Known for its slow response to pressure and body-contouring capabilities, memory foam is a popular bedding material, especially for those who enjoy a cozy sink into their mattress. However, though it comes with a ton of pros, it does come with one pesky little con — it tends to absorb and trap body heat. This can be a real bummer for folks who already sleep hot as the material can absolutely make the problem worse. But, thankfully, there is a solution.
Enter, gel memory foam mattresses. These beds mitigate the overheating properties of memory foam by infusing their own memory foam layers with cooling gel. This helps to dissipate trapped body heat and create a much cooler sleeping experience. If you’ve long avoided memory foam because you thought it would lead to uncomfortably sweaty slumber, gel memory foam mattresses could be the products for you.
Interested to learn more about these kinds of beds? Then keep on reading this guide. I’m going to introduce you to the best gel memory foam mattresses on the market and talk about how exactly I picked them. Then, I’m going to wrap things up with a few expert tips you can use to find the gel memory foam mattress that’s going to be 100% right for you.
- Editor’s Choice – Zinus
- Best for Couples – Sweetnight
- Best for Pressure Relief – Olee Sleep
- Best for Side Sleepers – PrimaSleep
If cooling is your number one priority, I heartily recommend the 12” gel-infused green tea memory foam mattress from Zinus. Not only is this bed infused with cooling gel to help dissipate body heat, but it’s also built with specialized green tea memory foam, which actively works to regulate temperatures in the night. Plus, it’s super cozy as it features deep sinkage and body-contouring.
- In my opinion, the Zinus is quite affordable! It has the feel of a luxury mattress but at a price that’s surprisingly wallet friendly.
- I’m also really into the green tea infusion, which is unique to the Zinus brand. Not only does it cool the bed, but it keeps things nice and fresh.
- The thick top layers of memory foam could also do a lot for side sleepers. Why? These folks tend to prefer soft beds that provide extra cushioning at the shoulders and hips.
- If you want to feel “on top” of your mattress, this Zinus may not be the mattress for you as its thick layers of memory foam result in a lot of sinkage.
Sink into body-conforming pressure relief with Zinus's classic memory foam feel, it comes in a variety of heights and I love it for side sleepers!
Best for Couples
If you share your bed with a partner, I’d suggest looking at the gel memory foam hybrid mattress from Sweetnight. It’s built with a gentle top layer of gel-infused memory foam for cooling and comfort and a sturdy base of individually wrapped coils for a little firm support. A great thing about these wrapped coils is that they’re fantastic at isolating motion, so should help cut down on the tossing and turning at night.
- I think couples could be especially compatible with this mattress. Not only does its cooling layer of gel memory foam help dissipate body heat, but it’s wrapped coils help isolate motion throughout the structure.
- Combo sleepers could also find a lot to love in this bed! It’s fairly bouncy, so makes changing positions in the night a breeze.
- All in all, if you’re someone who seeks a balance of pressure relief and support, this could be the mattress for you.
- Side sleepers, beware! This bed is probably too firm for your needs as you’ll likely feel some jamming at the shoulders as you press into the bed.
The SweetNight is a flippable mattress, offering either firm support or soft comfort depending on which side you choose.
Best for Pressure Relief
For those on the prowl for deep pressure relief, allow me to introduce you to this gel memory foam mattress from Olee Sleep. Built with layers of gentle memory foam and high-density poly foam, this mattress features plenty of pressure relief, sinkage, and body-contouring. Plus, it’s outfitted with gel to keep the temperatures nice and cool.
- As the superlative suggests, the Olee could be a great fit for those in need of pressure relief, either at the shoulders, hips, or lower back.
- In general, fans of memory foam could find a lot to love in the Olee, which embodies all the great characteristics of the foam.
- And finally, the price is definitely right on this mattress! If you’re on a budget, Olee Sleep could be the brand for you.
- There’s not a ton of bounce to this mattress, which could be a dealbreaker for those in search of high mobility.
The Olee Sleep uses layers of gentle memory foam to allow sleepers to sink deep into bed to relieve pressure at trouble spots like the shoulders and the hips.
Best for Side Sleepers
The 10” Wave gel-infused memory foam mattress from PrimaSleep is a great option for folks in search of a classic memory foam feel. Not only does it embody the positive benefits of the material, but it also employs a cooling gel infusion and breathable convoluted design to promote excellent airflow throughout the structure.
- If you want the oh-so-cozy sink of memory foam, but don’t want to overheat, PrimaSleep could be the one for you!
- Side sleepers could find a lot to enjoy in the gentle pressure relief of the top layer of gel-infused memory foam.
- Folks who sleep hot could also find a lot to love in this mattress as it offers both cooling and breathability.
- If you need a firm mattress, this bed probably isn’t the one for you, built as it is with gentle top layers of foam.
The PrimaSleep uses gel-infused memory foam to provide cooling as well as great pressure relief!
How We Picked
Now that we’ve gone over my picks, let’s dig into the methodology I used to choose them. In this section, I’m going to go over the most important factors to consider when buying a gel memory foam mattress.
Gel-infused v. Gel foam
There’s an important distinction to be made between gel-infused memory foam and gel memory foam. The former usually incorporates a gel “swirl” into the foam, which, though cooling, doesn’t necessarily have a uniform effect throughout the layer. The latter sees gel incorporated throughout the entire piece of foam, resulting in a much cooler sleeping experience.
Neither one is inherently better than the other, but if you sleep very, very hot, you may want to stay on the lookout for gel memory foam over foam that’s simply been infused with gel.
Other Cooling Properties
In addition to gel and gel infusions, you may run across other cooling properties in your mattress search. Some of the most effective are graphite and copper, both of which work to absorb and dissipate body heat evenly throughout a structure. Copper infusions are especially interesting as there’s some research to suggest that they’re antimicrobial, which makes for an overall healthier sleeping experience.
The thickness of a piece of memory foam can make a big difference in how it feels. If you want a lot of deep sinkage, body-contouring, and pressure relief, I’d recommend going with a top section of memory foam that’s at least 2-3” thick. If you only want a little cushioning, you can reduce this down to one inch.
If you’re concerned about figuring out just how tall a certain section of memory foam is, navigate to the “details” or “construction specs” section of a mattress description. There, the brand will list all the different foam thicknesses in the order they appear in the mattress.
Density is another important factor to consider when buying a memory foam mattress. Though there are a lot of varieties of memory foam on the market, they’re not all the same. An easy way to spot the high-quality stuff over the run-of-the-mill stuff is to focus on density.
In my experience, high-quality memory foam typically has a density between 3.0-5.0 PCF (pounds per cubic foot). Again, the brand should list the density details in the materials section of the mattress. Overall, the denser the foam, the more body-contouring and sinkage you’re likely to experience.
Though a mattress may feature memory foam, it’s rarely the only material at play, so it’s important to note what else is going on in the construction. If the memory foam is paired with pocketed coils, for example, you’re not likely to get as much sinkage as you would if it were paired with memory or poly foam. Remember: Just because a bed claims to have memory foam doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to be super soft!
If cooling is the most important factor for you, I recommend looking for a bed that layers latex foam over memory foam. Latex is naturally cooling, so can help curb some of memory foam’s overheating tendencies. Latex paired with gel-infused or gel memory foam can make for a pleasantly temperature neutral bed.
Still don’t really know what to look for when buying a gel memory foam mattress? No problem! I’m going to share a few expert tips you can use to improve your mattress search.
- Pay more attention to the inches of memory foam than the number of layers of memory foam within a mattress! The former is a solid indicator of the bed’s total memory foam power while the latter is used mostly as a selling point.
- Gel infusions are fantastic, but I’d put the preference on mattresses that combine gel with other cooling properties. Green tea, graphite, and copper infusions can help boost the temperature regulation of a bed.
- Look out for convoluted foam designs, which can encourage extra breathability. This helps to lower temps and keep air circulating in the night.
Well folks, that’s all she wrote! When looking for a gel memory foam mattress, keep your eye trained on the specific infusions used, the thickness of the memory foam layers, and the materials being used to complement the memory foam. If you do this, you’re sure to land on a gel memory foam mattress that’ll keep you feeling cozy and cool all night long!
Is memory foam or gel memory foam better?
It totally depends on what kind of sleeper you are! If you’re someone who sleeps hot, you’ll definitely want to go with a gel memory foam mattress as it sleeps much cooler than an ordinary memory foam one. However, if you don’t sleep hot, a normal memory foam mattress should be just fine.
What is the difference between a gel mattress and a memory foam mattress?
In terms of feel, not much, as both mattresses are built with memory foam. However, a gel mattress is going to sleep much cooler than a memory foam mattress because its memory foam has been infused with cooling gel. Untreated memory foam has a tendency to overheat at night.
Are gel memory foam mattresses good?
Definitely! Gel memory foam mattresses can be great for folks who sleep hot or couples that need to dissipate body heat evenly throughout a structure.
How long do gel memory foam mattresses last?
As with any bed, gel memory foam mattresses can last anywhere between 7-10 years.
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