The Ultimate Guide to Gel Mattresses

In the last decade, the number of mattresses on the market has grown explosively. Unfortunately, one thing most of these mattresses have in common is that they are made out of the same memory foam technology that was developed back in the 1960s.

Memory foam was developed by NASA as a material to protect astronauts from high pressures in space. While memory foam mattresses are prized for their comfort, they do have a few weaknesses. The microscopic holes in the mattress’s surface, the pressure and heat from your body, and the material itself are a perfect combination to trap heat. They can overheat quickly and frequently, which means you often end up lying awake sweating when you should be sleeping.

Not all mattress manufacturers rely on memory foam. Some have been experimenting with cutting-edge comfort technologies that revolutionize the way we sleep. Let’s break down one of the most impressive of these innovations, namely the gel mattress.

What is a gel mattress?

In a nutshell, a gel mattress is comfort without compromise. A gel mattress’s main comfort material is a co-polymer gelastic, that is molded into special diamond support structures. This comfort material is semi-solid, with the physical properties of both solids and liquids, allowing it to be both firm and soft at the same time. When combined with the scientifically designed support structure, gel comfort materials can relieve up to 60% more pressure, while providing three times the support. Gel mattresses also sleep cooler than traditional memory foam mattresses.

Intellibed’s Gel Matrix® is the only one that uses 100% pure gel, which supports your body better and lasts longer. Everything about Gel Matrix® has been meticulously engineered to provide you with the best sleep of your life.

“I came across your Gel Matrix® mattress, and after sleeping on it one night, I purchased it. Since then I have recommended it to many satisfied patients.” – Dr. Gary E. Lee, D.C.

What’s the difference between gel-infused memory foam and a gel mattress?

Gel memory foam mattress

One of the most common types of gel materials that you hear about is gel-infused memory foam. It is important to note that beds that use gel-infused materials are not gel mattresses but foam mattresses as the gel is a component of the core comfort material, memory foam.

Gel-infused memory foam is made by mixing tiny gel particles into memory foam. The result is a mattress material that is a little bit denser, firmer, and more durable than traditional memory foam. The gel in the memory foam helps to pull heat away from the body so you sleep cooler. However, many owners of gel memory foam mattresses still complain about excessive temperatures and sweating during the night.

While gel-infused memory foam provides many benefits there are some pretty significant drawbacks. As we mentioned, it still tends to sleep hotter than other comfort technologies. Also, the cooling effect can wear off over time. Another problem is that memory foam breaks down, becoming less supportive. The longer you have your mattress the less comfortable it will be. Finally, a gel-infused bed is typically more expensive than a comparable foam mattress, even though they usually last the same amount of time.

In terms of comfort and support, gel-infused foam beds feel very similar to memory foam. When you lie on a foam mattress, the foam compresses and conforms to your body shape. How much comfort the individual experiences really depends on the firmness of the mattress and the sleeper’s body shape and composition.

Gel Mattresses

Gel Matrix® is a patented comfort material, that is molded into a lattice support structure, a grid of hollow columns like a flexible ice-cube tray. The columns progressively buckle under increasing pressure, responding to every part of your body, with just the right amount of support where you need it and softness where you want it.

Gel Matrix® is the primary comfort layer in all of Intellibed’s gel mattresses. The unique design of the material allows it to do several things all at the same time.

  1. When a broad surface applies pressure on the gel, like your back, the gel columns stand firm providing incredible support. The superior back support can dramatically reduce back pain caused by poor spinal alignment while sleeping.
  2. One of the most common complaints about memory foam mattresses is that they aren’t soft enough. The real issue, however, is that the foam mattress exerts too much pressure on the body. Under pressure from protruding objects, like your hips and shoulders, Gel Matrix®’s columns collapse, eliminating pressure build up. This reduces the discomfort and pain that contributes to chronic tossing and turning.
  3. Gel Matrix® is also a great material for those who want to sleep cool. The gel naturally absorbs heat and the open chamber design allows for airflow to pull heat away from the body.

Gel Matrix® therapeutic mattresses are both firm and soft at the same time, dynamically adapting to the sleeper to support and comfort every body type and sleeping position. Whereas foam mattresses firmness is determined by the density of the foam and cannot adapt to different body types or sleeping styles. In addition, Gel Matrix® is also unbelievably durable and comes with a 20-year no-nonsense warranty.

Memory foam falls short when compared with gel. Memory foam forces sleepers to compromise, especially when it comes to support and pressure relief. Either you get a soft mattress that you sink into but doesn’t really support your back or you get a really firm mattress that presses against pressure points while you sleep. For most sleepers, these points include hips, shoulders, arms, and buttocks. These parts of the body sink most heavily into the mattress. Uneven pressure or support from a mattress can lead to sore joints, aches, and pains from lack of relief on pressure points.

Gel mattresses eliminate the need to compromise because they dynamically adjust to the sleeper to provide a seemingly impossible balance of firmness to support your back and softness to comfort hips and shoulders.

Common Questions about Gel Mattresses

  • How do gel mattresses work for back, front and side sleepers?

    • Back Sleepers

      Back sleeping is the method recommended by doctors, but it is also rather uncommon. Only 8% of people sleep on their backs, even though back sleeping maintains the best alignment of the head, neck, and spine. With a good pillow, back sleepers will have less trouble with insomnia. However, those with sleep apnea or who snore may find that this position exacerbates their problem.

      The best mattress for back sleepers will provide firm and consistent support all along the body without buckling under the weight of the sleeper. Gel mattresses from Intellibed fit the bill nicely, providing a soft surface for comfort and firm support underneath.

    • Side Sleepers

      Side sleepers include those who sleep with their legs outstretched as well as those who sleep in the fetal position, with legs curled. They represent over half of the population. They are both comfortable positions and good for people who snore. However, sleeping on your side does not always keep the body aligned properly. Side sleepers often awaken with hip pain or shoulder pain in the morning.

      The best mattress for a side sleeper is one that provides pressure relief. Side sleepers often toss and turn at night as their bodies relieve the pressure that builds up in the shoulders and hips. A gel mattress from Intellibed helps with this issue by distributing pressure to other parts of the body. It’s so effective, gel mattresses are used in long-term care facilities to prevent bedsores!

    • Stomach Sleepers

      The rest of the population sleeps on its stomach. Though lying face down can be a good position to prevent sleep apnea and snoring, stomach sleepers often wake with neck cramps and back issues because the face-down position is not ideal for the curvature of the spine.

      Adequate support is vital for those who sleep on their stomachs. Support for the stomach will keep the spine in an acceptable alignment while you sleep, and is up to the challenge, providing support for the body’s alignment as well as a soft surface for a comfortable sleep.

  • Is a gel mattress good for back pain?

    Absolutely! One of the common causes of back pain is actually an unsupportive mattress. Gel comfort technologies are amazing at providing back support and keeping the spine in alignment.

    A gel mattress is similar to a memory foam mattress in that its ability to cradle the body, support the spine, and offer relief from pressure points that wake you up at night. When you lie on a gel mattress, the material inside compresses and conforms to your body’s unique curvatures. You won’t sink deep into it like a traditional foam mattress, but you’ll experience relief from the aches in your shoulders, hips, and back that might keep you up at night.

    Repeat after me, “back problems and lower hip issues are a thing of the past!”. No more tossing and turning for me. Get the Matrix Grand! Your body will not regret it. – Mark Murphy, MI

  • Are Gel mattresses safe?

    Yes! All our gel beds are made with Gel Matrix® a 100% non-toxic material that doesn’t off-gassing. It’s so safe, in fact, the gel can be used to make baby pacifiers. In addition, it is also hypoallergenic.

    When looking at gel-infused materials many of the memory foams that are used off-gas and could potentially impact your health. Make sure you do your research so you know the materials your bed is made with.

    Gel Matrix® is a higher standard in sleep wellness. It’s made of pure, safe, and natural mineral oil—the same thing used to make baby oil. And it is the only mattress that is currently used in the medical field to aid in the recovery of traumatically injured patients (where gentle comfort, proper support, and deep, restorative sleep are critical to healing).

    To begin with the bed is excellent! Comfortable, sleep like a baby, plus I don’t have to worry about any ‘yucky’ stuff, like chemicals, etc., coming off the mattress, it is safe! This gives me peace of mind which helps me to enjoy this awesome product! – Joshua Slagle, NC

  • Are Gel Mattresses Low Motion Transfer?

    Gel mattresses, unlike spring mattresses, are shock absorbent, so they’re resistant to the motion you produce as you sleep. That means you can effectively sleep through your partner’s tossing and turning, especially if they’re naturally active sleepers. Gel mattresses such as Intellibed help assure a peaceful night’s sleep through superior resistance to motion. If you are really worried about motion transfer, make sure that you get an Intellibed with individually wrapped coils, this enhances the motion dampening properties of the gel mattress.

  • My spouse prefers a soft bed, but I want a firm bed. Will a Gel Mattress work for us?

    Gel mattresses dynamically adapts to different body types and meets different needs at once. Couples commonly have different sleep preferences and body types. With a gel mattress, everyone can get what they want from their mattress as if it was custom made just for them.

  • How long do gel mattresses last?

    Intellibed’s Gel Matrix® Mattresses are extremely durable and industry-standard rollator tests have shown that our gel mattresses retain their shape, comfort, and resiliency. Which is why we confidently warranty our mattress for 20-years.

  • I have owned my Intellibed since 2006, it is an amazing mattress! I have never slept better! I stay in hotels a lot with work travel and nothing compares to my Intellibed! – Sam Crakly, UT

Intellibed’s Gel Matrix® is the ultimate mattress comfort technology. It’s the most innovative advancement in sleep since the invention of memory foam. These Gel beds are perfect for all types of sleepers and can be especially beneficial for those with maladies, such as chronic hip pain, shoulder pain, and back pain. Furthermore, they sleep cool and are very durable.

We have helped tens of thousands of customers get the best sleep of their lives. Feel the difference for yourself. Try an Intellibed at a store near you.