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Last Updated: August 2017
Memory foam is a heat sensitive material that has been used successfully by millions of people around the world to treat and reduce discomfort caused by some ailments. It was first developed in 1966 and after hitting the markets in 1980 has evolved over several generations to what can still be considered an innovative product. Today, the best memory foam mattresses are those which are infused with gel.
Why Gel Memory Foam?
Anyone who has had the fortune of using a memory foam mattress will know that although comfortable and supportive, the older style of mattress retained heat. This was a problem in particularly hot climates, or for people who naturally slept a little warmer than others. By using open cell structure and infusing the material with gel, manufacturers have made the material more breathable in addition to being cooler. The cooling effect is caused by the gel changing from a solid to a liquid state (the same principal behind migraine gel pads).
What are the Benefits of a Gel Memory Foam Mattress?
There is a reason why memory foam is commonly used in hospital and therapeutic settings. Not only does memory foam offer a level of comfort that often isn’t seen in other products, but it’s also the support and ability to distribute weight evenly (avoiding stress on pressure points) that the material provides that makes it unique. Memory foam is heat sensitive which means that as soon as you lie down, it molds to the shape of your body. As a result, people have reported relief from a whole host of ailments – ranging from chronic back and neck pain to migraines, sleep apnea and more.
What you Need to Know:
- Offers pain relief from chronic back and neck pain as well as other issues.
- Gel infused mattresses made them cooler than other memory foam mattresses.
- Pressure point relief and improved motion isolation.
- Huge range of options – such as density, firmness, and thickness.
- Easy to keep clean and are hypoallergenic.
- Doesn’t impede circulation while sleeping.
- Weighs more than other mattress types.
- Strong chemical odor when purchased new (disappears after a few days).
- Can be more expensive than some other mattresses.
Gel Memory Foam Mattress Reviews
Whether you’re ordering in person or online, it can be a huge inconvenience to make the wrong choice and have to arrange an exchange or refund. Our role is to provide in-depth, honest reviews of the best gel memory foam mattress products, so you can then make a well-informed decision when the time comes to make a purchase. We also do our best to educate our readers on what considerations to make and what type of mattress will best suit their needs.
Top 5 Gel Memory Foam Mattresses
With all the above factors in mind, we have carefully researched and consider the 5 best gel memory foam mattresses below. All five have been used by thousands of people and have an average consumer rating of at least 8.8 out of 10.
Here are Our Recommendations:
How to Choose the Best Gel Memory Foam Mattress?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the ideal memory foam mattress for you:
Memory foam mattresses all have a rating based on how firm they are which is called indentation force deflection (IFD). This is a number that ranges between 8 and 16 with the highest being the firmest. A rating of around 12 is usually a safe bet, although here is a guide to help you make a choice which is based on your most common sleeping position:
- Multiple positions – medium (10 to 14 IFD)
- Back – medium to firm (12 to 16 IFD)
- Side – soft to medium (8 to 12 IFD)
- Front – soft to medium (8 to 12 IFD)
Similar to firmness, the mattresses density can be chosen depending on if you’d prefer your gel mattress to lean toward comfortable, or more toward supportive. Density is measured in pounds and typically varies between 1 to 5 pounds per cubic foot. Choosing a mattress closer to 1 will be more comfortable while 5 will be less comfortable but more supportive.
Most memory foam mattresses have multiple layers of foam, with the top layer being purely memory foam. While more memory foam will result in a higher price, most experts only recommend a memory foam layer of no more than 4 to 5 inches. Too much memory foam will allow you to sink into your mattress and negate some of the health benefits that they are known for. Additionally, a memory foam layer that’s too thick will make it harder to change position while you sleep.
When choosing the ideal gel memory foam mattress for your needs, it’s vital that you select one with a warranty. Most reputable manufacturers have warranties that extend upwards of 20 years which means that they stand up for their product. It’s also worth checking for complaints with the Better Business Bureau to make sure that any warranty claims are honored. Always check gel memory foam mattress reviews for additional information.
Gel Memory Foam Mattress FAQ’s
Do I have to air out my mattress?
When you purchase your mattress and unwrap it for the first time, it will contain a chemical odor which lasts for a few days. While this isn’t something to worry about, you can air it outside for a while to speed up the process. Also, if your mattress is damp due to sweat or after cleaning, it’s good to air it out as you would any other mattress.
Is it easy to clean a gel memory foam mattress?
Yes. The best way to clean one of these mattresses is to use a cloth and an antibacterial detergent spray. Once sprayed and wiped down, rinse the cloth in hot water and wipe down again before allowing to air dry.
I have sciatica. Will a memory foam mattress help?
While there is no guarantee, memory foam has been known to provide some relief for people with nerve pain, in addition to other types of pain. This is due to the support that memory foam offers, and its ability to spread weight over an even surface, thereby improving circulation and avoiding unnecessary tension.
Is a gel memory foam mattress durable?
These mattresses are known to be the most durable out there. However, it’s important to double check that the mattress you choose comes with a lengthy warranty and that the manufacturer stands by their product. This is why reviews are also important to check what other peoples experiences have been with the product and the company.