Hybrid Vs. Memory Foam Mattress: What's The Difference?

Getting a good night's rest has plenty of benefits for your body. In fact, experts advise that adults need a minimum of seven hours of sleep every night to stay on top of their health. However, you might not know this, but your sleeping surface has a lot to do with how well you sleep at night, notes Healthline. Fortunately, sleep technology has made significant leaps, and there are plenty of good mattress options. 

When you are shopping for a new mattress, you will encounter two common types dominating the market today: Hybrid and memory foam. These two terms can be a bit confusing, making the shopping process harder. Which option among the two is ultimately right for you? These two types of mattresses are not made the same, and each comes with distinct benefits that suit different needs. That said, these are some things you need to know about hybrid and memory foam mattresses.

What is a hybrid mattress?

True to its name, a hybrid mattress combines two different mattress designs to provide the best of the traditional and modern options. According to Sleep Foundation, this design involves using innerspring coils and a comfy layer made from memory foam to improve pressure relief and comfort. The innerspring coils provide a strong yet bouncy core typical of traditional mattresses, while the memory padding is installed purposely for that soft and comfortable sensation. 

If you are no fan of the sinking feeling you get from modern memory foam mattresses, then the hybrid option might be ideal for you. Modern hybrid mattress options also come with pocket coil springs wrapped with fabric. These springs individually react to pressure, which helps reduce bed movement. However, you will still likely feel movement if you share the bed with another person. Hybrid mattresses can vary greatly because of the difference in comfort layer materials. Some popular comfort layer materials include memory foam, latex, fiber, and polyfoam, each with a slightly different feel.

Benefits of hybrid mattresses

One of the benefits of a hybrid mattress is its breathability. The innerspring coil design allows airflow, which prevents the mattress from holding on to too much heat (via Sleep Foundation). This technology might improve your sleep quality if you are a hot sleeper. Also, the addition of the coils provides the necessary support to carry heavier weights, making this type of mattress ideal for both back and front sleeping positions (via Mattress Clarity). 

The ability to carry heavier weight allows this type of mattress to stand up to wear and tear better, giving you up to 10 years of service, per Mattress Land. Another reason that might motivate you to go for this type of mattress is the general luxurious feel. As mentioned earlier, hybrid mattresses are designed to give you the best of modern and traditional experience. The delicate balance between the enfolding effect and the soft bounce is exactly what separates this model from the competition.

What is a memory foam mattress?

You will be surprised to find out that the material used on NASA's aircraft seats has found its way into your bedroom. Memory foam mattresses are made from polyurethane with superior cushioning that compresses with weight, producing a close-conforming feel when you lay on them. Unlike the hybrid option that is supported by innerspring coils, most memory foam mattresses have a high-density polyfoam support core. 

The slow sinking in response to weight effectively distributes pressure away, making you comfortable enough to fall asleep quickly. However, this comfort comes at a price. The sinking effect also traps body heat and can be very uncomfortable, especially for those mattress options that don't have a cooling mechanism, mentions Mattress Clarity. Some of the cooling technology used in modern memory foam mattresses include gel or copper, which are quite effective in conducting heat away from the body (via Sleep Foundation).

Benefits of memory foam mattresses

One of the main benefits of a memory foam mattress is that it cradles your body, helping to relieve pressure off some problematic areas like the lower back (via Sleep Foundation). According to a study from the Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, memory foam mattresses support the natural shape of your spine, helping to reduce back pain and stress in specific areas. 

Another noteworthy benefit is just how good this type of mattress is when it comes to motion transfer. Because the mattress sinks with pressure, it absorbs any movement, which is perfect if you sleep with a partner. You don't have to wake up whenever your partner tosses and turns at night. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, you will be glad to find out that memory foam mattresses come in different prices ranging from cheap options all the way to top-of-the-range alternatives that are quite expensive.

Hybrid or memory foam mattress: Which is better?

Just like most other things, a one solution fits all approach will not work when looking for the right mattress for you. Everyone has individual needs and requirements that will determine the option they choose. The hybrid option is ideal if you cannot stand the sinking feeling typical of a memory foam mattress or if you prefer a little more bounce on your bed (via Medical News Today). Also, the structural support of the hybrid option allows for full usage of the entire surface, which is important if you tend to sleep towards the side of the mattress a lot. 

On the other hand, a memory foam mattress is ideal for side sleepers who could use a more comfortable surface to reduce shoulder pains (via Mattress Clarify). It is worth noting that regardless of your choice, both types of mattresses are good and will perform better than most alternatives out there. The major difference between the hybrid and memory foam models has to do with the support core. Other than that, you can expect an improvement in the quality of your sleep from either option.