The effect of human-mattress interface's temperature on perceived thermal comfort

R. Califano, A. Naddeo*, P. Vink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, methods that allow for an objective evaluation of perceived comfort, in terms of postural, physiological, cognitive and environmental comfort, have received a great deal of attention from researchers. This paper focuses on one of the factors that influences physiological comfort perception: the temperature difference between users and the objects with which they interact. The first aim is to create a measuring system that does not affect the perceived comfort during the temperatures' acquisition. The main aim is to evaluate how the temperature at the human-mattress interface can affect the level of perceived comfort. A foam mattress has been used for testing in order to take into account the entire back part of the human body. The temperature at the interface was registered by fourteen 100 Ohm Platinum RTDs (Resistance Temperature Detectors) placed on the mattress under the trunk, the shoulders, the buttocks, the legs, the thighs, the arms and the forearms of the test subject. 29 subjects participated in a comfort test in a humidity controlled environment. The test protocol involved: dress-code, anthropometric-based positioning on mattress, environment temperature measuring and an acclimatization time before the test. At the end of each test, each of the test subject's thermal sensations and the level of comfort perception were evaluated using the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) scale. The data analyses concerned, in the first instance, correlations between the temperature at the interface and comfort levels of the different parts of the body. Then the same analyses were performed independently of the body parts being considered. The results demonstrated that there was no strong correlation among the studied variables and that the total increase of temperature at interface is associated with a reduction in comfort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-341
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Ergonomics: human factors in technology and society
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Bedding systems
  • Comfort evaluation
  • Mattress
  • Objectifying comfort
  • Temperature
  • Thermal comfort


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