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Most people have experienced the chaos of night sweats, have been in a bed with someone who radiates heat, or at least have woken up hot in the middle of the night, tossing and turning and unable to fall back asleep.
Since good sleep is essential for your health and general functionality, it’s a good idea to do whatever you can to get it, whether that means blocking out light with an eye mask, exercising, listening to music to help you sleep, avoiding the snooze button, or using whatever products help regulate your body temperature.
One thing to consider if you’re having serious night sweats is whether you’re experiencing any other symptoms along with them, said Dr. Raj Dasgupta of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
If you have night sweats alone, it may not be a reason to consult a doctor, but if it’s that plus other symptoms like a fever, weight loss, or any other concerning changes, you should definitely see a medical professional to determine the underlying cause.
What causes night sweats?
According to Dasgupta, roughly 20 million people have obstructive sleep apnea, an intermittent blockage of airflow during sleep, which is one of the conditions that has been linked to night sweats. Other symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea to look out for include snoring and daytime sleepiness.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), diabetes, and obesity are among the other things that can cause night sweats. Hormonal changes are also high on the list of possible causes, particularly for women.
“At all stages of adult development, women have fluctuations in body temperature that are related to their hormones,” said clinical psychologist Janet Kennedy, the founder of NYC Sleep Doctor, which offers sleep therapy, psychotherapy, and coaching for troubled sleepers. “Whether that's just a predictable PMS or it's during pregnancy, postpartum, period, perimenopause, or menopause, hormonal fluctuations affect body temperature and our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.”
Certain medications, including antidepressants and antipsychotics, have been associated with night sweats as well.
While it’s possible that there is a medical or physiological reason for overheating in the night, experts agree that environmental causes like bedroom temperature and bedding are the most likely culprit.
How to cool down for sleep
No matter the cause, there are some tools and environmental tricks that can help manage night sweats and temperature-related sleep issues, Kennedy said.
“The body temperature is supposed to cool as you get ready to go to bed,” she told BuzzFeed News. “That drop in core body temperature signals that it's time to sleep, and if your body is heating up too soon in the night, or if you're hot at bedtime, then it's going to be very difficult to fall asleep or return to sleep.”
One of her recommendations is to take a warm shower or bath about 90 minutes before bed. Your body temperature will increase and then cool rapidly, which can help initiate a good, solid sleep. This trick is commonly referred to as the “warm bath effect.”
While you can’t necessarily control whether your body heats up in the middle of the night, there are some simple things you can try to regulate your temperature and avoid having it wake you up.
“What are you wearing to bed? What is your blanket? What is your pillow? What is the temperature in your room?” Dasgupta said. “You want to manage things as closely to the sheets as possible.”
Many mattresses, pillows, and even mattress toppers are now designed to allow that heat to dissipate. Breathable fabrics like crisp cotton, cool linen, silk, and bamboo are some of the better options when it comes to cooling sheets, pajamas, and pillowcases. Even better if they’re moisture-wicking so that you’re not lying in all that heat and sweat.
Dasgupta recommends changing sheets and pillowcases regularly to keep them clean and avoiding sleeping with pets, which can increase bed temperature. (Although what feels most comfortable isn’t the same for everyone.) Find materials that feel good against your skin and won’t exacerbate any allergies, and stick to the broad guidelines for sleep hygiene, which include having a consistent bedtime, dimming the lights, and avoiding digital distractions.
This BedVoyage cooling sheet set is made from 100% premium organic bamboo fibers that claim to be three times more breathable than cotton. They also claim to be twice as soft with a silky, luxurious feel. Not only will they keep you cool and comfortable, but these sheets are also hypoallergenic. The set comes with a fitted sheet, top sheet, and two pillowcases in six different sizes and many more color options. Reviewers agree that they’re genuinely quite cool (temperature-wise) and that even if they do heat up from your body, they can cool down again quickly.
Promising review: “We have been in the hunt for cooling sheets that don’t pill up and feel soft and these are it! I would love to replace all of my sheets with these eventually.” —Sidney S.
What else to consider: Follow the laundering instructions carefully! Bamboo sheets require different care than cotton or other materials, so you’ll actually want to read the directions and wash accordingly. Reviewers who did so had no issues.
Best for: sweaty sleepers who need sheets that will help keep them cool and wick away that sticky sweat from their body.
You can buy BedVoyage bamboo sheets from Amazon for around $188 for the queen size.
Not all sheet sets come with pillowcases, or you may just have a ton of pillows on your bed and need to grab a stand-alone set. These Japanese cooling pillowcases from Elegear are going to be one of the most affordable, versatile, and good-quality options you’ll find. They come in two sizes and six different colors to fit your bedroom decor and pillow dimensions. These pillowcases are made from soft and breathable materials, but each side is a bit different to meet the sleeper’s needs. One side is 100% cozy cotton that’ll feel great against your cheek, while the other is silkier and infused with cooling technology. The fibers help absorb body heat to draw it away from your skin and lower temperature. They’ll look and feel great no matter which side is facing up.
Promising review: “I was so tired (pun intended) of pillowcases that either came off the pillow at night, had too much extra fabric that I was constantly tucking it under the pillow, or trapped so much heat that I'd be damp from perspiration when I awoke! I love the hidden zipper and it fit my pillow perfectly. The cool side is definitely cool. No more flipping the pillow to get to the cool side! Also the warm side is truly comforting if there is a chill in the room. These are the best & if I ever need more or new pillowcases, it will definitely be these.” —Gladari
What else to consider: Some reviewers noted that the fabric didn’t hold up well after multiple washes — but if you follow the care instructions, they should be able to last longer. Both sides also promise to benefit your skin and hair.
Best for: Sleepers who don’t want to spring for a full-on cooling pillow or just want to add another layer of cool on top of one. Also ideal for those who sleep hot in the summer but colder in the winter.
You can buy Elegear cooling pillowcases from Amazon for around $18.
Casper’s foam pillow has been around for a while, as has its cooling technology for mattresses, but they finally came together in February and created a supportive and cooling pillow. The memory foam is designed to keep your head and neck properly aligned but still squishy enough to feel comfortable, with perforations in the foam to help push heat away. While the perforations exist in the standard memory foam pillow, you can now get it with an additional cool-to-the-touch outer layer and four bands that help pull heat away from your head and neck. It’s a winning combination of support, comfort, and cooling.
Promising review: “It felt really cool against my head. I sleep hot, so this was nice for me. I was actually quite cool when I woke up as well, so much so that I didn’t want to get out of bed.” —Jen, via Casper
What else to consider: This pillow is definitely an investment, though most good pillows are not cheap these days. While I can’t vouch for the longevity of this one in particular, I have had the original Casper pillow since 2017, and it’s still decently plump and comfortable. If this newer version is even better, it should be well worth the investment.
Best for: Sleepers who like the support of memory foam but can’t handle the heat that tends to get trapped within them.
You can buy the Casper Foam Pillow With Snow Technology from Casper for around $139.
For ages, I’ve been hearing that Eberjey pajamas are comfortable, but I did not realize that the company also makes cooling pajamas. They have a whole line made from tencel modal fabric, which is a sustainable, biodegradable fabric made from beech tree pulp. That means this sleepwear is temperature-regulating as well as incredibly soft. The breathable cloth is gentle on the skin and machine washable, so it’s easy to care for and keeps you super cozy without overheating while you sleep. The PJs also happen to be quite flattering.
Promising review: “I'm currently pregnant (3rd Trimester) and I needed a comfortable, breathable, PJ set that I actually felt cute in. This one checks all the boxes and I can't wait to continue wearing for easy nursing postpartum. I went with my usual size (XS) and it's relaxed enough to accommodate my growing belly just right.” —Alison C. via Eberjey
What else to consider: These pajamas are a pretty penny, but the plethora of 5-star reviews shows that people believe they’re worth the price. I am personally a fan of shorts and short-sleeved pajama sets in any season so that I can always snuggle up under the covers without getting too hot, but Eberjey also uses this cooling fabric for cute robes, rompers, and pajamas in all different lengths and fits.
Best for: pajama wearers who want a cute, comfortable, and breathable pajama set to help regulate their body temperature throughout the night.
You can buy the Gisele Tencel Modal Relaxed Short PJ Set from Eberjey for around $128.
Mattress makers have evolved to cater to hot sleepers, even the newer bed-in-a-box companies. Helix is one of those companies. Its entire Luxe line promises upgraded features for an elevated sleep experience. There are Helix mattresses that range from soft to firm, and the company will suggest the right one based on how you sleep or what’s bothering you. The Midnight Luxe has medium support (not too soft, not too firm) and features zoned lumbar support and a choice between two cooling tops: a breathable fabric cover made of Tencel, which is a more lightweight and breathable form of rayon, or an extra cooling cover that actually pulls heat away from your body.
Promising review: “I was skeptical at first buying a mattress online without having the chance to test it out first. A month into owning this mattress, I am very pleased to say that it has exceeded my expectations. The level of comfort is exceptional and the firmness is a perfect middle ground. Unlike previous mattresses I have owned, the Helix Midnight Luxe mattress seems to keep me at a nice moderate temperature. I would recommend a Helix mattress to anyone!” —Edward Z., via Helix
What else to consider: A good mattress is never going to be cheap, but depending on your bed size, this one may not be the most affordable. Helix does, however, offer monthly financing, and if night sweats or general overheating is seriously preventing you from getting good sleep, it may be worth it.
Best for: those seeking a cooling base to build upon for the most low-temperature sleep experience and who have the budget for a new mattress.
You can buy the Helix Midnight Luxe mattress from Helix for around $1,899 for a queen size.
If you’d rather stick with your current mattress but still want some sort of cooling solution for your entire body, a mattress topper is a great option. This high-density ventilated memory foam topper comes in 2- or 3-inch depth options for any bed size and has a removable bamboo cover. It’s made with a gel infusion to optimize airflow and dissipate trapped body heat while also offering extra support and softness. The washable cover has adjustable elastic straps to stay in place. It’s the perfect addition to your bed if you’ve tried everything short of a new mattress to achieve a more cool and comfortable night’s sleep.
Promising review: “The sleep quality for myself is definitely worthy of the five stars I’m giving it. I am both a back and a side sleeper depending on the night, and either way I do benefit from how cool and conforming to my body this topper is.” —Kim Hamilton
What else to consider: There are less expensive mattress toppers advertised as cooling, but this one has over 10,000 reviews, the majority of which are 5-star. People seem to find it very comfortable and helpful for body aches. Although they don’t say it keeps them drastically colder, the breathability does help dissipate their body heat.
Best for: those looking to avoid a whole new mattress by instead adding a layer of breathable support on top of their current bed.
You can buy the ViscoSoft 3-inch memory foam mattress topper from Amazon for around $170 for the queen size.
You know that I love an eye mask to help me sleep in complete darkness, but unfortunately some of the thicker ones can actually make you feel hotter. If you already use an eye mask and have that problem, or you’re just a hot sleeper looking for some extra multifunctional cooling, this Sheex sleep mask combines a mixture of cooling minerals, wicking technology, and quick drying to keep your face cool and dry. It also comes with a travel pouch so you can stay cool and block out any light while on the road.
Promising review: “This mask is my favorite. It feels silky and cool to the touch no matter how long it’s on. Very happy with this product!” —Lisa B., via Sheex
What else to consider: This is a one-size-fits-all sleep mask, so if you have a particularly small or large head, it may not stay in place or be the most comfortable. If you really love the feel of this, Sheex makes all sorts of sleep products with the same soft cooling material as well.
Best for: hot sleepers who are also bothered by light and love the idea of a multifunctional cooling product.
You can buy the Sheex Midnight Label cooling sleep mask from Sheex for around $35
When it comes to humidity for sleep, it may take a bit of trial and error to find your sweet spot. “If it’s too dry, you’re more likely to snore and wake up with a headache, but if it’s too moist, then your sweat isn’t going to evaporate and the heat that you produce is going to stay with you,” Kennedy said. This humidifier helps you create that ideal moisture level since it pairs with an app to customize humidity levels and find what’s right for your space. Plus, when it’s in auto mode, the smart sensor will adjust it if conditions change throughout the night. It also promises ultraquiet operation, making it ideal for your bedroom if noise bothers you. You may not think of a humidifier as cooling, per se, but this one pumps out cool mist, meaning that it infuses your room with more chilly air while also adding moisture.
Promising review: “This is the most awesome humidifier ever! It worked immediately after filling with water and turning it on. Cool mist billowed out of the top like fluffy clouds. I have been using the unit at night in sleep mode in the bedroom. It’s nearly silent and completely dark. I swear it looks like I’ve had a facial after a week! LOVE!” —Stacy S.
What else to consider: If you live in a very naturally humid environment, a dehumidifier may actually be what you need to create the ideal moisture level to stay dry even if you sweat while sleeping. However, if you’re in a dryer climate, or indoor heat or air conditioning dries out your bedroom, a cool-mist humidifier will help maintain a cool temperature while also alleviating congestion and dry skin.
Best for: anyone suffering from dry skin, bloody noses, or snoring who also wants a bit of billowing cool air surrounding them at bedtime.
You can buy the Levoit Classic 300S smart ultrasonic humidifier from Amazon for around $70.
Sharing a bed is bound to make you warmer, and if you and your partner run at different temperatures or just prefer different sleep conditions, it can be even more difficult to stay cool throughout the night. If you’re willing to make an investment but don’t want to splurge for a full-on split mattress, this Sleep Number DualTemp mattress topper may be the way to go. This topper comes in options that fit on exactly half of a queen, king, or California king bed, so only the partner in need can feel the adjusted temperature. Not only can you choose from multiple temperature settings, but it also delivers enhanced airflow to keep you cool and dry. There’s also a timer function so you don’t have to worry about remembering to shut it off in the morning.
Promising review: “I run very hot at night and my partner runs cold. So being able to individualize our comfort temperature level makes us both happy and sleep better/longer.” —Jerseyyyyy nice, via Sleep Number
What else to consider: This is really only an appropriate option if one partner on the bed is comfortable but the other is overheating, since it only affects one chosen half of the bed. If both partners are hot sleepers, a full cooling topper will be more suitable. It also has a warming function, so if you tend to run hot in the summer but cold in the winter, you can opt to heat it up for bedtime in the colder months. Some reviewers do note that it’s noisy, so if you don’t like white noise while you sleep, it may bother you.
Best for: couples or bed sharers where one person sleeps hotter than the other.
You can buy the Sleep Number DualTemp Individual Layer from Sleep Number for around $900.
Sometimes, even if the general temperature of your room is low, it can still feel stuffy and hot when you’re under the covers. (I consider covers essential for cozy sleep no matter the temperature.) Fans can not only blow the cool air directly at you, they can also help keep air circulating. Since some want those perks without the usual noise of a fan, this Lasko oscillating tower fan offers all of the coolness without as much sound. The oscillation means that you can choose to have it blowing directly at you at all times or have it pan the room to keep the air moving with an occasional direct hit. Each of the three speeds claims to be quiet, so it shouldn’t bother you even if you keep it on high all night. If you’d prefer, there’s also a nighttime setting that automatically decreases fan speed and dims the control lights for bedtime.
Promising review: “Exactly what we wanted! My husband loves this fan. It has everything he needs — remote, oscillator, timer, different fan speeds, and it is the right height (perfect for keeping you cool while you sleep). The color is a nice medium gray and looks much better than a black one. It is very quiet for a fan this size. No clackety-clack, no unusual motor sounds, nothing at all that is unpleasant. Enough white noise to be comfortable. He can direct the airflow directly on him instead of both of us, or it will distribute the air all over the room. Very nice product. The timer is an especially nice feature. He thought he would not want a timer or remote but it turns out he wouldn't be without them now. The perfect fan we have been looking for!!!! I recommend this highly.” —Lyn
What else to consider: Keep in mind that this fan won’t be silent (I’ve never encountered one that is), but it is quieter than most, so it should only emit a gentle hum that can provide some pleasant white noise while you sleep.
Best for: those in need of a little extra breeze or circulation in addition to other cooling measures.
You can buy the Lasko portable electric oscillating tower fan from Amazon for around $81.
If you have a mattress you love but want to add a layer of cooling with smart sleep tracking (and price is not an issue), this Pod Pro cover might work for you. The thermoregulation technology has a temperature autopilot that learns from your sleeping patterns and automatically adjusts to keep you in a deep sleep. You can also schedule personalized temperatures for each phase of the night, which is perfect if you tend to feel chilly while falling asleep but wake up sweating at 4 a.m. The dual-zone cooling and heating means that each sleeper can keep their side exactly as they’d like without interfering with a partner’s comfort. There are also tons of cool smart features that offer things like daily health metrics, gradual thermal change, and even vibration to gently wake you at a set time.
Promising review: “@eightsleep is a game changer for temp. We have the pod + cover and it’s SO good.” —Ben Morris
What else to consider: Since this is an expensive product, you may want to chat with the sleep pros on their website to ask questions or book a virtual demo to make sure you really want to invest in the Pod Pro Cover.
Best for: couples with varying sleep temperature preferences or anyone looking for a very elevated, multifunctional cooling product that has tons of added smart features to maximize your sleep efficiency.
You can buy the Eight Sleep Pod Pro Cover With PerfectFit from Eight Sleep for around $2,245 for a queen size.
Comforters can be tricky if you’re a hot sleeper or tend to wake up from night sweats but still like to be cozy and warm at times. This comforter from Slumber Cloud is one of the best, most versatile options to keep you comfortable. As the name implies, it is lightweight but still plush and warm enough to feel cuddly. The temperature-regulating technology with fiberfill is designed to control the microclimate under your covers. It promises to feel like your favorite down comforter but also regulate heat and moisture while you sleep, which is really the best of both worlds. The outer layer is also hypoallergenic and 300 thread count, 100% cotton.
Promising review: “Best comforter for a hot sleeper ever! I’ve struggled with hot sleeping my whole life, and this blanket seems to be a miracle. I no longer wake up sweaty (used to happen multiple times a week). I know this review sounds like it was written by a bot, but I am that astonished with this product. Highly recommend.” —Adam H., via Slumber Cloud
What else to consider: There isn’t any comforter that’s going to make you feel cooler than no comforter at all, but if you crave the coziness of a down comforter despite sleeping hot, this may be as close as you can get to cooler sleep.
Best for: comforter lovers who struggle with the weight and heat that comes with most plush blankets.
You can buy the Slumber Cloud lightweight comforter from Slumber Cloud for around $199.
Sleeping with socks on is a habit that elicits strong opinions. While the argument I’ve most frequently heard against sleeping with socks is generally that it makes people too hot, Kennedy begs to differ. “Keeping your feet warm actually helps your core temperature to lower and stay where it’s supposed to be,” she said. That’s right — as counterintuitive as it may be, warming your feet actually cools your core body temperature, which she notes can also be done by putting a hot water bottle down by your feet if you are adamantly anti-sock for sleeping. If you’re in favor of sleep socks, this pack of fuzzy, anti-skid microfiber socks are a good option. You can choose from plain white, black, or a variety of colors and patterns. Of course, you can wear them around the house or to lounge around, but they’re specifically designed to stay in place while you sleep and feel extra cozy on the inside.
Promising review: “I’m 30, and I think I’ve kicked off every pair of socks I’ve ever tried to wear while sleeping after an hour or two. These socks made it to the morning! They look like itchy winter socks, but they’re light and breathable somehow! I’m personally using them to help lotions soak in overnight. The stripes are fine, because it’s not like I’m wearing them in public, and they also grip the floor nicely for your middle-of-the-night potty breaks.” —Brandon
What else to consider: These socks fit men’s shoe sizes 7 to 12.5, which will equate roughly to sizes 8 and up for women. If you have smaller feet, they’re definitely still wearable — just note that it will be a larger fit.
Best for: Warmer sleepers who wear socks and would enjoy something breathable that will still help cool their core temperature.
You can buy a six-pack of Microfiber sleep socks from Amazon for around $20.