Do Loft Beds Get Hot? (And What You Need to Know To Stay Cool)

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So you’re in the process of getting a bed, and you’ve settled on a loft bed. You like its multi-functionality, its sleek and modern design, and you’re excited about setting up a comfy reading nook underneath your bed. There’s just one thing that you’re a little worried about.  

You think back to your college days when you were sleeping in the top bunk, and it was a hot summer day. Sleeping was not an easy or comfortable affair.  

You have absolutely no interest in experiencing that again. You found yourself googling the temperature of loft beds in an attempt to figure out whether you’ll be forced to relive your college discomfort.  

The short answer is, not if you don’t want to.  

Even in spaces with low ceilings, loft beds aren’t necessarily hotter than regular beds. Often, bed temperatures have a lot to do with factors surrounding your loft bed than the actual bed itself. 

This could be the clothes you wear when you’re sleeping, the materials of your sheets and mattress, how close the loft bed is to your temperature control device, and your room and building ventilation.  

Optimal bed temperature for sleeping  

Comfort is subjective, but the optimal room temperature for sleeping is typically 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (or 15 to 19 degrees Celcius), according to Cleveland Clinic sleep psychologist Michelle Drerup, PsyD. She suggests thinking of your bedroom as a cave, meaning it should be “cool, dark, and quiet to enhance your sleep.”  

I don’t know about you, but I am not a fun person to be around when I’ve had less than 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye, whether it be from waking up constantly throughout the night or taking far too long to fall asleep. (Is it just me, or do nightmares tend to come when your sleep isn’t optimal? Also, am I the only one who seems to fall into deep sleep an hour before I need to wake up if whenever I have had trouble shutting my eye in the first place? Just me? OK).  

Science says that being too cold or too hot can mess with your sleep.  

One 2012 study found that excessive heat or cold exposure can “increase wakefulness” and “decrease rapid eye movement sleep and slow wave sleep,” which means you’re more likely to be snatched out of your deep-ass sleep. But another study conducted by the Centers for Disease control between 2002 to 2011 reportedly found that these sleep disruptions are the most severe in the summer, when it is three times as high compared to other seasons.  

I personally have more trouble with too much heat, even though I am Southeast Asian and spent the first nine years of my life in a tropical climate. After all, heat is a lot harder to manipulate without the presence of AC. When it’s cold, I just often throw on an extra layer of blanket or duvet, and 90% of the time, that fixes the problem.  

Factors that determine loft bed temperature  

While there are things about a loft bed that impact how hot or cold it is, it ultimately comes down to what is around your loft bed, and the materials you have on your bed.  

Take your sheets—a polar fleece or flannel sheet, for example, isn’t ideal for summer nights when you want to keep cool. So if cooling down is your main concern, you’d want to opt for bamboo, Egyptian cotton, or linen.  

The same goes with your pillowcase, duvet, or top sheets. You want to stay away from heat-trapping fabrics during warmer seasons.  

The same goes with what you wear to bed. (I will assume that you don’t go to sleep wearing wool pajamas on summer nights). Now, I’m not one of those people who have a separate wardrobe for sleepwear, but if I were, I’d opt for silk or satin.  

For baggy t-shirt wearers (like me), I have found a blend of cotton and viscose to be the best for hot nights. I have heard that viscose is not great if you’re somewhere overly humid though, because it’s a moisture-retaining fabric.  

However, the most significant factor is going to be the temperature and ventilation of your room (and if you have a temperature control device, how close your bed is to that device).  

If you’re too far away from the AC, then your bed might feel much hotter than you would like it to be. If your bed is too close to a sun-facing window, then the sunlight will warm up your bed if you keep the windows open. Alternatively, if you have little ventilation or windows and your room is a little stuffy, that will not help much either. 

How to cool a loft bed 

If you want to cool down your loft bed, start by changing your surroundings.  

Honestly, the best is to invest in some sort of temperature control device, specifically an AC unit or a good fan if it is about keeping your room cool. Suppose you’d prefer not to do that (I completely understand—as a former NYC resident who regularly hopped from apartment to apartment). In that case, you can look at investing in a good cooling mattress pad, which is a little bit less inconvenient to carry around.    

At the end of the day, whether your loft bed feels hot has very little to do with the bed, and a lot to do with your room and surrounding.  

So if you want to keep your room cool, know investing in the right bedding and temperature control device will go a long, long way, loft bed or not.  

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