Best Sheets for Hot Sleepers

The Key to Staying Cool in Bed

Woman dealing with night sweats hot sleeper symptoms in the hot synthetic sheets

Do you feel like every night you just can't stay cool? Are you a hot sleeper? Do you get night sweats?  Nothing ruins sleep more than feeling like a furnace. Not getting a restful night sleep can ruin each and every day. It is an incredibly important part of your life. If you experience this frequently, then you know how elusive refreshing sleep can be. Continued sleep deprivation can be debilitating and compromise your quality of life. Fortunately, solutions exist to help you cool down at night and reclaim rest.

You know yourself best, and you are the perfect person to find the most useful approach in solving issues with your sleep experience. This includes your bedroom environment, the bed itself, and your lifestyle. There have been amazing innovations in cooling bed linens and other solutions to help you find the relief that is right for you. We hope that this article can give you some information to relief.

Hot Blooded Sleepers and Night Sweats

Hot sleepers can be found amongst all types of people both male and female, adult and child. Hot sleepers have a very hard time with any type of covering in bed. Most sheets and blankets are simply too much to bare at night irrespective of the bedroom temperature. If you are a hot sleeper, you may struggle to fall asleep or else wake up overheated or drenched in sweat. This makes for restless and unrefreshing sleep, and can completely ruin a day, not to mention be extremely dangerous.

The sheets that are best for hot sleepers will help dissipate sweat, circulate air, and help maintain a steady body temperature for sleepers. Your bedroom and bedding choices will affect how well you are able to sleep each night. Synthetic fabric bedding will trap heat and sweat making night sweats even worse. Mattresses that you use and the types of pillow used can also be a source to store body heat.

Night sweats are another reason to look into the best most cooling options for bedding and a comfortable nights sleep. They are usually related to medical or physical conditions, among them:

  • Menopause. Many women experience severe night sweats as part of menopause due to declining estrogen levels. Heat-trapping bedding or a warm bedroom makes this much worse. While cooling measures won’t stop night sweats, they can help you cool down quickly and promote restful sleep. Basically cooling down your body before the heat can wake you up.

  • Medications. Many medications induce night sweats as a side effect. Common culprits include some prescription antidepressants and drugs to control diabetes. Over-the-counter medications taken to lower fevers can also cause issues essentially the fever "breaking" will cause a sweat.

  • Medical conditions. There are also some conditions such as hyperthyroidism and diabetes that can cause night sweats. This occurs because the hypothalamus regulates both body temperature and hormone production. 

Managing the cause of your night sweats often takes time and medical consultation. Meanwhile, you can make your sleep environment as cool and inviting as possible.

Cooling sheets bedroom oasis with cooling air low humidity bedding

Your very own Oasis

A bed with heat trapping fabrics can keep you awake even in a cool room.
The best way to maintain your bed at the right temperature is to choose bedding designed for hot sleepers. The best cooling bed sheets are breathable, absorbent, and wick moisture away from your body. Good choices include cotton, bamboo, and linen sheets.

Don’t overlook your pillow. Your head generates the most heat from your body, and the right pillow can help it dissipate while you sleep. Large pillows trap heat and are better swapped for more compact ones. These often contain cooling gel, ventilated foam, or latex and have breathable covers.

If you have a memory foam mattress, it may be trapping body heat. Most other types of mattresses allow more air circulation. If it isn’t practical to swap out your heat-loving mattress, upgrading your bedding will go a long way toward comfort. In addition to cooling bed linens, try a cooling mattress topper to direct heat away from the bed.

Hot air rises. If your bed is raised high, lowering it even a foot or two can cool it down. Similarly, switching from loft and bunk beds to traditional-height alternatives can provide some relief.

Tips to Keep Your Bedroom Cool

The most ideal range of temperature for restful sleep is about 65–70 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping your bedroom cool is not always a matter of using air conditioning. Sometimes there is none available as during a heatwave in a normally cool locale, an electrical outage, or when visiting regions without it. Uncooled air may be humid or stagnant, making the heat more oppressive.

Best ways to stay cool at night:

  • Plan ahead. During a heatwave, keep the bedroom as cool as possible during the day. Close drapes, blinds, and windows to shield the indoors from the sun and outside air. Blackout curtains block the sun and are widely available.

  • If the evening cools off enough, open the windows and run fans to circulate fresh air.

  • Run the ceiling fan and any portable fans while you sleep. The breeze will make the room feel cooler. Placing a bowl of ice cubes in front of a portable fan will cool the air while the ice melts, perhaps long enough for you to fall asleep. Try placing a small fan and a bowl of ice on your nightstand for direct relief and larger fans elsewhere in the room to generate cool airflow.

  • Minimize electronics in the bedroom as they generate heat. Turn off laptops and other devices that don't need to be on while you sleep.

  • If possible it might be time to consider investing in central air conditioning. A cheaper option is to install a room air conditioner for your bedroom. If power outages are an issue, consider a home generator. These are common in regions with volatile weather and are reliable and easy to operate once installed.

Fabric Choices for Cooling Sleep

Several fabrics stand out for their cooling properties. Cotton is the ubiquitous natural fiber used in bedding and sleepwear. Bamboo is a modern fabric derived from bamboo that is technologically processed to produce strong and versatile fiber.

Both cotton and bamboo are breathable and absorbent, though they each vary in quality and production. Higher quality fabrics are more cooling, softer, and more durable without excessive pilling or fading. Cotton tends to shrink and wrinkle more. Both fabrics have eco-friendly options.

couple cuddling in a cooling silky sheet bed without discomfort

Bamboo Fabric

Bamboo fabric is a organic fabric processed from bamboo fibers. The tree's leaves and inner core are crushed and soaked in an enzyme solution that further breaks down the plant tissue. The product is then spun into fibers that can be woven into extremely soft silky cloth.

Several different methods are used to create bamboo fabric of varying quality and eco-friendliness. The most common and inexpensive product is bamboo viscose, which is produced using complex methods that involve toxic chemicals. Bamboo cellulose is chemically altered and processed to ultimately produce fiber. Byproducts are recycled.

Organic bamboo fabric is produced using a more sustainable process in which fiber is created from cellulose using closed-loop manufacturing that recycles solvents and byproducts. The bamboo remains chemically intact.

Bamboo linen is a fabric produced using a mechanical process that does not involve cellulose. Instead, wood fibers are crushed and soaked in an enzyme solution and spun into fibers. This method is eco-friendly and produces the highest quality fabric. Most bamboo textiles are made with chemically processed bamboo, so shop carefully to find organic bamboo or bamboo linen.

Bamboo fabric is strong and breathable. Lower-quality versions can pill easily and can feel rough. Better quality fabric is lightweight and soft, silky and cooling. Bamboo has a reputation for being antibacterial. Bamboo’s hygienic properties are due to its excellent breathability and absorption.

scratchy cotton sheets pictured for an alternative to cooling bedding

Classic Cotton

Cotton is a bedding staple for good reason as it is breathable, economical, and long-lasting. Cotton fabric varies widely in quality and characteristics. It can have short or long fibers, called staple length, and different thread counts and weaves. The three main types of cotton are Egyptian, Pima, and American Upland, which is the most common. Pima and Egyptian cotton are premium, long-staple options that are soft and durable.

Thread count affects softness, durability, and suitability for hot sleepers. Fabrics with medium to high thread counts between 300–500 are optimal. A lower thread count produces a rougher and less durable fabric while the highest thread counts don’t allow ventilation.

Popular cotton weaves for bedding include percale and sateen. Percale is a tight weave used for smooth and durable bedding that softens with washing. Sateen produces a silky finish that retains heat and is better for cold than hot sleep conditions.

Linen and silk are luxurious choices that may be suitable for mild heat issues. Severe night sweating or children’s bedding is better served by more robust fabrics. Linen is cool and breathable due to its looser weave. However, it wrinkles easily and needs care that may make it impractical for daily use, especially for hot sleepers. Silk is lightweight and cool but likewise takes special care to last.

Many cotton products are treated with resin to resist staining and wrinkling. The resin coating releases formaldehyde, a known irritant and likely carcinogen. Organic cotton bedding is a chemical-free alternative.

comfortable bedroom with cooling protective absorbent organic bamboo sheets

Find Your Perfect Cooling Sheets

Whether combating night sweats or summer heat, cooling sheets are one of your best defenses. If your sheets don’t breathe or absorb moisture, you will feel hot and sticky. The best cooling sheets help regulate body temperature throughout the night. Fabric options for cooling bed sheets include synthetic, bamboo, and cotton.

Hot sleepers have different needs. If you are facing dry weather or light sweating, you have several viable options for cooling bed sheets. If you are contending with night sweats or humid conditions, you need maximum protection. The best sheets for night sweats are organic bamboo bed sheets that are highly absorbent and actively wick moisture off the skin. These fabrics pull sweat and humidity away from your body and absorb what’s left so that you cool down more quickly and feel drier.

Types of Cooling Sheets

Cooling bed linens are breathable and usually effective at moisture-wicking, absorbency, or both:

  • Breathable. These fabrics provide good ventilation, reducing sweat and moist air build-up.

  • Moisture-wicking. These options pull moisture away from your skin and the contact side of the sheet so that you stay drier. They function similarly to moisture-wicking activewear.

  • Absorbent. These sheets absorb moisture and are good choices for night sweats or high humidity.
Man awakening from a soothing night sleep
In addition to performance, the best sheets are gentle on skin, durable, and easy to care for:

  • Hypoallergenic. Some bedding is treated with chemicals to improve performance. Some fabrics have a grainy texture or snag easily. If you or family members have sensitive skin, consider sheets that are smooth and chemical-free.

  • Durable. Quality sheets are an investment. Your sheet sets should wear well and hold their color through repeated laundering. If you or your partner are experiencing night sweats, you will likely be changing bedding frequently.

  • Easy care. You have better things to do than pamper your bedding. Sheets should stay soft, smooth, and relatively wrinkle-free without special laundering or excessive ironing.

Microfiber Sheets

Bed linens made from synthetic microfiber may appeal at first glance because they are soft, lightweight, and available in many colors. Microfiber is composed of ultra-thin fibers produced from plastic-based nylon or polyester. Most formulations are not breathable enough to benefit hot sleepers, although the sheets dry quickly and are somewhat absorbent. Durability varies with quality.

Another drawback to microfiber is an environmentally harmful production process. The fabric also sheds copious amounts of tiny fibers that are implicated in the widespread plastics contamination of oceans and sea life.

Cotton Sheets

Cotton sheets are a classic option available in a range of thread counts and quality. Egyptian and Pima cotton are cooling and supple while lower grades feel grainier. Cotton wears well although colors can fade with repeated laundering. Cotton famously wrinkles, but the traditional fabric is a safer choice than wrinkle-resistant cotton bedding treated with resin.

Cotton is breathable but not as absorbent as bamboo or eucalyptus sheets. It does not wick away moisture and so is not preferred for night sweats or humidity.

Bamboo Sheets

Bamboo sheets are more absorbent and moisture-wicking. They feel cooler and are more hypoallergenic than natural fabrics. Bamboo linen is cooling but the softness isn't quite there and it can be easily wrinkled. Lower grades of bamboo fabric are widely available though less eco-friendly. As stated above, a good bamboo sheet can work wonders for those suffering from excess heat at night.

Organic Bamboo sheets that are cooling and absorbent for hot sleepers

Other Sleep Hacks to Stay Cool

Smart sleep preparation begins with your daytime activities. Once bedtime approaches, some resourcefulness may be required to keep you cool.

Make sure your lifestyle lets you unwind near bedtime:

  • Avoid too much sun exposure as this will make you feel warmer and dehydrated at night.

  • Avoid exercising too close to bedtime as this will raise your body temperature.

  • Avoid caffeine within 6 hours of bedtime as it is a stimulant and can make you feel warm.

  • Limit alcohol as it is dehydrating and can interfere with deep sleep.

  • Eat small meals later in the day. A large dinner can bring on heat or nighttime digestive issues.

Try these bedtime hacks in a heated pinch:

  • Taking a warm shower before bed helps to cool down your body temperature at night, which will help you cool down in bed. The simple explanation is the human anatomy: after a lukewarm shower, your body will try to cool down on its own. However, taking warm shower right before bed can be dangerous, so it’s better taking 1-1,5hr before sleep to normalize your body temperature.
  • Open the windows, close the curtains. People who live in arid and hot climates know it’s impossible to save oneself from overheating by getting rid of the clothes. On the contrary, one should cover their body from the sunlight.

  • Try the Egyptian method

    Essentially, the Egyptian method offers to solve the problem of the extreme heat at night by sleeping on damp sheets.

    1. You can wet your sheet and run it through the dryer so that they are not soaking.

    2. Make your bed with cool, damp sheets.

    3. Wake up in the dry bed, feeling cool and refreshed.

  • If the heat catches you by surprise, try cooling your pillowcase and even bedsheet in the freezer, using a plastic bag to keep them from getting damp.

The best place to start reclaiming your nights is your bed. Consider cooling bedding, pillows, and mattress toppers. The simplest and most versatile change is to switch to cooling sheets and cooling pillow covers. If your mattress is due for replacement, choose one with good ventilation. With some planning and resourcefulness, you can find the cooling sleep solution that is just right for you.