Hybrid mattresses are a relatively new trend in the mattress world. In fact, it seems like most manufacturers are coming out with a hybrid model or two. But what is a hybrid mattress and what are some of the pros and cons? Is this the next best thing in sleep health, or just marketing hype? Let’s take a closer look. If you like what you see, check out our list of the best hybrid mattresses.
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What’s the “Hybrid” in Hybrid Mattresses?
Hybrid mattresses combine the classic construction of old-school innerspring mattresses with the comforting top layers of all-foam mattresses. A hybrid mattress will typically have coils (usually individually pocketed coils) and memory foam or latex on top.
If you’re well-versed in mattresses, you may have a question at this point.
“Don’t most regular coil mattresses use memory foam or latex on top?”
Well, yes. In some respects, the “hybrid” name is just a marketing term; an evolutionary step rather than a revolutionary one. Hybrid mattresses tend to have a little more foam and a little less of the other comfort materials than is used in traditional innerspring mattresses. Also, the top of the hybrid mattress is typically flatter like a foam mattress, rather than tufted like a traditional innerspring mattress. The Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid in Ability firm setting has a flat top in comparison to the more traditional Posturepedic mattress below.
This is a more traditional innerspring mattress. The little indents on top are tufting, more indicative of a traditional innerspring mattress. Most hybrid mattresses use a smooth surface instead.
A word of caution: not everything labeled a “hybrid” mattress is really a hybrid. It’s in fashion now for some manufacturers to call every mattress with both springs and foam “hybrid.” The real hybrid mattresses are those that use larger layers of foam on the top and use less fiber. Hybrid mattresses have a very particular feel to them that’s hard to describe, but if you spend some time on a hybrid mattress you’ll notice the difference. The feel is somewhere between the slow-response of a foam mattress and the bounciness of the older traditional mattresses.
If you try a mattress that feels just like every other innerspring mattress, and it uses a tufted top (the little indents sewn down), it’s probably not what most people would consider a real hybrid.
But in the end, what ultimately matters is your comfort. No all-foam bed or even hybrid bed is made for every sleep position. To find optimal spinal support, it’s best to look for a firmness level that matches sleeping position and provides enough pressure relief and cushioning to leave you well-rested. For instance, if you’re a side sleeper, you’ll probably need a mattress that’s on the softer side to keep your spine aligned and any back pain in check. The best mattress for a back sleeper would be something a little firmer, to provide a support system that keeps the hips from sinking into the bed too much and causing spinal misalignment.
Check for support and spinal alignment with any bed you try, hybrid or not. If you need help in this area, check out our mattress buying guide.
This is a Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid (the Ability firm). Note the flat top in comparison to the more traditional Posturepedic below. Images courtesy of Overstock.com
This is a more traditional innerspring mattress. Note the tufting on the top (the little indents). Most (but not all) hybrid mattresses use a smooth surface instead.
What is a Gel Foam Mattress?
A Gel foam mattress combines gel foam with a sprung or foam base. Gel foam is a viscoelastic foam mixed with gel beads that provide extra support and help to reduce heat build-up to keep you cool. Gel foam is designed to satisfy the desire for ultimate comfort and rival the popularity of memory foam.Gel foam mattresses offer an incredible sleeping experience.Here are some key benefits of a gel foam
Full-body support,Optimal pressure relief,Excellent spinal alignment,Healthy weight distribution,Temperature regulation,Naturally hypoallergenic,Great durability,No roll-together,Suitable for all sleeping positions
Gel foam vs memory foam mattresses: what’s the difference?
Both gel and memory foam mattresses offer great support and pressure relief. The key difference between the two lies in the foam-making process. Gel and memory foam are both made of viscoelastic foam. However, gel foam is infused with gel beads during production.This causes gel foam to feel different in two ways.Gel foam bounces back to its original shape much quicker than memory foam providing extra support and easier movement.Gel foam mattresses offer greater air circulation allowing you to stay cool in summer and warm in winter.
For more information check out our gel foam collection
What is a Memory Foam Mattress?
A memory foam mattress combines a layer of memory foam with springs or support foam. Memory foam uses your body heat to soften and mould to your shape. This provides remarkable support and comfort. Once pressure is removed, memory foam will bounce back very slowly and over time will remember your body shape and optimal sleeping position, hence the name ‘memory’.
Memory foam, also known as visco-elastic foam, was first designed by NASA in the mid-1960s. Made from polyurethane, memory foam was developed to counteract the extreme pressure astronauts faced when exiting and entering the Earth’s atmosphere. The potential to use memory foam in other products was soon discovered, and is now used in mattress, pillows and mattress toppers.
Memory foam mattresses are a popular choice for our customers due to the benefits they provide. Read on to find out how a memory foam mattress can help you get a comfortable night’s sleep.
A memory foam mattress contours to your body to offer high levels of support and comfort
What are the benefits of a memory foam mattress?
Memory foam mattresses feature a range of benefits that set them apart from other mattresses. From pressure relief to personalised support, memory foam mattresses are designed to provide ultimate comfort and care for you as you sleep.
1. Optimal support and comfort
Memory foam contours to the shape of your body for optimal spinal alignment and targeted support. This high level of personalised comfort will make the mattress feel like it was made just for you!
2. Pressure-point relief
A memory foam mattress will evenly distribute your body weight to reduce pressure on the heaviest parts of your body. This helps to relieve aches and pains and promote healthier blood circulation throughout the night.
3. Reduces transfer of movement
Memory foam contours to your body, creating a personal sleep zone. This helps to prevent you from feeling your partner tossing and turning – so a memory foam mattress is a good option if you are often woken up by this during the night.
4. Dust mite resistant
A memory foam mattress features a visco-elastic structure that can’t be penetrated by dust mites. This can dramatically reduce allergic symptoms and provides a cleaner, healthier night’s sleep.
Does a memory foam mattress get warm?
When memory foam mattresses were first invented, the technology to regulate temperature wasn’t available. This meant that memory foam mattresses trapped a lot of heat during the night.
Over the years, these mattresses have advanced in terms of how much heat they give off. Most memory foam mattresses now feature technology that helps control temperature throughout the night.
However, factors such as room temperature, duvet thickness, age and medication can also affect how hot you feel in bed. It is helpful to take these factors into account before deciding if a memory foam mattress is right for you.
Ivy’s memory foam mattress offers excellent temperature regulation
How to make your memory foam mattress softer
When compared to your old mattress, it’s very common to feel that your new mattress feels a little firmer than you’d like. This is because your old mattress was probably a little past its best, and wasn’t providing the correct level of support you need.
When you first get your new memory foam mattress, give it time. It may take your body a few weeks to get used to the improved level of support. Additionally, as you sleep on it over the years to come, it’s natural for your mattress to become slightly softer compared with when you first got it.
However, if it still feels a little too firm, you can soften your mattress with a mattress toppers. Available in a range of firmness ratings and depths, mattress toppers can provide a little extra comfort and help make your mattress feel softer. The reverse is also true of course – you can get a firmer mattress topper if you feel as though you need a little more support
Does a memory foam mattress smell?
At IvySleep, we place high importance on ensuring all of our mattresses are safe. This is why we ensure our memory foam mattresses have been treated with a fire retardant and are certified as ‘low hazard’
Applying this fire retardant means that your memory foam mattress may have a slight smell when first delivered, particularly for vacuum-packed mattresses. To reduce any smell, leave your mattress to air in a well-ventilated room and open your windows for 24-48 hours.
How can I sleep on a memory foam mattress?
A memory foam mattress can suit all types of sleeping positions, whether you sleep on your back, on your side or on your front. However, it’s important to choose the correct firmness level for your sleeping position. The best firmness rating for you also depends on many other factors, too, including your weight and comfort preferences.
Here are the main benefits of memory foam mattresses for each sleeping position:
- Back sleepers Memory foam conforms to your spine to offer excellent lumbar support.
- Side sleepers Memory foam distributes body weight away from your hips and shoulders while supporting your waist to keep your spine in healthy alignment.
- Front sleepers Memory foam helps support the natural curve in your back to reduce pressure on your lower back.
How long does a memory foam mattress last?
The lifespan of a memory foam mattress can vary depending on the quality of memory foam used and how well you look after your mattress. When it comes to support and durability, a memory foam mattress can outlast the seven years lifespan suggested by The Sleep Council.
However, we recommend renewing your memory foam mattress every seven years for hygiene reasons. Whilst dust mites cannot penetrate the structure of a memory foam mattress, over a seven-year period, they will build up on the surface of your mattress. Renewing your mattress every seven years will keep your sleeping environment clean, fresh and hygienic.
To help prolong the life of your mattress and to help keep dust mites at bay, we recommend using a mattress protector
Memory foam mattresses are usually slightly higher in price than other types of mattress due to the technology used in the production process. However, this doesn’t mean a memory foam mattress is out of your budget. In recent years, the cost of these mattresses has fallen, and they are now a much more affordable option.
We have memory foam mattresses to suit all budgets!