What Is a Hybrid Mattress?

Written by: Alex Savy
Read 6 minLast updated June 3, 2020

The term ‘hybrid’ means ‘something that combines the features of at least two items’. A hybrid bike, for example, combines the features of a road and a mountain bicycle.

But what is a hybrid mattress?

A hybrid mattress combines two or more independent support technologies. Typically, it’s a coil foundation and different foam layers above it, but you can also find models with two coil systems or different combinations of foam and latex.

So, how does this build impact the mattress performance, and are hybrid mattresses worth the hype

Well, let’s find out!

What Is a Hybrid Mattress Made Of?

What Is a Hybrid Mattress Made Of

A typical hybrid mattress is made of a sturdy coil base and a few foam comfort layers. At the very least, this is the most common configuration you’ll get on the market.

But we’re here to look into the details, right?

So, if you remove the cover, here’s what you may see:

  • Base layer. This can be a solid steel unit or individually wrapped coils. The solid block will ensure unbeatable edge support, while the pocketed coils typically offer better motion absorption because they aren’t connected and each acts on its own (1).
  • Support and transition layers. These can be made of literally anything, including latex, polyfoam, high-density memory foam, and even other coils! Also, these layers can be zoned to ensure better weight distribution and more precise spine support.
  • Comfort layers. These are the first layers under the cover and they’re typically made of cooling materials, such as gel or copper-infused foam, natural latex, or fiberfill.

Speaking of the cover, it often features a pillow-top to add more cushioning and create a breathable layer between your body and the mattress.

How Hybrid Mattresses Feel

Now, let’s see how the construction of a hybrid mattress defines its features and how it feels.

The first thing I want to mention here is that hybrid mattresses typically offer a perfect balance between sinkage and responsiveness. The coil base ensures some bounce, while the top foam layers absorb excessive springiness and conform to your pressure points. So, a good hybrid mattress can give you the same level of cradling as an all-foam one but without making you feel trapped in its layers.

Now, the coil system can allow for better airflow inside the mattress, thus solving the most common problem of memory foam — heat retention. So, if you’re a hot sleeper but you don’t want to invest in an expensive breathable latex mattress or a firm and overly bouncy innerspring bed, opting for a hybrid is a good solution. This mattress will sleep pretty cool and won’t sacrifice comfort for you.

Finally, a hybrid mattress is a surprisingly good choice for couples. It has good motion absorption but still offers a quicker response than foam beds do, which is a plus for romantic activities.

Aside from this, a bit of bounce can be beneficial for those who have mobility issues and have difficulty getting in and out of bed.

No wonder that in 2012 almost 60% of hybrid bed owners marked their sleep experience as ‘excellent’ (2). Today, with the rise of quality and the invention of better mattress materials, we can expect this percentage to be even higher.

“Hybrid mattresses are also quieter than innerspring ones. Even though a coil system is prone to squeaking, the foam layers above it can reduce the noise and will keep your sleep uninterrupted.”

What Are Hybrid Mattress Downsides?

What Are Hybrid Mattress Downsides

Now that you know all the great benefits of sleeping on a hybrid mattress, you might consider it a nearly perfect type of bed.

But the reality is a bit different here.

Hybrid beds do have some downsides. Although they aren’t critical, you still need to be informed about them to weigh your choice.

Heavy Build

The average thickness of a hybrid mattress ranges from 12 to 15 inches, which makes it a relatively thick bed and results in a large weight.

In fact, hybrids are the heaviest mattress type in the industry (3), so if you’re a petite person, you might need a helping hand if you decide to move or rotate your mattress.

“If you have a bedroom on the second level and a narrow staircase, consider purchasing a hybrid that comes vacuum-sealed in a box.”

Fluctuating Prices

If a mattress industry develops a new groundbreaking material, be sure that you’ll soon see it inside hybrid mattresses of leading mattress brands.

Which means that the price for these mattresses will increase.

Also, since the combinations of materials used in hybrid mattresses can be literally endless, you can see the prices from $300 to $1,400 within the line-up of a single brand.

Misleading Information

Another drawback of hybrid mattresses is… the very definition of the word ‘hybrid’. Since this is a mattress that can have literally anything inside, many mattress brands label their product ‘hybrid’ when, in fact, this can be an innerspring bed or a foam mattress that combines various types of foam. 

Don’t worry, though!

You can easily distinguish a hybrid by checking its construction: 

It should have at least two comfort layers above the coil base and they should be thicker than 3”. Most innersprings can only offer you a thin foam layer or a pillow-top.

Who Will Benefit from a Hybrid?

Finally, let’s find out if a hybrid mattress would be right for you. 

So, here’s who will benefit from this type of bed:

  • A heavy sleeper. A rigid support system of a hybrid easily supports large weight while maintaining good comfort levels.
  • An individual with back issues. Hybrid mattresses can offer pinpoint support for your spinal curves and relieve pressure points.
  • A hot sleeper. The coil system improves air circulation between the layers and prevents you from overheating during sleep.
  • An active sleeper (or their partner). A hybrid bed absorbs movements pretty easily and can guard your uninterrupted sleep.

So, does a hybrid mattress sound like a perfect choice for your bedroom now? Let us know in the comments!

FAQ

What does a hybrid mattress mean?

‘Hybrid’ means that a mattress combines at least two different support systems, with the most common ones being coils and foam layers.

Why buy a hybrid mattress?

You may want to buy a hybrid because it offers a perfect balance between support and cradling. Plus, hybrids are available in dozens of different variations, so it’s possible to find an option for any user.

Can you flip a hybrid mattress?

No. Most hybrid mattresses have comfort layers only on one side, so if you flip the mattress, you’ll expose your body to the base layer, which will feel too rigid and stiff.

References

  1. Pocket Coils - What Makes Fabric Encased Coils Unique. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://purple.com/mattress-types/pocket-coil-mattresses
  2. David Perry (2013, March 20). Consumers Give Thumbs Up to Hybrids, Specialty Beds. Retrieved from https://www.furnituretoday.com/business-news/consumers-give-thumbs-up-to-hybrids-specialty-beds/
  3. Mitchell Tollsen (2020, May 4). How Much Does a Mattress Weigh? Retrieved from https://amerisleep.com/blog/how-much-does-a-mattress-weigh/

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