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Best Gel Memory Foam Mattress

Our top mattress picks for the best gel memory foam mattresses on the market for a cooling and pressure relieving sleep.

Author: Allison Marks

Senior Sleep Specialist

Over 500 sleep products tested and reviewed


Memory foam is associated with sleep products. However, this material first found its application in NASA aircrafts. It would keep pilots and passengers safe from injury during a crash. One of the main benefits of memory foam is that it is viscoelastic. This allows it to conform to the shape of your body and also isolate movement.

A “Gel” memory foam mattress is one of the various types of memory foam. In this guide, you will learn what makes gel memory foam special and why many customers prefer it in a mattress over standard memory foam.

Quick Picks: Best Gel Memory Foam Mattresses

Best Overall (Editor's Pick)
Budget Friendly Pick
Best Firm Memory Foam Option
Best Value Memory Foam Mattress

(Top 7) Best Gel Memory Foam Mattresses


  1. The Puffy Lux Hybrid
  2. The Puffy Lux Hybrid
    by Puffy

    LUXURY HYBRID MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS

    The Puffy Lux Hybrid Mattress measures 12″ in thickness and is a great all around hybrid mattress for any sleeper. The combination of pocketed coils and memory foam offer superior adaptability and pressure relief for side, back and stomach sleepers. If you are looking for a quality mattress at a great price that will be your every-night mattress, the Puffy Lux is hard to beat.

    What we love:
    • Unbeatable value
    • Heavy duty support from pocketed coil system
    • Luxury pressure relief
    • Removable and washable cover
    • Made in the USA
    Buy Here
  3. The Brooklyn Chill
  4. The Brooklyn Chill
    by Brooklyn Bedding

    BUDGET FRIENDLY

    This may be the best budget friendly mattress on the market. The combination of high density support foam and memory foam comfort layers makes for a supportive, pressure relieving sleep experience. If you like the feel of memory foam and are looking for an affordable sleeping option then this is the best mattress you will find. Brooklyn Bedding makes all of their mattresses in their own factories in Arizona and are able to cut out the middle man and offer customers factory direct prices.

    What we love:
    • Budget friendly price point
    • High quality, supportive memory foam design
    • Made in the USA (Arizona Factory)
    • Available in custom sizes and thicknesses
    Buy Here
  5. The AS1 Mattress
  6. The AS1 Mattress
    by Amerisleep

    FIRM MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS

    The AS1 is the firmest mattress that Amerisleep offers. It is a simple memory foam style construction with a luxury breathable cover. The base layer is made with high density support foam for ultimate firm support. The thin layer of memory style foam on top offers just enough comfort while not being to “soft”. if you prefer the feel of a memory foam mattress but want a firmer feel then this is a great mattress for you. 

    Buy Here
  7. The Puffy Original
  8. The Puffy Original
    by Puffy Mattress

    GREAT VALUE MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS

    The Puffy Original Mattress is a luxurious memory foam mattress at a great price. It has a medium-firm feel and is a perfect comfort level for the majority of sleepers. Puffy’s memory foam design conforms to your body and is great for kids or adults. Puffy is a reputable brand name in the industry and has won a variety of awards for the quality of their US made sleep products.

    What we love:
    • Medium-firm feel fits all sleep types
    • Multiple awards for best all around mattress
    • 100% made in the USA!
    • Breathable and cooling
    • Firm supportive base foam
    • Stain-resistant cover
    • Donates beds to children in need
    Buy Now
  9. The Oceano Luxury Hybrid
  10. The Oceano Luxury Hybrid
    by Brentwood Home

    GREAT ALL AROUND PILLOW TOP

    The Oceano provides the ultimate in luxury pillow top mattresses. The hybrid design utilizes 2 layers of pocketed coils with gel infused memory foam and organic wool, all topped with a plant based Tencel infused cover. The 2-layers of pocketed coils give maximum support while also cradling the body. This mattress is made in a medium-firm feel to fit the majority of sleepers. 

    What we love:
    • GOTS Certified Organic Wool
    • Cooling gel memory foam
    • Plant based Tencel infused cover
    • 2 layers of pocketed coils for support and alignment
    • 1 year free trial with free shipping and free returns
    • Made in the USA
    Buy Here
  11. The Memory Foam Mattress
  12. The Memory Foam Mattress
    by Layla Sleep

    PRESSURE RELIEF

    DUAL COMFORT

    Layla is one of the first innovators for using copper in infused their mattresses. The Layla Memory Foam mattress utilizes copper memory foam to help sleepers get amazing support and to help them sleep cool. This mattress is 2-sided and can easily be flipped for a firmer or softer sleeping surface. If you prefer the feel of an all foam memory foam mattress but would also like the benefits of copper then this is a great mattress for you. 

    What we love:
    • Copper helps it sleeps cool
    • Double sided (firm and soft sides)
    • High end pressure relief
    • Made in the USA
    Buy Here
  13. The Bear Original
  14. The Bear Original
    By Bear Mattress

    SLEEPS COOL

    The Bear Original mattress is the mattress that Bear built there reputation on. It is highly reviewed and a great all around memory foam mattress for the price. The thickness measures 10 inches and includes a support foam, transition layer and a gel memory foam comfort layer. The medium-firm comfort makes it a perfect firmness for the variety of sleepers and sleeping styles.

    What we love:
    • Great value
    • Made in the USA
    • Medium-firm feel
    • Sleeps cool
    Buy Now

What Is a Gel Memory Foam Mattress?

To make gel memory foam, manufacturers add gel beads, gel, or liquid gel to memory foam or on the top comfort layer. The cooling gels are ideal in dissipating heat, so you can sleep cool while enjoying the body-conforming and the pressure-relieving benefits of memory foam.

Mattresses manufacturers use different materials to give their products the cooling effect. Some use a thermal gel that will absorb heat from your body to keep you cool. Other manufacturers use phase-changing chemicals that start out as solids and turn to liquid when they absorb your body temperature.

Mattresses that use phase-changing chemicals may not be very effective as the heat remains trapped inside when the chemicals change to liquid. The effectiveness depends on other layers in the mattress and how hot you sleep at night.

For instance, gel memory foam in a hybrid mattress is more effective than an all-foam mattress. The layers of coils in a hybrid mattress enhance breathability.

The mattresses offer the same benefits as the standard memory foam mattresses. However, they benefit people with conditions that might cause increased body temperature and night sweats. These conditions according to Medical News Today include:

• Stress

• Anxiety

• Menopause

• Infections

• Low blood sugar

• Hyperhidrosis, which is a condition that increases sweating

• Certain medications, such as steroids, painkillers, and antidepressants

People sleeping in hotter climates or warmer countries will also find these ideal.

How Did Gel Memory Foam Mattresses Come To Be?

The original memory foam mattresses had one disadvantage – they retained heat. These mattresses had a closed-cell structure, which caused them to trap heat and warm up fast. Manufacturers sought to get a solution to make these mattresses cooler.

Open-cell structure memory foam mattresses and gel foam mattresses came to offer a solution. These open-cell structure mattresses are made by injecting air into the mattresses to improve airflow and make them more breathable. Adding gel beads or other cooling gel products will make the mattress sleep even cooler.

The use of different mattress layers and the creation of hybrid mattresses make the mattress even more breathable and allow comfortable sleep.

Gel Memory Foam vs. Standard Memory Foam

There are three main differences between gel memory foam and standard memory foam – temperature, bounce rate, and price.

The traditional memory foam mattress features polyurethane by-product construction. This material uses the heat from your body to mold to your body’s shape. If you buy a closed-cell traditional memory foam mattress, it will trap heat, making you sleep warm. Modern mattresses have an open-cell structure, which means they have spongy passages, which improve breathability.

Gel memory foam mattresses, on the other hand, have gel pods or beads on their top layers. These pods support your lower back and your neck better. They also allow the mattress to bounce back to its shape faster. Gel draws heat from your body to keep you cool while you sleep. When combined with an open-cell structure, the gel memory foam construction offers enhanced breathability to keep you warm.

Gel memory foam mattresses sleep cooler than most standard memory foam mattresses. However, some open-cell structure standard memory foam mattresses may sleep as cool as gel memory foam mattresses. This will depend on the layers on the mattress and the effectiveness of these layers in enhancing mattress breathability.

You will pay a little more for gel memory foam mattresses. This is thanks to the high number of materials that make the mattress. The added bouncy feel and the comfortable sleep make the added price worth it. Regardless of the foam you choose, you will enjoy head and neck support, varied firmness, pain relief, and stable bed movement.

The Pros and Cons of a Gel Memory Foam Mattress

Pros

• You have a cool surface to keep you comfortable during warm nights

• It offers reduced motion transfer to reduce distractions

• Molds to the shape of your body to support your spine

• Gives a bouncy feel

• Bounces back to original shape faster

Cons

• May have a chemical smell the first few weeks after unboxing

• It costs more than the standard memory foam mattress

• Weighs more than standard memory foam mattress

How Much Does a Gel Memory Foam Mattress Cost?

Some of the factors that determine the cost of the mattress include size, thickness, firmness, and brand. You can buy a gel memory foam mattress at less than $500, and you can buy a more expensive brand and size at $5,000 or more. 

Hybrid mattresses with innersprings will cost more. The spaces where the coils are will make the mattresses more breathable and comfortable at night. They also have a better bouncy feel and can offer the support and cushioning you need at night. Innerspring mattresses come with a varied number of coils with varied distribution. A high coil count in these hybrid mattresses means that you will pay more.

Further, gel memory foam mattresses come with different thicknesses and different layers. Some are as small as six inches and others are as large as 20 inches or more. The thicker the mattress, the more layers it has and the more you will pay for it. These layers also make the mattresses more comfortable as they add breathability and cushioning.

The quality of the top fabric also determines the price. Some quality mattresses feature a breathable bamboo top fabric that offers enhanced airflow for better breathability. Others may have cotton top fabric with the lowest quality having a polyester top fabric. Cotton is better than polyester at absorbing sweat. Unlike the bamboo fabric, cotton retains moisture longer.

Some mattresses come with gel-infused toppers that add an extra layer on top of the mattress to enhance the bed’s cushioning ability. The toppers cover the first two to four inches of the mattress. If you need something thinner, you can pick mattresses with pads, which are only one or two inches thick.

Other factors that determine the price of a mattress include:

• The structural design of the mattresses and technologies that a brand may introduce

• Any additives in the mattress, such as copper and graphite, which are good conductors of heat and make the mattress sleep even cooler

• Plant-based materials, such as oils that substitute petroleum materials, letting you sleep even cooler

Some brands are generally expensive compared to others. Such brands may have several claims of new technologies and materials. You need to check out reviews to ensure you get your money’s worth.

Things to Consider When Buying a Gel Memory Foam Mattress

The main advantage of memory form mattresses is that they cradle your body regardless of your sleeping style. Gel memory foam mattress adds the benefit of sleeping cool. When shopping, you need a mattress that allows your hips and shoulders to sink in a little to keep the spine and the neck straight and also sleep cool without breaking your bank.

Here are some of the factors to consider:

What is your sleeping style?

There are three main types of sleepers; back sleepers, side sleepers, and stomach sleepers. You need a gel memory foam mattress with a firmness that accommodates your sleeping style. If your mattress makes your back, neck, or shoulders hurt, then you need to reconsider the firmness.

If you sleep on your back, you need a medium-firm mattress to support your spine. People who sleep on their stomachs need a firmer mattress, while side sleepers need a softer mattress to allow the shoulders and the hips to sink for a comfortable feel.

If you have a medical condition that affects your sleep, you need to talk to your doctor for the best mattress and accessories. Combination sleepers will best benefit from a medium-firm mattress.

Gel Memory Foam Density

You can choose between high-density, medium-, and low-density mattress options. High-density mattresses are firm and durable. However, they may not be ideal for side sleepers. Medium-density mattresses offer the best motion isolation, making them suitable for people who share a bed with their partners.

Lower density mattresses offer fast break-in, which means your body adjusts fast to them. However, these mattresses are less durable.

If you have a lighter body, go for low-density mattresses. People with heavier bodies will benefit from the high-density mattress while average-bodied sleepers need a medium-density mattress.

Mattress Thickness

Most memory foam mattresses are between 6 and 14 inches thick. As a rule of thumb, thicker mattresses offer more softness compared to the thin options. Again, they are also more durable although you will pay more for them.

Picking a thin mattress does not take away the comfort and body-conforming nature of a gel memory foam mattress. With these mattresses, the base form offers the support structure you need in a mattress; all other layers add breathability and softness. For hybrid mattresses, there may be a layer with coils to further add comfort.

Hypoallergenic Qualities

Memory foam is antimicrobial. However, some mattresses are more efficient than others in keeping off allergens and dust mites. Gel memory foam is highly effective in keeping off dust mites, but not all brands are hypoallergenic. Consider mattresses with hypoallergenic covers and toppers to keep off allergens.

Mattress Size

Gel memory foam mattresses are available in all standard mattress sizes. This allows you to choose a mattress that pairs with your current bed frame. Whether you need a mattress for a California king bed or one for a small space-saving bed, you will have options to choose from.

Budget and Ease of Cleaning

It pays to go for the best quality gel memory foam mattress that’s affordable. Luckily, there are several affordable brands to choose from. Compare the cooling technologies used and the quality of the materials and pick the right mattress for you.

Ensure that the mattress you buy has an easy-to-clean cover. Check reviews and manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you can clean your mattress with ease. Mattresses are a sizable investment, and you need to keep them in pristine conditions at all times so that they can serve you for a long time.

Cooling Technologies

Although the gel beads should absorb and dissipate much of the heat from your body, most manufacturers use several other technologies to enhance the cooling effect. Most of these mattresses use open-cell technology to enhance mattress breathability.

The mattress cover might feature circular knit fabrics that flex and can breathe easily compared to other materials. So many manufacturers use cool cloth technology that allows the mattress to eliminate heat while you sleep for a truly comfortable surface.

Check any other cooling technologies that a brand uses and check reviews to see what consumers feel. Be wary of false claims set by some manufacturers in a bid to sell more.

Conclusion

Hot sleepers will benefit from the cooling effects of a gel memory foam mattress. As that happens, they also benefit from the body-conforming and pressure-relieving qualities of the mattress. You need to match this mattress with a good foundation or bed to enjoy the full benefits of the mattress.

A quality mattress can serve you for seven years or more. Take your time and compare different brands to ensure you decide on the best brand. Brands such as Lucid, Casper, Zinus, Saatva, and Nest Bedding are popular and may have a mattress for you. Compare their offerings to see which one meets your needs and budget.



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