Home Curiosity Memory Foam vs. Gel Memory Foam Mattress: What’s the Difference?

Memory Foam vs. Gel Memory Foam Mattress: What’s the Difference?


Memory foam has only entered the American consciousness in recent years, with the rise of infomercials. However, it is actually NASA technology developed by Charles Yost in 1966 to help astronauts deal with G-force. Today, some households could never do away with them.

But in recent years, another product has entered the market. It is called the gel memory foam mattress. So, how is it different from the standard memory foam?

You should not be surprised by the innovation. The mattress manufacturing market is a very stable industry. Unlike other segments, it is not as vulnerable to market movements. Whatever happens, people are still going to buy a bed. They still need somewhere comfortable to sleep.

With that said, the performance of the industry is closely tied to the real estate market and disposable income. In 2018, the market was valued at $14 billion, with nearly 16,000 businesses. Meanwhile, it is expected to reach $40 billion by 2024. 

Difference Between Gel and Foam Memory Mattress

When you say gel, do not think of the gelatine food or viscous toy for kids. Technically, it is still a type of foam.

The standard memory foam or gel memory foam mattress is made from a viscoelastic material, which features elastic and viscous characteristics. It is what separates themselves from the traditional beds today, which feature latex or polyurethane.

  1. Polyurethane — It is the material used in the standard bed that you see today. One of the raw materials for the product is petroleum. But do not worry, it has been certified as non-toxic by government regulators since the chemicals have already reacted. In terms of price, polyurethane mattresses are also the most affordable.
  1. Latex — The foam is noted for its durability. Since it uses mostly natural products, latex is known for being the eco-friendliest mattress. In terms of strength, it will last longer than polyurethane and memory foam.

What about memory foam?

The memory foam is actually a form of polyurethane, but manufacturers added more chemicals to it to make it denser. As a result, it offers more support and resists more pressure. People were raving about how much their sleep improved. They wake up without feeling any pain or soreness in their bodies.

While it proved to be very beneficial when it comes to improving your sleep memory foam brands have a problem–the product is not as cool as latex. So, they thought of a brilliant idea: why not infuse gel into the mattress?

So, that is how the gel memory foam mattress was invented. It helps dissipate heat by boosting the air circulation. What most people do not realize is that the memory foam utilizes your body heat to mold itself into a shape that is most comfortable for you.

How Long Does the Memory Foam Mattress Last? 

Because of the material, the memory foam has an average lifespan of seven years. It is not as far behind as latex or polyurethane, which are expected to last from 8-10 years. But it offers more support compared to the other materials. For instance, throughout their lifespan, the traditional bed is 30% more likely to sag compared to memory foam.