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Best Gel Memory Foam Mattress: Buyer’s Guide

Lara Vargas

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The solution to discomfort is a bed with the right firmness, pressure relief, and conformability.

Gel memory foam mattresses are the most conforming and cooling bed on the market. It wicks away heat and contours to your body to alleviate pressure points and relieve pain. Gel foam mattresses come in a range of firmnesses, meaning the mattress can cater to almost everyone’s sleep needs.

In this article, we will discuss the components of gel memory foam, its properties, and how to choose a gel foam mattress for you.

Editors’ Choice: Best Gel Memory Foam Mattress

Zoma Mattress

The Zoma Mattress features gel infused memory foam and state-of-the-art Triangulex™ technology to offer pressure relief and support while keeping you at a comfortable temperature all night long.

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Best Gel Memory Foam Mattress

 MattressHighlightsPrice
zoma sports mattressZomaGel-infused memory foam features a 3-zoned support system to alleviate pressure and pain.
brentwood home cypressBrentwood Home CypressCharcoal-infused memory foam layer absorbs heat from your body.
$599
zinus memory foam 12Zinus Green Tea 12-inchGreen tea infused memory foam with an ActivCharcoal complex leaves you feeling fresh.
$344
bear pro mattressBear ProCopper-infusion pulls away unwanted heat and kills bacteria on contact.
$890
best price mattressBest Price 11-inch Gel-infused MattressGel-infused memory foam layer atop a ventilated memory foam layer provides an enhanced cooling system.
$242

1. Zoma Mattress

zoma mattress
The Zoma Mattress is 11 inches thick: 2 inches of a gel memory foam layer with Triangulex™ technology, 2 inches of an active recovery layer with Reactiv™, and 7 inches of Support+ material. Together the layers produce a medium mattress.

The Zoma Mattress is also CertiPUR-US® certified, meaning it was tested to meet rigorous standards for emissions, durability, content, and performance. It is safe from harmful chemicals such as ozone depleters, formaldehyde, PBDEs, and is low in Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions.

Zoma’s comfort layer is high-quality gel-infused memory foam with Triangulex™ technology. It provides a cool, contouring sleep surface that relieves pressure and pain.

The Triangulex™ technology offers a solid midsection to prevent the hips from sinking into the mattress and misaligning the spine. At the head and foot of the layer, the Triangulex™ technology segments off into hundreds of triangular-shaped cutouts, providing soft zoned support and optimal pressure relief.

Below, 2 inches of responsive polyurethane Reactiv™ foam offers bounce and transitions between the comfort layer and the firm base layer.

Seven inches of durable Support+ make wards off sagging and increases the mattress’s lifespan.

The polyester-elastane mattress cover stretches to encourage air circulation.

Warranty and Sleep Trial

10-Year Warranty

Zoma mattress comes with a 10-year warranty stating Zoma covers workmanship and material defects not incurred by the owner from mishandling, including sagging deeper than .75 inches.

100-Night Sleep Trial

Zoma offers a 100-night, risk-free sleep trial. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, you can file a claim for a full refund within the 100-night trial period. Zoma works with local partners to pick up your mattress and recycle or donate the bed. Zoma also bears all financial responsibility in the case of a return.

2. Brentwood Home Cypress

brentwood home cypress
Brentwood Home Cypress Classic Mattress has an 11-inch profile and contains 1 inch of charcoal-infused memory foam, 2 inches of polyurethane foam, and 8 inches of high-density foam. The mattress is CertiPUR-US®  and GREENGUARD Gold certified.

The top layer is made of charcoal-infused memory foam and conforms to the body to relieve pressure. The charcoal infusion regulates temperature by pulling heat and moisture from the sleeper. Charcoal is also a natural deodorizer and keeps your mattress smelling fresh.

Below the charcoal foam, 2 inches of poly-foam buffer the comfort and support layers.

The base foam is made of 8 inches of high-density foam, which supports the upper layers and deters sagging.

A polyester and spandex blend cover improves moisture-wicking abilities and provides a cool, plush sleeping surface.

Warranty and Sleep Trial

10-Year Warranty

Brentwood Home offers 25-years limited warranties to protect customers from faulty craftsmanship and materials, including sagging greater than 2 inches.

During the first 10 years, Brentwood Home repairs or replaces your mattress for free and, during the next 15 years, Brentwood replaces and repairs defective mattresses at a prorated charge.

1-Year Sleep Trial

Brentwood Home Cypress has a year-long, risk-free sleep trial, although the sleep trial only extends to two mattresses per household. You must sleep on your new bed for at least 30 days. If you are still not satisfied with the product, Brentwood Home will arrange a mattress pick-up and donate it to a local non-profit or recycle it.

3. Zinus 12-inch Pressure Relief Green Tea

zinus memory foam 12
The Zinus Mattress has a 12-inch profile and comes in twin, twin XL, full, short queen, queen, king, and California king sizes. This mattress is sold on Amazon and on the Zinus website.

Three inches of green tea infused memory foam conforms to the sleeper to relieve pressure, while the green tea infusion neutralizes odors to ensure refreshing sleep.

Below, 2 inches of Zinus’s ActivCharcoal polyurethane foam absorbs moisture and increases odor control.

The third layer, a high-density poly-foam, relieves pressure by transitioning between the comfort and support layers.

The high-density support layer extends the mattress’s longevity by deterring sagging.

The cover is made with knitted jacquard, wicking away heat and moisture.

Warranty and Sleep Trial

10-Year Warranty

Zinus offers a 10-year worry-free limited warranty, which states Zinus will replace or repair defective workmanship and materials.

100-Night Sleep Trial

Zinus offers a 100-night, risk-free sleep trial.

4. Bear Pro

bear pro mattress
The Bear Pro Mattress is a cool, clean, and comfortable bed to promote restorative sleep.

The comfort layer is a copper-infused, CertiPUR-US® certified foam. It wicks away heat without retaining it, promoting cool nights. The copper has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, meaning it repels and kills bacteria.

Below, gel memory foam removes unwanted heat and relieves additional pressure, adding to the comfort layer’s conforming abilities.

The third layer contains responsive transition foam and buffers between the above comfort layers and the support layer.

The high-density support layer increases the bed’s durability and deters sagging.

The mattress cover is made with FDA-determined Celliant® fabric, which increases local blood flow and promotes cellular repair.

Warranty and Sleep Trial

10-Year Warranty

Bear’s 10-year warranty states Bear will repair and replace faulty craftsmanship and materials, including sagging greater than 1 inch; however, customers are responsible for handling or transportation costs.

100-Night Sleep Trial

Bear offers a 100-night sleep trial, but you have to try it for at least 30 days. If you still don’t like the product, you can return it. Bear will locate a charity and have the mattress picked up.

5. Best Price 11-inch Gel-infused Memory Foam Mattress

Best Price 11-inch Gel-infused Memory Foam Mattress
Best Price’s 11-inch gel-infused memory foam mattress is available on Amazon.

The top layer is a CertiPUR-US® certified foam that cradles the body to relieve pressure points. The gel infusion in this layer wicks away heat to regulate sleeping temperatures.

Below, 2 inches of ventilated memory foam improves breathability by encouraging air circulation.

The 7.5-inch high-density base layer supports the upper layers and prolongs the mattress’s lifespan while deterring sagging.

The cover is made of knitted poly-jacquard, which enhances the airflow through the mattress.

Warranty and Sleep Trial

10-Year Warranty

Best Price’s 10-years warranty covers defects in workmanship and materials.

30-Night Sleep Trial

If you are not satisfied with the product, you can return it within 30 days of the delivery date; however, they deduct a $10 flat shipping fee if the reason for the return is not due to a defect.

What is Gel Memory Foam?

Gel memory foam is memory foam infused with cooling gel. The gel infusion pulls heat away from the sleeper and dissipates it out of the mattress.

Gel is an affordable material. It’s commonly found in memory foam mattresses, mattress toppers, and foam pillows as one of the more affordable infusions.

Cooling gel can be spread evenly through the foam layer (solid gel memory foam) and, other times, it’s swirled (swirl memory foam). Of the two options, we suggest getting solid gel memory foam as it more effectively draws heat from the sleeper.

What to Look for in a Gel-Infused Memory Foam Mattress

You will want to consider your sleep position and body type when looking for your best mattress.

Sleep Position, Body Type, and Firmness

Mattress firmness is rated on a scale from one (soft) to ten (firm). With the right mattress firmness, you can get better, deeper sleep, and you can determine the firmness you need by looking at your sleep preferences and body type.

Sleep Position

Side sleeping is the most common sleeping style. Since side sleepers rest their weight on their side, they develop pressure points on their shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles, which can cause pain and soreness.

The best mattresses for side sleepers are medium in firmness to alleviate pressure points and prevent pain.

Stomach sleeping forces the spine to overextend, which strains the shoulders and lower back and may lead to herniated disks and sciatica.

A medium-firm to firm mattress will preserve the spine’s natural curvature and reduce chronic pain. Too soft a mattress can cause a stomach sleeper’s hips to bow into the mattress, causing misalignment and lower back strain.

We suggest switching to side sleeping as it’s healthier for the spine. If you cannot switch, we suggest promoting spinal alignment by sleeping without a head pillow and placing a pillow under the hips.

Back sleeping allows the spine to align naturally. We recommend medium to medium-firm mattresses for back sleepers, as these beds promote natural spinal alignment in this position.

Body Type

Your body type can change the way your mattress feels.

Lighter individuals don’t place a lot of weight on the mattress surface, so they don’t sink very far. A firmer mattress won’t alleviate a smaller person’s pressure points, which can cause morning soreness. We recommend petite sleepers choose a softer mattress for comfortable cushioning and adequate pressure relief.

Heavier individuals need a firmer mattress to prevent them from sinking too deeply. If a heavy person sleeps on a soft mattress, the hips and shoulders can bow into the mattress, misaligning the spine and causing lower back pain. The best mattresses for heavy people are firmer to prevent uncomfortable sinkage.

Size

The mattress size you buy is largely influenced by your living arrangement and sleep needs.

A child or college student doesn’t need anything larger than a twin or twin XL, which accommodates one person. A twin also leaves enough space in the bedroom to play or exercise.

A full size mattress offers more room for those of larger stature and allows the sleeper to change sleep positions without falling off of the mattress.

A queen size bed is the best mattress for couples. It offers enough room for two adults to sleep and change sleep positions comfortably.

A king size mattress offers more room for couples who need extra space. If you have a child who prefers to sleep with you and your partner, a king-sized mattress is an option.

California king mattresses are luxury sized mattresses and offer plenty of spreading out room, although they are larger than most rooms can accommodate.

Remember, the larger the mattress size, the higher the price. If you’re on a budget, you’ll want to weigh your sleep needs against your “wants.” Don’t get a smaller mattress size than you need, though, as it can decrease your sleep quality.

Durability

Companies decide the warranty’s time length based on the durability of their mattresses, so if a mattress warranty states the mattress will last for 10 years, it’s likely to last 10 years.

Warranties, Sleep Trials, and Return Policies

A mattress warranty, sleep trial, and return policy protect the customer from getting stuck with a mattress they don’t want or that has defects.

Warranty

The warranty states a company will replace or repair a mattress with defective materials and workmanship not incurred by mishandling. Defects include indentations and sagging, cracked or splitting foam, fabric unraveling, etc. Warranties do not offer coverage on regular wear and tear.

Read through the warranty before making the purchase to make sure you’re happy with the coverage. Some companies offer 20-year warranties, but only take financial responsibility for defects and transportation within the first couple of years of the warranty. We recommend a warranty stating the company bears full financial coverage for faulty mattresses for at least 10 years, including transportation fees.

Return Policy

Return policies outline the companies and your responsibilities when you return a mattress. Reading through the policy ensures you understand what steps to take and informs you of any transportation, donation, or recycling fees the company requires you to pay in the event of a warranty claim.

Again, we suggest looking for a return policy stating the mattress company bears responsibility for return fees.

Sleep Trial

We highly suggest never purchasing a mattress if it doesn’t come with a sleep trial. A sleep trial offers you time to test the mattress in the comfort of your home before fully deciding to keep the mattress. If you find the mattress doesn’t meet your sleep needs, you may return the product under the terms of the return policy.

We suggest looking for a sleep trial lasting at least 100 nights to ensure you have enough time to adjust to the new mattress’s support and firmness.

Other Mattress Materials

Gel memory foam isn’t the only type of mattress available. Here are some of the more common mattress types.

Innerspring mattresses

Innerspring mattresses are made with coil support cores and thin comfort layers made of cotton, wool, or polyester. Some innerspring mattresses have pillow or Euro tops for additional, plushier comfort.

Coil beds are known for their support, although they are also known for sagging. Some coil-based mattresses are made with zoned support systems, offering personalized support to different areas of the body.

Innerspring beds encourage air circulation through the mattress’s core, which makes coil beds the most cooling mattresses to sleep on.

Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid mattresses are made with pocketed coil cores and latex foam or memory foam comfort layers. These mattresses aren’t always as cooling as innerspring mattresses, as their foam layers can sometimes retain heat.

We suggest hybrids for side and back sleepers. Their coil systems offer back sleepers the right amount of support, and their thick comfort layers offer enough cushioning to relieve pressure points for side sleepers.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam is an elastic and conforming foam. It is activated by body heat and pressure by conforming to the sleeper to alleviate pressure and back pain. Memory foam is also very supportive.

Apart from traditional memory foam, you can find gel and plant-based memory foams in mattresses.

Gel memory foam, as we’ve mentioned, is a foam infused with cooling gel. It pulls heat from the sleeper to cut down on heat retention; however, memory foam can be infused with other conductive materials such as copper, titanium, and graphite.

Plant-based is a cooler and eco-friendly memory foam with a decreased risk of off-gassing. Mattress companies manufacture plant-based foam by substituting some petrochemicals with coconut, soy, and other plant materials.

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses are the most supportive beds on the market, and they have comparable conformability to memory foam, but not all latex beds are created equally. There are several types of latex and many ways to manufacture them.

Natural latex mattresses are made from rubber tree sap. They are hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. The Dunlop manufacturing process produces a firm, dense latex foam. This process doesn’t use chemical additives and is the only all-natural latex. The Talalay manufacturing process makes a light, viscoelastic latex through the use of additional chemicals.

Synthetic latex is man-made using a compound of chemicals to mimic latex properties, although it’s not antimicrobial. For latex allergy sufferers, synthetic latex is a great alternative.

Blended latex is a mixture of synthetic and natural latex. It has antimicrobial and hypoallergenic properties, although they aren’t as strong as in natural latex.

We highly suggest not buying synthetic latex mattresses as they can contain harmful additives; however if you plan on buying one, check for CertiPUR-US® certification.

Conclusion

The best gel memory foam mattress will conform to your body to support your sensitive areas, such as the lower back, and alleviate pressure points and pain. Gel foam keeps hot sleepers cool and offers the expected memory foam features like motion isolation.

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