As you might have guessed from their name, hybrid mattresses are a hybrid of other popular mattress types. Hybrid beds pair the pocketed coil support core found in some innerspring mattresses with foam comfort layers like those found in memory foam or latex beds.

Hybrid beds are designed to offer sleepers the best features of other mattress types while minimizing the negatives. They’re less bouncy than innerspring mattresses, so individuals aren’t as likely to be disturbed by others moving around in the bed, but still bouncy enough to be enjoyable for sex. And they’re designed to contour to the body like foam mattresses, but provide a much cooler sleeping surface.

Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of a hybrid mattress, including how long they last, and how much you can expect to pay.

What is a hybrid mattress?

Hybrid mattresses combine an innerspring coil support core with a comfort layer of latex or memory foam.

Shoppers should note that “hybrid” is occasionally used as a marketing term. However, to be a true hybrid mattress, the bed must combine a coil support core with a comfort layer made of latex or memory foam. Beds that include support cores made from latex and foam, or with thin comfort layers, do not qualify as hybrid mattresses.

What are the components of a hybrid bed?

The average hybrid mattress contains the following layers:

  • A base foam layer beneath the support core to provide extra padding and stability to the mattress. This layer is usually made of polyurethane foam and around 1 inch in height.
  • A coil support core of 6 to 7 inches that makes up the bulk of the bed’s height. Hybrid mattresses feature a pocketed coil design which offers better support and less motion transfer.
  • A comfort layer made of memory foam and/or latex. The ratio of memory foam to latex will vary by manufacturer, as will the height, although it’s usually around 3 to 4 inches. The comfort layer may also include gel or copper elements to enhance the cooling capability of the mattress.
  • Some hybrid beds also include a pillow top or euro top layer sewn to the top of the comfort layer. A pillow top is so-called because it’s sewn with a gap between it and the comfort layer, making it look like a pillow above the mattress, while eurotops are sewn flush with the comfort layer. These range from 1 to 2 inches in height and vary in material components, including latex foam, memory foam, polyfoam, cotton, wool, or fiberfill.

Besides the materials used and the height of the individual layers, mattress shoppers can also look to the density and ILD of the foam layers, and the gauge and coil count of the support core, to assess the overall quality of a hybrid mattress.

  • Density is a measure of how much compression a mattress can handle while still being supportive. It’s measured in pounds per cubic foot. High-grade density foam will provide the best motion isolation and contour, but will take the longest to recover its shape. On the other hand, low-grade memory foam will quickly recover its shape but provide less contour and motion isolation. Medium-grade density foam lies somewhere in the middle. There are different scales for polyfoam versus memory foam. Memory foam density ranges from 2.5 to 3.9 pounds per cubic foot on the low end to 5.5 or above on the high end. Polyfoam density ranges from below 1.9 pounds per cubic foot to over 2.5.
  • ILD stands for indentation load deflection and measures the firmness of the mattress. The higher the ILD, the firmer the bed and the less contour you will experience. Just like density, latex and memory foam have different ILD scales – memory foam ranges from 8 to 20 while latex ranges from 15 to over 40. Higher ILDs are best for overweight sleepers and stomach sleepers of any weight. Lower ILDs are best for lighter weight sleepers and side sleepers of any weight.
  • Gauge measures the thickness of the pocketed coils in the bed’s support core. The higher the gauge, the thinner the coils. Gauge ranges from 12 on the thick end to 18 on the thin end.
  • Coil count can also affect the lifespan of a mattress to a degree. Lower coil counts correlate with shorter lifespans, up to 1,000. Past that point, the coil count mostly correlates with a higher cost but not necessarily any more durability.

How does a hybrid mattress feel like to sleep on?

Hybrid mattresses provide a contour to the body similar to a memory foam bed, but to a lesser degree. Sleepers won’t experience the feeling of being trapped that turns many people off from memory foam beds.

Hybrid mattresses offer a supportive contouring feel like memory foam mattress, but without the heat retention, due to the pocketed coil support core.

Also thanks to their pocketed coil support core, hybrid beds are bouncy but their foam comfort layer offers excellent motion isolation so sleepers aren’t disturbed by others getting up or shifting positions in bed.

Because they contain differing amounts of latex or memory foam, different hybrid beds feel different. Fortunately, they are easy enough to find in mattress retail stores to test out in person before buying.

Pros and cons of hybrid mattresses

Review the following list of pros and cons to determine whether a hybrid bed is the right fit for your sleep needs:

Pros Cons
Better contour than latex and innerspring beds

Cool sleeping surface

Bouncy and suitable for sex

Good motion isolation

Available in a range of firmness levels

One of the most expensive mattress options

Initial off gassing odor

Shorter lifespan if large amount of polyfoam

Heavy and difficult to move

Pros of hybrid mattresses

Better contour than latex and innerspring beds

Hybrid beds still have the bounce of latex and innerspring beds but with a superior contour that offers better spinal alignment (especially for side sleepers) and pressure point relief.

Cool sleeping surface

The pocketed coil support core, enhanced by cooling components in the bed’s comfort layer, all function to provide a cool sleeping surface.

Bouncy and suitable for sex

The coil support core gives hybrid beds a bounciness comparable to innersprings, without the noise and motion transfer issues, making them a good fit for couples.

Good motion isolation

The foam layers help minimize motion transfer, so individuals sharing the bed with a partner or pet will not be disturbed by the other’s movements.

Available in a range of firmness levels

Hybrid beds are available in a wide range of firmness levels so sleepers can find the best bed for their needs.

Cons of hybrid mattresses

One of the most expensive mattress options

Hybrid mattresses offer the best of both worlds between innerspring and foam beds, but that benefit comes at a cost. These beds tend to be one of the more expensive options on the market.

Initial off gassing odor

Due to the manufacturing process of the foam contents, hybrid beds present an initial off gassing odor upon being unwrapped. Fortunately, the smell isn’t as bad as with all-foam beds, it’s completely harmless, and it will go away within a few hours to a few days at most.

Shorter lifespan if large amount of polyfoam

Polyfoam is cheap and degrades quickly, so if the bed uses a lot in its base foam, the overall lifespan of the mattress will be shorter.

Heavy and difficult to move

All of their components serve to make a heavy bed, which can be challenging whenever you want to move it. However, this heaviness can also bode well for durability of the components.

How much does a hybrid mattress cost?

A quality queen-size hybrid bed costs $1,000 on average, which is $400 more than the average innerspring mattress and $100 more than a memory foam bed. High-end hybrid models could be as expensive as $4,000.

How long does a hybrid mattress last?

With an average lifespan of 6 years, a hybrid bed lasts longer than the average innerspring bed, but not as long as other mattress types. The longevity of the mattress is highly dependent on the grade of the polyfoam used in the base and the fact that pocketed coils tend to be less durable than other coil types such as bonnell, offset, and continuous wire coils.

Review the warranty before you purchase a mattress. Hybrid bed warranties should include coverage for premature sagging like an innerspring bed, as well as for excessive indentation like a memory foam bed. Make sure you understand what is covered and what your responsibilities are as the mattress owner to ensure you remain covered (e.g. not abusing the bed, which type of bed frame to use).

What type of sleeper is best suited to a hybrid mattress?

Hybrid mattress offer the best features of many bed types, without many of the disadvantages. Their excellent motion isolation and bounciness for sex makes them preferred by couples. They’re also good for sleeping cool, although if a person is prone to night sweats, they’d be better with an innerspring or all-latex bed.

For many sleepers seeking a contour to the body that’s still great for sex and sleeps cool, a hybrid bed is a great choice.

While hybrid mattresses are available in a wide range of firmness levels, they are not a good fit for sleepers who prefer the ultra-plush feel of a memory foam bed, or anyone who requires an ultra-firm mattress due to being extremely overweight.

Hybrid mattress FAQ checklist

As you begin shopping for a hybrid mattress, review this checklist of questions to ensure you buy a quality bed that supports your sleep needs:

  • How long should I expect this bed to last?
  • What are the terms of the warranty?
  • What is the trial period and return policy?
  • Will this mattress support me, given my body weight and preferred sleeping position?
  • What is the density and ILD of the foam?
  • What materials make up the support and comfort layers?
  • What grade of polyfoam is used in the base layer?
  • Are there any cooling elements in the comfort layer?

Additional resources

Ready to buy a hybrid mattress? Check out our guide to buying a mattress online.

Not sure a hybrid mattress is right for you? Read up on other types of mattresses: