Gel vs Memory Foam vs Latex

Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Gel vs Memory Foam vs Latex

There seems to be an argument about what foams are the best and what foams are the coolest. As far as what foams are the best, that is relatively easy. Simply insist on a domestic made memory or gel foam with at least a four pound per cubic foot density and you should be fine as far as that layer goes. If you are looking at an all poly foam bed insist that the poly foam layers are no less than 1.8 pound per cubic foot density. Higher density is always better but cost will go up as density goes up. In the case of latex look for a domestic made latex. Talalay is best but Dunlop works fine if it is a base layer or core. As for what is the coolest, that is not so easy. I see a use for gel foam because as most will admit it is cooler at first. However it can build heat over time so some people argue that it has no value.  If we go with the premiss that it is cool at first but gets warm over time then the key becomes keeping the gel from warming. Air circulation would seem to be the key to keeping the heat from building up. Like it or not consumers do tend to like the feel of gel or memory foam at the surface. Gel does give you a cooler surface for the first several minutes as compared to memory foam so gel would seem to be the way to go. I am a fan of latex myself but many people don’t like the feel of latex at the surface plus you have FR concerns if you want a smooth top bed and a latex surface. It is really hard to pass 1633 with a FR sock or inherent FR fabric with latex directly under it. I have found a layer of gel on top of latex and a foam encased fabric encased coil system does a great job of staying cool and you can easily pass 1633 with a smooth cover. I don’t believe it has to be gel or latex. I think they work great together and that the build of the bed is more important than the material as far as cooling goes.  Tempur-Pedic and Serta were just in a dispute over what is cooler. Serta showed that gel was cooler but as a component only they didn’t compare the whole bed. I agree with Tempur-Pedic on this one. It doesn’t matter what a single component can do what is important is how all the components work together as a sleep system. Not to mention the top of bed items you add like, pillows, mattress pads, and blankets. These all play a roll in how well your sleep system controls heat. You can have the coolest sleep system in the world and sleep hot because you used the wrong mattress pad or sleep in the wrong night-clothes In summary, a cool comfortable sleep environment can not be achieved by simply buying a bed with gel in it or using a wool mattress pad. You need an entire package working together to control heat and humidity. If you have questions or commits  as always send them to me at


Here is a copy of the story about the dispute and the NAD’s decision in favor of Tempur-Pedic.

At issue in this case was testing that Serta performed to compare the materials in its mattresses to those of rivals.

The NAD found Seta’s advertising could be interpreted by consumers as conveying that its entire mattress, not just the individual materials, were superior to its competitors’ offerings. As a result, it recommended Serta modify or discontinue some of the claims at issue.

The NAD noted in a statement that Serta’s studies were “problematic, relying in part on tests of mattress samples, rather than complete mattresses, and failing to take into account the effect of bedding and night-clothes.”

“A consumer uses an entire product,” Tempur-Pedic’s Anderson said. “It’s like saying you have the best-tasting cake because your flour tastes better.”

Serta issued a statement in response to the NAD’s findings noting, “Out of respect for the self-regulatory process, we have agreed to take NAD’s recommendations into consideration in future advertising and will discontinue our comparative advertising claims.”

But the statement noted that it will “continue to communicate to consumers” about certain benefits “substantiated by our extensive testing.”

The case began about the time Tempur-Pedic’s rivals launched a large number of competitive products in the memory foam mattress segment. It was a rocky 2012 for the company as it saw lower sales and profit than expected as the year went on.

Tempur-Pedic announces fourth-quarter and annual earnings on Thursday afternoon.

Anderson said Tempur-Pedic does not plan to rebut Serta’s claims in its own advertising.

“Specifically responding to competitive claims isn’t what we’re all about,” he said. “We’ve stuck with our marketing strategy, … rising above it, if you will.”

Scott Sloan: (859) 231-1447. Twitter: @HeraldLeaderBiz

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