Memory Foam vs Hybrid Mattress

By HumanWindow
Updated on 22 June 2020

Should you go for a memory foam or hybrid mattress? If you’re asking this question, then you’re probably struggling to decide between these two popular options when it comes to new ‘bed in a box’ mattresses.

The ‘bed in a box’ market has grown massively in recent years thanks to more and more manufacturers coming onto the scene to offer high quality products delivered to your door in a box.

Memory foam mattresses differ quite significantly from spring mattresses in terms of their feel, and that means that a hybrid mattress could suit some people better.

The purpose of this article is to take a close look at both memory foam and hybrid mattresses to see the main differences between the two so you can decide which is best for you.

We’re going to break this page up into the following sections:

• What is a Memory Foam Mattress?
• What is a Hybrid Mattress?
• Memory Foam Mattress – The Pros
• Memory Foam Mattress – The Cons
• Hybrid Mattress – The Pros
• Hybrid Mattress – The Cons
• Our Top Picks
• Anything Else to Consider?
• Wrapping Things Up – Final Thoughts

So let’s start taking a closer look at memory foam mattresses in general

What is a Memory Foam Mattress?

Memory foam is a type of foam which was originally developed by Nasa to keep astronauts comfortable during launch. A memory foam mattress usually combines layers of memory foam with denser support foam to offer body contouring and great support.

The memory foam found in most mattresses is usually firm to the touch, but it will then gradually mould into your body shape and offer exceptional support throughout the night.

Memory foam mattresses were originally popular with people who were looking for specific products to offer support for bad backs, but they are now one of the most popular consumer mattresses out there.

RELATED: The Five Best Memory Foam Mattresses

What is a Hybrid Mattress?

A hybrid mattress simply combines layers of memory foam with with some sort of layer of springs.

Hybrids have become more popular in recent years, with manufacturers choosing to combine the ‘best of both worlds’ into one product, that offers both memory foam and pocket spring support.

Generally speaking, the top one or two layers of hybrid mattresses are made of memory foam, and the larger spring layer comes towards the bottom of the mattress.

Memory Foam Mattress – The Pros

• Durable – Memory foam is a highly durable material which can usually offer years of use without much wear and tear. For this reason, you’ll find that most manufacturers offer at least a 10-year warranty with their products, to give you peace of mind when picking one out.

• Adaptive – Because memory foam is very adaptive, it means that the material changes to suit your sleeping position and offer great support throughout the night. In particular, memory foam mattresses are know for their ability to offer great spinal alignment and support.

• Easy to Clean – Most memory foam mattresses come with a zippable, machine washable cover which can be cleaned from time to time. Most memory foam mattresses are also hypoallergenic.

• Low Motion Transfer – One of the big plusses of a memory foam mattress compared to a typical spring mattress is reduced motion transfer. This means that you’re less likely to be disturbed by your partner moving around during the night.

Memory Foam Mattress - Pros and Cons (Photo: Adobe Stock)

A Memory Foam Mattress (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Memory Foam Mattress – The Cons

• Hot – Memory foam mattresses tend to have a bit of a reputation for feeling quite hot at night. This is because a lot of them are not very breathable, and therefore they retain a lot of heat.

• Smell – Some memory foam mattresses give off a not-so-pleasant chemical smell in the first few days after unboxing. Usually, this will disperse over the coming days, but some people find that it lasts longer.

• Slow Response – Because memory foam by its nature is slow to respond to new positions, some people find that they can feel ‘trapped’ in the bed, especially if they move around a lot during the night.

Hybrid Mattress – The Pros

• Balanced Feel – As you’ve probably already worked out, hybrid mattresses are designed to offer a blend of both comfort and support. The top layers of memory foam should offer light pressure relief, and the stronger layer of springs below will give support throughout the night.

• Strong Support – The layer of springs at the base of most hybrid mattresses means that you are strongly supported throughout the night, no matter your preferred sleeping position.

• Breathable – The layer of pocket springs allows for more airflow through the mattress. This is great for temperature regulation, and Hybrid mattresses are typically cooler than their memory foam counterparts. This makes a hybrid a good choice if you have a history of getting too hot at night.

The layers of the Eve Premium Hybrid Mattress (Photo: Eve)

The layers of the Eve Premium Hybrid Mattress (Photo: Eve)

Hybrid Mattress – The Cons

• Price – Hybrid mattresses tend to be thicker and heavier than foam-only options. They are also usually more expensive, which is a drawback if you’re shopping around for a new mattress on a budget.

• Motion Transfer – The layer of springs means that hybrid mattresses have more motion transfer than their foam-only counterparts. This could be a drawback for you if your partner moves around a lot during the night.

Our Top Picks

The Layla Mattress is flippable for a firm or soft feel (Photo: Layla)

The Layla Mattress is flippable for a firm or soft feel (Photo: Layla)

You can see our recently-updated guide to the leading memory foam mattresses on the market right now by clicking here.

The guide has been compiled featuring all of the latest products on the market, and it focuses on what each one is made of, how it feels, and what customers are saying about it.

We are also in the process of compiling a separate guide to the best hybrid mattresses on the market right now, and we’ll update this article as soon as it’s published.

In the meantime, check out our reviews of the Eve Premium Hybrid and the Leesa Hybrid mattresses.

Anything Else to Consider?

Do remember that the only real way to know whether a mattress is right for you is to sleep on it for a few nights.

Luckily, most of the leading manufacturers now offer a 100-night home trial with their products at no extra cost. This means that you can return the mattress for a full refund if you’re not happy with it during that time.

The Nectar Mattress even offers a 365-night home trial, meaning that you can use it for a year before deciding whether it’s right for you or not.

Do also remember that memory foam does have a hotter feel than a traditional mattress. Hybrids are generally cooler than foam-only mattresses, but the top layers of memory foam in hybrids can also retain heat. This is something to be wary of if you do tend to overheat during the night.

Wrapping Things Up – Final Thoughts

So, that brings us to the end of our look at Memory Foam vs Hybrid Mattresses.

We’ve walked you through the basic things you need to know about both of these popular types of mattresses and have also explained the pros and cons of both.

Be sure to check out our dedicated guides to both hybrid and memory foam mattresses for our pick of the leading products on the market right now.

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