Hybrid vs. Innerspring Mattress: Which Is Better?
When shopping for the right mattress, you might be surprised to find out there are more differences than you’d think. Some are bouncy, body-conforming, heavily cushioned, and boast many other characteristics – each with their advantages and drawbacks.
Whatever type of mattress you choose should ultimately depend on the support level you require, the type of sleep quality you’re looking for, and your joint health. In this guide, we’ll be taking a closer look at hybrid and innerspring mattresses. By the end, you should know which one might be the best choice for you.
What Is A Hybrid Mattress?
A hybrid mattress combines an innerspring mattress and a foam mattress. These types of mattresses contain an innerspring support system with about two or three inches of memory or latex foam on top. Hybrid mattresses are designed to be ergonomic, conforming to your body shape to relieve pressure.
Compared to other types of mattresses, hybrid mattresses have four layers:
- Base layer: This layer contains high-density poly-foam under pocketed coils to provide thorough shock absorption.
- Core support structure: A hybrid mattress’s base support structure is its coil system, individually wrapped in fabric or foam. This composition reduces motion transfer as you sleep.
- Transition layer: While not all hybrid mattresses contain a transition layer, those that do use poly-foam to reduce pressure and increase the mattress’ overall durability. These layers also help the mattress adjust and react to changes in sleeping positions.
- Comfort layer: Finally, you have your comfort layer, which is typically made from two to three inches of latex or memory foam to provide cushioning and body contouring.
Pros Of A Hybrid Mattress
Because hybrid mattresses combine the stability of innerspring mattresses and flexibility of a foam mattress, they can provide the following benefits:
- Enhanced posture: Regardless of your favorite sleeping position, hybrid mattresses will conform to your body, providing support as you sleep. In addition, its thick top and intricate coil support system provide superior motion isolation, helping you stay still throughout the night. For an extra-immersive feel, select a softer Purple mattress.
- Versatile fit: Hybrid structures don’t require box spring support and will fit into many types of beds, from metal to slatted to platform beds to floor mats.
- Shared sleeping: If you’ve ever struggled to sleep in the same bed as your partner, hybrid mattresses provide advanced weight distribution functionalities that won’t make you feel stiff or uncomfortable. Its individually wrapped coils also isolate movement, keeping you and your co-sleeper from bumping into each other.
- Edge support: If you toss and turn in your sleep, a hybrid mattress’ edge support system can prevent you from rolling off the bed. Its higher bounce is also more responsive and will likely wake you before you move too close to the edge of the bed. Plus, edge support is an excellent option for sleepers who suffer from arthritis.
- Cooling effect: Do you live in a hotter area? If so, hybrids have an airy design that allows air to pass through, eliminating heat and moisture for hot sleepers. Some hybrids even come with additional cooling options such as ventilated foam or gel infusions.
Cons Of A Hybrid Mattress
While hybrids provide more advantages than most mattress types, they do come with a few drawbacks, including:
- High price: It should go without saying that a mattress with this many pros comes with a higher price tag. Depending on the size of the mattress and its materials, expect to pay anywhere between $200 and $5,000.
- Sagging potential: Because hybrids contain intricate coil structures, they have the potential to sag and wear down more quickly than other mattress types. While most mattress warranties cover sagging, this policy will ultimately depend on where you purchase your hybrid.
- Heavier weight: Nothing weighs more than a hybrid than a latex mattress. Changing your sheets can become troublesome if you live alone or have difficulty lifting heavy objects.
- Can’t flip: Hybrid mattresses are designed to face up to keep comfort layers on top and the coil support layer on the bottom.
What Is An Innerspring Mattress?
A traditional innerspring mattress boasts a coil support base and a thin comfort layer. This mattress type is usually available in various coil gauges and coil counts. Depending on the comfort level you’re looking for, you can combine your innerspring mattress with these tops:
- Pillow top: Traditional pillow tops have an apparent separation from the mattress.
- Euro-top: If the pillow top separation appears seamless, it’s a Euro-top.
Innerspring mattresses are also available in three different coil systems:
- Pocketed coils: These thin-gauge coils are wrapped in foam or fabric to isolate motion and are typically the most expensive coil system.
- Continuous coils: These single-length wires are molded into a series of coils, providing overall durability but potentially sacrificing motion transfer.
- Bonnell coils: These hourglass-shaped wires are durable but tend to carry motion across the mattress.
Pros Of An Innerspring Mattress
Compared to other mattresses, innerspring mattresses have a famously high firmness level and can help in correcting posture. They also pose the following advantages:
- Breathability: Hot sleepers are in luck – traditional innerspring mattresses have thin comfort layers that allow air to pass through seamlessly.
- Availability: Compared to their hybrid counterparts, innerspring mattresses are more readily available in showrooms and furniture stores.
- Affordability: If you’re on a budget, you’ll be pleased to know that innerspring mattresses don’t usually cost more than $1,000.
- Easy to move: If you change your sheets frequently, lifting this mattress is a piece of cake.
Cons Of An Innerspring Mattress
As with any other mattress, innerspring mattresses come with their drawbacks:
- Pressure relief: Thin comfort layers can make it difficult to conform to your body.
- Movement isolation: Coils can transfer motion easily.
- Prone to sagging: Like hybrids, innerspring mattresses tend to sag quickly.
- Allergen: While innerspring mattresses come in hypoallergenic options, their thin comfort layers won’t do much to filter out dust, dirt, pollen, hair, fur, and other allergens.
Hybrid vs Innerspring Mattress: What's The Difference?
When comparing hybrid and traditional innerspring mattresses, you’ll find that their core differences lie in design and price. Let’s take a closer look:
- Comfort: Hybrid mattresses have a much thicker comfort laye than innerspring types.
- Temperature regulation: While both mattresses are ideal for hot sleepers, hybrids provide more ventilation than innerspring types – especially those with heat bands.
- Spinal alignment: If you suffer from lower back pain, you may find more firmness options with innerspring mattresses than hybrids. However, some hybrids come with relief-specific options.
- Price: Hybrid mattresses can cost hundreds of dollars more than their innerspring counterparts.
- Firmness: Generally, hybrids are the softer mattresses, while an innerspring will come at a broader range of firmness options.
Do Hybrid Mattresses Last Longer Than Innerspring Mattresses?
In the long run, hybrid mattresses last longer than innerspring types. On average, they’ll last seven to eight years, while an innerspring mattress lasts between five and six years.
Who Should Sleep On A Hybrid Mattress?
Generally, hybrid mattresses are ideal for a broader range of sleepers. We recommend them for:
- Back sleepers: If you’re a back sleeper, hybrid mattresses naturally conform to spinal curves and provide excellent lumbar support. Its coil layers also promote spinal alignment and prevent joint pain.
- Stomach sleepers: Medium-firm hybrids with coil support keep stomach sleepers from sinking and misaligning the spine.
- Side sleepers: Side sleepers will love the thick comfort layers of hybrid mattresses.
- Combination sleepers: Pocket coils help combination sleepers change positions throughout the night.
- Couples: Pocket coils help reduce motion transfer for couples that tend to toss and turn.
- Petite sleepers: Memory foam layers keep petite sleepers comfortable, and the coil support layer provides a little bounce.
- Plus-size sleepers: Heavier sleepers will love how hybrid mattresses prevent too much sinking.
Who Should Sleep On An Innerspring Mattress?
Innerspring mattresses cater to a more limited range of sleepers, including:
- Stomach sleepers: A firmer innerspring mattress can prevent back and neck pain for stomach sleepers whose weight is distributed from the abdomen.
- Hot sleepers: Innerspring coil mattresses promote airflow, allowing cool air to pass through and distribute body heat. Their coil support structure provides better ventilation and keeps moisture from becoming trapped within mattress layers.
- Plus-size sleepers: If you’re a plus-size sleeper who dislikes the sensation of sinking into a mattress, the firmness of an innerspring can solve this problem while providing optimal comfort.
Because of their firmer construction, innerspring mattresses may not suit smaller sleepers. Side sleepers might also struggle with its lack of pressure relief and can wake up feeling sore and stiff.
Is A Hybrid Or Innerspring Mattress Right For Me?
When you go mattress shopping, what you choose will ultimately depend on sleeper types, budget, materials, allergies, and other factors that are specific to your situation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hybrid vs Innerspring Mattresses
What are gauge and coil counts in an innerspring mattress?
In short, coil gauge counts pertain to a mattress’ firmness, while the number of coils in a mattress dictates its durability. Most innerspring mattresses have a coil gauge between 12 and 15, with more forgiving mattresses having a gauge of 14 to 15 and firmer ones having around 13.
On the other hand, the optimal coil count for memory foam mattresses is between 800 and 1,000 for a queen size.
How do you break in a hybrid mattress?
Because hybrid mattresses combine innerspring and foam systems, they might take longer to break in – between 30 and 90 days. Don’t walk on the mattress to avoid damaging its coils if you want to speed up a break-in. Instead, roll or crawl over the foam layers.
When breaking in a new mattress, let it breathe before removing it from its packaging. Especially if your mattress comes packaged in a box, the layers of foam may take a while to expand fully. In addition, you should always place your mattress on a sturdy foundation, so pick a frame carefully.
Finally, consider turning up the heat for the first few days. Doing this can help soften traditional memory foam.
Is a hybrid mattress good for back pain?
Memory foam mattresses are excellent for sleeper types that suffer from back pain. They conform to the body, provide excellent motion isolation, and relieve pressure points. However, most memory foam mattresses don’t last long. Hybrid memory foam mattresses can prevent foam sag through its coil layers.
Mattress buying can be a stressful activity when you don’t know what you’re looking for. You’ll have to consider the types of sleepers sharing the bed, whether you’re shopping for a budget mattress, and any health requirements you might have.
If you’re on the hunt for memory foam mattresses, Purple has ergonomically designed solutions that you can sleep in tonight and pay for tomorrow.