best gel memory foam mattress reviews

Best Gel Memory Foam Mattress Reviews

In this review we cover the top rated gel infused memory foam mattresses, including those with cooling technologies

If you're looking for a cool gel memory foam bed, you've come to right place. We've tested more mattresses than you can imagine, and in this post we're going to detail our five favorite gel memory foam mattresses.
AT A GLANCEPRICINGHEADLINE
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GhostBed Luxe is a cooling memory foam that's great for back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and combination sleepers.
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Layla is a flippable mattress with gel infused memory foam on both sides. This is simultaneously a good firm gel memory foam mattress and soft gel memory foam mattress.
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Loom & Leaf is a luxury mattress that's offered in multiple firmness levels and has a special cooling gel strip for hot sleepers. Loom & Leaf is a good gel memory foam mattress for the money.
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Nectar is perhaps the most popular budget / cheap gel memory foam bed available today.
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Puffy is a nice option if you just want a comfortable, affordable, gel memory foam mattress. It doesn't have a ton of bells and whistles, but it's hard not to like this mattress. Puffy is offers a nice amount of pressure relief for side sleepers in particular.

HOW WE DECIDED

  • Mattresses Considered100+

    Mattresses Considered

  • Brands 40+

    Brands

  • Made the List 6

    Made
    the List

  • Number of Contributors 7

    Number of Contributors

Best Gel Memory Foam Beds: Overview

Finding a new mattress can be a daunting task, and understandably so. There are so many different brands and so many different materials, it’s hard to know where to start. And that’s where we come in! We do a bunch of testing and reviewing and provide you with helpful information to get you going.

In this post, we’ll give you our top picks of mattresses made with gel memory foam. We’ll also break down what it is we like about each bed to help you decide which one is just right for you.

best gel memory foam mattress reviews
Just in case you didn’t know, here’s what gel memory foam looks like

One thing we should note is that we selected only beds that have a true emphasis on gel memory foam. In other words, we’ve already published a Best Memory Foam Mattress list, and in order to make this list different, we were stringent with what we considered to be a “gel memory foam mattress.”

Tomorrow Sleep, for example, is a really nice memory foam bed, but since gel memory foam is one of the middle layers, we excluded it from consideration. Similarly, Bear mattress has a layer of gel memory foam, but it’s only about 1″ thick, which means the bed doesn’t really have a traditional memory foam feel. TempurPedic might use a lot of memory foam, but from what we can see, the top layers are standard memory foam, not gel memory foam. The list goes on.

The point is that we thought intently about this post and tried to only select beds that we think consumers will also agree are gel memory foam mattresses. You can see all of our mattress reviews here, though.

GhostBed Luxe

BEST FOR:

  • Hot sleepers that love memory foam
  • Back, stomach, and combo sleepers (also, heavier side sleepers)
  • If you're looking for a hefty, durable, all-foam bed

NOT BEST FOR:

  • Individuals that do not sleep hot at night (it might be too cool)
  • Anyone looking for a "plush" mattress

Why GhostBed Luxe — If you’re looking for a gel memory foam bed with multiple cooling properties, GhostBed Luxe should be among the first mattresses you consider. It has a cool-to-the-touch cover, layers of cooling memory foam, and a firmer overall feel.

ghostbed luxe mattress review stomach sleepers
GhostBed Luxe is a really nice bed for hot sleepers that favor their back or stomach

Cooling Cover — The first line of defense for hot sleepers is the quilted, cooling cover on GhostBed Luxe. It’s made with special fibers that help to keep you sweat-free and draw away body heat. The cover is actually cool-to-the-touch and will actively work to regulate how hot you get throughout the night.

Cooling Foams — In addition to the cover, GhostBed Luxe has several layers of gel memory foam and even a strip of “Ghost Ice,” a phase-change technology meant to seriously turn up the cooling factor.

Feel/Firmness — GhostBed Luxe feels like a memory foam bed, though, it’s on the firmer end and you do not get the true sink-in feeling that you get with other memory foam beds.

Layla

BEST FOR:

  • Memory foam lovers (i.e. you!)
  • If you're intrigued by the fact that Layla is double-sided
  • Back, side, stomach, and combo sleepers
  • If you want to spend less than $1,000 on a new mattress that's backed by a lifetime warranty

NOT BEST FOR:

  • Heavier folks (that should most likely sleep on a hybrid mattress)
  • If you need a properly firm or soft bed (Layla is the middle)

Layla is one of the best gel memory foam beds — We had to include Layla for a few major reasons. It not only has gel memory foam on the top and bottom of the mattress, but also it’s a flippable mattress. In fact, it has a “soft” side and a “firm” side so you get two bites at the apple with this mattress. Even more, it comes with a lifetime warranty and is a highly accomodating mattress. At under $1,000 for a queen size, Layla is a really nice mattress.

layla mattress review side sleepers gel memory foam bed
The light grey is the “soft” side and the dark grey is the “firm” side

Soft Side — We consider this side to be about a medium-soft to medium on the firmness scale. It’s perfect for side sleepers since it offers maximum pressure relief. The gel memory foam also has a fluffy, airy quality to it, which we think does a phenomenal job of cradling your body.

Firm Side — If you flip the bed over, you will have the exact same, soft-to-the-touch cover as on the “soft” side, only in a dark grey/black colorway. We rate the “firm” side at about a medium to medium-firm, which means it will be suitable for all sleeping positions if you weigh under 230/250 lb. It still offers pressure relief and you can tell that it has gel memory foam, but it has more of a neutral feel since that memory foam strip is thinner.

Copper-Infused Memory Foam — Layla uses a special copper-infused memory foam that helps to better regulate temperature within the mattress. It can help to draw heat away from the surface and keep you sleeping cooler than with a standard 1990s memory foam bed. You can learn more about copper-infused memory foam on Layla’s website.

Loom & Leaf

BEST FOR:

  • If you like options (two firmness levels to choose from)
  • Hot sleepers
  • Grown ups (Loom & Leaf is not cheap, but it sure is nice)
  • Anyone that's intrigued by the organic cotton cover and general eco-friendly vibe of this mattress
  • All sleep styles (side, back, etc.)

NOT BEST FOR:

  • If you were expecting free returns (they are $99)
  • Petite side sleepers that were hoping for a really soft bed

Why Loom & Leaf is on the list — The short story on Loom & Leaf is that it’s a luxury mattress that comes in two firmness levels and even has a cooling gel strip in the middle-third of the bed. It’s definitely not the cheapest bed on this list, but Saatva—the company behind Loom & Leaf—has taken the value approach. In other words, no, it’s not the cheapest bed you can get, but it is one of the nicest you can get, and the price point isn’t crazy.

It also happens to be one of the thicker, heftier all-foam beds out there, which means it’s a viable option for certain heavy individuals. And who could forget about the cover? It has an organic cotton cover that smells earthy, healthy, and fresh (I know that sounds odd, but it does smell nice).

loom and leaf mattress review side sleepers
Loom & Leaf looks like it belongs in Hearst Castle

Cooling Strip — Perhaps the most unique thing about Loom & Leaf is that in the center third of the bed, there is a special cooling strip meant to actively cool you down throughout the night. It won’t make you cold, but it does do a nice job of preventing you from heating up excessively. In fact, as a result of that cooling strip, Loom & Leaf is one of our favorite memory foam beds for hot sleepers.

Firmness Levels — There are two “Comfort Levels” with Loom & Leaf. The most popular is the Relaxed Firm, which is about a medium-firm, and is good for all sleeping positions. The Firm model is quite firm and is really only designed for back and/or stomach sleepers who typically gravitate toward firmer mattresses.

Feel — Loom & Leaf certainly has a memory foam feel, but it’s not a typical, deep, viscose feel. It’s actually a little firmer and there’s no major sink-in feel.

Nectar

BEST FOR:

  • All sleep styles
  • College students or anyone that needs a new bed at a sub-$800 price point
  • Anyone that weighs under 250 lb

NOT BEST FOR:

  • Petite side sleepers (it still offers pressure relief, but it's not extra soft)

Reasons Nectar made the list — In recent years, Nectar has emerged as the budget level gel memory foam bed. Not only is it affordable (i.e. under $800 for a queen), but also it has an accomodating feel for those that love memory foam.

nectar mattress review gel memory foam bed in a box
Nectar very likely could be the most popular gel memory foam bed-in-a-box mattress

Feel/Firmness — In general, all memory foams will feel firmer in cold rooms and softer in warmer rooms, so keep that in mind as you go through this post. In terms of what Nectar feels like, it has a more typical memory foam feel. It has the sink-in feel and it does contour nicely to the shape of your body. When you lay down, it takes a few seconds for the materials to soften around you, but from there on you should get a nice amount of pressure relief. And, since the bed is about a medium or medium-firm, it should be just fine for all sleepers, unless you had your heart set on an extra-soft bed.

Price Point — Excluding, Amazon mattresses, Nectar is among the most affordable bed-in-a-box mattresses out there. As mentioned above, you can get a queen size Nectar mattress for under $800, after discount. You can check the current offers on NectarSleep.com.

Bundle Deal — Part of what makes Nectar so affordable is the fact that almost always you will get two pillows with your purchase of a mattress. They aren’t the fanciest pillows in the world, but for someone that’s concerned with price and sticking to a budget, they don’t hurt.

Puffy

BEST FOR:

  • If you want a fluffy, air memory foam feel
  • Fans of Ellen (she endorses Puffy)
  • All sleep styles
  • If you want a bed that comes with a lifetime warranty

NOT BEST FOR:

  • Strict back/stomach sleepers that were hoping for a firm bed
  • If you were looking to spend under $800 for a new queen-size bed

Why Puffy made the list — Puffy is one of those beds that you can safely assume the majority of people will find comfortable. It might not be for everyone, but it has an accomodating feel that we think a lot of people will really enjoy. It’s fluffy and airy and will be a nice option for side sleepers in particular.

puffy mattress review gel memory foam side sleepers
Some people have said it’s like sleeping on clouds

Lifetime Warranty — Most bed-in-a-box companies offer a 10-year warranty, which is fine, but Puffy has the full lifetime warranty, which you can read about on Puffy’s website.

What It Feels Like — Puffy is about a medium on the firmness scale and will be ideal for all types of sleepers, so long as they weigh under about 230 lb. In particular, however, we think it’s a nice mattress for side sleepers. As mentioned above, it has a fluffy memory foam feel—almost like the memory foam has little air pockets built-in. It’s unique and comfortable, but won’t feel like a standard memory foam.

Ellen — Puffy has been endorsed by perhaps the biggest celebrity out there. That being Ellen. Not sure if she sleeps on a Puffy mattress, but fans of Ellen might be intrigued either way.

Review Team

Tharon Green

Stomach Sleeper

Owen

Owen Poole

Side Sleeper

Jeff Rizzo

Jeff Rizzo

Combo Sleeper

Kaite

Kaite Johnston

Combo Sleeper

More About This Mattress Buyer Guide

Like we said, we do a lot of mattress testing and reviewing. We’ve tried dozens and dozens of beds, so we’re no strangers to the bed-in-a-box mattress industry. We’ve reviewed pretty much every name in the game.

Our team is made up of different sleeper types and body types, so we’re able to compare how a bed feels for a 180lb back sleeper to how it feels for a 97lb combo sleeper, plus a bunch of others. We’re not sleep scientists by any means, but our testing methods are practical and designed to give you useful information.

No matter how we get a mattress, whether we buy it ourselves or a company provides it, we have complete control over the content we put out. All of the opinions we publish in writing or in our videos are entirely, 100% our own.

Select Gel Memory Foam Mattresses

After revisiting all of our past reviews and sorting out the mattresses constructed with gel memory foam, we picked out our favorites. We of course considered construction and materials, but we also considered firmness a feel in order to compile a list with options that will appeal to a variety of gel memory foam lovers.

Gel Memory Foam vs Traditional Memory Foam

So what’s the difference between gel and non-gel memory foam? When you hear “memory foam,” what comes to mind is most likely traditional memory foam, which is a dense material that cradles your body when you settle in for the night or a nap. It’s a firm material, though it softens up over time or when heat is applied. That’s what creates that sink-in feeling and what makes the mattress sort of cocoon you in the heat that comes off your body.

Gel memory foam, on the other hand, is a newer technology that incorporates – you guessed it – gel into the memory foam. While the overall feel of the material still leans heavily toward the traditional memory foam feel, the gel helps to improve temperature regulation. Basically, that added gel helps to keep you cooler than a non-gel foam.

Sleeper Positions

The position you sleep in actually plays a significant role in choosing your mattress when it comes to feel and firmness. There are back and stomach sleepers, side sleepers, and combo sleepers. No matter how you sleep, though, the goal is to keep your spine in alignment.

If you sleep on your back or stomach, you’ll need a mattress that provides support around your hips and trunk area. That’s generally going to be a firmer bed.

If you sleep on your side, you’ll need a mattress that provides enough pressure relief around your shoulders and hips to prevent you from waking up with pins and needles all up and down your limbs. A good rule of thumb is to look for something soft enough that you don’t have a gap under your stomach when you lay on your side.

If you’re a combo sleeper, meaning you switch positions throughout the night, you’ll want a bed that’s somewhere in the middle. You still need support, while also needing pressure relief, so a bed that’s firm with a little give is probably a good option.

Why Weight Is Important With A Mattress

A point we always like to throw in as a reminder is that the way a mattress feels will vary based on your body type. For example, a heavier individual may find a certain bed to be quite soft, someone who’s lighter will find that same bed to be firmer.

For reference, when we talk about “heavier individuals,” we generally mean people that are 225/250lb+, and when we talk about “petite individuals,” we mean people that are around 115lb and under.

It’s important to keep this in mind when you’re reading descriptions of mattress feel and firmness.

Who Is Gel Memory Foam Ideal For?

Gel memory foam is a great option for those who love that traditional sink-in memory foam feel, but are not so crazy about getting trapped in their own heat. Like we talked about before, the incorporated gel helps to cool you down, so if you’re a hot sleeper, but you’re just aching for that good ‘ole foamy feel – a gel memory foam bed has got your name on it.

When you’re gearing up to invest in a mattress, you of course want to know how long that investment is going to last. Generally, the lifespan of a mattress is about 10 years, give or take, and a lot of things factor into the actual number. Everything from frequency of use (is it a master bed or going in a guest bedroom or Airbnb) and weight of sleepers to the materials and construction go into determining the longevity of a bed.

Caring For Your Mattress

The majority of mattresses have non-removable covers, which in turn means that very few mattresses have machine washable covers—Yogabed and Novosbed both do, however. That leaves you to spot clean whatever messes you make. If your breakfast in bed turns into a tipped tray or your dog soaks muddy paw prints through the sheets, you’ll have to spot clean.

Thankfully, spot cleaning is easy, even if it’s fairly inconvenient. All you need is warm water and a mild detergent. Use a cloth and press at the stain, but avoid getting the mattress too wet. And if you’re cleaning up a wet mess, you’ll want to use a dry cloth to sop up as much liquid as you can before going in with the soapy water. In the case of most little spills and whatnot, spot cleaning will suffice, but it probably won’t prevent staining.

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