Updated February 05, 2020 by Melissa Harr

The 10 Best Gel Mattress Pads

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This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in March of 2016. Many people swear that gel pads are not only more comfortable than regular mattresses, but cooler, as well. Whether you are looking to get relief from an aching back or sore spots each morning, or you want a topper to breathe new life into your old bed, check out our comprehensive selection that features options to meet all budgets and all bed sizes, including twin XL and California king. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.

1. LinenSpa Gel-Infused

2. Milliard 2-Inch Topper

3. DreamFoam Bedding Swirl

Editor's Notes

February 03, 2020:

We've kept a range of gel mattress toppers at this time, in a variety of sizes from twin to California king, to suit all manner of needs. But we have removed the Red Nomad 3-Inch Ultra Premium; despite its name, it feels too much like plain, run of the mill foam, so it isn't as comfortable as many other choices. As for top options, the LinenSpa Gel-Infused or Milliard 2-Inch Topper are still good for most users. They're both made with CertiPUR US certified foam and are designed to resist flattening over time. For something a little different, we have kept the Sleep Innovations Dual Layer, which combines a gel pad with a standard mattress pad. Note, however, that this second layer doesn't hold up very well in the washing machine, which can be frustrating over time. Finally, we decided to add the Zinus Air Flow as an additional option for those who prefer an egg crate construction (the Simmons 3-Inch Sculpted BeautyRest features this shape, as well). This Zinus model is offered in several thicknesses, from 1.5 to 4 inches, but if you select the latter, you'll probably need sheets with quite deep pockets.

Special Honors

Purple Hybrid In the market for a new mattress? Then you might consider the Purple Hybrid. Its Purple Grid is supportive and comfortable, but without the sagging and heat retention you'll find with some low-quality memory foam toppers. purple.com

Slumber Cloud Nacreous If you're more concerned about temperature regulation than about having a soft, squishy sleeping surface, the Slumber Cloud Nacreous might be the way to go. Instead of gel, it boasts NASA-engineered materials that absorb and release heat to keep you sleeping comfortably all night long. slumbercloud.com

4. Sleep Innovations Dual Layer

5. Zinus Air Flow

6. Advanced Sleep Solutions Topper

7. ViscoSoft Density

8. Lucid Ventilated 2-Inch

9. Simmons 3-Inch Sculpted BeautyRest

10. Zinus Foam Sleep Master

Why Gel Technology Makes The Best Mattress Pads

Side sleeping, for example, can put too much pressure on one's hips and shoulders at night.

Manufacturers of bed accessories created gel mattress pads as a solution to a problem. Many people complain that memory foam mattresses, which offer much of the same comfort that gel does, get too hot during the night. Not only is it uncomfortable to sleep when you are overheating and sweating, it also ushers bacteria into your mattress. Sleep product companies first tried to fix this by creating open cell memory foam mattresses. These still did not solve the issue of overheating for many consumers.

Gel mattress pads, however, offer a temperature-neutral sleeping surface. Gel mattress pads also cradle the body better than any other product can. This can be very helpful for people who favor some of the riskier sleep positions. Side sleeping, for example, can put too much pressure on one's hips and shoulders at night. Gel relieves this pressure and offers a better night’s rest.

Another issue many sleepers experience with standard memory foam mattress pads is the sensation that their body droops too much in the bed. This can be a major problem for heavier individuals. If one area of the body droops much lower than the other parts during the night, this can cause spinal misalignment, and a person can wake up with severe aches and pains. Gel mattress pads provide plenty of support, even to heavier individuals, so people will not sink into their bed. Gel mattress pads also have even better motion transfer resistance than memory foam options.

How To Select The Ideal Gel Mattress Pad For Your Bed

Individuals with particularly slick mattresses should look for a gel topper with a non-slip bottom. These will not shift during the night when a person turns over or moves about while sleeping. Should you plan on putting a gel mattress topper over a memory foam mattress, you might prefer a thinner pad. Thick gel mattress toppers, when stacked on memory foam mattresses, can create a floating feeling that some sleepers do not like.

Consumers should always ensure that any item on which they sleep is non-toxic and meets Certi-PUR-US standards.

Many gel mattress toppers have a contoured surface that provides the muscles a nice massage during sleep and can alleviate sore spots in one’s back. Families with young children should look for a topper with strengthened cell walls. Little kids often jump in their parents’ beds with their shoes on or holding items that can easily puncture a weak mattress topper. Some toppers even come with cotton or bamboo covers that can be put in the washing machine. This reduces the frequency with which one has to clean their actual gel mattress topper. Plus, bamboo repels dust mites, which are triggers for asthma and allergies.

Those who are purchasing a gel mattress topper to prolong the life of an old, worn-down mattress should look for one with multiple layers. These will be the most effective at making an old bed feel brand new. Consumers should always ensure that any item on which they sleep is non-toxic and meets Certi-PUR-US standards. Considering that you spend around eight hours a night on your bed, you cannot afford to inhale the chemicals found in some mattresses.

Sleep Habits That Can Provoke Health Problems

Those who suffer from migraines or severe headaches should do what they can to make sure their sleep is not interrupted. The toll taken on the brain from being woken from a deep sleep can provoke migraines. That is one reason experts recommend that those who suffer from these debilitating headaches do not hit their snooze button in the morning. Being woken up several times will be more harmful than the twenty minutes of extra sleep will be helpful.

That is one reason experts recommend that those who suffer from these debilitating headaches do not hit their snooze button in the morning.

A gel mattress pad can also reduce the number of times one is woken up during the night. People who sleep next to someone are often woken up any time their partner moves or gets up during the night. Gel mattress pads reduce motion transfer, practically eliminating this problem.

Sleeping on old mattresses can aggravate back problems and contribute to a number of sleep issues. Old mattresses do not provide adequate support and can cause the body to droop during the night. Someone who cannot afford to replace a mattress can at least put a quality gel topper over it. Research has also found that sleeping on a mattress that is too firm can cause back pain. Medium-firm mattresses are ideal, and most gel mattress toppers offer the perfect softness level.

One major cause of pain over one’s entire body is stress. When people are under stress, their muscles clench up which, over time, can cause soreness. It’s important that everyone (those with muscle aches in particular) make time to relax. People who don’t like their beds might not want to rest in them to read and do other relaxing activities. Adding a gel mattress pad can make their beds a place they like to be and encourage them to rest their muscles more.

Melissa Harr
Last updated on February 05, 2020 by Melissa Harr

Melissa Harr is a language-obsessed writer from Chicagoland who holds both a bachelor of arts and master of arts in English. Although she began as a TEFL teacher, earning several teaching certificates and working in both Russia and Vietnam, she moved into freelance writing to satisfy her passion for the written word. She has published full-length courses and books in the realm of arts & crafts and DIY; in fact, most of her non-working time is spent knitting, cleaning, or committing acts of home improvement. Along with an extensive knowledge of tools, home goods, and crafts and organizational supplies, she has ample experience (okay, an obsession) with travel gear, luggage, and the electronics that make modern life more convenient.

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