Best Gel Memory Foam Topper ($200 budget)

First let me start out by saying this forum is amazing. I have learned so much in the past couple days.

I recently purchased a firm beautyrest classic mattress and now need a mattress topper to go on top. I would like to spend no more than $200 if possible. If I found this website prior to purchasing my mattress I am sure I would have gone another route.These are the 3 Mattress toppers I am currently deciding between:

It seems many people recommend brooklynbedding but it seems like that have the particulate gel verses the first two from having the fused gel. My main concern is purchasing a memory foam topper that does not sleep hot. I am not interested in trying latex as I do like the feel of memory foam.

Are there currently any memory foams out there that cool better than gel, without going to latex? Also, am I correct in my thinking that infused gel is better than particulate (gel beads) gel?

I am about 210 pounds 6’1" primarily side sleeper.

Thanks in advance

PS- I would sacrifice some durability to sleep cooler

Hi knlmwq,

Out of the three choices you are mentioning two of them are 4 lbs and the third is 3.2 lbs so I would first eliminate the 3.2 lb memory foam because it is lower quality/durability.

The overstock toppers also don’t mention the type of gel memory foam that they use. “Infused” could mean an infusion of either particles, beads, or liquid gel. Large gel particles that come out of the foam easily are less durable and can break down the foam faster … smaller particles that are embedded into the cell walls of the foam rather than the cells of the foam won’t degrade the foam to the same degree as larger particles. Gel memory foams that use particles will also often use a higher percentages of gel in the foam which has its own benefits in terms of support and cooling.

Unfortunately … the foam manufacturers don’t provide enough specifics of the gel they infuse in the memory foam (either particles or a liquid polymer) so you are really dependent on the knowledge, experience, and integrity of the retailer or manufacturer you are dealing with to make meaningful comparisons between them. In practical terms … I would treat the density of a gel memory foam as being a close equivalent to a similar density in a regular memory foam in terms of durability. I would also keep in mind that different types of gel memory foam also have different properties (depending on the technical details of how it is made) which can lead to a very different feel and performance between gel memory foams of the same density. Post #2 here has more information and links to other posts that may be helpful in making your choices.

Once you are down to roughly equivalent quality (defined in terms of density and durability) … then your personal testing and experience on each topper would become the most meaningful difference between them (assuming they both meet the memory foam guidelines in post #10 here). Since they are both online choices that you can’t test ahead of time … then the knowledge and experience of the retailer or manufacturer you are dealing with and their ability to provide you with information that is accurate and meaningful to you about their toppers and how they may differ from other toppers available and any return policy they may have would become the most important part of the “value” of a topper purchase. This would be a much more important part of deciding between two choices than trying to analyze technical details which may not be available anyway and would require a degree in foam chemistry to fully understand.

In the earlier days of gel memory foams when most of the particulates were larger this may have been correct but as the gel memory foam technology has developed and second and third generation gel memory foams have been released then in most cases it is no longer as meaningful a comparison. Each of them would have their own strengths and weaknesses. Gel memory foams themselves are also not necessarily cooler than “regular” memory foam that is more highly breathable. Unless you are looking at gel memory foams that have much higher percentages of gel (in the range of 25% - 30%) then the cooling benefit of gel would be temporary and the main benefit of the gel would be its ability to improve the support characteristics of the memory foam (again depending on the gel type and content) more than the ability to keep it cooler.

The price difference between the two 4 lb choices you have is small and not particularly meaningful and I would base your decision on the other parts of “value” besides price including your conversations and the information you receive from each of them, your confidence that the topper will be suitable for your needs and preferences, and any return or exchange options you have after a purchase.

I would also keep in mind that there are many elements that affect temperature regulation in a mattress besides just the foam (see post #2 here) which can be just as important as the foam itself.


Hi Phoenix,

Thanks for the info. You mentioned that there may be some other memory foams that are cooler than gel memory foam based on their breathability. Can you give me some examples? It is possible that they are more than I want to pay right now but I just want to see what to look for.

Hi knlmwq,

Unfortunately I don’t know of any specific comparisons of the airflow of all or even some the specific types of memory foam on the market. This would be one of the most important specs of how cool a memory foam material was in actual use but it is just not generally available just like it is also next to impossible to find out the percentage of gel in various types of gel memory foams.

In addition to this … if you had a “cool” and breathable memory foam that was in a cover that was less breathable or that was softer and allowed you to sink in more or even with a different mattress protector or sheets it could sleep warmer than a less breathable memory foam with a more breathable cover and quilting materials or a more breathable protector or cooler sheets. The sleeping temperature of a mattress in other words depends on many factors, not just the foam.

My comments were based on some lengthy conversations with foam chemists and manufacturers, mattress manufacturers, retailers, and consumer feedback which clearly indicates that much (but not all) of the information about gel foams are exaggerated in terms of their effect on temperature and that I wouldn’t automatically assume that just because a memory foam has gel in it that it’s cooler than regular memory foams that use other technologies to improve the tendency of memory foam to sleep warmer. You can see some of the ways that can be used to cool down memory foam in post #6 here. As in so many other cases when it comes to mattresses … the knowledge and experience of people you deal with, and their willingness to provide you with unbiased and accurate information vs just marketing information, can often be more helpful than trying to track down some of the less common foam specs that are usually very difficult to find and only part of a larger picture when it comes to sleeping temperatures.

It’s the sleeping temperature of your complete sleeping system that is most important.


Hi Phoenix,

I have been reading up on how to have a cooler nights sleep in conjunction with memory foam and I am thinking of purchasing a bamboo mattress protector to put on top of my memory foam. Once I use this bamboo mattress protector would it be pointless to use a cotton fitted sheet on top of that? In other words, would adding an additional layer cancel out the moisture absorbing, breathability of the bamboo cover? Thanks again

Hi knlmwq,

Cotton sheets also have good breathability and wick moisture well so if anything they would work well together IMO and together they would have the ability to wick and store more moisture and release it to the surrounding air than either one alone.