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Remember when you couldn’t get enough gel pens? Now it’s time to make way for the gel mattress. These mattresses known for keeping you cool all night are gaining popularity, but what exactly are they?

We’ve got the lowdown for you along with our picks for the best 11 gel mattresses out there.

Best gel mattresses for 2021

  1. Best for pressure point relief: Nectar Lush Mattress
  2. Best hybrid mattress: DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress
  3. Best for comfort: The Purple Mattress
  4. Best soft gel mattress: Idle Plush by Idle Sleep
  5. Best medium-firm mattress: The Idle by Idle Sleep
  6. Best for hot sleepers: The Bear Mattress
  7. Best for stomach sleepers: SweetNight Breeze
  8. Best for side sleepers: Zinus 12″ Gel-Infused Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress
  9. Best eco-friendly gel mattress: eLuxury ELUX 10″ Gel Memory Foam Mattress
  10. Best on a budget: Vibe Gel Memory Foam 12″ Mattress
  11. Best for couples: WinkBeds The WinkBed

We’re so glad you asked! Gel (aka “gel foam”) mattresses are made using a mixture of memory foam and gel. In some mattresses, this mixture is made by infusing gel microbeads into the memory foam, while others layer the gel in with the memory foam.

These unique Franken-mattresses give you the same cushiony feel and pressure relief that a typical memory foam mattress does.

The gel, however, helps to regulate temperature and provide a cooling effect while you sleep. The gel also makes the mattress more “springy,” so it’ll quickly bounce back to its original shape. No more you-shaped dent in your bed!

Gel foam mattresses come in 2 models: an all-foam version, or a hybrid model that combines gel foam with other materials.

Gel mattresses are best known for keeping you cool all night long, which is especially great for those who tend to run hot while they sleep. Research suggests that temperature affects your quality of sleep, with higher temps causing a not-so-great night’s sleep.

Besides keeping you cozy-cool, gel mattresses are also uber supportive, as this unique material contours to your body to relieve pressure points and align your spine.

For all of their benefits, however, it’s also important to note that there are some drawbacks to selecting a gel foam mattress.

Gel mattresses are often pricier than their non-gel peers. Their cooling effect can also sometimes be short-lived, as the gel may eventually absorb and retain your body’s heat.

You should also do your research about the brand you choose, because the makeup of the gel itself could be questionable. For the safest mattress possible, opt for manufacturers that have CertiPUR-US or Greenguard certifications.

It’s easy to feel like you’re treading rough waters when wading through the sea of mattress options. To help you get started, we’ve chosen 11 of the best gel mattress options.

Pricing guide

We found great options that can fit any budget. All prices are based on a standard queen-size mattress.

  • $ = under $500
  • $$ = $500–$1,000
  • $$$ = over $1,000

1. Best for pressure point relief: Nectar Lush Mattress

Price: $$$
Firmness: medium-firm
Height: 12 inches

Made for max comfort and support, the Nectar Lush is constructed of 5 layers of premium materials. It offers dual-action cooling to help you keep a regulated temperature for a deeper, better quality sleep while you’re cradled in its patented AquaCool Surface-Infused Gel Memory Foam with Phase Change Material.

This special layer also helps to make it a more supportive spot to sleep. Nectar uses a memory foam with a higher density than most, which may provide extra relief for pressure points.

Nectar offers a 365-night home trial, “forever” warranty, and free shipping and returns, so you’ve got plenty of time to find out if this is your perfect match.

2. Best hybrid mattress: DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress

Price: $$$
Firmness: medium-firm
Height: 14 inches

DreamCloud’s Luxury Hybrid mattress combines the cooling comfort of a gel mattress with the support and adaptability of innerspring coils to deliver you to dreamland.

The foam and gel layers conform to your body to support all the right pressure points — meaning you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.

This hybrid boasts a cashmere blend cover (so that you feel the best kind of extra), supported edges to prevent sagging, and low-motion transfer support. It’s also suitable for any existing bed base you have or plan to get, whether you favor a box spring, traditional frame, or an adjustable base.

Some reviewers did share that the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid was softer than they expected. So if you know you’re looking for a mattress on the firmer end, you may want to look elsewhere.

3. Best for comfort: The Purple Mattress

Price: $$$
Firmness: medium-firm
Height: 9.25 inches

Featuring an innovative 2-inch gel foam grid layer that’s engineered to specifically target those sensitive pressure points, The Purple Mattress is perfect if you’re seeking full-body support.

This mattress also has dual-layer comfort foam for the perfect balance of cushy comfort and firm support. These layers are each made of high-density foam, which helps makes this mattress more durable.

While most consumers are super pleased with their Purple Mattress, some users did say that when they first set up the mattress, the smell from its packaging lingered longer than they expected.

Purple offers a 100-night sleep trial, a 10-year warranty, and free shipping and returns.

4. Best soft gel mattress: Idle Plush by Idle Sleep

Price: $$$
Firmness: medium-soft
Height: 14 inches

If you’re the type who loves nothing better than sinking into a soft bed at the end of a long day, the Idle Sleep Idle Plush was designed with you in mind. This plushie option is your ticket to a heavenly night’s sleep.

In addition to the cushy comfort of its gel foam top layer, the Idle Plush also has an Ice Fabric quilted cover that has gel sewn right into its quilted surface.

Bonus: the cover is removable, making cleaning a breeze. And if that doesn’t satiate your wash day fantasies, it also has a removable, washable base cover that protects the mattress from daily (*cough* nightly) life.
Idle Sleep offers an 18 month sleep trial, a lifetime warranty, and free shipping and returns.

5. Best medium-firm mattress: The Idle by Idle Sleep

Price: $$$
Firmness: medium firm
Height: 12 inches

With 5 layers of gel-infused memory foam, Idle Sleep’s original mattress, The Idle, is made to promote cooling, softness, and support. Thanks to its slightly higher firmness level, this mattress is a terrific option if you prefer to sleep on your back.

Featuring Idle Sleep’s 18 month sleep trial, this mattress is also backed by a lifetime warranty and free shipping and returns.

6. Best for hot sleepers: The Bear Mattress

Price: $$
Firmness: medium to medium-firm
Height: 10 inches

Sleep too hot? With its cooling graphite-gel memory foam and breathable Celliant cover, the Bear Mattress pulls heat away from your body to deliver a super cool sleep.

Its medium to medium-firm feel is perfect for whatever position you sleep in. And thanks to its one-two punch of both responsive transition foam and high-density support foam, you’ll be more likely to experience balanced, long lasting support night after night.

With Bear, you get a 100 night risk-free trial, so if it’s not for you, you can return it for a full refund.

7. Best for stomach sleepers: SweetNight Breeze

Price: $
Firmness: medium-firm
Height: 10 inches

This mattress offers double the pleasure and double the fun. Why? Unlike the vast majority of gel mattresses, the Sweet Night Breeze is completely flippable. While neither side is super firm, one side is a bit softer than the other, making it the ideal sleep space if you like to snooze on your stomach.

But it’s not for stomach-sleepers alone. The flip side is firm enough for back and side sleepers. This “firmer” side is made with gel-infused memory foam that allows for comfortable air-flow and enough support to ensure your spine stays aligned and pressure is taken off your joints while you sleep.

While consumers seem pleased overall, a few folks have shared that this bed-in-a-box style mattress took a long time to air out, keeping a distinct odor for a little too long.

8. Best for side sleepers: Zinus 12″ Gel-Infused Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress

Price: $
Firmness: firm
Height: 12 inches

Side sleepers are always on the search for the mattress that’s not too hard, not too soft, but juuuuuust right. Enter: Zinus.

Their Gel-Infused Green Tea Memory Foam mattress provides enough firmness to relieve pressure points and support spinal alignment while also being super cozy.

Its special MyGel memory foam contains layers of antioxidant-rich green tea and natural charcoal to keep odors at bay and provide extra clean comfort. As an added bonus, Zinus offers a 10-year worry free warranty.

While the majority of consumers seemed to find their Goldilocks-worthy mattress in this Zinus, some did experience issues with this box-shipped mattress not fully expanding, particularly at the corners.

9. Best eco-friendly gel mattress: eLuxury ELUX 10″ Gel Memory Foam Mattress

Price: $$
Firmness: medium-firm
Height: 10 inches

The eLuxury ELUX Gel Memory Foam mattress is a top choice for an eco-friendly mattress at a pretty low price point.

Made from CertiPUR-US certified materials, this mattress is void of phthalates, ozone depleters, CFCs, mercury, lead, heavy metals, formaldehyde, PBDEs, and VOCs, so you’ll sleep soundly knowing you’re on quality foam.

Topped with 3 inches of 3.0-pound density gel memory foam, you’ll also immediately feel the mattress contouring to your body and providing pressure relief.

The ELUX mattress is shipped in a box for ease and offers a 120-night trial so you can test it out before making a final decision.

10. Best on a budget: Vibe Gel Memory Foam 12″ Mattress

Price: $
Firmness: medium firm
Height: 12 inches

This super affordable mattress boasts a high-density foam base, perfect for ensuring even weight distribution and pressure-point relief while you sleep. Whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach, Vibe’s hypoallergenic gel mattress will conform to your body to provide proper comfort and support.

To make sure you get a good night’s sleep, the multi-layered gel-infused foam keeps you cool, while also minimizing motion disturbance if you sleep with a partner (or a pet!).

Most users rave about this mattress (and its pleasing price point!), but a few did find that the corners began to sag after minimal use. Some others thought it was too a bit too firm.

11. Best for couples: The WinkBed

Price: $$$
Firmness: firm
Height: 13.5 inches

This hybrid mattress is made for those who want both the cushy comfort of gel foam and the super support of an innerspring mattress. The WinkBed is made of premium materials and is offered in multiple firmness levels, making it a great for any sleep position.

It’s also an ideal option for couples, as WinkBeds’ SleepCalm motion isolation technology helps you not be disturbed by your partner’s movements throughout the night.

WinkBeds offers a 120-night trial period, as well as a lifetime warranty, and free shipping & returns, so if you (and your partner!) aren’t loving it, you can return it without any hassle.

There’s a lot to consider when trying to find a quality mattress. Each of our top picks checked all of these boxes:

  • The manufacturer is reputable and transparent about their products and processes.
  • Mattresses are made using sustainable production and materials that meet federal safety standards.
  • Trial periods are offered so you can “try it before you buy it.”
  • A warranty is provided.
  • Customers are largely satisfied, leaving largely positive consumer reviews.

We get it: shopping for any mattress can be a lot to handle. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back with a few key things to consider when trying to find the best gel mattress for you:

  • Materials: Gel foam’s a synthetic material that’s often mixed with other materials. To make sure a mattress meets quality and safety standards, check for CertiPUR-US or Greenguard certifications.
  • Manufacturer: Choose reputable mattress manufacturers (say that 10x fast!) that make quality products. See if they offer a trial period for their products, so you can see if their mattress is a true match for you so you don’t lose money or sleep.
  • Firmness/support levels: You can get your mattress in a variety of firmness levels, depending on your sleep needs. Back and stomach sleepers should look for a firmer mattress, while side sleepers should go with a more plush option.
  • Consumer reviews: Don’t just take the manufacturer’s word for it. Check out what actual users have to say about how awesome a mattress is… or isn’t.

No matter what position you sleep in or what your budget may be, a gel foam mattress is a great option for those looking for the comfort of memory foam and the cooling power of gel.

While we’ve only provided 11 of our faves here, there are tons of different gel mattress options out there to choose from. It’s important to do your homework when trying to find the best one for you.

Make sure to look into the manufacturer’s reputation and policies, what it’s made of, and what other consumers have said, among other factors.