Ah, is it time to shop for a new mattress again? It’s a prospect that can be intimidating even in the best of circumstances, and especially daunting if you have no idea about what you’re looking for – make that double if you’re not well-versed with mattress terminology.
If you’ve been scouring the web for mattress reviews, it’s highly likely you’ve come across the terms “hybrid” and “memory foam.” These are two of the most popular mattress types today, and there are some great options available on the market as well.
When it comes to finding the right type of mattress, the first step is to decide what type of mattress you want. Over the course of this article, we’ll provide a detailed comparison between hybrid and memory foam mattresses. We hope that it helps you make the right decision. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
First, the Definitions…
Before we get into the thick of things, it’s important to first know what exactly the terms ‘hybrid’ and ‘memory foam’ mean in the mattress world.
What’s a Memory Foam Mattress?
Memory foam mattresses are made out of polyurethane– a polymer that was originally designed for NASA. However, it has since become one of the staple materials in the mattress and furniture manufacturing industry.
Typically, memory foam has a soft feel that compresses slowly when pressure is exerted. You should feel your body slowly sinking in when you lie on a memory foam mattress. When we say memory foam mattresses in this post, we mean mattresses that are made entirely out of foam; no springs. For instance, the Puffy Lux mattress features layers of Cooling Cloud™ foam, Dual Cloud Foam and ClimateComfort™ foam. There aren’t any springs in the mattress.
What’s a Hybrid Mattress?
A hybrid mattress is exactly what its name implies: it’s a mix of two different types of mattresses. While mattresses made of different types of foams are often referred to as hybrids, the hybrid mattresses we’ll speak of in this post are those that have springs with a comfort layer on top. The comfort material could be made out of a variety of materials, including polyfoam, latex or even memory foam.
The Differences between Hybrid and Memory Foam Mattresses
Construction-wise, perhaps the most prominent difference between the two is that hybrids contain some type of coils, while memory foam mattresses don’t. This singular variation in design makes them different in a number of ways.
The first difference is cost. Generally, hybrid mattresses are pricier than their all-foam counterparts. While this isn’t always the case, the presence of coils does add to the mattress’s cost. Although the coils do inflate the price tag by a bit, they do deliver some extra benefits. For instance, coils add a an extra level of support to the mattress, which means hybrid mattresses are typically better at handling heavier weights when compared to memory foam mattresses. Again, this isn’t always the case. Moreover, mattresses with coils generally offer better support to stomach sleepers and back sleepers.
Furthermore, hybrid mattresses are, on average, more breathable compared to memory foam mattresses. This is because the coils allow for better air ventilation and don’t trap as much heat as memory foam.
And last but not the least, hybrid mattresses are generally known to have superior durability compared to memory foam mattresses. Unlike coils that don’t break down too quickly, memory foam has a tendency to sag over time. However, as foam technology continues to advance, this difference in durability is growing thinner and thinner.
Memory Foam Mattresses: The Pros
Just because there aren’t any coils, it doesn’t mean that memory foam mattresses don’t have anything to offer. In fact, they provide a myriad of clear benefits.
- Great Contouring Ability & Pressure Relief: Memory foam mattresses are known for their exceptional pressure relieving capabilities. In addition to providing great cushioning to the joints, memory foam takes the shape of your body, which helps in keeping your spine in a neutral position.
- It’s Completely Silent: Although hybrid mattresses aren’t necessarily loud, their springs can become squeaky and creaky over time. Memory foam on the other hand, doesn’t develop any such issues, regardless of how old the mattress gets.
- Great Motion Isolation: Another great benefit of memory foam mattresses is their excellent ability to cut down on motion transfer. When you move around on a memory foam mattress, the motion will be isolated to that particular area.
Memory Foam Mattresses: The Cons
Now that we’ve gone over the benefits of memory foam mattresses, let’s take a look at the drawbacks.
- Can Trap Heat: Temperature regulation is perhaps the most prominent issue with all-foam mattresses are they’re prone to trap heat. However, some memory foam mattresses have integrated features that combat heat issues. For instance, the Puffy Lux has a top comfort layer comprised of Cooling Cloud™ foam, which provides eight times more airflow than most other foams.
- Edge Support Isn’t Great: While this isn’t always the case, the edge support of memory foam mattresses isn’t as great compared to some other types of mattresses.
Hybrid Mattresses: The Pros
Hybrid mattresses provide a variety of benefits. They include:
- Great Ventilation: Hybrid mattresses have coil pockets, which allow plenty of room for air to flow through the mattress.
- Excellent Support: As we mentioned, the addition of coils also adds to the level of support a mattress provides. Compared to memory foam, metal coils are better at handling heavier weights.
- The Perfect Balance of Support and Comfort: While hybrid mattresses provide exceptional support because of the springs they contain, let’s not forget the soft comfort layer they have on top. This means they provide a perfect blend of comfort and support.
Hybrid Mattresses: The Cons
While they have a lot to offer, hybrid mattresses have some drawbacks as well.
- Not Great with Motion Isolation: Although they usually feature a soft comfort layer, hybrid mattresses cannot match memory foam mattresses when it comes to motion isolation. If your partner shifts a lot in their sleep, you’re likely to feel it more on a hybrid mattress.
- Heavy and Cumbersome: Generally, hybrid mattresses weigh considerably more than all-foam mattresses. This is mainly because the metal springs they contain.
Why Choose a Memory Foam Mattress?
Having gone over the pros and cons, now it’s time to answer the big questions: Who should opt for a memory foam mattress?
- Those Who Prefer to Sleep “In” Their Mattress: Memory foam mattresses are known for their superior body contouring capabilities.
- Side Sleepers: Another quality of memory foam mattresses is exceptional pressure relief, which makes them a great option for individuals who prefer to sleep on their sides. A good memory foam mattress will melt away the pressure on your hips and shoulders as you sleep on your side.
- You Sleep with a Partner: If you’re in the market for a couple mattresses, memory foam mattresses make for a great choice because of the great motion isolation they provide.
The Bottom Line
If you take all of the aforementioned factors into consideration, you shouldn’t have any problems making the right decision. While both memory foam and hybrid mattresses have a lot to offer, the truth is that they’re a better fit for different types of people.
If you’re looking into buying the perfect mattress for yourself, have a look at our in-depth reviews on the best foam mattresses. We’ve covered mattresses and sleep products from all the biggest brands including Molecule, Ghostbed and Casper.