You’re tossing and turning every night, unable to find a relaxing position. Your memory foam mattress gets so warm that it becomes difficult to sleep through the night. On the other hand, it is supportive and comfortable, and your back never felt better. If only it weren’t so hot.
So, what is the solution? Do you sleep with lighter covers? Or do you find an alternative, one that can keep cool throughout the night? One that will still be as comfortable and supportive as your current model?
This article will provide you a selection of best-reviewed gel-cooled memory foam mattresses. The gel itself provides a dramatic improvement over the models without it, and the difference in sleeping temperature can get staggering.
We have also provided a helpful guide to help you understand what this is and how it works, as well as factors you should consider when buying.
And or see our guide to top mattresses if you’re interested in other types beside gel.
Top Gel Infused Memory Foam Beds Compared
Classic Brands – Best Pressure Relief
If you have problems with tension in your back, neck, or shoulders, the cause could be your mattress. It could be inappropriate for your sleeping position, and it could put your pressure points under unneeded strain by not supporting your body properly.
This Classic Brands product could be what you’re looking for. Its support is better than the one provided by innerspring or foam alternatives, and it could be just the thing to alleviate your neck or back problems.
And, to make sure it remains cool, not only is the top layer infused with cooling gel but so is the polyfoam layer directly beneath. Together, they should take the heat away from you and make your nights less warm.
In fact, most reviewers have praised its support and comfort, some even mentioning how much better they felt. While some weren’t satisfied with its firmness, most others have learned to enjoy it after an adjustment period.
That’s why this mattress should be ideal for those that can’t get comfortable on other solutions. A good memory foam model can be just what your back needs and this Classic Brands product provides just that.
LUCID – Best Support
Memory foam is known for its supportive properties, and mattresses made from it can be more comfortable because of that. Because it becomes softer the warmer it gets, it molds to your body the longer you are on it, and that, in turn, supports your body better.
This LUCID model’s top layer is gel-cooled and has holes for ventilation, all to reduce its main drawback, its heat retention. The cooling gel alone should keep you fresh, but combined with the improved airflow that the holes provide, your sleeping experience should be even more comfortable.
Rapid cooling is also significant because memory foam returns to its original form as it cools. This means that it isn’t as responsive if it doesn’t have a cooling solution, and because of the combination of air holes and cooling gel, this model should return to its original shape faster.
Customers have recognized that and overwhelmingly praised its superior support and cold sleeping surface. Some have complained about its firmness, but those were in the clear minority.
Overall, this mattress should support your body correctly, no matter what your sleeping position is. It should mold to your contours, and when you change position, it should follow that shift rapidly, providing you with a cool and comfortable sleeping surface.
Zinus - Best Odor Control
One of memory foam’s drawbacks is its smell. It can get overpowering, especially in the first few days. That’s one of the reasons why those mattresses should be thoroughly aired out before sleeping on them. Another problem is that odors can develop over time, as well.
This Zinus model shouldn’t have that problem. Several of its layers increase the airflow and further reduce the potential smell development. It is also infused with green tea extracts as well as natural active charcoal. Together, they should keep your bed fresh by absorbing smells and moistures.
Owners have mostly praised these abilities while also mentioning its comfort, support, and fresh sleeping surface. While some have complained about its firmness, others have pointed out that they preferred it that way after an initial period of adjustment.
So, if you want a mattress that won’t emit any nasty smells when new, and has a way of preventing those odors from developing, this one should be what you’re looking for. While it may be firmer than some alternatives, those that prefer a stiffer surface could appreciate what it has to offer.
Olee Sleep - Best Temperature Regulation
Temperature regulation is crucial with memory foam mattresses, especially if you live in a warmer climate or prefer a cooler sleeping surface. While the gel is the primary method of cooling the top layer, this Olee Sleep product also has an airflow layer between the top and base layers.
The airflow layer is also infused with gel, which should make sleeping on it even colder. Those layers, when combined, should disperse your body heat away from you. It should also help maintain a consistent temperature throughout the surface.
Owners have primarily praised its temperature regulation, mentioning how cool the sleeping surface remained even when it was hot outside. While some have complained about its softness, others have adjusted to the change and praised it after.
So, if you live in a warmer climate and want a mattress that will remain cool no matter how hot it gets outside, this one might be what you need. With its several layers of gel-infused foam, its surface should remain consistently cool no matter the heat.
Brentwood Home - Best Non-toxic
Memory foam is an artificially produced compound, and most of the time, some potentially harmful chemicals need to be used. That’s what gives them their strong smell, one which should air out in the first several days. This Brentwood Home model, however, was certified to be safe.
It uses CertiPUR-US certified foam, over which is a fire-retardant layer. That layer is also certified, and it doesn’t contain any formaldehyde, heavy metals, or phthalates. Its bamboo cover should also not only be safe, but healthy. It should keep the allergens away from your sleeping surface.
While most customer reviews have been positive, some have complained about its firmness. It is, however, a stiffer model, more appropriate for back or stomach sleepers. Side sleepers should probably find a softer alternative.
For those that want or need such a mattress, but are worried about the potentially toxic chemicals used to make them, this model should provide a safe solution. Its manufacturing process is a bit safer, and it should be the answer to those concerns.
Sleep Innovations - Best Bed in a Box
Shopping for a mattress online can be tricky. You can’t try the product before you buy it, and when it arrives, its foam needs several days to fully decompress and air out. By the time you know if it suits you, it has been on your bed a while.
While bed-in-a-box types of models can be of lower quality, the way it is packaged doesn’t have to mean that every such model will be inferior. This Sleep Innovations model, for example, provides more than enough comfort, and it fits into a tidy box that can be delivered to your door.
Its top is gel-infused, which is then further cooled with an airflow layer between the top and high-density foam base. Apart from a cold sleeping surface, it should provide more than enough support and relieve the tension in your pressure points.
It is, however, on the firm side of the spectrum, and some owners have recognized that. Back and stomach sleepers shouldn’t have any problems with it, but side sleepers should consider whether this is acceptable to them.
Overall, this model should provide all the necessary comfort and support, and it should arrive in a handy box. So, if you are still unsure about ordering a mattress online, this one should cover most of your needs, and it should be a safe choice.
Sweetnight - Best for Back Pain Relief
This Sweetnight mattress is a bit different. While most similar models have one side meant for sleeping, this one is flappable. You can sleep on the top side, which consists of a gel-infused layer, under which is ventilated foam to increase airflow, or you can sleep on the bottom for an even firmer experience.
While foam can, on its own, help with back problems, especially if you sleep on your back, sometimes you need an extra stiff sleeping surface. While the bottom isn’t gel-cooled like the top, it isn’t made of memory foam, either. That means it doesn’t retain heat.
In fact, most owners have praised its comfort and support, stressing how much better their sleep got since they started sleeping on it. Most complaints have also been about its firmness, with most of them finding it too uncomfortable. Those that knew about that, however, didn’t have a problem with it.
All these reasons make this an ideal choice for those that suffer from back problems. While it won’t heal your issues completely, it should provide a welcome relief. With its two different and usable sides, it should feel like two different mattresses, one softer and the other firmer.
LINENSPA - Best Easy Set-up
If you’re looking for a low-profile mattress that you can set up in your guest room or on a bunk bed for your kids, this LINENSPA model might be what you’re looking for. As it’s only 5 inches thick, it shouldn’t be too difficult to move around when needed.
Its low profile doesn’t mean that it isn’t comfortable. Its top layer is made of gel-cooled memory foam, which also features holes to increase airflow. That should, in turn, help it maintain a consistent temperature no matter how hot it gets outside.
While it may be too firm for some people, as some reviewers have mentioned, it should still support your body, especially if you sleep on your back or stomach. Side sleepers might not find it as comfortable, though.
However, if you’re looking for a light and easily transportable product, this one might be what you need. It’s still comfortable enough for most people, but its firmness might not be for everyone.
What to Look for When Buying Gel Infused Memory Foam Beds
Purchasing a top mattress that uses gel to cool its top layer isn’t as easy as it looks. There are several factors you should be aware of before you try to find the right model. This section should provide you with the basics so that you can make an informed decision.
Lifespan and Durability
These can be difficult to judge, especially if you’re buying online. And even if you’re purchasing a mattress in a store and you’ve tried it out, there is no guarantee that your model will last a long time. The foam can lose its integrity, becoming soft and uncomfortable. Maybe the cover isn’t as good.
That’s why you should read several customer reviews and pay attention to their experiences. A few defective products don’t mean that your chosen model isn’t good enough, though. It could just be an error in manufacturing.
It is also essential to see about the warranty. Pay special attention to how long it lasts and whether it turns limited after a while. That way, if your mattress goes flat, you have recourse.
Weigh Pros and Cons
Before deciding on a mattress, you should weigh its pros and cons carefully. Before you choose, you should know what kind of model you want, as well as what kind of a sleeping surface works best for you.
Then, you should see in what ways your chosen product fits your needs, as well as in which ways it does not. It may be too firm, for example. Its cover could be too slippery or difficult to maintain. Its top layer could also be too thin, or in the wrong position.
You should make your final decision only after carefully considering these factors.
Size of the Mattress
This should be the most significant aspect. The size depends on many different factors. If you’re buying a replacement, you already have a frame size. And if you don’t, you should buy a model that can fit on your chosen bed frame, which should be appropriate for the size of your bedroom.
You should also consider its thickness. If your bed frame is already high, if you put a thick mattress on it, your sleeping surface could end up higher than you expected.
The most common sizes are Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King. In most cases, the thickness can range anywhere from 5 to 14 inches. Some models come in thicker or thinner varieties, as well.
Breathability is essential for several reasons. When you press down on the foam, it compresses the air, which should be able to leave the mattress. And, when you depress it, the air has to return.
This flow of air has several benefits. It prevents the air within from becoming stale, and it helps guide moisture, dust, or pollen away. It also takes the heat away from you when you sleep on it each time you change your position.
That’s why, ideally, your chosen model should have an airflow layer under the top.
While firmness can be a matter of preference, there are several things you should pay attention to. If you sleep on your back or stomach, you could find a firmer surface more comfortable. If, however, you sleep on your side, your pressure points could be needlessly strained on it.
Mattresses that use memory foam are generally firmer than other foam alternatives, but that isn’t always the case. Some can also provide a plusher experience. In any case, it would probably be best to try it before you buy it, and if you’re purchasing online, you should check the description and customer reviews to see what’s the sleeping experience.
Type of Cover Used
The cover is also vital, especially for gel-cooled products. If it is too thick or not breathable enough, the cooling will not be as effective, and the surface can get hot. That’s why you should choose a model with a cover made from materials such as rayon, bamboo, or cotton.
Maintenance is also important. Ideally, you should choose something with a removable and washable cover, as those should be easier to maintain.
Understanding Gel Memory Foam Mattresses
Now that you understand what you should pay attention to when buying such a solution, you may be wondering what they are and how they work. This section should clear this up.
What Are They?
They are mattresses that use a top layer made of memory foam. And, since that material has a distinct disadvantage of heat retention, it is usually coupled with a cooling gel solution. Sometimes, the gel is its own separate layer either above or below the foam. Other times, it is infused directly into the top.
The cooling gel should take the heat away from you and distribute it evenly across the surface, which should ease the problem of sleeping hot that is inherent to such products. If it’s coupled with an airflow layer under it, its cooling could be even more effective.
Are They Durable?
Generally, these kinds of mattresses are more durable than those made of polyfoam, but not as much as latex or innerspring solutions. They also require less maintenance. Their longevity, however, mostly depends on their density. The higher it is, the longer it will last.
It also depends on the type of base. Those based on innerspring are more durable than those using polyfoam.
Most models will typically last for about five years.
Gel-Cooled vs. Regular Memory Foam
Are gel-infused solutions better than the ones without the gel? Is the gel really necessary? What’s wrong with regular memory foam? This section should answer these questions.
Which is Better? Gel-Infused or Regular Memory Foam?
Gel-infused solutions have one basic advantage over those without gel: they are better at dispersing your body heat away from you while you sleep. That, in turn, leads to a cooler sleeping surface, which could lead to a higher quality of sleep.
While options that don’t use gel aren’t less comfortable, they can get hot, especially if you live in a warmer climate. Their surface will heat while you sleep on it, and it could lead to a night of sweaty sleep.
Gel-cooled solutions are generally colder. They have their limits, though. They can absorb only a certain amount of heat before they too get warm. When combined with an airflow layer, they can be the superior choice.
Common Memory Foam Problems
While it can be the most comfortable option, memory foam has its drawbacks. This section will take a closer look at the most common gripes related to it.
The top complaint related to it is their tendency to off-gassing. This refers to the bad odors that emanate from the mattress in the first few days. Some of that odor comes from the chemicals with which the foam is made, while others come from the fire-retardant with which it’s protected.
The odor is present because the product didn’t have time to air out at the manufacturer before it was vacuum-packed.
In most cases, the smell should be gone after several days. If, however, it doesn’t air out even after several weeks, it could be defective. In that case, you should ask about returning it.
Not Recommended for Romance
Romantic activities are a bit different on foam mattresses. While heat retention can be a problem, the cooling gel can help with that, as can a good, breathable cover. The heat, however, isn’t the only problem attributed to this bed type.
The main problem is the lack of responsiveness and bounciness. The partner on the bottom could also sink into the surface, and it can be challenging to maintain a steady rhythm. That’s why innerspring options are traditionally considered to be the best option for lovemaking.
Some solutions that combine an innerspring base with a memory foam top can help in this regard, but the top should still reduce the responsiveness of the whole surface.
All this can make it seem like they are an awful solution for sex. They do have their positive sides. For one, these solutions are silent, so no more squeaks following your every move. They can also be more comfortable once you get used to the lack of bounce.
In the end, whether you’ll enjoy romantic activities on this type of mattress depends largely on you and your partner. If you’re willing to put up with the lack of response and bounce, you can still have a good time.
Too Hot to Sleep On
Memory foam works on a simple principle: the warmer it gets, the softer it is. That means that it will mold to your body the longer you lay on it. It also means that it holds the heat in place much more than other foam solutions. That can, in turn, lead to long, sweaty nights, especially during the summer.
While cooling gel can help reduce the temperature and take the heat away from you, there is a limit as to how much heat it can absorb before it too becomes hot. That’s why some solutions have an airflow layer under the top. It helps the air move around the mattress, and the heat spread throughout the surface.
Will Gel Infusion Help in Solving These Issues?
The cooling gel should help distribute the heat all around the surface, so it should help with the heat retention problem inherent to memory foam models. It should help keep the sleeping surface cooler, but it has a limit to how much heat it can absorb.
As far as the other drawbacks are concerned, the gel doesn’t help that much. It can’t make the mattress bouncier, for example. However, as it helps keep the top cool, it should boost its responsiveness. After all, memory foam returns to its original shape as it cools, and if it cools faster, it should be more responsive.
And, if the gel-cooled top is paired with an airflow layer under it, the increased breathability should make the sleeping experience even better. When combined, they should negate the top drawbacks and make it a great solution for those that want better support from their mattress.
When compared to beds that don’t use gel, the difference can be overwhelming. Even when only looking at the temperatures, it can be significantly colder, especially during the hot summer months.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Brand is a Good Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper?
That primarily depends on how much you want to spend. If you’re looking for something in a higher price range, ViscoSoft’s toppers should provide what you need. Their products come in a wide variety of sizes as well.
If, however, you are on a budget, Linenspa’s products should cover most of your needs while staying affordable. See more cheap memory foam options.
Is it Recommended for Hot Sleepers?
While the gel helps with heat retention, it doesn’t entirely remove the problem. If you’re a hot sleeper and need a mattress that will effectively cool you down, memory foam may not be for you, regardless of whether it’s gel-cooled or not.
You may need to look to other alternatives such as latex beds. While those can be more expensive, they are significantly better at heat management. On the cheaper end, innerspring models provide a much cooler sleeping surface. Even hybrid solutions can be better at heat management.
Is it Ideal For Side Sleepers?
It shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Side sleepers should usually look for a less firm sleeping surface, as those can increase the tension in their shoulders and hips, their primary pressure points.
With a combination of a softer mattress and a good pillow, though, there shouldn’t be any problems or long-term consequences.
Warm sleeping is a common problem with memory foam. As it retains heat, if the mattress doesn’t have a way of taking the warmth away, it can get quite hot. That’s where the cooling gel comes in. It should help redistribute the heat throughout the surface and thus, help keep it cool.
While gel-cooled solutions provide a cooler sleeping surface, on its own, the gel has a limited effect. When combined with an airflow or comfort layers, its cooling ability can increase dramatically.
That’s why, if heat retention worries you, you should pay attention to how the mattress is made and what layers it includes. And, after reading our guide, you should have all the information you need to make the selection even more straightforward.