Looking for mattress that sleeps cool

Hi Sally,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :slight_smile:

I’m glad you’ve taken the time to study the site.

[quote]I am now looking seriously at innerspring mattresses which I understand to be cooler than Latex or Memory Foam. I have also been directed to innerspring mattresses, preferably with pocket coils (with sufficient coil count) and a top layer of natural fibers including wool and cotton.
Also, do you know of other mattresses that are known for being cool? This is my key reason for buying a new mattress[/quote]

(In addition to the information below … post #29 here has more information about temperature regulation and the microclimate on a mattress.)

There are many factors which control the sleeping temperature of a mattress and only one of these is the foam/fiber that is used in the mattress … particularly important is what is contained in the upper layers.

There are 3 main types of foam which is memory foam, polyfoam, and latex. Of these three … memory foam tends to be the most insulating and least breathable followed by polyfoam and latex is the most breathable. Talalay tends to be more breathable than Dunlop. There are also variations in each category and less dense foams tend to be more breathable than denser foams while firmer foams tend to allow less sinking in which can mean there is less insulating foam material against your body.

All foams are insulators (rather than heat conductors) so to some degree they will all be warmer than mattresses that contain no foam at all (such as mattresses that only have an innerspring and layers of natural fibers on top) but these tend to be premium or super premium mattresses and for the most part almost all mattresses have some type of foam in the comfort layers.

Some of the other factors involved in how warm a mattress sleeps are how closely the foam conforms to your body (the more closely it conforms around you the more insulating it is), how soft or thick the foam in the comfort layers are (the softer/thicker it is the deeper you will sink into the more insulating materials), the type of quilting used in the mattress (natural fibers allow for more airflow and humidity control which translates into better temperature regulation), the type of ticking (cover) used (natural or more breathable fibers such as cotton or viscose or even some of the more breathable synthetics will wick away moisture and ventilate better and humidity control is a key part of temperature control), and on any cooling technologies used in the mattress such as ventilating and moisture wicking materials, heat conductive materials, or phase change materials (you can read more about these in post #9 here and at the end of post #4 here) and you can read more about the various different types of gel foams in post #2 here. In general terms gel foams will tend to have a temporary effect on temperature while you are first going to sleep until temperatures equalize but have less effect on temperature regulation throughout the course of the night.

While the upper layers of a mattress are the most significant part of temperature and moisture regulation … deeper support components that allow more airflow can also have an effect and so innersprings will also tend to sleep cooler than foam support cores as long as the air can ventilate to the outside of the mattress.

You mentioned pocketed coils, and there are differences in the amount of air that moves through different pocketed coil systems, based upon the covering being used. Some more advanced pocketed coil systems have gone to cutting small holes within their fabric coil coverings (seen more in Europe), and even using a special mesh, to increase air flow between the springs. Open spring systems (like Bonnell, LFK or Continuous Coil) will circulate more air than pocketed coil systems.

In addition to this … the mattress protector you choose along with your sheets and other bedding and what you wear when you sleep will also have a significant effect on temperature regulation because they can either add to the insulating effect or to the ventilating and moisture wicking effect of your mattress. You can see more about the effect of different mattress protectors in post #89 here. Bedding made from natural fibers or viscose materials (like bamboo) will also tend to be cooler than synthetic fibers and linen sheets along with silk are probably the coolest of all the natural fibers for those where sleeping temperature is a main priority. There is more about sheets and bedding in post #7 here. In many cases changing the mattress protector, sheets, or bedding to cooler versions can make “enough” of a difference for many people who would otherwise sleep hot on a mattress.

All of this of course is separate from any environmental conditions in the bedroom (temperature and humidity levels with higher humidity adding to the perception of heat), on the physiology and tendency of the person themselves to sleep warmer or cooler and where they are in the “oven to iceberg” range, and on their weight and body type which will affect how deeply they sink into the foam layers of the mattress.

In other words … it’s always a combination of several interacting factors that determines the sleeping temperature of a mattress in combination with a specific person and environment.

Overall … if you are looking at a mattress that contains foam of some type … then latex with natural fibers in the quilting (such as wool) and fabrics that can wick away moisture and help it evaporate more rapidly are the coolest sleeping or more accurately the most temperature regulating mattresses and firmer will tend to be cooler than softer.

Mattresses that don’t use any foam at all and only use an innerspring with natural fiber comfort layers will tend to be cooler and more temperature regulating than any type of foam including latex.

Vi-Spring certainly makes some exceptionally high quality hand built and tufted mattresses that uses high quality materials and components (pocket coils and natural fibers) but as you probably know they are in a much more premium budget range than many other mattresses that also use natural materials. There is more about Vi Spring and other “ultra premium” mattresses in post #2 here and post #2 here and post #2 here may also be of interest as well but I would be very careful to differentiate how you feel “about” a Vi Spring and how you feel “on” a Vi Spring. There are certainly cases where a mattress in this budget range may be “worth it” for a particular person that isn’t price sensitive and that has specific criteria that aren’t available in lower budget ranges but this would be unusual and in general I would need a compelling reason that clearly indicated there was “enough” of a difference in “real life” compared to many other mattresses that may be just as suitable in terms of comfort and PPP, just as durable, and that are in much lower budget ranges to justify the higher cost.

Finding a “comparable” mattress will really depend on what you mean by comparable.

There is more information in post #9 here about the different ways that one mattress can “match” or “approximate” another one. Every layer and component in a mattress (including the cover and any quilting materials) will affect the feel and performance of every other layer and component and the mattress “as a whole” so unless you are able to find another mattress that uses exactly the same type of materials, components, cover, layer thicknesses, layer firmnesses, and overall design (which would be very unlikely) then there really isn’t a reliable way to match one mattress to another one in terms of “comfort”, firmness, and PPP based on the specifications of the mattresses (even assuming that you can find out all the specifications you would need for both mattresses you are comparing in the first place).

Mattress manufacturers generally try to differentiate their mattress from the mattresses made by other manufacturers and don’t normally try to “match” another mattress that is made by a different manufacturer so unless a manufacturer specifically says in their description of a mattress that one of their mattresses in the same general category is specifically designed to “match” or “approximate” another one in terms of firmness or “feel” and PPP and/or they are very familiar with both mattresses and can provide reliable guidance about how they compare based on the “averages” of a larger group of people that have compared them (different people may have very different opinions about how two mattresses compare) … the only reliable way to know for certain how two mattresses would compare for you in terms of how they “feel” or in terms of firmness or PPP (regardless of anyone else’s opinions of how they compare which may be different from your own) would be based on your own careful testing or actual sleeping experience on both of them.

There are also no “standard” definitions or consensus of opinions for firmness ratings and different manufacturers can rate their mattresses very differently than others so a mattress that one manufacturer rates as being a specific firmness could be rated very differently by another manufacturer. Different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that feels firm for one person can feel like “medium” for someone else or even “soft” for someone else (or vice versa) depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions. There are also different types of firmness and softness that different people may be sensitive to that can affect how they “rate” a mattress as well (see post #15 here) so different people can also have very different opinions on how two mattresses compare in terms of firmness and some people may rate one mattress as being firmer than another and someone else may rate them the other way around. This is all relative and very subjective and is as much an art as a science.

In other words … if two mattresses have different designs and materials then your own careful testing or personal experience is the only reliable way to compare two mattresses in terms of “comfort” firmness, and PPP.

Comparing two mattresses in terms of durability is much more simple and more objective once you know the specifications of all the materials and layers in two mattresses you are comparing (see this article) because making durability comparisons is just a matter of comparing the quality and durability of the materials and components inside it and making sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links in the mattress that would be a reason for concern. If for any reason a retailer or manufacturer you are dealing with either isn’t willing or able to provide you with the specifics of the materials and components in their mattresses, then I would avoid it completely. Again though I would always keep in mind that the quality and durability of the materials has little to nothing to do with how a mattress will feel or compare to any other mattress in terms of comfort, firmness, or PPP.

Assuming that the materials in a mattress you are considering are durable enough for your body type and meet the quality/durability guidelines here relative to your weight range … the choice between different types and combinations of materials and components or different types of mattresses are more of a preference and a budget choice than a “better/worse” choice (see this article), of course with a strong part of your PPP being a more breathable product.

I know I’ve given you a lot to think about, but the questions you posed don’t have simple answers. But hopefully the information I’ve presented will be assistive to you as you go through this process.

I look forward to learning about your progress!