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Credit: Sleep Foundation Test Lab

Memory foam is renowned for its stellar pressure relief and its ability to absorb movement, allowing for uninterrupted sleep with a partner. However, memory foam has a tendency to trap heat, resulting in a dilemma for hot sleepers. To work around this, manufacturers have developed gel memory foam.

Designed to sleep cooler than the traditional version, gel memory foam works via the action of gel beads or gel swirls. The gel is interspersed through the memory foam, where it absorbs heat to prevent it from building up around the sleeper.

Every manufacturer makes its gel memory foam a little differently, and some are more successful than others when it comes to temperature neutrality. As you look for a new gel mattress, it pays to do your research so you can be sure you’re getting a mattress that meets your expectations.

We’ll discuss some of the best gel mattresses on the market today and provide advice on how to choose the one right for you.

The Best Mattress Deals of the Week

In-Depth Reviews

“Affordable yet luxurious, the DreamCloud Premier nicely toes the line between plush, supportive, and responsive. If near-universal praise from our testing team is any indication, this balanced hybrid should meet the needs of most people regardless of sleep position or body type.” – Tom Ryan, Head of Product Testing

  • Pros

    1. Well-rounded feel accommodates most comfort preferences

    2. Quiet construction that outperforms other hybrids at motion isolation

    3. Pocketed coils provide targeted support for the spine

  • Cons

    1. Potentially too firm for side sleepers under 130 pounds

    2. Foam layers emit strong initial off-gassing odor

Mattress Type

Hybrid

Firmness Options

Medium Firm (6)

Price Range

$699 – $1,798

Trial Period

365 nights (30-night requirement)

Designed with multiple layers of pressure-relieving materials, the DreamCloud Premier aims to ease tension and help sleepers maintain good spinal alignment.

What It’s Made of

The DreamCloud Premier is a 14-inch hybrid model with a medium firm (6) feel. This mattress features a cashmere blend Euro-top cover quilted with two 1-inch layers of memory foam and gel memory foam. A 2.5-inch polyfoam transitional layer helps prevent excessive sinkage. Rounding out the bed is an 8.5-inch layer of pocketed coils, with a polyfoam base for added stability.

How It Performed

Combining the advantages of memory foam and innersprings, the DreamCloud Premier offers strong motion isolation, above-average edge support, and a responsive sleep surface that enables easy position changes.

The gel-infused memory foam is engineered to draw heat away from the surface of the bed, allowing it to dissipate through the coils in the support core. Because the coils are individually wrapped, the DreamCloud Premier makes little to no noise when bearing weight.

The mattress performs well for all sleeper types, but it performs especially well for side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds, for whom the memory foam forms a pressure-relieving cradle that keeps the spine aligned.

DreamCloud ships free to the contiguous U.S. and offers a 365-night sleep trial with a 30-night requirement. The mattress is covered by a limited lifetime warranty.

“The Bear Original is firmer and more supportive than most competing all-foam models, and this is a major benefit to back and stomach sleepers who often sink too much on these mattresses. The cooling gel infusion and breathable cover also help the mattress maintain a comfortable temperature and resist heat buildup.” – Colin Simpson, Product Research Manager

  • Pros

    1. Firmer-than-average feel delivers exceptional support

    2. Excellent motion isolation and no noise

    3. Celliant-blend cover helps to dissipate heat and maintain a cool surface

  • Cons

    1. Side sleepers under 130 pounds may not receive adequate cushioning

    2. High potential for harsh off-gassing smells for the first 48 hours

Mattress Type

Foam

Firmness Options

Firm (7)

Price Range

$511 – $1,099

Trial Period

120 nights (30-night break-in period)

A high-quality gel mattress can be an expensive investment, but the Bear Original is a notable exception. The triple-layer design offers a firm (7) feel and exceptionally strong support for an all-foam model, making the mattress suitable for those who typically find this type of mattress too soft. During our tests, the Original also excelled in a few performance areas where plusher foam beds typically fall short.

What It’s Made of

The Bear Original’s topmost layer is composed of memory foam infused with graphite-based cooling gel intended to offset heat retention. An open-cell composition for the foam delivers additional breathability. Dense polyfoam makes up the transitional and support layers, reinforcing the firm feel to keep your body on an even plane. Altogether, the mattress measures 10 inches thick.

A cover made from Celliant-blend fabric encases the foam layers. Celliant is engineered to help you physically recover during sleep by converting your body heat into infrared energy. This material also feels cool to the touch and promotes comfortable temperature regulation throughout the night.

How It Performed

Our testing team’s response to the Bear Original was overwhelmingly positive. Particularly strong ratings came from our side sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds, back sleepers of at least 130 pounds, and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds. All of these testers remarked on the Original’s above-average support, comparing the mattress favorably to softer all-foam beds that often sink to an excessive extent.

During our motion isolation tests, we noticed little to no motion transfer when lying next to someone else on the mattress. This makes the Original a good choice for anyone whose sleep is frequently disrupted by their partner’s movements. Our temperature control tests revealed some heat buildup, but not as much as we’ve noticed with softer foam mattresses.

In addition to an affordable sticker price, the Bear Original ships free of charge to customers in the contiguous U.S. Each order includes two free pillows, but you can upgrade this offer to a discounted bedding set that features both pillows along with a sheet set and mattress protector. Bear’s sleep trial runs for 120 nights. A lifetime manufacturer’s warranty covers structural defects for as long as you retain original ownership.

“Saatva’s Loom & Leaf is constructed with high-density foams, so you’ll notice even contouring and excellent weight distribution compared to some of the cheaper all-foam models on the market today. You can choose from two firmness levels, and Saatva offers free exchanges during the generous 365-night trial.” – Danny Noyed, Senior Product Editor

  • Pros

    1. Available in a choice of two firmness levels: medium firm (6) and firm (8)

    2. Innovative design featuring foams partially made with renewable oils

    3. Free White Glove delivery and old mattress removal in the contiguous U.S.

  • Cons

    1. Buyers may notice strong off-gassing odor for the first few nights

    2. High-end prices and a $99 fee for all returns

Mattress Type

Foam

Firmness Options

Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)

Price Range

$1,195 – $3,150

Trial Period

365 Nights ($99 Return Fee)

With a unique construction that incorporates gel swirls for added lumbar support, the Loom & Leaf Mattress leverages all the advantages of gel foam to provide sleepers with pressure relief and versatility.

What It’s Made of

The Loom & Leaf Mattress by Saatva is a 12-inch model sold in two firmness options: medium firm (6) and firm (8). Both models include an organic cotton cover with antimicrobial treatment and a non-toxic thistle fire barrier.

In the center third of the mattress, a spinal zone gel layer offers cooling lumbar support. This sits atop a layer of gel-infused memory foam and a second, denser layer of pressure-relieving memory foam. A high-density polyfoam base provides stability and support.

How It Performed

Side sleepers experience an excellent balance of support and pressure relief from the Loom & Leaf. The added lumbar support helps relieve pressure buildup for back sleepers, and the firm model provides support for stomach sleepers, preventing sinking in the midsection.

Memory foam is known for its ability to isolate motion, and the dense foams used in the Loom & Leaf help reduce disturbances for couples, particularly on the medium firm (6) model. Due to the gel infusions, the mattress sleeps cooler than traditional memory foam models. Our testers also found it relatively easy to switch positions and use the edges of the firm model.

The mattress is available in the six standard sizes as well as split king and split California king. Saatva offers free White Glove delivery in the contiguous U.S., and customers can also add on old mattress removal at the time of checkout for no additional fee. The Loom & Leaf has a lifetime warranty and a 365-night sleep trial. Returned mattresses are subject to a $99 fee.

“Many all-foam mattresses we’ve tested sleep hot, but the Nectar Premier avoids this issue thanks to cooling cover and comfort layer materials. Our temperature control tests revealed little to no heat buildup on the surface, and most of our team agreed the mattress maintained a comfortable temperature in all three sleep positions.” – Lauren Fountain, Senior Product Editor

  • Pros

    1. Even conforming provides excellent pressure relief

    2. Phase change material and cooling gel help minimize heat retention

    3. Generous 365-day trial period

  • Cons

    1. Strong off-gassing smells for the first 48 hours

    2. People over 230 pounds may sink when moving across the surface or changing positions

Mattress Type

Foam

Firmness Options

Medium Firm (6)

Price Range

$699 – $1,598

Trial Period

365 nights

If you’re in the market for a memory foam mattress that doesn’t retain as much heat as competing models, the Nectar Premier is a worthy option. Foam beds are known for trapping heat, but this model is designed with cooling features that help regulate temperature on the surface.

What It’s Made of

The mattress is constructed with a 3-inch memory foam comfort layer that molds closely to evenly distribute your weight and reduce pressure in sensitive areas of your body. This layer is infused with cooling gel and phase change material to make the mattress suitable for hot sleepers. Transitional and base layers of high-density polyfoam reinforce the comfort layer to help maintain an even surface for your body.

How It Performed

During testing, we found the Premier had a medium firm (6) feel and provided ample cushioning for side sleepers along the shoulders and hips. This can improve spinal alignment and ease discomfort that often comes from using this sleep position. The mattress is also well suited to back sleepers, who need cushioning along the spine and support for the lower back. Motion isolation is a strength of the Premier. The foams absorb movement and prevent it from spreading across the surface, making the mattress a good option for people who wake up easily from their sleep partner’s movements.

The mattress is fairly expensive compared to other all-foam models, but Nectar will ship it for free anywhere in the contiguous U.S. You’ll receive 365 days to test out the mattress, along with a lifetime warranty.

“The WinkBed pairs adaptive foams with a zoned coil system, and the result is a pressure-relieving balance of even contouring and solid support. For added personalization, you can choose from four different firmness levels and exchange your initial choice at no extra charge if you aren’t satisfied the first time around.” – Brad Nehring, Senior Product Manager

  • Pros

    1. Comfort layers contour to the body to relieve pressure

    2. Zoned coil system provides targeted support to the midsection

    3. Four firmness options

  • Cons

    1. Foam layers may emit off-gassing odor after unboxing

    2. Limited options for people who like to be deeply hugged by their mattress

Mattress Type

Innerspring

Firmness Options

Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7), Firm (8)

Price Range

$1,149 – $2,049

Trial Period

120 nights (30 night requirement)

The WinkBed is available in four firmness levels, and all designs feature a thick foam or latex comfort system paired with sturdy coils. This balanced design is a good fit for sleepers with back pain, since it cushions you in all the right spots while still generating enough support to keep your lower back from sinking.

What It’s Made of

The WinkBed is available in medium soft (4), medium firm (6), firm (7), and firm (8) options. The three softer models begin with a Euro-top cover quilted with gel-infused polyfoam, giving the surface a plush feel that contours to the body and alleviates pressure. This is followed by a transitional polyfoam layer that prevents you from sinking too deeply into the mattress. The firmest model starts with a high-density polyfoam layer followed by a thick latex layer, generating firmer support.

In all models, pocketed coils in a zoned configuration make up the support core. Thicker coils are placed beneath the midsection to reduce sagging and promote spinal alignment. Perimeter reinforcement bolsters the edges, preventing it from sinking when you sleep near the edges or get in and out of bed. A breathable and moisture-wicking Tencel cover encases the mattress.

How It Performed

Thanks to the multiple firmness options, everyone on our testing team found a model that suited their body type and sleep preferences. The softer models earned higher ratings from the side and back sleepers on our team, especially those who weigh up to 230 pounds, while the firmer models were a better fit for stomach sleepers or side and back sleepers over 230 pounds.

Many mattresses with foam layers tend to trap heat during our tests, but the WinkBed was a notable exception. Thanks to the breathable cover and steady airflow through the coils, our hot sleepers noticed minimal heat buildup. We also recommend the mattress for couples, since the surface was fairly easy to roll across for sex and the sturdy edge support allowed for maximum surface use.

WinkBed offers free shipping to customers living in the contiguous U.S. and a 120-night sleep trial. If you decide to keep the mattress after the trial, it is backed by a generous lifetime warranty covering structural defects.

“Most gel mattresses sleep fairly cool, but the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe gets a leg up on the competition with a heat-dissipating phase change cover in addition to its cooling gel infusion. Three firmness options — all with zoned coils — help ensure optimal support and pain relief for most sleepers.” – Jackson Lindeke, Executive Director

  • Pros

    1. Three firmness options

    2. Surface infused with phase change material to promote cooling

    3. Couples

  • Cons

    1. High odor potential due to off-gassing foam layers

    2. Firmness exchanges not available during trial period

Mattress Type

Hybrid

Firmness Options

Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7)

Price Range

$749 – $1,699

Trial Period

120 nights (30-night requirement)

Gel mattresses are known for their cooling properties, but the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe stands apart from other gel-infused beds for its exceptional cooling features. This model should feel comfortable for most sleepers who overheat or sweat a lot at night.

What It’s Made of

The mattress is available in three firmness options that correspond to medium soft (4), medium firm (6), and firm (7) on our firmness scale. All models begin with a cushioned layer of CopperFlex, a proprietary gel-infused foam that contours to the body. Beneath is a TitanFlex foam layer with a moderately bouncy feel, followed by a gel-infused memory foam layer in the two softer models and a firmer VariFlex foam layer in the firm model. Rounding out the construction is a support core of pocketed coils.

How It Performed

Between the multiple firmness options and the even balance of support and cushioning, our test team found the Aurora Luxe to be suitable for a wide range of sleepers. Side sleepers gravitated toward the two softer models, while back sleepers benefited more from the two firmer models. Stomach sleepers who weigh above 130 pounds found the firm model ideal for preventing their midsection from sagging into the bed.

Hot sleepers should have no problem staying cool with the Aurora Luxe, since air circulates freely through the bed’s interior and the foam layers are designed with cooling gel. The surface is also infused with TitanCool, a phase change material that’s meant to further minimize heat retention. For an additional fee, you can upgrade your mattress with an extra foam layer known as the “Cloud” pillow-top. This layer makes the surface feel noticeably softer, but may also reduce the mattress’ heat-dissipating abilities.

Brooklyn Bedding offers customers 120 nights to try out the mattress. You may return the bed within this timeframe for a full refund. The bed is backed by a 10-year warranty and the mattress ships free to addresses in the contiguous U.S.

“Deep foam layers and a close, even contour make the Puffy Lux softer and more adaptive than most hybrids sold today. This helps ensure ample cushioning and proper alignment for most side sleepers — most members of our testing team who use this position loved the mattress.” – Colin Simpson, Product Research Manager

  • Pros

    1. Thick, adaptive foam layers create a luxuriously plush feel across the surface

    2. Pocketed coils promote internal airflow to help the mattress stay cool

    3. Cover is removable, machine-washable, and stain-resistant

  • Cons

    1. Inadequate support for most back and stomach sleepers weighing 130 pounds or more

    2. Perimeter may buckle and sink beneath your weight

Mattress Type

Hybrid

Firmness Options

Medium (5)

Price Range

$899 – $2,098

Trial Period

101 nights (14-night break-in period)

The Puffy Lux Mattress features adaptive foams that closely cradle your body, bringing relief to pressure-sensitive areas. The generous cushioning is a good fit for side sleepers, especially those who tend to wake up with sore joints.

What It’s Made of

The comfort layer is composed of proprietary Cooling Cloud gel-infused foam that contours closely to the body but is engineered to retain a minimal amount of body heat. A second layer of Plush Dual Cloud offers extra conforming, while the denser Climate Comfort polyfoam transitional layer prevents you from sinking excessively. The support core contains individually pocketed coils that stabilize the mattress and prevent deep sinkage along the edges without making the surface feel too stiff or generating disruptive motion transfer. A base layer of high-density polyfoam adds extra reinforcement.

Most mattresses made today have non-removable covers that can only be spot-cleaned. In contrast, the Lux’s cover is removable and can be laundered in any household machine for easy care and optimal hygiene. The fabric is also stain-resistant.

How It Performed

Side sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds should find the mattress particularly comfortable, as this position generally needs more padding around the hips and shoulders to avoid painful pressure buildup. Meanwhile the coils deliver enough support to the lumbar region to maintain healthy sleep posture. The coils also promote airflow throughout the interior to offset some of the foam’s heat-absorbing tendencies and help the mattress sleep fairly cool. In addition to offering strong pressure relief, the adaptive foam layers also absorb a lot of movement to keep motion transfer to a minimum for co-sleepers.

Delivery is free of charge for all customers in the contiguous U.S. Every purchase comes with a 101-night sleep trial that includes complimentary return shipping. Those who choose to keep the mattress also receive a lifetime warranty against structural defects.

“SweetNight’s Dreamy Gel Memory Foam is unique in its construction. Not only is the mattress flippable, but one of the surfaces has two distinct firmness levels depending on how it’s rotated. This allows you to easily adjust how the mattress feels in order to target pain and pressure points in your most sensitive areas.” – Jeremy Klein, Senior Product Testing Manager

  • Pros

    1. Innovative flippable design features three different firmness levels

    2. Available in profiles of 10 or 12 inches

    3. All-foam design excels at pressure relief and motion isolation

  • Cons

    1. Stomach sleepers over 230 pounds may not receive adequate support from either design

    2. Strong initial off-gassing odor can persist for up to 72 hours

Mattress Type

Foam

Firmness Options

Medium Soft (4), Medium (5) Medium Firm (6)

Price Range

$612 – $1,150

Trial Period

100 nights

The Dreamy Gel Memory Foam from Sweet Night is a reversible mattress with adaptive, pressure-relieving layers on each side. One surface feels noticeably softer when you rotate the mattress 180 degrees for even more customization. Dual-sided mattresses tend to be pricey, but the Dreamy is also affordably priced compared to many competing models.

How It Performed

During our tests, the Dreamy’s medium firm (6) side was a hit among our side sleepers weighing at least 130 pounds, back sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds, and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds. This surface feels reasonably supportive and shouldn’t sink too much. Side and back sleepers under 130 pounds preferred the opposite side, which feels medium soft (4) or medium (5) depending how your body is positioned. Either way, you’ll notice deep cushioning and contouring.

The Dreamy offers excellent overall pressure relief. Your preferred feel will likely depend on how much you weigh and which sleep position you prefer, but our tests show most people across different sleeper types should experience less pressure. Motion isolation is also a strong area for this mattress, meaning fewer sleep disturbances for you and your sleep partner when the other person moves in bed.

What It’s Made of

The Dreamy’s softer side is cushioned with layers of memory foam and adaptive polyfoam. These materials contour closely to cradle your body, align your spine, and reduce pressure buildup in areas like the shoulders and hips. The surface’s zoned construction means you’ll feel slightly more support when lying in one direction than the other. High-density polyfoam gives the opposite side a firmer, more supportive feel. A jacquard-knit cover encases the mattress.

The Dreamy Gel Memory Foam is affordably priced, and SweetNight includes a free eye mask with each mattress purchase. Standard ground shipping is free within the contiguous U.S. Your sleep trial runs for 100 nights. If you decide to keep the Dreamy after the return period ends, you’ll also receive a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Expert Tested. Sleeper Approved.

Over the past eight years, our Seattle-based Test Lab has performed hands-on tests on more than 4,000 sleep products — and nearly 2,000 of them are mattresses. 

As product experts, we stay up to date on the latest news in sleep science and product trends. We use this knowledge to fuel our data-backed recommendations. Many of our testers have worked directly with mattress manufacturers and visited actual mattress factories. On occasion, a sleep health expert might stop by to tweak a firmness rating.

When we test a mattress, we collect data across six major performance categories and combine these results with real-world feedback. We use tools and tech to monitor features like heat retention, motion isolation, and pressure mapping. In order to ensure our findings are inclusive of all sleepers, our team consists of people with varying body types and sleep positions.

Mattresses aren’t one-size-fits-all. The perfect bed for you is going to depend on general points like your body weight and sleeping position, as well as unique points like if you have back pain, if you sleep hot at night, or if you just like the feel of latex over memory foam. Our goal at the Test Lab is to help take the guesswork out of your mattress-buying process.

What Is a Gel Mattress?

A gel mattress contains at least one layer of gel-infused memory foam or polyfoam in the comfort system. Generally found in the form of beads or swirls, the gel infusions are intended to help regulate temperature by absorbing heat and pulling it away from the bed’s surface. As a result, gel mattresses often sleep cooler than traditional memory foam models. Gel foam may also feature perforations or an open-cell design to further enhance airflow.

The gel-infused foam layers can be paired with a polyfoam support core or with innerspring coils in the case of a gel hybrid mattress. There may also be other layers in the comfort system.

Gel-infused foam usually supplies conforming pressure relief, but the feel of the mattress also depends on the other layers and the exact firmness and makeup of the gel foam.

How to Choose a Gel Mattress

Buying a gel mattress comes with special considerations. Buyers must decide on not only the composition and placement of the gel foam, but also on the type of mattress.

If you’re thinking about whether you should get a gel mattress, you may find it helps to have an understanding of how gel infusions contribute to the overall feel of the mattress, who is best suited to a gel mattress, and what other factors should be taken into account when buying a bed.

What to Look For in a Mattress

Gel is a proprietary material that differs in its makeup from manufacturer to manufacturer, which sometimes makes it challenging to compare and contrast models. That said, there are several key points that can help you identify the mattress that best fits your needs.

Price
You can expect to pay a little more for a gel mattress compared to a regular foam mattress. However, gel mattresses are available at a wide range of price-points, so most shoppers should be able to find a mattress that fits their budget. All-foam models generally cost less than gel hybrids, and extra features or additional layers may raise the price.

Sleeping Position
Memory foam is best known for relieving pressure points, and gel mattresses are often favored by side sleepers looking to ease pain in the hips and shoulders. Gel foam can also help to reduce tension when sleeping on your back. On the other hand, stomach sleepers may find a gel foam mattress too plush.

Quality Materials
Mattresses made with higher-quality materials can be more expensive, but they usually last longer. And while denser foams tend to hold up better to pressure, they may also trap more heat.

Firmness Level
Although there are exceptions, gel memory foam mattresses are usually medium soft to medium firm. This firmness range is suitable for most sleeper types, particularly side sleepers and back sleepers who weigh less than 230 pounds. Stomach sleepers or those over 230 pounds may prefer a thinner layer of gel foam over firmer layers of polyfoam or latex.

Pressure Relief
Gel foam usually contours quite closely to the sleeper, helping distribute weight and prevent pressure points from forming. In concert with a supportive base, this material can also contribute to proper spinal alignment. People who often wake up with aches and pains may want to consider a mattress with a thicker comfort system.

Motion Isolation
Couples should find that gel memory foam helps absorb movement to reduce nighttime disruptions. However, the base of the mattress also plays a role in motion isolation. Mattresses with polyfoam support cores tend to isolate motion better than those with coils, although hybrids with individually wrapped coils also perform fairly well.

Temperature Regulation
The aim of gel memory foam is to provide the pressure-relieving properties of memory foam  without the heat retention. Different manufacturers accomplish this to different extents. Gel memory foam rarely sleeps as cool as latex or wool, but it may be a good option for hot sleepers who need a cooling mattress and like the feel of memory foam.

Edge Support
Edge support is mostly determined by the support core. Foam mattresses may compress more around the perimeter, while hybrids generally hold up better, especially if they have reinforced edges. When evaluating a mattress for edge support, be aware that mattresses with thicker, plusher comfort systems are likely to sag more around the edges. This may limit usable space and make it more difficult to get in and out of bed.

Contouring
Contouring refers to the ability of a material to wrap around your body. Memory foam contours more closely than polyfoam, and polyfoam usually contours more closely than latex. A certain amount of contouring is necessary to relieve pressure points, but too much contouring may allow excessive sinking that compromises spinal support.

Mattress Type
Gel mattresses typically come in all-foam or hybrid options. All-foam models with polyfoam support cores make little to no noise, and they typically offer strong motion isolation and pressure relief. Hybrid models often have better edge support and temperature neutrality, as well as a more responsive surface. Using pocketed coils in the support core of a hybrid can also cut down on motion transfer.

Off-Gassing
Because it is a type of synthetic polyurethane foam, gel foam may emit off-gassing odors when it is first unboxed. These occur as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released into the air. The scent usually dissipates after a few days, but if you are sensitive to smell, you may want to find a mattress with less off-gassing.

Mattresses made with lower-density foams or those that incorporate space for airflow usually air out faster.

Third-party organizations like CertiPUR-US and Greenguard test mattresses for their emission levels and grant certifications to mattresses that meet their criteria, which can provide some peace of mind.

How Does It Feel to Sleep on a Gel Mattress?

Gel infusions can be added to various types of foam, with the primary intent of making it sleep cooler. This versatile material may therefore appeal to many different sleeper types, especially those with a tendency to overheat or those who live in warmer climates.

Gel memory foam contours more closely and provides a classic hug-like feel. Gel-infused polyfoam varies in firmness, but it is almost always more responsive than memory foam, and it doesn’t tend to conform as closely. Some mattresses also use different formats such as gel pods, ridged cutouts, or a thicker layer in the lumbar section to modify the mattress’ performance.

Whereas many mattresses are made with a single layer of gel foam over a foam or coil base, mattresses may also have a thinner layer of gel foam tucked between other layers of wool, polyfoam, or other materials. All of these designs can alter the feel of the bed.

Dive Deeper – In-Depth Mattress Guides

If you’d like to refine your search for a bed beyond a gel mattress, read through our other guides categorized by mattress type.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the pros and cons of a gel mattress?

Gel mattresses aim to offer a cooler sleep experience, which can raise the price-point compared to regular foam mattresses. Gel foam is a good option for sleepers who like the pressure-relieving, motion-isolating feel of memory foam or polyfoam but don’t like sleeping hot.

Because gel must be added to either memory foam or polyfoam, gel mattresses may not be attractive to shoppers who prefer natural materials or those who are sensitive to off-gassing smells.

What kinds of gel mattresses are available?

As gel foam is meant to be used in the comfort layers, gel mattresses can come in either hybrid or all-foam models. All-foam models have a high-density polyfoam support base, whereas hybrid mattresses have an innerspring base that is often made with pocketed coils. More rarely, shoppers might see airbed models with gel foam comfort layers over an inflatable air chamber.

How much does a gel mattress cost?

The average price of a gel mattress runs from about $800 to $2,000, though there are plenty of models that fall outside of this range. Foam mattresses are among the cheapest options, while hybrids may be more expensive. Although gel foam is more expensive than regular memory foam or polyfoam, gel mattresses usually cost less than natural latex mattresses.

Pricing can change depending on the brand, the design of the mattress, the quality of the materials, and the shipping and return policies. If you want the feel of gel foam but not the investment in a new mattress, a gel foam mattress topper may also be an option.

How long does a gel mattress last?

On average, buyers can expect a foam or hybrid mattress to last 6 to 8 years if properly cared for.

With all mattresses, the comfort system generally starts to break down before the support core. As a comfort layer, gel foam is not the most durable material, especially in its plusher iterations. However, regularly rotating the mattress from head to foot can delay the onset of permanent body indentations. Using a mattress protector can also help extend the lifespan by shielding the material against accidents.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market.

Send an email to [email protected] with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

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