Memory Foam vs. Gel Memory Foam Mattresses: What's the Difference?

Memory Foam vs. Gel Memory Foam Mattresses: What's the Difference?

Written by Dreamcloud Editorial Team

Last Updated on Aug 08, 2022

In this article:

    The confusion between memory foam vs gel memory foam is quite common. The only difference is, gel beads are present in gel memory foam mattresses which makes them cooler than regular memory foam mattresses. 

    Both gel foam vs memory foam is made out of polyurethane further blended with chemicals to adapt to the body, relieve pressure, and respond to heat. While the memory foam mattresses have been gaining popularity since the 90s, the gel memory foam mattresses have started getting under the limelight post its manufacturing in 2006.

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    Differences Between Memory Foam and Gel Foam

    No matter how similar gel foam vs memory foam is, there are quite a few differences between the two. Before spending quite a chunk of money, focus on the list of differences stated below. 

    ParametersMemory FoamGel Memory Foam
    Heat RetentionCan trap body heat due to foam density and closed cell structure, Excess heat can disturb sleep Cooling gels improve heat dispersion, Gel absorbs quickly and wicks it away
    PriceRanges between $300 to $2000 approxRanges between $500 to $3000 approx
    BounceOpen-cell memory foam retains their shape slightly longer Rotate mattress every 6 to 12 months Bounces back faster to original shape Gel pods add a bouncy feel

    What Is a Memory Foam Mattress?

    The memory foam mattress is developed by treating polyurethane with chemicals. It utilizes the sleeper’s body heat and pressure, molding to their body, eventually offering a cradling effect. Also known as viscoelastic foams, the memory foam adapts to the sleeper’s body type, offering pressure relief. Memory foam has gained popularity because of its temperature, pressure sensitivity, and overall cushioning effect.  

    Pros and Cons of Memory Foam Mattresses

    Below are stated some of the pros and cons of memory foam mattresses:

    Pros

    1. Pressure-relieving
    2. Cushioning effect
    3. Temperature-sensitivity
    4. Hypoallergenic
    5. Little maintenance required

    Cons

    1. Quite heavy
    2. Hotter than normal mattress
    3. Slight smelly

    What Is a Gel Foam Mattress?

    Gel memory foam is developed with similar materials like traditional memory foam with one major different ingredient - gel. There are countless mini liquid gel beads amalgamated into the foam that helps make the surface cooler and more adaptable. This is a quite new introduction to the world of mattresses and is a great solution for people complaining of mattress overheating. The properties of gel memory foam are more or less the same.

    Pros and Cons of Gel Memory Foam

    There are certain advantages and disadvantages of gel memory foam that need to be considered before buying:

    Pros

    1. Cooler sleep
    2. Helps contour the body
    3. It is quite firm 

    Cons

    1. There is a question about its durability
    2. Can be expensive
    3. Might give out a chemical smell

    Similarities Between Memory Foam and Gel Foam

    No wonder there are numerous similarities between memory foam and gel memory foam since they are produced of polyurethane and by similar manufacturers. Some of the common and primary similarities are listed below.

    ParametersSimilarities between memory foam and gel memory foam
    Neck and head backingPolyurethane foam adapts to the body shape, Conforms to diverse sleeping positions, Engineered to provide the best neck and head support
    Stable Bed MovementFoam mattress lends solidity, Suitable for those who share a bed with a partner or pet, Suitable for restless sleepers
    Diverse FirmnessVaried firmness level (1-10) from softest (1) to ultra-supportive (10), Medium-firm (6-7) to firm (-8-9) for back sleepers , Soft (5 to 6) to medium-firm (6 to 7) for side sleeper
    Pain SolutionDesigned to offer moldable back and neck support Reduces achy joints and muscles
    HypoallergenicNeither mattresses traps dust, bacteria, or mold, Suitable for those suffering from allergy

    Alternative Mattress Types

    Apart from gel foam vs memory foam, there are certain mattress alternatives that customers can choose from. Let us throw some light on the same.

    1. Innerspring Mattresses: Quite traditional ones, innerspring mattresses are composed of lush top layers, coils, and a foam base. This is an affordable option for people desiring a luxurious, plush, and comfy mattress at a pocket-friendly price rather than gel foam vs memory foam.

    2. Latex Mattresses: Though a bit expensive, a latex mattress is a wonderful eco-friendly option. This mattress is a preferred alternative to the traditional memory foam mattress because of its organically cooling properties. 

    3. Hybrid Mattresses: This mattress is designed by blending the supportive and adaptable memory foam with robust coils or latex for ultra comfort. 

    Maximum foam mattress manufacturers produce mattresses by combining all these elements to give customers the most relaxing sleep. Just, for instance, certain hybrid mattresses incorporate gel pods and memory foam along with individually wrapped innerspring coils.

    Other Cooling Variations to Memory Foam Mattresses

    The memory foam mattress manufacturers know abundant measures to provide a multitude of cooling experiences guaranteeing a relaxing and breezy night. Factors like the architecture, additives, plant-based replacements, and exterior material, all contribute to the coolness. Let us check some details of the same.

    The Architecture of the Mattress 

    Certain mattresses are developed with convoluted air channels elevating the airflow and advancing the breathability feature. These channels either run vertically or design a zoned arrangement offering improved ventilation in distinct areas where airflow is mandatory. 

    Additives to Mattress 

    There are additives like graphite or copper that are helpful heat conductors. These escalate the mattress’ coolness by dispersing the warmth away, and giving you a cool headed and restful sleep throughout the night. 

    Plant-Based Replacements 

    Replacing petroleum with specific plant-based oils emits a breathable and more responsive memory foam for sleepers to experience a cooling sleep. Plant-based oils are more popular as cooling elements than synthetic petrochemicals. 

    Surface Material 

    Certain premium-quality mattresses might have unique cover materials like FDA-determined Celliant. This evolves the body heat into energy, alleviating cool sleep throughout the night. 

    When it comes to memory foam vs gel memory foam, certain main factors that might affect the purchase decision are heat retention, price, and bounce. A gel memory foam would be recommended for someone residing in a warm environment.

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
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Otherwise, both the mattresses are made of similar materials.\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"a3b57fc","title":"Do gel memory foam mattresses last?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EYes, both gel and traditional memory foam last between 7 to 8 years. \u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"d227769","title":"Are gel foam mattresses any good?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EYes, gel memory foam mattresses offer a cooling effect because of the presence of gel beads in them.\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"0cf5baf","title":"Do gel mattresses make you hot?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ENo, gel mattresses are made to provide a cooling sensation to sleepers. \u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"96d2889","title":"Are gel mattresses cold in winter?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EThese mattresses are temperature 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