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Buying Guides

Memory Foam vs. Hybrid: Which Mattress Is Best for You?

    Last Updated
    February 8, 2024
    min read

    Key Takeaways:

    • Memory foam mattresses retain your body’s shape providing pressure relief and a sink-in feel.
    • Hybrid mattresses combine two types of mattresses, most often innerspring and foam or latex, for balanced support and comfort. 

    Memory foam mattresses and hybrid mattresses are two of the most popular options when searching for a new mattress. These two types of mattresses share many benefits, but key differences in their construction impact the quality of sleep for different types of sleepers.

    Use this comparison guide on memory foam and hybrid mattresses to find the option most suited to your needs. From temperature regulation to durability to material quality to variations between brands to how much you spend on a mattress, this post discusses everything you need to know to make an informed decision. 

    Purple RestorePremier™ Hybrid Mattress

    Multiple layers of comfort offer best-in-class support and pressure relief.


    Memory Foam






    Lasts 7-10 years

    Lasts 7-10 years

    Support Layer

    High-density foam

    Pocketed coils or innerspring system

    Comfort Layer

    Memory foam

    Combination of foam and/or latex

    Temperature Regulation

    Retains heat

    Typically more breathable

    Motion Transfer


    Dependant on layers


    Contours to the body for pressure relief

    Dependant on layers

    What Is a Memory Foam Mattress?

    Memory foam mattresses are popular because they’re widely available and offer cloud-like comfort. The material’s slow rebound ensures even body weight distribution for balanced support. Its lack of responsiveness also limits motion transfer, which can be helpful for couples and light sleepers. 

    On the contrary, memory foam makes movement difficult for active sleepers since the material is slow to respond. The material also tends to retain heat, a negative for hot sleepers, though open-cell or gel-infused memory foam options offer slightly improved cooling benefits.



    Pressure relief

    Tend to overheat

    Motion isolation

    Slow, delayed response to movement

    Conforming feel


    Sound absorption

    Potential sagging

    Allergen repellent

    Poor edge support

    What Is a Hybrid Mattress?

    A hybrid mattress combines the support of traditional innerspring coils with the comfort and contouring benefits of memory foam, latex, or Purple's GelFlex® Grid. This combination allows the mattress to cater to a variety of individuals, contributing to its ever-growing popularity.

    It’s all about the layers when it comes to hybrid mattresses. The top layer uses materials like polyfoam, memory foam, latex, or a combination to offer customizable firmness. Underneath are responsive coils that form the bottom layer — a series of metal springs or pocket coils designed to support the body and respond quickly to movement. 

    Purple’s collection of hybrid mattresses utilizes our proprietary, award-winning GelFlex® Grid. This industry-leading innovation pairs with responsive coils and comfort foam layers for enhanced pressure relief, instantly adaptive support, and maximum cooling. Compare the differences between Purple mattresses to see how each model utilizes a specific construction of layers to provide targeted benefits for every sleeper.



    Superior breathability

    Typically within a higher price range

    Versatile comfort options

    Heavier weight

    Responsive pressure relief and support




    Edge support


    Purple Restore™ Hybrid Mattress

    Experience responsive pressure relief and temperature regulation for uninterrupted sleep.

    Memory Foam vs. Hybrid Mattress: Key Differences To Know

    While memory foam and hybrid mattresses share some similarities, they also have some notable differences that are highly dependent on the quality of materials used for both mattresses. 


     Graphic listing the pros and cons of memory foam and hybrid mattresses.


    How much you spend on a mattress will depend on quality and brand. Generally, you can expect to pay $450-$1,300+ for a memory foam mattress. For hybrid mattresses, you may pay $1,200-$3,000+. 

    Overall, there’s a greater range of price options available for memory foam mattresses, but the higher price of a hybrid mattress tends to be outweighed by the higher quality of materials and construction. 


    Both memory foam and hybrid mattresses last between 7 to 10 years. Keep in mind that the quality, as well as how well you take care of your mattress, greatly affects how long your mattress will last.

    Temperature Regulation

    If you’re looking to find the best cooling mattress, opt for a hybrid mattress. The innerspring system allows for more airflow to keep you cooler at night. Some utilize latex or gel grid instead of foam as a comfort layer, adding additional breathability. Memory foam tends to absorb and hold onto heat, a problem somewhat resolved with an open-cell or gel-infused memory foam material.

    Motion Transfer

    Both mattresses limit motion transfer significantly, with memory foam generally more recognized for its slow rebound. However, a well-constructed hybrid mattress has the ability to limit motion as well as memory foam. 

    Weight and Pressure Point Support

    When it comes to body weight and required support, both memory foam and hybrid mattresses offer options for different sleepers, especially lightweight and average-weight sleepers. Heavyweight sleepers may benefit from extra support in the form of targeted support coils found in high-quality hybrid mattresses, which often have a higher weight limit, as well.

    Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal preference in comfort, feel, and support. 

    Sleeping Position

    While either mattress type will work for all sleeping positions, some sleepers may prefer one over the other. This greatly depends on personal preference and it ultimately comes down to the firmness level, which is offered in varying degrees in memory foam and hybrid mattresses. 

    One point to consider is that hybrid mattresses may be beneficial to people who need extra back support as coil systems can offer more targeted support.


    Graphic listing what memory foam and hybrid mattresses are each best for.

    Choosing a Memory Foam Mattress

    Memory foam mattresses are available in plush and firm mattress options, and may be a good fit for you if: 

    • You prefer a mattress that slowly conforms to your body.
    • You prefer a sinking feel.

    Choosing a Hybrid Mattress

    Hybrid mattresses offer the best of both worlds between traditional spring mattresses and foam or latex mattresses. Think about purchasing a hybrid mattress if:

    • You prefer a more buoyant, responsive feel to your mattress.
    • You sleep hot. 
    • You need edge-to-edge support.
    • You move or switch positions in your sleep.
    • You need extra support while sleeping.
    • You’re willing to spend more on a mattress.


    Graphic listing the benefits of Purple Hybrid mattresses next to a photo of a Purple Restore mattress.

    Choosing Your Best Mattress With Purple

    If you’re still torn between a memory foam and hybrid mattress, Purple’s hybrid mattresses combine the sleep-improving benefits from each category while eliminating the negatives. How?  Our proprietary GelFlex® Grid. This patented hyper-elastic polymer instantly adapts to your body’s movements while providing cradling comfort for optimal support and pressure relief. Combined with edge support and layers of comfort foam, it creates a sleep experience unlike any other. With 98% of Purple sleepers saying they’d shop again — feeling is believing.

    Memory Foam vs. Hybrid FAQ

    Still have more questions regarding memory foam vs. hybrid mattresses? Check out the answers to these common questions about the materials.

    Neither mattress is necessarily better than the other. Whether you prefer a hybrid or memory foam mattress will ultimately come down to your personal preference and sleeping needs.

    A hybrid mattress is better for back pain than a memory foam mattress. This is because its combination of memory foam and springs or coil systems offers additional support and pressure relief. A memory foam mattress can still offer relief for back pain, but it’s important to find the right firmness level.

    Both mattresses have an average lifespan of 7 to 10 years. How often you need to replace your mattress depends on how well you take care of it and the quality, which may vary from brand to brand.

    About the authors

    Cecilia Gillen

    Cecilia brings over five years of writing experience primarily centered around lifestyle and health topics. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Journalism from the University of South Dakota. She’s both an advocate for sleep and a night owl at heart.

    Kristen Olson-Turner
    Senior Director of Merchandising, Mattress and Bases

    Kristen Olson-Turner is the Senior Director of mattresses, where she has spent 10+ years understanding customer needs and integrating solutions into Purple products for better sleep and comfort.