With warmer nights settling in, getting a good night’s sleep can become a common problem for many of us, but how do you keep a bedroom cool in a heatwave?
Leaving the window open isn’t always an option due to outside noise and even hay fever, meaning it can be tricky to keep your bedroom cool during the night.
We asked the experts for their top tips to keep your home cool in a heatwave, whether you are looking for the best fans or how to sleep better, we've made some suggestions for future-proofing so that your bedroom ideas will need less protection in years to come.
How to keep a bedroom cool in a heatwave
Ensuring you have enough hours of sleep per night is essential for a healthy lifestyle, so set a regular bedtime and stick to it so your body knows when it’s time to wind down. Try to avoid looking at a screen right before you go to sleep as the blue light emitted by mobile phones can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime. Yellow light from a bedside lamp creates a cozier setting that your mind will associate with bedtime and relaxation. Here are more ways to keep a bedroom cool at night.
1. Invest in a mattress that will regulate body temperature
Finding the best mattress or best organic mattress is key to a good night’s sleep, especially during the summer. Waking up feeling too warm during the night can be incredibly disruptive to your sleeping patterns but you may not realise just how much of an impact your mattress has on your body’s temperature during the night.
'There are a number of mattress options available that can help you to regulate your body’s temperature,' explains Jonathan Warren, director at bed specialist Time4Sleep (opens in new tab). 'Generally speaking, a mattress with a high content of natural fillings such as wool, cotton or bamboo is often a great choice for those struggling to sleep in the heat as they tend to be cooler as well as being naturally hypoallergenic.'
'Other options to consider are new generation elite gel memory foam mattresses that include intelligent temperature regulating technology to help keep you cool in the summer and warm during winter. These mattresses include a temperature regulating cool gel that adjusts with your body temperature to ensure you’re never too hot or cold during the night, resulting in a truly refreshing night’s sleep.'
2. Prepare your bed for summer with breathable sheets
Your cozy sheets and thick bedding may have served you well through the winter months but now is the time to change up your bedding in time for summer and opt for natural, breathable materials.
'Pure cotton sheets have sensory benefits and are naturally breathable so they help to regulate your temperature and moisture levels while you sleep, stopping the clammy feeling you can experience with synthetic fibres,' says Lucy Ackroyd, head of design at Christy England (opens in new tab).
'Secondly, high thread count fabrics are smoother against the skin so as well as being much more comfortable you are less likely to feel tangled up or trapped by rougher fabrics that cling, especially to nightwear. Try Percale as opposed to Sateen sheets, as they’re made with a looser weave and are therefore more breathable.'
You should also make sure you have the right duvet for the hotter months. For summer, a lighter tog of 4.5 is perfect, if you like something a little heavier but still breathable – try a 10.5 tog.
3. Choose the right window treatment
Blinds and shutters aren’t just used for keeping the light out, they can be used to effectively control the temperature in your home and this is especially useful in the bedroom.
'You’ll first need to consider factors such as which direction your window faces; a south-facing room will benefit from thicker, thermal materials to help keep it cool,' says Jason Peterkin, director at 247 Blinds (opens in new tab). 'Privacy is also an important factor to acknowledge; adjustable blinds such as shutters, Venetians and day nights are great in the bedroom as they can allow light in without compromising privacy.'
'Wooden Venetian blinds or plantation shutters are great for keeping the temperature down in the home as they allow you to adjust the amount of light filtering into the room by altering the size of the gap between the slats. The wood also acts as a natural heat conductor, helping to keep the warm air out during the summer months.'
To completely block out the sunlight, opt for blackout blinds. The thick fabric is not only great for keeping the temperature down, it’ll help you get a better night’s sleep during the brighter months and lighter mornings.
4. Welcome house plants into your bedroom
The best indoor plants take on extra importance during periods of stress, adding life, color, and stress-reducing, air-purifying qualities – and, the right house plants can also help keep your bedroom cool in a heatwave.
House plants act as natural air conditioners and generate moisture into the atmosphere through a process known as transpiration. The most heat-efficient plants are Ficus Benjamina, Chinese Evergreen, Cacti, Aloe Vera and Palms, as they work best in humid conditions.
5. Use a hot water bottle to cool down a bed
A quick and easy way to cool down your bed before you climb in it is to transform your hot water bottle into an ice pack. Simply fill the bottle as normal and leave it in the freezer for a few hours before bedtime. For those who struggle to fall asleep during the heat, this little hack may prove to be especially useful in helping you find sleep much more quickly.
6. Update your bedroom color scheme
If you are struggling to sleep at night, then your bedroom color scheme may be to blame.
Your bedroom needs to not only help you fall asleep, but be a pleasant environment in which to wake up. ‘As a guide, warm colors such as red, orange and yellow are considered to be stimulating while cool colors such as blue and green tend to be more restful and cooling,’ says Judy Smith, color consultant at Crown (opens in new tab). ‘It’s useful to consider these factors if you want to keep a bedroom cool in a heatwave.'
Heading towards the lighter end of the spectrum, white bedroom ideas have the unique ability to feel both soothing and calm before sleep, making them an exceptional choice for keeping a space cool.
‘The reason people like decorating with white in the bedroom is because it is so versatile,’ says color expert Annie Sloan (opens in new tab). ‘There are so many varying shades of white from warm white to cool white. If keeping a bedroom cool is a priority for you, just be sure to pick a white from the cool end of the color spectrum.'
7. Turn off your appliances
You might not realise it, but switched on technological devices will generate unwanted heat into a bedroom over the summer. Consider turning things like your TV and desktop computer – don’t just leave them on standby – turn then off at the plug socket or unplug them altogether. This will stop them warming the bedroom they are in, and overheating in some instances.
Do be mindful of charging things like your phone or tablet. These too give off heat, so it might be best to charge first thing in the morning when cooler. And avoid charging them at night, especially if struggling to sleep in the heat.
This advice could also save you money over the course of the year. The United States Department of Energy reports that homeowners can save anywhere between $100 and $200 each year by unplugging bedroom devices not in use.
Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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