Gel-Foam vs Memory Foam- A Detailed Comparison

One of the significant investments in a new home or apartment is the mattress foam you sleep on. Considering you will be spending an average of six hours on it on a daily basis – you should pay attention and choose carefully.

Choosing the right type of mattress can be a serious battle, and many people get stuck in deciding between a gel-infused foam or a traditional memory foam. Both have great features but also lack in comparison to one another. The right one for you would be dependent on your peculiarities. That is your sleeping preferences and conditions.

The best option would be to pre-test each mattress type and make a decision based on your direct experience since that is not very feasible unless you purchase both, we are here to give you the next best thing. We compare both mattresses based on their most vital function and most popular preferences. So you can make a better-informed choice.

A Quick Overview

Before getting into the nitty-gritty, a brief description of both types of foam is necessary. The memory foam is made mostly from polyurethane invented by NASA for use by astronauts before the technology was made available to the public. It is known for softly enveloping your body while you lay on it, with great ability to absorb shock.

A gel foam, as the name suggests, is a foam that has a form of a gel in it, either infused or used in its bead form to make a layer. It is a common choice based mainly on its cooling effect and ability to distribute your body heat.

Gel-foam vs Memory Foam: A Detailed Comparison

Comfort & Feel

Memory foam is extremely comfortable; they literally soak in the body, filling up space between creating a fluffy background with which you are guaranteed to have an incredible night’s sleep.

Since their introductions in the 70s, they have been known to mold the shape based on the weight and temperature placed on them while slowly returning to their original form once the weight has been removed.

Some users have complained about having a ‘sinking feeling,’ but recent development, especially the use of plant-based materials for memory foam, has helped reduce this.

Gel-infused foams are more recent and introduced only in 2011. Since then, it has gained traction for helping to distribute heat more thoroughly and providing a cooler night sleeping experience.

It offers very similar properties in comfort when the base material is also made of memory foam, but with a more springy feel due to the infused gel. It also reduces the sinking feeling associated with memory foams.


Gel Foams are springy and give more support to the spine enabling you to sleep on your mattress as opposed to being sucked-in. Memory foam caters to a different section of body parts when it comes to supporting. It helps the joint recover from fatigue and friction by cushioning them. It also relieves pressure on the joint, thanks to its gentle and soft texture.

To a degree, memory foams can also be of some therapeutic use; many patients who have fibromyalgia have reported significant relief since switching to memory foams. So if you are involved in more physically intensive activities, you will benefit significantly from the ease from pressure offered by memory foams.

Sleeping Position

Young people who are still actively growing need a sturdy bed to help straighten their back and ensure proper alignment and development. And are advised to sleep more on their backs. For this purpose, a gel-foam that has a spring base would be perfect. The same goes for anyone with major back problems or older people.

While people who prefer sleeping on their sides or have a more diverse sleeping posture would love the cushion offered by memory foam, it allows you to turn and move mellifluously.

Climate & Heating Properties

This is a significant point to put into consideration as the major reason people opt for a gel-foam instead of regular memory foam is because of the cooling experience promised by manufacturers in gel-foams. Now, it is worth knowing that not all gel-foams offer the same degree of coolness, as this depends on the nature of the gel used and the method adopted.

When the gel is used as a layer underneath other foam materials in a mattress, it only distributes the heat up to the point when the entire mattress has the same temperature as your body. This means that it distributes better, while still traps heat within the bed.

Other methods, such as thorough infusion, allows for more foam ventilation, not only absorbing the heat from your body but giving it off into the atmosphere, resulting in a much cooler bed.

Memory foam is still very valuable, especially in cold regions, where you need to keep yourself warm. If you also do not mind the heat retention quirk, you will still enjoy the memory foam mattress with all its other promises.

Motion Distribution

Memory foams are a great distributor of motion. In addition to their ability to absorb shock and create a cloud-like sleeping experience. You also get to sleep without being bothered by your partner’s movements and turns. For isolating motion, memory foams are priceless; they perform this function ridiculously well. You can be assured of seamless night sleep.

Gel-foams, even when made with memory foams, usually sacrifice its motion distribution to accommodate the extra feature of the gel. While still being able to isolate movements to a point, it doesn’t do as good a job as pure memory foam.


One thing you can’t overlook is the lifespan of your mattress, and high-quality memory foams are up to the task. They are very durable due to their flexible nature; they deform very rarely and would serve you for much longer than traditional mattresses.

Gel-foams with good quality also have exceptional durability and flexibility. But when poorly engineered, the structure of the foam is compromised by the addition of the gel and reduces its stability and quality over time.


Most gel foams are used in combination with other foam types to give a refreshing and fulfilling night sleep, while a memory foam gives much more comfort often at the cost of adequate support, especially for side sleepers and a heated bed.

You should make a thorough consideration of your particular situation in mind. With the above comparison, we hope we have aided you in making a better-informed choice of mattress to purchase.

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