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By adding gel, mattress makers hope to sell more beds

Consumer Reports News: October 27, 2011 05:25 PM

Gel mattresses are a hot item at the home furnishings trade show this week in High Point, North Carolina, according to Furniture Today, a trade publication. Gel may be hot, but it’s cool, so cool that it acts as a cooling agent for memory-foam mattresses.

If you become uncomfortably warm while sleeping, memory foam tends to trap heat and make you feel even hotter. And that’s where the gel comes in. It’s infused into the memory foam or appears as a layer on top of the mattress. Serta and Simmons already have gel lines that sell for $1,300 to $2,500, and Restonic and other manufacturers are unveiling gel beds at the show. Tempur-Pedic, the big name in memory foam, is gel-free.

And so are conventional innerspring mattresses. They remain the best sellers, but the best mattress is the one you find most comfortable and supportive. That said, consider this advice from Dr. Alan Hedge, professor of ergonomics at Cornell University. He says the best mattress supports your spine at all points while allowing it to maintain its natural curve. By age 40, skin loses elasticity and becomes more sensitive to pressure points, which means you should consider a softer, more cushiony surface as you age.

Consumer Reports doesn’t rate mattresses because of the role personal preference plays and the fact that competing retailers don’t carry the same models, but our survey of more than 17,000 online subscribers reveals how satisfied they are with the leading mattress brands and stores.

Kimberly Janeway

   

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