What Is A Hybrid Mattress?

Published
by Max S
What Is A Hybrid Mattress_

You’ve probably heard of hybrid mattresses while browsing for a new mattress. But what is a hybrid mattress?

We understand if you’re not up to date with the trends in the mattress industry. But buying a mattress that suits what you need is a major decision one has to make. Mattresses are expensive, and you spend over ⅓ of your life sleeping on one.

From its name, a hybrid mattress is a combination of both a foam mattress and a spring mattress. And when we say foam, this can also include:

So, if you like the support a spring mattress provides but want the comfort that a foam mattress provides, then a hybrid mattress may be for you. You get the best of both worlds, but it’s important to consider the mattress firmness and your sleeping position.

If a hybrid mattress has intrigued you, we’ve prepared a list of everything you need to know. From how hybrids are constructed to who they’re best for!

What are the Components of a Hybrid Mattress?

what is a hybrid mattress cross section image of layers
Composition and layers of a hybrid mattress. Image source: Emma

Whilst multiple foams can be used, the springs and foam work together to deliver a blend of pressure-relieving comfort and durable support. They’re made for people who want the support of innerspring and yet the comfort of foam.

Related Read: Best Hybrid Mattress

Let’s look under the cover of a hybrid mattress and see how the best properties of a foam and spring mattress combine to create dreamy comfort. A hybrid mattress typically consists of four components: pillow top, comfort layer, support core, and base layer.

  • The Pillow Top: A 1-to-2-inch pillow top is placed on the comfort layer to provide additional cushioning. Note: This layer is only available on some hybrid mattresses; otherwise, the comfort layer will be the top layer.
  • The Comfort Layer:  If there is no pillow top, as explained above, the comfort layer is where you rest, and it’s made up of cushioned materials like memory foam, latex, and cool-inducing gel. This layer is usually 3 to 4 inches of body-hugging material.
  • The Support Core: The support core makes up most of the mattress height at 7-8 inches. Pocket-wrapped coils provide spinal support. Pocketed coils compress on slight pressure and provide better contouring. Like memory foam, these coils adhere to your body curves.
  • The Base Layer: This layer at the bottom is usually constructed of foam and provides sturdiness and stability.

Benefits of a Hybrid Mattress

Choosing a perfect mattress that suits your needs can be daunting. Hybrid mattresses have risen in popularity due to sleepers’ getting the best of both worlds. We’ve also listed more benefits of hybrid mattresses below:

Balanced comfort and support

Hybrid mattresses are among the most comfortable mattresses on the market due to technological advances compared to more traditional mattress types. Whether memory foam, cooling gel, or latex, the foam layer adapts to your shape and provides a comforting sensation to your mattress.

The comfort layer offers the sleeper genuine comfort when combined with the sturdy pocket springs underneath. Pocket springs help to provide firm support for common pressure points such as:

  • Shoulders
  • Hip
  • Knees
  • Neck

Cool sleep

Foam mattresses, especially memory foam mattresses, tend to retain body heat, making you sleep hotter than usual and causing night sweats. If you’re a hot sleeper, then regulating your temperature is a must as it may cause bad sleep. The top layer of your bed should be cool to the touch.

Related Read: How To Keep Cool On A Memory Foam Mattress?

Hybrid mattresses utilise the airflow offered by the spring support layer to help keep you cool before and whilst you sleep. In some hybrid mattresses, the top layer consists of gel-infused foam that also aids in dissipating body heat.

Pressure relief

Pressure and pain can make getting a good night’s sleep difficult. Hybrid mattresses have a unique design that helps relieve pressure around common pressure points and pain. We mentioned these earlier, but they are:

  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Hip
  • Knees

The foam layers cradle and adjust to the sleeper’s body shape, providing comfort and pressure alleviation. In contrast, the innerspring layer offers firmer support and breathability.

The innerspring also give better responsiveness, vital for people who feel “stuck in bed” on all-foam mattresses. It also allows for more effortless movement and allows the sleeper to shift and turn without waking up.

Suitable for all sleeping positions

Another advantage of hybrid mattresses is that they are suited for various sleeping positions.

  • Side sleepers will appreciate how the foam layer relieves their shoulders and hips pressure.
  • Back sleepers will enjoy how the innerspring coils provide firmer support to the spine.
  • Stomach sleepers should look for a hybrid mattress with a thinner foam layer and a more sturdy innerspring support layer to relieve pressure on the hips and lower back.

Motion Isolation

Motion isolation is crucial when you plan to share your bed with a partner, pets, or children, especially if one is a light sleeper. Due to the combination of foam and pocket springs, hybrid mattresses are ideal for light sleepers. They’re far less disruptive than standard spring mattresses when getting up at night or changing sleeping positions.

A mattress with individual or pocketed springs helps to limit motion transfer since they are not connected.

Durable

Another advantage of hybrid mattresses is that the combination of foam and innerspring layers provides more resilience and longevity than mattresses made of either material alone.

  • Innerspring mattresses last five to seven years on average.
  • Memory foam mattresses last six to eight years on average.
  • Natural latex mattresses last up to ten years on average.

Because hybrid mattresses contain both innerspring and foam, they can last anywhere from six to eight years. The rough timeframe depends on the materials’ quality and the owner’s care and maintenance.

Versatile

There’s are a variety of hybrid mattresses with different constructions to help tailor it to your sleeping style.

For example, you can choose from different combinations of latex foam, memory foam, or polyfoam for the comfort layers, depending on your priority i.e. firmness, breathability, comfort.

You can also add a pillow top or quilted cushioning for the top layer.

Edge support

The structural integrity of a mattress’s perimeter is called ‘edge support’. If you have owned a foam mattress before, you’ll know the edge support falls short in this area.

On the other hand, the structural spring system of hybrid mattresses provides exceptional edge support. The edges offer more pushback force than foam mattresses due to the springs within.

This helps if you weigh more than 100kg+ (230+ pounds) as you won’t feel like you’re falling out of bed when perching on edge. This also means a larger sleeping surface area for couples who share a bed since you can sleep right up to the edges.

No poking spring

Unlike traditional spring mattresses that poke out springs as they wear out, the hybrid mattress’ structure makes that impossible even as they age. This is because of the comfort layer (mainly foam) above the support core where the springs are located.

Do you need a boxspring with a hybrid mattress?

First of all, what exactly is a box spring, and what is it for? Box springs are made out of solid wood or metal frames packed with wire coils. Their purpose is:

  • To provide support for the mattress
  • To improve ventilation
  • To absorb shock and protect the mattress from shock
  • To lift the mattress to a higher position

When most mattresses were made with springs, box springs were almost essential. Spring mattress needs extra support and something to absorb the shock from the bouncing.

 

bed frame needed for spring mattresses
Metal box spring. Image source: Amazon

Memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses, on the other hand, don’t require the same amount of stress absorption as spring mattresses. The materials used to make them are already shock absorbent. So, no, there is no need to install a box spring when using a hybrid mattress.

You can also check with the manufacturer’s manual if using a box spring is recommended or if they recommend another mattress base per the warranty conditions.

How long do hybrid mattresses last?

The durability of a hybrid mattress is dependent on the density of the foam used in the comfort layer. The general rule in the mattress industry is that the higher the density of the foam is, the more durable the mattress is. This is the same with the cost: the higher the density, the more expensive it is.

Hybrid mattresses manufacturers like Emma, Simba, and DreamCloud offer a 10-year warranty on their hybrid mattresses. These mattress brands are designed to last 10 years when following warranty conditions. If properly cared for, they can even last longer.

Do hybrid mattresses sag?

Since hybrid mattresses are composed of foam and springs, the top layer of foam will be subjected to wear and tear from the direct weight first. Hence, the springs in the support layer shouldn’t lose tension until the foam layer is significantly worn out. It is as if there are two layers of defence before sagging.

Therefore, hybrid mattresses don’t sag easily, especially compared to regular foam or spring mattresses.

Are hybrid mattresses better than memory foam?

Memory foam and hybrid mattresses have comfort systems to relieve pressure and limit motion transfer. In fact, some hybrid mattresses utilise memory foam as their comfort layer.

The main difference between a pure memory foam mattress and hybrid mattresses is their support core. While most memory foam mattresses have a high-density polyfoam core, hybrid mattresses have a coil system as the core layer. But what does this mean? Polyfoam core performs better in motion isolation and noise control. In contrast, the coil system core is better in edge support, bounce, and breathability.

So, are hybrid mattresses better than memory foam? Yes, a hybrid mattress is better than pure memory foam in breathability, bounce, and edge support. But if you’re a light sleeper and don’t mind the extra warmth, you can consider buying a pure memory foam mattress.

Is a Hybrid Mattress the best for you?

Now that you’ve learned the benefits of a hybrid mattress, we should at least consider its only drawback. Hybrid beds are relatively more expensive than other types of mattresses.

Those numerous benefits don’t come cheap, but they could be worth paying for. After all, investing in a night of quality sleep is essential. Sleep is a crucial part of our health, and having a quality sleep will affect our overall health positively. 

So, if you’re a sleeper who:

  • Wants balanced cushioned comfort and firm support
  • Wants to sleep cool
  • Sleep in different positions
  • Is a light sleeper who shares a bed
  • Needs edge support

Then, a hybrid mattress would be a perfect match for you.

Sources:

Okamoto-Mizuno, K., & Mizuno, K. (2012). Effects of thermal environment on sleep and circadian rhythm. Journal of physiological anthropology31(1), 14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3427038/#:~:text=The%20stereotypical%20effects%20of%20heat,affects%20the%20mechanism%20regulating%20sleep.

Gerhart, J. I., Burns, J. W., Post, K. M., Smith, D. A., Porter, L. S., Burgess, H. J., Schuster, E., Buvanendran, A., Fras, A. M., & Keefe, F. J. (2017). Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects. Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine51(3), 365–375. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5846493/

Medic, G., Wille, M., & Hemels, M. E. (2017). Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption. Nature and science of sleep9, 151–161. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5449130/

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Max S

Chief Editor here at The Sleep Checklist. Suffered from a seemingly infinite knot in my thoracic area (between the spine and shoulder blade) due to my lifelong side sleeping habits. With my girlfriend, we look to provide the most relevant and best mattress advice.