Can A Mattress Protector Make You Sweat?

protector being wrapped on a mattress

With the majority of models carrying price tags that run into several hundred or thousands of dollars, a mattress can be a substantial investment. A waterproof protector is therefore non-negotiable for consumers serious about insulating their mattresses against spills, dirt, dust mites, and allergens that can cause stains and other physical signs of deterioration.

Waterproof mattress protectors feature a membrane usually made from vinyl that serves as a protective barrier against urine accidents, perspiration, and liquid spills that can deeply stain and cause damage to your expensive mattress.

Many consumers report increased night sweats from this protective membrane that is meant to keep the mattress dry at all costs. Additionally, this waterproof barrier may also be noisy which can derail the chances of having a great night after a hard day of work.

How Do Mattress Protectors Make You Sweat?

Nobody likes to sweat at bedtime and when a deliberate addition to the sleeping environment is causing you to wake up sweat-drenched then that can be a big problem. Despite the multiple benefits of waterproof mattress protectors, even their biggest fans admit that they can increase the chances of sweating in bed.

This is because the waterproof barrier integrated into the protector inhibits the free flow of air which can mean little to no temperature regulation in the sleeper’s body. As the body heats up in the middle of the night, the lack of air circulation from the bedding to the mattress may translate to an unbearably hot sleeping surface.

The result is an increased degree of sweating even among those who naturally sleep cool. For anyone who has always struggled with night sweats even before adding a mattress pad to the mix, the situation may only get worse.

Which Classes of People Are More Prone to Night Sweats?

It is no secret that mattress protectors can contribute to night sweats. However, some classes of people sweat more compared to others. If you fall under any of the classifications below, a mattress protector may not be a good idea.

1. Hot Sleepers

The body temperature is biologically wired to automatically cool down before sleep occurs in the majority of people. However, there are some classes of folks whose body temperatures remain abnormally high throughout the night even after drifting off.

Natural hot sleepers may feel hot even in environments that might be cool for others. This can lead to profuse sweating when others are not exhibiting any such signs. Hot sleeping is a hereditary condition for which no medical treatment has been found.

If you’re constantly sweating at bedtime despite a blasting air conditioner or normal room temperature, a waterproof mattress protector may not be the best fit.

2. Menopausal Women 

Hot flashes and night sweats are the two most common complaints menopausal women report. Sadly, even women who have slept cool all their lives may begin to experience those signs of discomfort after reaching that critical period.

The night sweats and hot flashes are caused by the constant changes in the levels of estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones. This typically inhibits the body’s natural ability to regulate its temperature leading to those unbearable levels of discomfort.

The last thing a menopausal woman with severe hot flashes may need is to go to bed on a waterproof mattress protector because it can affect the quality of her sleep significantly.

3. Diabetes

One of the common symptoms diabetics experience is waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat. Sometimes, the situation can occur even during cold weather when others may be freezing.

These night sweats occur due to plummeting glucose levels typical during the night, a medical condition known as nocturnal hypoglycemia. The often significant drop in blood glucose levels may lead to physical signs such as headaches and severe night sweats.

As such, waterproof mattress protectors may not be a great idea for anyone who has been diagnosed with diabetes.

However, if you must sleep on a protector due to another pre-existing condition such as incontinence, fitting in workouts early in the morning and ditching alcohol can keep blood glucose levels stable at night.

That should translate to better sleep.

4. Medication 

vitamins in the palm

Have you been diagnosed with cancer and undergoing treatments for other life-threatening conditions? If yes, your prescription drugs can cause a spike in the rate of sweating at night. Ditching your waterproof mattress protector in favor of mattress pads or another alternative may be a smart choice.

Some antidepressants and other medications diagnosed for mental illness have also been linked to increased night sweats and discomfort.

Due to the often long-term need to take these drugs, doing away with your mattress protector can be the smart way to go. This simple move may lead to significant improvements to your sleep.

5. Sleep Apnea 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a medical condition caused by a blockage in a person’s airways during sleep. A constant cycle of starts and stops in breathing resulting in loud snoring is the main symptom of the condition.

Sleep Apnea has been linked with significant increments in night sweats and other forms of discomfort. This is why staying away from waterproof mattress protectors may be the way to go after being diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.

Have you read the article we wrote on Can Cats Have Sleep Apnea? Click the link to find out signs of the condition in felines as well as steps that can be taken for treatment.

How To Keep Night Sweats At Bay 

Do you suffer frequent night sweats as a result of sleeping on a mattress protector or other conditions such as diabetes, menopause, or sleep apnea? Here are a couple of ways to keep night sweats at bay regardless of the underlying reason.

1. Lower the Bedroom Temperature

person lowering the thermostat in a bedroom

Sleeping in a hot room is a surefire way to suffer night sweats and the resultant discomforts. This is why it is important to keep the bedroom temperature cool, especially during the summer.

Turning on the fan or air conditioner is a tried and tested method for keeping bedrooms cool and comfortable even in the middle of heatwaves.

In the absence of an AC, opening the bedroom windows can also work well. The trick is to keep the windows open right from the morning so that lots of cool air can circulate the bedroom by nighttime.

Looking for natural ways to keep the bedroom cool? Check out the article we wrote on the 19 Ways To Keep Your Body and Bedroom Cool Without AC

2. Wear Natural Fibers 

Do you like to go to bed wearing some sort of pajamas? If yes, the choice of fabric may determine how much comfort you can get throughout the night. Getting this wrong can lead to night sweats that affect the quality of your life.

Look out for bedtime clothes made from cotton, merino wool, silk, and other natural fibers because they have a natural ability to regulate the sleeper’s body temperature. Synthetic fibers can worsen the sleeper’s body heat leading to significant levels of stress that may keep you up at night.

This is why they must be avoided at all costs especially during hot periods of the year.

3. Ditch Memory Foam

Memory foam offers lots of benefits including custom support and pressure point relief for the sleeper’s body. However, this innovative foam is temperature-sensitive meaning it can literally be a hotbed to sleep on especially during the summer.

Whether you’re a natural hot sleeper or battling the effects of menopause, memory foam can be a terrible option. The lack of proper air circulation in the majority of these models means the sleeper’s body temperature may be easily transferred to the mattress.

The result is significant degrees of sweating and discomfort all night long.

I now get a cloud-like sleeping experience since I ordered the LUCID Latex Hybrid Mattress from Amazon 3 months ago. It provides an amazing cool sleeping experience with no night sweats and discomfort, unlike my previous mattresses. It is highly recommended.

4. Wool Blankets and Comforters 

Wool blankets and comforters can be lifesaving for those who experience lots of night sweats. Whether this is due to the use of some prescription medications or pre-existing medical conditions, wool blankets can be a great choice.

Wool is extremely breathable with natural temperature-adjusting properties that ensure comfort whatever the reading on the thermostat. Additionally, the often lightweight nature of wool comforters can lead to just the right amount of temperature control in the bedroom environment.

If you must wrap a blanket on the body even during the summer, wool comforters or blankets can be the best option.

The EKTOS 100% Wool Blanket from Amazon has been the perfect addition to my bed since discovering it last month. It is super soft, odor-free, and offers exceptional temperature regulation during the summer and winter.

5. Keep A Sleep Diary

Sometimes, night sweats may result from the lifestyle choices we make in the hours leading up to bedtime. This is why keeping a sleep diary can be the key to uncovering specific actions that trigger those sweats so you can take the right decisions to eliminate them.

The type of food you eat and the level of physical activity engaged in around bedtime can be the underlying reason behind the increased sweating at night. Sleep diaries may help you notice specific routines that could be leading to those night sweats so you can make better choices.

Alternatives For Those Who Sweat On Mattress Protectors

OK, so you’ve finally given up on mattress protectors due to the excessive sweating that inhibits the chances of sleeping through the night comfortably. Here are a few alternatives that can offer some protection for your mattress without negatively affecting the ability to enjoy restful nights. 

Draw Sheets

These are specialized sheets designed for easy positioning and transfer of the injured, ill, or anyone with mobility issues. While draw sheets are not integrated with a protective waterproof layer, they’re designed to absorb the moisture caused by sweating. 

This can mean quality protection of your mattress from stains and spills. The good news is that unlike waterproof mattress protectors, draw sheets do not exacerbate the risk of sweating through the night.

Additionally, draw sheets typically feature cotton or polyester fabric which can mean low friction, cozy sensations, and amazing overall sleeping experience.

The Position Pad Draw Sheet from Amazon offers perfect absorption of fluids from incontinent patients. It features double-sided polyester fabric with heavy-duty reinforced handles that helps in the transfer, re-positioning, or lifting of patients with ease.

Bed Pads

If you’re tired of tossing and turning all night due to the use of mattress protectors, why not switch to bed pads?

These pads can offer a layer of protection for mattresses against sweat, spills, dirt, and dust mites without affecting how much a sleeper sweats. They may feature quilted polyester or cotton fabric which is extra soft to the touch to improve comfort throughout the night.

The extra cushioning can come in handy for anyone with an old mattress that provides mediocre comfort and support.

Bed pads may also cover up any dips and valleys in your mattress while evenly distributing the sleeper’s body weight. The result is a superior sleeping experience and pain-free happy mornings thanks to the absence of body pains.

The EPICA Premium Quality Bed Pad from Amazon creates a waterproof barrier to protect my mattress from liquid spills as well as urine accidents. It is easy to wash and dry as well as extremely absorbent.


The plastic membrane component of waterproof mattress protectors can make you sweat even when room temperatures are on the low side. This is why these protectors may not be a good option for those who sweat naturally regardless of their sleeping environment.

Menopausal women and diabetics, in particular, are also better off finding alternatives such as bed pads and draw sheets to limit the chances of sweating at night.


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