ENGS 89/90 Reports


Adjustable Climate Mattress System

Project Advisor

Ryan J. Halter

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 3-1-2019


Executive Summary

Serta Simmons LLC has identified the market potential for an adjustable climate control mattress and has tasked our group to develop a system that allows users to reduce the effective temperature between themselves and the mattress. Our goal is to develop a mattress system that actively maintains a temperature of 27.2-29.4°C between the user and mattress, the ideal sleeping climate as identified by our sponsor. Over the course of the last several months, our team went through numerous iterations of design to produce a prototype that adequately meets the requirements specified by Serta Simmons.

Through trade studies and first order analysis, our group selected an air-based fan system as the primary method of cooling. The porous structure of foam, with the addition of holes bored into select foam layers, increases the airflow through the mattress. Moreover, air-based cooling systems thrive even with small amounts of humidity, which are usually present on the human body or in the surrounding air.

Over the course of several months, our team worked to construct small, medium, and full scale prototypes to prove the effectiveness of our solution. To limit the invasiveness of our cooling system, an array of fans located underneath the mattress push air through vertical holes. This design allows us to leverage Serta Simmons’ pocketed coil system which creates natural channels through which air can flow. The fans are housed in wooden slats that rest upon a bed frame. These slats serve the dual purpose of housing the fans and providing structural support to the mattress. The fans are connected to a microcontroller that provides the user with both automatic and manual temperature controls via a tethered remote. The automatic setting uses temperature sensors placed near the surface of the mattress to provide feedback that dictates the on/off state of each fan while the manual setting allows for direct fan control.

During the winter, our team worked in parallel to design, construct, and iterate upon the fan housing, electrical systems, and modified mattress. The three components assemble to form an actively cooled mattress system, our primary deliverable. Modeling our design and performing economic analysis provided a better understanding of the commercial production of the active cooling system. Furthermore, our group worked to outline next steps should a team choose to refine our prototype into a market-ready product.

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