Hybrid mattress is a combination of the wrapped coil innerspring support system and innovative materials like memory foam, latex or gel foam on top. The union of these two cutting-edge technologies delivers exceptional support of steel coils and superior pressure relief and comfort of high-end foams. It offers impressive quality and unique feel. Compared to all-foam mattresses, hybrids are more resilient and provide more bounce, so they feel more like traditional mattresses. They also have improved air circulation and could sleep cooler. Don’t confuse the hybrid mattress with a traditional innerspring mattress that includes a single layer of specialty foam. Hybrid mattress looks just like a specialty bed (memory foam, latex, gel foam), with flat top and stretchy cover. It offers great durability and should be on your list if you are deciding between foam and innerspring.
The overall quality of the hybrid mattress depends on its components. As with the innerspring mattresses, quality of its support system is determined by shape of the coil, gauge of the coil and quantity of coils. All better hybrid mattress use independently wrapped coils due to their support and reduced motion transfer. Quality of foam components is measured by their density - pounds per cubic foot (lbs/ft3). Denser foams will be firmer, heavier, and more durable with shorter response time – faster recovery to its original shape.
Construction of Hybrid Mattress
Hybrid mattress has a similar construction as regular innerspring mattress. The main difference is the lack of padding fibers and quilting, and addition of stretch knit cover on the top. These modifications give a hybrid mattress look and feel of the modern specialty bed. However, some models use traditional fibers and quilting on the top to improve mattress insulation.
Most up-to-date hybrid mattresses will use individually wrapped coils, providing even support, better contouring of your body, reduced motion transfer and improved durability. The overall quality of innerspring and its support is determines by type of the coil, gauge of the coil (thickness of wire - the lower the number, the thicker the coil) and quantity of coils. Visit our Innerspring Section for more information about steel innerspring, coil count and coil quality.
To utilize the entire sleep surface the edge of innerspring mattress is reinforced. Manufacturers use different types of edge support like foam inserts on sides, rows of extra firm coils, border rod around perimeter of the mattress or the most advanced foam incased edge.
The feel of the mattress comes from comfort or padding layers that are usually made from memory foam, gel foams or latex. The layers come in different thicknesses and densities and are stacked in certain order to provide a particular feel. The amount of padding also determines the model name of the product – firm, plush, pillow top. Top memory foam or latex layer is usually 2-6” thick. Thicker layer will allow your body to sink more into the mattress, but using higher density foam can offset it.
Types of Memory Foam
Traditional memory foam and its original formula was made popular by Tempur-Pedic and most mattresses nowadays are made from this foam but use different densities. The benefits are common among all types of memory foams but major differences are in heat absorption and response time, where traditional foam will retain more heat (though it might not be noticeable) and will have longer response time, so called “quicksand effect” especially with softer, lower density foams.
Gel memory foams are becoming more popular because they advertise the improvement on traditional memory foam drawbacks – heat retention and response time. Gel foam manufacturers claim that their foams are much cooler, but they don’t say by how much and this may not be even noticeable by an end-user. Gel foams are made by infusing gel molecules or by adding gel beets to memory foam giving the foam more resistance so you don’t sink in it too much and allowing gel particles to absorb excessive heat.
Other new types of memory foam, or next generation foams use similar approach as gel foams where they mix traditional foam with other chemical elements to improve response time, lower heat retention and provide a certain marketing advantage (natural ingredients). We have seen some soy, tea extract, based foams. Some newer types of memory foam duplicate the construction of latex foam and contain deep holes throughout the entire layer to provide softer feel and also to help improve ventilation.
Visit our Memory Foam Section for more information about memory foam.
Types of Latex
Mattresses are not made from of the pure latex but rather from the foams that are derived form latex. Latex foams can be manufactured from either natural or synthetic latex or, as in most cases, the blend of both. They can be manufactured using either the Dunlop or Talalay methods.
Natural latex (sometimes referred to as Botanical latex) is a renewable product produced without synthetic alteration or chemical treatment. It can be harvested from the same trees on a regular basis without harming the living plant. Natural latex is characterized by its elasticity and softness. It is biodegradable and provides natural resistance to bacteria, mold and mildew. On the other hand, as a natural product, it lacks the consistency in quality. Mattresses made only from the natural latex foam are rare and typically the most expensive.
Synthetic latex, engineered version of latex foam is made from petroleum-based materials. It matches the most of physical characteristics of natural latex and its controlled consistency and quality is better suitable for mass commercial production. It tends to provide a firmer feel, and arguably, it can sustain its resiliency for a longer time.
Blended latex,the mixture of both, natural latex and synthetic latex, offers the benefits of both and is the most common material used in latex mattresses. Such mixtures are usually 30% natural latex and 70% synthetic. The mixture of both elements combines elasticity and allergen resiliency of natural latex with consistency and durability of synthetic latex.
Some less expensive latex products can also contain “fillers” small fragments that are added to the foam, making it firmer and less durable. Natural, synthetic or blended latex that doesn’t contain any fillers is often referred to as Pure Latex and can be found in most high quality latex mattresses.
Visit our Latex Section for more information about latex foam.
Benefits of Hybrid Mattress
Matching great support with your favorite comfort material
More traditional feel
Faster response time
Good motion separation
Hybrid Mattress Warranty
As the construction varies from model to model so does the warranty. Be extremely diligent to learn about the warranty of any given product. Warranties are design to protect consumer against manufacturer’s defects for certain period of time, and majority of innerspring mattress warranties protect customers against excessive sagging. Excessive sagging is typically referred to as an indentation/imprint/depression greater than 1.5”.
Most warranties start with a full mattress replacement for an initial period of time, and change to a limited (pro-rated) warranty as years go by. While comparing innerspring mattress warranties, you can find full replacement warranties for as little as 2 years and as high as 10 years, with overall warranty duration up to 25 years.
Hybrid Mattress Shopping Tips
Hybrid mattress offers endless options of combining superior support of independent coils with comfort layer of your preference. In order to pick the right hybrid mattress you need to find a perfect match of quality of the innerspring with quality of whatever foam you prefer.
The innerspring is the engine of the mattress. Find out all the specs available. The number of coils in a particular system is important in determining the quality of the innerspring mattress, but it is not the only attribute you should consider. Coils design, quality and their arrangement are also critical. As a general rule, more coils of the same design and gauge equal better support and better durability. Number of coils and their gauge are the most common characteristics of innerspring mattress that help compare quality of different products.
The denser the latex foam, the longer it will last, and the heavier it will be. Just like with any foam mattress if the product description doesn’t offer density information try to lift it and “weigh” it relative to a different product. Visit our Latex Section for more information about latex foam.
Higher quality mattresses use density of memory foam from at least 5lb/ft3, thus being quite heavy and more expensive. The denser the memory foam, the longer it will last, and the heavier it will be. Just like with any foam mattress if the product description doesn’t offer any density information try to lift it and “weigh” it relative to a different product. Visit our Memory Foam Section for more information about memory foam.
Be aware of different warranties, most of them covering indentations larger than 1 1/2” over certain period of time. Find out how long is the mattress fully covered, and if the warranty is pro-rated, know what portion of the replacement cost you will be responsible for. Make sure you ask your store about exchange/return options and exchange/return costs. Read the fine print of the exchange/return policy before you place an order.
Always ask for a special financing offers or the incentive for not using one. Some retailers charge extra delivery and old mattress removal fees and those can add substantially to the final amount. Always ask for free gifts with a mattress purchase, it is always nice to get free pillows, mattress protector and set of sheets.