Your mattress used to be your friend. You could feel it give in just the right places as you settled in for a comfortable night's sleep. These days, however, it's like the two of you are strangers. What went wrong? Why has your bed forgotten you?
If you wake up feeling like you've been sleeping on a piece of plywood, that colorful mental image may hit closer to the mark than you think. Yes, traditional mattresses react to the pressures exerted on them by your various contours, but only up to a point. Some examples:
Inner-spring mattresses develop uneven spots as individual springs begin to fail. (They also squeak, another barrier to a good night's sleep!)
Futon stuffing can settle into odd lumps and thin spots, thanks to direct pressure and the everyday effects of gravity.
As a result, you end up being over-supported in some places and under-supported in others, and you wake up either drastically under-rested or suffering from aches and pains. Memory foam is a smart solution to this problem. Gel memory foam is an even smarter one.
Memory foam does just what the name implies. Your own body temperature and the power of gravity cause the foam to become more pliable in the areas directly supporting your back, hips, legs and neck. It molds itself to your contours so your skeleton doesn't have to fight a flat, hard surface all night long. So if this miracle substance works so well, why would you specifically seek out gel memory foam mattresses and pillows?
The answer, in a word, is temperature. Closed-cell memory foam can do its thing because of its ability to absorb thermal energy. This is all well and good except for the excess warmth you may feel while you're trying to get to sleep on a hot summer night. That's where gel memory foam takes bedtime comfort to an even higher level. This special kind of memory foam contains beads of rubbery gel that don’t react to your body heat, but rather circulate and dissipate the air instead of it remaining trapped in the foam, a process that keeps you cooler.