There are many different types of mattresses circulating throughout the mattress world today. There’s the traditional innerspring mattress, the plush memory foam mattress, the iconic waterbed from the 70s, soft pillow top mattresses, and many more.
But what is a hybrid mattress? Simply put, a hybrid bed is a cross between two or more different types of mattresses, typically an innerspring mattress and a memory foam or latex mattress.
Below, we’ll answer, “what’s a hybrid mattress?” and cover all there is to know about hybrid mattresses. From what they are to the pros and cons, you’ll find all of the information you need regarding hybrid beds. This way, you’ll be able to decide whether a hybrid mattress is right for you.
What is a Hybrid Mattress?
A hybrid mattress is a mattress that uses two or more different types of support systems. A hybrid bed usually combines the properties of an innerspring mattress with a memory foam mattress to bring together the best of both worlds. Many sleepers enjoy the firmness and responsiveness of innerspring mattresses, while others love the softness and pain-relieving benefits provided by memory foam mattresses. A hybrid mattress works to fuse the advantages of both mattress types to create the perfect bed.
In order to understand what exactly a hybrid mattress is, you’re going to need to know the different components used to make these types of beds. Let’s take a look at both innerspring mattresses and memory foam mattresses to see how hybrid mattresses are made.
The history of the innerspring mattress dates back to the early 1870s when Berliner Heinrich Westphal decided to place metal coils inside a mattress to create a springy sleeping surface. It took a few decades for innerspring mattresses to take off, but by the 1930s, they began to be mass-produced and replaced wool and hay mattresses.
Innerspring mattresses have evolved slightly over the years, but have remained the most common type of mattress over the course of the 20th century. They either come with individually pocketed coils or open coils that are placed throughout the base of the mattress. The rest of the bed is made with a cotton fabric blend and polyurethane foam for comfort.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Over the past few decades, memory foam mattresses began to slowly replace innerspring mattresses. Memory foam was initially created by NASA in 1966 to offer more comfortable seats for pilots and passengers in airplanes. Today, memory foam serves many purposes, from padding in helmets to support provided in shoes.
Memory foam is also being used in mattresses due to its viscoelastic properties that can absorb high energy while remaining incredibly soft. Memory foam also has low motion transfer, which you may be familiar with if you’ve ever seen those TV commercials with people jumping up and down on a memory foam mattress while a wine glass stays perfectly in place.
There are tons of reasons why memory foam is taking over the mattress world. Memory foam can match the contours of your body, return to its original shape once you remove pressure, distribute pressure and body weight evenly over the entire area you lay or sit on, and absorb shock.
These benefits of memory foam mattresses make them one of the best mattresses for back pain. They reduce pressure points to alleviate neck, back, and hip pain, and can also help sleepers who suffer from respiratory illnesses and breathing issues.
How Hybrid Mattresses Are Made
Now that you know the main components of both innerspring mattresses and memory foam mattresses, it’s time to take a look at how hybrid mattresses are made. Below are the main components of a hybrid mattress:
- Base Layer: The base layer of a hybrid bed is typically a 1-inch layer made of foam. This layer acts as the bedrock of the mattress and offers stability and padding.
- Support Layer: The core of the bed is where you’ll see components of an innerspring mattress. The support layer is anywhere between 7 and 8 inches thick and is comprised of pocket-wrapped springs and coils. These springs provide the support and firmness found in most innerspring mattresses.
- Top Layer: The top layer of a hybrid mattress is where you’ll find your comfort. Anywhere between 3 and 4 inches, the top layer is made from memory foam or latex and usually has a gelling agent to keep you cool at night.
As you can see, hybrid mattresses infuse the properties of innerspring mattresses by placing pocket-wrapped springs throughout the support layer and a memory foam layer on top to bring you a top-tier mattress perfect for sleeping.
Are Hybrid Mattresses Good?
Many consumers may be wondering whether hybrid mattresses are good or not. Overall, hybrid mattresses are one of the most popular mattress types used by consumers today. In the Consumer Buying Behavior 2019 Home Furnishings Report by Furniture Today, 32 percent of respondents preferred a pillow top mattress, while hybrid mattresses and foam mattresses tied for second with 19 percent each. After that, 17 percent of respondents favored an innerspring mattress, while 5 percent of consumers preferred an eco-friendly or organic mattress.
The reason why many shoppers prefer a hybrid mattress is because they’re one of the best mattresses for side sleepers. The memory foam top layer reduced pressure points and contours your body, which allows side sleepers to lie comfortably without a rigid coil or spring digging into their side. Hybrid mattresses are enjoyed by back sleepers as well, along with those who suffer from neck, back, and hip pain.
If you’re wondering whether you need a firm or soft mattress, a hybrid is a great choice. The innerspring core provides the firmness many sleepers are used to, while the memory foam top provides enough cushioning without swallowing you into the bed.
Bottom line, hybrid mattresses are a safe bet if you’re looking for a bed to catch your recommended 8 hours of sleep every night. However, the best way to determine whether a hybrid mattress is suitable for you is by testing one out in-store or taking advantage of the brand’s testing period. At Layla Sleep, we give you 120 nights to test out our memory foam mattress. If you’re unsatisfied, you can return it free of charge.
Pros and Cons of Hybrid Mattresses
While hybrid mattress manufacturers aim to create the perfect mattress by blending the best parts of both innerspring and memory foam mattresses, they’re not susceptible to drawbacks. Take a look at the pros and cons of hybrid mattresses:
- Cooling: The viscoelastic properties of memory foam often retain body heat, which can make memory foam mattresses heat up at night. Hybrid mattresses get rid of this problem by adding gel-infused foam to increase breathability and keep you cool while you sleep.
- Low motion transfer: The memory foam in hybrid mattresses has enhanced motion isolation. What does this mean? It can absorb shock and keep energy at its point of origin. If you sleep with a partner, you won’t have to worry about waking them up if you toss and turn throughout the night.
- Comfort: The pocketed coils in the core of the hybrid bed provide exceptional support and firmness, while the memory foam top adds extra support and comfort by matching the contours of your body.
- Maintenance: Hybrid mattresses are easy to maintain. With innerspring mattresses, you typically need to flip or turn them occasionally to ensure you don’t wear the springs down. The memory foam and construction of hybrid mattresses eliminates this issue, meaning once you have it set in place, you won’t need to worry about sagging or deterioration.
- Price: Because hybrid mattresses are up and coming and the latest fad in the mattress world, you may face a relatively high sticker price. The materials used and the construction of hybrid mattresses are more costly than traditional innerspring mattresses and even memory foam mattresses.
- Deception: Due to the increased demand for hybrid mattresses, many manufacturers are claiming their beds are “hybrid” if they use two or more different materials. To determine whether you’re purchasing a real hybrid mattress, look for the foam layer on top. If there’s a top memory foam layer that’s at least 2 inches, it’s a hybrid mattress.
- Cumbersome: The materials used make hybrid mattresses fairly heavy compared to innerspring mattresses. This can make it difficult to rearrange your room or transport.
Do Hybrid Mattresses Need a Box Spring?
No, hybrid mattresses do not need a box spring. A box spring is a wooden box wrapped in a cotton layer with springs and coils on the inside. Box springs are commonly used with innerspring mattresses, as they can distribute the weight of the innerspring mattress evenly.
However, because hybrid mattresses use memory foam, the weight can distribute unevenly and not offer enough support. This will cause parts of your hybrid mattress to sag into the gaps between the springs. Instead, it’s recommended to use a platform base or an adjustable base. Both of these foundations are solid and can fully support your hybrid mattress.
Is a Hybrid Mattress Right for You?
Now that you know what a hybrid mattress is and the pros and cons of a hybrid mattress, you’ll be able to decide for yourself whether a hybrid bed is the right choice for you. Hybrid mattresses combine the firmness and support found in innerspring mattresses and the comfort and softness found in memory foam mattresses to provide a perfect in-between.
When it comes to finding a mattress, you want to ensure you make the right buy. After all, you spend a third of your life sleeping, so if you want to lead a productive life, you need to invest in a quality mattress.