Gel Foam Bed Guide | Choose The Best Gel Memory Foam Mattress

Memory Foam/Gel Foam Mattress Guide

Traditional mattresses contain coil springs that can wear out after a few years of use, leaving you tossing and turning every night. This type of mattress also allows pet dander, dust mites and other allergens to accumulate, making traditional mattresses less than ideal for allergy sufferers. Memory foam and gel memory foam address both of these problems, improving comfort and helping to reduce allergy symptoms. Memory foam mattresses are also available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses, giving you complete control of your sleeping experience. If you're in the market for a new mattress, use this memory foam guide to find out how to choose the right mattress for your needs.

Benefits of Memory Foam

Choosing a memory foam mattress over a traditional mattress with springs inside has many benefits. One of the most important benefits is the memory foam's ability to mold to the shape of your body. Traditional mattresses can be uncomfortable because you have to force your body to conform to their contours. In contrast, memory foam adjusts to the curves of your body, gently cradling you all night long.

Another benefit of memory foam is that it can help relieve pain in your back, neck, legs and arms. When you sleep on a traditional mattress, you may have to put more pressure on some areas of your body than others to find a comfortable position, causing you to wake up with a stiff back or numb arms. Because memory foam molds to your body, pressure is distributed evenly, reducing pain and stiffness. Memory foam also makes it easier to find a comfortable position that helps your spine stay properly aligned, further reducing pain and discomfort.

If you have allergies, memory foam is a great alternative to the material used to make traditional mattresses. The dense foam prevents dust mites from penetrating the surface of the mattress, which can help alleviate symptoms such as sniffling and sneezing. Furthermore, memory foam is especially helpful if you have a partner who spends the night tossing and turning. The dense foam prevents motion on one side of the bed from transferring to the other side, which can help you stay asleep even if your partner gets up for a drink of water or tends to roll over frequently.

Mattress Composition

Memory Foam

Memory foam consists of polyurethane and other compounds that give it its most desirable properties. For example, it's the polyurethane that allows a memory foam mattress to retain an impression of your body for a few minutes after you get out of bed. Although memory foam is more expensive than basic polyurethane foam, it's also more durable. It has a higher density than regular polyurethane foam, making it more comfortable and supportive.

The biggest drawback of traditional memory foam is that it retains your body heat, which could cause you to become overheated during the night. One way to enjoy the benefits of memory foam without getting too hot is to add a gel topper to your mattress or sleep with a fan running. Memory foam is also sensitive to the ambient temperature of your bedroom. If you live in a cold climate, your memory foam mattress will be firmer than it would be if you lived somewhere warm. Conversely, people in warm climates should expect their memory foam mattresses to be a little less firm than they would be in a place like Alaska.

You may have read reviews that mention a strong odor coming from a memory foam mattress. This odor develops due to the materials used to make memory foam, but it is completely natural and goes away a few weeks after the mattress is taken out of its packaging. The smell isn't necessarily pleasant, but it isn't harmful to humans or pets.

Gel Memory Foam

Gel memory foam is another option for consumers searching for something more comfortable than a traditional mattress with springs inside. With this type of mattress, the foam is infused with gel until it reaches the desired firmness and thickness. Gel memory foam retains less heat than regular memory foam, making a gel mattress a good option if you tend to get hot while you're sleeping. The gel also provides extra cushioning, making a gel memory foam mattress ideal for anyone who has back pain, stiff joints or other health concerns that make comfortable sleep a priority.

Gel memory foam is usually more expensive than traditional memory foam, and the cooling effect may not last the entire time you have the mattress. Mattresses made of gel memory foam also tend to be firmer than mattresses made with traditional memory foam, which may make them uncomfortable for side sleepers or people who prefer softer mattresses.

Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid mattresses combine the innerspring system of a traditional mattress with dense memory foam. By combining multiple types of support, hybrid mattresses give you the best of both worlds. The innerspring system provides additional support, while the memory foam makes the mattress more comfortable and reduces pressure on your joints and muscles.

Hybrid mattresses are a little more expensive than mattresses made entirely of memory foam or gel memory foam. Another drawback of the hybrid mattress is that it has innersprings like a traditional mattress would. Mattresses with springs inside have large air pockets, which allows allergens to penetrate the mattress surface and remain inside for years. Innersprings also lose their tension over time, which may lead to a lack of support that causes stiffness and pain when you wake up in the morning.

Memory Foam Mattresses for Different Sleeping Positions

Memory foam is ideal for any sleeping position, from curled up on your side to lying flat on your back. If you're a side sleeper, you'll benefit from the way the foam molds to your body, providing support where you need it and eliminating pressure on your hips and shoulders. Dense memory foam also helps keep your spine aligned correctly, giving your back a good night's rest instead of straining it and causing you to wake up stiff and sore every morning. Some side sleepers sleep with their legs bent, which strains the neck and puts extra pressure on the back. A memory foam mattress reduces pain by ensuring that your weight is distributed evenly.

Sleeping on your back can be difficult on a traditional mattress because the mattress fibers don't contour to the curves of your body. As a result, back sleepers often have pain in their hips. Memory foam reduces this pain by providing firm support under your pelvic girdle. Back sleepers may also complain of discomfort in the lumbar region. Memory foam relieves pressure on your lower back, helping you get a more comfortable night's sleep.

If you sleep on your stomach, you may have frequent hip pain due to a lack of support from your traditional mattress. Memory foam is dense, so it provides just the right amount of support under the hips to reduce discomfort and help you feel better when you wake up in the morning. Sleeping on your stomach may also force you to turn your head to the side while you sleep, exerting pressure on your neck. Dense memory foam relieves pressure and ensures your weight is distributed evenly, reducing pressure on your neck and helping you avoid stiffness and reduced mobility.

Thickness of Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses generally range from 6 to 14 inches in thickness. Thinner mattresses tend to be harder than thicker ones because they don't provide as much cushion between your body and the bed frame or platform. No matter which thickness you choose, however, the dense foam will relieve pressure on your body and help you avoid some of the problems caused by sleeping on a traditional mattress with innersprings.

Gel Foam Bed offers memory foam mattresses in 12-inch and 14-inch thicknesses to ensure you get the most comfortable night's sleep possible. The same thicknesses are also available for our RV-sized mattresses, which give you the comfort of memory foam in a size that's easy to fit into your recreational vehicle.

Buying Considerations

Bed Size

The first factor to consider is the size of your bed. No matter how good your new mattress is, you won't get a great night of sleep if the mattress is moving around a too-large bed frame. Gel Foam Bed has a wide range of sizes to suit your needs, from twin and twin XL to  queen, king and California king.

Mattress Thickness

Mattresses are usually anywhere between 6 and 18 inches thick. The right thickness for you depends on factors such as your weight, height preference and medical history. If you have arthritis or another medical condition that limits your mobility, you may want to choose a mattress that is no more than 12 inches thick, as mobility problems can make it difficult to climb up on a high bed. Conditions such as lupus and fibromyalgia can cause pain in the back, neck, shoulders and knees, so it's important to choose a mattress that is thick enough to provide the right level of cushioning and support for these areas of your body.

When choosing a mattress, don't forget about the height of your bed frame and the height of the bed platform, if you have one. You shouldn't have to struggle to put your feet on the floor when the bed is assembled. If you do, it will be difficult to get in and out of the bed each day.

Mattress Firmness

For a comfortable night's sleep, your mattress should be firm enough to support your body but not so firm that you find yourself waking up in search of a comfortable position. The Gel Foam Bed Miranda Halcyon mattress has a medium level of firmness, while the Venus Halcyon mattress offers a plush sleeping experience. Both mattresses use halcyon foam, which prevents the overheating associated with earlier versions of memory foam. Halcyon foam also makes the Miranda and Venus mattresses exceptionally supportive and durable.

Sleeping Position

Your sleeping position will also affect your choice of mattress as certain positions put extra stress on your body. The Miranda Halcyon mattress from Gel Foam Bed provides just the right level of support for back sleepers, and it's firm enough to prevent pressure points from causing discomfort during the night.

Support is especially important for stomach sleepers. If you sleep on your stomach, your torso tends to push into the mattress all night long, which can strain your muscles and leave the rest of your body without the support it needs to keep your spine in alignment and prevent morning aches and pains. Both the Miranda Halcyon and Venus Halcyon models provide just enough support to distribute your weight evenly and ease pressure on your chest and abdomen.

One of the challenges of sleeping on your side is that you may change positions frequently, bending and straightening your legs throughout the night to relieve pressure on your lower back. Therefore, a mattress with a medium level of firmness is best. The Miranda and Venus models are both made from advanced halcyon foam, creating just the right level of firmness for side sleepers.

Health Concerns

The American Sleep Apnea Association reports that around 22 million Americans have sleep apnea, a medical condition that causes brief interruptions in breathing while a person is sleeping. Sleep apnea increases the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack and other serious complications. It also reduces sleep quality as the brief interruptions in breathing may cause a person to wake up gasping for air several times a night. For people with sleep apnea, side sleeping can prevent the tongue from falling into the throat, reducing sleep apnea symptoms and improving sleep quality. Therefore, someone with sleep apnea is likely to benefit from a mattress with a medium level of firmness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to buy a box spring for my memory foam mattress?

No. With a traditional mattress, you need a box spring to increase stability and reduce wear and tear. Memory foam mattresses are stable enough to be used on a platform, foundation or adjustable bed frame without a box spring underneath. Platform beds have internal supports to hold up the mattress, while foundations have slats that are evenly spaced to ensure the right level of support. Some manufacturers make adjustable bed frames specifically for memory foam mattresses, giving you complete control over your comfort.

How much should I expect to spend on a memory foam mattress?

It depends on the type of mattress you buy, the size of your bed and the thickness you choose. Gel Foam Bed has technologically advanced mattresses available for as little as $749 for a twin. You can expect to pay more for a larger mattress, a thicker mattress or a mattress with special features.

Although cost is always an important consideration when making a purchase, a memory foam mattress isn't just an expense — it's an investment in your comfort and sleep quality. According to Harvard Medical School, poor sleep does more than make you tired and grumpy. It can also lead to reduced productivity at work, increase your risk of getting into an auto accident and make it more likely that you'll develop a serious medical condition. Invest in yourself by purchasing a high-quality mattress that makes it easier to get a good night's sleep.

How long will my memory foam mattress last?

With proper care, a memory foam mattress can last as long as 10 years. To extend the lifespan of your mattress and keep it as comfortable as possible, follow these tips:

  • Use a mattress cover to prevent sweat and skin cells from coming into contact with the memory foam.
  • Clean spills with mild soap or a steam cleaner. Avoid harsh chemicals.
  • Vacuum the mattress regularly.
  • Rotate the mattress every month to ensure even wear.
  • Avoid getting the mattress wet. If you do spill something, blot it up right away and use a fan to speed up the drying process.
  • Position your mattress away from radiators and other heat sources to prevent the memory foam from deteriorating.

Do I need to buy a foam topper for my new mattress?

No, a foam topper isn't required for a memory foam mattress. Gel Foam Bed offers comfortable mattresses that provide plenty of support without the need for toppers and other accessories. If you'd like to make your bed extra cozy, however, feel free to add a foam topper for additional cushioning.

Does a memory foam mattress need to be flipped regularly?

No. You have to flip a traditional mattress to ensure even wear on the springs inside; otherwise, the mattress is likely to sag, making it difficult to get comfortable. Memory foam mattresses don't have internal springs, so you don't have to worry about sagging. If you'd like to increase the lifespan of your new mattress, however, it's a good idea to rotate it 180 degrees every month or so.

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- Sound Sleep Products

Customer Reviews

Gelfoambed emails you personally to keep you updated on your shipping status. They also answer any questions promptly. Very friendly customer service. I would purchase from them again

- Alison Mitchell

This is the most expensive purchase I have ever made online and I am SO satisfied with the purchase! Came on time and went together with ease. An in-store purchase would have cost double what I paid. The motor is quiet and the mattress is very comfortable. Great buy!!

- Sue

We've only had our bed a week but so far we love it! I was told by a local company to get a bed with the options we wanted I was looking at around six to seven thousand dollars. We have friends that bought queen size adjustable beds with out the options we have on our split king and paid more than we paid for ours. Haven't slept so well in a long time.

- Robert Eugene M

Best purchase we've every made. Great sleep. And a much better price than the 10,000 price tag the big Mattress Store had.

- J.S

We replaced an older memory foam mattress with this mattress and we love it! Great comfortable mattress.

- Anonymous