What are the drawbacks of a gel mattress?

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Memory foam mattresses revolutionized the market in the late 1970s and continue to do so today. If you are a fan of memory foam mattresses, you can look for their improved versions such as gel-infused foam products.

The predecessor of gel-infused foam is memory foam, which is made of a viscoelastic material. The set material was created by the American space research agency, also known as NASA. They used the material as padding for seats and helmets because it is highly absorbent and soft.

However, the ability to conform to the shape of the material applying pressure caught the attention of the mattress makers. So they came up with a way to make a mattress out of the material.

The researchers continued to work on improving the quality of the mattress despite the success of memory foam beds. They were able to come up with an even better option called gel-infused foam. Just like anything else, gel-infused mattresses have their pros and cons, which is why in today’s guide, we’ll discuss ‘What are the drawbacks of a gel mattress?’

What are the drawbacks of a gel mattress?

What are the drawbacks of a gel mattress?

As we’ve mentioned above, a gel mattress has its pros and cons, and today we’ll be talking about the disadvantages of purchasing one. But if you’re interested in the pros, look at our article on ‘What are the benefits of a gel mattress?’ Now let’s take a closer look at the disadvantages that might occur when you purchase a new bed with gel foam:

1. Cooling effect may not last long

cons of a gel mattress

Depending on the brand and formula used, the cooling effect of a gel bed might not be long-lasting. The gel layer may feel cool in the first few hours of the night, but its absorbent nature can cause it to lose its coolness while you sleep. The gel may not be able to serve its purpose due to the temperature of your surrounding environment.

With that said, keep in mind that gel-infused products will still keep your body cooler compared to regular memory foam mattresses. If you’re a hot sleeper, take a look at our guide on ‘How to stay cool at night’ for additional information.

2. Cost  

Generally speaking, gel-based mattresses are more expensive than traditional memory foam. Often labels and advertisements can be misleading, which can make a customer believe they’re investing in the latest technology, even if they aren’t. The advantages that they provide seem minor compared to other more affordable mattresses.

Many people will not buy a name brand memory foam bed because of the price. The price of the mattress typically varies depending on its quality, with some exceptions, of course. A memory foam mattress is better for your body because it’s durable and has a longer lifespan, so don’t be afraid to spend a little extra.

3. May bring discomfort

Usually, gel memory foam mattresses are known to provide more support than traditional memory foam. They will mould to your body and provide you with a hug-like feeling, which can be an issue for individuals with lighter body weight or side sleepers that may sink in too deep.

Thus, for smaller people, this might bring discomfort due to the sinkage from the foam structure. However, with that said, some may consider this an advantage because they might enjoy the cloud-like cuddle feeling.

4. Weight

Gel mattresses are made by either adding gel on top of the comfort layer or by adding gel beads (capsules filled with the gel) to memory foam. As a result, memory foam’s original body-conforming and pressure-relieving features are retained while the gel infusion keeps you cool on hot summer nights.

But memory foam is considered to be pretty heavy, meaning it might not be easy to pick up or rotate. The good news is that you normally don’t need to turn them around. So weight could be an issue only when your new purchase arrives.

5. May change its shape

disadvantages of a gel mattress

Gel technologies have been improving rapidly, but in hot climates, a gel bed might be softer than expected due to the fact that foam is temperature-activated. Yes, the benefits of memory foam are numerous, but all foams soften when they come in contact with your body.

Nonetheless, most households have some sort of central heating or cooling system, which helps with the temperature in your bedroom so that your bed is neither too soft nor too hard.

6. Odour and off-gassing

Lastly, some individuals have complained about an odour from their new purchase. Usually, this problem can occur when the mattress wasn’t appropriately aired. Today most mattress brands deliver their products rolled up and vacuum-sealed in a box. That’s why, when you receive your bed, we recommend you open it up and let it take its original shape and air out for 48 hours before you use it.

Overall, the general issue for most consumers is that they don’t feel the support they were looking for, which could be due to two things. The first one being a low-quality product or the manufacturers might have used materials that offer inferior quality. That’s why when you’re planning on purchasing a new gel foam mattress, you should consider a few factors such as rebound rate and density, read some customer reviews and search for certifications.

Bottom line

To conclude our article regarding ‘What are the drawbacks of a gel mattress’, we would like to say that manufacturers are constantly working on technology to lower the temperature of mattress tops further and enhance their performance.

Yes, gel-infused beds might have some drawbacks, but they will keep you cool while providing you with the support and comfort you need. Now it’s our turn to hear from you if any questions regarding the subject were left unanswered. If you want to share some information, we would gladly hear about it in the comments below.

Isabelle Harris
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