What Is a Hybrid Mattress? Plus All the Reasons You’ll Love It (or Not)
Calling all edge-of-the-bed sleepers.
Published Apr 20, 2022 1:00 AM
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Good news: Feeling like you have to settle on a single mattress style is out. The best-of-all-worlds hybrid mattress is very much in. So what is a hybrid mattress? It’s basically two different types—typically memory foam and innerspring—merged into one bed that is tailored to your needs. To get the details on this blended construction, we spoke with Sleep Foundation expert Keith Cushner. One important note before we get into it: According to Cushner, the term hybrid is nearly synonymous with innerspring mattresses these days, so don’t discount ones in the latter category.
What Is a Hybrid Mattress?
As we’ve said, hybrid mattresses are a fusion of two constructions: memory foam, gel, or latex plus innerspring. The versatility of the top layer is what sets a hybrid apart from other styles—and also where you gain the most say in your sleeping experience. Latex is great for those who like a bouncy bed; a foam topper has body-contouring capabilities; and gel is a relative newcomer with cooling properties. In between that and the bottom layer—a thin piece of foam for structural support and additional padding—you’ll find a section of traditional springs.
Most true hybrids have a smooth outer surface, and the fabric on the outside can sometimes contain cushioning fibers for an extra-plush feel. On average, you’ll pay $1,000 to $3,000 for one and it will usually last up to 10 years.
“Most hybrid beds have pocketed coils that isolate motion nicely,” says Cushner. In other words, the mattress springs are constructed to prevent light sleepers from being disturbed by a pet that pounces on the other side of the bed or a partner who gets up for a drink of water during the night.
Hybrids also have excellent edge support (the amount of resistance a mattress has around its border). You can spot a mattress with good edge support if there’s little to no change between the feel of sitting on the sides or in the center. This can be particularly reassuring if you have concerns about rolling off the bed. Oh, and another perk: Cushner lauds this option for its breathable core, which enhances the bed’s ability to stay temperature neutral.
On the visual end, hybrids’ flat exterior gives them a more modern look compared to the tufted innerspring mattress you probably slept on at Grandma’s house.
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Because they have a spring core, hybrid mattresses can be prone to squeaking as they get older; the metal coils wear out and rub together. If this becomes an issue, it’s likely time for a replacement. Additionally, hybrids can be pricier compared to other mattresses, both because their coil system is more expensive to produce than foam and all-latex beds and they’re the trendy new addition on the market.