We hear the term “hybrid” all the time, and it has infiltrated numerous industries. From cars and vegetables to financial products and more, we see it all the time. If you’ve come across hybrid mattresses, this usually means the product combines innersprings with memory foam or latex in order to provide consumers with the best of both worlds. They typically provide the combination of support and contour that many mattress shoppers are looking for, and there are many quality products out there to choose from. It’s my goal to help you better understand what to look for in a hybrid mattress with this complete hybrid mattress buying guide to ensure you find the one that will work best for you.
What is a Hybrid Mattress?
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of hybrid mattresses, let’s first make sure you have a good understanding of just what hybrid mattresses are. These products typically combine a coil-based foundation with foam comfort layers. While memory foam is a common component, latex or polyfoams can also be used. The development of the hybrid product came about when customers complained that coils and foam, on their own, didn’t meet their needs.
When we think of innerspring products, we typically associate them with support and bounce. Memory foam, on the other hand, is commonly associated with hug and contour. The two apart are completely different products. However, when combined, they can complement one another in a way that brings to light their best qualities.
Breaking Down the Qualities of Coils and Foam
So, just what are the qualities of coils and foam? Coils are well-known for their ability to provide a high degree of support and essentially keep the sleeper on the mattress. The trouble with coils is, however, that they can develop loud squeaks over time. Furthermore, they are known to allow motion to transfer with ease, and this makes it especially difficult if you sleep with a partner.
The goals of foam mattresses are different as they make extra efforts to provide extra contour and pressure relief. They are also known to counteract motion transfer. The trouble is, though, that these products are often known to hug you in a way that can make it difficult to move around. Furthermore, you may notice that you tend to sleep hot in some foam mattresses.
The Hybrid: A Clever Combination
The purpose of the hybrid mattress was to isolate the positive qualities of foam and coil mattresses and merge them into a single product while eliminating many of the negative aspects of each. Namely, this would be the pressure relief and compression support of foam with the bounce and support of coils. A product is truly hybrid only if it uses coils and foams in every layer of the mattress.
What is a Semi-Hybrid Mattress?
Some products are semi-hybrid, and this often means the product combines a pillow-top cover with a coil base. The goal here is similar to that of the hybrid: to deliver a product that features the response and bounce of innerspring with an added degree of comfort, motion transfer reduction, and pressure relief.
What You Get When You Eliminate the Coil Base
There is another very common type of hybrid mattress you’re sure to come across, and this is the foam hybrid. These products eliminate the coil base and are comprised strictly of various foam layers. While there are no coils, the concept remains the same as you will typically find at least one layer that focuses on response, bounce and support while the other layers help the sleeper take advantage of qualities such as pressure relief and overall comfort.
Mattress companies have invested hours of time and research into combining layers that highlight the positive features of the various types of foam on the market. Furthermore, they have also taken the time to figure out ways to reduce the negative qualities found in different foam types through clever combinations.
Ability to Customize
If there’s one thing you’ve learned if you’ve spent much time at The Sleep Judge it’s that finding the right sleeping product is certainly not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. We all have our own body types, preferred sleeping positions, and preferences that make us unique. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to find the right mattress.
Hybrid products, however, can sometimes provide you with the ability to customize your preferences. For example, when I ordered the Helix mattress, I was asked a series of questions such as my height, weight, and preferred sleeping position, just to name a few. Helix was able to deliver a customized product based on my ideal:
- Point elasticity
With traditional foam or innerspring products, you get what you get. Customization isn’t something you typically have the opportunity to explore.
Is a Hybrid Mattress the Right Choice for You?
With so many different products on the market, it can be difficult to determine what will prove to be the wisest investment for the individual. However, there are some factors you should consider that may indicate the hybrid option would prove to be a good choice.
- You have tried coil, latex, and memory foam mattresses but felt like there was something missing.
- You enjoy the overall feel of memory foam but find that you sleep very hot on these products.
- While you enjoy the buoyancy of coils, you find that you have trouble staying warm.
- You enjoy exploring the latest innovations that mattress technology has to offer.
How to Gauge Durability
As you shop for hybrid products, you may notice that many of these products feature impressive warranties and sleep trials, some lasting as long as 200 nights. You may find yourself wondering how companies are able to have so much confidence considering these products haven’t been on the market long enough to confirm their longevity.
The great news is that there is a spec you can be on the lookout for to help you determine how long your hybrid mattress will last: density. When you read our comprehensive overview of foam densities, you’ll walk away with a much better understanding of what you can expect. However, let me go ahead and provide you with a good idea of what you’re looking for on density ratings with the various types of foam layers you’re likely to come across as you shop:
- High density polyfoam- 1.5-1.8 lb/ft³
- Memory foam- 3.5-4 lb/ft³
- Latex- Most latex products feature an acceptable degree of durability
As you shop, be on the lookout for polyfoams, especially when they are found within the upper comfort layers of the product. These materials are not well-known for a high degree of durability. Materials such as latex and high density memory foam, on the other hand, will offer you the most for your money.
You can tell a lot about a product based on the price. If it’s too good to be true, it usually is. Therefore, if you find a hybrid product that is far less expensive than the others, I’d be willing to bet you’ll discover the densities fall below the standards I’ve outlined or that polyfoams exist in the comfort layers where the highest degree of wear and tear takes place. It is worth the additional investment in quality products, and I would highly suggest you make a slightly larger initial investment in a hybrid product that is more likely to stand the test of time.
How to Spot a Hybrid That Sleeps Cool
As you make your hybrid mattress comparison, a feature you’ll want to pay close attention to is its ability to counteract heat. This is because, as you fall into the deeper stages of sleep, your body temperature lowers slightly. It’s during these stages where your body undergoes many of the restorative processes necessary for good health. That’s why a mattress that sleeps hot can disrupt your sleep and cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
As you shop hybrid, there are a few qualities to look for in particular in a product that sleeps cool. For starters, when analyzing springs and coils, look for a product with those which are individually wrapped. The following tips should be employed as you take a look at different foam types:
Most latex materials provide holes for aeration, so they are typically pretty efficient at transferring heat. As you shop, be on the lookout for natural latex products as they typically perform the best.
Gel foam works to absorb heat much the same way as water does. However, once they have absorbed their capacity, they are no longer effective. Therefore, you should look for a product where the gel is more heavily infused into the mattress rather than gel beads. Other effective technologies include copper and graphite.
We often associate memory foam with sleeping hot. However, don’t turn a blind eye on all memory foam products. While traditional Tempurpedic memory foam is known to trap heat, there are many new products on the market which incorporate techniques to help disperse heat. There will often be specific information on heat transfer on manufacturer’s websites when this is the case.
Pros and Cons of Hybrid Mattress Products
If you feel a hybrid mattress may be a good option for you, let’s go ahead and take a moment to highlight the pros and cons before you make any final decisions. With so many hybrid mattress brands on the market, these can help you better understand the qualities you’re looking for.
- More efficient contour than innerspring mattresses
- Unique feel that many consumers enjoy
- Improved motion isolation
- Faster response time
- Typically features acceptable warranties and sleep trial periods
- Since there is a higher complexity and demand for hybrid products, you can oftentimes expect to pay a higher price than you would otherwise pay for mattresses of similar quality.
- Some companies will attempt to give their products the appearance of being a hybrid when they really aren’t.
- Therefore, you may have to do some shopping around to ensure you really are getting a hybrid.
- Unproven longevity
Hybrid Mattress Brands
Here at The Sleep Judge, we make it our mission to give you the most advantages possible as you shop for the perfect mattress. That’s why we like to take some of the hard work off your shoulders are we review and research some of the most popular products on the market. Below, you’ll find a few products that are trending well in the mattress industry along with some features of each that stand out.
Alexander Hybrid Signature Select Mattress
- Little offgassing
- Multiple comfort and support layers
- Can request different firmness levels if you’re not initially happy
Serta Hybrid Mattresses
- Top-of-the-line coils system which contours and supports
- Great for most side and back sleepers
- Provides heat transfer technology which draws heat away from the sleeping surface
- Patented spinal support technology
- Handcrafted without the use of harmful chemicals or toxins
- Three mattress styles to choose from to best meet your needs
- Made of 100 percent American-made, high quality materials
- Streamlined costs to provide consumers a quality product at a great price
- Perfected wire-gauging technology
Making The Most of Such an Important Decision
You will spend around 33 percent of your life on your mattress, and many people overlook just how important it is to pick out the product that will best cater to your unique needs. I hope you enjoyed our complete hybrid mattress buyer’s guide. It’s been my goal not only to help educate you on this technology but also to help you better understand the various features you should be on the lookout for as you shop.
Hybrid mattresses have a lot to offer as they take the best out of foam and innerspring mattresses and combine them to provide an often superior experience that may be just what you’ve been looking for. If you found this information helpful, I encourage you to like or share it with your friends and family in order to spread the word and help others make the right mattress-purchasing decision. If there’s anything that’s still unclear to you, please leave your questions or comments below. We’ll get back with you promptly to ensure you make the best final decision on the right hybrid mattress for you.