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When it comes to mattresses, material choice plays a big role in comfort, performance, and durability.

While innerspring, hybrid, and memory foam mattresses are all well-known, gel mattresses may not be on your radar. It’s a good idea to understand all of your options when mattress shopping. So, we’re sharing everything you need to know about gel mattresses, including our top six recommendations.

We based our recommendations for the best gel mattresses on the following:

  • Company reputation. All the mattresses on our list are made by companies with good reputations. We looked at Better Business Bureau profiles, if available, and checked for lawsuits related to product safety.
  • Safety standards. We included only mattresses that meet federal flammability requirements, and we prioritized those with third-party material certifications.
  • In-home trials and warranties. We checked for in-home mattress trials, reasonable returns and exchanges, and good warranties.
  • Customer reviews. We carefully reviewed feedback from customers. While comfort is a personal preference, it’s still helpful to see what others think.

Pricing guide

Prices are based on queen-size mattresses.

  • $ = under $800
  • $$ = $800–$1,500
  • $$$ = $1,501–$2,000
  • $$$$ = over $2,000

Best eco-friendly gel mattress

Saatva Loom & Leaf Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: gel foam
  • Height: 12 inches
  • Firmness: relaxed firm (5-7) or firm (8)
  • Sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, California king, split California king
  • Trial period: 365 nights
  • Shipping: free

The Saatva Loom & Leaf Mattress is designed for cooling and supportive comfort. CertiPUR-US certified foams offer pressure relief and stability, while the gel infusions are made to keep you cool and provide additional lower back support. The mattress is available in your choice of two comfort levels at no additional cost.

The mattress comes with a 15-year warranty and a 365-night sleep trial. And, instead of being compressed and delivered in a box, Saatva has free white-glove delivery. Your new mattress is delivered to your room of choice and includes free removal of your old mattress.

Hundreds of reviewers praise this mattress for its exceptional comfort.

Pros

  • long trial period
  • free white-glove delivery
  • good back support

Cons

  • expensive
  • no soft option

Buy the Saatva Loom & Leaf Mattress online.

Best gel hybrid mattress

DreamCloud Premier

  • Price: $$$$
  • Type: gel hybrid
  • Height: 15 inches
  • Firmness: luxury firm (6.5)
  • Sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
  • Trial period: 365 nights
  • Shipping: free in continental U.S.

The DreamCloud Premier is designed for contouring comfort and support, which reviewers rave about. The manufacturer says the gel-infused memory foam is cool and cradling, while the pocketed innerspring coil system offers support across the entire sleeping surface.

DreamCloud has a generous 365-night sleep trial, a lifetime warranty, and free shipping and returns.

Pros

  • includes Euro top at no extra cost
  • long trial period
  • can be used with any bed frame

Cons

  • pricey
  • only comes in one firmness level

Buy the DreamCloud Premier online.

Best gel mattress for pressure point relief

Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: gel hybrid
  • Height: 13 inches
  • Firmness: not specified
  • Sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Shipping: free in continental U.S. and Canada

Designed with supportive gel pods in ergonomic zones, the Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress is made to relieve aches and pains. The company says the three layers of perforated, gel-infused foam help you sleep cool, while an innerspring system offers stability and lift.

All foams used in the mattress are CertiPUR-US certified. Reviewers compare it to sleeping on a cloud.

The mattress has a 100-night sleep trial, a 10-year limited warranty, and free shipping and returns.

Pros

  • designed for pressure relief
  • made with CertiPUR-US certified foam
  • perforated foam helps with cooling

Cons

  • expensive
  • some reviewers say it doesn’t provide good edge support
  • no firmness options

Buy the Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress online.

Best reviewed gel mattress

Purple Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: gel hybrid
  • Height: 9.5 inches
  • Firmness: medium firm
  • Sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Shipping: free

The Purple Mattress has a unique gel grid system to cradle pressure points, support the spine, and help you sleep cool. The dual-layer comfort foam is made to add durability. It’s all wrapped up in a soft, stretchy knit cover.

The Purple Mattress has a 100-night sleep trial with free shipping and returns, plus a full 10-year warranty.

More than 31,000 reviews on the Purple website — with a 4.4-star rating overall — mention the mattress’s comfort, support, and pressure relieving properties.

Pros

  • unique grid system designed for pressure relief
  • allows for airflow
  • low profile makes it easier to get into and out of bed

Cons

  • no firmness options
  • can’t be used with an adjustable bed base

Buy The Purple Mattress online.

Best gel mattress for couples

The WinkBed

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: gel hybrid
  • Height: 13.5 inches
  • Firmness: softer (4.5), luxury firm (6.5), firmer (7.5), plus (8)
  • Sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
  • Trial period: 120 nights
  • Shipping: free

This gel hybrid mattress can tick off all the boxes: cushioning comfort, dynamic support, temperature regulation, and reduced motion transfer for those who share a bed with a partner.

The mattress has four firmness levels to choose from at no extra charge, plus easy firmness exchanges.

WinkBeds offers a 120-night sleep trial, a lifetime warranty, and free shipping and returns.

Pros

  • lots of firmness options
  • extra edge support
  • lifetime warranty

Cons

  • some reviewers say the mattress is too hard (however, exchanges are easy if you find that’s the case)

Buy The WinkBed online.

Best gel mattress for hot sleepers

PlushBeds The Ocean Mist

  • Price: $$$$
  • Type: gel foam
  • Height: 9 inches
  • Firmness: medium-soft
  • Sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Shipping: free

According to PlushBeds, The Ocean Mist was designed for hot sleepers. A 3-inch layer of gel foam wicks away moisture and heat while offering pressure relief and comfort.

The gel memory foam mattress is Greenguard Gold certified, so it has no chemical odor or off-gassing.

Reviewers say this mattress is very comfortable and it really does sleep cool.

You can try it at home for 100 nights, with free shipping and returns. It also has a 25-year warranty.

Pros

  • no off-gassing
  • minimal motion transfer

Cons

  • expensive
  • may be too soft for some sleepers

Shop the PlushBeds The Ocean Mist online.

PriceTypeHeightFirmnessSizesTrial periodShipping
Saatva Loom & Leaf Mattress$$$gel foam12 inchesrelaxed firm (5-7) or firm (8)twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, California king, split California king365 daysfree
DreamCloud Premier$$$$gel hybrid15 inchesluxury firm (6.5)twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king365 daysfree in continental U.S.
Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress$$gel hybrid13 inchesnot specifiedtwin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king100 nightsfree in continental U.S. and Canada
Purple Mattress$$gel hybrid9.5 inchesmedium firmtwin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king100 nightsfree
The WinkBed$$$gel hybrid13.5 inchessofter (4.5), luxury firm (6.5), firmer (7.5), plus (8)twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king120 nightsfree
PlushBeds The Ocean Mist$$$$gel foam9 inchesmedium-softtwin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king100 nightsfree

Gel mattresses can be suitable for a fairly broad range of sleepers. People who tend to sleep hot may benefit from the cooling features of a gel mattress, particularly those made with gel layers near the surface.

Because gel mattresses have minimal motion transfer, they’re also a good option for people who share their bed with a partner, child, or pet.

Like other types of mattresses, gel mattresses can have varying firmness levels. Side sleepers should look for gel mattresses in the medium-soft to medium-firm range for support without pressure point pain. Back and stomach sleepers will likely find medium-firm to firm mattresses more comfortable.

Firmness levels vary from one mattress to the next, and gel mattresses are no exception. You can find gel mattresses that are soft, medium, or firm, which means there’s an option for anyone who wants to accommodate a specific sleeping position.

Many mattress manufacturers offer recommendations to help you zero in on a gel mattress that meets your needs. But, in general, here are a few things to keep in mind while shopping.

Materials

While gel foam is designed to help you sleep cool all night long, it can be combined with other materials to ease back and pressure-point pain, reduce motion transfer, or offer support for a preferred sleeping position.

Because the gel is a synthetic material, look for certifications from CertiPUR-US and Greenguard to ensure it meets important safety standards. Those certifications will also minimize the potential for unpleasant off-gassing.

Firmness and support

Many mattresses come in various firmness levels. Choose a medium-soft to medium-firm mattress if you tend to sleep on your side. If you sleep on your back or stomach, a firmer mattress should do the trick.

Company policies

It’s also a good idea to choose a mattress with an in-home sleep trial and a simple return policy. No matter how many reviews a mattress has, there’s no better way to judge a mattress than by sleeping on it.

Keep in mind that returns may sound simple, but they require a lot of legwork in practice. Be sure to review the fine print. Some brands won’t actually take the mattress back and may require you to provide a donation receipt before they’ll refund you.

What is a gel mattress?

Gel mattresses are made with gel-infused memory foam. There are hybrid versions that combine gel foam with other materials and all-foam models made entirely of gel foam.

They have a similar feel to memory foam, but the gel adds a certain springiness and cooling features to the mattress.

What are the benefits of a gel mattress?

Gel mattresses offer many of the same benefits as memory foam, including support, stability, and minimal motion transfer. One of the biggest benefits is the cooling effect.

What are the drawbacks of a gel mattress?

Gel mattresses are often heavier and more expensive than traditional memory foam, and it’s important to consider the mattress materials before you buy. Gel memory foam is a synthetic material, and off-gassing can be a problem.

Make sure to prioritize mattresses with certifications like CertiPUR-US or Greenguard so you know the materials used are safe.

Some gel mattress owners still find heat retention to be an issue, so it’s important to shop specifically for cooling features if that’s what you want.

Is gel better than foam?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you tend to sleep hot and want your mattress to stay cool, you’re likely better off with a gel mattress.

If sleeping hot isn’t an issue for you, you may do fine with traditional memory foam.

How long does a gel mattress last?

A gel mattress will likely last you about 5 to 7 years. Gel hybrid models may last about 8 to 10 years.

If you like the feel of memory foam, but sleeping hot is an issue, a gel foam mattress might be a great alternative. Gel foam is also used in some hybrid designs if an innerspring coil system is important to you.

Opt for gel foams certified by reputable third parties to ensure they’re made safely.


Jessica Timmons has been working as a freelance writer since 2007, covering everything from pregnancy and parenting to cannabis, chiropractic, stand-up paddling, fitness, martial arts, home decor, and much more. Her work has appeared in mindbodygreen, Pregnancy & Newborn, Modern Parents Messy Kids, and Coffee + Crumbs. See what she’s up to now at jessicatimmons.com.