I’m freezing and he’s boiling at bed time — help!

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Cooling/heating mattress pad
Cooling/heating mattress pad
I know partners often prefer different temperatures for sleeping comfortably, so I would LOVE some advice on how you all deal with this issue.

As soon as I get tired, I lose all ability to generate my own body heat. I’ll be sleeping with socks, pajamas, three blankets and something over the top of my face and still feel chilled at the same time my husband is boiling. If the air in the room is too cold, I can’t sleep at all. My husband on the other hand has his own internal furnace and can’t sleep well if he’s too hot.

Winter is here again and I need HELP! –Kacie

You could always invest in something like the ChiliPad — a bed pad that heats and cools your bed at the same time. Or maybe just a heating pad on your side of the bed? Perhaps different blankets weights on different sides of the bed, or consider using a heated blanket just on your side.

Homies, what hot and cold advice do y’all have for bed time?

Comments on I’m freezing and he’s boiling at bed time — help!

  1. I feel your frustration. My husband and I are in exactly the same boat. Unfortunately we don’t have a clear solution either. However, I find that flannel pajamas and a couple of small wool blankets on my side do the trick. You could also consider a twin-sized feather bed for your side of the mattress. I had one for a while, and it was supper snuggly. Good luck finding what works for you!

    • This is exactly what we do. We only use blankets on the bed now, not a doona (duvet). We have enough to keep him warm, then I have a couple more on my side and I generally wear flannelette pyjamas. Plus the cat tends to end up on my side!

      • Guys, thank you for all the great responses. It seems I was traveling when this was posted and I didn’t see it now (almost a year later!!)

        I guess I should have mentioned in my original post, we already do the separate blankets thing. It came about when I was in a cast and had the opposite problem. I was too hot at night! It works better for us, cause I can layer and layer and layer (but I really hate having to sleep with that much weight on me).

        Things have gotten a bit better as I started sleeping in flannel PJ’s, but I hate the feel of them. Hate em so much. I always warm up by about 3 am and wake up having thrown all the blankets off me and I always have to change in the middle of the night when I’ve warmed up, cause I get too hot and sweaty.

        I am too sensitive to electrical currents to be able to use mattress pads or electric blankets and I’m too shy about water bottles after having two leak on me (as well as a water pillow leak too).
        I don’t have a microwave so those magic bags don’t work either.

        I sound like such a whiner. I think the solution will eventually be seperate bedrooms, but for now, it’s usually up to him to sweat it out, cause he can take it like a champ, wheras if I’m too cold I just cannot sleep and I’ll just wake him up crying. It’s all about the ambient temperature of the room. If I’m toasty under the covers, but my nose is cold, can’t sleep. Also can’t sleep if I’m too hot.

        I’m so grateful to have an understanding partner who thinks of me as a delicate orchid, who needs perfect conditions to thrive.

        We’ll keep working on it, and thank you to everyone who sympathized and had great ideas!!!

  2. Its normal here in Germany, but blankets are typically Twin-sized (with duvets on them, no top sheet). Each person in the bed has their own blanket of their preferred weight, and no blanket stealing (Most of the time :p). My Guy loves his heavy down blanket, and I have my thin blanket. We can still cuddle underneath the blankets, but when we fall asleep we have our preferred temps under our blankets.
    I guess this isn’t a great answer if the chill is so extreme in your case, but maybe it could help a tad for you (or others!)

    • This is similar to what my boyfriend and I do. We don’t have twin-sized sheets, but he has a top sheet. He has boxers, maybe pants if it’s cold enough. I wear a fleece shirt, flannel pants, and wool socks to bed and have a top sheet of my own. As long as I wear the right PJs I’m good to go! So we cuddle for a bit and just as I pass out he does the Friends “hug and roll.”

      A larger comforter MIGHT go over the two of us if it gets really cold. Otherwise I have the comforter (and roll up like a larva) and he has a light woven blanket for the chillier nights. Since we adapted that system we’ve been pretty comfortable and happy.

      • thirding. we have separate sheets and blankets and neither of us has a problem with thermoregulation. we keep the house cold in the winter (60 at night) and he’s comfortable with that temp, so i had to figure out a way to make it comfortable for me. a flannel sheet with a fleece blanket and a down comforter on top of that keeps me toasty while he sleeps with a polyfill comforter and a regular sheet.

        • Fourthing.
          Our blankets are even the same weight (though they’re each full sized) but just each having our own makes all the difference in the world. I can double mine up when I’m cold and he can throw his off when he’s hot. His body always seems to give off a ton of heat, so being under the same blanket as him can be way too hot some nights.
          If your headboard isn’t already plush, try tucking an extra pillow vertically between your pillow/head and the headboard or scoot closer to the headboard. This really works for me–it traps the heat lost from your head. Likewise, if your headboard IS plush or seems to feel pretty hot above your bed partner’s head, have them scoot further down the bed so that the heat won’t be trapped.

    • Fifthing.

      We do separate blankets because my fiancΓ© steals them in his sleep and becomes a giant immobile burrito. We also have different opinions on how soft mattresses should be, so my side has a memory foam mattress pad on it (folded in half, which is ridiculously uneven-looking, but comfortable). We have a giant quilt over everything, which helps keep warm air in if we’re feeling snuggly.

      Fleece PJs seem to be nice and warm when I’m falling asleep, but then I wake up all sweaty…maybe that’s just me.

    • We somewhat do this. We have one duvet for the both of us (which I insisted on after we moved in together and I discovered that he would always untuck the top sheet while we slept…making a big tangled mess) and I usually have an extra blanket over that on my side. He sleeps with a fleece blanket under his side because he prefers that texture.

      But now I’m seriously considering just two completely separate coverings….that would be awesome.

  3. We have the same problem (except that I am the furnace and can’t stand to have my feet covered) and have come up with a few measures to deal with it. We put a heated mattress pad (Sears) on the bed that has a separate control for each side; he can turn his as warm as he wants without me sweating. We set the temperature in the room cool enough for me to sleep comfortably (because its harder to cool down while sleeping). I searched for a stay-cool pillow (I’m a flipper) and I have my own jersey cases for it because they don’t retain heat as much as thick cotton or flannel. We divided the covers. You don’t have to buy special ones, just fold them in half. In Germany we each had our own full duvet and it was common there to always see two sets of covers on a couple’s bed. Now, I sleep with my own sheet and thin blanket which I invariable kick onto the floor midway through the night. He sleeps with his own sheet, two blankets, and heavy blanket doubled over, and looks like a human burrito. It does take a little getting used to but now when I get a bit chilly when I wake up I can just snuggle into him and his blankets and we both get better sleep.

  4. I don’t know if this would help, but I have a bunch of rice bags that I microwave to keep me warm under the covers. As the night goes on they cool down, so if you need constant heat it might not work for you.

    I also wear leggings, socks, and a tank top under my pajamas when it’s really cold, so there’s that.

    Good luck πŸ˜€

    • I have one of those teddy bears that you heat up in the microwave. πŸ™‚

      Gets me and the bed warm enough for me to fall asleep, but by the time he gets in bed it’s normally cool enough. Helps that I always go to bed several hours earlier, so may or may not be helpful to you.

  5. I would advise against a heated blanket, just on personal experience. I had a heated blanket on my bed when I was young, and it caught on fire one night while I was asleep. My mom yanked me out of bed right before the whole thing went up, but it was horribly scary any way.

    However, the hubby and I have a similar problem. I keep a small denali blanket (double layered fleece!) at the foot of my bed folded accordian-wise. That way when I get cold in the night I can just yank it up without opening my eyes. I’m extra covered, but it’s small enough he doesn’t have to be under it.

    Another thought, have you tried some of the stick-on your sock toe warmers? They work incredibly well, and that would keep your lower half much warmer than normal without needing extra bulky layers or blankets on your bed.

  6. Those dual-climate mattress pads are so nice! But since our sleeping temperatures aren’t that far apart, we took the cheaper route and just used normal heating pads in the winter. We usually keep them at our feet (and turn them on before we get in bed) but it’s also nice to use them on sore muscles if needed.

    I do think the idea of separate bedding is a good one that I know a lot of people swear by. Is it possible for your husband to have a small fan aimed just at him?

    • Don’t encourage the fan! Haha, I HATE my husbands fan. He can’t sleep without cool air blowing on him, but I can’t sleep WITH cold air blowing on me… It’s the worst situation.

  7. My husband and I run around the same temperature-wise (he does get warmer faster than I, though) for which I am so thankful. We do, however, sometimes use separate blankets. I cannot sleep if I am cold, and I don’t like wearing socks and such to sleep in.

    1) invest in a heated blanked; they generally are not large, and you can cover just your side of the bed. I out the heated blanket over a quilt and sheet, and throw a comforter on top of it to keep in the heat. I turn on the heated blanket a few minutes before I get into bed, so it is nice and toasty before I get it. There is nothing worse than getting into a cold bed. I set the blanket on low, so I don’t burn up but there is a source of warmness other than me throughout the night. That heated blanket saved my ass when our furnace decided to stop working on late afternoon, and we were without heat all night. Probably the best invention ever.

    2) have your dude use only a sheet or light blanket. Maybe get a small fan that blows on him (like one of those small ones that clip onto things).

    3) tuck yourself into the covers! Here is my method (practiced since I was a cold little kid in bed). Get under the covers; pick your feet up, put them back down with some blanket under them. Then, roll side to side, each time trapping some blanket under you. You can use your hands to help get it up around your chin, if needed. When you are finished, no cold air can get in, and the warmness is trapped!! It is really the most awesome thing ever; you feel like a caterpillar in a cocoon.

    I feel your pain, I really do! I get cold so easily! My hands, nose, and feet are always FREEZING in the winter! If I could move to a place where the yearly low was around 50 degrees, I’d be so happy. I hope you can keep warm!

    • I love cocooning myself in the blanket! I love just having my face exposed so I can breathe cold air. I can sleep in a room that’s 45 degrees if I have enough blanketing and warm socks, but am fitful if the air temperature is above 75.

      • I am the exact same way. My husband is a human furnace, but I need to be cooler all the time. I keep a fan running on the lowest setting at night, than crank it to high during the day. Plus, I kick my feet out and usually sleep in shorts and a tank top, if that.

    • I fully second the heated blanket. They’re much safer nowadays with automatic shut-offs and plenty of reminder warnings (don’t run the cord under the mattress!).

      Instead of a small blanket, I found one that was queen sized like our bed, but has dual controls. If we’re both cold, we can adjust the temperature on our own half accordingly. Since he’s usually fine with just a regular blanket, his side is usually off while I have mine turned on to keep me toasty. One of the best investments ever.

      I can’t stand to sleep with socks or pajama pants on…or really much clothes at all, so the electric blanket is perfect.

  8. I am SO happy that this came up. I hate wearing pants or even shorts to bed and love the feeling of lots of blankets on top of me. However, according to my girlfriend, I get so warm in the middle of the night that I must have the “heart of a star.” I have been trawling the comments for good ideas to our own predicament, since we only share a bed on the weekends.

  9. Wear socks and slippers until the very last second before getting into bed. If I let my bare feet touch the floor, they are immediately icy. When husband is feeling generous, he lets me warm them on his leg. πŸ™‚ And I’m a hot sleeper, so I don’t like sleeping with socks on.

    And I second the extra blanket easily available for the cooler sleeper.

  10. In the winter (when it’s 55 in our house overnight), I sleep in either flannel or a hooded sweatshirt with the hood over my head. That, plus socks, and three layers of comforters (a twin poly, then our king down-alternative doubled over on top) keep me comfortable most of the time. Oh — he sometimes waits under my blankets for a few minutes while I’m brushing my teeth, so I get to crawl into a pre-warmed spot. That really helps as well. I think trying to warm my own blankets costs me heat that I never really get back, but starting with warmed ones keeps me warmer all night.

    • I LOVE to wear my hoodie to bed when it’s particularly chilly.
      For people who like to sleep in less clothes though, a night cap or bonnet might come in handy. It’s hard to find adult-sized ones, so perhaps just a light knit cap to wear at night would be more convenient. Athletic stores carry caps that are made from very soft materials, and don’t have too much fabric.

  11. I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but I have the dog sleep on my side of the bed. She’s like her own little furnace (body temp of 105, anyone?) and she and I both love the snuggles. At first my husband complained, but I said that if he wanted to set the temp to 62 overnight, then I get to sleep with the dog. He sometimes gets paws in his back, but for the most part the three of us fit pretty well.

  12. What temp is your bedroom normally at? Do you feel cold at other times of the day, or are your feet and hands regularly cold even in a 70 degree room?

    The reason I ask is because I frequently had those problems and was just diagnosed as being hypothyroid. I’d sit on the couch under a blanket, even during the summer. I didn’t suspect anything or put all my symptoms together until I started tracking basal body temps and realized mine were very low (95-96 degrees Fahrenheit).

    • I just saw this!
      I’m run a little colder than some people, but during the day I’m normally fine, especially when I’m active. It’s really only when I get really tired and relaxed that I get cold. I don’t know what our bedroom normally is at, because there isn’t a temperature gauge in there, and the insulation sucks, so it’s definitely not the same temp as the hallway where the control is. I do plan to start tracking my temperature for fertility soon, so I’ll keep an eye on it, thanks!!!

    • Re-replying to this message, I was Just diagnosed with a low thyroid and I’m on medication for it now, plus I’m pregnant, so I’m the one who is over heating these days in bed!

  13. Same here!!

    Our solution is to have a sheet, a light blanket, and then we each get our own fleecey blanket to use or cast aside as needed. I highly recommend this method!

  14. I double stuff my side of the duvet during the winter (we use a duvet cover year round and just switch out the weights of the blankets in it seasonally). One blanket, two warmth levels. As long as I fold my extra blanket around the shared blanket it doesn’t slip much, though I occasionally have to floof it into position before bed. Also, when I first get in bed and it’s cold I put my head under the blanket for a few minutes so my breath warms things up. Works really quickly and seems to not warm his side at all.

  15. Look into moisture-wicking sheets. I remember years ago Offbeat Home had a post about moisture-resistant bed covers for when sex is very wet & slippery. But since then I have been mindful about the kinds of sheets I am using, since my husband is very sweaty, and we have a memory foam mattress that requires special handling. They are great at keeping the warmer partner cool, and the colder partner won’t feel much of a difference (except how comfy the sheets are!).
    Other than that, try putting a foam mattress pad just on the cooler partner’s side of the bed, to help insulate, and keep what heat there is on one side.
    I have issues with panic attacks at night if I am too cold – so staying warm is extremely important to me! So I am also a fan of going to bed with a warm (not hot) heating pad. I just pop it in my microwave for 45 seconds before bed, and I stay warm and cozy.

    • Oh man, those foam mattress pads make bed-time so much cozier. They really do insulate you and keep you warm all night. Sometimes too warm, even for me (which is saying something). Having one of those on just one side of the bed would probably make a huge difference. Good suggestion!

  16. I don’t think I am going to be much help with this as I am the internal furnace – and since I have a broken thermostate due to medical issues I always win. In the summer we keep the AC on around 65 and the hubby has an extra warm blanket. We also have seperate blankets. That way we can decide how much warmth we want with the blankets.

  17. What we do is tuck in the blankets only on my side (my SO hates sleeping with his feet covered) and then I have literally 5 extra blankets I can put on if I want. I usually have a couple over my feet because my feet get so cold and then some over the rest of me. We still sleep under the same sheet or base blanket, so sometimes the extra blankets do accidentally get thrown off. But if I know it’s going to be cold, I’ll make sure to tuck them in on my side.

  18. After three years of sleeping in the same bed, I think we’ve got this issue down to a science that may or may not work for you. My husband runs hot, and I have a really hard time regulating my body temperature (which typically runs cold). So we got me a full sized, super soft blanket that is folded in half on my side of the bed (fold on the inside so my feet can stick out), and in the warmer months, I sleep inside of that. In the colder months, the hubs brings out a light comforter that covers the entire bed and uses sheet plus that, and I get under the folded blanket and light comforter. We keep the heater at 74 in the winter and have a california king that places his head at the window, where he’ll pull back the curtain a bit and he gets a small shot of cold air through the night. I am closer to the heater, lol. The larger bed and generally separate blankets also works for us because I tend to toss, turn, and flail while sleeping, which at best ended up with stolen blankets and at worst ended up with him needing stitches from a well placed elbow to the mouth.

    Keep trying things until you figure out what works for you.

  19. I haven’t read through the comments so i dont know how many time or if at all this has been said but here goes;

    My partner and I have seperate duvets, i have a blanket and a nice thick winter duvet and he has a thinner summer duvet… to start with this seemed so wierd to me and i felt bad that we did it, it felt as if we wernt as close and i worried that it was some sort of sign that our relationship wasnt as great as i felt…. i was wrong… and we both sleep better for it… although it means our bed rarely gets made, i mean how do you make a king size bed with 2 double duvets and a blanket, you cant layer them as its such a pain at bed time to seoereate them out again to the correct sides…I read a post on here before about seperate beds, i dont think i could go that far but for many couples it works.

    the seperate duvets also means that one or the other of us doesnt end up stealing the whole thing and leaving the other freezing, theres no half asleep duvet fights, which is always a bonus

    on the window issue i am he same i hate it being too cold but my partner prefers it cold, so we usually have it open slightly, the fresh air is always nice and a cooler room does promote better sleep in most people.

    • One time I shared a hotel room with my brother. The king size bed was really two twins next to each other. We just rolled them apart about 6″ (small hotel room), and it was all good. You could skip the whole rolling-beds-apart bit and have completely separate bedding: different mattress, a wedge on one side for someone with reflux, heated mattress pad on one side only, different sheets, different warm things on top of the sheets… And then cover it all with a king size coverlet if you wanted an approximately uniform look.

  20. I trillionth the double cover suggestion, but also want to suggest something that sounds counterintuitive: have you tried flannel sheets? I am married to the human inferno, but we just moved into a house where the bedroom is in the basement and kind of cold, and so I bought a set of flannel sheets, hoping hubby could at least tolerate them. He actually says it’s easier to regulate his temp with the flannels than with our regular percale sheets, not sure why (he does flip off the duvet in the middle of the night and pull up a thinner quilt we leave at the foot of the bed, but he did that with the old sheets as well). The flannels don’t feel as cold when you first get in bed, but they also don’t seem to warm up as much as the percales.

    • Every time I ask for sheets for Christmas, my mom buys me flannel sheets. I HATE the feeling of flannel on my skin. Yuck. They always seem to pill after 2 washes.
      I get that they’re really great in the warmer months, but isn’t there something softer or higher thread count or something? Maybe the ones she buys are just cheap. Are higher quality/more expensive flannel sheets more comfortable?

      • Oh man, I hate flannel sheets, too! I also can’t stand jersey–I feel like it’s trying to tie me up! Straight up crisp cotton sheets are all I like. Maybe try making a wish list with links (Amazon has the universal wish list feature that I love!) so she can better tell what you want?

        I feel for all of you who are frozen while your partners are like furnaces. All I can say is, pregnancy has turned the tables. Now I rarely want to cuddle because I’m the one who’s on fire.

        • Kiddo is almost 15 months, I’m still breast feeding, and I’m also still a human torch.

          Sweaty and frustrating; I’d actually rather be cold and have more options to fix it!! I used to need more covers all the time and paid $$$ for oversize real wool blankets. Now my husband grabs ME for warmth (total turnaround from my former habit of zinging him awake with my ice feet).

          Seriously I want to go back to being an ice cube. UGH sweat.

      • Yes! I kept buying flannel sheets for warmth (Maine) but was too frugal to buy NICE ones….so they pilled almost immediately. HATED that. Lately, however, I made a vow to never again by cheap sheets (we bought a house ! We’re adults now! No more college level sheets!). I recently bought a flannel duvet cover on Amazon, and I can tell right away that the quality is way better. It was called “velvet flannel” and it definitely feels way better. No sign of pilling yet, but maybe it’s because the duvet is on top only, whereas a fitted sheet gets your weight ground into it every night. So, anyway, quality definitely makes a difference with flannel.

  21. Hubby and I have very different ideas on what’s comfortable. He prefers the house at about 64, I’d like it closer to 75. He pays the gas bill, so most of the time he wins. I refuse to be cold at bedtime though. We discovered the greatest invention EVER! Dual zone heated mattress pad. We use a summer weight down comforter, and I crank my side of the mattress pad up. He leaves his off and turns a light fan on. We are both happy. So is the dog. He starts under the blanket with me, and then when he’s too toasty, he scoots over to Daddy.

    • Seconded. I just purchased a heated mattress pad and I feel like it was my smartest winter purchase ever. It has separate controls for each side and it was only about $75 on Amazon. I also have the same covers I had on our bed in the summertime (a vintage chenille coverlet+blanket+sheets) and I don’t need to add a quilt like I did before. I’m really uncomfortable sleeping in clothes and before I bought the mattress pad I was sleeping in full pjs + heating pad + additional quilt. The one I purchased has a “preheat” function and that is warm enough for me. It has 10 heat settings too – I have no idea who could possibly want a bed that hot, but the option is available to you.

  22. Don’t underestimate the awesome simplicity of hot water bottles! They’re cheap, easy, safe (they won’t set the bed on fire), and can come with a little fleece coverlet. I use two in the worst of winter – once for my feet and one to hug on my side of the bed.

      • Oh man, I thought I was the only one addicted to my hot water bottle! Sometimes I use it just for heat, but sometimes, not gonna lie, for comfort. Every now and then I tell myself I need to be able to fall asleep without it (“and think of all the water you’re wasting!” I tell myself) and try to stop using it but then I freeze and don’t sleep.

        • I use a microwaved heating pad, but it’s the same principle as the hot water bottle. I get panic attacks if I’m too cold at night, so heat is definitely a comfort object for me.

    • You do have to be careful though – my hot water bottle exploded in my bed once! By then the water wasn’t hot anymore, but I couldn’t sleep in my bed for two days while I waited for the mattress to dry out.

    • Another hot water bottle addict! πŸ˜‰ You actually really should use the fleece covers, rather than a towel and definitely don’t use without any covering. I had a towel fall off one night and I ended up with a very nasty-blistered burn all down my thigh that took a long while to heal-scarring. So I immediately bought a fleece cover and no more burns! You can get them in fun and cuddly shapes too.

    • I purchased a warming disk thing for my (nervous-peeing) dog when she had to be outside in her kennel in the garage during winter months. I would put it under head bed in her dog house, and it stays warm for about 12 hours. Now that she no longer has to be in the garage while we’re at work, I used the disk for me. I like it better than my old hot water bottle because it can just go in the microwave.

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