memory foam mattresses w/o gel

I have read on line for days. Recently came upon your website. I have read and read. However, I still am not sure where I can find a queen memory foam mattress.
13 years ago a bought a memory foam mattress that helped my back and hips. I am a 61 yr old woman 125 pds. I believe from testing in a local store (only 2 in town) a medium to firm mattress is most likely what I have from before and feels good.
Many of the newer memory foam have the gel or gel infused in the memory foam. I have researched and have not come up with much info on the gel other that maybe a bit cooler. I don’t care about the cooler thing. I am guessing the gel is just one more chemical. I loved my older memory foam without gel…
Can you guide me about the gel in the mattresses? Also about where I can buy one without the gel, higher denstity, med to firm and in the $600 to 700 range. I found one at Costco for $600 but ONLY in med. (in firmness)…
I have done many searches and spent many hours in doing so, I am more confused as I go along.I dont know where to go from here.
thank you,

Hi Sallyb,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :slight_smile:

The gel that is used in various gel foams (most commonly memory foams) is a type of thermoplastic polyurethane that is used to change the performance characteristics of the foams. It is generally regarded to be less “toxic” than the polyurethane foam that surrounds it.

The gel is a response (among other responses and technologies both new and old) to two of several “issues” with memory foam IMO including responsiveness (ease of movement), temperature, the less supportive nature of memory foam (which is why it can’t be used effectively as a support layer), durability, and toxicity (there are food grade gels which are widely used including in the medical field). Since gel is more thermally conductive than other foam materials it feels cooler to the touch (which is great for marketing) and can also improve heat conduction away from the body to a degree (until the temperature equalizes). It can also improve the compression modulus and time dependent softening of memory foam which means that it can help prevent the tendency of memory foam to allow heavier areas of the body to sink down too deeply over the course of time. Compression modulus is the rate at which a material becomes firmer which is improved with gel. Viscoelastic materials get softer with temperature and humidity (which is more commonly known) but also have a property called “creep” which means that with constant pressure they also relax and get softer over time which is a less well known property of memory foam and gel can reduce this. Gel is also a less toxic material (uses “safer” chemicals and ingredients) and is very durable.

I have a good synopsis of how gels are used in memory foam mattresses in post #2 here and this post. There is also more detailed information in post #4 here about the technical nature of gel and toxicity questions.

Unfortunately, I can’t keep a record of the individual mattresses or their specs that the retailers and manufacturers in the hundreds of forum lists throughout the forum carry on their floor or have available online (it would be a bigger job than anyone could keep up with in a constantly changing market).

If you’re interested in looking online, you can use the expertise of the members listed in post #21 here who are all very experienced and knowledgeable and specialize in providing the type of help and guidance on the phone that can help you make good choices. There are a wide range of memory foam options included in the choices there (Rocky Mountain Mattress, Dreamfoam, Memory Foam Comfort, Nest Bedding, Novosbed, and Addable), and I believe that all of them compete well with the best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, service, and transparency. In addition to the online members of the site listed in the previous membership link … post #12 here has some of the better online memory foam options for those who are looking for a memory foam mattress. You may also wish to look at some of the memory foam offerings listed in the Simplified Choice thread here.

I hope that information is helpful to you.


I was wondering if you could give me your opinion on this mattress, and if you are familiar with the seller.

I am in the market for a mattress for my 25 year old son and came very close to ordering the above linked mattress. My son is above average BMI, probably in the 28-29 range. Cost is a concern. I saw that the seller was “foam mattress discounts,” aka so I scanned the website and looked up their number and I called them. A woman answered and I asked her why Amazon stated the mattresses were 5 lb density whereas their website stated their mattresses were 4 lb density. She did some “fast talking” and was trying to tell me that density of the memory foam was inconsequential. She also said a few things that gave me red flags so I am reaching out to you. (You helped me a great deal a few years ago when I was in the process of buying a latex mattress.) The other affordable mattress I am considering for him is the Addable mattress, although I was originally looking for 3" of 4-5 pound density memory foam on top. Your thoughts are appreciated. I hope I have placed this comment in the right space. :slight_smile:

Hi rcseisland,

Welcome back!

FoamMattressDiscounts is Lasting Impressions Foam (along with a few other online names) and I’ve discussed them previously here in post #2, which is worth a quick read. I would recommend extreme caution and consider them as “buyer beware” for the reasons put forth in that post.

Yes, this is also listed in their FAQ section where they state that memory foam being open cell is more important than density, which isn’t accurate. Their statement on amazon of being FULL 5 lb density is derived by adding up the density of the memory foam (3.3 lb) and the density of the polyfoam base (1.7 lb) to create the 5 lb number, which IMO is meaningless and done to create the perception of the memory foam layer being higher quality than it really is. I advise people to avoid businesses that market in such a manner.

As you’ve previously taken the time to educate yourself B) about foams and mattresses, you were probably able to “sniff out” some of these inconsistencies even before making your phone call to them. Trust your instincts.

The Addable certainly would be a good choice for an affordable good quality/value mattress (they are members here of the site, which means that I think highly of them). Post #4 here and the posts it links to also include many of the better lower budget online options I’m aware of as well.

I’ve never been too much of a stickler for where the posts are placed, as long as they are relatively on topic and the replies are kept in the same thread. No worries!

I’ll be interested if you find anything else or make a decision, and of course any questions that you may have.


Well, that is certainly very interesting about Foam Mattress Discounts and it’s parent and sister companies. I am so glad I didn’t order from them! Thanks for sharing that and corroborating my gut feelings about this shady company.

Could you please do me a favor and resend the link for post #4 which is about better lower budget online options? It didn’t translate into a clickable link. Thanks.

Hi rcseisland,

I’m sorry about the link - I forgot to add it. It is “active” now. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.


Hi, it’s me again. I just wanted to let you know that I did order the Addable mattress through the website. I paired it with the Glideaway Spacesaver frame / bed base which I bought through My 25 y.o. son has been sleeping on it for over a week and is very happy with it. He says he is sleeping much better/deeper, waking less, etc. (it replaced a Dreamfoam mattress in level 8-softish-that I bought a few years ago but had only been slept on for about 9 months.) The Addable is MUCH more comfortable. By the way, the customer service (Neal, I think) is second to none.

I am sincerely appreciative for your website and that you take so much time to patiently and brilliantly address, explain, educate all of our concerns. When one is not sleeping well and is exhausted and miserable, it’s nice to know there is a place to turn.

Hi rcseisland,

Thank you for the update, and congratulations on your new mattress and frame! :cheer: You certainly made a good value/quality choice. And I’m happy that your son is enjoying the new mattress. I’m hoping that you’ll report back after he’s had a chance to sleep upon it for a while longer.

As you’re aware, Addable is a site member here, which means that I think highly of Neal and the advice that he provides, and I’m glad that you received good service.

I’m glad that the information presented here was assistive to you.