Memory Foam vs Gel Memory Foam: What’s the Difference?

Mattress Support.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Memory foam mattresses are fantastic at conforming to the body for pressure relief and spine alignment. However, a common complaint about memory foam is that it retains heat, causing sleepers to get hot at night.

Memory gel was developed to provide the same feel as memory foam while sleeping cooler, making it more suitable for summer.

Enhanced cooling properties

The main difference between memory foam and gel memory foam is the integration of cooling gel beads. These gel beads are added to the memory foam layers to promote airflow and dissipate body heat.

Gels can be infused into the foam or added as capsules throughout the mattress to absorb and disperse body heat to prevent heat from building up in the mattress core. This cooling effect allows you to sleep more comfortably all night.

Faster response time

Another common complaint about memory foam is that it doesn’t respond quickly to changes in pressure, so when you change positions at night, the foam is slow to rebound, and you temporarily feel “stuck.” The slower response can also make moving around on the mattress difficult.

Gel memory foam offers a faster response time, so you don’t feel stuck in an imprint on the mattress. Gel beads give the foam more responsiveness and bounce-back – you’ll notice the difference when changing positions at night or getting in and out of bed.

Longer durability

The estimated lifespan of a quality memory foam mattress is around seven years until it needs replacing. But gel memory foam mattresses last 1-2 years longer, thanks to cooling gels’ added support and durability.

The gels reinforce the foam structure for better resistance to sagging and softening over time. Gel also protects the foam from deteriorating in areas of focused pressure.

With proper care and maintenance like turning, a gel memory foam mattress can maintain its original shape and support for up to a decade.

Targeted pressure relief

All memory foam provides cushioning to relieve pressure points for side sleepers and those with aches and pains. However, advanced gel memory foams take pressure relief even further with zoned and precision support.

Memory foam and Memory Gel Mattress Benefits.
Pictured: Exploded view of a woman led down on a memory mattress, showing the support relationship between the body and mattress.

Some gel memory gel mattresses have different firmness zones based on the typical pressure points for side, back, and stomach sleepers.

Firmer foam stabilises the midsection, while softer foam cushions the shoulders and hips, allowing for enhanced pressure relief in all sleeping positions. Other memory gels react to your specific body temperature and weight distribution.

Memory gel mattresses usually cost more.

While gel memory foam offers exceptional cooling and comfort, expect to pay a premium. On average, gel foam mattresses cost 10-20% more than comparable models without gel components. The integrated cooling gels do come at a higher price point.

Additionally, you’ll more commonly find gel in hybrid mattresses rather than cheaper all-foam or bonnel coil spring designs. Fusing foam and springs already demand higher-quality materials, driving increased costs.

Then, layering on patented cooling gels boosts the price for these premium hybrid beds to another level. But if temperature regulation is essential to your sleep, the investment in gel could pay dividends down the road.

Check out our range of next-day memory gel mattresses, with prices starting from only £278 for a double and £378 for a king.

Summing up

Memory gel offers the same gentle cradling comfort of standard memory foam but with the added cooling benefit of temperature regulation.

If you already love the close conformity of memory foam, opting for a gel mattress allows you to maintain that body-hugging comfort while sleeping cooler.

Cooling gels woven throughout dissipate heat so you don’t wake up sweaty and overheated like you might on standard memory foam.

Gel also reinforces the underlying structure over years of use to resist sagging and softening, so you enjoy stable comfort and support for the long haul…

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