Hybrid mattress vs memory foam: What's the difference?

Posted by Nicholas Crusie on

Shopping for a mattress can be very confusing. This is because mattress sellers like to use jargon to describe their products to their customers. If you have been shopping for a mattress before, you probably are familiar with the terms “hybrid” and “memory foam”. Both of these types of mattresses are very popular right now, and it is important to know what you are getting if you decide to buy one. 

So What Is a Hybrid Mattress?


Hybrid mattresses are a mixture of two different types of mattresses. They are a combination of foam layers towards the top and springs at the base. The top layer could be a variety of different materials, like latex, polyfoam, or memory foam. These two different support structures provide a unique experience for the person using it. They get the best of both worlds with the foam contouring to their bodies, as well as the extra support of coils in the bottom layer of the mattress. 

What’s a Memory Foam Mattress


Memory foam mattresses are made with polyurethane. This is a type of polymer that was created for NASA, but was discovered to be useful in the construction of mattresses as well. Memory foam has the ability to slowly compress when any kind of pressure is applied to it, which is why when you lay down on memory foam you will start to gradually sink into it. This type of mattress has no springs in it, just layers of foam. Usually, memory foam mattresses have three layers. 

  • The base layer: This portion of the bed is breathable, yet thick and dense. This part acts as the support for your body.
  • The transition foam layer: This usually sits in the middle, providing neck and back support. It is what is known as “semi-lush” and can provide a cooling sensation for heat transfer while you sleep.
  • The top layer: This is the comfort layer that contours to your pressure points while you sleep, providing relief for aches and pains. 

Memory foam mattresses are the most popular on the market right now. They provide the type of comfortability that traditional mattresses can not. 

Pros and Cons of a Hybrid Mattress


If you decide to buy a hybrid mattress, like with any product, there will be benefits and drawbacks. 

Some of the benefits include:

  • Support: The coils in hybrid mattresses provide more support than foam ones do. The coils are able to support heavier weights and are also great for stomach and back sleepers. Hybrids are able to balance being supportive and being comfortable, which means any type of sleeper could potentially buy a hybrid mattress.
  • Breathability: Hybrid mattresses have lots of room in them for air to flow through it, and stop the mattress from retaining a lot of heat. 
  • Durability: The coils also make for a very durable mattress. This will help with sagging which happens to mattresses after a certain number of years. 

Of course, hybrids also have some negative aspects as well, which is important to think about before you purchase one. 

Some of the drawbacks include:

  • Motion transfer: Hybrids do not offer the same type of cut down on motion transfer as foam mattresses do. Even if the top layer is very soft, it is likely that you will still feel the other person in bed move around during the night. This might not be the best option for restless sleepers, or people who are easily woken up.
  • Heavier: Hybrids weigh a lot more than foam mattresses because of the coils in them. This makes them difficult to move around if you are looking to switch up your room’s look, or if you move around a lot. 
  • More expensive: Most times you will find that hybrids are more expensive than memory foam mattresses. This again is because of the coils in the mattress. This is definitely something to consider if you are on a tight budget. 

Pros and Cons of Memory Foam Mattress

Viscoelastic is referred to as memory foam because the foam remembers the shape of your body when you lay down. Many people suffer from joint pain or muscle aching from working all day. Some people’s only downtime may be when they sleep, which is why getting a mattress that supports your needs is vital. 

Here are some of the positive aspects of a memory foam mattress:

  • The materials used to make these mattresses are resistant to different types of allergens. Some other mattresses can have millions of dust mites in them after only a few years of use. 
  • Bodyweight distribution is more even with these beds, which means it can relieve more painful pressure in the back, shoulders, and neck.
  • Memory foam can be helpful with the aid of healing injuries. The foam does not put pressure on the painful parts of your body.
  • Foam can also help reduce tossing and turning in the night, for restless sleepers. Getting an inadequate amount of sleep can be detrimental to your health, and won’t have you at your best. 

Some of the drawbacks of these types of mattresses are:

  • Something that is known as the “quicksand effect”. People can sometimes feel stuck in these mattresses, or that they are sinking into the bed, which can feel restrictive and scary. This is more of a personal preference if you like the feeling of a bed forming to the curves of your body.
  • The heat transfer of memory foam is not great. This can be okay in the winter but may be unbearable during other seasons, especially if you are a naturally hot sleeper. There are some “cool foam” inventions that manufacturers have come up with, that claim to allow more airflow.
  • Memory foam mattresses are not usually very eco-friendly. Back when they were first made, there were a lot of harmful chemicals in them like formaldehyde. Luckily, there are now many regulations in place that do not allow harsh chemicals to be used in memory foam mattresses. However, they are still largely petroleum-based, which is not the most sustainable option for material.  
  • If memory foam mattresses are not aired out correctly, they can have an unpleasant odor. 
  • Some people complain that they do not get enough support from memory foam mattresses. 

Which One Should You Pick?

Everyone sleeps differently, so different mattresses are right for different people. Like a lot of things in life, there are certain tradeoffs with both mattresses. Memory foam might be right for you if you want a new type of experience when sleeping or you have back problems. It would also be a good idea if you have a partner who squirms all night long. If you like the idea of a memory foam mattress, but you are not completely convinced, then a hybrid might be for you. This is the better option if you want a bouncier feel, or a firmer foundation to sleep on. It is also the better option if you sweat while sleeping at night. 

If neither of these sounds like the right option to you, then maybe you are looking for something totally different from any type of traditional bed. Maybe you like saving space in a studio-sized apartment and don’t have space for a queen-sized bed or even a couch. This is why convertible beds are great. You can use them as a bed at night, or turn them into a chair for extra seating during the day. This is great for people who have guests over but don’t want them feeling like they are awkwardly sitting on your bed the whole time. 

A brand named CordaRoy’s is changing the game with bean bag chairs that turn into beds. They come in all sizes and colors and have a foam filling similar to memory foam. They have a lifetime guarantee and are extremely cost effective. Additionally, they offer style and comfort for people in the mood to spice up their bedroom furniture. They can also be a great guest bed, so people don’t have to blow up an air mattress when they spend the night. You wouldn’t have to worry about storing an extra bed someplace in the house, you can simply use the bean bag chair in your living space.

In Summary

No matter what you decide on for the bedrooms in your home, whether you pick a traditional innerspring mattress, a hybrid, a memory foam or a convertible bed, the important part is just to make sure you make the best decision for yourself, your living spaces, and your family.  You really can’t go wrong at the end of the day. 


  1. https://www.mattressclarity.com/blog/memory-foam-vs-hybrid/#:~:text=There%20is%20one%20notable%20construction,memory%20foam%20mattresses%20do%20not.&text=The%20coils%20also%20allow%20for,breathable%20than%20memory%20foam%20mattresses.
  2. https://livegreen.recyclebank.com/column/because-you-asked/how-eco-friendly-are-foam-mattresses#:~:text=Memory%20foam%20mattresses%20are%20a,they%20don't%20last%20forever.&text=Dear%20E.%3A%20Foam%20mattresses%20are,nature%20aren't%20very%20ecological.
  3. https://www.bearmattress.com/blogs/news/memory-foam-vs-hybrid-mattress
  4. https://cordaroys.com/blogs/news/are-memory-foam-mattresses-good
  5. https://cordaroys.com/blogs/news/how-long-do-mattresses-last

← Older Post Newer Post →