This paper presents the results of laboratory model loading tests and numerical studies carried out on square footings supported on geosynthetic reinforced sand beds. The relative performance of different forms of geosynthetic reinforcement (i.e. geocell, planar layers and randomly distributed mesh elements) in foundation beds is compared; using same quantity of reinforcement in each test. A biaxial geogrid and a geonet are used for reinforcing the sand beds. Geonet is used in two forms of reinforcement, viz. Planar layers and geocell, while the biaxial geogrid was used in three forms of reinforcement, viz. planar layers, geocell and randomly distributed mesh elements. Laboratory load tests on unreinforced and reinforced footings are simulated in a numerical model and the results are analyzed to understand the distribution of displacements and stresses below the footing better. Both the experimental and numerical studies demonstrated that the geocell is the most advantageous form of soil reinforcement technique of those investigated, provided there is no rupture of the material during loading. Geogrid used in the form of randomly distributed mesh elements is found to be inferior to the other two forms. Some significant observations on the difference in reinforcement mechanism for different forms of reinforcement are presented in this paper.