Hybrid vs. Innerspring Mattress: What’s the Difference?
Hybrid and innerspring are two different types of mattresses. Hybrid mattresses contain a thick comfort layer, a transition layer, and a coil support base. In contrast, innerspring mattresses have a thin comfort layer, a coil spring base. Plus, an innerspring mattress should be paired with a box spring.
The kind of mattress you choose to sleep on impacts:
- Your support level
- Your sleep quality
- Your joint health
So, you must find a mattress that meets your support and comfort needs.
This article helps you decide whether a hybrid mattress or innerspring mattress meets your needs. Are neither of these mattresses the right fit for you? We also touch on other mattress types. Lastly, we’ll explain why your sleep position matters when mattress shopping.
Hybrid Mattress: What is it?
What is a hybrid mattress, you may ask?
First, manufacturers take components of an innerspring mattress. Then, they add other materials to create a hybrid mattress. The top comfort layer of a hybrid mattress contains at least 2 to 3 inches of memory foam or latex foam. This top layer hugs your body’s unique shape to aid in pressure relief.
The pocketed coil base of a hybrid mattress gives it a responsive feeling and superior edge support. The bounce of the spring in the base or bottom layer keeps you from sinking into your mattress when you lie down.
Between the mattress’s top and bottom part rests the transition layer. This layer, usually foam, adds cushion and support to your mattress.
Benefits of a Hybrid Mattress
Due to their thicker comfort layer, the best hybrid mattresses are a good fit for those seeking pressure and tension relief. Combining a thicker top and coil support system establishes better motion isolation than what a traditional innerspring mattress offers.
Other notable benefits of sleeping on a hybrid bed include edge support and bounce. Edge support allows you to sleep closer to the side without worry of rolling off the bed. The bounce from the hybrid’s coils gives you a more responsive sleep environment.
Drawbacks of a Hybrid Mattress
There are some noticeable drawbacks to be aware of when considering a hybrid mattress. The most significant drawbacks are its price and weight. The density of the foam and cushioning that comes in a hybrid bed means it is more expensive than an innerspring bed and harder to move.
You may need assistance lifting and carrying your hybrid mattress. Some hybrid mattresses come with handles for easier lifting. However, this is not a universal feature.
In addition, the thick layers of comfort foam present in a hybrid bed lead to poor airflow and overheating. Light sleepers may want to steer clear of this mattress.
Do you toss and turn? Sharing a hybrid mattress with a partner can cause early awakenings if the coils are noisy.
Edge support inside a hybrid can also reduce the available sleeping surface. However, it’s a minimal enough change that many sleepers won’t even notice it.
Innerspring Mattress: What is it?
An innerspring mattress contains a coil support base and a thin top comfort layer. The coil gauge and coil count can impact the cost and feel of your innerspring bed. For added comfort, your innerspring mattress may come with a pillow top or Euro top.
All innerspring mattresses need to be paired with a boxspring. Using this type of mattress without a boxspring negatively impacts support. Without a box spring, an innerspring mattress can sag prematurely.
Benefits of an Innerspring Mattress
The coils in an innerspring mattress increase breathability. A more breathable mattress ensures you don’t suffer from night sweats. Cooling features also limit overheating during the summer months.
The thinner comfort layer of an innerspring bed makes it firmer. For some sleepers, this is more comfortable. However, whether a firm feel is a benefit depends on preferences. Some sleepers prefer a soft mattress, like what a pillow top mattress. For example, a mattress for petite sleepers should be soft, not overly firm.
Innerspring mattresses don’t contain thick foam layers. They are lightweight and easier to move than hybrids. Less foam material also translates into an inexpensive price tag. If you want a budget mattress, an innerspring mattress isn’t a bad choice.
Innerspring mattresses are also widely available at different stores. You can buy one in a range of firmness levels. If an innerspring mattress sounds right for you, check out our innerspring mattress buying guide.
Drawbacks of an Innerspring Mattress
There are some significant drawbacks to innerspring mattresses that can offset their benefits. The biggest drawback is its lack of support and rigid feeling. For some sleepers, the top comfort layer of the bed is too thin and doesn’t provide enough cushioning for them to sleep comfortably.
Likewise, this thinner comfort layer lends to an innerspring bed’s decreased durability. Squeaking and creaking may also be an issue for those planning to share the bed with a partner. You may wake in the middle of the night if your partner gets out of bed or alters sleep positions.
Which Mattress is Better for Me?
When it comes to choosing a mattress, what mattress is better for you depends on your:
- Sleep position
- Size, or body type
- Joint health
- Personal preferences
Those shopping on a budget can save money by choosing an innerspring mattress over a hybrid mattress.
Are you a larger framed sleeper without joint issues? You may be more comfortable on an innerspring than a hybrid mattress. Are you seeking a hypoallergenic mattress? The foam top of a hybrid can better prevent allergens from settling inside the bed.
Do you plan to share the bed with a partner? Try testing mattresses to see which has less motion transfer. The position you and your partner sleep in also impacts your mattress choice.
Which is Better for My Sleep Position?
- Back: A mattress for back sleepers should have firm support with some contouring. These sleepers are best suited with a hybrid or latex mattress.
- Stomach: A mattress for stomach sleeping must promote proper spinal alignment. Stomach sleepers should go with a thinner foam or innerspring mattress.
- Side: Side sleepers need extra cushion and contouring to support their hips, shoulders, and neck. These sleepers are better off with a memory foam or latex mattress. Hybrid mattresses for side sleeping can provide bounce and cushion.
- Combination: Combination sleepers sometimes require additional support and cushioning. These sleepers should steer clear of innerspring mattresses. Hybrid, latex, or memory foam mattresses are all suitable options for combination sleepers.
Key Differences Between Hybrid and Innerspring Mattresses
The critical differences between hybrid and innerspring mattresses lie in their design and price. Hybrid mattresses feature a thick comfort layer design to contour to and hug your body. In contrast, innerspring mattresses have a thin comfort layer that doesn’t do a whole lot of holding or body cradling.
Hybrid beds contain a fabric pocketed coil system to aid in support and pressure point relief. The coils most commonly found in innerspring beds are open or continuous coils. For more information on these two coil setups, read our Open Coil Vs. Pocket Spring Mattresses Guide.
The added transition layer inside a hybrid mattress gives it a higher price tag than an innerspring mattress. Innerspring beds also require a boxspring, while hybrid beds do not need a boxspring.
Other Mattress Types
Some sleepers may not have their sleep needs met by a hybrid or an innerspring mattress. That’s where latex and memory foam mattresses come into play. These mattresses offer different components and different feelings for sleepers to experience.
For more on these two types, including their similarities and differences, check out our memory foam vs latex mattress guide.
Latex mattresses feature some body-hugging with a high level of motion isolation. This feature allows sleepers to get the pressure relief they need without waking in the middle of the night as their partner moves in bed. Latex’s natural chill also minimizes your risk of overheating.
Natural latex mattresses are more expensive than synthetic latex mattresses. Both are ideal for larger framed or heavier sleepers. These sleepers will enjoy the responsiveness of this mattress and the fact that they don’t feel trapped or stuck when lying down.
A memory foam mattress contains many layers of supportive polyurethane foam. This foam’s design holds and cradles your body. The hugging sensation that this mattress offers should reduce joint pain, lower muscle stiffness, and release built-up tension.
The thickness of a memory foam bed can increase the risk of developing night sweats. This risk can be minimized when you choose a memory foam mattress with a cooling gel layer. Gel memory foam mattresses are a popular choice for hot sleepers.
Is a hybrid mattress good for back pain?
Hybrid mattresses can be good for those who suffer from back pain. Typically, those with back or spine pain experience the most relief from a medium to a medium-firm mattress. The size of the sleeper and their preferred sleep position are important when choosing a mattress.
Those who sleep on their back or are heavier require a firmer mattress to soothe their back pain. In contrast, smaller side and stomach sleepers may need a soft mattress to sleep comfortably.
How do you break in a hybrid mattress?
The process of breaking in a hybrid mattress is similar to that of any mattress. New mattresses need time to soften and become comfortable, like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Most mattress retailers recommend a 30-day break-in period for a new mattress, even if you’re choosing one of the most comfortable mattresses.
The more you sleep on your mattress during this period, the better and faster it will break in. You can also pair your hybrid mattress with a platform bed or foundation. Different foundations alter the feel and support you get from a mattress. Is your mattress still uncomfortable after 30 days? You can try adding a memory foam mattress topper to adjust the firmness level.
Why do innerspring mattresses sag?
Sagging is an issue with all mattresses as they age and are used night after night. Mattress sagging occurs as a result of the interior and exterior components of your bed softening over time. As you continue to sleep and lie on your mattress, it loses its firmness. You can prevent premature mattress sagging by rotating your mattress 180-degrees every 6 months.
How much does a hybrid mattress cost?
Hybrid mattresses can cost as little as $800 or as much as $4,000. The cost of your hybrid mattresses varies depending on their size, the brand, and their materials.
For example, a hybrid bed with a natural latex top will cost more than one with a memory foam top. The average cost of a queen size hybrid mattress is $2,000.
How can I keep my bed cool?
The easiest way to keep your bed cool is to purchase a breathable, cooling mattress from the get-go. Some mattresses come with cooling gel infusions to prevent overheating and night sweats. However, if you want to enhance the cooling ability of your existing bed, there are a few things to try.
First, invest in breathable, cooling sheets and a lightweight, breathable comforter. Cotton, silk, percale, and Egyptian fabrics are all breathable. Another way to keep your bed cool is to buy a cooling mattress pad.
Is a Hybrid or Innerspring Mattress Right for Me?
Hybrid and innerspring mattresses are both suited for sleepers who want a bouncy bed. Hybrid mattresses contain a thicker comfort layer made up of memory foam or latex foam. This comfort layer allows a hybrid bed to contour to your body more than an innerspring bed. Many sleepers prefer the hug-like feel of a hybrid mattress.
A true hybrid bed must contain a coil support core. Hybrid beds are more expensive than innerspring beds, but they offer more support. Both of these different mattress types are breathable and can have issues with motion transfer.
For more support and less noise, consider a latex or memory foam mattress.