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Memory Foam vs Hybrid Mattresses: The Ultimate Buying Guide

By: Christina Davies
Updated on: September 22, 2023

Are you in the market for a new mattress but struggling to decide between a memory foam and a hybrid mattress? There are many choices available, which can make it hard to decide. But fear not. We’re here to help you make an informed decision. In this comprehensive buying guide, we’ll explore the similarities and differences between memory foam and hybrid mattresses, discussing their construction, pros and cons, and other important factors to consider. By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to choose the best mattress.

What is Memory Foam?

Memory foam, sometimes called viscoelastic foam, was first created by NASA for comfy plane seats. Now, it’s loved in mattresses for its special features. Over time, it has gained popularity in the mattress industry due to its unique properties. A memory foam mattress typically consists of two main parts: a memory foam comfort layer and a high-density polyfoam support core. Some mattresses also incorporate other materials like latex and specialty polyfoam to improve durability, responsiveness, and temperature control.

Memory foam mattresses are prized for their ability to conform closely to the body, relieving pressure points. However, this conforming quality can make them retain heat, potentially causing discomfort for some sleepers. To address this, many manufacturers infuse the memory foam layer with substances like gel or copper to dissipate heat. Additionally, cooling covers and heat-wicking materials can enhance temperature regulation.

Memory foam mattresses are readily available and popular among consumers. For a queen-size mattress, memory foam bed prices can range from $800 to $2,500.

Pros of Memory Foam Beds

  • Excellent pressure relief: Memory foam mattresses are known for relieving pressure points, making them ideal for individuals with chronic pain or joint issues.
  • Motion isolation: Memory foam absorbs and isolates motion, meaning movement on one side of the bed is less likely to be felt on the other side. It is especially beneficial for couples with different sleep schedules or preferences.
  • Minimal noise: Unlike traditional innerspring mattresses, memory foam mattresses are virtually silent, reducing the chances of being disturbed by creaking or squeaking sounds.

Cons of Memory Foam Beds

  • Heat retention: Traditional memory foam can make you feel hot while you sleep because it holds onto heat. However, many modern memory foam mattresses now incorporate cooling technologies to address this issue.
  • Lack of bounce: Memory foam absorbs energy rather than providing a springy bounce. While some sleepers appreciate this characteristic, others may struggle to move around on the mattress or change positions.

What is a Hybrid Mattress?

Hybrid mattresses blend features from different types of mattresses, or innerspring mattresses, combining the coil-based support core of innerspring mattresses with a thick comfort system similar to foam or latex models. This combination often provides a good mix of pressure relief and responsiveness.

Most hybrid mattresses use a support core made of foam layers of pocketed coils. This design results in a durable, bouncy, and breathable surface that minimizes motion transfer and offers stable edge support. Some hybrids may use other types of coils like Bonnell, offset, or continuous wire, which can be more affordable but might transmit motion more easily.

The composition of the comfort layers in hybrid mattresses can vary. They might include materials like memory foam, polyfoam, latex, micro coils, fiber, or a combination. These comfort layers are designed to conform to your body, trap heat, relieve pressure points, and reduce motion transfer.

Hybrid mattresses are popular and can be found online and in most mattress retailers’ physical stores. It’s important to note that each hybrid model feels and performs differently from traditional spring mattresses, so it’s crucial to carefully assess the specific design to choose one that suits your preferences. On average, hybrid mattresses typically cost between $1,200 and $2,000 for a queen size.

Pros of Hybrid Mattresses

  • Support and responsiveness: The coil support core in a hybrid mattress provides a responsive feel and excellent support, making it easier to change positions during the night.
  • Enhanced airflow: The coil layer in a hybrid mattress promotes airflow, which can help regulate temperature and prevent heat buildup.
  • Durability: Hybrid mattresses usually last longer than regular memory foam ones because they have extra support from coils.

Cons of Hybrid Mattresses

  • Higher cost: Hybrid mattresses tend to be more expensive than traditional memory foam mattresses due to their more complex construction and the use of high-quality materials.
  • Potential motion transfer: While hybrid mattresses offer some motion isolation, they may not perform as well as memory foam mattresses. This can be a consideration for couples or individuals easily disturbed by movement during sleep.

Comparison Chart: Memory Foam vs Hybrid Mattresses

AspectMemory Foam MattressesHybrid Mattresses
CostAffordablePriced higher due to coil system
DurabilityDurable, may sag over timeKnown for durability and longevity
Motion IsolationExcellent motion isolationModerate motion isolation
ResponsivenessLess responsive, conforms to the bodyMore responsive with bounce
Temperature RegulationSome have cooling techBetter airflow for temp regulation
Pressure ReliefExcellent pressure reliefGood pressure relief
Noise LevelVirtually silentThe potential for noise due to coils can be minimized


In terms of cost, memory foam mattresses are usually cheaper than hybrid mattresses. Depending on the brand and specific features, memory foam mattresses can range from budget-friendly to premium models. On the other hand, hybrid mattresses tend to be priced higher due to the added cost of the coil system.


Hybrid mattresses are known for their durability and longevity. The coil support system provides a sturdy foundation for a traditional mattress, allowing it to maintain its shape and support for longer. Memory foam mattresses, while also durable, may be more prone to sagging or indentations over time.

Motion Isolation

Memory foam mattresses are a top pick for people who don’t want to be disturbed by someone else moving in bed, especially couples. The same memory foam absorbs motion and isolates motion, minimizing the transfer of movement across the bed. While hybrid mattresses provide some motion isolation, they may not perform as well as memory foam mattresses.


Hybrid mattresses have a more responsive feel compared to memory foam mattresses. The coil support system provides bounce and support, making it easier to move around on the mattress and change positions during the night. On the other hand, memory foam mattresses absorb energy and contour the body, resulting in a more conforming and pressure-relieving feel.

Temperature Regulation

Some people worry that memory foam mattresses can get too hot. Regular memory foam is known for trapping body heat, which can make people who sleep hot uncomfortable. But nowadays, many modern memory foam mattresses use cooling tricks like adding gel or open-cell foam to help you sleep more comfortably. Hybrid mattresses, with their coil support system, generally offer better airflow, which can contribute to better temperature regulation.

Pressure Relief

Memory foam mattresses are known for being really good at relieving pressure. The foam molds to your body’s shape, spreading your weight evenly and taking the pressure off areas like your hips, shoulders, and lower back. Hybrid mattresses offer pressure relief, but the contouring and pressure relief level may not be as pronounced as memory foam mattresses.

Noise Level

Memory foam mattresses are virtually silent due to their lack of springs or coils. On the other hand, the coil support system in hybrid mattresses can potentially produce noise or squeaking over time. However, many hybrid bed manufacturers take steps to minimize this issue through high-quality materials and design techniques.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Memory Foam and Hybrid Mattresses

When deciding between a full memory foam mattress and a hybrid mattress, it’s essential to consider various factors influencing your comfort and satisfaction. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Sleeping Position

Your preferred sleeping position can play a significant role in determining the type of mattress that is best suited for you. For example, side sleepers may benefit from the pressure-relieving properties of pure memory foam mattresses. In contrast, back or stomach sleepers might prefer the support and responsiveness of a hybrid mattress.

Body Weight

Your body weight can influence how a mattress feels and works. Memory foam mattresses tend to provide better contouring and pressure relief for individuals with lighter or average body weight. Heavier individuals may find that hybrid mattresses offer the necessary support and durability to accommodate their weight.

Temperature Preference

Temperature regulation becomes an important consideration if you tend to sleep hot or live in a warm climate. Memory foam hybrid mattresses with advanced cooling technologies can help dissipate heat and keep you comfortable throughout the night. Hybrid mattresses offer better temperature regulation with their coil support system and enhanced airflow than traditional memory foam mattresses.

Allergies and Sensitivities

If you have allergies or sensitivities to certain materials, choosing a hypoallergenic mattress free from potentially irritating substances is crucial. Some memory foam and hybrid mattresses are made to be hypoallergenic, which means they resist things like dust mites and other allergens.


Your budget will play a role in your decision-making process. Memory foam mattresses generally have a wider range of price points, making them more accessible for budget-conscious shoppers. Hybrid mattresses, however, tend to be more expensive than memory foam models due to their more complex construction and premium materials.

Tips for Buying a Memory Foam or Hybrid Mattress

When shopping for a memory foam or hybrid mattress, several tips and considerations can help you make an informed decision:

Consideration Factors

  • Firmness level: Determine your preferred level of firmness based on your sleeping position and personal comfort preferences.
  • Thickness and density: Look for adequate thickness and density mattresses to ensure proper support and longevity.
  • Edge support: If edge support is important to you, consider mattresses with reinforced edges that prevent sinking or sagging when sitting or lying near the edges.
  • Trial period and warranty: Check the mattress’s trial period and warranty terms to ensure you have sufficient time to test the mattress and protection against manufacturing defects.

Mattress Trial Periods and Warranties

Many mattress companies offer trial periods, allowing you to test the mattress in your home for a designated period, typically ranging from 90 to 365 nights. This allows you to assess the mattress’s comfort and suitability. Additionally, pay attention to the warranty terms, which typically cover manufacturing defects and sagging beyond a certain threshold.

Customer Reviews and Ratings

Before making up your mind, read customer reviews and ratings to gain insights into the mattress’s performance, durability, and overall customer satisfaction. Real-life experiences can provide valuable information that may not be apparent from marketing materials or product descriptions.

Return Policies

Familiarize yourself with the return policy of the mattress retailer or manufacturer. While giving yourself time to adjust to a new mattress is essential, having the option to return or exchange it within a reasonable timeframe can provide peace of mind.


Are memory foam mattresses best for back pain?

Memory foam mattresses are a great choice for people with back pain because they mold your body and give you the support you need in the right places. However, consulting with a healthcare professional for personalized advice is important when choosing a mattress for back pain.

Do hybrid mattresses last longer than memory foam mattresses?

Hybrid mattresses tend to last longer than memory foam mattresses because they have coils that provide extra support. However, how long a mattress lasts can change based on how much you use it, how you take care of it, and the quality of the materials used.

Can I use a memory foam or hybrid mattress on an adjustable bed frame?

Most memory foam and hybrid mattresses are compatible with adjustable bed frames. However, it’s essential to check the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines to ensure proper usage and prevent voiding the warranty.

Do memory foam or hybrid mattresses have an odor when first unpacked?

It is common for memory foam and hybrid mattresses to have a slight odor, often called “off-gassing,” when first unpacked. This odor typically dissipates within a few days to a few weeks. Proper ventilation can help accelerate the process.

How often should I replace my memory foam or hybrid mattress?

The mattress’s lifespan can vary depending on factors such as care, usage, and the quality of materials. On average, replacing a mattress every 7 to 10 years is recommended, but individual circumstances may warrant replacement sooner or later.


Choosing between a memory foam and a hybrid mattress depends on what you like and what helps you sleep well. Memory foam mattresses are really good at making you feel comfy and not waking you up when someone moves. So, they’re a great pick if you want to be super cozy and not feel movement. On the other hand, hybrid mattresses provide a balance of support, responsiveness, and breathability, making them suitable for sleepers who prefer a more traditional feel with added bounce. By considering factors such as sleeping position, body weight, temperature preferences, and budget, you can select the mattress that best meets your needs for a restful night’s sleep.


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