This research is supported by you, our readers, through our independently chosen links, which earn us a commission with no extra cost to you. Learn More
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!
- A hybrid mattress combines several support, transition, and comfort layers to provide the ultimate sleep experience with a mixture of different layers’ properties.
- Hybrid mattresses feel responsive and supportive, with great sinkage and breathability. They are great for heavy sleepers, people with back pain, hot sleepers, or sleepers that tend to move a lot, especially the ones who sleep with a partner.
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.
Types of Hybrid Mattresses
There are various types of hybrid mattresses based on the materials used inside them, including memory foam and spring, latex, and spring, and memory foam and latex. Let’s see how each of these types is made and how they can make you feel when sleeping.
Memory foam and spring
Many hybrid mattresses have a support layer of spring with a couple of memory foam and foam transition and comfort layers on top. The springs used in these mattresses are either innerspring or pocket springs. The first one has springs connected to each other that make the whole mattress or a region of a mattress move at the same time. The pocket coils are each individually wrapped which is designed to prevent, the option from being transferred to the other side of the mattress.
This hybrid mattress type is great at motion isolation and support. It’s great for couples who want to experience sleep with little to zero disturbance from the other person’s movements. They are also one of the great mattresses without box springs.
Also Read: Memory Foam vs Spring Mattresses
Latex and spring
Just like the memory foam and spring type, these mattresses have a coil system as the support layer and several transition and comfort layers. These mattresses are extremely bouncy and responsive, which makes them great for sex. Plus, since both the latex layers and the spring layers allow air to move freely through the mattress, these hybrid mattresses sleep very cool.
Memory foam and latex
These mattresses don’t have any springs in them, so they are one of the more uncommon types of hybrid mattresses. However, the combination of memory foam and latex in these mattresses makes them extremely supportive and contouring. Usually, there will be a thick support layer made of latex, and comfort layers made from memory foam. These mattresses also tend to be firmer and not as bouncy as the other hybrid mattresses with spring, which is great for people with back pain (2).
Also Read: Memory Foam vs Hybrid Mattresses
Latex, memory foam, and spring
These hybrid mattresses have all the different types of materials in them. Usually, there is a spring support layer, latex or memory foam transition layers, and memory foam comfort layers. However, this arrangement can differ for different mattresses. This hybrid mattress type has great support, bounce, thermoregulation, and contour. It is a combination of all the great things about these three mattress types.
While these hybrid mattresses can resemble Euro top and Pillow-top mattresses a lot, you should know that they are very different in the number of layers that make them up.
How Does a Hybrid Mattress Compare with Other Mattress Types
Hybrid mattresses are quite different from other mattress types in their structures and properties. Here is a table that captures the main differences between a hybrid mattress and other mattress types like memory foam, latex, and innerspring mattresses.
|Overall feel||Cushioning with bounce||Contouring with bounce||Supportive and Static||Bounce and sturdy|
|Support layer||Pocket coils or innerspring||Latex||Dense memory foam||Innerspring|
|Comfort layer||Memory foam, pillow-top, or latex||Latex||Less dense memory foam||None, pillow-top, memory foam, or latex|
|Thermoregulation||Mostly breathable||Very breathable and cooling||Not breathable||Moderately breathable|
|Motion isolation||Good motion isolation thanks to individually wrapped pocket coils in the support layer||Very little motion isolation||Great motion isolation||Not isolating at all|
|Pressure Relief||Great pressure relief thanks to the cushioning comfort layers||Great pressure relief (4)||Amazing relief from pain in the joints and muscles||Not very relieving|
|Edge Support||Moderate support on the edges, depending on the comfort layer material||Great edge support, up to 4 inches of sinkage maximum||Not very good at edge support, can sink more than 4 inches depending on the density||Moderate edge support, can sink up to 4 inches|
|Bounce||Moderately bouncy, depending on whether it uses latex or springs||Very bouncy and responsive||Not bouncy at all||Very bouncy|
|Weight||100+ lbs||70 lbs||70-90 lbs||150 lbs|
|Firmness options||Various firmness options from soft to medium to firm||Mostly medium-firm and firm||Various options from soft to firm||Mostly medium-firm|
|Flipping ability||Not flippable||Mostly flippable||Sometimes flippable||Not flippable|
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’ (3). Today, with the rise of quality and the invention of better mattress materials, we can expect this percentage to be even higher.
In order to make my job easier when trying to deliver a hybrid mattress to my bedroom, I always tell the delivery service beforehand that I would need them to take it to my bedroom for an extra fee.
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.
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, so if you’re a petite person, you might need a helping hand if you decide to move or rotate your mattress.
I own many hybrid mattresses for testing, and I also choose hybrid mattresses to sleep on myself, because they are supportive and give me just the right amount of sinkage I need as a side sleeper.
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.
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.
Additionally, a high-profile bed may not work for all sleepers. For instance, it might not go with your current bed frame or headboard. Some users also don’t like “climbing” on their bed at the end of the day, especially those who aren’t very tall.
Potential Motion Transfer
As hybrid mattresses use coils for support, they often allow for some motion transfer. Now, it’s not that noticeable, especially if you pick a model with thick comfort layers. But if you and your partner are significantly different in terms of weight, the smaller one is likely to feel something when there’s movement on the other side of the bed. Therefore, if one of you is a light sleeper and the other one tends to be restless during the night, you need to pay extra attention to the comfort layers (and their thickness) of your future hybrid mattress.
- Couples. If you share your bed with a significant other, I’ve got good news for you: hybrid mattresses usually have strong, reliable edges. Therefore, you and your partner will enjoy extra sleeping space.
- Those who want bouncy support. Hybrid mattresses are responsive and resilient. You won’t feel stuck while lying on one, which many users appreciate (especially after they ditch their old foam mattresses that are notorious for their quicksand feel).
So, does a hybrid mattress sound like a perfect choice for your bedroom now? Let us know in the comments!
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. This is why flippable mattresses are not hybrid.
- Pocket Coils - What Makes Fabric Encased Coils Unique. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://purple.com/mattress-types/pocket-coil-mattresses
- Gianfilippo Caggiari (December 2021) What type of mattress should be chosen to avoid back pain and improve sleep quality? Review of the literature. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/356877637_What_type_of_mattress_should_be_chosen_to_avoid_back_pain_and_improve_sleep_quality_Review_of_the_literature
- 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/
- Fan-Zhe Low (October 2016). Effects of Mattress Material on Body Pressure Profiles in Different Sleeping Postures. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5310954/