No matter how much we dream of a balmy summer, take it up a few notches and there’s nothing more exhausting than losing your cool in a heatwave – and not being able to sleep.
Hot and bothered, all that tossing and turning also makes you question the state of your bedding and whether the sheets are up to scratch.
Which bed sheets are best?
“When it comes to beating the summer heat, I always recommend choosing sheets made from natural fibres such as cotton or linen,” advises Sammy Margo, sleep expert at Dreams.
“These materials are fantastic, because they allow air to circulate and wick away moisture from your body, helping to keep you fresh and cool throughout the night.”
She says her favourite choice is lightweight, percale-weave cotton sheets with a thread count between 200 and 400, as they provide optimal comfort.
Also, look for Egyptian or Pima cotton with a thread count of 300 or above, suggests Margo, which provides a soft and comfortable feel, while ensuring optimal airflow.
“I advise staying away from synthetic fabrics as they tend to trap heat and moisture,” she continues, “leading to a humid and uncomfortable sleep experience.”
What about linen?
“For the summer months, I highly recommend linen bedding,” says Margo.
“Linen fibres naturally absorb moisture and allow it to evaporate quickly, ensuring a cool and dry sleep,” she explains. “Linen sheets offer excellent airflow, creating a refreshing and airy feel.
“I particularly love light-coloured linen sheets as, during the day, they reflect sunlight away from the sheets and enhance the cooling effect.”
Mary Love, director of product and sourcing for Simba, says you can also try bamboo and Tencel fabrics. “Both serve the same purpose with moisture-wicking abilities and breathability, so are also good choices for the summer months.”
Are silk sheets worth splashing out on?
“If you’re looking for a touch of luxury during summer, silk bedding is an excellent choice,” suggests Margo. “Silk feels cool and smooth against the skin and helps regulate your body temperature for a comfortable sleep environment.”
Its moisture-wicking properties keep you cool and dry all night long, notes Margo. “And the smooth texture of silk also reduces friction, making it great for your hair and skin, helping to promote a more restful sleep.”
Duvet or blanket?
As Love puts it: “Duvets are known to trap heat, which is just what’s needed in cold winter months – but in the summer months, it’s a nightmare for many.
“I’d recommend choosing a duvet with a low ‘tog rating’ – a tog rating is what indicates the duvet’s thermal resistance. So, for summer, I’d recommend a duvet with a low tog of 4-7.”
If you find your duvet is too heavy and hot for summer, but you still want something to sleep under, Love suggests sleeping ‘hotel style’ by simply removing the duvet from your bedsheets and sleeping in just the covers.
Margo says: “During the summer, I always recommend ditching the heavy duvets and opting for a lighter alternative like a summer-weight blanket.
“Look for blankets made from lightweight materials such as cotton, wool or linen. These materials offer sufficient warmth without trapping excessive heat.”
She also suggests layering the blanket, so you have the flexibility to add or remove layers based on your comfort needs.
Does your pillow make a difference?
“Whether you like your pillows soft or firm, their main job in the summer is to keep you cool and comfortable,” says Love.
She suggests pillows designed with advanced technology to help you stay cool at night. Also, check out pillow protectors with cooling features to wick moisture and heat away from body.
“You could also try cooling gel pillows, which are infused with a special cooling gel that helps to keep the pillow temperature low,” says Love.
“Or even a buckwheat pillow, which has a more breathable natural structure, making for a cooler sleep surface.”
Does a mattress protector make a difference?
“Selecting the right mattress protector is essential for maintaining a cool sleep environment,” says Margo.
She says to look for protectors specifically designed to enhance airflow, such as those made from bamboo, cotton terry or temperature-regulating fabric.
“These materials wick away moisture, preventing heat build-up and ensuring a cool and dry sleeping surface,” says Margo. “Avoid waterproof or plastic-based protectors as they can trap heat and restrict airflow, leading to a feeling of heat and sweatiness.
“Remember, finding the bedding materials and products that suit your personal preferences and needs is key to a restful and cool night’s sleep,” she adds. “Sweet dreams!”