Updated July 4, 2021If you’re in the market for a new mattress, you might have heard traditional innerspring mattresses are old news. While they have their advantages, they’re also squeaky, transfer motion, tend to sag, and break down quickly. That’s where more advanced mattress technology comes in. There are several different newer mattress options out there nowadays, each with its own advantages and drawbacks.Two of the most popular mattress types are memory foam mattresses and hybrid mattresses. While memory foam conforms to your body to offer pressure relief, hybrid mattresses combine a support layer of coils with a comfort layer of memory foam or latex to offer the benefits of both kinds of mattresses.In our post, we’ll go through more detail about what hybrids and memory foams are, what they do, and what they can offer different sleepers. That way, you’ll be better informed and able to decide what the best mattress is for you.Memory Foam MattressesWhat Is Memory Foam?Memory foam is made mostly of polyurethane foam treated with chemicals to make it denser and more pliable. The treatment process makes the foam reactive to pressure and body heat, which gives it its ability to “remember” the contours of your body when you lie down on it.Most memory foam mattresses have three layers. At the bottom is the support layer, usually made of sturdy poly-foam. This layer gives the mattress its durability and is responsible for a lot of its firmness.The middle layer, or transition layer, might be made of either memory foam or poly-foam, and it helps provide a buffer between the support layer and comfort layer. The comfort layer is at the top, and it provides—you guessed it—comfort. The comfort layer is the memory foam layer of your mattress, and it’s responsible for pressure relief and cushioning your body.How Memory Foam FeelsMemory foam loves to conform to your body, meaning it can have a squishy feel when you press down on it. When you lie on it, it will react to both your body heat and the pressure of your body weight, sinking down in the heavier or higher-pressure areas to provide cushioning whilst conforming to the curves of your body, filling in gaps like the one in your lumbar region. Conforming in this manner allows memory foam to both support your spinal alignment and evenly distribute your weight.Pros and Cons of Memory FoamOne of the best things about this type of foam is it offers intense pressure point relief, meaning if you sleep on your side, this material might help alleviate pain or tension in your shoulders and hips. If you like the feeling of being cradled by your bed, memory foam is a great option because it provides a lot of cushioning and compression. Memory foam is also hypoallergenic because it’s resistant to dirt, dust mites, pollen, and other allergens.However, a big drawback of memory foam is its heat retention. Because these mattresses cradle your body so well, there’s less room for air circulation.Air circulation is further impeded by the fact that there aren’t any gaps inside your mattress like there are in coil mattresses. The lack of circulation also means memory foam beds are more vulnerable to moisture buildup and mold than other types of mattresses. They’re also one of the heaviest beds on the market.Who Should Sleep On Memory FoamMemory foam molds to your body’s curves, offering support to your contours and cradling pressure points. That makes it a perfect mattress for back pain sufferers because it supports the lumbar region and keeps the spine in a straight line.It can also be great for co-sleepers because memory foam offers a ton of motion isolation, meaning if your partner gets out of bed at night, their movement has less of a chance of waking you. There’s also some anecdotal evidence to suggest memory foam can help with sleep apnea by making side-sleeping more comfortable, which may help reduce snoring and airway blockage.Hybrid MattressWhat Is a Hybrid Mattress?Hybrid mattresses live up to their name by combining the best of both innerspring and foam mattresses. The combination allows for the cushioning and support of memory foam whilst eliminating some of its downsides, like heat and moisture retention.Unlike memory foam, hybrid mattresses have a coil support layer. The coil layer is different from innerspring coils because it’s pocketed, meaning each coil is wrapped in a fabric sleeve or “pocket,” while innerspring coils are all connected. The pocket coil layer offers the airflow and bounce of an innerspring mattress whilst not allowing for as much motion transfer.Some hybrid mattresses have a transition layer of responsive poly-foam to reduce pressure and enhance comfort, but others may not. You’ll have to check with the manufacturer to ensure your mattress has a transition layer if you want one. Just like in a memory foam mattress, the comfort layer of a hybrid mattress will be made of treated foam—either memory or latex.How Hybrid Mattresses FeelEven though most hybrid mattresses have a foam comfort layer, their lower layers impact the feel pretty dramatically. Hybrids offer more springiness and responsiveness than memory foam. When you lie down on them, they’ll depress under your pressure points just like a memory foam mattress. Unlike memory foam, they’ll bounce back a lot quicker when you move around, and they won’t compress as much.Pros and Cons of Hybrid MattressesHybrid mattresses offer a lot of the same advantages of memory foam mattresses whilst also cutting down on their biggest drawback—heat retention. Because the coil layer offers more circulation, the foam layer can remain cooler during the night. The increased circulation can also help reduce moisture retention and cut down on the possibility of mold growth.The cons of a hybrid mattress mostly come into play when you want the full-monte of cradling and cushioning memory foam provides. Because of the coil support layer, the foam comfort layer won’t compress as much under your weight, meaning the contouring capability of the mattress will be diminished. Because coils break down faster than foam, hybrids may also not last as long as memory foam mattresses.Who Should Sleep On HybridsIf you suffer lower back pain but don’t like the pliability and low responsiveness of memory foam, a hybrid could be a better option for you. It can offer you comparable support while preventing you from sinking deeper into the bed than you’d like.Hybrids may also be better for people who move around a lot while they sleep since they don’t take as much time to spring back into place after the weight is removed from them due to position changes.FAQsWhich mattress type lasts longer, memory foam or hybrid?When you’re paying thousands of dollars for a mattress, durability is going to be a big factor. Since memory foam mattresses are made of different types of stacked foam, they can normally stand up to a lot more wear and tear than hybrids. Not only does the coil layer in a hybrid mattress tend to break down more quickly than foam, but coils can also break more easily under stress.You can make your mattress last longer by investing care in it. Rotate it regularly and cover it with a mattress protector.Which mattress type is more expensive?Prices can vary pretty wildly for both memory foam and hybrid mattresses, depending on their size, brand, material, and manufacturer. For example, twin and twin XL size mattresses are less expensive than a queen or king size mattress.Hybrids are normally more expensive than memory foam because their combination of coils and foam layers makes for a more costly manufacturing process. Some foam mattresses come with add-on features like sleep-promoting tech, which can up the price of the mattress, but a base model memory foam mattress will almost always be cheaper than a base model hybrid.Which mattress is better for back pain?Both memory foam and hybrids can be great for back pain sufferers, especially if the hybrid has a memory foam comfort layer. So it really comes down to your preference.If you like cushioning, memory foam can provide comfort and pain relief. If you like responsiveness, hybrids can offer pain relief without over-compressing. Just make sure you’re buying a hybrid with a memory foam comfort layer and not a latex foam comfort layer.Does my sleep position impact the kind of mattress I need?Sleep position really impacts your firmness needs more than your material needs. Side sleepers might enjoy the cushioning of a memory foam mattress, while combination sleepers and stomach sleepers may like the higher resistance the hybrid offers. However, when it comes to sleep position, the firmness of the mattress typically outweighs what it’s made of, and both memory foam and hybrid mattresses can come in a wide range of firmnesses.What’s the best, hybrid or memory foam mattress?There’s no clear winner in this category, simply because individual sleepers’ needs are too divergent for there to ever be a consensus about who’s the “best” brand or manufacturer. The best thing to do is read reviews of mattresses you’re considering, paying closer attention to the reviews written by people with similar sleeping preferences to yourself. Look at both positive and negative reviews, weighing whether the advantages of the mattress make its drawbacks things you can live with.Also never buy a mattress without a trial period backed by a money-back guarantee. That way, no matter the brand or the reviews, you can ensure you picked the right mattress for your needs.Bottom LineBoth hybrid and memory foam mattresses have distinct advantages that can help you sleep better at night. Because they’re both great options, your purchase is really going to come down to your personal preferences. If you like deep cushioning, memory foam is likely for you. If you like a little more bounce and a cooler temperature, a hybrid is probably a safer bet.No matter which you choose, the most important thing to remember is not to skimp on the trial period. All mattresses take several weeks to adjust to, so if their trial period is not above 90 days, it’s not worth the risk.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. 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