Memory Foam vs. Gel Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory Foam vs. Gel Memory Foam Mattresses: Is There a Difference?
Thanks to their full-body support, memory foam mattresses are an incredibly popular mattress choice and, despite the generally accepted, very broad term “memory foam mattress”, there are more than one type of memory foam mattress.
This being said, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself debating between a memory foam mattress and a gel memory foam mattress. The question is, is there really a difference? Let’s find out.
Both memory foam and gel memory foam are great at molding to the shape of your body and “remembering” your sleeping positions. They are ideal for side sleepers and those who suffer from chronic pain, as their support does wonders to relieve pressure from the joints during the night.
Both types are also excellent for couples, as the relatively firm, low motion resolve of these mattresses prevent the mattress in question from jostling too much when one sleeper moves or gets out of bed.
Unfortunately, they also share one key drawback – the potential for letting off an unpleasant smell. This is due to the manufacturing process, during which manufacturers push chemicals into the material. The chemicals are important for making the mattress sensitive to body heat and pressure.
These chemicals begin to break apart and are released into the air upon being exposed to the open air, which is known as off-gassing. Typically, these odors disperse within 3-7 days and are not harmful. They can be easily mitigated by letting the mattress air out before use and letting fresh air into the room with the new mattress.
There are a few minor differences between the two types of mattresses. The most notable difference is the amount of heat the two mattresses retain. Traditional or ‘regular” memory foam retains a large amount of heat as a result of its density. Memory foam sleepers often report feeling too hot during the night, especially during the summer months.
Another difference is how they are made. While both use similar materials, gel memory foam also includes gel beads. These gel beads not only serve as a difference themselves, but also play into the heat retention factor, keeping gel memory foam on the cooler side of the spectrum. This is because the beads infused are cooling beads, designed to trap heat and wick it away from the sleeper.
Gel memory foam, with its layer of gel beads, is firmer. Therefore, the sleeper using the mattress doesn’t tend to sink into the mattress as far as they might on a regular memory foam mattress.
In addition, gel memory foam is more costly, since it requires more materials.
Basically, gel memory foam and traditional memory foam mattresses are like two colors of the same cloth. They share a fair number of similarities but have enough differences that are worthy of noting that they fall into their own category of mattress. The most notable differences are heat retention, price, texture, and the materials used during the manufacturing process.