pad that would add plushness without adding heat, but that seems unrealistic.
If there's something obvious that I'm missing, or tips about what specs I should focus on, please pass them along! As I mentioned, I've already browsed through forums (and the guide of course), but feel a bit overwhelmed with info. Thanks for any help!

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Advice request for hot sleeper 02 Oct 2016 18:31 #2

Hi tallulah13,

I need to replace my 17 year old (!) innerspring mattress and would love to hear any advice or lessons learned regarding people who sleep hot.


While it's not possible to quantify or predict the sleeping temperature of a mattress for any particular person with any real accuracy because there are so many variables involved including the type of mattress protector and the sheets and bedding that you use (which in many cases can have just as significant an effect on temperature as the type of foam in a mattress) and on where you are in the "oven to iceberg" range and because there is no standardized testing for temperature regulation with different combinations of materials ... there is more about the many variables that can affect the sleeping temperature of a mattress or sleeping system in post #2 here that can help you choose the types of materials and components that are most likely to keep you in a comfortable temperature range.

In very general terms ... the layers and components of a sleeping system that are closer to your skin will have a bigger effect on airflow, moisture wicking, and temperature regulation than layers and components that are further away from your skin and softer mattresses will tend to be more "insulating" and tend to sleep warmer than firmer mattresses. While most of the more modern memory foam formulations will tend to be a little more breathable and sleep a little cooler than most of the older memory foam formulations ... memory foam or gel memory foam can still tend to sleep warmer (for some people) than other types of foam materials such as polyfoam and latex (which in general is the most breathable and temperature neutral of the foam materials). Natural fibers will tend to be more temperature regulating than any type of foam.

I should also add that I'm about 200 lbs, so finding an appropriate construction is important.


There is more about the 3 most important parts of the "value" of a mattress purchase in post #13 here which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well you will sleep), durability (how long you will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists based on suitability, durability, and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you (including the price of course and the options you have available after a purchase if your choice doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for).

While nobody can speak to how any specific mattress will "feel" for someone else or whether it will be a good "match" in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) because this is too subjective and relative to different body types, sleeping positions, and individual preferences, sensitivities, and circumstances and you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress ... outside of PPP (which is the most important part of "value"), the next most important part of the value of a mattress purchase is durability which is all about how long you will sleep well on a mattress. This is the part of your research that you can't see or "feel" and assessing the durability and useful life of a mattress depends on knowing the specifics of its construction and the type and quality of the materials inside it regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the label or how a mattress feels in a showroom or when it is relatively new so I would always make sure that you find out information listed here so you can compare the materials and components to the durability guidelines here to make sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress that would be a cause for concern relative to the durability and useful life of a mattress before making any purchase.

When you can't test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and who can help "talk you through" the specifics of their mattresses and the properties and "feel" of the materials they are using (fast or slow response, resilience, firmness etc) and the options they have available that may be the best "match" for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept on and liked or other mattresses you are considering that they are familiar with, and the "averages" of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about "matching" their specific mattress designs and firmness levels to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences (or to other mattresses that they are familiar with) than anyone else.

My thought is to find a very firm mattress, and soften it with the (replaceable) topper and mattress pad. I'd absolutely love to find a pillow top mattress pad that would add plushness without adding heat, but that seems unrealistic.


You can see my comments about choosing a firmer mattress first with the intention of adding a softer topper later (where you can't test the specific combination in person) in post #2 here .

In most cases I would avoid this approach because of the uncertainty involved with making two purchase choices instead of only one and choosing a topper (or toppers) that would be suitable in terms of thickness, firmness, and PPP for a specific person on a specific mattress can sometimes be almost as difficult as choosing a mattress that doesn't need a topper in the first place. I would generally focus on choosing a mattress that is likely to be a suitable match without a topper (unless you can test the combination in person or you are purchasing both online as a "set" that is designed to work together and they both have a good return/exchange policy) and then use the option to add a topper as a "backup" strategy in case your initial choice is too firm and doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for rather than a "primary" strategy.

If you do decide to try the mattress/topper strategy then if the only issue with a mattress is that it is too firm and there are no soft spots or sagging in the mattress then a good quality topper can certainly be an effective way to add some additional softness, "comfort" and pressure relief to your sleeping system but the only way to know for certain whether a specific mattress/topper combination is a good "match" for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP is based on your own careful testing or personal experience on the combination. If you can't test the combination in person then there will always be always some risk and uncertainty involved in adding a topper because the specifics of the mattress itself along with your own body type, sleeping position, and preferences can affect which specific topper would be a suitable choice on any specific mattress.

There is more information about choosing a topper that includes a link to some of the better online sources I'm aware of in post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to which along with a conversation with a reliable and knowledgeable supplier (that can provide you with good information about how their toppers compare to each other or to other toppers they are familiar with that are available on the market) can help you use your sleeping experience as a reference point and guideline to help you choose the type, thickness, and firmness for a topper that has the least possible risk and the best chance for success. A good exchange/return policy can also reduce the risk of an online topper purchase so I would make sure you are comfortable with the options you have available after a purchase just in case the topper you choose doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for.

Having said that ... if you do choose a suitable mattress/topper combination which turns out to be a good "match" for you in terms of PPP (and there are no lower quality materials or "weak links" in the mattress/topper combination) then it would have the advantage of being able to replace just the topper without replacing the entire mattress if it softens or breaks down before the upper foam layers in the mattress (which is likely because a sleeping system will tend to soften or break down from the top layers down) or if your needs or preferences change over time and a topper can also help extend the useful life of a mattress underneath it as well.

How much effect a topper will have on temperature regulation will depend on the type of topper you choose and on the type of mattress protector (or mattress pad) and the type of sheets and bedding you are using along with the temperature and humidity in your bedroom.

If a mattress or a mattress/topper combination is a good match for you in terms of PPP then all you need is a mattress protector that can be removed and washed on a regular basis to keep your sleeping surface in a clean and hygienic condition and to protect your mattress from the body fluids and oils and skin flakes that we release each night, help to reduce dust mites, and to protect against any accidents that can stain your mattress and void a warranty. There is more about the pros and cons of different types of mattress protectors and some examples of each of them in post #89 here .

A mattress pad is thicker than a mattress protector and is normally used to fine tune the "surface feel" of a mattress and to add some additional surface softness. If your mattress (or mattress topper combination) doesn't need any fine tuning then you wouldn't need a mattress pad because they can interfere with the feel and response of the softer layers on top of the mattress and can sometimes reduce their ability to contour to the shape of your body. Some mattress pads are either water resistant or have a waterproof "semi breathable" membrane and can serve a dual function and can be used to protect a mattress as well and if you use one of these then you wouldn't need a separate mattress protector. There is more about the differences between mattress protectors, mattress pads, and mattress toppers in post #10 here .

In its simplest form ... choosing the "best possible" mattress for any particular person really comes down to FIRST finding a few knowledgeable and transparent retailers and/or manufacturers (either locally or online) that sell the types of mattresses that you are most interested in that are in a budget range you are comfortable with and that you have confirmed will provide you with the all the information you need about the materials and components inside the mattresses they sell so you will be able to make informed choices and meaningful comparisons between mattresses and then ...

1. Careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) to make sure that a mattress is a good match for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP ... and/or that you are comfortable with the options you have available to return, exchange, or "fine tune" the mattress and any costs involved if you can't test a mattress in person or aren't confident that your mattress is a suitable choice.

2. Checking to make sure that there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress you are considering relative to your weight/BMI range that could compromise the durability and useful life of the mattress (see the durability guidelines here ).

3. Comparing your finalists for "value" based on #1 and #2 and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Advice request for hot sleeper 05 Oct 2016 07:51 #3

Thanks for the detailed response! I have pored over many of the forums here, and your durability guidelines, etc - enough to be dangerous :) I think what I need now is to go to showrooms to feel examples in real life, and compare that to the hard data I've observed thanks to this site. Would you say that IKEA would be an ok place to go if my primary purpose is to test the personal feel of latex vs foam vs innerspring, but not necessarily to purchase there? I'm not sure where to go to test, as I know the "S" brands are out of the question, but the higher end stores local to me are far out of my budget. If I choose anything other than innerspring, I'll likely go the direct seller route.
In regards to other elements of the bed (sheets, mattress pad, etc) I have all natural materials currently but would certainly be open to upgrading. My pillows are down fill, which I feared would be heat retaining, but proved cooler than foam options I had previously tried. Thanks again!

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Advice request for hot sleeper 05 Oct 2016 11:31 #4

Hi tallulah13,

Would you say that IKEA would be an ok place to go if my primary purpose is to test the personal feel of latex vs foam vs innerspring, but not necessarily to purchase there?


There are more than 3 different types or categories of mattresses (see this article ) so I would be very cautious about dividing them into only 3 groups.

Ikea has only one all latex mattress which uses mostly natural Dunlop latex and one polyfoam/latex hybrid mattress which uses synthetic latex so it would only give you a limited sense of what different latex mattresses can feel like.

I would also keep in mind that each mattress category can include hundreds of different mattresses with a very wide range of different designs, different "feels", different characteristics, and different firmness levels. Individual layers and components in a mattress (including the cover and any quilting material) can vary widely with different thicknesses and different firmnesses and every difference will affect the feel and response of every other layer and component both above and below it and the mattress "as a whole" so each mattress category will generally include some mattresses that have an overall design that will be a good "match" for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) and others that use the same type of materials and components and are in the same category and may be just as durable but have a different design or firmness level that may be completely unsuitable for you to sleep on ... even if it uses the same general type of materials and components.

Having said that ... as long as you can identify all the materials and components in a mattress (in the top 3" to 6" especially) a visit to Ikea would certainly give you some sense of some of the general differences between different types of materials and components that would certainly be helpful.

the higher end stores local to me are far out of my budget.


If you are only testing mattresses then the price of the mattress wouldn't make any difference and testing higher budget mattresses can also be worthwhile in deciding which types of materials and which types of mattresses you tend to prefer ... at least in very general terms (as long as once again you are able to identify the materials and components in the mattress). You may find for example that you like a mattress in a store that is outside of your budget range but there may be a "somewhat similar" mattress available elsewhere that would be inside your budget range.

Testing any mattresses where you know the specifics of the materials and components inside it can provide some good reference points regardless of whether you purchase it or not.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status
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