Each year the mattress world introduces new and innovative ground-breaking technologies. It is overwhelming and challenging. Decision-making becomes tough. Firm? Soft? Plush? Smartphone-enabled? Or cooling-gel infused. So many different options may appear daunting, but the bottom-line is – Does it help people sleep better as claimed?
Generally, the majority of mattresses available in the market can be categorized as innerspring, foam, and hybrid. Within each category, the firmness and size of the mattress models differ dramatically. Every quality mattress has unique characteristics that you need to understand before making a big investment.
1. Innerspring mattress – This is the traditional mattress that your parents and grandparents used. An Innerspring mattress has a support system, which is interconnected with steel spring coils all across the surface. Coils are of different gauges and lined in rows to support the body as well as adjust weight when you sleep at night. [Lower coil gauge number means firm spring. Mattress coils differ from 12 – 15 gauges. Mattress coil with 15 gauge is softer than 12-gauge coils].
2. Pocket coil mattress – Recent technology that emerged in mattress space is ‘Pocket Spring’. Coils are wrapped individually in their own fabric encasement without any connection. It helps to produce more responsiveness and offer movement freedom and better support. Coils reside in padded shells, covered with different padded or quilted fabric layers.
3. Foam mattress – To increase sleep quality, they offer supreme support and allow maximum recovery, during sleep at night foam mattresses are created with multiple kinds of foam layers. It includes a base, middle body contouring foam layer, and top layer for airflow & support. Foam mattresses are of different kinds including memory, latex, and gel-based.
4. Hybrid mattress – Those who would like the best characteristics of innerspring and memory foam mattress can choose a hybrid option. Basically, hybrid enclosed pocket spring wrapped in high-density foam and then topped with several layers of high support PU and memory foams. Hybrids are trendy because they offer sturdy spring support and contours of memory foam.
How to make the right decision?
Memory foam mattresses may suit you if you struggle with specific spine alignment, backache, or painful joints or your spouse moves a lot and disturbs your sleep. Hybrid mattresses will agree with you –
- If you dislike the feel of a sinking mattress
- If you need more firmness as you sleep sideways
- If you enjoy a bouncy feel
- If you hate sweaty bed
- If you seek to be cradled
- If you wish to enjoy the benefits of both an innerspring and memory foam world
Hybrid mattresses are not suitable for sleepers who need ultra-firm mattresses because they are overweight or prefer ultra-plush feel like a memory foam bed.
Get to know hybrid mattress in details
The majority of mattress buyers are curious about foam mattress benefits, but they cannot try all the varieties of foam mattresses. Hybrids can be their best choice as they can experience pressure-relieving benefits from memory foam, while retaining the classic feel of an innerspring mattress.
Hybrid beds are intended to offer you the best features of different mattresses while alleviating the negatives. They are less springy than innerspring beds, so couples can sleep soundly without getting disturbed due to one partner changing their sleep position. The foam material allows it to regain its shape as you move, while the open cell structure allows better airflow and a cooler sleeping surface.
Buyers need to be cautious about the term ‘Hybrid’. It is occasionally used as a promotional term. True hybrid mattress means a blend of coil support core along with a comfort layer of memory or latex foam material. Beds, which include foam and latex as core support or have thin comfort layers are not qualified to be hybrid mattresses.
Hybrid bed components
Following layers are included in an average hybrid mattress
- Base layer – Beneath the supportive core is a base foam layer. It offers extra padding to strengthen mattress stability. Usually, polyurethane foam is used in this layer. Its height is around one inch.
- Core layer – Steel pocket coil is used in the core, which offers sturdy support and low motion transfer. The coil support core is 6-7 inches, which adds bulk to the height of the mattress.
- Comfort layer – Memory or/and latex foam are used in this layer. The ratio of latex and memory varies as per the mattress maker’s plans. The height will also differ but usually, it is within 3” to 4”. Comfort layers can also include copper elements or gel beads to improve the cooling capacity of the mattress.
- Top layer – Several hybrid mattresses include a top layer or pillow top, which is sewn to the comfort Top layer materials include memory foam, latex, polyfoam, fiberfill, cotton, and wool.
Features to consider in a hybrid mattress
Besides the materials and heights of each layer, you will need to consider the ILD and density of foam layers as well as the coil numbers and gauge of support core, so as to assess overall hybrid mattress quality.
It measures how much compression the mattress can tackle while being supportive. The unit to measure density is lb. /ft³.
- Premium grade density foam offers the best contour and motion isolation but takes longer to regain its shape.
- Low-grade density foam recovers its shape quickly but offers less motion isolation and contour.
- Medium-grade density foam rests in the middle.
The density of memory foam ranges from 2.5 – 3.9 lb. / ft³ [minimal] to 5.5 and more lb. / ft³ [maximum]. The density of polyfoam ranges from 1.9 lb. / ft³ [lower end] to 2.5 and more lb. / ft³ [high end].
ILD [Indentation Load Deflection]
ILD is used to measure the firmness of mattresses. High ILD means firmer the bed and less contour experienced. Memory foam and latex foam differ in ILD scales. Latex foam ranges from 15 – 40+, while memory foam ranges from 8 – 20. High ILDs are great for overweight and stomach sleepers. Low ILDs are good for lightweight and side sleepers.
The thickness of coils attached in a pocket as the supportive core of the mattress is measured in gauge. A higher gauge means thinner coils. On the thick-end gauge is 12 and on thinned it is 18.
The number of coils used in the mattress will affect its sturdiness to a certain degree. A low number of springs [up to 1,000] is related to a short lifespan. Coil numbers more than 1,000 are connected with high cost but not essentially with more durability.
Hybrid mattresses have an average life cycle of 6 years. Its durability is better than average innerspring mattress but not as lengthy as other mattress forms [minimum 10 years]. Mattress longevity depends on the polyfoam grade used in the base layer and pocket coils are less durable than other types of coils [offset, Bonnell, and continuous wire springs].
Therefore, before buying a hybrid mattress check the warranty. It needs to include coverage for excessive indentation like memory foam and untimely sagging like an innerspring bed. You need to be aware of what is covered and your responsibilities to remain covered [e.g. kind of frame to be used or not abusing the mattress]
Benefits of a hybrid mattress
Hybrid mattresses have the bounce of innerspring beds and latex but even have better contour characteristics, which offers great spinal alignment as well as pressure point relief.
The pocket coil supportive core is improved with cooling components in the comfort layer of the mattress to offer a cool sleeping surface.
Foam layers help to reduce the transfer of motion to your partner. So, their sleep does not get disrupted with your movement.
Supportive coil cores in hybrid mattresses give a bouncy feeling little less than innerspring without squeaky noise and movement transfer issues. Thus, it is ideal for partners sharing a bed.
Multiple firmness options
You will find an extensive range of firmness levels, which helps mattress buyers to find one that suits their sleep comfort needs.
Checklist of questions for better mattress solution
Now that you are equipped with sufficient knowledge regarding hybrid mattresses below are some questions. Gain answers to them so as to help you choose a quality and suitable bed.
- How long do you expect a hybrid bed to last?
- Will a hybrid mattress support your given body weight as well as sleeping style?
- What are the materials used in the comfort and support core layer?
- What is foam’s ILD and density?
- What is the polyfoam grade used in the base layer?
- Does the comfort layer have any cooling elements?
- What are warranty terms?
- What is its return policy and trial period terms?
This content is sponsored by Andrew Dominik.