How to keep your bedroom cool this summer

Now the sun has finally decided to make an appearance, it can be all too easy to get caught out by a heatwave. And by the time you rush to the shops, there are no fans left on the shelves. Get ahead of the game with these tips to keep your bedroom cool this summer, covering everything from which thread count linen is best to keep you cool, to the best materials and tog for a summer weight duvet.

You can also take some practical steps to keep your bedroom cool at night, like avoiding charging your phone at night as charging any gadget will add heat to your room. Switch out your lightbulbs to LED; regular lightbulbs are known for emitting a lot of heat.

If you can’t go for blackout blinds, then consider keeping the curtains in your bedroom closed during the day to reduce the amount of sunlight coming in and warming up the room.

A spray bottle of cool water next to your bed to spritz if the mercury tips can feel refreshing. Or press a cold flannel or ice cubes on your pulse points.

Ideally, a combination of all these ways to keep your bedroom cool this summer will result in a sound night’s sleep, however hot it gets.

Upgrade to cooling white linen

When it comes to cooler nights, you want bedlinen that’s as breathable as possible, and that usually means completely natural materials. Secret Linen Store has one of the best ranges of 100% linen on the market.

Linen is super breathable and has moisture wicking qualities that will keep you cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold. All of their linens are OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 Certified, which means they’re entirely free of chemicals. Their linens are also grown using less water, and with low use of fertilisers and pesticides, so they have less of an environmental impact than cotton. Linen also becomes softer after every wash.

Piglet in Bed are another great brand to check out for cooling linen bedding. They also do a gorgeous range of linen pyjama sets to help you get the most comfortable night’s sleep.

When it comes to thread count, you might want to opt for the highest you can, but bear in mind the higher the thread count, the more tightly the threads are woven, so something like a 1,000 thread count will actually be warmer. A 500 thread count linen is ideal for breathability and keeping the temperature down.

Using lightweight pale linens are perfect for the summer months
Image credit: Secret Linen Store

Add greenery

Plants have a calming effect in your bedroom, which can help you relax and drift off to sleep. There are also certain species that are handy at keeping your room cool during hot weather and give an oxygen boost at night.

Plants release moisture into the air, which evaporates and cools the air around them. Some of the best species to opt for are the ficus genus (both benjamina and elastica – the rubber plant). Chinese Evergreens and beautiful, tropical looking palms are alternatives that work well in the summer.

Plants can increase the amount of oxygen in your bedroom and help with stuffiness
Image credit: Leaf Envy

Use a quiet bedside fan

If you’re going to buy a bedside fan, go for the quietest you can on the market. In association with the UK Noise Abatement Society Charitable foundation, Quiet Mark has been created as an independent, international approval award programme to identify the quietest products in a given category. The Meaco Sefte fan (pictured) is one that makes the grade, running at just 25 dB.

It has air beam precision and costs less than 0.1p / hour to run (based on 24.5p / kWh), meaning it’s fine to leave on all night. It also comes with a handy glow-in-the-dark remote.

If you’ve got two fans, think about how you position them. For bedrooms with two windows, you can position one fan pointing to one window to push the hot air out and one to pull cooler air in. For an extra blast of cool, you could put a bowl of ice in front of your fan.

Put a fan on your bedside table to keep cool through the night in a heatwave
Image credit: MeacoFan

Invest in a new mattress

If you’re in the market for a new mattress, then do some research on getting the right one to keep you cool in the summer months. Cox & Cox fall on the upper end of the price range, but given the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, it can be worth the investment.

Each one of their mattresses is made to order out of mohair, pashmina and bamboo fibres layered over 3,000 pocket springs, with a hand stitched finish. A cooling mattress is a misnomer in the fact, it won’t actually cool you down, but its mix of materials are made for maximum breathability and cooler nights. Steer clear of heat-trapping memory foam if you want cooler nights.

If you don’t want to replace your whole mattress, you could go for a cooling mattress pad to place on top of it. The Sleep Foundation says “a cooling mattress pad actively or passively regulates temperature and prevents you from sleeping hot. Some are made with breathable materials, like cotton or wool, while others are infused with gel to draw heat away from the body and dissipate moisture.”

Make sure your mattress is designed to cope with hot weather
Image credit: Cox & Cox

Put up blackout blinds

One of the most effective ways of keeping your bedroom cool in summer is to use blackout blinds to block out the sunlight.

“One of the primary benefits of blackout blinds is their ability to minimise solar heat gain. When sunlight enters a room through windows, it heats up surfaces such as floors, walls, and furniture, causing indoor temperatures to rise,” First Blinds explain.

“By effectively blocking sunlight, blackout blinds help to reduce the amount of heat that enters the space, thus decreasing the need for air conditioning to cool the room. This can result in significant energy savings, especially during the hot summer months when cooling costs are highest.”

Proper installation is crucial for maximising the effectiveness of blackout blinds, according to First Blinds.

“Ensure a snug fit and seal around windows to prevent any gaps where sunlight could seep through. This will optimise their ability to block both light and heat, keeping your home cooler and more comfortable,” they add.

Consider a blackout blind to keep your bedroom cool and keep out the heat
Image credit: Blinds2go

Keep cool with an air conditioning unit

If you want a fool-proof solution for getting a good night’s sleep through any impending heatwaves, an air conditioning unit is a guaranteed way to keep your bedroom cool. The VonHaus model (pictured) comes with five handy modes to switch between to ensure a cool night’s sleep.

  1. Sleep mode: Adopts a low speed setting for whisper quiet operation, gradually powering off after six hours. Has a noise level of 53dB.
  2. Cooling mode: Self-regulates to lower the room temperature to your chosen temperature
  3. Dehumidifier mode: Designed to help quicken the clothes-drying process and remove excess moisture
  4. Fan-only mode: Circulates fresh air around your space
  5. Automatic mode: Activates cooling mode if the temperature is above 24°C, and fan-only mode if below 24°C

The unit sits on four castors, so you can move it between rooms, will maintain your chosen room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees, and can cool rooms up to 37m2.

Air conditioning units are the most efficient way to keep your bedroom cool in the summer
Image credit: VonHaus

Get the right tog duvet

Experts recommend that the temperature in your bedroom stays at a pleasant 16 – 18 ºC (60.8 – 64.4 ºF).

“This might seem cold to some, but the trick is that your body temperature is regulated with a duvet to trap the heat your body creates naturally, helping you sleep well – so that you wake up rested with a clear head,” add Bedding experts Naturalmat.

Tog stands for thermal overall grade, and measures how well a duvet insulates heat. The lower the tog, the cooler and more lightweight the duvet will be. The scale goes from one tog, as the coolest duvet to 15, as the warmest.

However, Naturalmat say that’s not the only thing that can influence how warm you feel. You need to think about the duvet’s material as well.

“Duvets made from duck feathers and down provide air flow when you need it most. Goose down duvets are soft and fluffy, providing plenty of comfort, but they are also great at releasing heat when it gets too hot. Finally, Organic wool duvets trap heat when you need it and disperse it when you don’t, which can make it a great choice for both heatwaves and cold snaps,” they explain.

Naturalmat also have some good tips on which pillows to plump for when it comes to keeping cool at night.

“The choice of firmness is all about what you find most comfortable and relaxing to prevent you from becoming frustrated and raising your body temperature even further,” they advise.

“An organic wool pillow will disperse heat when necessary and is also a firmer option. A pillow with a mixture of organic wool and duck down will provide a medium firmness while also allowing good air flow. For those who like a really soft pillow, goose down is a great option that still has excellent temperature controlling properties.”

Switch your heavyweight tog duvet to something lighter for the summer
Image credit: The Secret Linen Store

Fill and freeze a cold water bottle

While a hot water bottle is the last thing you’ll think of when a heatwave comes, you can actually use them to cool you down. Fill your water bottle with cold water (around half full) and pop it in the freezer for 20 minutes. Don’t leave it in the freezer too long, as you don’t want it to freeze solid, it could crack the rubber.

To be on the safe side, it’s best to have one water bottle for cold water in the summer, and one for hot water in the winter, as popping them in the freezer can affect the rubber seal. You’ll probably want to switch up the hot water bottle cover and could even put it in a towel or a pillowcase.

A hot water bottle can be filled with cold water to keep cool in the summer
Image credit: Sophie Allport