Difference Between Gel Foam and Sunmate Foam

Author: Nicholas Sutedja   Date Posted:24 September 2019 

Difference Between Gel Foam and Sunmate Foam main image Difference Between Gel Foam and Sunmate Foam image

Wheelchair seating is an important aspect of wheelchair prescriptions as the seating on the wheelchair depends on the needs of the individual. Here at Active Mobility Systems we work alongside Occupational Therapists in finding the right seats for you. With a wide range of seating in stock it can be a little confusing on which seating are best for you, however today we will discuss the difference between two different types of cushion foams.

Gel Foam (Pudgee Foam)

Gel foam is a combination of both Sunmate and gel and are created to provide shear reduction, pressure relief and support. It’s a viscoelastic gel material with an open-cell structure and a soft, dough-like consistency. This combination assures breathability, cooling and moisture wicking along with acting like a memory foam by moulding to the client and distributing the weight with the properties of a gel.

SPEX cushions’s ischial well material is made of gel foam and is best used for patients who move a lot against the lateral, headrest or wherever you put it. Its best purpose is for sheer reduction; however the downside is that it can become damaged over time so it’s best not to use with patients who leans heavily against it for most of the day.

Sunmate Foam

Sunmate foam is made out of high-tech viscoelastic polyurethane and is available in several pressure-support levels, from extra-soft to extra-firm, to accommodate different body weights or weight-distribution needs. The foam contours to the body and slowly springs back to its original shape once pressure has been lifted.

However unlike memory foams, which are made strictly for comfort, Sunmate combines soft pressure properties with firm support for good posture and impact absorption making it ideal for wear and tear due to it being durable and long lasting. Additionally Sunmate foams will not shrink or bottom-out over time and its open-cell structure maximises airflow and minimises heat build-up, keeping users cool and comfortable.

You can find Sunmate foam on either flex cushions or, if you look inside a SPEX cushion, the grey foam with black dots. They’re best used for non-movers who lean heavily since, as we stated, its quite springy and resilient. However the down side is that it grabs and holds so if it’s used on a headrest it’ll make it harder for users to turn the head and harder to move against a lateral if you self propel your wheelchair.

Hopefully this will help you understand better the difference between the two foams that are commonly used in SPEX cushions. If you require more information about our range of wheelchair seating cushions then send an email to sales@activemobility.com.au and we will be more than happy to assist you.