Mattresses made entirely of foam can feel stiff and difficult to move in, while innerspring mattresses may be supportive, but they’re uncomfortable and break down easily. If standard types of mattresses just aren’t working for you, it’s worth looking into a hybrid bed.
The word “hybrid” means a blend of two or more different things, and in this case, a hybrid bed is a blend of two mattress types. Hybrid mattresses combine the features of foam and innerspring mattresses to make a bed that’s both comfortable and supportive.
Here’s everything you need to know about hybrid mattresses, along with a breakdown of their basic layer construction and the best hybrid mattresses on the market!
What is a Hybrid Mattress?
Generally, the goal of a hybrid bed is to maximize the best features of innerspring and foam beds, while also minimizing their drawbacks. They contain a coil support system (like innerspring mattresses) and a foam comfort layer (like foam mattresses).
With a hybrid mattress, sleepers can enjoy the pressure-relieving qualities of a foam mattress, with the support and breathability of an innerspring mattress.
The Components of a Hybrid Mattress
Sometimes, the term “hybrid mattress” is misused, such as when a brand describes a mattress with both latex and memory foam as a hybrid. True hybrid mattresses must feature a foam comfort layer and a pocketed coil support layer to be considered hybrids. Some hybrid beds have transition layers for added support and cushioning.
Comfort layers have a big impact on the feel of hybrid mattresses. Unlike innerspring mattresses—which have comfort layers made of cotton, polyester, wool, and sometimes foam—hybrid mattresses have comfort layers commonly made of memory foam, latex, or poly-foam.
Memory foam, latex, and poly-foam layers contour well under the body’s curves, which leads to excellent pressure relief. Since hybrid beds aren’t made entirely of foam, sleepers won’t feel trapped inside the layers of foam, especially thanks to the bounce of the bed’s coils.
The comfort layers are always under the cover and are flush against the bed, so you won’t see them. Still, some hybrid mattresses include a pillow top for extra cushioning—which is sewn on top of the mattress and visible.
Some, but not all hybrid mattresses feature a transition layer made from memory foam, latex foam, or poly-foam.
Transition layers may add extra cushioning or bounce to a mattress. Some transition layers also include special zoned technology to better distribute body weight and prevent pressure build-up. A transition layer might have cooling features as well, so hot sleepers can rest peacefully.
The support layer of a hybrid mattress typically features pocketed coils and a thin foam base for the coils to rest upon.
Pocketed coils—steel springs individually wrapped in a lightweight fabric—are the main component of a hybrid bed’s support layers. One issue with innerspring mattresses is that the coils are squeaky, prone to breaking, and the coils are all connected—leading to motion transfer.
You may see some brands advertise their bed’s coil gauge, but this simply means the thickness of the springs in the bed. Some hybrid mattresses feature multiple coil gauges, but this isn’t a feature in all hybrids.
The pocketed coils in hybrid mattresses are independent of each other to provide extra support and minimize motion transfer, and the fabric casing prevents the coils from breaking and squeaking.
The foam layer at the very bottom of the bed encloses the mattress and reinforces the upper layers to help extend the mattress’s lifespan.
For a durable, long-lasting bed—hybrid or not—we recommend choosing one with a support layer that takes up at least 50 percent of the bed. Support layers are designed not only to support you but the mattress itself. So, if the support layer is too thin, you’ll probably develop pain and the mattress will wear down rapidly.
Generally, the pocketed coil layer is between 7 to 9 inches, while the foam base is no more than 1 or 2 inches thick.
Pros of a Hybrid Mattress
Hybrid mattresses aim to maximize the benefits of different mattresses all in one bed. For this reason, hybrid beds are responsive, supportive, pressure-relieving, and cooling. The pocketed coils inside hybrid mattresses isolate motion, which is important for people sharing a bed.
Beds made entirely of foam can sometimes leave you feeling stuck or unable to move in bed. This is because the foams are slow to respond to your movements, so it’ll take a bit for the bed to return to its original shape.
Although hybrid beds contain foam—which may respond slowly to your body—the pocketed coils in the beds add needed springiness and responsiveness. This makes it easier for you to move around in bed, which prevents that “trapped” feeling.
The pocketed coil support core in hybrid mattresses offers great support for your back and spine, promoting good posture and healthy spinal alignment. Proper spinal support prevents soreness and achiness, which can lead to chronic pain if ignored.
Hybrid mattresses are known for having solid edge support. The beds typically have a durable foam or firm coil perimeter to make getting in and out of bed safe and prevent you from rolling out if you’re too close to the edge.
A common issue at night is pressure build-up, especially if your bed has a poor comfort layer or is overly firm for your needs. Since hybrid mattresses have foam, they are comfortable and great for pressure relief. The foam comfort layers contour to your curves to soothe pressure build-up and help you sleep peacefully.
Excellent Air Circulation
Foam mattresses tend to trap heat easily, which makes it hard to get comfortable and finally get some rest.
Although hybrid mattresses feature foam as their comfort layers, the majority of the mattresses contain coils. The space between the coils allows for proper air circulation throughout the mattress, which prevents the foam from overheating.
Also, some brands add cooling technologies to their comfort and transition layers—such as gel or graphite infusions—to further promote ventilation.
No Noise or Motion Transfer
Since the coils in hybrid beds are wrapped in fabric and independent of each other, there’s less chance of motion transfer or noisy coils. Unsurprisingly, any type of noise can ruin a person’s sleep, so the pocketed coils have your back and help you sleep peacefully.
Similarly, motion transfer may seem unimportant—particularly to people who sleep alone—but if you share your bed, even your partner’s slightest movements can interrupt your sleep.
Cons of a Hybrid Mattress
Although hybrid mattresses have plenty to offer in terms of comfort and support, their complex constructions lead to their high prices, heaviness, and short lifespans.
Hybrid mattresses are easily some of the most expensive types of beds out there since each layer is so different. On average, hybrid mattresses can cost between $1000 to $3000 for a queen size, and it’s difficult to find any for cheaper.
Shoppers on a tight budget may want to steer clear of hybrid beds since they can be an unrealistic option.
Due to their complex construction, hybrid mattresses can get much heavier compared to other types of mattresses. The typical hybrid mattress weighs over 100 pounds, so moving the mattress around is difficult and requires multiple people.
Most people’s bedrooms are on the second floor or higher of their home or apartment, and carrying a 100-pound bed up the stairs is more work than many people can handle.
The lifespan of a mattress depends on the quality of the materials used for construction. In general, most mattress types last between 6 and 8 years. Memory foam mattresses tend to last around 8 years, and latex foam beds can last even longer, around 12 years. Hybrid mattresses typically last between 5 to 7 years, so they are not as long-lasting as other mattress types. However, they do have more durability than traditional innerspring mattresses and cheaper, low-quality, poly-foam mattresses.
Who Should Use Hybrid Mattresses?
People with any sleeping position and body type can enjoy hybrid mattresses. However, hot sleepers, chronic pain sufferers, couples, and larger adults will especially enjoy sleeping on a hybrid bed.
If you struggle with overheating at night, hybrid beds may be right for you. The pocketed coils have lots of air channels which ensure proper temperature regulation. Some, but not all, hybrid beds are considered cooling mattresses. These beds include cooling technologies in their foam comfort layers to further promote cool sleep, which is extra helpful if you get hot and sweaty when you sleep.
Back Pain Sufferers
For sleepers who struggle with back pain, hybrid mattresses provide both support and cushioning. The supportive core keeps your body aligned, while the cushioning minimizes pressure build-up and soothes achy joints.
A medium-firm hybrid, like our AS2 Hybrid, can provide a better night’s sleep when living with back pain.
Hybrid mattresses cause very little motion transfer, so if you share a bed with someone, you’re less likely to disrupt each other when switching positions or getting in and out of bed. The cooling capabilities of hybrid beds offset the extra heat from two sleepers, helping you both stay cool throughout the evening.
Mattresses for couples, whether all foam or hybrid, often have a medium firmness to accommodate each person’s sleep style and body type.
Sleepers weighing over 230 pounds need extra support to keep their spines aligned. Pocketed coils are sturdy and supportive, which prevents plus-sized people from waking up in pain. Mattresses made entirely of foam can leave many larger people feeling stuck in bed, but since hybrid beds aren’t made entirely of foam, this problem is unlikely to occur.
When it comes to firmness, the best mattresses for plus-size sleepers are often medium to medium-firm.
Try Amerisleep Hybrid Mattresses
If hybrid mattresses sound right for you, try out our hybrid mattresses here at Amerisleep. We have three hybrid models.
Our beds come in a wide variety of mattress sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king.
With Amerisleep mattresses, you score a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty covering manufacturers defects and sags, along with free shipping and returns.
All of our products are CertiPUR-US® certified, meaning the foam in the beds doesn’t contain flame retardants, heavy metals, formaldehyde, phthalates, and is low in VOCs. In layman’s terms, the beds won’t off-gas—that “new car” smell.
Our firmest hybrid mattress is the AS2 Hybrid with its medium-firm feel. This firmer mattress is a great option for sleepers with back pain, back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and people who weigh over 230 pounds.
The mattress is 12 inches thick and contains 2 inches of Bio-Pur®, 1-inch Affinity foam with HIVE®, 8 inches of pocketed coils, and 1-inch base foam. The AS2 Hybrid features a soft and breathable mattress so you stay cool and sleep restfully.
The Bio-Pur® comfort layer is plant-based memory foam that we designed to cradle your curves and relieve pressure points. Bio-Pur® dissipates heat and moisture much better than traditional memory foam mattresses, so you won’t have to worry about overheating.
The Affinity Layer with HIVE® adds extra support to the mattress, one of the reasons why the AS2 Hybrid is so great for back pain sufferers. The layer is firm around your head, back, and legs, but soft around your shoulders and hips. This construction maximizes pressure-relief by evenly distributing your body weight.
Next in the mattress is the 8-inch pocketed coil layer. Each coil is wrapped in fabric to reduce motion transfer and noise. The coils on both sides of the bed are firm to provide solid edge support and make accessing your bed easier.
The final layer of the mattress is a durable poly-foam to add extra support to the bed.
One of our favorite mattresses for side sleepers, combo sleepers, and couples with different preferences is the AS3 Hybrid. It has a medium feel and offers a balance of comfort and support, so it won’t feel uncomfortably soft or firm to sleepers.
The mattress is 12 inches thick and contains 3 inches of Bio-Pur®, 8 inches of pocketed coils, and 1-inch base foam. The mattress features the same cover as the AS2 Hybrid and most of our other mattresses.
The thick layer of Bio-Pur® provides an excellent amount of cushioning without causing sleepers to feel stuck or unable to move in their bed.
The pocketed coils in the AS3 Hybrid improve the bed’s comfort and durability. The coils are less likely to bend or break compared to continuous coils in traditional innerspring mattresses. The minimal motion transfer in the AS3 Hybrid is great for couples, so if your partner shifts in bed or gets in and out of bed while you’re sleeping, you won’t disturb each other.
The base of the bed gives a sturdy surface for the coil layer.
The most luxurious mattress we offer is the Amerisleep AS5 Hybrid. It’s soft and cushiony while being durable and supportive for a wide range of sleepers. Side sleepers, petite sleepers, and plus-sized sleepers are sure to love the AS5 Hybrid.
The AS5 Hybrid is 14 inches thick—making it our thickest bed—and contains 3 inches of Bio-Pur®, 2 inches of Active Flex, 8 inches of pocketed coils, and a 1-inch foam layer.
The most unique aspect of the AS5 Hybrid is its Active Flex layer. The Active Flex layer increases the mattress’s responsiveness to prevent you from feeling trapped and unable to move in bed. This layer makes the bed an excellent option for plus-sized sleepers, who are generally uncomfortable on softer mattresses.
The pocketed coil layer is highly supportive as well, so sleepers who are tentative about soft mattresses don’t need to worry about being uncomfortable.
The base foam is durable and does a great job of supporting the upper layers.
For people conscious about their carbon footprint and sustainability, check out the Organica. It’s GOTS certified, STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified, Rainforest Alliance certified, and eco-INSTITUT certified.
The mattress has a medium feel, and its balanced feel works well for a variety of sleeping positions and body types. The mattress is 13 inches thick and contains 1-inch of New Zealand Joma Wool®, 3 inches of Natural Talalay Latex, 8 inches of pocketed coils, and 1-inch of Dunlop Latex. Unlike our other hybrids, the Organica is a hybrid of an innerspring and latex mattress.
The mattress’s cover is made from organic cotton and it’s durable, breathable, and sustainable.
The New Zealand Joma Wool® cushions your body while also acting as a natural flame barrier to keep you safe. Wool is temperature neutral, so it’ll keep you warm when it’s cold and gets cooler when it’s hot.
The Talalay Latex layer is naturally cooling and contours to your body to relieve both pressure and pain. Latex is naturally hypoallergenic, meaning it won’t trap dust, dust mites, dander, and other bacteria, so both you and your bed stay clean.
The sturdy coil layer supports your spine so it stays aligned and you won’t wake up feeling stiff and achy.
Finally, the Dunlop Latex base is durable and sturdy, so your mattress won’t sag or wear down rapidly.
Is a hybrid mattress better than an innerspring mattress?
Hybrid and innerspring beds are similar. However, we find that hybrids provide more pressure relief and last longer than most innerspring beds. Innerspring mattresses can become uncomfortable if the comfort layer is not thick enough to cushion the body. Innerspring beds are also noisy and have more motion transfer than hybrids. Hybrid mattresses are quiet, pressure-relieving, and have minimal motion transfer.
While hybrid beds are more expensive than innerspring beds, they’re also more comfortable and supportive than innerspring beds.
How thick should a hybrid mattress be?
Comfortable, high-quality hybrid mattresses are generally between 10 inches or thicker. The thickness of the mattress typically depends on the complexity of the construction, along with the level of cushioning the bed has.
For a high-quality hybrid mattress, we recommend going for one that contains a thick support layer that makes up at least half of the mattress’s total construction.
Can you flip a hybrid mattress?
No, the typical hybrid mattress has a top-down construction, meaning you’re supposed to lay on one side of the bed, while the other is meant to rest on a foundation. Flipping a top-down hybrid mattress can wear the bed down rapidly, and is just plain uncomfortable to lay on.
Unless a hybrid mattress is clearly advertised as dual-sided or flippable, do not flip it over.
Do you need to rotate a hybrid mattress?
Yes, you should rotate all mattresses every six months or so so the beds wear out evenly. With this in mind, we designed Amerisleep mattresses to be durable, so the beds don’t require bi-yearly rotations.
Do hybrid mattresses need a box spring?
No, hybrid mattresses don’t need or require a box spring. If anything, box springs can harm hybrid mattresses because they are not a sufficient foundation. Pairing a hybrid bed with a box spring also voids most mattress warranties.
Hybrid mattresses are compatible with bed slats, bunkie boards, platform beds, and adjustable beds, not box springs.
If you want to purchase a new mattress, but all-foam or spring beds just aren’t right, hybrid beds might be the best mattress choice for you. They include features from different mattresses in one superior bed, which is why hybrids stand out against other types of mattresses.
There’s a lot that goes into hybrid mattresses and while it can get confusing, with our guide, you can find the right bed for you.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.