If you’re shopping memory foam vs gel mattresses, you may be interested in the pressure relief benefits of foam, and trying to nail down exactly which foam mattress will help you sleep better. After all, buying a new mattress is your investment in better sleep and quality of life.

Memory Foam vs Gel Mattress > Reviewing the Basics

Memory Foam Versus Gel MattressFirst of all, both memory foam and gel mattresses are typically made from a polyurethane-based or visco-elastic foam. As an open-cell structure, the foam responds to the weight and heat of your body but then returns to its normal shape once you get up. Many sleepers choose a memory foam mattress because this “body conformance” relieves your pressure points as well as motion disturbance from a partner.

The softness or firmness of a memory foam mattress depends on the level of foam density used. Density levels in a memory foam mattress usually range from 2 to 6 lbs/ft3, with levels over 4 lbs/ft3 indicating a high-quality product. Denser mattresses will typically feel firmer and last longer but will also cost more. Also, thicker memory foam will usually offer more of a cradling effect than thinner memory foams.

Memory Foam vs Gel Mattress > Dissecting the Differences

While memory foam vs gel mattresses start off with the same basic construction, the gel or gel beads added to a gel mattress (also called gel-infused memory foam mattress) increase breathability of the mattress, while possibly enhancing its durability. When you sleep on a gel mattress, heat (from contact) dissipates instead of collecting in your mattress, which addresses the concern for some, that sleeping on memory foam is too hot.

Some manufacturers also suggest that the gel may make response time (time to return to normal shape once you get up) more rapid, also possibly lessening chances of body impressions forming over time. Because gel-infused mattresses are relatively new, it’s too early to collect significant data to support this yet, but you can read user reviews on sites such as goodbed.com for more feedback.

When shopping memory foam vs gel mattresses, you can typically get the advantages of memory foam from both:

  • Optimal pressure point relief
  • Minimized motion disturbance
  • Resistance to bacteria, mold and dust

Plus, gel-infused mattresses attempt to tackle the two main complaints of traditional memory foam mattresses—that they create too much heat and may develop body impressions over time. However, you might also look for a higher quality (and denser) foam to combat potential body impressions, for either mattress type.

As always, it goes back to your individual sleep needs. Prices for both will vary depending on the materials used, but gel mattresses do not necessarily have to cost more than traditional memory foam mattresses. Visit one of our locations to perform your own 15-minute rest test on our traditional memory foam mattresses as well as our Restonic CoolGel mattress. A Mattress Source salesperson will happily help you determine whether memory foam vs gel mattress is best for you.


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