An alternative to a wool mattress pad is an overlay gel mattress pad. If you are extremely allergic to wool, avoiding a wool mattress pad may be good. The way to do that, when you have a bed-ridden patient is with overlay gel mattress pads.
Overlay gel mattress pads are used mainly in medical settings, where patients are at risk of developing bedsores or already have. Overly mattress pads are specially designed to relieve pressure points on the body and provide even, gentle support.
Overlay gel mattress pads are filled with a polymer gel surrounded by polyurethane or latex foam. The gel is often segregated in as many as 14 cells to prevent the gel from shifting around. The gel layer is typically 2 to 2-1/2 inches thick, while the foam facings may be an inch thick each. The foam layer also insulates the patient from temperature changes. Overlay gel mattress pads for full size beds can weigh around 55 pounds.
Overlay gel mattress pads have been developed for the home market, too. Here they cater to persons suffering from lower back pain as well as invalids who are at risk of bedsores. The home overlay gel mattress pads come in a full range of sizes, and are equipped with extra-stiff foam side panels for sitting.
Intelli-Bed is the originator of Intelli-Gel, which is made from a space-age co-polymer called Gellastic. Unlike other gels which are viscous or syrupy, Gellastic is remarkably elastic. It can be stretched to over 20 times its original length and snap back to size when it is released. Gellastic gives the Intelli-Bed Intelli-Gel mattress pad its special ability to conform to pressure from hips or shoulders without being so stiff that it induces pressure sores.
MyComfortMyWay.com is one merchant of overlay gel mattress pads on the web. The company sells a single-layer overlay gel mattress pad filled with Intelli-Gel, for $1,349 in a full size. A double-layer Intelli-Gel overlay gel mattress pad sells for $2,649. A latex Intelli-Gel overlay gel mattress pad sells for $1,999. Mind you, the mattress and box spring are sold separately!
Contrast this with the Evermed ACS Comfort-Gel Plus overlay gel mattress pads designed for hospital and home health care beds. They are three inches narrower than a twin sized bed, and five inches longer. But they are built pretty much the same as the expensive mattress pads and cost only $149.
Montgomery Ward’s online store sells the Cal King Hotel Collection overlay gel mattress pad in queen or king size for $89 to $99. It’s hard to tell how thick the gel layer is — the description only says it’s “six times the fill of an average pad”.
Back in the breathtaking range, Amazon.com features the Gel-Pro 3-Section Mattress by HomeHealthSuperstore. This $1,200 beauty is a genuine queen size, 60x80x5 inches. It will be quite heavy so it comes in three sections. It’s designed for nursing homes and similar long-care institutions, but there’s no reason (other than price) it can’t be used in a residential setting.
Overlay gel mattress pads are critical and practical for the bedridden. They may make sense for people with chronic back pain. But they are generally far overpriced for those who just want a more comfortable night’s sleep.