When choosing a mattress, you will quickly find yourself confronted with a dizzying array of choices. Innerspring mattresses are supportive, but they aren’t always comfortable. Memory foam mattresses are comfortable, but they aren’t always supportive. Enter the hybrid mattress, a combination of innerspring and memory foam that some people really love.

The typical hybrid mattress has an innerspring layer as well as a memory foam, latex, or gel layer. This combination provides both support and pressure relief. As you might expect, setting out to buy a hybrid mattress can be a bit of an adventure. Our shopping guide can help. From construction materials and firmness to the actual layers that go into a hybrid, we cover everything you need to know to help you find the perfect hybrid mattress for you. We also cover hybrid mattress costs and spotlight some of our favorites to help you narrow down your search.

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Due to the fact that they combine the traditional feel of springs with the pressure relief of memory foam, hybrid mattresses are often considered to be the “best of both worlds.”
The term “hybrid” can cover a considerable amount of ground when used to describe a mattress. At its most basic, a hybrid mattress comprises several layers of material, but the nature of those layers can vary. Hybrids usually incorporate some form of innerspring made from wire or metal coils. They also usually include some form of latex, foam (typically polyurethane), or gel atop the innerspring layer, followed by a covering that can range from cotton or wool to polyester, rayon, or another material.

Firmness is a primary consideration when shopping for any mattress, and your choices vary from plush to firm. Firmness is a result of both the materials used and the way they are put together. The elements of a hybrid mattress, such as the foam layer, can also be classified by indentation load deflection (ILD), which is another way to rate firmness. Generally speaking, the higher the ILD, the firmer the foam layer. Take care when looking at ILD, however, as it only refers to the foam layer and does not take other layers into account.

What is the right firmness for you? This is largely based on personal preference, although the way you sleep — stomach, back, or side — also affects the degree of firmness that makes you most comfortable. If possible, sample several hybrid mattresses with different degrees of firmness at your local furniture store before ordering online. That way, you’ll know exactly what works for you.

Much like firmness, size is another important variable. Unlike firmness, you probably have a pretty solid idea of what size mattress size you want. Some sleepers like a more compact mattress; others prefer having room to stretch out. Taller sleepers may find something longer, like a twin XL, more to their liking. Couples sharing a bed may find a queen or even a king to be an absolute necessity.

Whatever size you go with, note that you’re going to need the physical space in your bedroom to place the bed.

Common bed sizes include:

Twin: 38 x 75 inches
Twin XL: 38 x 80 inches
Full/Double: 54 x 75 inches
Queen: 60 x 80 inches
King: 76 x 80 inches
California King: 72 x 84 inches
The majority of hybrid mattress come with a built-in trial period. This allows you to take the mattress for a “test drive” for an extended period of time, usually 100 to 120 nights. Use this period to sleep on the mattress and determine whether it would work for you over the long haul. Considering the fact that most people spend a third of their lives in bed, it’s important to be absolutely sure of your purchasing decision.In that same vein, note what type of warranty the company offers. Some of the best (and usually priciest) mattresses come with a lifetime warranty.

By their very definition, hybrid mattresses are made of different layers that contribute to a successful night’s sleep. The layers can vary from mattress to mattress, but they typically include coils, memory foam or latex, and a cover. A base and gel layer may also be included.

Coils: Spring coils form the core of the mattress and provide more support than you would receive from an all-foam mattress. Usually made of wire, the coils may be individually wrapped to improve independent motion. Spring coils generally add 6 to 8 inches to the weight of the mattress.

Memory foam or latex: This “comfort layer” sits atop the coils, slowly compressing and molding to your body as you relax on the bed. Typically 3 to 4 inches thick, this layer is usually made of the same types of materials found in all-foam mattresses. Notably, some hybrids include a transition layer between the coils and the foam; this layer helps improve the overall durability of the mattress.

Cover: The thin, cushioning cover encapsulates the other layers of the mattress. It is typically made from a material like cotton that wicks moisture and stay cool. The cover on a hybrid mattress is usually smooth instead of indented.

Other common layers include a base layer (which helps improve support to the coil layer) and a gel layer (another comfort layer that diffuses heat and relieve pressure on the joints and muscles).

A defined edge is a benefit that hybrid mattresses have over foam mattresses. Thicker coils are typically situated around the edges of the hybrid mattress to provide added support, making it easier to get in and out of bed. The edges may provide a secure “lip” to the mattress that adds to your stability.

“Individually wrapped coils or springs tend to transfer less motion than non-wrapped coils, which can be a big benefit for couples sharing a bed.”
Hybrid mattresses are generally more expensive than memory foam mattresses, though pricing varies based on mattress size and materials. Hybrid mattresses may cost as little as $200 and as much as $4,000+. The average price sits in the $1,000 to $1,500 range.

Under $500: You may have trouble finding a hybrid mattress for under $500, but they do exist. Hybrids at this level contain low-density foam, leaving them less comfortable and supportive than pricier alternatives. They also have a shorter lifespan, making them ideal for use in guestrooms or other situations where longevity is less of an issue.

Over $500: Once you get into pricier territory, the quality of the foam and coils improves considerably. More expensive mattresses tend to be more comfortable and last longer. The price of a larger hybrid mattress, such as a queen or king, will obviously be greater than that of a twin.

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The average lifespan of a hybrid mattress is six to eight years.
Hybrids are often cooler than all-foam mattresses. This is due to the inclusion of springs in the mattress, which promote airflow. A common complaint about all-foam mattresses is heat retention. If you like the idea of a foam mattress but tend to sleep hot, a hybrid may be the perfect compromise.
Check the composition of the mattress carefully before buying. While “hybrid” usually refers to a coil/memory foam combo, it can also be used to refer to a spring-less mattress that blends different types of foam. The type of hybrid we discuss in this guide combines the benefits of foam with the benefits of springs.
Go hybrid if you want foam but are worried about sag. Hybrid mattresses with springs usually beat out memory foam mattresses in terms of durability. The problem with all-foam mattresses is that they can sag as time goes on. Sag is less likely to occur in a mattress with springs.
A mattress can be deodorized by sprinkling the surface with baking soda and allowing it to sit in the open air for 24 hours. Allow the mattress to air out in a spot where the sun can reach it, if possible. Vacuum off the baking soda when you’re done, and repeat this process once a year.
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Thanks to their design, hybrid mattresses are a great choice regardless of whether you sleep on your front, back, or side.
Q. How can I extend the life of my mattress?
A. Most hybrid mattresses last six to eight years. However, there are a number of ways you can extend this number. The first is to properly support your mattress with a good frame; this will help it wear down more evenly. When you first set up your mattress, put a mattress protector over it. In addition to regularly cleaning your bed linens, try to limit the amount of food or pets that you bring into your bed. And of course, no jumping on the bed, as this could break it.

Q. What am I giving up by not choosing a memory foam mattress?
A. While hybrid mattresses have a number of advantages over foam mattresses, there are some areas where they underperform. For one, all-foam mattresses have no springs and are quieter when you move around in bed than hybrids and innerspring mattresses. Memory foam contours to your body better, which many people find to be more comfortable — particularly those who like to sleep “in” their mattress as opposed to “on” it.

Because foam transfers less motion than springs, memory foam mattresses can be a better fit for couples, particularly if one partner is a restless sleeper. For those on a tight budget, you can usually find a high-quality foam mattress for far less money than a comparable hybrid.

Q. Does a hybrid mattress require a box spring?
A. Generally not. While the majority of hybrid mattresses do not require a box spring to be comfortably used, it is not uncommon to find that the manufacturer requires one be used as a condition of the warranty. Check your warranty carefully before setting up any mattress without a box spring.