The best gel-infused memory foam mattresses are a popular choice with shoppers who want the pressure relief of memory foam without the overheating. A gel foam mattress solves the problem by wicking your body heat away during the night, so you can enjoy the sensation of having your joints gently cradled while remaining at a cool and comfortable temperature.
There are lots of affordable gel memory foam mattresses out there, but the truth is that they’re not all created equal. It’s important to do your research to make sure that you’re getting a gel mattress that not only keeps you cool but also suits your sleeping position and gives you the support and comfort you need for quality sleep.
In this article, we’ll explain how to choose the best gel infused memory foam mattress for your needs. We’ll also include our experts’ 5 top rated gel memory foam mattress reviews to provide you with plenty of shopping inspiration, however high or low your budget is.
What is Gel Infused Memory Foam?
Gel-infused memory foam mattresses were first introduced onto the market in 2006, although they took off in 2011 when mattress manufacturer Serta released their iComfort mattress range. This type of mattress uses foam that contains gel particles in one or more of its layers. These particles can wick away body heat, so you should sleep cooler on a gel memory foam mattress than on traditional memory foam. They also make the foam more responsive, allowing it to spring back more quickly while still providing good body contouring and pressure relief. This reduces the deep sinking sensation that you would associate with traditional memory foam, which some people dislike.
Most manufacturers don’t explain exactly what their gels are made from. However, it’s safe to assume that the gel used in mattresses are synthetic and have phase changing abilities.
Gel-Infused Memory Foam vs. Traditional Memory Foam
Many people wonder whether a memory foam mattress with cooling gel really is better than traditional memory foam. The truth is that this comes down to personal taste. If like many people, you struggle with sleeping hot at night, you’re likely to find that gel memory foam has the edge when it comes to keeping you cool. Traditional memory foam has a dense structure that holds onto heat easily, gaining its reputation for sleeping hot.
However, there is also a difference when it comes to feeling. Traditional memory foam allows your body to sink in very deeply, relieving pressure on your joints. Some people love this deep hugging sensation, while others find the sinkage too deep. Gel memory foam is more responsive, so it could be a good option if you like the pressure relief of memory foam but prefer a bouncier feel.
Alternatives to Gel Infused Memory Foam
A lot of progress has been made recently formulating technologically advanced foams to help keep you cool and comfortable at night, and some of these options could be worth considering if you’re thinking about buying a top-rated gel memory foam mattress.
Nowadays, you can buy mattresses infused with other heat-wicking materials such as copper, charcoal and graphite to offer a level of cooling similar to gel. Some of these materials also have natural antibacterial properties. Some manufacturers also use open-cell technology, which is a process of manufacturing memory foam to have a more ‘open’ structure. This makes the foam more breathable and therefore helps heat to escape at night. Some mattresses combine several cooling technologies at once, which means it’s possible to buy a gel-infused memory foam mattress that also contains copper, charcoal or has an open-cell structure.
How to Choose the Best Cool Gel Memory Foam Mattress
If you’ve been shopping around for the best gel-infused mattress, you’ll probably have noticed that there is an almost overwhelming amount of choice available. This can make it tough to figure out which mattress will live up to the hype and actually give you a cool and comfortable night’s sleep.
However, this wide range of choices is actually a good thing for shoppers as it allows you to find a mattress that suits your needs perfectly. It also means that manufacturers are competing for your custom, offering technologically advanced mattresses for excellent prices. To make the most of the range available and find the right gel-infused memory foam mattress for you, all you need to do is bear the following key factors in mind.
The number one thing you need to look for in any mattress is comfort. Even if a mattress comes with a million recommendations and special features, it won’t be right for you if it doesn’t suit your unique sense of comfort. To sleep well, choosing a mattress that feels comfortable is vital.
It’s important to choose a supportive mattress to keep your spine in a healthy alignment and prevent back and joint pain. It’s vital to check that any mattress you’re thinking of buying scores highly when it comes to support. All manufacturers say their mattresses are supportive, so you should verify this by checking out user and expert reviews before you buy. Fortunately, gel-infused memory foam mattresses are generally highly rated when it comes to support, so you should have plenty of options available to you.
Choosing the correct mattress firmness is important to make sure that you get the correct balance of support and pressure relief. Which firmness suits you largely comes down to your sleeping position and body type. Side sleepers generally fare best with a medium soft cool gel mattress if they have a low body weight, or a medium mattress if their weight is average or higher. This is because a medium level of firmness will allow your body to sink in comfortably, relieving pressure on your hips and shoulders without compromising on support. Front and back sleepers usually require a medium firm or firm mattress to give enough support to their spine.
If you are a combi sleeper (someone who changes position in the night) or share your bed with a partner with a different sleeping style, you may well be best off with a medium firm mattress. These mattresses have the correct firmness to accommodate most sleeping positions and body types reasonably well, which is why they are often called ‘universal comfort’.
Pressure relief is especially important if you have a painful joint condition like arthritis or sleep on your side. Fortunately, gel memory foam mattresses generally do a good job of relieving pressure because they can conform to the shape of your body while you sleep, cradling your joints and easing discomfort. You should check out gel-infused memory foam mattress reviews to check that any mattress you’re thinking of buying provides deep pressure relief.
If you’re here reading cool gel memory foam mattress reviews, chances are you’re looking for a mattress that provides good temperature control. While it’s true that gel-infused memory foam mattresses generally wick away heat better than traditional memory foam, some still sleep warmer than others. If you tend to overheat during the night, you should look for a memory foam mattress that combines a gel infusion with other cooling features such as charcoal, copper, open-cell technology or ventilation channels.
In general, thicker mattresses are more supportive. People with higher body weights generally need a thicker mattress than lighter individuals to give them the support they need. If you have mobility problems, you may also find it easier to get in and out of bed if your mattress is thicker. A thick mattress also gives a luxurious, hotel-like aesthetic that many people want for their bedrooms.
Made in the USA
The USA has regulations in place to make sure that foam mattresses (including gel-infused memory foam) are safe to sleep on. Although you can buy some extremely cheap gel mattresses from overseas, there are no guarantees that these don’t contain chemicals that could harm your health. For this reason, it’s best to stick to mattresses made in the USA or Canada, which has similar restrictions.
Most good gel memory foam mattresses come with some kind of certification to show that they have been tested to make sure that they don’t release harmful levels of chemicals that could damage your health or the environment. Certi-Pur and GREENGUARD-Gold are the most common certifications that give consumers peace of mind that their mattress is safe and healthy to sleep on.
Sleep trials are especially important if you choose to buy your mattress online without trying it out first. A sleep trial allows you to sleep on your mattress for a certain period and return it if you’re unhappy. If you don’t have a sleep trial, you could find yourself stuck with an uncomfortable or unsupportive mattress with no way of returning it. It’s important to note that some sleep trials come with an obligatory settling-in period, which means you must sleep on it for a certain time (usually 30 days) before you can return.
It’s always important to make sure your mattress comes with a decent warranty to protect you in the case of a manufacturing fault that affects its function. The standard length you should look for from a mattress warranty is 10 years, but many offer much more generous warranty periods or even ‘forever’ warranties that cover you for as long as you use the mattress.
When checking out a warranty, you should always pay special attention to the terms and conditions and find out what’s actually covered. Most warranties cover you against sagging or indents in the mattress measuring more than a certain depth. Some do not protect you against faults in the mattress cover or provide a separate, shorter warranty for the cover and/or handles. You should also find out whether the warranty is prorated. A prorated warranty means that you are obliged to pay a portion of the cost of repairing or replacing your mattress is it is found to be defective. If the warranty is non-prorated, this will be done at the manufacturer’s expense.
Where to Buy a Gel Memory Foam Mattress
Many people buy a gel memory foam mattress in a brick and mortar store. This has several obvious advantages, the most important being that you’ll be able to try a range of mattresses out before you buy.
However, you shouldn’t rule out buying a gel foam mattress online. While this doesn’t appeal to some shoppers, there are a few advantages to shopping in this way. For. Start, you’ll have access to the widest possible range of models and brands when you shop online, and it will be easier to compare different mattresses against each other according to their features.
However, shopping for a mattress online can also be cheaper. Many modern mattress companies only sell their products online, which cuts down on their overheads. This can be passed on to customers in the form of savings. So, you could potentially get a better quality of gel memory foam mattress for your money if you choose to shop online.
5 Best Memory Foam Gel Mattress Reviews
Now that you understand how to choose a gel mattress, it’s time for that all-important question- which gel memory foam mattress is the best in 2020? It’s impossible to say that any particular mattress is the ‘best’ because comfort is so subjective. However, there are certain brands and models that stand out as providing a good balance of comfort, support and value for money. In this section, you can read our expert team’s reviews of our top picks of the best gel-infused memory foam mattresses in depth.
1. Bear Mattress
This gel-infused mattress is the flagship product from the online mattress company Bear. Bear also sells the Bear Pro, a cooling mattress featuring copper particles, and a hybrid model. The original Bear mattress has a triple-layered design and measures 10 inches thick, which is around average for a gel-infused memory foam mattress. It scores around a 7 on the mattress firmness scale, qualifying it as medium firm. This makes it an ideal gel memory foam mattress for back and front sleepers, although some side sleepers will find it comfortable if they have a higher body weight. The Bear mattress usually retails at an affordable $800 for a queen-size, although at the time of writing it is being offered at 20% off with two free pillows from the company website.
Dense support layer: The base layer of the Bear mattress is made from highly dense polyfoam. This helps to increase the durability and stability of the mattress while providing strong support for your back.
Transition layer: The polyfoam transition layer provides deep pressure relief for your joints while helping the mattress to maintain a high level of support.
Graphite-Gel comfort layer: The top layer of the Bear mattress is made from adaptable memory foam that can mold to the shape of your body, increasing comfort and reducing pressure. The key difference that sets the Bear mattress apart is the infusion of gel and graphite particles in the comfort layer. These materials can wick away body heat while you sleep, keeping you at a comfortable temperature.
Celliant cover: The Bear mattress cover is engineered to prevent overheating at night. It is made from a breathable Celliant fabric which is thin enough to allow excess heat to escape easily.
- Good back support
- Deep pressure relief
- Ideal for front and back sleepers
- Breathable cover
- Sleeps cool
- 100-night sleep trial
- Free shipping and returns
- 10-year warranty
- Only one firmness option
- May be too firm for side sleepers
2. Loom and Leaf Mattress
The Loom and Leaf mattress by renowned bed manufacturer Saatva is specially designed with sustainability in mind, so it could be a good choice for those looking for an eco-friendly bed. The Loom and Leaf comes in two firmness settings: ‘firm’, which scores 8 out of 10 on the firmness scale, and ‘relaxed firm’, which is medium firm and should feel comfortable in most sleeping positions. The Loom and Leaf mattress costs $1,499 for a queen-size if you buy through the Saatva website, placing it at the premium end of the gel-infused memory foam mattress market.
Dense support core: Like most gel memory foam mattresses, the Loom and Leaf gets its support from a high-density polyfoam base layer. This layer provides a good level of spinal support to help you achieve a healthy alignment.
Memory foam comfort layers: This mattress has two comfort layers made from Certi-Pur certified memory foam to provide pressure relief and increase your comfort. These layers can mold closely to the shape of your body and cradle sore and aching joints. The top comfort layer also contains an infusion of gel particles, giving it the ability to wick away body heat while you sleep. There is an additional belt of gel foam around the lumbar region of the mattress to give you extra support for your back. This means that the Loom and Leaf mattress could be a good option for back pain sufferers.
Organic cotton cover: The Loom and Leaf has a quilted organic cotton cover finished with an attractive gold damask trim around the edges. This cover is highly breathable to help keep you cool and dry during the night. These covers are treated with a botanical antibacterial agent called Guardin to keep your mattress fresh and germ-free.
- Additional back support
- Breathable organic cover
- Certi-Pur Certified
- Deep pressure relief
- 120-night sleep trial
- Free white glove delivery
- 15-year warranty
- The Loom and Leaf sleeps somewhat warmer than some alternative gel memory foam brands
- No soft or medium setting available
3. Plushbeds Cool Bliss Gel Memory Foam Mattress
The Plushbeds Cool Bliss mattress has been specially engineered using a range of sleep technologies to sleep as cool as possible, even in hot climates. The mattress combines latex and gel-infused memory foam comfort layers to give an overall profile of 12 inches, a little thicker than the industry average. It has a firmness rating somewhere between 6.5-7, making it a medium firm (universal comfort) mattress suitable for most sleeping positions. Unlike many other gel memory foam mattresses, the Plushbeds Cool Bliss is adjustable bed base friendly. It’s towards the pricier end of the market, selling for a regular price of $1,849 for a queen size, although at the time of writing you can buy a Cool Bliss mattress for $1,349 through the Plushbeds site as part of a promotion.
Polyfoam support core: The base layer of the Cool Bliss mattress is made from 5 inches of high-density polyfoam. This layer helps to distribute your weight evenly across the mattress, providing a high level of back support while preventing sagging and increasing durability.
Airflow layer: The transition layer of the mattress is made from convoluted polyfoam. The wave-like structure of this layer promotes maximum airflow, so heat can escape more easily during the night.
Natural latex layer: A 2-inch later of organic latex helps to make the Cool Bliss mattress more responsive, preventing the ‘sinking in’ feeling you would usually associate with memory foam. This could be a major benefit if you want the pressure relief of memory foam but don’t like feeling as though you’re lying on quicksand.
Cool Bliss gel memory foam: Cool Bliss have created their own patented gel technology to help wick heat away quicker than many alternative products. This gel layer is also made using open-cell technology, which makes it highly breathable and gives the foam a more responsive feel.
- Sleeps cool
- Responsive feel
- Good pressure relief and support
- Universal comfort
- 100-night sleep trial
- Free shipping and returns
- GREENGUARD Gold certified
- Certi-Pur certified
- 25-year warranty
- High price point
- Only one firmness setting
4. Zinus 12 Inch Gel-Infused Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress, Queen
Although you probably don’t immediately associate green tea with mattresses, Zinus has used it in the Certi-Pur foams in this bed to great effect. Green tea naturally reduces odors and keeps your mattress clean and sanitary, making this mattress a good choice if you want a bed that stays fresh in the long term. The Zinus Cooling Green Tea Gel Memory Foam mattress comes in a choice of four thicknesses ranging from 6-12″ and is one of the most affordable gel-infused memory foam mattresses on our list. It comes in at just $177 for a queen-size if you pick the thinnest option but costs up to $312 if you prefer the thicker profile. The firmness setting varies slightly, ranging between 5.4 and 6.1. The thicker the mattress, the higher the firmness setting. However, all these options are rated as medium, so the mattress should feel comfortable for most people including side sleepers.
High-density foam base: The base layer of this Zinus mattress is made from highly-dense foam to provide stability and back support. Please note that the thickness of this layer varies depending on which thickness you select.
Transitional layer: The middle layer of the mattress is made from polyfoam and acts as a bridge between the outer layers, preventing you from sinking through the comfort layer to the support core and providing additional pressure relief.
MyGel Memory Foam comfort layer: The comfort layer is made from adaptable ‘MyGel’ memory foam that can mold to the shape of your body and relieve pressure. This softer foam contains gel particles to wick away heat while you sleep. It also contains an infusion of purified charcoal to absorb moisture to help keep your mattress fresh and hygienic.
- 4 thickness options
- Green tea and charcoal-infused for freshness
- Sleeps cool
- Good pressure relief
- Free shipping
- 100-night sleep trial
- 10-year warranty
- Affordable price
- Not suitable for adjustable bed frames
- Limited firmness options
5. Classic Brands Cool 1.0 Ultimate Gel Memory Foam 14-Inch Bonus 2 Pillows Mattress, Queen, White
This cooling Classic Brands mattress is the thickest on our list, making it ideal for people who want a high-profile bed for aesthetic or practical reasons. It has a medium firmness, making it a good choice for most sleeping positions including side sleeping. As well as gel-infused memory foam, it uses a ventilation system to help keep you cool and comfortable during the night.
Polyfoam base layer: The base layer of the Cool Gel mattress is made from supportive, high-density polyfoam for strong spinal support and stability.
Gel-infused memory foam comfort layers: This mattress features two comfort layers made from gel-infused memory foam. This material provides cradling and pressure relief for your joints while transporting away body heat. These layers are ventilated to make them more breathable, allowing as much heat as possible to escape during the night.
Knitted cover: The cover of this mattress has an attractive, waterfall-effect design and is made from a breathable stretch fabric. It features breathable, knitted side panels to allow heat to escape from the body of the mattress while you sleep.
- Bed-in-a-box shipping
- Sleeps cool
- Dust mite resistant
- High profile
- Certi-Pur certified
- 10-year warranty
- Only one firmness option
Q: Is gel memory foam better than traditional memory foam?
A: It’s impossible to say that one type of foam is ‘better’ than another because what feels best to one person may not to another. However, gel-infused memory foam generally performs better than regular foam when it comes to sleeping cool. It also has a more responsive feel, so you won’t sink in as deeply. Whether this is preferable is a matter of personal taste.
Q: Does gel-infused memory foam sleep cool?
A: Gel-infused memory foam generally sleeps reasonably cool because it contains gel particles that can wick away heat while you sleep. However, it’s still possible for a gel foam mattress to sleep quite warm. You should check out user and expert reviews to make sure any gel mattress you’re considering buying lives up to the manufacturer’s claims when it comes to sleeping cool.
Q: Are gel memory foam mattresses good for side sleepers?
A: Gel memory foam mattresses can be a good choice for side sleepers because this material provides deep pressure relief. This can help ease the discomfort that many side sleepers feel around their shoulders and hips. That being said, gel memory foam mattresses can be a great choice for any sleeping position as long as you select the correct firmness.
Q: Are gel memory foam mattresses good for back pain?
A: Many good gel memory foam mattresses are highly supportive. This means that they can help encourage your spine into a healthy alignment and reduce back pain and discomfort. However, it’s impossible to make a sweeping statement that all gel memory foam beds are good for back pain. You should check out the key features of individual models to make sure they provide a good level of support.
Q: Do gel foam mattresses smell?
A: Most memory foam mattresses, whether they are gel-infused or not, release an off-gassing smell when you first unpack them because of the chemicals used in the manufacturing process. While many people find this smell unpleasant, it isn’t harmful and should fade in a few days if you air the mattress out.
Q: Can I sleep on a gel-infused memory foam mattress straight away?
A: Many gel memory foam mattresses come rolled up in compressed packaging. This is known as ‘bed in a box’ packaging and makes it easier and cheaper to ship the mattress. If your mattress comes in this type of packing, you should allow it up to 72 hours to decompress fully before sleeping on it. If it doesn’t, you can sleep on it right away.
Q: How much does a gel memory foam mattress cost?
A: Prices of gel memory foam mattresses vary widely depending on the make and model you choose. You can get a decent gel memory foam mattress for under $1000 without compromising on comfort, quality and support. However, beware of very cheap gel memory foam mattresses and check out expert reviews before buying.
Conclusion on The Best Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattresses
Gel-infused memory foam mattresses can be a great option if you want deep pressure relief but are also looking for a mattress that sleeps cool and provides strong support. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a gel foam mattress, but there are plenty of premium options out there too if you have a higher budget.
Before you buy any gel foam bed, it’s important to do your research to make sure it meets your needs as closely as possible and provides good value for money. The five mattresses we’ve reviewed in this article all give you a great range of features and a high level of comfort for the price you pay. However, there are plenty more great options out there. You can check out a wide range of gel-infused memory foam mattress reviews and buying guides written by unbiased experts right here at Sleep Aim.