Updated: January 2, 2020
Shopping for Hybrid Mattress
Finding the best hybrid mattress depends on your sleeping position, weight, sleep temperature and budget. Hybrid mattresses combine many of the benefits of traditional memory foam and innerspring mattresses without much compromise. Hybrid mattresses usually use a memory foam top layer with a supportive coil spring bottom layer. This provides great breathability and cooling associated with innerspring mattresses with the contouring abilities of memory foam that adapts to the shape of your body minimizing unsupported areas of your spine and legs.
Hybrid mattresses are versatile enough for any sleeping position but are especially great for back, and stomach sleeping positions, heavy sleepers and those of us who tend to sleep hot. If you’re in one or more of those groups you should consider a hybrid mattress in your research and shopping process, especially if you’ve had issues with either a traditional innerspring mattress or a pure memory foam mattress.
Hybrid Mattresses Pros and Cons
- Breathability - Perhaps one of the most significant advantages of a hybrid mattress is breathability. Hybrid mattress innerspring layer represents 70% to 90% of the thickness of the mattress, resulting in a lot of open-air that circulates and pulls heat away as you sleep while still providing a lot of support. While the outer layer of most hybrid mattresses is still memory foam, this layer is thin compared to a solid memory foam mattress.
- Durability - with its innerspring base layer, Hybrids are known for durability and longevity. Low-density foam base layers found memory foam mattresses can break down quicker and start to leave a depression after years of use.
- Support for Heavier Sleepers- If you’re over 220 pounds, a hybrid mattress can adequately support you, better than even a firm memory foam mattress can.
- Bounce/Spring Back - Hybrid mattresses offer bounce, also known as spring back or response. When you compress the surface of the mattress it wasn’t to bounce or spring back at you. This can be a pro for some and a con for others. Bounce and spring back help in 3 ways:
- It makes entering and exiting the bed easier
- It allows combination sleepers to flip, roll or change sleeping positions with minimal effort
- It makes private bedroom activities more exciting and easier to perform
- VOC Exposure - If you’ve researched memory foam mattresses you may have come across concerns around VOC exposure. While hybrid mattresses still use memory foam, it’s much less than solid memory foam mattresses. There still aren’t any studies showing that VOC exposure from mattresses poses any threat to adults, the theory here is that less memory foam in your mattress reduces any risk even further. If you want to learn more about VOCs, read my guide on memory foam mattresses where I dive into this topic deeper.
- Cost - Generally hybrid mattresses are more expensive than both traditional innerspring and solid memory foam or latex mattresses. However, there are some relatively inexpensive hybrid mattress options that we’re big fans of if you’re on a budget and a quality hybrid mattress shouldn’t break the bank.
- Motion Transfer - This is one of the reasons many make the switch to memory foam, especially couples. We all remember the commercials of the glass of red wine resting on one side of the mattress while someone is jumping on the other side to show how essentially no motion is transferred to your partner. While Hybrid mattresses do improve over traditional innerspring mattresses in motion transfer, it will never live up to a solid memory foam mattress.
- Noise - Every hybrid mattress has been designed to prevent or minimize the classic metal squeaks and creaks from the innerspring layer of the mattress. Many of the springs are lined or pocketed to prevent them from rubbing with one another but noise could always develop, especially over a long period of time when the linings could wear down. Hybrid mattresses with memory foam outer layers should help to deaden and dull any noise originating from the innerspring section of the mattress if it does develop.
Your Sleeping Position with a Hybrid Mattress
Like all our mattress recommendations we like to review what goes into ideal sleep and how you can get the best sleep out of your mattress. A good sleeping position is all about getting your spine in a neutral position. Hybrid mattresses while great for all sleep positions but let's go over some common trouble areas for each sleep position keeping in mind you’re on a hybrid mattress:
- Side Sleeping - Side sleeping is very common and it’s a position that is easy to make a few errors. Overall side sleepers can run into issues due to the varying shape of the side of your body that asks a lot of your mattress to support. Hybrid mattresses are known to be more firm and offer less contouring than needed for side sleepers, especially if you are light in weight or generally prefer a softer mattress. The two main trouble spots are your neck and lower back. The pressure points of your shoulders and hips need to sink in quite a lot to allow the surrounding areas to be supported without a gap between them and the mattress. This is one of the reasons we usually recommend memory foam mattresses for side sleeping. You can read my guide on memory foam mattresses or the best mattresses for side sleeping to learn more about matching your mattress to this sleeping position.
- Back Sleeping - Back sleeping is the best match for a hybrid mattress out there. The extra firmness and support from the innerspring/memory foam combination make them well-liked by back sleepers everywhere. Back sleeping is the top-recommended sleeping position for getting into a spinal alignment but there are a few trouble spots again with your neck and lower back. Many back sleepers tend to use a pillow that is too thick. This effect can be compounded for heavyweight sleepers that sink into their mattresses. The lower back can be vulnerable as well, especially for lightweight sleepers. It may be worth elevating your knees with a foam roll or thick pillow. This helps rotate your hips and relieve tension on your lower back.
- Stomach Sleeping - While stomach sleeping isn't recommended by any medical professional, its a position that is fairly common. Fortunately, a hybrid mattress can actually benefit stomach sleepers. But as we mention in other guides, getting your spine into neutral alignment sleeping on your stomach goes beyond your mattress choice. Try placing a thick pillow below your hips and switch to a very thin pillow (or no pillow at all).
- Combination Sleeping - Hybrid mattresses are great for combination sleepers. One of the main benefits is the level of bounce or response created by the innerspring. This makes switching positions easy and increases the chance that you’ll stay asleep during the transition. Switching sleep positions on a memory foam mattress requires a lot more effort. The overall versatility of the hybrid mattresses to adapt to work for all sleeping positions makes it a natural choice for combination sleepers.
Hybrid Mattress Construction
Hybrid mattresses sound cutting edge but the technology that goes into them is actually quite old. At a high-level hybrid mattresses combine two elements from two different traditional mattress designs: memory foam and innerspring mattresses.
Each mattress is different from one another but most hybrid mattresses are two layers at a high level:
- Innerspring Bottom Layer - this is the classic layer of springs all interconnected at the bottom and top by a metal netting. Although this is an old technology most coils are now lined or pocketed to prevent noise and improve comfort. Some mattresses even include a variety of coils that are designed to improve the edge support of the mattress or give support where your body is positioned.
- Foam Top Layer - Most often memory foam but can be latex or some kind of infused memory foam like gel or copper. This layer is around 2” thick. In higher end hybrid mattresses this layer can actually be more than one layer designed to support and contour your body.
Hybrid Mattresses vs Alternatives
When shopping for a Hybrid mattress you may come across some alternatives. Here are the main differences between a Hybrid mattress and some leading alternatives:
Hybrids vs Solid Memory Foam
Most people will find the most significant difference between memory foam and hybrid mattresses to be the cooling. While solid memory foam mattresses are known to trap heat, your body heat only needs to move through about 2” of foam to escape on a hybrid mattress.
In addition to cooling, there is another noticeable difference: cost. While a memory foam mattress can be among the least expensive options, generally hybrid mattresses are a few hundred dollars more expensive. This does come with the exception of Linenspa which offers one of the cheapest if not the cheapest hybrid mattress around.
Lastly, another big difference is firmness. If you need or prefer a firm mattress, you may have trouble finding a memory foam mattress for your needs. The construction of an innerspring mattress makes it more firm than most memory foam beds and makes it a great choice for back and stomach sleepers.
Hybrids vs Gel Foam
Gel has made its way into some recent mattress innovations because of improvements over traditional memory foam in cooling and offering slightly more bounce or responsiveness than memory foam. Gel is also reported to be “less toxic” although it is still not an organic material. In our opinion gel-infused or mattresses with an outer gel layer only marginally improve cooling over a solid memory foam mattress relative to a hybrid mattress.
Hybrids vs Latex Foam
Comparing Hybrid and Latex mattresses is highly relevant because they both have similar characteristics. Generally, both offer a responsive spring back, great cooling a medium firm feel, natural/organic mattress options and cost around the same.
Where to buy a Hybrid Mattress
When it comes to buying a hybrid mattress you have more options than ever before. With the emergence of compressing and shipping a mattress in a box, that mattress became another household item you could buy anywhere online in addition to in a store.
Amazon or Other Online Retailers
Buying on Amazon is familiar to millions of online shoppers and it should come as no surprise that Amazon and other big online retailers (Wayfair, Overstock, etc..) sell a ton of mattresses. Buying through Amazon means you usually get the fastest shipping and order processing time, as well as great customer service and Amazon’s return policy. For many people it’s just the way they buy online, so why should buying a mattress be any different?
There are many hybrid mattresses available on Amazon. What we’ve noticed is that sometimes you can get a better deal on Amazon than you can directly with the mattress company themselves - usually this is temporary so it pays to check both. With the mattress business being so competitive we’re surprised where you can get the best deal. Keep in mind buying on Amazon or other retailers you may miss out on promotional freebies offered by the mattress company when buying directly from them.
Direct From the Mattress Company Website
Just as memory foam helped the mattress business move online, this trend now applies to every type of mattress, including hybrid mattresses. Many predominantly memory foam mattress companies are seeing the value in offering their customers hybrid mattress options.
Buying online directly from the mattress company is often one of the least expensive ways to get your mattress. They can offer you the lowest price, frequently run sales and throw in promotional freebies like bedding, pillows and other products they make. It’s also common to save upwards of $100 to $200 when you buy direct on the mattress company website. Many mattress companies run sales on their websites on Labor Day weekend, Cyber Week, Christmas, New Year, Memorial Day weekend among others.
Physical Mattress Store
While more people are buying their mattresses online, there are still plenty of physical stores selling mattresses. You can find hybrid mattresses for sale at Macy's, Costco, Sam's Club, Walmart, and IKEA. There are also dedicated furniture stores like Ashley Homestore that sell mattresses. The main and possibly only advantage of buying in a store is the ability to try the mattress out before you buy it. If you want to try a mattress out in person we recommend visiting a store that has one then shopping around for the best price and delivery cost combination after you’ve decided on the mattress you want.
Shipping, Trials, Warranties and Returns
As the mattress business became more and more competitive companies have pretty much taken all risk away from you as a consumer to try a new mattress. This has a big impact on shipping, trials, warranties, and returns:
You may be thinking that only memory foam mattresses can be compressed and shipped to your door in a box but hybrid mattresses also benefit from this. While hybrid mattresses are generally more expensive, they are almost always sold online with free shipping.
Trials and Warranties and Returns
When it comes to buying a new hybrid mattress, there is a seemly and unlimited and growing trial period offered by competing mattress companies. At one time was 90 days, then 120, then 180, now a few brands are offering a full year of risk-free sleeping.
Warranties have become a large selling point for top mattress companies as well. It’s very common to find hybrid mattresses with 10-year warranties and a few offering limited lifetime warranties. However, pay attention to the fine print. Some warranties do not apply if the surface of the mattress is indented past a certain threshold. However, most reputable brands want to make you happy.
If you are unhappy with your mattress, most brands will enable you to return it. Due to the size of the mattress, especially ones that arrive compressed in a box, logistically you can’t simply print a return label and have UPS pick it up. Most often than not if your mattress is still in good condition they will facilitate donating the mattress to a charity. In the case that the mattress has a defect and can’t be donated some brands will arrange a trash service to come to your house and remove the mattress. This, unfortunately, means it will end up in a landfill. If you’re wondering about this process and alternatives to throwing away your mattress, read our guide on mattress disposal.
Best Hybrid Mattresses
We’ve invested around 35 hours of research in creating this guide on hybrid mattresses and how to pair them with your sleeping position. We've also supplemented our research with an in-depth interview with a chiropractor who frequently helps patients with their sleeping positions and sleep-related back and neck pain. You can learn more about our review process here
- The Dreamcloud Hybrid mattress is a higher-end mattress but still represents great value for money.
- Makes use of 8 individual layers to support and contour to any sleep position.
- Gel-Infused memory foam support layer improves cooling over hybrids with standard PU memory foam support layers
- Coil layer uses a variety of different spring rates to address edge support and body support needs depending on the area of the mattress
- 1-year trial and lifetime warranty makes the Dreamcloud relatively risk free to try.
- At ¼ the price of some of the mattresses on this list, you can’t ignore the savings the Linenspa hybrid mattress offers over other hybrids
- Currently the #1 best selling mattress on Amazon
- Depending on the thickness you get, it’s possible to get a queen mattress for ~$175 to $250.
- Simple two-layer design that uses a traditional non-pocketed innerspring base layer and a memory foam comfort layer.
- No trial but is backed by Amazon’s 30-day return policy and includes a 10 year limited warranty
Best Budget Runner Up
- The Lucid, while not as inexpensive as the Linenspa, still is a great budget option, offering a queen 12” hybrid mattress for ~ $450
- Least expensive hybrid options that offers a sophisticated 5 layer design with individually pocketed coils
- Makes use of Aloe Vera and Bamboo to counter odor and help you relax
- 100 day trial/ability to return it for a full refund up to 100 days from purchase.
Best for Back and Stomach Sleepers
- Saatva is always one of our favorites for their 3 firmness options offered with its hybrid mattress. Their “Firm” option is designed for back and stomach sleeping. We agree a firm mattress is a good match for those positions, especially if you’re average or above-average weight.
- Two different layers of coils in addition to a pillow top memory foam comfort layer and thick edge support
- This is big… includes concierge delivery and setup and will haul away your old mattress at no extra cost
- 120 day trial, no-hassle return policy but costs a $99 transportation fee to pick up your mattress
- With a queen size Green costing around ~$1400 and the optional pillow top, another $400, this is not a cheap mattress but it delivers everything you could want in a mattress.
- 1414 coils with 5 different spring zones - most hybrids have around 700 coils.
- Handmade in the USA using organic cotton, latex and wool and is even hand button tufted
- One of the few truly organic mattresses you can buy, you don’t have to worry about VOCs, or chemicals.
- 25 year warranty and the mattress is close to being 100% biodegradable.
Top Hybrid Mattress Companies
- Dreamcloud - Dreamcloud makes a premium luxury hybrid mattress that starts around $1,000. The dream cloud mattress combines innerspring, memory foam and gel materials to create an innovative hybrid mattress that’s well-liked by our team. Dreamcloud stands by its products with a lifetime warranty and a full year trial. They frequently run promotions on their website and as of writing this, you can save up to $200 on a mattress purchase.
- Saatva - Saatva is another premium hybrid mattress company that makes use of two different layers of coil springs which is quite unique. What we like about their classic mattress is the availability of 3 firmness options so literally anyone regardless of their weight or sleeping position should be able to find the right mattress from them. Many other brands try to go middle of the road when it comes to firmness trying to appeal to most people. Saatva does it right by having multiple firmness options to choose from.
- Avocado - Avocado Mattress is known for its USA made organic mattresses that take away any concerns of VOCs, off-gassing and give buyers an extra piece of mind when they go to sleep. Their mattresses are one of the few options that are 100% organic certified and don’t use any traditional synthetic foams. They also make use of green tea extract in their green tea mattress. They just started offering a vegan conscious mattress that even has PETA's stamp of approval. Avocado products are great for organic and environmental focused shoppers.
- Linenspa - Linenspa is a budget focused mattress company that seemingly offers the only affordable hybrid mattress. By affordable we mean extremely affordable often for less than $200 depending on the mattress size you get. Linenspa’s hybrid mattress is currently the #1 selling mattress on Amazon and there’s a reason for that. In addition to their super budget-focused option, they also offer latex and gel foam hybrid options at a slightly higher price point. If you’re on a tight budget and want a hybrid mattress, Linenspa mattresses should be part of your research.
Hybrid Mattress History
The origins of the hybrid mattress couldn’t come from more different places. The two main components of a hybrid mattress is a memory foam outer layer and an innerspring bottom support system. Memory foam technology was developed by NASA in the late 60s while Innersprings were designed to improve comfort in horse-drawn carriages and first made their way into a mattress in the late 1800s.
While the innerspring mattress has been around for over 100 years and memory foam mattress for over 30 years, it wasn’t until around 2013 until they became popular. Around this time many memory foam mattresses were gaining popularity and at the same time, a lot of customers were complaining about heat issues. The hybrid mattress was the natural response, a mattress that combines the best of both worlds.
Hybrid mattress FAQ
Do you need a box spring with a hybrid mattress?
Most modern beds including hybrid mattresses do not need a box spring. However, this information is readily available anywhere mattresses are sold so we recommend verifying the requirements of your mattress before you buy. One of the more common issues you’ll run into is steel bed frames that are designed to be used with a box spring. In that case, you can keep using your box spring and place the new mattress on top, or invest in a new setup. Our favorite type of bed structure is the mattress platform, which is designed for modern mattresses and doesn’t use a box spring. It gives you up to a 1’ of vertical storage underneath your mattress, vs the 6” or so you get with a traditional steel frame, boxspring, mattress setup.
How much is a hybrid mattress?
Typically more expensive than memory foam or traditional innerspring mattresses, Most hybrid mattresses in a queen size usually start at around $800 and can go as high as $2,000+. Linenspa mattresses are one of the exceptions often less than $200 depending on the size.
Are hybrid mattresses good for back pain?
Many back pain sufferers, especially those that sleep on their back tend to prefer a hybrid mattress over memory foam or traditional innerspring mattress. This is due to the generally more firm feel but still offering adequate contouring to your body. Side sleeping back pain sufferers should consider a memory foam mattress. If you’re looking for more information on shopping for a mattress to address back pain issues, check out our guide on mattresses for back pain sufferers.
How long do hybrid mattresses last?
Hybrid mattresses are known for their durability. The support layer of coils in hybrid mattresses tends to outlast the low-density support layer found in memory foam mattresses. You can use the warranty term as an indicator of how long a mattress will last, however, many warranty terms exceed how long the mattress will actually last and are used as marketing tactics to sell new mattresses and acquire new customers. Generally, you can expect a quality hybrid mattress to last 8 to 10 years, but you should periodically evaluate the condition of your mattress and how aligned your spine is when laying on it. Mattresses wear out very slowly so while you may have had adequate support when it was new, it can be lost over time. Tip: it helps to have someone else look at your position while you’re laying on the bed, you can even have them take a picture to show any trouble areas with your neck or lower back in particular.
Are hybrid mattresses good for side sleepers?
Hybrid mattresses are a great middle-ground of support and contouring that allows all sleeping positions to find comfort but hybrid mattresses are generally not our recommendation for side sleepers unless you’re above average in weight. Side sleeping requires more contouring and while a hybrid offers this, it’s usually not enough, unless the mattress is designed explicitly to be a soft firmness mattress (most hybrids aren’t designed to be soft). If you’re looking for mattress recommendations, check out my guide on mattresses for side sleepers