There are a lot of different things to consider when you’re shopping for a mattress. Once you’ve determined your budget and the size of mattress you need, you have to think about things like support, firmness, and type of mattress. It can all get a little bit confusing, especially when some of the terminology is so similar. One perfect example of this confusion is what happens when people have to consider whether they want memory foam or memory gel foam in their mattress. Do you know the difference? Are they essentially the same thing?

Well, yes and no. Traditional memory foam and gel memory foam have many of the same characteristics and offer many of the same benefits. They both reduce motion transfer, which means that when your partner shifts around at night, the movement won’t be as likely to disrupt your sleep. Additionally, both types of memory foam have the ability to conform to your body, helping to reduce pressure points.

They also start with the same material: viscoelastic. This material, developed by NASA in the 1970s, was created to improve seat cushions and crash protection on the space shuttle. Sturdy yet comfortable, it eventually made its way into mattresses. Memory foam is made of viscoelastic, and so is gel memory foam, but gel memory foam’s viscoelastic has been infused with gel. This gel is typically spread throughout the mattress, but sometimes it’s just in a single layer. Gel memory foam was introduced to consumers in 2011.

So if memory foam already reduced motion transfer and conformed to sleeping bodies, why did mattress companies decide to innovate and come up with gel memory foam? Gel memory foam came into existence to solve two problems of memory foam: hot sleeping, and a feeling of being stuck. Like a gel ice pack keeps food cool, gel memory foam mattresses keep bodies cool. It’s important to note that the mattresses that are gel-infused, rather than having a layer of gel, often have better cooling properties.

So, is gel memory foam better than its predecessor? Opinions vary. Some people say that the cooling properties that keep you at a comfortable temperature and additional layers that help keep you from sinking in too far make gel memory foam a better product. On the other hand, there are those who prefer traditional memory foam, claiming that it’s more comfortable and durable than gel memory foam. It’s hard to actually gauge the durability of gel-infused memory foam because it’s only been on the market for less than ten years, but if you choose a good quality, high-density memory foam mattress, with or without gel, you can be reasonably confident that your mattress is built to last.

No matter what type of mattress you prefer, if you’re looking for the perfect mattress in Northern California, you owe it to yourself to check out Mancini's Sleepworld. Since 1969, the Mancini family has owned and operated their store in Sunnyvale, CA, selling brand name mattresses at fair prices and treating every customer with respect. Beginning an expansion in 1989, the we now have 33 locations across the greater bay area, allowing for same-day mattress delivery in most cases. To learn more about Mancini's Sleepworld, contact us through our website or call 800-647-5337.