Summer is filled with memory-making pastimes like family vacations, outdoor activities, ice cream cones, and days spent frolicking at the beach. But the clear, sunny skies can lead to steamy hot nights when the sun goes down, making it hard to sleep. Sure, you can turn the thermostat way down (if you have central air), but you’ll pay for it on your utility bill. Or, you can tweak your bedroom's furnishings to a summertime ensemble that will keep you cool and offer a better night's rest.
01 of 07
Use Lightweight Blankets
When winter temperatures dip, few things are as pleasant as curling up in bed under a lofty comforter. But when summer temperatures swelter, heavy bedding is the last thing you need. Instead, make a seasonal switch to a light, open-weave, 100 percent cotton blanket. Both the material and the weave make this bedside covering far more breathable than a microfiber or tightly woven blanket. The weight lends just enough to feel securely covered and still remain comfortable, even in the warmest climates. Choose a light colored blanket or one with a delicate pattern to make the room cooling to the eye, as well.
02 of 07
Switch to Light Cotton Sheets
Flannel sheets can be packed neatly away at the first sign of spring. Then, when the mercury starts to soar, synthetic bedding should follow suit. That's the time to treat yourself to some lightweight 100 percent cotton sheets. Contrary to popular belief, the thread count doesn't have to be high for a comfortable night's rest. In fact, high thread counts can sometimes be too insulating for the summer (a 400 thread count works best). Look for sheets made from extra-long staple cotton—like Egyptian or Pima—for the coolest and softest option. Select sheets that are white or come in a pale pastel for a blast of psychological cooling, to boot.
03 of 07
Cool Down Your Pillow
A hot, sweaty pillow makes you flip from side to side all night long in search of some relief. Instead, try putting a gel-filled cooling mat over the top of your pillow for an always-comfortable spot to lay your head. The thin mat is filled with the squishy gel found in reusable ice packs and is sized to fit on top of a standard pillow. Because the pad is moldable, you’ll hardly notice it's there. For an extra cool head, place the mat in the fridge or freezer just before bedtime. But even a pad left at room temperature will lend relief, as the inner gel feels much cooler than the surrounding air, wicking heat away from your body.
04 of 07
Invest in a Bedside Fan
If you crave a cool summer breeze but don't want the expenditure of running the air conditioning, try a small bedside fan or a ceiling fan instead. Perched on your nightstand or dresser, a portable fan directs the breeze right where you need it. Try setting a bowl of ice cubes and chilled water in front of the fan to keep the constant flow of air from drying out your nose and throat. To cool down the whole room before bed, flip on the ceiling fan to dissipate the warm air that collects up high.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Humidify the Air
Summertime brings dry, arid air to certain climates like the Southwest. This air sucks the moisture from your skin, eyes, and throat. Even in a humid climate, central air conditioning can greatly reduce indoor humidity, leaving you parched. Enlist the help of a humidifier to provide just enough moisture to keep you cool and comfortable. Run it near your bedside and change the water each day to prevent the buildup of molds.
06 of 07
Opt for a Lightweight Duvet
When temperatures rise, sleeping under down seems counterintuitive. However, a lightweight, low-fill down duvet can actually keep you cool. The "fill" equates to the measurement of feathers contained inside the duvet. Four hundred to 600-fill duvets work best year-round in climates with four seasons. But if you run warm or live in a subtropical climate, a duvet with a fill power under 400 is more suitable. Lightweight duvets tend to contain more feathers than down—feathers are less insulating and very breathable—making them an excellent choice of fill for the muggy months. Finish your summer bedding with a duvet cover in a soft color or a simple pattern for an overall airy vibe.
07 of 07
Turn a Hot Water Bottle Into a Cold One
Typically, a hot water bottle is used to heat the body. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be filled with something cool instead! Simply, store your water-filled rubber bottle in the fridge during the day, and then slip it under your sheets at bedtime. Use it to cool your feet, tuck it behind your knees, or prop it under your neck and your entire body will feel cooler. This is a great way for menopausal women to ward off dreaded hot flashes, as well.