Gel Memory Foam vs Memory Foam


January 9, 2024

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Pondering over gel foam vs memory foam and what sets them apart?

Well, you've landed in the right spot to get the lowdown! Plus, we'll cover how to pick the best foam mattress for you, the perks of each type, and tips on choosing a gel vs foam mattress.

Memory foam mattresses are famous for their pressure relief and body-contouring properties. Now, gel memory foam steps it up a notch. It's pretty much the same deal as regular memory foam but with an added twist – gel beads. These little guys work magic by pulling heat away from your body, making the mattress cooler. So, if you're someone who tends to sleep hot, shelling out a bit more for a gel memory foam mattress might be a smart move. On the flip side, if heat isn't an issue for you, then a standard memory foam mattress should do just fine.

The difference between memory foam and gel memory foam boils down to temperature regulation. Both types have their unique advantages, so it's all about what suits your sleep style best.

Let’s explore.

Memory foam mattress

Memory foam mattresses have been in trend since the mid-60s. Initially, it was developed by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Agency) for their astronauts. The astronauts travelling to space are under intense pressure because of high speed. So the memory foam enables some pressure relief.

Memory foam is also referred to as Viscoelastic foam and contains a type of polymer called Polyurethane.

Now it has become popular among the masses. This foam can comply with the body better than a regular mattress. Some of the benefits of memory foam mattress are as follow:

  • It helps distribute weight and relieve pressure.
  • As a result, you wake up without sore muscles or stiffness.
  • It helps in aligning your spine.
  • The material is durable.

Additionally, it would be helpful to examine some of the disadvantages of memory foam mattresses. Among them:

  • When opening the mattress packaging, off-gassing can occur, which is safe.
  • If it’s soft memory foam, some people don’t like the sinking feeling.
  • It retains heat.

Find our picks for the best memory foam mattresses in Australia

What is gel memory foam mattress?

Gel memory foam mattresses are similar to regular memory foam mattresses. However, the viscoelastic material is mixed with gel. The gel-based foam mattress produces a cooling effect and adds extra durability to the mattress. 

Here are some of the benefits of gel foam mattresses:

  • Particularly during a warm night, it provides cooling
  • Healthy support for your body prevents aches and pains

If you're interested in getting an excellent gel memory foam mattress, you can check out this product

The following are some of the drawbacks:

  • It is more expensive than a regular memory foam mattress
  • It doesn't always stay cool. Over time, the bed can become hot


What is the difference between a gel mattress and a memory foam mattress? The main difference would be in heat retention. Memory foam tends to trap the body’s heat, making the warm bed leading to the disturbance in sleep. However, the gel-based foam mattresses help to distribute heat that gives a cooling effect. 

Secondly, gel-infused foam is more expensive because of gel beads or gel capsules compared to memory foam. Instead of gel, many manufacturers work with other materials like graphite, charcoal, and copper to create a cooling mattress.

Similar aspects

Gel foam and memory foam mattresses mostly share the same materials. Both types of foam mattresses hug the body so well that it gives pressure relief. If you're a side sleeper or have chronic pain, you can use any foam mattresses.

Another similar aspect between these mattresses is the prevention of motion transfer. The foam enables it to absorb the motion at the time of impact. 

Both have a common drawback. You'll see that most foam mattresses give off a distinct chemical smell when it's newly opened. It's because of the VOCs ( Volatile Organic Compounds) that break apart at room temperature.

The process is referred to as off-gassing. Typically, the odour goes away within three to seven days.

What is graphite memory foam? Its sometimes used in mattresses we cover it in our Emma diamond hybrid review, it is a natural cooling material that can be used instead of the cheaper gel beads.

Which type is best for you?

As you've seen, both types of materials mostly share similar aspects. They only have slight differences. So, what you can do is pick the right mattress that suits your preferences. Every individual has different needs and types. Hence, it would be best to choose the one that offers comfort and satisfaction according to your choice.

Suppose, if you're on a budget, then you can opt for a regular memory foam mattress. But if the price isn’t the problem, then you can choose a gel-based foam mattress. 

Also, if you live in a hot climate, gel memory foam would be a perfect option for you. It also applies to hot sleepers as it will help them normalise the heat from the body.