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Will TikTok’s frozen bed sheet sleep hack ruin your mattress?

Feeling too hot to sleep well is frustrating and can leave you feeling groggy and tired the next day. Of all the sleep hacks to help you le...

Feeling too hot to sleep well is frustrating and can leave you feeling groggy and tired the next day. Of all the sleep hacks to help you learn how to sleep when it’s hot at night, freezing your bed sheets is proving the most popular on TikTok right now. 

This hack has been around for years though and involves placing your bottom sheet (fitted sheet) inside a zip-lock or vacuum sealed bag, then sticking it in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before bed. The aim is to have an ice-cold sheet to lie on when you’re ready to drift off. 

It sounds good in theory, but does it actually work? And what will a frozen sheet that’ll soon thaw do to the health of your mattress? Let’s take a look…

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Freezing bed sheets for cooler sleep: does it work?

A lower body temperature at night is much better for sleep, which is why we always encourage people to avoid activities, foods or drinks that will raise their body temperature before bed. The higher your body temperature, the harder it will be for you to fall asleep.

So while we understand the thinking behind freezing your bed sheets on a hot night, the effects are short-lived. Sure they’ll feel cool and crisp when you first lie down on them, but your body will quickly warm up that sheet.

When that happens, moisture will escape into the air in your bedroom, making it feel muggy and hot. Not the effect you were going for, right? 

The only way to try and offset or slow this down is to use a room fan or a portable air conditioner at the same time, as you need to keep the air circulating in your room. Even then, the sheets will warm up eventually, but the hope is that you’ll be asleep by then. 

Will frozen bed sheets damage your mattress?

This depends on how often you’re putting frozen sheets on your mattress, what the mattress is made of, and whether you’re using a mattress protector or not. 

Innerspring and hybrid mattresses are much better at circulating air than memory foam mattresses, and this is because they both use either coils or springs. Air flows better through and around these, so heat and moisture has less chance of building up in the mattress. 

The Emma Mattress shown on a black metal bed frame and photographed against a green background

Be careful placing frozen sheets on a memory foam mattress (Image credit: Future)

All-foam mattresses are more prone to mold and mildew, so if you are constantly placing frozen bed sheets on your memory foam bed, you could be creating the ideal breeding ground for those nasties. Especially when you lie on top of the sheets and add to the heat. 

A mattress protector can act as a buffer between the mattress and the frozen sheet, so is definitely worth considering if you’re sold on the frozen bed sheets hack. 

Better alternatives to frozen bed sheets

We’re now seeing more cooling mattresses hit the virtual shelves, and these are basically hybrid beds or memory foam mattresses infused with cooling gels or phase change materials to dissipate heat. 

We’re also seeing a greater range of cooling mattress toppers and pads, and all of these products are a more effective and longer-lasting way to boost airflow in your bed at night compared to using a frozen bed sheet. Here’s a few to get you started…

Hot sleepers in the UK

Simba Hybrid Pillow: £109 £81 at Simba Sleep
Simba’s temperature-regulating pillow is made with astronaut-inspired phase change material technology to absorb heat when you don’t need it. This keeps it cool in summer, warm in winter. No more flipping the pillow to find the cool spot.View Deal

Panda Bamboo Mattress Topper: from £99.95 at Panda
Bamboo is naturally breathable and moisture-wicking, so it’s the ideal choice for a summer bed topper. Panda’s is made with gel-infused bamboo memory foam that reacts to your body temperature, pulling away heat to keep you cooler. It’s naturally antibacterial too, so mold and mildew will be kept at bay.View Deal

Nectar Premier Mattress: from £999 £549.45 at Nectar
This cooling mattress uses heat-wicking tech to regulate your temperature as you sleep. The quilted cooling cover draws away heat and encourages better airflow, while a layer of breathable foam encourages air to flow too. In the new Nectar mattress sale a double size is reduced to £686 (was £1,249).View Deal

Hot sleepers in the UK

Layla Kapok Pillow: from $109 at Layla Sleep
This is our top pick of this year’s best pillows and it’s a brilliant choice for people prone to overheating, hot flashes and night sweats. As we explain in our Layla Kapok Pillow review, it suits back and side sleepers the most, and stays cool to the touch all night long. View Deal

Saatva Graphite Mattress Topper: from $245 at Saatva
This luxury bed topper features a naturally breathable and moisture-wicking organic cotton cover to keep you dry, plus an infusion of naturally cooling graphite to dissipate heat. The result? Cooler, more refreshing and deeper sleep for you, even in summer.View Deal

Eight Sleep Pro Mattress: from $2,295 $2,195 at Eight Sleep
If you want a cooling mattress that can be programmed to the exact temperature you prefer, look no further than the Eight Sleep Pro. This smart beds uses advanced cooling tech to lower your body temperature on hot nights, so you fall fast asleep. And in winter, it can be transformed into a heated mattress.View Deal

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