Memory Foam vs. Gel Foam: Which Mattress Is Right For You?

Foam mattresses are incredibly popular because they provide total body support, cancel out motion, and last for years. If you are considering a foam mattress, you will have the option between memory foam and gel foam. Both are great options, but how do you know which mattress is right for you? Getting the deepest, most restful sleep depends on finding the right option for your sleep needs and style.

What’s the Difference Between Memory Foam and Gel Foam?

The difference between memory foam and gel foam comes down to the materials. Memory foam is made from a material called viscoelastic. According to Wikipedia, “Viscoelastic has both viscous and elastic characteristics when undergoing deformation. Viscous materials, like honey, resist shear flow and strain linearly with time when a stress is applied.” The material proved to be so comfortable and sturdy that it made its way into mattresses. A gel foam mattress is also made from viscoelastic, but it has been infused with gel. Gel foam was introduced in mattresses to offer cooler sleep and assist with pressure relief.

Dream Weaver 10" Memory Foam King Mattress Plus Foundation

What are the Advantages of a Memory Foam Mattress?

The greatest advantage about memory foam mattress is that it cradles the body and keeps weight off of pressure points, helping you wake up without feeling stiff or sore. If your partner is tossing and turning, their motion does not affect your sleep because it's a single piece of sturdy material unlike a spring mattress. The spongy feel of a memory foam mattress is also a great balance between being soft and firm.

What are the Disadvantages of a Memory Foam Mattress?

If you're on the heavier side, memory foam may not be the perfect option. You’re going to want to aim for a density of at least 5 lbs per cubic foot for comfort and durability. Secondly, be sure to check for certifications of the foam. Testing organizations not only test the density but the gasses released by the mattress for any potential harm. Poor quality memory foam mattresses may have chemicals in it that tend to have an unpleasant smell.


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MyGel 10” Gel Memory Foam Twin Mattress & Foundation (37”W x 74”D x 10”H) - Also Available In FULL, QUEEN & KING

What are the Advantages of a Gel Foam Mattress?

Memory foam mattresses use body heat to conform to your body so it may affect your comfort level. One of the criticisms of memory foam mattress is that they offer no place for body heat to escape and therefore, sleep hot. The gel in gel foam mattresses corrects this by enhancing air circulation. Heat is allowed to escape, and the sleeper stays cool at night. Otherwise, gel foam and memory foam mattresses offer similar advantages.

What are the Disadvantages of a Gel Foam Mattress?

Depending on the size of the gel beads mixed in with the memory foam, the cellular structure of the mattress can break down over time, leading to the degradation of your mattress. Also, when it comes to gel foam vs memory foam, gel foam mattresses tend to be a bit higher in price.




Both gel foam and memory foam mattresses are comfortable and great choices. It really boils down to this:

Memory Foam

Heat-retention and lower price

Gel Foam

Higher cost but cooler sleep


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