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

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

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

A young couple place frozen bed sheets on their mattress during the summer to help them sleep cooler

(Image credit: Getty)

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

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Claire Davies

Claire is a Sleep Editor and Certified Sleep Science Coach who covers all things related to slumber, and is the go-to person for getting great product recommendations for better sleep. As an expert mattress reviewer, Claire has tested memory foam and hybrid mattresses from a range of top-rated brands, and has extensive experience of testing bedding too. Claire regularly speaks to certified sleep specialists, such as chartered psychologists and doctors of sleep medicine, to stay on top of the research and techniques that can help you enjoy better quality sleep, and she speaks with industry specialists about the latest mattress trends and new releases. Before delving into the world of sleep, Claire was Health & Wellness Editor at Top Ten Reviews, and before that a Senior Content Editor at T3. Having suffered with insomnia for years, Claire knows how much of a difference a good night’s sleep can make and is passionate about helping others to sleep better too.

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