We Become tank top with anti-flush technology


Menopause symptoms are enough to make any woman reach out in desperation for something that will help, says Adrienne Wyper. And there are medical treatments, over-the-counter supplements and foods that work, but when it comes to lifestyle products such as clothing, you can pay over the odds for hot-flush-friendly items, thanks to what I’m calling meno-marketing.

According to a recent report, the global ‘menopausal hot flashes market’ for hormone treatment has been predicted to reach $5.28 billion by 2023. That’s a lot of money clenched in sweaty fists. No wonder lots of companies are keen to cash in on the change.

As any sufferer knows, night sweats are a nightmare, and there are several sleepwear ranges that can, it’s claimed, keep you cool overnight. Cucumber Clothing has a small range of simple designs, with ‘built-in new generation anti-microbial nano-technology’. Their fabrics are, according to the Daily Telegraph 100% polyester microfibre and 90% polyester microfibre/10% rayon. (The Cucumber website doesn’t specify the fabrics’ composition.). A knee-length, spaghetti-strap nightie costs £115.

Cucumber Clothing

I’m all for looking good at all times, but that just seems too expensive. In my quick online search for a cheaper alternative, I found a slip for a fifth of he price, that you could wear to sleep in. It’s from Marks & Spencer, and is lace-trimmed with Cool Comfort [TM] Technology. And for £22.50, you could buy one for every night of the (working) week for the cost of one Cucumber nightie!

Basically, what you want for hot flushes/night sweats, as for working out, is a ‘wicking’ fabric that draws the moisture of your sweat in and dissipates it into he surrounding atmosphere. Cotton doesn’t do this; it stays damp, which is uncomfortable.

Cool-jams has simple nightwear designs made of wicking, anti-bacterial fabric for £44.27, via Amazon.

Personally, I find that sleeping naked is now most comfortable, flicking the quilt on and off as needed, and sometimes turning the pillow over to the cool side.

One of the more extreme products claimed to be magic for menopausal symptoms is the Ladycare, a £35 magnet that you pop down your pants where it can, the makers claim, reduce hot flushes, help with weight loss, improve your mood, boost energy levels and give you better skin tone as well as a better night’s sleep. Presumably its purple glitteriness aids efficacy. There are trials listed on the site which appear to show that it works (and satisfied reviews on Boots website, too). However, Dr Jen Gunter, who specialises in obstetrics and gynaecology, rates them as ‘crap’ on her blog. Personally, I think it may be the placebo effect.

That’s Not My Age has written about what to wear during menopause, with the focus on layering, air flow and breathable fabrics. But when it comes to handing over money for niche-marketed items as vests with built-in ice packs, freezable cooling jewellery and chilled neckscarves, isn’t it time to put the ‘nope’ into menopause?

Words by Adrienne Wyper, who writes about health and wellbeing and other things HERE.


And now for some summer fashion minus the meno-marketing:


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24 thoughts on “Jumping on the menopause bandwagon – do we really need hot flush-proof clothes?

  1. I’ve found a silk pillowcase(gifted) and a little muji fan which fits on my bedside table, and going commando in bed is all that works. I wear as many natural fibres as I can during the day, layering is key. Great post, about time someone called Bull**** on their menopausal money making

  2. erk! microfibre is the last thing you should wear during menopause! I wear natural breathable fabrics, layers when necessary, and sleep naked. It makes me really cross that menopausal women are being exploited like this.

    Also the microplastics in synthetic clothes are terrible for the environment!!

    1. Agreed! Microfibre does wick sweat away, but it also makes one sweat more in the first place: great for athletic wear, not so great for jammies. And it’s not much help to wick sweat onto your bedding! Yuck! I am finding it increasingly difficult to get clothes without some form of poly, even in products that are mainly cotton, wool, silk. Even small amounts can inch up the heat factor significantly and, as you suggest, pollute the environment. I wish someone would do tailored clothes in 100 percent natural fibers. I have lots of loose, unstructured clothes in natural fibers, but could do with nice trousers and jackets too. Any leads on this, Alyson?

  3. I’m delighted we are talking about this subject. We made the decision at work last week that it is a “hot topic” in relation to the health of our staff so we are in the process of handing out our “I’m still hot” fans (based on the traditional design) to women employees for their use and to our male employees to take home to wives/sisters/mothers/daughters to stop this being a taboo area

  4. Merino wool? I know the word wool and cool aren’t instantly linked together, but I think it’s fantastic stuff. Plus it doesn’t get ‘stinky’. I know I’ve used the same t-shirt daily on a Spanish holiday for more than one week (24 degrees). I only washed it because it had gone a bit out of shape.

  5. I sleep in the most abbreviated PJ shorts and bra-lette top, flipping the pillow to the cool side as needed. I also like to keep my feet sticking out from the covers. If my feet and head are cool, the rest of my body seems to remain cooler. During the day I go for layers and lightest possible socks/stockings and lightweight shoes I can slip my feet out of. I haven’t worn boots, even in the coldest weather, in years.

  6. Is that magnet for real???

    To each her own, but I’m fine sleeping in a underpants and a camisole. During the day I dress in layers. Vests, which never made sense to me before, have become staple.

    1. hi jane,
      I tried the magnet much to my husband’s amusement, I became stuck to the starter of our lawn mower, stuck to a shopping trolley and finally to the cheese counter in our local supermarket, so now the magnet stays in my sock drawer

  7. I prefer my hubby’s t-shirts for sleeping along with a fan at bedside. We tend to keep the house very cool at night too since MY temperature increases then. The hubby has learned to add layers as needed.,

  8. Sleep ware in layers that unbutton on chest so a nightie or pyjamas maybe with a Uniqlo airism camisole underneath. Use of mechanical fans and keeping a paper folding one in a handbag. Natural fabric layers cotton or linen or silk under a cotton or wool cardigan. That’s what I did. No microfibres.

  9. My menopausal experience was to go and see a homeopath, gave up/cut down on red wine, and definitely exercised a bit more. An older lady told me when sleeping on your side have the edge of the duvet just lying over you so your front (or back) has some fresh air. This stops that cover off – cover on all night as you boil and then freeze. Someone else did say (very kindly I might add) when I was bemoaning restless nights that because I didn’t have children it probably was a bit of a shock. Here’s to Tropical moments! our right of passage xxx

  10. I tried the magnet some years ago – alas no miraculous results, but an interesting conversation with two female border officials at an airport when it set off the alarms! I have seen the menopause vests and unsubscribed from their mailings yesterday when I decided that they were definitely over priced! We are poorly served. Thanks for the M&S alternatives and ideas.

  11. I have tried the magnet- a right faff to no avail – and it had the unnerving effect of attaching me to shopping trolleys! And yes, wear layers in natural fabrics but , to be honest, most of the time I could be sitting naked on an ice block and it would still happen in all its awfulness!

  12. A solution I found to be a complete life saver for night time is a wool filled duvet and pillow…they take away the heat so that you don’t need to fling the duvet on and off! It takes determination at first to stay under the duvet til the flush subsides but then you don’t wake up chilled and needing the duvet back on again ..

  13. Have determined that I can donate all my flannel pajamas, because I will never, ever wear them again. Mostly I wear a short sleeveless nightie made of a lightweight wicking fabric. I struggle when traveling in Europe, because the beds often have just a duvet with no top sheet. So I spend all night alternately too cold or too hot. At home I use a sheet and blanket, so can fling off the blanket as necessary. As I have a bad neck, I used to sleep with one of those memory foam contour pillows; but that can’t be flipped over if it gets sweaty. Have changed to a feather pillow with silk pillowcase.

  14. Interesting thoughts. Natural fabrics merino wool, silk, cotton for clothing, in layers; sleeping – ceiling fan, real wool blanket under a cotton sheet worked well for me. Sleeping in merino camisoles, or merino/silk mix worked in colder southern Australian climes and in Darwin heat surprisingly well. (Supposedly these can last for 40 days without washing! Only brave enough to try it for 2 weeks and yes they really were not smelly!) Sam the Aussie

  15. Is there a clothing related cure for menopause related mood swings? I do hope so. So do my nearest and dearest……

  16. All hotels use duvets only for ease of bed changing. I travel with a flat double sheet so I don’t get overheated. Duvet can then be folded down. I use a type of memory foam shaped pillow. Solution is frequent change of pillowcase cotton only. It’s easy enough to find clothes without polyester in them. Read labels. Places like Monsoon and East which I read is in receivership had many natural fabric clothes. Uniqlo does cotton t-shirts and this season lots of linen shirts and skirts including new J W Anderson collection with asymmetrical hems on both and seagull print t-shirts Their UT range of tops good too if one likes art inspired designs. Zara used to have pure linen t-shirts of which I have several. But synthetic mixes seem more prevalent now to keep costs low. Always scrutinise content labels on clothes.

  17. Regarding the trials listed on the magnet site, you should be very skeptical; the only valid scientific trials are the ones published on scientific magazines, otherwise it´s just a deceit.

  18. Turning down the thermostat at night, a silk cami and undies for sleeping (and silk pillowcase), and acupuncture. Acupuncture reduced my night sweats by 50%. May not work for everyone, but it did for me.

  19. I have been having hot flushes for over ten years. And night sweats too. It’s fine, I’m not ill and it will pass one day. You really do not need anything specially made. Here’s my top tip: stick your arse out of bed.
    Good night.

  20. At home I have a fan and complete control over the thermostat. When I travel It’s a different story so I have learned to take a cotton bandanna/scarf and then I soak it in cold water and tie it around my neck! You will be shivering it’s so cold, I love it!

  21. I went through sudden menopause as a result of chemotherapy and endured a year of ridiculous nuclear-level hot flashes. One simple trick that helped was to wear open v-neck or scoop-necked tops. It took me awhile to learn to underdress by one layer less than what I habitually wore, which also helped. I find I stay cooler in bed wearing pajamas rather than a nightdress or nothing, but YMMV. The worst of the transition is far behind me now but still the random flash as I am now at the usual age range for menopause.

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