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Cool Temp brand Memory Foam 06 Feb 2013 11:45 #1


What is your opinion in regards to the quality of this brand in a 5lb particulate. How would you rank head to head with a 5lb foam like Sensus as far as longevity and quality? I believe you have stated in the past that this is not the best gel foam choice ( particulate or beads) as some others available. Thanks

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Cool Temp brand Memory Foam 06 Feb 2013 16:35 #2

Hi Tennisman,

This is another one of those questions where the answer includes an "it depends" ... and this is especially true as more and more information comes to light about gel foams in general which is a newly emerging subcategory of foam and specific information about it is more difficult to come by.

When you add something else to a foam it will add it's own characteristics to the foam. In the case of gel liquids or particulates, they will add some thermal convection to the foam (which has some temporary temperature benefits until temperatures between the body and the foam even out at which time the benefit is minimized or lost) and also increase the support factor of the memory foam and reduces its tendency to continue sinking in more deeply with constant pressure over the course of the night.

Everything comes with another side to the story though and there can be some costs that go with any potential benefits.

In terms of quality ... it would depend on how you measured quality. Some manufacturers for example talk a lot about the 'feel" or "hand feel" of a foam or its texture and equate that to quality. Things like the consistency of a foam from batch to batch are also part of quality.

In terms of durability which is what I most frequently connect to quality ... a foam will generally be able to "hold" a certain amount of filler without seriously degrading its performance or durability. Once you are past this amount then the filler begins to affect durability.

Larger particle sizes can also have a bigger effect on the consistency, performance, and durability of a foam than smaller particle sizes. They can also migrate or come out of the foam. As more and more foam manufacturers are making different versions of gel foam the specific differences between them become more complex.

To simplify things a bit though here are my thoughts which of course are still subject to change over time as more information and long term experience about the category becomes available and as I have a chance to talk with some foam chemists and other "experts" about this in more detail.

All foams have a polymer density which is the density of the foam without any fillers . This is the single biggest factor in terms of durability.

Gel is more dense than memory foam so if it is added to the memory foam formula as either a particle or as a liquid it will increase the density of the foam. The higher the percentage of the gel (either as a particle or as a liquid) the more it will increase the density of the memory foam. this is why comparing gel memory foam to "regular" memory foam in terms of density along is not really an "apples to apples" comparison.

Particles will have a different effect on the durability of the foam depending on the percentage of gel particles that are added and on the size and consistency of the particles. There are different formulations available now that use different types and sizes of gel particles. It would be "probably" be safe to say that any particulates would not add to the durability of the foam and if the percentage of particulates that was added was too high or the particle size was larger the odds are that durability would be decreased. In a particulate memory foam in other words it would probably be "better" if the particulates were small enough that you couldn't easily see them as clearly defined larger particles and that they weren't easy to remove from the foam by rubbing your fingers along it. In this case, and if the percentage of gel that was added wasn't too high ... the effect on durability would probably be more neutral.

Adding gel can also make a memory foam firmer by increasing it's compression modulus (support factor) and since how much a foam compresses is a secondary factor in durability then this may slightly increase durability as well.

On the other hand if a gel is added as a liquid it will form its own connected structure which will be interconnected with the internal structure of the memory foam. Because the pure gel material itself is very strong and durable ... it would be reasonable to assume that in this case the gel itself could increase the durability of the memory foam that it was added to although liquid gel may also soften the memory foam and is generally added in lower concentrations because of this..

Overall ... and based on probability until long term evidence becomes available ... I would tend to "rate" gel memory foams with "liquid" gel added as potentially increasing the durability of the memory foam it was added to, gel added as very small particulates as being more neutral (with a possible slight increase because of increased support factor) on the durability of the memory foam, and gel added as larger particles that are easier to see or remove as being more "negative" in its effect on durability.

Comparing a gel memory foam to a non gel memory foam would be difficult because the gel memory foam manufacturers don't generally release the "polymer density" of the memory foam before the gel is added or the percentage of gel that they add to the foam and to some degree this is an apples to oranges comparison or even a comparison where enough information isn't available to make a more objective analysis. I know from many conversations that even the mattress manufacturers are still "experimenting" to a large degree with different gel foam versions and all the different information they are given by each gel foam manufacturer who sends them samples and claims to have "the best" version of gel foam. None of them have a complete picture of how things will shake out as the gel foam category matures.

If you were comparing a 5 lb Sensus though that has no gel added to a gel memory foam that was 5 lbs that has small gel particles or "powder" added (and if everything else was equal in terms of the other factors involved in durability) then I would think the Sensus would be slightly more durable because the polymer density of the 5 lb gel memory foam before the gel particulate was added would be lower than its final density so the Sensus would have a higher polymer density. If you were comparing it to a lower density gel memory foam (say 4 lbs) that also had particles or "powder" ... then I believe the difference in durability would be larger (just like there is a difference in durability between 4 lb and 5 lb memory foams).

Hope this helps ... at least to some degree.

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Last edit: by phoenix.
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