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Many adults struggle with chronic pain, particularly in their backs. As someone living with chronic pain, I am all too familiar with the never-ending quest to find products that ease the pain.

But what about something that we use every single day? Experts recommend adults spend at least 7 hours sleeping every night, and an uncomfortable night’s sleep can add up quickly.

In recent years, gel foam mattresses have emerged as a go-to choice for those seeking support and pain relief while they sleep. Studies from 2003, 2006, and 2009 suggest that replacing your mattress with a medium or medium-firm mattress can reduce back pain and disability.

I have personally used a gel foam mattress since 2018, and I will never go back.

Like memory foam, gel memory foam contours to provide support and pressure relief. Gel memory foam is infused with cooling gels or gel beads, which help remove heat from a sleeping body.

While you might assume this means you’ll automatically be cooler, that is not necessarily the case. Gel helps offset the natural heat trapping memory foam often causes, and newer technologies are steadily working toward helping you have a cooler sleep overall.

The following recommendations are based on customer reviews, my own experience, and good old-fashioned internet research.

Pricing guide

Prices below are based on queen-sized mattresses.

  • $ = under $500
  • $$ = $500–$999
  • $$$ = $1,000–$1500
  • $$$$ = over $1500

Best gel memory foam mattress for extra support

The Big Fig Mattress + Foundation

  • Price: $$$$
  • Best for: Big budgets, couples, and people in larger bodies

The Big Fig Mattress is a coil based, medium-firm mattress with gel-infused latex foam.

Designed for maximum support, the mattress is tufted in 16 places to help prevent sagging and shifting. And the company says the foundation supports five times the weight of typical foundations.

Although it’s expensive, the mattress features a 20-year warranty. It’s worth mentioning that this mattress might be too complicated for those seeking a simple solution.

Buy The Big Fig Mattress + Foundation online.

Most customizable gel memory foam mattress

Serta Perfect Sleeper Select Kleinmon II Pillow Top

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: Anyone wanting to try their mattress at a store before buying

This Serta Perfect Sleeper model is an innerspring, pillow top mattress featuring a top memory foam layer.

It appeals to a wide customer base with customizable firmness and layer choices. You can choose from plus, medium or firm.

Regardless of the gel foam top, this might not be for you if you’re looking to avoid traditional mattress coils. The coils may compress over the years and affect some people’s backs.

Buy the Serta Perfect Sleeper Kleinmon II Pillow Top online.

Best gel memory foam mattress for pressure point relief

Sealy Conform Premium

  • Price: $$$$
  • Best for: Big budgets and those who need extensive body and joint support

The Sealy Conform Premium is available in firm or ultra plush. This supportive, coil-free mattress combines foam, memory foam, and enhanced gel foam.

Designed with input from orthopedic specialists, this mattress features a dense top foam layer made to support to specific areas. The reinforced edge supports sitting and widens the sleeping area.

While the mattress comes with a 10-year limited warranty, it’s half as long as other comparably priced mattresses on this list.

Buy the Sealy Conform Premium online.

Best budget gel memory foam mattress

Modway Aveline 10-Inch Mattress

  • Price: $
  • Best for: Bargain shoppers

The Modway Aveline Mattress is a firm, all-foam mattress with a gel-infused top layer. The gel layer is designed to provide pressure relief while keeping the body cool.

This budget pick is free of formaldehyde, mercury, ozone depleting substances, and other heavy metals. Fun fact: My husband and I have slept on and adored this mattress for over 2 years.

It’s important to consider that you can’t test this mattress in person before buying, and there’s a complicated return process.

Buy the Modway Aveline 10-Inch Mattress online.

Best gel memory foam mattress for side sleepers

Lucid 14-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress

  • Price: $–$$
  • Best for: Couples, side sleepers, and people in larger bodies

This is a firm, extra supportive, foam mattress with 5 inches of combined memory foam and 3 inches of gel-infused memory foam on top.

The mattress’s sturdy base is ideal for couples or folks in larger bodies. The thick, supportive foam is made to help spinal alignment and joint cushioning.

The firm structure may be too sturdy for singletons, those in smaller bodies, or those who prefer a softer bed.

Buy the Lucid 14-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress online.

Easiest gel memory foam mattress to move

Novaform ComfortGrande Plus 14-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: Side sleepers

The Novaform ComfortGrande Plus is a medium-firm, extra thick foam mattress with a gel memory foam top.

The mattress features sturdy side handles for easy movement and adjustment, plus it’s designed to maximize breathability. It also comes with a 20-year warranty.

However, the medium firmness may turn you into Goldilocks — it can be too firm or too soft for some people’s needs.

Buy the Novaform ComfortGrande Plus 14-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress online.

Best gel memory foam mattress for couples

Simmons Medium Foam Mattress

  • Price: $
  • Best for: Couples who want to move freely without disturbing each other

Simmons offers this medium-firm, coil-free memory foam mattress with a cooling gel memory foam top. The dense memory foam layer is made to dampen motion, so you won’t disturb your partner (or your partner won’t disturb you).

You might want to take into consideration that the protection plan costs extra. As well, the hybrid model of this mattress replaces two foam layers with a layer of individual coils.

Buy the Simmons Medium Foam Mattress online.

Assess your needs

What are you looking for in a mattress? Extra support? Motion isolation technology so you and your partner don’t wake each other? A hearty warranty? A flippable mattress so you can change your firmness at will?

Create a budget

Determine your budget, then eliminate all mattresses that fall outside of it.

Consider reviews

Click on the links above to peruse customer reviews for yourself.

Concerned about firmness? Search “firm” (or whatever your main concern is) in the reviews to find the most relevant ones.

Mattress shopping can be overwhelming, but it’s doable. Whether you’re able to drop $250 or $2,000, there is a good mattress for you and your needs.

Take your time, read up on your favorites, consider consulting your friends, and get ready for many restful nights. Good luck!

Ash Fisher is a writer and comedian living with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. When she’s not having a wobbly-baby-deer day, she’s hiking with her corgi, Vincent. She lives in Oakland, California. Learn more about her on her website.