What is a hybrid mattress?
A hybrid mattress is a mix of mattress materials, typically a combination of springs and foams. In recent years, hybrid mattresses have grown in popularity. They are the perfect compromise for many sleepers as they combine the support of a traditional sprung mattress with the comfort and cushioning benefits of different foams.
A hybrid mattress adapts to the shape of your body, helping to keep the neck and spine aligned.
What is the construction of a hybrid mattress?
A hybrid mattress is a multi-layered construction that combines different foams, such as viscoelastic, gel or latex supported by a spring system. These layers provide the foundations for a comfortable and supportive night’s sleep.
The top comfort layer is typically supported by an open coil or pocket spring unit underneath.
An open coil spring unit is made from a continuous wire woven into springs to form the spring unit. It is the most common spring system used in mattresses and can be mass-produced cost-effectively.
Movement is transferred over the entire surface, which means sleeping partners are more likely to feel each other’s movement when changing sleeping positions or getting in and out of bed. There are around 300 to 800 springs in an open coil unit.
Pocket springs are individual springs encased in fabric pockets and either sewn or stitched together. This allows each spring to work independently and conform to the shape of the sleeper’s body.
As each spring is individual, sleeping partners are less likely to disturb one another when turning over in bed. Body weight is evenly distributed across the entire surface, cushioning the shoulders and the hips, which helps to prevent pressure.
In general, the higher the spring count, the more supportive the mattress will be. Although comparing spring counts between different manufacturers can sometimes be misleading as you won’t know if you are comparing full-height springs or mini springs.
Pocket spring counts typically vary from 800 to 2000 springs. Hybrid mattresses with more than 2000 pocket springs are likely to contain mini springs.
Hybrid mattresses are made using various layers of different foams. These layers come in various densities and thicknesses, affecting how the mattress performs.
Memory foam, also referred to as viscoelastic moulds to the shape of your body. Its pressure-relieving qualities can help alleviate aches and pains. Memory foam recovers and returns to its original shape slowly when weight and pressure are removed.
Latex is naturally breathable and cooler than other types of foams. It is hypoallergenic, and dust mite resistant, which will benefit sleepers that suffer from allergies. Latex is durable and recovers its shape quickly when pressure is removed.
Gel is a breathable, pressure-relieving material that is often combined with other fillings like foam. The gel helps to disperse body heat away from the mattress, ensuring you remain cool during the night.
What are the pros and cons of hybrid mattresses?
Hybrid models are a popular choice of mattress. As comfort is subjective, Weighing up their pros and cons will help you decide if a hybrid mattress is right for you.
Cooler than foam-only mattresses
Hybrid mattresses are cooler than foam-only mattresses, as the springs allow better air circulation.
Suitable for all sleeping positions
Whether you’re a back sleeper, side sleeper or stomach sleeper, hybrid mattresses are supportive across various sleeping positions.
Hybrid mattresses can help to relieve pressure across your body, especially around the back, shoulders and hips.
Less movement and roll-together
In higher-quality hybrid mattresses, the combination of pocket springs with dense memory foam or latex can effectively reduce movement across the mattress. This can be particularly beneficial for sleeping partners of widely differing size and weight.
But, cheaper hybrid mattresses may not be as effective at reducing movement.
Hybrid mattresses are easier to maintain
Hybrid mattresses are easier to maintain than other mattresses as there is no need to flip or turn them over. But, rotating them regularly, end to end, will help to ensure even settlement of the fillings.
Easier to turn over in bed
Some all-foam mattresses can give sleepers the feeling of sinking too deep into the mattress, making it harder to turn over in bed. With hybrid mattresses, the combination of springs and foams makes them more bouncy and easier to turn over.
Hybrid mattresses work best with your natural body heat. Because of this, some manufacturers do not recommend using electric blankets with their mattresses as they can damage the material.
Warmer than traditional mattresses
Hybrid mattresses are generally cooler to sleep on than foam-only mattresses. However, they can still feel slightly warmer than other mattresses, such as those containing natural materials.
They can be more expensive
Hybrid mattresses are typically more expensive than other types of mattresses.
Do hybrid mattresses need turning?
Hybrid mattresses are usually single-sided and non-turn. They only have one sleeping surface and are not designed to be flipped over, although rotating the mattress from time to time will help to even out the wear.
One of the drawbacks of single-sided mattresses is that all the wear and tear is concentrated in the same area. This means that they typically wear out quicker than double-sided mattresses.
How long does a hybrid mattress last?
The standard lifespan of most hybrid mattresses is around 7 to 10 years, depending on the construction, material quality, usage and aftercare.
As hybrid mattresses are single-sided, all the wear and tear is concentrated on one side. However, the comfort layers often used in hybrid mattresses, such as natural latex and memory foam tend to be durable and resilient.
Hybrid mattresses can vary widely in quality. Cheaper models may be constructed with thinner layers of material, which are unlikely to provide sufficient levels of comfort and support. These layers typically compress and break down quicker.
In contrast, the thicker layers in higher-quality hybrid models will provide much more comfort and support and last far longer.
With correct care, a higher-quality hybrid mattress containing pocket springs and natural latex can last up to 15 years. In comparison, a cheaper hybrid mattress with coil springs and a thin layer of memory foam on top may only last a few years.
Are hybrid mattresses hot?
Because of the foam material in hybrid mattresses, some people may find them slightly warmer to sleep on than other types of mattresses. Memory foam, in particular, is a dense material that retains body heat. Whilst this doesn’t tend to be an issue for most of the year, some sleepers may feel uncomfortable in bed during hot summer nights.
To counteract this, many hybrid models come with temperature-regulating features. These can include breathable fabrics, cooling gels and open-cell foam structures, making you feel cooler and more comfortable at night.
When compared to non-sprung mattresses containing all foam, hybrid mattresses are cooler.
Can you use a hybrid mattress with any bed base?
It’s generally best to buy a hybrid mattress and bed base together. Doing so will help ensure the mattress is correctly supported.
Hybrid mattresses are compatible with most bed bases. But, the type of bed base the mattress is paired with can change how it feels. For example, pairing a hybrid mattress with a platform top base or slatted bed frame will provide a firmer feel. While pairing it with a sprung base will give a softer feel.
Hybrid mattresses should always be placed on a well-ventilated bed base or bed frame that allows air to circulate underneath. This will prevent moisture build-up.
Avoid placing a hybrid mattress on a bed frame where the gap between the slats exceeds the manufacturer’s recommendations (typically 6 cm). If the slat gap is wider, the mattress will sag between the slats causing damage.
It is also recommended to place a mattress pad or a breathable blanket between the mattress and the slats to protect it from splinters and indentations.
You should also avoid placing a new mattress on an old, worn-out bed base, as doing so will affect how it performs and may invalidate your warranty.
Hybrid mattresses are the perfect compromise for sleepers that prefer the feel of a traditional sprung mattress, with the pressure-relieving benefits of foam.
Mattress quality can vary widely, so it’s helpful to evaluate all the options carefully before making a decision.