Everybody knows how hard it can be to sleep during the summer months. Between the temperature, the humidity, and the fact that your partner might now generate even more heat than normal, it can be unbearable. But that doesn’t mean you have to toss and turn every night until September.
The National Sleep Foundation reports that above 75°F, your sleep may be disrupted. Of course, if you have an air conditioner, your bedroom can rock a cool 72° all summer long. But whether or not you can turn down the temperature, you can make sure you have the best bedding for the season. Summer is the time to put away your cozy flannel sheets and fluffy down comforter to make your bed look and feel cooler. Here are some ideas.
1. Use cooling, lightweight bed sheets made from natural fibers
If you’ve never tried linen bedding, you’re missing out. Linen sheets are breathable and light, and they absorb moisture well. They’re not as soft as cotton sheets, though they get softer with every washing. Always use the washer’s gentle cycle to clean linen sheets.
Whether you prefer them percale crisp or smooth sateen, cotton sheets can be a good choice for summer, too. Surprisingly, high-thread-count cotton sheets may not help you sleep at this time of year. According to Health.com, the tighter weave makes them less breathable. For a more comfortable night’s sleep, keep the thread count lower in the warmer months—between 200 and 400 works best.
2. Sleep with a top sheet
Despite what you’ve heard, sleeping without a top sheet is not a good idea—mainly because it's unsanitary. You need the top sheet to create a barrier between your body and your blanket, and using one can absorb sweat and other body fluids. You’ll sleep cooler and cleaner with a top sheet, as long as you wash it regularly.
3. Snuggle with a comforter—or a cooling weighted blanket
Although it might sound counterintuitive, you should still sleep with a comforter in the summer. When it comes to getting deep sleep, the weight of your comforter generally goes a long way towards easing you into dreamland.
If you enjoy sleeping under a weighted blanket, feel free to layer one on year-round to enhance your snooze. When we tested weighted blankets, we found one that is a comfy choice for people who sleep hot—it has a cooling cover that’s actually cold to the touch.
4. Rest your head on a bamboo pillow
A bamboo memory foam pillow can help you keep a cool head while you’re catching Z’s. When we tested, the pillow that we found to be Best Overall is stuffed with bamboo foam and its vented bamboo cover is a cooling feature you might appreciate in hot weather. One of this pillow's other great features is that it lets you reach in to adjust the foam, so it's fully customized to the way you sleep.
5. Change to white bedding for the season
This choice is about aesthetics, not physiology. Although it doesn’t affect the temperature, white bedding can make your bed seem a bit cooler. The Verywellmind website notes that though its meaning varies by culture, white can convey quietness, cleanliness, and freshness, all qualities conducive to sleep. White can also be perceived as cold—but that might be an advantage in hot weather.
Some additional tips
Keep a throw blanket handy this summer, because although you’ve pared down your bedding, you may need a little something extra if the night gets chilly or the air conditioner is turned down too low.
And make sure you’re sleeping on a mattress pad. John Merwin, owner and CEO of Brooklyn Bedding tells us, “Because they actually serve as a barrier—coming between the sleeper and the sleep surface—some styles can impact the overall breathability of the bed.”
We hope these suggestions help you sleep well this summer. Take a cool shower at bedtime, put on your lightest pajamas (or don’t wear any), and slip into your clean, fresh bed. We’ll see you in the morning.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.