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Hybrid Mattress vs Memory Foam: Which One Should You Choose?

Feb 3, 2022

bed bedroom blanket comfort | Hybrid Mattress vs Memory Foam: Which One Should You Choose | Featured

Hybrid mattress vs memory foam? Is there a clear winner? Let’s talk about which mattress reigns supreme—and which one is ideal for back pain.

RELATED: How To Choose The Best Bed and Mattress Sizes

Hybrid Mattress vs Memory Foam | Benefits, Drawbacks, and All You Need to Know

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Memory Foam

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What Material Is Memory Foam Made Of?

Memory foam mattresses are made of viscoelastic polyurethane (PU) foam.

NASA first used the material to cushion or counteract the G-force astronauts would feel during take-off and re-entry. Since then, it’s become a popular material for home beddings, hospital beddings, and office furniture.

This ergonomic material is

Each brand has its own recipe or formula for memory foam mattresses. By combining viscoelastic polyurethane with other chemicals, brands can manipulate it to fit different needs.

So you can find memory foam mattresses with different densities and firmness levels. Some may add other components or types of foam to make the material more durable. Others might make a memory foam mattress that doesn’t retain as much heat—a common complaint about this mattress type.

And why is it called memory foam?

Because after you lay in your memory foam mattress, you can see that it “remembers” the shape of your body. It leaves a dent in the shape of your figure before it reverts back to its original form.

What Are the Benefits of Using Memory Foam?

A memory foam mattress may be pressure-relieving.

This mattress type distributes your weight throughout the surface. And through this, it keeps the weight and pressure off of your pressure points. These pressure points might include your shoulders, hips, or lumbar area.

So if you’re dealing with shoulder pain, a memory foam mattress might help you heal and recover. And for those that deal with a lot of weight on their shoulders, a memory foam mattress could quite literally help you ease the load.

Those with naughty sleeping partners could also benefit from a memory foam mattress. One of the best things about these mattresses is that they provide motion isolation.

Motion isolation is when your movements are isolated to the specific area in which you moved. In other words, this means that you won’t feel it when your sleeping partner hops into bed late at night. And you won’t know when Fido decides to move to your side of the bed either.

In summary, opt for a memory foam mattress if these features are on top of your list:

  • pressure relief
  • motion isolation

What Are the Drawbacks of Using Memory Foam?

Memory foam isn’t for everyone. While it’s supportive and pressure-relieving for some, it could leave others with a sinking feeling—literally.

When you lie on a memory foam surface, it might feel like you’re sinking into the mattress rather than getting even support. While others liken this to a warm hug, others might find that it uncomfortably envelopes them.

However, keep in mind that memory foam mattresses come in different firmness levels and sensitivity. Look for a memory foam mattress that holds up well against your weight. If you sink too deeply into it, it might be too difficult to move around.

Sit at the edge of the mattress and try to move around on top of it. Can it hold you up when you sit at the edge? Can you lay down and sit up easily?

If the answer to both questions is no, memory foam may not be for you.

One notorious trait of a memory foam mattress is its ability to retain heat. And as the material hugs your figure, it may retain your body heat and confine you in it. And for sleepers that tend to run hot during the night, this could lead to lots of tossing and turning.

But some brands formulate memory foam mattresses that keep cool throughout the night. So this one drawback is not true for all memory foam mattresses.

One other potential temporary drawback is the smelly fragrance a newly unboxed memory foam mattress might give off.

Off-gassing is what you call when a freshly unboxed mattress releases a chemical scent. While it is harmless, the smell could last days or weeks. However, the smell will dissipate and the mattress—despite what the smell indicates—is perfectly safe to use.

In summary, the drawbacks of a memory foam mattress are:

  • sinking feeling
  • retains heat
  • off-gassing

RELATED: Foam Vs Spring Mattress | A Complete Comparison Guide

Hybrid Mattresses

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What Are the Layers in a Hybrid Mattress?

A hybrid mattress is a combination of different mattress layers, such as:

  • a pillow top surface
  • latex foam layers
  • Talalay latex layers
  • a foam encasement

Orthopedic beds could even include a memory foam topper combined with a temperature-regulated structure to keep you cool.

Hybrid mattresses come in different firmness levels and cater to different needs.

If you’re a light sleeper, choose a mattress that offers motion isolation. Mattresses with pocket-on-pocket coil foundations are excellent at isolating and supporting your movement. If you’re a light (below 130lbs) sleeper, you might find a softer or plusher mattress more comfortable and supportive.

However, if you’re a heavy sleeper, go with a mattress that stays cool throughout the night. This may provide the best sleeping conditions, giving you a deeper and more refreshing rest. And if you’re a heavy (above 130lbs) sleeper, explore firmer mattresses.

However, these are general rules of thumb. The reason why there are so many kinds of mattresses is that mattresses are not a one-size-fits-all situation.

Your mattress preference is a very personal choice. It’s one that only you can decide on. And here are some reasons why a hybrid mattress might be the one.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Hybrid Mattress?

You might say a hybrid mattress is tailor-fit to meet your needs and preferences. And at the same time, they are also amenable to most types of sleepers.

The best thing about hybrid mattresses is that they combine the best layers that provide optimum support and comfort.

A hybrid mattress has its own way (or ways) of relieving pressure off of your muscles and pressure points.

Look for a mattress with pocket coils. These are individual coils that move individually, absorbing your pressure points and relieving pressure. Most hybrid mattresses also come with pressure-relieving surfaces such as latex layers, Talalay latex, and even memory foam.

Because pocket coils absorb your weight, these may also provide some motion isolation, which could be ideal for those that share their beds.

Many hybrid mattresses are crafted with temperature regulation systems. These allow air to flow freely through the foundation and layers, preventing your bed from trapping heat and accumulating moisture.

In contrast to some memory foam mattresses, hybrid mattresses provide sturdy edge support and movement support.

Wrapping the parameter of your mattress with a sturdy foam encasement buffs the edges, and provides you with edge support. You’ll find that it’s easier to sit at the edge of the bed and get in and out of bed. And with a beg that doesn’t sag at the edge, you’ll also find that you get to enjoy every square inch of your bed.

Pocket coils, while providing pressure relief through individually adaptive coils, do so with less give. This means that while a hybrid mattress absorbs your weight, it should still be able to support your movements and help prop you up when you need it.

In summary, hybrid mattresses are great for those that want:

  • pressure-relief
  • some motion isolation
  • temperature regulation
  • edge support
  • movement support

Serta offers hybrid mattresses—even ones with memory foam layers—to give you your most indulgent sleep yet.

What Are the Drawbacks of Using a Hybrid Mattress?

Because hybrid mattresses cater to specialized needs and feature many mattress layers, they could be a nightmare for your savings.

And because these mattresses are typically made with metallic coil systems and crafted with multiple layers, these come with a back-breaking weight. (Nothing a good posture and a cozy lie-in in your new Serta mattress can’t fix.)

Lastly, it could also be a challenge to look for a hybrid mattress that provides the same kind of motion isolation as a memory mattress could.

The Verdict: Hybrid Mattress vs Memory Foam

Ultimately, the best mattress is the one that provides the most support and luxurious sleep. And it also boils down to personal preferences.

Memory foam is superb for distributing your weight across the surface, easing tension, and relaxing the muscles. But those that run hot during bedtime may find that memory foam retains a lot of heat, and that could lead to a lot of tossing and turning at night.

A hybrid mattress combines the best of different mattress structures and layers, usually equipped with a coil base. Many hybrid mattresses come with temperature regulation systems, which help keep you cool and your bed moisture-free. Because it comes with multiple supporting and contouring layers, it could also be heavy in terms of weight and budget.

One mattress type isn’t better than the other. Choose a mattress that gives you bang for your buck. Mattresses can be pretty expensive, so make sure to spend your pretty penny on one that you won’t regret.

And when in doubt, choose one from Serta.

Serta is the only mattress brand endorsed by the National Sleep Foundation. An expert on providing luxurious sleep, Serta also provides deluxe hotel chains with mattresses.


What do you look for in a mattress? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you.