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Gel/Poly 15 Feb 2017 13:07 #1

  • cboushon
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What are your thoughts on gel foam in a comfort layer? More specifically, the details of the bed I am interested in has 3" gel memory foam (4lb), 1" plush latex, 2" high-resiliency support foam, and 1/2" gel foam belly band for the comfort layers.

I have avoided anything with memory foam because of the issue with heat, but I don't know much about gel memory foam. Does it get harder in cold weather like memory foam?

As a separate question, do you know why a company would recommend at least 2" of poly in a mattress? I can't remember if he specified which layer this should be in, but after reading more about poly, I would think you would want less poly and maybe more latex?

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Gel/Poly 15 Feb 2017 14:54 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi cboushon,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :)

What are your thoughts on gel foam in a comfort layer? More specifically, the details of the bed I am interested in has 3" gel memory foam (4lb), 1" plush latex, 2" high-resiliency support foam, and 1/2" gel foam belly band for the comfort layers.

In order to properly analyze the quality of any mattress, the first thing you’d want to do is find out information listed here so you can compare the quality of the materials and components to the durability guidelines here to make sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress that would be a cause for concern relative to the durability and useful life of a mattress before making any purchase.

The 4 lb. memory foam is the minimum I would recommend, especially in the upper layer of a mattress, which should be suitable for BMIs under 30 or so, and memory foam (using a gel additive or not) is commonly used in the comfort layers of a mattress (it's too unsupportive to be used in the lower core of a completed mattress). I’d also want to know the style of latex (Dunlop or Talalay) and the make-up (synthetic, blended or natural) in this mattress, and you should learn the density of the 2” polyfoam layer.

Regarding gel memory foam, I have a very detailed description of the different types of gel foams in post #2 here which you should find quite helpful, and if you like you can read more about phase change materials in post #9 here and at the end of post #4 here .

I have avoided anything with memory foam because of the issue with heat, but I don't know much about gel memory foam. Does it get harder in cold weather like memory foam?

The gel can be assistive in a temporary “hand-feel” that is cooler initially, but this will tend to equalize through the night. Memory foam will tend to be the least breathable of the major foam types and the most insulating. There are new formulation continually being developed with varying degrees of temperature sensitivity, but if it is memory foam there will be some viscous nature to the foam (hence the term visco-elastic foam) that is impacted with the ambient temperature of the room, and it will become less viscous as it warms with body heat. How much that is impacted by the change in temperature depends upon the formulation of the foam.

As a separate question, do you know why a company would recommend at least 2" of poly in a mattress? I can't remember if he specified which layer this should be in, but after reading more about poly, I would think you would want less poly and maybe more latex?

There would be no specific reason that any mattress would need 2” of polyfoam in it. It could be that in the particular configuration you were considering that they recommended this much foam as a “transition” layer between the spring unit and the upper comfort layers for the level of plushness they were trying to provide. Using polyfoam versus latex would be more of a personal preference, and you’d just want to make sure that whatever polyfoam you used was of a better quality. While latex would be generally more durable than even a true high-resiliency polyfoam, it would also be more expensive and have a different feel, which is always a consideration.

I hope that helps you!

Phoenix
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