5 expert ways to keep your bed cool and wake up refreshed

Discover your coolest sleep yet after following these top tips on how to cool your bed in the heat

piglet in bed linen sheets
(Image credit: Piglet in bed)

This heat makes most activities unbearable. Anything that involves leaving the comfort of icy aircon, excessive movement, or general cognitive function is off the table. Unfortunately, that list also includes sleep. You would think our nightly slumber would be safe but the heatwave seems to be disrupting that too.

So when there is no cold side of the pillow to turn to, the sheets are sticky and you can't stop wishing for fall, what can be done? Thankfully there are a few tricks that can help to cool your bedroom and bed.

Here we have gathered the best advice from a range of sleep experts to ensure you can have a cool and restful sleep. 

1. Freeze your sheets and pillows

yellow bedding

(Image credit: Secret Linen Store)

This may sound a bit far-stretched, and you might be thinking the freezer should be exclusively kept for homemade lasagna and peas, but hear us out. 

'A quick cool-down trick is to pop your bedding in the freezer for a couple of hours before bed,' says sleep expert Grant Lewis. 'It is the most effective way to dramatically decrease the temperature of your bed.'

Before you reject this hack as nonsense try it, and thank us later. Simply place your sheets in an airtight bag and put them in the freezer whilst you do the rest of your bedtime rituals. Before you reject this hack as nonsense try it, and thank us later.

2. Keep your bedroom dark

The most obvious way to keep your bed cool is to prevent it from getting hot in the first place. This is easier said than done, but keeping your room as cold as possible is a start. 

'Keep your bedroom cool by using air conditioning or opening windows for better airflow,' says sleep coach Carlie Gasia, 'whilst blocking out sunlight and heat with curtains.'

Getting your windows open early in the day to let cooler air in and then shutting blinds, curtains, and shutters will ensure you maintain a cool bedroom. It feels sad to shut out the sunshine and to hide your beautiful bedroom design, but it is what you have to do if you desire a cool bed to return to at the end of the day.

3. Choice of materials

A linen bed spread in pistachio

(Image credit: Bed Threads)

We change our wardrobe from winter to summer to favor lighter and more breathable fabrics, but why don't we do the same for our beds? This is possibly the biggest mistake people make when it comes to the summer season.

Firstly the duvet itself. Whilst many of you will ditch the togs entirely I know there will be some people who can't bear the thought. 

'Lower your tog ratings, to something like 2.5 tog, as it offers better temperature regulation,' advises Grant. 'You should also consider the filling of your duvet,' he says. Wool and goose down are praised for their breathability however as we continue to embark on our sustainable living journey we have discovered many sythetic alternatives that do the job just as well.

Once you have that decided, it's onto sheets. It is something that makes total sense yet we ignored it until now. Breathable sheets and pillowcases are a summer staple if you are committed to keeping a cool be.

'Linen is the ideal bed fabric 365 days a year, owing to its thermoregulating properties, but does really come into its own during the balmy summer nights,' says Jessica Hanley, founder of Piglet in Bed. 'Linen's unique weave and long natural fibers allow air to flow through the fabric freely so heat can escape, keeping your body cool as you slumber. It's a highly absorbent material, so any sweat that is conjured up during the night is wicked away leaving your sleep far less disturbed than synthetic alternatives. Its lightweight structure means it won’t cling to your skin as a heavier material would, so really is nature's solution to a night otherwise spent tossing and turning,' she explains.

We didn't need an excuse to buy any of Piglet in Bed's gorgeous linen sheets, but now we have one and we just can't resist. 

4. Strategic fan placement

Sometimes a fan is just blowing hot air around the room. but if placed in a strategic position it can be helpful in keeping you and your bed cool.

'Use fans to create a cross-breeze,' says expert Grant. A cross breeze is created by pushing hot air out whilst circulating cold air. To do this place one fan facing out your window, pushing the hot air outside, then another fan inwards that is spreading the cool air. Pacing a bucket of ice in front of the floor fan can also be helpful in creating that icey AC feeling.

This may sound excessive but at this point, we are desperate for a cool night's sleep so it might be worth it.

5. Cooling mattress pads

Anything that has the word "cooling" in front of it is a staple at the moment. These cooling mattress pads and pillows are not different. 

'Cooling mattress pads or protectors can help to regulate your temperature and keep you comfortable while you sleep,' says sleep science coach Isabella Gordon. As an Australian, I think she may know what she's talking about on this one.

Alternatively, you can cool down with a hot water bottle by filling it with cold water. Having one on your feet will help to regulate the whole of your body's temperature. Whilst it won't be as effective as a cooling pad its a great tip using things you already have.

Top picks to keep your bed cool

Amy McArdle
News writer

Amy recently completed an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, with experience writing for Women’s lifestyle publications across arts, culture, and beauty. She has a particular love for the minimalist aesthetic mixed with mid-century furniture, especially combining unique vintage finds with more modern pieces. Her previous work in luxury jewellery has given her a keen eye for beautiful things and clever design, that plays into her love of interiors. As a result, Amy will often be heard justifying homeware purchases as 'an investment', wise words to live by.