Classic Brands Cool Gel Memory Foam Mattress
With thousands of Amazon sales per month and a spot in the top ten on the mattress charts at the time of writing (March 2019), the Classic Brands Cool Gel Memory Foam Mattress in the 14 inch height was one I just couldn’t ignore.
It has an excellent star rating and a high percentage of happy customers who rated it four stars or higher. It comes in at a budget price point, and you get free pillows with your purchase! Sounds amazing, right? Well, it could be. There are some people I think this mattress is great for, but I also think some people should avoid it. Read my full review to find out all the details.
Feel free to skip straight to any of the sections via the links below.
- Technical info
- Why the price difference between the Cool Gel 1.0 and Cool Gel 2.0?
- What does the mattress feel like to lie on?
- Who is the mattress best suited to?
- Pros and Cons
- How to use
- Any problems?
- Real comments from buyers who gave it 5 stars
- My conclusion
- Best place to buy
Classic Brands is a wholesale company (you cannot buy directly from them) who specializes in making sleep products. The company was started in 1971 with the Classic Corporation who sold waterbeds. Classic Brands have therefore always had an interest in innovating sleep surfaces. The brand became Classic Brands in 2002 and expanded to include memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses. You’ll find their mattresses rebranded under other names such as “Modern Sleep” at Walmart and “Posture Loft” at Overstock.
Classic Brands pride themselves on good customer service, and from what I have seen on Amazon and experienced myself, I would say they do well. They are very responsive, and this has even been mentioned by people who disliked their mattress. Good service is absolutely essential when making such a big purchase online.
The Classic Brand mattresses are designed and “crafted” in the United Stages just outside of Baltimore, Maryland. They also have a warehouse in Los Angeles. Please note: there is some confusion about where the mattress is actually made. The design is in the United States but the actual manufacturing takes place in the Classic Brands plant in China. I confirmed this with them directly.
The Classic Brands Cool Gel Memory Foam mattress in the 14 inch size is the tallest of the Classic Brands Memory Foam mattresses. It is available in two versions: the Cool Gel 1.0 and the Cool Gel 2.0, which was released in 2018.
The Cool Gel 1.0 and 2.0 have different interior construction so before I break those down for you, I’ll give you the list of the things they have in common:
- CertiPUR-US certified foam
- Removable cover that is machine washable
- Reported weight tolerance of 700lb evenly distributed weight (read my opinion on who this mattress is best suited to for more info on what I think about its weight bearing capacities are)
- Fiberglass scrim (a thick gauze like cloth) for the federally required fire barrier
- Complimentary pillows are shredded memory foam (you will receive one pillow with Twin, Twin XL and Full size mattresses, you will receive two pillows with Queen, King, and California King size mattress orders) PRO TIP: the pillows come wrapped up underneath the mattress! There are tons of Amazon reviews where people had trouble finding them.
Composition of the Cool Gel 1.0 Mattress:
This mattress contains four internal foam layers for its 14 inch height.
- The cover is described as being a corded waterfall edge knit cover with a contrasting border
- The first foam layer is two inches of gel infused memory foam
- The second foam layer is two inches of memory foam
- The third foam layer is a transition layer between the comfort and support base layer, and is described as being two inches of comfort foam
- The fourth and final layer is eight inches of high density base foam
Composition of the Cool Gel 2.0 Mattress:
This mattress contains three internal layers for its 14 inch height.
- The cover is similarly described as being a corded waterfall edge knit. It has a different pattern than the 1.0
- The first foam layer is three and a half inches of gel infused memory foam (nearly double the amount)
- The second foam layer is two inches of marble gel soft support foam, which acts as a transition layer between the gel and the base
- The third and final layer is eight and a half inches of high density base foam
Shipping and warranty
Both mattresses are eligible for Amazon Prime, so you can have the mattress shipped to your door for free within two days. The 1.0 is shipped in a box and the 2.0 is Shipped in a bag. I think there is a slight advantage in the 2.0 being shipped in a bag in that it will be easier to maneuver around your house. These mattresses come in at more than 100lb for the bigger sizes, so that might be important for you if you have to move it on your own.
The warranty stated on Amazon is 10 years. Please note: some customers answering questions on Amazon are saying it is a 25 year warranty. To clear up any confusion, I asked Classic Brands directly, who confirmed the warranty is indeed 10 years as stated. Ten years is a standard warranty period for a modern mattress.
There is no sleep trial as such, but you can return it to Amazon within 30 days if you are not happy with it.
Twin Size – 39″” W x 75″” L x 14″” H
Twin XL Size – 39″” W x 80″” L x 14″” H
Full Size – 54″” W x 75″” L x 14″” H
Queen Size – 60″” W x 80″” L x 14″” H
King Size – 76″” W x 80″” L x 14″” H
California King Size – 72″” W x 84″” L x 14″” H
Why the price difference between the Cool Gel 1.0 and Cool Gel 2.0?
If you check out the prices of the two different versions of this mattress on Amazon (I struggled to find any other stores that sold both models), you will notice there is a difference of around $100. The Gel 2.0 is the more expensive of the two. So what’s the reason for the price difference?
This is a question I saw asked over and over again on Amazon, and rightly so: there is very limited information on the websites explaining the difference, and the manufacturer has left it up to other customers to answer these questions on Amazon.
I did find one example where someone had phoned Classic Brands to find out, and I decided to email them directly and ask. This was the response both of us received: “the 2.0 has a nicer cover and is a little softer”.
Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t really think that is enough of a reason to pay $100 more. Sure, if you really love the sound of the Classic Brands cool gel memory foam mattress and have the option to choose a slightly softer one, then that would be a reason. Although it was not the answer Classic Brands gave, I’m sure the fact that the 2.0 has nearly double the thickness of the gel layer also has something to do with it.
What does the mattress feel like to lie on?
Of all the Classic Brands memory foam mattresses, the 14 inch has the most memory foam, so it has the most pressure relief. The Gel 14 inch mattresses are described as “medium plush, with firm support”.
What does that actually mean?
- It means you will feel a nice soft sink as you settle into the comfort layers, then the firmness of the base will kick in to provide you the support for your pressure points.
- You will probably feel like you are sleeping “on” this mattress rather than “in” it.
- If you are looking for more of a sleeping “in” the mattress experience which some memory foam mattresses provide, then the Nectar memory foam mattress would be a good choice for you.
If you are looking for a mattress that is on the firmer side of medium this is a great choice, and this level of support is great for your back.
However, if you are looking for more of a medium feel I think you’ll find this comfortable too. I’m speaking from my own experience with a different memory foam mattress here: it’s firmer than I’d personally choose, but I feel comfortable on it and sleep very well, as does my husband who likes a firm mattress. So I think this could be a great choice if you are a couple where one prefers a mattress a bit firmer than the other person. Around a 7 on a firmness scale of 1-10 with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. The most popular feel for mattresses sits at the 6-7.5 range.
The Cool Gel 2.0 is described by Classic Brands as being slightly softer to lie on. It is hard to corroborate this, as customers have generally bought one or the other so I have no hard facts. However, the fact that the 2.0 has a thicker layer of gel foam inside of it would back that company description up. So if you want a slightly softer version of this mattress, the 2.0 would be the way to go.
Who is the mattress best suited to?
This mattress is a great choice for:
- Couples. Memory foam has a great reputation for doing an excellent job of motion isolation, so if one of you is a tosser and turner or gets up frequently, the Classic Brands Cool Gel Mattress could work well for you. I also think it’s a good choice for couples if a compromise needs to be struck where one person likes a very firm mattress and the other prefers more of a medium. I think both could be comfortable on this one.
- If you are a back or side sleeper, you should find that this mattress does a good job of supporting your pressure points.
- If you are a stomach sleeper, this mattress should do the important job of supporting your hips if you weigh about 200lb or less. This is my own personal weight estimation based on reading hundreds of reports from current users and my knowledge of the extra support stomach sleepers require.
- If you’re on a budget, this is a great mattress for the price. Some happy users feel it is just as comfortable as the competition that retails for thousands of dollars more.
Consider something else if:
- If you’re looking for a soft memory foam mattress, this is not the right choice for you. It is on the firmer side of medium, and is best suited to those who want at least medium firmness. If you want a soft feeling memory foam mattress, the ever popular and even cheaper Zinus 12 inch green tea mattress is a softer option you can read about here.
- If you are a stomach sleeper who weighs more than 200lb, you might feel this mattress does not support your hips adequately. You would be better off on a hybrid mattress with a coil support system. You will enjoy this article about ten Amazon hybrid options under $600 or this article about a luxe hybrid for a great price.
- From customer reports, there are people weighing up to 270lb who are happy on this mattress. However, if you weigh more than 250lb and want a really firm mattress for your weight, this one might not have quite enough support for you and I recommend you look at the hybrids I have mentioned just above instead.
- If the 14 inch mattress sounds like it would be too high but you like the sound of this mattress, you might like to check out the Classic Brands 10.5 inch cooling gel mattress instead.
- Will it need a special frame to accommodate its 14 inch height?
- No, this mattress will work on any frame. BUT: if your existing frame is already quite high, you will end up with a bed that looks quite high. Also, if you plan on using any new mattress on an old and worn out boxspring, you will see sagging.
- Why is the price so variable on Amazon?
- Several customers have noticed the price fluctuates up and down at times. This is true for all Amazon products, and is to do with their algorithms for determining price. I don’t know how these work, but it is why I never put an exact price on my reviews as I don’t want to give you wrong information.
- Will this mattress work with an adjustable frame?
- Technically, the answer is yes. Particularly it will work well with adjustable frames made by Classic Brands as they are designed to go together. However, I did note a few complaints in the one star reviews about this mattress not sitting well on other adjustable frames. Equally, there were people who found it was fine. My recommendation to you if you have an existing adjustable base you intend to put this mattress on is to buy it, try it, and see what you think. You can always get a refund within 30 days. The best way to try it is to put the mattress on the base and then lie or sit on it to see how well it conforms to the base. You will not be able to tell just by looking at it because you will need weight on the mattress for it to sit flush with the frame in any position other than flat.
Pros and cons
- Great value mattress
- Good at motion isolation
- True medium firm feel
- Cooling gel memory foam
- Responsive company to deal with
- Cover is removable and machine washable
- Complimentary pillows with purchase
- Will have a slight off gassing odor like most memory foam mattresses
- Not the best choice for heavier people
- Edges are not strong
How to use
- This mattress comes with a user manual from company, which you can download here. The manual is the same for both the Cool Gel 1.0 and Cool Gel 2.0.
- Sheets: I highly recommend you make sure you have some breathable sheets to go with your mattress so you can get the full benefits of the cooling gel. Also, as this mattress is 14 inches high, you may need deep pocket sheets for it. Some people have found their existing sheets worked just fine so my recommendation to you is to wait until the mattress arrives before purchasing new sheets for it as you might not need to.
- I mentioned this above but I’ll say it again as it has really confused some people! The free pillows are vacuum sealed in plastic and are under the mattress. So if you’ve already rolled the mattress out and are having trouble locating your free pillows, that’s where they are!
- This mattress (and any new memory foam mattress, for that matter)will work better on a solid foundation other than a box spring. Many mattresses receive one star reviews for sagging quickly, but this is often due to being put on an old box spring that could not support the mattress correctly. You can buy the Classic Brands Cool Gel Mattress as a set with a platform base to make things super easy for yourself.
The Classic Brands Cool Gel Mattress in the 14 inch size has just over 200 one star reviews but almost 2000 5 star reviews. This means that there are a whole lot more people out there who love this mattress than people who don’t. But, the problems that popped up regularly in the one star reviews need to be mentioned as it is my job to bring you all the information, good and bad. The main complaints people have about this mattress are:
- There are a lot of people who found this mattress either too soft or too firm. I have mentioned this before, but it is definitely a medium firm to firm feeling mattress. You may find it too soft if you are a heavier person, and you may find it too firm if you are a very light person. For everyone else, this is a very subjective thing and no mattress every totally suits everyone in how it feels to lie on.
- There were complaints relating to the mattress sleeping hot. If this is a concern for you, I recommend you look at a hybrid or latex mattress instead, as they have intrinsically better cooling properties even though this Classic Brands mattress has the cooling gel.
- Some one star reviewers reported issues with their mattress not decompressing to the full 14 inches. This is a relatively rare occurrence, given the ratio of good reviews to low, but it’s something to watch out for. This defect would warrant an immediate replacement. Note that the mattress may take longer to decompress in the cold because memory foam responds to heat. This decompression issue can be caused by the mattress being left too long in its box or heavy objects leaning against it in transit.
- The last issue that came through was edge support. This is a bit of a downfall with memory foam mattresses overall though, as they are never going to be as strong in this regard as coils with an extra edging around them. If great edge support is very important to you, I’d recommend you look at another mattress type such as latex or a hybrid.
The good news is that if you buy this mattress and have a problem with it, you’re in safe hands to get the problem sorted quickly.
- I’ve seen from the comments that for people who wanted to return this mattress that Amazon Prime customer service was very helpful and a refund was processed quickly.
- Classic Brands are also highly responsive to customer queries and complaints. If you have a problem with an Amazon mattress purchase you wish to discuss directly with them, you can contact them by either emailing email@example.com or calling 877-707-7533.
Did you know that there are nearly 2000 five star reviews of this mattress? Also, if you combine the numbers with users who rated this mattress four stars, there is a huge number of people who really, really like this mattress. This is what some of them had to say about it:
“I almost returned this bed… but within a week I was sleeping better and waking up more refreshed than I have in years! When I first got it I thought it was way too squishy on top and I didn’t feel I could roll over very easily during the night. I realize now I don’t need to roll over as much because my body is fully supported and comfortable.”
“After six months of research on every site that sold mattresses and frames (and I mean all of them) and read every single review available, buying this mattress is the best decision I have made in years. Everyone that has been by to check it out (family and friends) fell in love with it too.”
“I fall asleep quickly, I don’t wake up a thousand times tossing around.. there is absolutely zero slumping.. and I wake up feeling genuinely rested.”
“When sitting on the bed in one spot or even the edge of the bed you may think that the bed is too soft and you just sink right in! But when you lay down evenly the bed is firm and conforms to every curve of your body PERFECTLY. I am 150 lb and my boyfriend is about 290, he loves this bed just as much as I do.”
“This mattress provides just the right amount of support: it’s soft but provides great support. I slept the whole night without waking up and my back didn’t hurt at all in the morning. The cooling gel was great, I didn’t get hot at all. I would strongly recommend this bed to anyone who has back issues, or just wants a good nights sleep for not a lot of money.”
“We have had it for several months now. It is firm enough for my partner who likes it firm, and soft enough for me.”
I think that overall, this is a decent mattress for the money. I think it has a generous amount of gel memory foam, and it is a true medium firm feeling mattress making it suitable for a wide range of people. I do recommend you choose something else as per the specific situations I have described above though. But I think if you are just looking for a reasonable quality memory foam mattress at a very affordable price, you’ll be satisfied with your Classic Brands Cool Gel Mattress.
Best place to buy
I think the best place to buy this mattress is on Amazon. If you prefer to use another retailer, Classic Brands mattresses are stocked here. I went through every retailer on the list and could not find any that carried both the 1.0 and 2.0. Some of them had no returns, and some of them had rebranded the mattress as something else. Price differences were negligible between the sites.
I therefore recommend you buy from Amazon so you can get the full benefit of Amazon’s shipping and customer service, and attention from Classic Brands as they are aware of what a big market Amazon is for them.