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The Bottom Line
Comparing gel memory foam vs memory foam with standard foam is not an easy job due to a large number of similarities. Actually, they are the same product in the end, but with a slight improvement in one of them that sets them slightly apart.
While the standard memory foam helps to get excellent support with the elastic “viscoelastic” build and shapes up perfectly to the user’s body, the gel foam does the same but with an additional cooling effect.
This effect comes directly from the gel beads added to the layers of foam. These beads not only help to cool down the temperature slightly but also to gain form fast and prevent sagginess with time.
We could then say that gel memory foam is a little better than standard memory foam. But not as much as you think, so it won’t really change your overall experience.
Memory Foam vs Gel
Let’s look at the most common similarity and different on Memory Foam vs. Gel mattress.
|Type of Foam||Memory Foam||Gel Foam|
|Temperatures||10º to 30º C||5º to 30º C|
|Durability/Effects||5 to 10 Years – Tends to Sag and Lose Firmness with Time||5 to 10 Years – Tends to Lose Firmness with Time|
|Support||Excellent Support||Excellent Support|
|Perfect For||Back and Side Sleepers||Back and Side Sleepers|
Our top 2 recommended product.
Gel Foam vs. Memory Foam Mattress – Construction & Materials
Memory foam is a type of plastic called polyurethane mixed with other chemicals than change its density and overall texture – creating what experts call “viscoelastic.”
Gel foam uses the same “viscoelastic” plastic, but with additional gel beads inside the foam, making it a little more supportive and more durable. Yet, that’s not the main difference between memory foam vs gel construction.
You should know that memory foams softens and takes the shape of the user’s body with heat temperature and weight. It offers excellent support and helps to reduce common problems. But with time, this memory foam tends to lose shape and become saggy.
With gel foam, in contrast, you get the same advantage of support and shaping in the foam, but with more durability thanks to the gel beads.
These beads change from stable to liquid with body temperature, softening the mattress, and become solid once again after the user gets off to stop the loss of shape or sagginess in the mattress.
However, the improvement on durability is not that much. The actual property that changes the most is the coolness and overall feeling.
The gel beads tend to feel cooler and softer than regular memory foam, so you get superb comfort in the long term.
Memory Foam vs Gel Memory Foam – Performance
Regarding performance, gel foam vs. memory foam will give almost the same results. Both offer exceptional advantages for people who want to receive the right weight release on pressure points, as well as excellent movement reduction.
Also, both provide the perfect balance between firmness and softness so you can sleep all night comfortably long.
However, both of these are awful when it comes to weight support. This means that if you are a heavy person (+200 pounds) so may not get the most reliable support with any of them.
But of course, that’s something that does not really matter that much.
A real change or difference between the two when it comes to performance is the coolness or temperature levels.
While the standard memory foam keeps bodies hot and preserves warm more reliably, gel foam manages to increase coolness and provides better air circulation and freshness delivery.
Those who prefer fresh mattresses will undoubtedly love a gel foam.
What Does Each Mattress Weigh?
It is common to find items with additional ingredients to be heavier than those with standard builds. That’s precisely what happens when you compare the memory foam vs gel memory foam weights.
While most gel mattresses weigh between 60 and 100 pounds, most standard memory foams weigh between 60 and 90 pounds as a maximum.
This is not a concrete rule, yet you will undoubtedly find standard memory foam mattresses way lighter than gel foam ones.
Even though gel foam does not contain any other additional material apart from gel beads, these increase the weight of the mattress exponentially. So, they are a little heavier in the end.
Will The Mattresses Stand the Test of Time?
Both memory foam mattresses and gel foam models are incredibly durable and reliable over time.
You won’t get much to complain about them, and they will last at least 5 years before showing any sign of wear, tear, or sagging that tends to happen to most foam mattresses.
But depending on which one you pick, the experience over the years will change considerably. For example, memory foam tends to lose its shape and firmness after a few years of use. It will sink a little than when new, and will probably sag up to the sides.
In contrast, gel foam won’t sag, lose shape, or firmness as fast as memory foam, but the gel beads may eventually wear out the mattress quickly.
So, really, both may last the same. But commonly, gel memory foam is slightly more durable, and may eventually provide a better experience over the years.
What Sleeping Position is Each Mattress Suitable For?
Gel vs memory foam sleeping positions is the same. You won’t get much of a difference between these two when it comes to the right sleeping post, mainly because they are basically the same material with a slight additive.
With both of them, you will get exceptional comfort in sleeping positions where the user tends to face up or to the side.
For side sleepers, for example, the sinking effect of these foams tends to help with comfort, and the softness prevents their limbs from hurting with body pressure.
Similarly, back sleepers will also enjoy these benefits, increasing overall coziness as their body will sink rightly into the mattress.
The only problem with both types of foams is that stomach sleepers may face trouble when trying to breathe. Especially in young children and babies, gel and memory foam mattresses may not be the right choice.
The sinking effect may eventually make it harder for stomach sleepers to breathe, and probably even make it uncomfortable.
Which Mattress is the Firmest?
While it is safe to say that this depends on many factors, most gel foam mattresses are often firmer than standard memory foam ones.
This happens because the gel beads tend to get solid and thus make the mattress firm when it is cool, especially in the first minutes of use.
Which Has the Highest Customer Ratings?
Standard memory foam is undoubtedly the most popular among both of these types of mattresses. Gel foam is not as popular, yet the real reason it is behind in popularity is the lack of evidence about its benefits.
Luckily, gel foam mattresses are becoming more and more popular with time, and typically create much better comments than standard memory foam mattresses.
Our Top 2 Recommended Products
It wouldn’t be fair to tell you the differences between gel and memory foam mattresses without giving you a few options to consider. Here you have one of each type to take a look before making your choice:
Classic Brands New 2018 Cool Gel Ultimate Gel Memory Foam
One of the most exciting things of gel foam mattresses is the ability to look really good with their firm construction.
This one from Classic Brands offers a magnificent design with excellent build, that not only fits any bedroom without issues, it also promotes one of the most comfortable and reliable experiences.
The feel of the CoolGel Ultimate mattress helps to feel outstandingly comfortable at all times, without losing any support or durability.
And what’s better, it is one of the freshest and most breathable options out there so you can enjoy a cooler experience than with any other.
- Superb Looks & Design
With a Queen size at 60-inches of width and 80-inches of length, this 14-inches profile mattress provides a beautiful style for demanding users.
It is tailored to give a knit fabric cover that looks and feels terrific while boasting a waterfall edge and a plain set of side panels for unmatched design.
- Exceptional Construction for Support
Not only this mattress offers outstanding support, but it also helps to get the best contouring, bounce, rebound, and stability over time.
Composed of 3.5-inches of a gel memory foam layer, with a smaller 2-inches marble gel support layer, and a final 8.5-inches high-density base foam, you get the coolest yet supportive and comfortable mattress in the market.
- Sleek and modern design entices even the most demanding of users
- The outstanding build uses gel foam flawlessly to provide excellent support and comfort
- Excellent foam build keeps mold, bacteria, and dust away
- Heavy build at 94 pounds may be uncomfortable to unpack and place
Tuft & Needle Queen Mattress (Top Pick)
A Queen mattress is always an excellent choice for couples, but it will be even better if it uses memory foam. Capable of improving overall comfort and supporting most users without a problem – this mattress provides everything from a low cost to a durable build.
Being only 10 inches thick, this mattress still manages to be one of the most comfortable in the market. The build is not too soft or firm, yet it does not get too hot or too cold either. You will obtain precisely what you need and more, with superb pressure prevention and exceptional bounce.
- Excellent Layering & Build
The mattress is composed of an ultra-soft poly-blend plush cover in the top that offers a soft & resistant experience.
A T&N adaptive foam layer with graphite and gel infusions for superb comfort & right temperatures, and a final thick layer of adaptive memory foam to add exceptional support. You’ll be able to sink, contour, and still sleep safely in different positions.
- Unbeatable Looks
You won’t believe it at first sight, but this mattress is merely beautiful. Boasting a white contoured design with one of the softest covers, you will receive a premium-like classic touch of amazingness in your bedroom.
There’s just no other mattress that looks as stylish as this one, you won’t even need a sheet to cover it, as it works perfectly without one.
- Top cover layer promotes a reliable and highly comfortable experience
- Excellent T&N Adaptive Foam increases overall comfort & support
- Exceptional mattress design won’t need sheets to offer a great experience
- It is too soft for most users who expect a decent grade of firmness
Gel Memory Foam vs. Memory Foam – Who Wins?
Although picking the right mattress is much more complicated than just choosing the foam type, we could easily say that between gel memory foam vs memory foam – the standard version wins.
Why does the standard memory foam have the best rank for us? Simply because standard memory foam is soft and affordable, as well as scientifically supported. And it does not have additives that wear out with time.
Instead, gel memory foam, while being cooler and a little firmer than the standard type, it has no scientific basis or approved studies to confirm that.
But in the long term, it is likely that people will pick the Classic Brands CoolGel Ultimate over the Tuft & Needle Memory Foam Mattress. It’s just a matter of time before people can surely say whether gel foam is truly better or not.