Buying a new mattress is an exciting and joyful experience.
There is some sort of relief in knowing that you’re about to ditch the old mattress that seemed to be the source of all your problems.
However, there is always the concern that you are not going to choose the best mattress for you and that you might miss out on something better.
Therefore, in this article, we will be discussing everything you need to know about gel memory foam mattresses.
Here are all your questions answered as well as our recommendation of 10 best gel memory foam mattresses to minimize the confusion and help you make the best choice.
What Is Gel Memory Foam?
Gel memory foam or gel-infused memory foam is memory foam that’s infused with gel microbeads.
The addition of gel microbeads to standard memory foam creates a more breathable foam and it helps to regulate the temperature of your body while you sleep.
Additionally, adding gel microbeads to memory foam also increases the density of the memory foam and this helps create a surface that’s soft, yet firm.
Gel-infused memory foam, much like traditional memory foam, still has the ability to mold to your body, but the benefit of the gel microbeads is that you won’t experience that warm and sinking feeling many dislike in standard memory foam.
The gel beads will wick away heat, keeping you cool throughout the hot, summer nights, but also won’t make you cold during winter nights.
10 Best Gel Memory Foam Mattresses
Here is our selection of 10 best gel-infused memory foam mattresses:
Which Is Better: Memory Foam or Gel Memory Foam?
Traditional memory foam and gel-infused memory foam are very much alike with the exception of a few minor differences.
Similarities Between Memory Foam and Gel Memory Foam
Memory foam and gel memory foam are similar materials, therefore they have a lot in common.
Both memory foam and gel memory foam are excellent at preventing motion transfer as the foams absorb motion at the point of impact.
Also, both memory foam and gel memory foam mold to your body for pressure relief, which makes them excellent for side sleepers and chronic pain sufferers.
Memory foam and gel foam mattresses also share one drawback. Many foam beds, particularly those with lower-quality foams, give off a chemical smell when opened.
The odor is the result of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) breaking apart at room temperature, in a process called off-gassing. The scent typically dissipates within several hours.
Differences Between Memory Foam and Gel Memory Foam
The main difference between memory foam and gel-infused memory foam is heat retention.
Traditional memory foam can trap body heat as a side effect of the foam’s density. If too much heat accumulates in the mattress, it can disturb your sleep and cause you to wake in a sweat.
While this can be a good thing during the cold, winter months, it can definitely be a huge annoyance during the hot summer months.
Or if you live somewhere in warmer climates where the weather is warm more often than not throughout the entire year, standard memory foam might not be the best choice for you.
Adding cooling gels to the foam mixture improves the mattress’s heat dispersion. The gels absorb heat and wick it away—and the more evenly the gels are distributed throughout the bed, the better they are at carrying away body heat.
This also plays a big role in determining the price tag between the two mattresses.
As gel memory foam requires more materials, it comes with a higher price tag than regular memory foam.
Infusing gels is not the only way to create a more cooling mattress. Many manufacturers incorporate other materials such as copper or graphite or they substitute select petrochemicals with plant-based oils.
While shopping for a new memory foam mattress, carefully look at how the layers of the mattress are constructed.
If sleeping cool and comfortable is important to you, choose a memory foam mattress with a gel-infused top layer so you’ll be able to feel the temperature difference on the surface of the mattress.
If you’re shopping on a budget, pay close attention to the density of each mattress layer. A high-density mattress means that you’re getting a high-quality mattress that will last you for many years to come.
Is Gel Memory Foam Good For Back Pain?
Yes! Gel-infused memory foam and regular memory foam mattresses are both ideal products for chronic back pain sufferers as they can ease back pain by relieving pressure points while you sleep.
Memory foam mattresses conform to your body shape and keep your back and neck aligned while you sleep, taking care of the back, hip, shoulder, and neck pain.
Sleep is very important for us and it is scientifically proven that the lack of quality sleep can have a huge negative impact on our productivity, memory, and overall well-being.
Lack of quality sleep can make you more nervous during the day, so much so that it can start impacting your ability to remember things.
It can also have a huge negative impact on your focus and performance at work, while this can, in turn, rack up your stress levels.
Therefore, investing in a high-quality memory foam mattress is always a good idea, especially if you are a chronic back pain sufferer.
Is Gel Memory Foam Toxic?
Although concerns about household chemicals and toxic ingredients are definitely valid, when it comes to today’s mattresses, these concerns are largely unsubstantiated.
There is currently no research available that suggests gel-infused memory foam or regular memory foam, for that matter, is unsafe or toxic.
Additionally, authorities like the EPA and ACC concur that finished polyurethane foam (the main material used to create a memory foam mattress) is non-toxic and body-safe.
Besides that, memory foam mattresses can be pricey investments, so no reputable seller would want to risk getting sued and losing their business over selling toxic mattresses.
Can Dust Mites Live In Memory Foam?
Dust mites can definitely live on the surface of the mattress, but memory foam is generally considered more resistant to dust mites than some other mattress materials.
Dust mites cannot burrow in as easily as they can with fluffy materials such as fiberfill as memory foam mattresses are typically a solid block of layered foam.
The amount of density provides little room inside for mites to thrive so they tend to stay on the surface instead.
What To Look For In A Gel Memory Foam Mattress?
There are so many available gel-infused foam mattresses on the market and while sellers can do a very good job in pointing out the benefits of buying one for yourself, there are still several things you need to consider before investing in a mattress.
If you don’t know what exactly are you looking for, here are some things to consider:
✔️ Size availability
This is the first thing you want to consider when buying a mattress. You wanna make sure that the mattress fits perfectly into your bed frame and it isn’t too big or too small.
✔️ Comfort layers and special features
Make sure to ask the seller for a detailed explanation on what are the layers that make up the mattress that caught your eye.
Some mattresses only have a few inches of memory foam and a thin layer of gel while others combine memory foam and latex or innerspring.
Having enough information on the pros and cons of the materials, layers, and other special features can help you make the best decision.
✔️ Durability and longevity
This is a very important thing you need to know when buying a mattress because some memory foam mattresses sag or lose shape over time.
Obviously, you want to know how long do you have with the mattress before it’s time to change it. It is recommended to change your mattress every 7-10 years, however, let’s say you have children and they like to jump on the bed.
This will certainly shorten the lifespan of the mattress, therefore, knowing these small details can help you make a more informed decision.
✔️ Sleep trial and warranty
Always look for an included sleep trial and warranty when you’re shopping for a mattress.
Sleep trials give you a chance to try out a mattress and make a decision whether this is the one you want while warranties ensure a company will replace a mattress in the event of defects such as sagging, cracked foam, damage to the cover, and burst coils.
We try our best to research and curate the best tips for you that will help you when picking your next memory-foam product. Our highly-rated product reviews and informative guides are crafted from our own personal experiences, user-generated content and scientific research (from various sleep-scientists online).