Whether your soap gels depends not just on the temp of your oils and lye, but also which oils, how much water is in your recipe, and the size and type of your mold. More water means the soap gels at a lower temperature. But more water also can mean more ash, longer time to unmold, and more potential for glycerin rivers and warping.
You can certainly experiment with hotter oils and lye to see how that works with your recipe. I often soap around 120F when I'm doing an uncolored or single color batter with no designs. My recipe traces quickly at that temp, and usually gels unless I use cavity molds (because the batter cools off more quickly in cavities). Bigger batches in bigger molds generate more heat and gel more easily on their own.
When I soap cooler, or use cavity molds, I usually insulate to force gel. I've used various combinations of insulating bags, boxes, and towels, and all of them have worked for me. I wasn't fond of gelling via CPOP, but may try it again without covering the soap, per recommendation of @Obsidian
. I haven't tried the heating pads, but plan to try that, too, per recommendation of @Todd Ziegler