Bed-in-a-Box Hacks: How to Choose the Ideal Cool Gel Memory Foam Mattress
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine notes that adults should get at least seven hours of sleep nightly. Without it, you could experience health issues including weight gain, an impaired immune system and a greater risk for conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. The foundations of good sleep begin with the right mattress. Find out more about cool gel foam mattresses below and get some tips for choosing the ideal option for your needs.
Cool Gel Technology vs Standard Memory Foam
Before you can work on choosing the right gel foam mattress, you have to decide that a cool gel mattress is the right type for you. Other options can include standard memory foam and traditional innerspring mattresses.
Memory foam and gel foam might appear to be the same to some people. They are both designed to respond to pressure and body heat, molding themselves around the person to reduce pressure points for a more comfortable experience. But gel foam mattresses have an added element — namely the gel.
The gel is infused throughout parts of the mattress to provide a cooling touch. It causes the heat your body generates to be wicked away from you. The concept is similar to wicking material you might wear when jogging. When you sweat into the clothing, the fabric is designed to wick the moisture away, moving it away from your body where it can dissipate into the area around you.
The cooling gel in a mattress does the same thing with body heat. It pulls it away from your skin and where you lay on the surface of the mattress. The heat is dispersed so that you're less likely to overheat in the night or experience issues such as sweating or waking up because you're too warm.
The AASM notes that the ideal sleep temperature is around 68 degrees F for most people. While everyone has their own preferences, most people sleep better in a cooler room and when they themselves are not too hot. Gel foam has a distinct advantage over memory foam when it comes to this factor.
Cool Gel vs Innerspring Mattresses
Innerspring mattresses have springs that provide the support you need while sleeping. That also means they typically have some pressure points and may not support your body in a completely custom way. Gel foam mattresses do offer custom comfort — the mattress conforms to your body and sleeping position and not the other way around. Gel foam can support better spine alignment, reduce the transfer of motion to someone else sleeping near you and keep you cooler than innerspring mattresses can.
Why Is It Called a Bed in a Box?
Typically, when you purchase a traditional innerspring mattress, you also buy a box spring or foundation for the mattress to rest on. Both items are large and flat, and you may have to buy them locally and pay for delivery. A bed in a box is different.
Gel foam and other types of memory foam mattresses are flexible because they don't contain rigid structural elements and springs. That means they can be folded or rolled, especially by machines.
These mattresses often ship rolled tightly in a box. When you receive them, you cut the packaging away and allow the mattress to spring forth. After a few hours, it expands to full size — often as thick or thicker than a traditional mattress. This is why some people call them a bed in a box. It also provides a benefit that you can buy the mattress best suited for you, even if you have to order it online, because it's shippable.
7 Steps for Choosing the Perfect Cool Gel Memory Foam Mattress for Your Needs
If you like the idea of staying cool and comfortable, having your mattress conform to your body and sleep position and getting the optimal mattress easily shipped to you, then gel foam may be the right type of mattress for you. Follow these seven steps to buy the correct product.
1. Determine the size you need
No matter what type of mattress you decide to buy, the next factor will be size. GelFoamBed offers mattresses in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king and California king sizes. Not sure which type of bed you have? Get a tape measure and find the length (from headboard to footboard) and the width of the bed's frame. Then check the list below to find the size that fits.
- Twin: 39" X 75"
- Twin XL: 39" X 80" (just a twin bed with a bit more length for leg room)
- Full: 54" X 75"
- Queen: 60" X 80"
- King: 76" X 80"
- California King: 72" X 84"
The above measurements should work for any standard size beds. However, if you're looking for an RV mattress, the sizes are slightly different. Use the guide below to find the right fit.
- RV Twin: 34" X 74"
- RV Three Quarter: 48" X 75"
- RV Short Queen: 60" X 75"
- RV Full: 54" X 80"
- RV King: 72" X 80"
2. Consider your most preferred sleeping position
According to the Cleveland Clinic, back sleepers are doing it right. The medical experts at the clinic say back sleeping is optimal as it distributes weight well across your entire body and aligns your organs. The Cleveland Clinic is down on stomach sleeping, noting that it can put your neck in an unnatural position.
In reality, though, everyone has their own preference for sleep positions. And only you know what position lets you drop into dreamland easily and ensures you wake with minimal muscle soreness and feeling refreshed.
People who tend to sleep on their backs may prefer mattresses that provide more firm support, though. That's because firmer mattresses hold a person's body in appropriate positions for back sleeping. Those who sleep on their sides or stomachs may prefer softer mattresses, in part because they may want to reduce pressure points on areas such as the hips or make it more tenable to sleep on top of body parts such as arms.
Due to the flexible nature of gel memory foam, the Miranda and Venus lines of mattresses can accommodate all sleeping positions, which means you don't have to fret this factor if you opt for one of these mattress types.
3. Understand your sleeping preference
Position preferences aside, some people simply like the feel of a certain type of mattress. Some people want the cozy, cuddly option that a soft mattress provides. Couples sleeping in the same bed might opt for a softer mattress because it reduces the movement felt across the space, making it less likely that one person moving or getting in or out of bed during the night might wake the other person.
Other people enjoy the stability and support of a firm mattress. If you have a respiratory issue or other health concern that requires you to maintain a specific sleeping position, a firmer mattress may be optimal when compared to something that might sag through the night.
4. Talk with your partner about their sleep requirements, if applicable
But remember that it's not just you who might be sleeping in this bed. According to research originally published in the journal Chronobiology International, couples who sleep in the same bed report being awakened an average of up to six times each night due to movements, sounds or other disturbances from the other person. Even so, only 7% of couples under the age of 55 reported sleeping in separate beds, in part due to the fact that sleeping alone caused more sleep issues than sleeping together.
Not getting enough sleep can make the next day difficult. You can experience fatigue, a poor mood, reduced performance and general lethargy. And none of this is improved when you feel resentment toward a partner for potentially contributing to your lack of sleep.
So, if you plan to sleep in the same bed, you and your partner should work together to choose the ideal mattress. Make sure you also consider your partner's sleep position and mattress firmness preferences. You may need to find a mattress that offers a compromise. One of the benefits of gel foam is that it conforms to each person's body, which can mean two people with very different sleeping needs can still get quality rest while sleeping in the same bed.
5. Account for allergies and other personal preferences
Once you've covered the big sleep preferences, don't forget to account for other issues. If anyone who will be sleeping on the bed suffers from allergies, for example, you should ensure you look for mattresses with hypoallergenic properties. Other personal preferences can include whether the mattress is made with materials that are objectionable to you for any reason or is certified nontoxic (as GelFoamBed products are!).
Many Americans want to support domestic companies, so they look for products that are made in the United States. The gel foam mattresses at GelFoamBed, including the RV models, are proudly made in the USA.
Value is important to most people, so you might also want to consider preferences on a warranty. Mattresses can be large purchases, so you certainly don't want to find that yours is defective or falling apart in less than a year due to poor workmanship and you don't have any recourse. Many high-quality mattresses come with impressive warranties that protect you against this type of issue.
6. Create a checklist for everything you need in a mattress
Create a short checklist that has everything you want in a perfect mattress listed on it. For example, you might include: king size, cool gel foam, medium firm, hypoallergenic, made in the USA, 10-year warranty.
You make a shopping list when you go to get this week's groceries. You could be sleeping on your mattress for as long as a decade, so why wouldn't you take a few seconds to create a "shopping list" to ensure you don't forget to consider anything that's important to you when making a purchase decision?
7. Research mattresses to find options that check all your boxes
Use your checklist to research and shop for mattresses and find the one that perfectly meets your needs.
While you're shopping, you can also review overall customer ratings and reviews for various products if they're available. Remember that sleep is a very personal activity, so you don't necessarily want to take someone's word for whether a mattress is good or bad. However, reviews can help you understand how a mattress compares to its own description. For example, perhaps you're looking at a mattress that's listed as "firm." If 80% of the reviews say that the mattress is soft or softer than expected, it might be a good indication that the mattress isn't firm enough for someone who wants a lot of support.
Make the Purchase and Enjoy a Trial
Here's a bonus tip for choosing the perfect mattress for you: Take advantage of a trial offer. Many specialty mattress retailers offer some type of free trial or money-back refund period. These offers all work differently. You might pay up front but have a money-back guarantee if you return the mattress within a certain time period. In other cases, you may have to provide your credit card, but you won't be charged until the trial period is up.
Do make sure you read the fine print and understand the offer before you accept it. But if you can make use of these offers, you can truly understand whether a mattress is ideal for you. After all, the only way to do that is to sleep on it for at least a few nights and gauge how well-rested you are and whether you have any unusual soreness in your body.
If you're ready to put a cooling gel foam memory mattress to the test, contact us or shop our selection today.