A hybrid mattress combines two mattress technologies, foam and coils, into one single mattress. The top layer of a hybrid mattress is made from foam. And, the lower layers are made from sprung coils. It marries together the benefits of a foam mattress and a coil mattress.
WHAT DOES A HYBRID MATTRESS MEAN?
What is a hybrid mattress? A hybrid mattress is a type of mattress that combines two technologies – foam and coils. The top section of a hybrid mattress is made from foam. The middle and lower sections are made from supportive spring coils.
A hybrid mattress is a perfect balance between the soft, contouring, comfort of a foam base and the strong support and bounce of spring coils.
The foam section is constructed from latex or memory foam. And, the middle and lower sections are made from sprung coils to provide support.
FEATURES OF A HYBRID MATTRESS
SOFTNESS & FIRMNESS
Hybrid mattresses combine the soft contouring aspects of a foam mattress with the strong support of a coiled spring mattress. In essence, they give you the best of both worlds.
The surface foam layer provides plenty of comfort and the coiled center and lower layers provide the bounce and support you’d expect from a sprung mattress.
For firmer mattresses go for one with thicker coils. And, for a softer feel go for a mattress with slender coils.
The support from the coiled spring base runs right to the edge of a hybrid mattress. This helps prevent edge sagging and prolongs the life of the mattress.
Look for hybrid mattresses that come with edge support. High-density edge support foam layers provide the best durability and best comfort levels.
Hybrid mattresses have low motion transfer. This is a great feature for boosting comfort and sleep quality.
Motion transfer describes how motion travels through the mattress. High motion transfer means that if there is motion on one side of the mattress it will be strongly felt on the other side.
Essentially you want a mattress with low motion transfer. And, hybrid mattresses provide this. This feature is particularly relevant to couples and people who share their bed with large pets
Hybrid mattresses have a high life expectancy. They last longer than foam mattresses thanks to the supportive coil layers.
You can expect to get 7–10 years of excellent sleep quality from a new hybrid mattress. A regular foam mattress will begin to deteriorate after just 6-8 years.
HOW ARE HYBRID MATTRESSES MADE?
What is a hybrid mattress made of? Hybrid mattresses combine two types of layers in one mattress – foam and sprung coils. This means you get the contouring compression and comfort of foam with the bounce, support, and ease of motion of a coiled mattress. Let’s take a look at how the foam and coil layers are made.
The top section of a hybrid mattress is made from compressed foam – usually latex, memory, or polyurethane foam. Organic latex is a great choice for anyone who suffers from allergies.
This is the most luxurious and expensive type of foam used on a hybrid mattress. Made from either Dunlop or Talalay latex they are known for their excellent pressure relieving qualities. For more information on latex mattresses – click here.
Memory foam is perhaps the most popular foam choice today. It is well known for its incredible comfort. It provides excellent contouring and has a slow movement response to pressure. For more information on memory foam mattresses – click here.
Also known as poly foam, this is a type of low-density foam. It is the least expensive of the three types. And although it is not as high quality, it is regularly found in hybrid mattresses.
Poly foam provides moderate comfort and pressure relief compared to latex and memory foam.
Hybrid mattresses typically contain two layers of coils – a middle and a bottom coiled layer. They are positioned just below the foam comfort layer. Two things to look out for when it comes to coils are coil gauge and coil count.
The coil gauge refers to how firm a mattress feels. Low coil gauge numbers mean a firm mattress while a high coil gauge equates to a softer mattress.
Firm mattresses have thicker coils and low coil gauge values. Softer mattresses have thinner coils and higher coil gauge values.
Coil gauge numbers range from 12 to 15. The firmest mattresses have a gauge of 12 while the softest mattresses have a gauge of 15.
Coil count is simply the number of coils in the mattress. Low-quality mattresses have a low coil count, while higher quality mattresses have a high low count. Avoid anything with a coil count below 300. Higher coil counts provide better support.
TYPES OF COILS
Let’s take a look at the types of coils used in hybrid mattresses. There are four types – pocketed coils, Bonnell coils, offset coils, and continuous wire coils.
This is the type of coil most commonly found in a hybrid mattress. These coils move independently from one another and therefore provide excellent support. They are called ‘pocketed’ because each coil is pocketed inside a sheath of fabric.
Bonnell coils are a good choice for support and responsiveness. They have an hourglass shape which provides quick compression at the wider section and slow resistant compression at the narrow center.
These coils are not independent of each other and are connected using wire to form a ‘Bonnell Unit’. They are more commonly found in regular coil sprung mattresses than in hybrids.
Offset coils are similar to Bonnell coils. They have the same hourglass shape but they are not connected – they move independently.
Offset coils provide the same dual compression characteristics of a Bonnell coil but with improved body contouring and comfort due to their independent arrangement.
CONTINUOUS WIRE COILS
A continuous wire coil is made from a single wire that runs continuously to form a row of coils. All the coils within the row are connected and form a helical shape. They are not as commonly used as pocketed coils but are an affordable and durable option.
• TOP 10 MOST COMFORTABLE MATTRESSES – click here
BENEFITS & DISADVANTAGES OF A HYBRID MATTRESS
What are the benefits and disadvantages of a hybrid mattress? Are you thinking of buying a hybrid mattress? When explaining ‘what is a hybrid mattress’ we also need to take a look at the pros and cons so you can get an idea if it is the right mattress type for you.
PROS OF A HYBRID MATTRESS
What are the pros of a hybrid mattress? The pros of a hybrid mattress center around its use of both foam and coil mattress technologies.
COMFORT & SUPPORT
Hybrid mattresses provide an excellent blend of comfort and support. The foam surface layer is soft and gently contours the impression of your body.
The sprung coil lower layers provide the support and bounce that you expect from a traditional mattress. Bringing the two types together creates an impressive blend of comfort and support.
A hybrid mattress provides a much cooler experience than a regular foam mattress. Foam mattresses can be warm and become uncomfortably hot during the course of a night’s sleep.
A hybrid mattress provides cooling thanks to the coil layers that lie beneath the foam surface. The space between the coils facilitates airflow and relieves warmth that builds up as you rest on the foam surface.
GOOD FOR BACK & JOINTS
Hybrid mattresses are a good choice for back and joint support. They strike the right balance between comfort and support.
The foam top layer allows your body to ‘sink’ into the material and relieves the pressure of your body weight. The coil layers beneath provide stability and the freedom of movement that allows you to alter your position during the night.
Hybrid mattresses have a more responsive movement compared to 100% foam mattresses. Foam mattresses tend to hug and envelope the body in its resting position.
A hybrid mattress is better for allowing movement as you change your position during the night. This suits combination sleepers that like to rotate through different positions.
CONS OF A HYBRID MATTRESS
What are the cons of hybrid mattresses? There are several drawbacks to a hybrid mattress. Here are the cons.
CAN BE EXPENSIVE
Hybrid mattresses can be expensive. If you’re on a tight budget they may not be the right option for you. They combine two different technologies so you can get the best of both worlds – but this drives costs up.
Hybrid mattresses are heavy. Unboxing and positioning on your bed is a two-person job. However, the good news is hybrid mattresses should never be flipped, so once it’s in place you’re done.
Hybrid mattresses have more motion transfer compared to regular foam mattresses. This means there is considerable travel of motion through the mattress.
If someone moves on one side of the mattress, you’re going to feel it on the other side. It’s a point worth considering for couples.
VARIATION IN QUALITY
There is a large degree of variation in quality with hybrid mattresses. Don’t be fooled by ‘cheap’ or ‘bargain’ mattresses – you get what you pay for.
If you want something that’s well built, has impressive comfort and support, and is durable you’ll need to fork out some cash. Our advice is to always choose quality. For more information see – Pros and Cons of Hybrid Mattress.
WHO IS A HYBRID MATTRESS BEST FOR?
Hybrid mattresses are a great choice for combination sleepers, hot sleepers, heavy people, and for people that want to be able to comfortably read and watch tv in bed. They are also a wise long-term investment because they last longer than all-foam mattresses.
BEST FOR COMFORT & SUPPORT
Hybrids are the best choice for a pleasing balance between comfort and support. The foam provides deep soft comfort and the coil interior provides responsive, bouncy support.
COOL NIGHT’S SLEEP
Hybrids also strike a fine balance between comfort and heat. The foam top absorbs the body into a cozy warm cushioning layer while the coils provide a cooling airflow.
SUPPORT FOR HEAVY PEOPLE
Heavy people will struggle with an all-foam mattress. The weight of the body will sink deep into it and movement will be a struggle. The coils in a hybrid provide support and bounce that assists east movement.
OTHER BEDROOM ACTIVITIES
Hybrids are a great choice if you want to read, watch tv, or enjoy any other bedroom activities on your mattress. The combination of foam comfort and coil bounce ensures ease of movement and finding new comfortable positions.
WHO SHOULD AVOID A HYBRID MATTRESS?
Hybrid mattresses combine two of the very best mattress technologies. And many of the hybrids on the market are high-quality products. This drives prices up, so many hybrids are not suited to people on a tight budget.
Also, while a hybrid is a great choice for a regular-sized person or a heavy person – a petite individual may find greater comfort in an all-foam mattress. Their body weight may be so light they do not require the support of a spring coiled layer.
• HYBRID MATTRESS MAINTENANCE TIPS – click here
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• MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS PROS & CONS – click here
• BEST LATEX MATTRESSES – click here
• LATEX MATTRESS PROS & CONS – click here
HYBRID MATTRESS FAQ
What’s The Difference Between a Hybrid Mattress and a Regular Mattress?
A hybrid mattress combines a foam top layer of at least two inches thickness with one or two coil layers below. The top layer is made from latex or memory foam.
A regular mattress is an innerspring mattress. This mattress primarily consists of a coiled innerspring section with a thin cotton comfort layer on top.
Are Hybrid Mattresses Soft or Firm?
Hybrid mattresses are soft thanks to the top foam layer. This layer allows your body to ‘sink’ into the soft foam. The coil layer beneath provides bounce and support.
What Are the Advantages of a Hybrid Mattress?
The advantages of a hybrid mattress are that it combines the restful comfort of a foam topping with the support, responsive movement, and bounce of a coil spring layer. They strike a balance between the benefits of a foam mattress and a regular innerspring mattress.
What Are Hybrid Mattresses Made Of?
Hybrid mattresses are made of a top foam layer and a lower layer of coiled springs. The upper foam layer can be made from latex, memory foam, or poly foam and provides soft cushioning and comfort. The spring layer below delivers strong support and bounce.
What’s Better a Hybrid or Memory Foam Mattress?
A hybrid mattress is better if you want to strike a balance between soft foam cushioning and the support and responsive movement of a spring coil. If all you want is soft foam cushioning – then a foam mattress is better.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JOSH HARDY – Senior Editor
Josh is senior editor at Mattress Comfort Guide. He is an industry expert with over 30 years of experience in the bed and mattress industry. Josh is a native of Albuquerque and is a graduate of the University of New Mexico. He holds an M.S. in Project Management and a B.S. in Earth & Planetary Sciences.
He has worked in both the retail and manufacturing industries where he has held consultancy roles on mattress design and technologies. Josh has a particular interest in how different mattress types complement body size and sleeping position, and deliver optimal lumbar support. Josh is a keen sports fan and when he’s away from the office he likes to play basketball and catch the New Mexico Lobos games with his two sons at the Pit.