Memory Foam vs. Hybrid Mattresses: What’s the Difference?

Woman lying on mattress in a mattress store

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential in our modern-day and age. How much sleep we get each night can serve as a vital indicator of not only our productivity throughout the day but also of our overall health and wellbeing. The less sleep you get, the greater the impact on your day to day health. The question is, does the type of mattress you sleep on impact the overall quality of your sleep? For example, when comparing memory foam vs. hybrid mattresses, which is better?

The National Sleep Foundation has discovered that adults need to get anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of restful sleep each night. This means that finding the right mattress is crucial to you getting the right amount of beauty sleep you need. The only problem is that when you try to mattress shop, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by the types of mattresses available.

In this article, we’ll help you narrow the choices down by going over the benefits as well as some potential drawbacks of two of the most popular mattresses currently on the market: Memory foam and Hybrid mattresses.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses are mainly comprised of a polymer known as polyurethane and generally contain no springs whatsoever, unlike traditional mattresses. This polymer was originally developed by NASA in the 1960’s in order to be used in furniture, mainly in airline seating. However, it was quickly discovered that this material could work very well as a mattress.

Visco Elastic

Memory Foam is known as a visco elastic material. This means is that memory foam will compress when pressure is applied, molding itself to whatever is applying the pressure. Once the pressure is removed, the foam will eventually return to its natural state.

Benefits of Memory Foam

hand on memory foam mattress
Woman is choosing new mattress for good sleeping. Hand of woman is testing mattress quality.

Memory foam has a lot to offer, which is a reason why they have become so popular nowadays. Here are some of the biggest benefits of memory foam mattresses.

Soft Contouring for Side Sleepers

These types of mattresses are well known for both their soft feel and their contouring properties. Some people describe sleeping on memory foam as being able to sleep “inside the mattress” due to the feeling of memory foam molding itself to the exact shape of the sleeper. 

The biggest benefit of this contouring ability is that sleeping on memory foam can help you keep your back in proper alignment as you sleep, which is especially good news for side sleepers. Not only can this help you achieve more restful sleep but it also can help prevent any pesky aches and pains when you wake up.

Great Mattress for Couples

couple lying on new mattress

Memory foam has been described as an ideal option for couples, in large part due to the fact that polyurethane offers increased motion isolation.

What this essentially means is that any motion that occurs on the mattress is isolated to the point of origin and is unlikely to transfer to other parts of the bed. If you have to climb in and out of bed for any reason, your partner will be far less likely to notice due to motion isolation.


Due to its increased resistance to dust and dust mites, memory foam can be a great option for those who struggle with allergies.

Potential Drawbacks

As is the case with all mattresses, there are some drawbacks to purchasing a memory foam mattress. 

First, memory foam is known for trapping heat. As you sleep on pure memory foam, your heat can be redirected towards you as there is little heat regulation, which may cause overheating.

Second, memory foam will over time begin to sag. While differing densities can cause a mattress to last longer, eventually your mattress will begin to lose its elastic properties and you will begin to leave an impression.

Third, you may find that it can be difficult to move around on a memory foam mattress, as the material can be slow to respond. 

Hybrid Mattresses

hybrid mattress in bedroom

Like the name implies, hybrid mattresses are essentially a mix between a memory foam mattress and a traditional spring mattress. Generally speaking, hybrid mattresses are comprised of a layer of pocketed coils that are topped by a comfort layer, which is many times comprised of memory foam. 

The dual properties of coils and memory foam means that hybrid mattresses offer the best of both worlds.

Hybrid Benefits

These kinds of mattresses have a lot going for them. Here are some of the most notable benefits that hybrid mattresses offer consumers. 

Increased Air Flow

Due to the layers of pocketed coils, hybrid mattresses are more breathable than their memory foam counterparts. This helps prevent the foam comfort layer from overheating during the night, which counters one of the drawbacks of memory foam.

Plenty of Support for Side Sleepers

One of the most notable qualities of hybrid mattresses is the increased support that it offers due to the coil layer. This allows the mattress to provide both comfort and support for stomach, back, and side sleepers. 

If feeling like you are sinking into the mattress is not for you, the extra support from hybrids will allow you to feel more like you are sleeping on top of the mattress, rather than in it. There are a variety of firmness options available.


An additional benefit that may pique your interest is the durability that hybrid mattresses offer. Due to the layer of pocketed coils, hybrids tend to last much longer than their memory foam counterparts, meaning that it will take much longer for you to notice any sagging in the comfort layer.

Potential Drawbacks

While there are a plethora of benefits, hybrid mattresses do have several potential drawbacks that you should consider the next time you mattress shop.

Due to the extra materials required to make a hybrid mattress, they can often cost more than an all-foam mattress. However, this is not always the case, as you can find hybrid prices that are comparable to memory foam.

However, hybrid mattresses are heavier than a foam mattress and can be difficult to move, especially if you are moving into a new home or apartment. 

Hybrids also have higher motion transfer which may mean your partner will feel your motion more.

Which Mattress Should You Buy?

Ultimately, the decision is yours. A mattress should be able to fit your needs perfectly and now that you are armed with the information above, you can make a more informed decision when you mattress shop.

If you are interested in a hybrid mattress, be sure to check out the Hero Bed, the affordable luxury mattress.

2 thoughts on “Memory Foam vs. Hybrid Mattresses: What’s the Difference?

  1. raidboss3 says:

    While you will hear mattresses with different types of foam referred to as a hybrid, for our purposes we are speaking of mattresses with springs and then a comfort layer on top. The comfort layer could consist of latex, polyfoam, or even memory foam. For instance, the Casper Hybrid mattress contains comfort foam, memory foam, a transition layer with Zoned Support, and pocketed coils .

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