Gel has been around for quite a long time. The original gels were offshoots of rubber materials. They were heavy and as they wore down they tended to become brittle and hard. During the space race, a new caliber of gel was developed. It was one of the co-polymer’s made to function much better than the original versions. This co-polymer gel was safe, durable, non-toxic and hypoallergenic. It was utilized in many applications including: foot in-soles, hospital beds, wheel chair cushions, car seats and home mattresses.
Gel is just beginning to become a factor in the manufacturer of mattresses and needs some explaining because there are many different kinds of gels suddenly appearing. Gel used for mattress purposes is most closely related to what is used in gel comfort insoles. Present day, gel most often appears as an additional layer of comforting material on a mattress. It is also sometimes infused with other types of foam to create a variety of pillows that naturally support the head and neck.
The number one benefit of gel mattresses and gel mattress toppers is in their contouring ability. Some would argue that this material does a better job of reacting to a body’s weight and shape better than memory foam.
Once newly purchased gel comes in contact with a sleeper’s body and reacts to their body heat, the material can sometimes release gasses that have a distinct “chemical” smell, and can be disturbing while trying to rest.