The Core of the Cooling: What are cooling mattresses made of?

When shopping for a mattress, you might look through advertisements boasting “soft”, “comfortable”, and “long-lasting” products. The word “technology” might not even come up—and it might even be the furthest adjective from your mind.

However, scientists have been working tirelessly (see what we did there?), to get you the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had. To do this, they have to focus on the “technology” of the mattress and how it can help each and every one of us get a better night’s sleep.

 Since every one of us is different—and sleep differently—mattress manufacturers’ biggest challenge is to invent a cool gel mattress that keeps sleepers comfortable, no matter how they sleep.


The Perfect Formula for a Cool Gel Mattress

To help you understand how a cool gel mattress works without getting too technical, we’ve broken down the method behind the madness.

Although the idea of plopping a large gel pack onto a regular mattress might have its appeal for sheer convenience, it doesn’t have the same effect as say, a KW cooling mattress.

The interior—more than the exterior—of a cooling mattress is what makes a difference in sleep experience.

Here’s why:

1) What’s in it? 

A  gel mattress is either made out of standard memory foam or gel beads. These science-backed gel beads help work with your own body heat to keep you cool.

2) Pay Attention to the Top

The topmost layer or cover of the bed can also play a part in cooling technology.

 From brand to brand, you might see words like gel infusions, metallic infusions or even “phase change surfaces”.

 We know that this can be a bit confusing at first, so we’ve broken them down:

  • Gel: This gel swirl of foam production can help pull the heat away from the surface of the bed and any from your body, keeping you cool through the night. You’ll often see this paired with a memory foam material.
  • Metallic: Made of either copper graphite or titanium, these types of layers help conduct heat so you don’t have that cool-to-touch feel of a gel-infused mattress.
  • PCS: Using a “phase change molecule” surface infusion, you’ll get a cool-on-contact feel, instantly cooling your body temp down before you fall asleep.
  • Natural Fibers: This is another alternative that sticks to a traditional method. Instead of relying on science, you can go the traditional route instead and stick with what has worked in the past, relying on the wisdom and findings of our ancestors! Materials that are organically made, like bamboo, wool, and cotton, have breathable characteristics and wick-away properties.


3) Cool at the Core 

A cooling mattress can have a variety of different cores.

Although one brand may claim to have the perfect product, there’s no one magical solution to give everyone a perfect night’s sleep!

Cooling mattresses can actually be made with a variety of different cores, from innerspring to latex to foam. Even though the end result tends to be around the same, each of these mattresses works very differently.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the core types:

  • Innerspring: Traditional mattresses have metal coil supports that use their natural cooling abilities to keep your body cool. The space between the coils is perfect for airflow—some may even say they’re better air conductors than a foam mattress. However, the airflow might be trapped beneath a foam comfort layer.
  • Latex: This type of material is generally neither hot nor cold. They generally have a quite good airflow and don’t conduct heat so well-meaning it won’t trap heat and make you suffer while sleeping.
  • Foam: When it comes to memory foam, these seem to be quite hot, absorbing heat from the body and bouncing it back onto the sleeper. However, when combined with cooling gel technology, these can work rather well.


How Well Will a Cool Gel Mattress Work For You?

Now that you know what’s in a gel mattress, how do you know if it’ll work for you?

As we mentioned earlier, everyone sleeps differently, so it might be hard to predict whether or not a cool gel mattress can actually help you. 

However, we would definitely recommend a cool gel mattress if you find yourself overheating while sleeping, tossing and turning during the night or even waking up because of discomfort.

Although it’s not a 100% foolproof formula, studies have shown a pattern when it comes to personal sleeping problems and cooling technology. If you fall into any of the categories below, consider investing in a gel cooling mattress to help improve your sleep quality:

  1. If you have back pain or have a history of suffering from back pain:

If you tend to:

  •       Wake up from a night’s sleep with back pain
  •       Wake up in the middle of the night due to back pain
  •       Find yourself tossing and turning during the night to alleviate back pain
  •       Struggle to find a comfortable position

This discomfort can often happen because your mattress is simply too hot. Switching to a gel mattress can help reduce movement, allowing you to sleep comfortably through the night.

  1. If you sleep with a partner:

Cuddling may seem like a good idea, in theory. However, you might find that you often wake up to change cuddling positions from big to little spoon, or that you are overheated due to having double the body heat in bed.

 Active cooling properties can help keep things cool. If you choose to cuddle while you sleep, a cooling mattress can help keep you two close, without being miserable (at least while you sleep).

  1. If you live in a hot climate area:

Sometimes an uncontrollable environment can cause sleeping problems. Living in a warm climate can mean you overheat at night, especially if you don’t have air conditioning in the heat of summer. You may even experience this problem in winter if you sleep with a partner who sleeps comfortably with the heater but you don’t.

A cooling gel mattress can help you sleep comfortably regardless of the room’s temperature.

 Whether you’ve already invested in a cooling mattress and want to learn more or are thinking of buying your first one, we hope this article has helped inform you a bit more about these high-tech, comfortable mattresses.

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