Gel foam vs Memory Foam

Gel Memory Foam vs Memory Foam Mattress: Differences [What’s Best]

Gel memory foam vs memory foam – what are the differences and which mattress is better? The short answer is that it depends on your personal preferences. Regular memory foam provides full-body support and little or no motion transfer. However, the gel-infused memory foam mattress is more suitable for hot sleepers because it sleeps cooler. Keep reading to see how these two compare at feel, firmness, pain relief, allergies, lifespan, and price.

Here are the top-rated memory foam products in 2023: 

Gel Memory Foam vs Memory Foam: Comparison Table

  • Stops motion transfer
  • Anti-microbial & hypoallergenic
  • Provides great support
  • It is denser and firmer than a regular memory foam
  • Generally more expensive
  • Has a cooling effect
  • Usually less durable than regular memory foam
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CHEAPER OPTION Regular Memory Foam
  • Cradles you while you sleep
  • Reduces stress on your pressure points as you sleep
  • Antimicrobial and hypoallergenic
  • Stops motion transfer
  • Durable and lasts longer than gel
  • Cheaper than gel memory foam
  • Sleeps hotter
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What Is Gel Memory Foam?

Gel memory foam is also referred to as viscoelastic polyurethane foam and is made mainly of polyurethane infused with gel.

The gel microbeads change the structure of the memory foam to that of an open-cell, allowing more space for airflow throughout the memory foam.

This goes a long way to ensure that heat can easily be conducted from the body, keeping you cool as you sleep. Apart from allowing for air circulation, the gel beads also absorb heat, for additional comfort and heat control.

What Is Gel Memory Foam Mattress?

Gel memory foam mattresses are like regular memory foam mattresses but infused with gel microbeads in the comfort layers of the mattresses.

This is made with the aim of improving airflow, release trapped heat and help users have a more comfortable sleep all night.

The infusion of the gel beads make the mattress denser and increases its firmness, giving you support so that you can sleep without sinking in and without stress on your pressure points.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Gel Memory Foam Mattress


  • Stops motion transfer, allowing you to sleep undisturbed by the next person
  • Gives your body support and takes the pressure on your spine away
  • It is antimicrobial and hypoallergenic
  • Provides a good deal of firmness
  • Very durable and dense
  • Allows you a cooler sleep


  • Due to the gel beads, it can degrade faster

What Is Regular Memory Foam?

Regular memory foam and gel-infused memory foam are basically the same things. Just like the gel memory foam, this is made mainly of polyurethane only that it lacks the cooling gel.

It is designed to give your body optimum support as you sleep, taking the pressure off your pressure points and ensuring that you wake up without any pain or sore joints.

advantages disadvantages memory foam

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Memory Foam Mattress


  • Prevents motion transfer and allows for an undisturbed sleep
  • Gives your body support as you sleep, preventing pain when you wake up
  • It is antimicrobial and hypoallergenic
  • Has adequate firmness
  • Very durable and lasts long
  • Allows you to sleep comfortably
  • Usually cheaper than gel-infused memory foam 


  • Sleeps hotter than gel memory foam
difference gel memory foam

Differences between Memory Foam and Gel


Since the build of both types of memory foam is the same, they both have the same spongy feel to touch. The differences between them don’t have any effect on some properties like feel, and so it is basically the same.


Memory foam mattresses, both the regular ones and the gel-infused ones have a good share of firmness. However, the gel-infused memory foam mattress possesses more firmness than the regular one due to its increased density as a result of the infused gel microbeads.


Regular memory foam has a characteristic of heat retention. This is due to an inadequate opening of the cell structure of the memory foam, inhibiting proper air circulation.

Because of this, regular memory foam retains body heat when used in mattresses and pillows and can make the user uncomfortable.

The gel-infused memory foams were born out of the need to correct the discomfort that comes with sleeping on regular memory foam.

The infused gel creates an open cell structure that enhances air circulation in the mattress, resulting in better heat transfer from the body and ultimately cooling.

So while the regular memory foam sleeps quite hot, gel-infused memory foam sleeps cool.

Pain relief

With the right type of mattress, you can sleep with great comfort and get relief from pain as a result of a bad position, and prevent its occurrence in the future. Pain comes when you subject your neck, shoulders, and spine to pressure, causing them to bear your body weight.

This is corrected when you make use of a foam that provides you with the right amount of support and that is a characteristic of memory foam.

Both the gel-infused and regular memory foams share this characteristic and offer equal amounts of support for your body as you sleep.


Both types of memory foam are suitable for those who have allergies because of the design. The design of the memory foams is a single block of foam, unlike the innerspring mattresses.

This single block makes it impossible for insects and other allergens to get in and cause irritations. 

The dense visco-elastic foam material and fabrics used are such that do not offer a friendly environment for mites, mildew, molds, and other allergens, giving you a clean and allergen-free sleeping environment.


The cost of purchasing both foams are different. The regular memory foam can be very affordable but the gel infused foam costs usually more.

The differences are usually not much but it depends on the brands you are dealing with.


Regular memory foam lasts for long, up to 10 years with good use. Gel-infused memory foam, on the other hand, doesn’t last that long and require replacement after a while.

This is because of the gel beads that cause degradation of the memory foam material.

Gel or Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Mattress toppers are widely in use and for various reasons. They come in handy when the firmness of a bed is not satisfactory, or to adjust the thickness of the mattress.

Memory foam is used as a topper material and is one of the best materials used because of its viscoelastic property which allows it to take the shape of your body and give you perfect alignment.

The choice of either a regular or gel memory foam lies in your preference. If you prefer to have a cool sleep, you should go for the gel topper.

Best Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper in 2023

Top-Rated Memory Foam Mattress Topper

top foam pillow

Memory Foam vs Gel Pillow

Both pillows give you firmness and comfort that your head, neck, and back needs for a sound sleep.

Due to the viscoelastic nature of the chief ingredient of both pillows, they take the form of your head and go back to their original shape after use. This way it doesn’t feel like you are sleeping on stone. 

One is infused with gel and the other isn’t. As already stated earlier, the gel infused foam takes heat away better and allows for cooler sleep.

This is also applicable in the pillow. The gel-infused pillow allows you to sleep better as it regulates temperature rise, and keeps you cool.

The regular memory foam pillow lasts longer, maintains its shape and doesn’t need to be fluffed frequently or changed after every few months.

The downside to the use of this pillow is that it sleeps a bit hotter.

Be sure to choose a highly rated pillow, here’s a list of best memory foam pillows in 2023.


How long do gel memory foam mattresses last?

The lifespan of the mattresses depends on how well you care for them, and also your body weight.

Regular memory foam mattresses last as long as other mattresses; between eight to ten years and gel memory foam mattresses a bit less.

Is gel memory foam toxic?

Just like other foams, gel memory foam contains chemicals which can cause health problems from prolonged exposure.

Gel memory foams contain polyurethane which can emit volatile gases that cause skin irritation and respiratory problems.

To be on the safe side, purchase memory foams which are of good quality and are mostly organic. These are safe to use and are environment-friendly.

Is gel memory foam firmer than regular memory foam?

Gel memory foam is firmer than regular memory foam due to the infused gel which increases its density.

Can I sleep on memory foam first night?

Sleeping on your memory foam right away allows it to expand fully faster and properly. There is nothing wrong with this but you should wait for at least 48 hours if you are sensitive to smells, while leaving it in a well-ventilated room of course.

Is gel memory foam cooler?

Gel memory foam is cooler because of the open cells in the foam material that allows for better air circulation, and conduction of heat away from your body.

gel memory foam mattress


Gel Memory Foam vs Memory Foam Mattress: And the winner is…

Both the regular memory foam mattress and the gel-infused memory foam mattress provides so much support and relief as you sleep. There are top on the types of foams in use and have only slight differences.

Differences in price, lifespan, comfort, and firmness are what you should consider before making a purchase so that you will get exactly what you need for a night of healthy sleep.