Best Gel Mattress Toppers

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

18 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
163 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Shopping guide for best gel mattress toppers

Last Updated December 2019

A gel mattress topper is an extra layer of cushioning placed on top of a mattress. Over time, mattresses flatten out and become less comfortable, but a gel mattress topper can help restore some of the comfort to an older product.

Restoring comfort to an old bed is not the only way a gel mattress topper can help you. If you’ve just invested in a new mattress and it’s not a perfect fit, a gel topper can drastically improve your comfort with minimal impact on your wallet. It is a budget-friendly way to adjust the softness of firmness of your bed without purchasing a new mattress.

A gel mattress topper is similar to a memory foam topper in some ways, but it can actually provide a cooler, more balanced sleep experience at a valuable price point. If you’d like to learn more about what a gel mattress topper can do for you — and how to select the perfect one for your bedroom or a guest room —read this informative shopping guide for more information. We’ll also point you in the direction of some of our favorite gel mattress toppers on today’s market.

You can use a gel mattress topper to enhance your comfort in a range of settings, from a college dorm room to a camping tent. Some people take them along when RVing or staying in a hotel.

Mattress topper vs. mattress pad

A mattress topper is not the same thing as a mattress pad. Many people consider them to be  synonymous, but that’s untrue. A mattress pad is used primarily for mattress protection against moisture and allergens. It adds only a marginal level of padding that isn’t designed to relieve pressure. A mattress topper, on the other hand, is made for the sole purpose of comfort. Your money goes toward a softer, more luxurious sleep experience.

Gel topper material and cooling properties

A gel mattress toppers has a cooling nature due to gel beads that are dispersed within the topper. This is especially helpful for those who find their sleep quality affected by overheating. Sleeping in a cool temperature range, typically between 68°F and 72°F, is said to improve sleep quality significantly.

A memory foam topper, especially a budget one, can trap heat and make for an uncomfortable night of sleep. By opting for a gel topper, your chances of sleeping “cool” increase substantiallythanks to the coolness of its components. For example, breathable bamboo is often used to make a gel topper more comfortable for hot sleepers.

Size and fit

Gel mattress toppers are available in a range of sizes, from twin and twin XL to California king. If your bed doesn’t abide by standard mattress sizing, finding a topper that fits can be tricky. Most toppers initially stretch and grip around your mattress efficiently, but a lower-quality topper may lose its elasticity over time, causing that frustrating shifting feeling.

Thickness

Gel mattress toppers come in a range of thicknesses, from one to four inches. A thicker model may offer a high-density experience with 2.5 inches of gel foam and 1.5 inches of an additional supportive foam.

Gel isn’t dense by nature, but the addition of support foam increases density. For that reason, those seeking a more plush surface should choose a thinner topper, which is less likely to feature the additional support layer that a thicker topper would.

DID YOU KNOW?

Most gel mattress pads are hypoallergenic, while pricier alternatives like latex, feathers, or wool may trigger allergies in some sleepers.

Gel mattress topper benefits

Pain-free sleep

Memory foam is famous for relieving pressure, but gel foam is just as effective. When a gel topper is compressed, the beads facilitate a smooth shift which better distributes body weight, creating a sense of comfort in the knees, hips, back, and shoulders.

No odor or filler

Some foam mattress toppers contain fillers that are dangerous to your health, as well as suspicious odors that can waft around a room for days. With gel mattress toppers, the likeliness of encountering toxic ingredients is much lower.

Cool and featherlike

This cool, breathable mattress topper offers lush, cushiony comfort with additional support as well as odor-fighting technology. A nice 2.5-inch layer of gel-infused memory foam combines with 1.5 inches of pillowy down to create a sensation that is both high-density and fluffy. Topped off with an ultra-soft quilted cover, this high-quality topper is ideal for hot sleepers and those who want a downy finish to their memory foam.

Resilience

Foam or latex toppers face the risk of sagging over time, but the gel in a gel mattress topper has a better elasticity and maintains its original shape, preventing the sagging and ripping that can occur with other toppers.

Customizable comfort

With many gel toppers, you have the option of cutting or trimming them. That means if your partner doesn’t want to sleep on that same level of firmness/softness, you can either cut the topper in half or purchase one that is half the size of your bed to enhance your comfort level without disturbing your partner. If you do choose a gel mattress topper for the entire bed, one that also includes memory foam can help curb the problem of motion transfer.

Gel mattress topper prices

Investing in a quality gel mattress topper with solid beads ensures better longevity and the best bang for your buck. Notably, however, gel mattress toppers can be more expensive than standard memory foam toppers.

While there are basic options available for under $100, investing in a pricier alternative of $150 to $200+ can mean a longer topper life and a more luxurious sleeping experience.

Prices generally increase with thickness. For example, a two-inch gel topper might only cost $75, whereas a four-inch gel topper might cost $150 or more.

A mattress topper won’t act as a remedy for a mattress with a sagging middle. While it can add years onto a mattress, it won’t cure a significant, pre-existing issue like this.

Tips

  • Consider combining your gel mattress topper with a mattress pad to increase the life of your mattress.
  • You might want to purchase a twin-size mattress topper to modify one side of your bed if your partner prefers a different type of sleep surface than you do.
  • A gel mattress topper can be used on the floor in the absence of a guest bed. You could also place it on top of a sleeping bag or sofa for extra cushioning.

Sink into balanced comfort

This budget-friendly mattress topper is lighter than some of its competitors. Available in two-inch and three-inch thicknesses, it’s also much softer with a medium sink. This topper is a sensible and odor-free choice that doesn’t sacrifice quality for economy, and it reportedly relieves back pain and joint pressure as effectively as pricier models. A unique egg crate surface maximizes airflow while dispersing body weight evenly.

Other products we considered

The Advanced Sleep Solutions 2-inch Gel Memory Foam Topper is a plush, medium-soft gel topper for those who prefer a little more coziness with their sleep. Although it has a slightly softer surface, it promotes spinal alignment and features minimal motion transfer. Its open-cell cooling capabilities are just as impressive as its pain-reducing abilities.

If a firmer sleep surface is what you’re after, Splendoress offers an alternative with increased density in their Firm 3-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper. The surface is firm but not too hard. Using CertiPUR-US certified foam, it features a ventilated surface to enhance breathability. However, despite rave reviews, it is worth mentioning that the warranty period for this product is only one year long.

If you find that a four-inch gel mattress topper is not providing enough comfort, it could be that your mattress needs to be replaced.

FAQ

Q. Can a gel mattress topper structurally transform a mattress that needs to be replaced?
A.
Realistically, if you have a lumpy, saggy mattress that’s aged over ten years, a gel topper will not turn it into the luxurious bed of your dreams. It can only do so much to enhance the comfort of an aged mattress.

Q. Will a gel topper fit my bed perfectly, or is there a chance that it won't be an exact fit?
A.
Many mattress topper users report not finding the perfect fit for their mattress; either the topper is a little too big or a little too small. For this reason, you may want to purchase a gel topper that can be trimmed down to size as needed.

Q. Can I expect my gel topper to move around at night?
A.
Because it isn’t a fixed layer on your mattress, it is possible that your gel topper could shift around as you sleep, toss, and turn.

EXPERT TIP

Sleepers suffering from joint problems such as arthritis may find that a gel mattress topper significantly decreases joint pressure and provides a more supportive night’s sleep.


Staff  | BestReviews
The team that worked on this review
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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