What is a Hybrid Mattress?
Hybrid mattresses are a popular choice in the modern day bedding industry. As the name suggests, these are made by combining well-known types of mattresses to maximize the overall quality of sleep for customers.
After all, you require about a good seven to nine hours of sleep each day according to studies conducted by the National Sleep Foundation. And a mattress with a good build ensures the time you spent sleeping isn’t problematic.
In addition to the hybrid model, memory foam is also something that’s widely available in the mattress market. But, what actually makes hybrid mattress unique is how incredibly different they are from memory foam mattresses – something you should keep in mind as you continue reading.
Below, we are going to talk about everything there is to know about hybrid mattresses, from their pros and cons, to prices and durability.
What is a hybrid mattress?
Once again, as the word ‘hybrid’ suggests, these mattresses are made from a combination of two materials. Usually, this term refers to mattresses that are composed of foam and innerspring, a blend of both traditional and modern mattresses.
A hybrid mattresses’ core is generally constructed using innersprings that are pocketed for the foundation, while the upper layers of the mattress contain the comfort layer, which is approximately 1.5 inches or more of memory foam. Keep in mind, some types of hybrid mattresses might use latex foam rather than memory foam as the comfort layer.
One must also make a note that the term ‘hybrid’ mattress is used more as a marketing phrase. For a mattress to truly be a hybrid, there must be a combination of coil support and memory/latex foam as the respective core and comfort layers. If there’s no use of innerspring, the mattress isn’t technically a hybrid, even if it is combining two types of materials.
What are the Components of a Hybrid Mattress?
An average hybrid mattress bed is comprised of these layers:
A Base Layer
This layer usually contains foam and is located beneath the core layer to provide extra support, stability, and padding to the mattress. This layer is about 1 inch in height and is likely made from polyurethane.
A Coil Support Core
A coil support core is designed to relieve pressure points, provide advanced spinal/body alignment technology, and increase the effectiveness of the comfort layers. These internal support systems are usually correlated with durability, as mattresses with a higher coil count tend to last longer.
A Comfort Layer
This layer is made from either memory or latex foam, or possibly a combination of both. The components of this layer, along with the ratio and height, is a decision made by the mattress manufacturer and is different for each brand. But, ideally, the comfort layer should be about 3 – 4 inches, and could contain additional gel content or copper elements to increase breathability and cooling aspect of the mattress.
An Optional Pillow-top Or Euro-top Layer
Although not a required layer, some manufacturers prefer to add an additional layer that is sewn in the gap between the space for the pillow and the comfort layer. This gives the appearance that there’s a mattress latched onto the pillow. These layers can be about 1 to 2 inches in height, and are usually made from materials such as memory foam, latex foam, cotton, wool, polyfoam, or fiberfill.
In addition to the usual layers of the mattress, the density and ILD are two aspects that should be considered when shopping for a mattress. Additionally, the coil count, as well as the gauge of the core, can help you better assess each mattress.
The density of a mattress is the measure of the amount of compression that a mattress can hold while still properly supporting the sleeper. The density of a mattress is measured in pounds per cubic foot. Exceptional contouring and motion isolation can be provided by higher-grade density foam, but tend to take a while to recover its original shape. Using a lower quality foam gives you quick shape recovery, however, it has lesser motion isolation and contouring. A medium quality foam is somewhere in the middle, not leaning towards either side.
These density levels vary from foam to foam. The density of memory foam is around 2.5 to 3.9 pounds per each cubic foot on the lower end, and up to 5.5 for a higher-grade foam. Polyfoam’s density ranges anywhere between 1.9 to 2.5 pounds per cubic foot, based on the quality of the foam.
ILD stands for Indentation Load Deflection, which is used to measure the firmness of a mattress. The more the ILD count, the firmer the bed, which means you more likely experience minor contouring. And similar to density levels, the ILD count depends on the type of foam. On the ILD scale, a memory foam layer scores anywhere between 8 to 20, while latex is between 15 and 40. If you’re an overweight sleeper or a stomach sleeper, then a mattress with higher ILD score might be ideal for you, as it gives the least contouring. On the other hand, lower ILD score mattresses are best for side sleepers and users with lighter weight.
Unlike the density and ILD scores, coil count is something that helps you determine the lifespan of a mattress. The higher the coil count, the greater the durability of a mattress. And, if you get a mattress with a lower coil count, you might have to replace it sooner than you expected.
The gauge is nothing but the measure of the thickness of the coils that are pocketed into the core of the mattress. The higher the level of the gauge, the thinner the coils of your mattress are. The gauge of the core can respectively range anywhere between 12 to 18 on the thicker and thinner ends.
How is the Sleeping Experience on a Hybrid Mattress?
A good hybrid mattress can provide the sleeper with contouring comparable to that of a memory foam bed, but to a slightly lesser degree. Unlike the memory foams, which give you a feeling of “hugging” the mattress, hybrid mattresses don’t make you feel like you’re trapped inside the mattress. Perhaps this is why a lot of people turn to the hybrid mattress rather than its competition.
Hybrid mattresses give you an ideal amount of contouring, while the pocketed coils don’t allow heat to be retained. These pocketed coils also give more buoyancy while still providing excellent motion isolation. Even if the people you share with the bed with shift their positions or get out of the bed, you won’t feel the disturbance.
All hybrid mattresses will have a unique feel due to the difference in the ratio levels of latex and memory foam layers. But, fortunately, you can choose what works best for you by testing them in the stores.
Pros and Cons of Hybrid Mattresses
The features and the positive qualities of a hybrid mattress can be extremely enticing. But, let me tell you, not everything about them is perfect. Just like other mattresses, hybrids come with their own set of pros and cons.
- Gives better contouring than innerspring and latex mattresses
- Cooler sleeping surface
- Better motion isolation
- Availability of various firmness levels
- Initial off-gassing
- Shorter life span if there’s more polyfoam
- Heavy and difficult to move
Pros of a Hybrid Mattress
Compared to the mattresses that contain innerspring and latex, they have remarkable contouring. This enables a better alignment of the spine, especially if you’re a side sleeper. And, at the same time, it retains the positive qualities, such as buoyancy.
Cooler sleeping surface
All thanks to the pocketed coils in the core, which comes with enhanced cooling aspects, you don’t feel hot while sleeping on a hybrid mattress. These coils ensure breathability and good air-circulation throughout the mattress.
As I mentioned earlier, these mattresses offers perfect buoyancy, and have minimal noise and motion transfer issues. This proves this type of mattress is ideal for people sharing the bed, especially couples.
Better motion isolation
The use of more than one foam layer makes the mattress better at isolating motion than many other mattresses available in the market. So, with these mattresses there’s no need to worry about being disturbed by your partner or your pet while you’re taking that nap or having a good night’s sleep.
Availability of various firmness levels
Due to the usage of both latex and memory foams in hybrid mattresses, there are many different variations of firmness to chose from. Since manufacturers produce different ratios and heights of each layer, you can decide what is best for you by testing the mattress at the store.
Cons of a Hybrid Mattress
An expensive option
Compared to the other contenders in the bedding industry, hybrid mattresses can lean towards the expensive side. But again, this is because the mattresses tend to offer the best of both innerspring and memory foam mattresses. And, this quality comes at a price.
Initial off-gassing odor
You might experience an off-gas odor when you unwrap a hybrid mattress due to the intense manufacturing process and different foam layers involved. But, the good thing is that not all hybrid mattresses give off this smell, and if they do, it doesn’t last long. Also, there are no negative health impacts, because the off-gas is totally harmless. The odor should dissipate within a few hours, or at most, a few days.
Shorter lifespan if there’s more polyfoam
If your mattress happens to have an unideal ratio of poly and latex foam, especially if there’s more polyfoam, then it might not last as long. So, make sure you are informed about the ratio and the foam layers before you choose your mattress.
Heavier and difficult to move
Due to a multitude of components, hybrid mattresses are much heavier than a simple memory foam mattress. And while they can be more difficult to move, this heaviness offers more durability, and who wouldn’t like that?
How much should you spend on a hybrid mattress?
A high-quality queen-sized hybrid mattress can cost you around $1,000 on an average. This price is about $400 more than what you would normally pay for an innerspring mattress, and about $100 more than a bed made from memory foam. However, some high-end hybrid mattress models can cost up to $4,000.
What is the durability of a hybrid mattress?
A good hybrid bed can last up to ten or more years, but the average lifespan is around six years. However, this average is much higher than most innerspring beds.
The lifespan of the mattress also depends on the amount of polyfoam and the thickness of the coils used in the core layer. If there’s more polyfoam in the mattress, then it has the potential of having a shorter lifespan.
We recommended reviewing the warranty periods of the various hybrid mattresses, because these warranty clauses may range anywhere from premature sagging of the coils to depth of an indentation and more. Just go through them carefully and see what’s is and isn’t covered by the manufacturer.
What kind of sleepers do hybrid mattresses suit best?
Since hybrid mattresses offer the best combination of all mattresses currently available, it minimizes the negative qualities of each layer and emphasizes their positive traits. This makes hybrid mattresses ideal for most types of sleepers, because the excellent motion isolation, minimal contouring, and buoyancy make it ideal for people sharing the bed, especially couples.
For the sleepers who are on the heavier side, sleep on their stomach, or prefer less contouring, a hybrid mattress is the best choice.
However, if you’re someone enjoys plush mattresses and want to have an embracing feel, then you should probably stay away from the hybrid mattress.
How is a hybrid mattress different from a memory foam mattress?
How is a hybrid mattress different from a memory foam mattress?
Memory foam mattresses are among the top contenders for hybrid mattresses in the market, and they are a popular alternative to the hybrid bed. So, how is a hybrid mattress different from memory foam? What are the fundamental differences, and how can you differentiate one from the other?
A memory foam mattress, unlike a hybrid mattress, combines a type of viscoelastic foam along with a few other foam layers. The base material (memory foam), was originally intended to be used in the seats of airplanes. It then moved to the hospitals to provide support to patients with spinal injuries, and finally made its way to the bedding industry.
How do you differentiate between a hybrid and a memory foam mattress?
The main difference between a hybrid and memory foam mattress is its build. Most hybrid mattresses are a blend of innerspring along with layers of latex and/or memory foam, while some use memory foam as a base layer in combination with other layers for support, cooling, and other aspects.
The hybrid mattresses maximize the beneficial qualities of each layer and minimize their negative aspects, while the memory foam mattress aims to give users a plush and enveloped sleeping experience.
The differences compared to a memory foam mattress
Memory foam mattresses are different from the hybrid mattress in many ways, including that they are usually a lot more durable and typically come with much longer warranty periods than hybrid mattresses.
These mattresses also come with excellent spinal support, which makes it ideal for users who experience chronic back pain. Further, they have minimal buoyancy and are extremely easy to clean. You can just remove the dust with a simple wipe down, which is much easier compared to the hybrid bed. In addition, most of the memory foam mattresses are hypoallergenic and protect sleepers from mites, dust, and other kinds of airborne allergens.
However, many users avoid memory foam due to its high sinkage rates. Unlike the hybrid bed, memory foam mattresses give the sleeper an ‘embracing’ feel. A hybrid mattress, on the other hand, is bouncier and keeps you on the surface. So, if you’re someone who likes to move a lot and enjoys more bounce, you might be disappointed with a memory foam mattress.
These mattresses are also known to retain a lot of heat, so they typically overheat more quickly. That’s why a lot of mattresses come with an additional cooling layer as compensation.
However, memory foam mattress might also be prone to some initial off-gassing, very similar to that of a hybrid mattress. But, it might take a little longer for a memory foam mattress to get rid of the odor than it would for a hybrid bed.
How do you know if a hybrid mattress is the right one for you?
Even after reading about hybrid mattresses in detail, you might still be wondering which mattress is right one for you.
A hybrid mattress definitely offers a lot of benefits, but it is quite expensive. Memory foam, on the other hand, could provide you with similar advantages, but at a much lower price. So, what do you do now? How do you know if a hybrid mattress is the right choice for you? Whether it is a first-time purchase or simply an upgrade, if you go through these factors, and you should be able to determine which mattress is best for you.
If you are on the heavier side and looking for something comfortable, then you should give hybrid mattresses a try. They provide excellent contouring and less sinkage, which makes it an ideal choice for these types of sleepers.
Similarly, a stomach sleeper might prefer these mattresses over an innerspring or memory foam mattresses.
Hybrid mattresses also work for those who are looking for breathability and good air circulation during their sleep, because the pocketed springs in the inner layer are an excellent cooling mechanism.
Finally, hybrid mattresses are available in a wide variety of choices depending on each brand’s ratios and specifications. This means every type of sleeper could find the perfect mattress for them. All you have to do is find a store where you can test out the mattresses, and pick the one that offers you the best firmness, comfort, contouring and motion transfer.
How do Memory Foam and Latex Mattresses Feel?
Foam Mattress Recommendations
In case you’re wondering if we have any recommendations, here are a few reviews you should check out:
[Tuft & Needle is foam; Purple contains two types of foam and a polyelastic layer]
[Ghostbed is foam, latex, and memory; Purple contains two types of foam and a polyelastic layer]
FAQ checklist you need to go through before buying a mattress
Now that you’ve been well informed about hybrid mattresses and everything they have to offer, you’re ready to purchase one of your own. But, before you go, just go through this one last checklist of things to consider. This should clear up any doubts you had before buying your mattress. So, here we go.