Hybrid Vs. Innerspring Mattress: What’s the Difference?

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written by sleep expert Lauren Hall

Hybrid Vs. Innerspring Mattress: What’s the Difference?

When it comes down to choosing a mattress, we are often faced with three different types innerspring vs. memory foam vs. hybrid. They all have different characteristics and suit different sleepers. But today, I am going to be talking about the key differences between a hybrid vs. innerspring mattress.

But which one should you get? Hybrid or innerspring?

Well, while both offer their fair share of pros and cons, many people love the idea of a hybrid mattress over a traditional innerspring mattress because you can enjoy the comfort, contouring, and pressure relief of the memory foam and the stability and bounce of the springs.

But memory foam isn’t for everyone, so hybrid mattresses may not be a good fit. Hybrid and innerspring mattresses do share similar qualities, which I will be running through with you today to make it easier when it does come down to choosing a hybrid or innerspring mattress.

So stay tuned, my friends, you won’t want to miss this.

pros and cons of a hybrid mattress

What Is A Hybrid Mattress?

Hybrid mattresses are the bed of memory foam and innerspring mattresses, but unlike innerspring mattresses, they have layers of memory foam on top of the innerspring baselayer. Most hybrids also use pocketed coils over any other type, whereas an innerspring mattress can use any type.

But because of the innerspring coils within the hybrid, hybrid mattresses offer superb edge support, much better than memory foam, but they add more comfort, support, and pressure relief than an innerspring mattress.

It also gives you more surface space to sleep on. It incorporates innerspring mattresses with memory foam mattresses.

They are far easier to move around over a memory foam mattress as they have more of a responsive feel to them and a bit more bounce. But unlike traditional innerspring mattresses, you can still have the conforming and pressure relief from the memory foam layers.

An innerspring mattress just doesn’t provide as body contouring and support as memory foam mattresses, but memory foam tends to sleep hot, so hybrids blend the best qualities of the two to give you the very best mattress– hybrids are also best for hot sleepers.

Hybrid beds also prevent you from sinking too far into the mattress as the base layer is supported by durable springs which help you bounce back. Plus, with the more open design and gel-infused foam, hybrid mattresses also tend to sleep much cooler as airflow and temperature are regulated.

Hybrids enhance breathability within the mattress and offer all-night coolness; they beat a traditional innerspring mattress as you can have the benefits of a memory foam mattress without the heat of the memory foam. Some hybrid mattresses offer a latex mattress layer instead if you tend to sleep very hotly.

If you go for a hybrid mattress with pocketed coils, you can still get the benefits of motion isolation as pocketed springs move individually; plus, when paired with memory foam, it silences almost all movement making hybrid mattresses a brilliant option for couples.

Hybrid Mattress Construction:

A hybrid mattress is made up of at least three layers; there’s a comfort layer, a coil layer, and a foam base. Many hybrid mattresses also have a transition layer which can improve the bed’s feel as it prevents you from sinking too far into the mattress and improve the responsiveness.

The first layer is known as the comfort layer, which is often made of memory foam or latex. The top foam layer is designed to conform to your body and ease pressure points. It cradles your body while you rest to help you reach the deeper sleep stages with minimal disruptions.

Memory foam reacts to body heat to mold around your shapes and curves to relieve sensitive areas; cooling gel memory foam is often used for these layers as memory foam tends to sleep hot. But a hybrid mattress is a brilliant alternative to memory foam as there is much more ventilation through the innerspring.

The next layer tends to be a transition layer (but not in all hybrid mattresses). It is typically made with a firm and responsive poly-foam to prevent you from sinking too far into the mattress. So you can still have the feel of memory foam but without feeling like you’re drowning in the bed.

It also helps the mattress react faster, like an innerspring mattress if you change your sleeping position.

The second or third layer is the hybrid mattress core, the coil system. Most hybrid mattresses use pocketed coils, which are individual coils encased in a foam or fabric, while cheaper options use Bonnel coils which make a lot of noise with every movement and they aren’t are durable.

The photo underneath is an example of Bonnel coils– I know I can hear it from here too! Since pocketed coils move individually, it reduces motion transfer, and this, paired with memory foam, almost silences movement.

The last layer is a layer of poly-foam base underneath the coils; this helps promote the coils structure by absorbing shock and providing a stable surface for the mattress to lie on, which helps with the durability.

Pros and Cons Of A Hybrid Mattress

There will always be pros and cons when buying any mattress, but it’s not so many issues with the mattress; but the cons are really about personal preference, so what might be a con for one person may be a huge benefit for another. But here are the common pros and cons.

Pros Of A Hybrid Mattress:

So let’s start with the pros of hybrid mattresses; you’ll be shocked by the benefits of hybrid mattresses

Joint & Back Support:

Since hybrid mattresses use a combination of pocket coils, mattress springs, and memory foam or latex foam, they offer a good level of joint and back support for all kinds of sleeping positions. Memory foam is known for its body contouring and pressure-relieving capabilities.

You can have the conforming capabilities of a memory foam bed through the foam layers and the bounce and responsiveness of an innerspring mattress to prevent you from sinking too far into the mattress, along with a little extra support.

Memory foam relaxes with your body heat to conform to your body’s shapes and curves. It provides support around your back, hips, and shoulders by cradling around your body. This is also supported by the pocketed springs in the base.

Whether you’re a back, side, or stomach sleeper, a hybrid mattress will offer you a balance between supportive and relaxing sleep, offering the perfect balance of support, comfort, and bounce so you can rest comfortably and wake up feeling refreshed.

Latex also offers similar qualities to memory foam, but it remains much more of a neutral temperature, so many hybrid mattresses use a combination of latex and cooling gel memory foam to help provide support on key pressure points while keeping the temperature cool.

Cooling:

Many of us love the feel of memory foam mattresses but don’t like the heat retention that comes with it; while innerspring mattresses are extremely cooling, they have a thin comfort layer and don’t conform to your body as memory foam does for pressure relief.

Temperature regulation is a super important feature for a good night’s sleep, so your body can drop 1 degree in temperature to reach those deeper stages of sleep. Hybrid mattresses are the next best thing; they sleep cooler and offer a better night’s sleep. They take advantage of the airflow through the open design of the coils.

When this is paired with a ventilated design and gel-infused memory foam, it helps really knock out the heat in the mattress. Gel-infused memory foam uses phase-changing materials that also help keep your body cool and help it stay cool and regulate body temperature.

Many hybrid mattresses use multiple layers of foam on top of the springs to really try and utilize ventilation. One of my favorite memory foam hybrids is one that uses a breathable foam on top, which is followed by a gel-infused layer and then another open-cell design layer underneath.

So you can really experience the cooling benefits of innerspring mattresses but with the comfort of the foam layers.

Pressure Point Relief:

If you wake up in the morning with sharp and shooting pains in your shoulder, back hips, or neck, then this may indicate that your mattress is efficient in relieving your pressure points. If your bed is too soft or too firm, it can put pressure on your joints when you sleep.

But with hybrid mattresses, this isn’t the case as the memory foam top is designed with a comfort layer to cradle your body as you sleep, lift pressure points and help promote proper spinal alignment, so you wake up feeling refreshed rather than with a hundred aches.

Innerspring mattresses don’t offer this same level of pressure point relief as they lay flat and don’t conform to your body shape.

Hybrid mattresses provide adequate support for pressure point relief, and the pocket coil springs underneath it prevent that sinking feeling, so your body feels cradled without feeling like you’re drowning in the mattress.

Ideal For Couples:

Memory foam works wonders for reducing motion transfer; while innerspring can be quite squeaky, most hybrids use pocketed springs that move individually with motion. This, paired with the memory foam or latex layer, really helps silence motion transfer.

I wouldn’t recommend buying cheap when it comes to hybrid mattresses as many mattress companies will use cheaper coils such as Bonnel coils which are connected with a lattice structure. These cheap coils create a lot of squeaking with every movement and don’t tend to last as long.

Pocket coil springs, however, are encased individually, so they move individually to help reduce motion transfer. This, paired with memory foam or latex layers, help offer movement silencing when you or your partner move sleep position.

So if you’re sleeping with a restless partner, combination sleeper, a partner that gets up for work before you, or even a pet, the vibrations of the movement should be silenced within the memory foam and individually packed coils so you can have uninterrupted rest.

Durable:

With the support of the pocket coils and high-quality memory foam or latex layers, or just the higher amount of layers in comparison to other mattresses, it makes hybrid mattresses far more durable and long-lasting as a whole.

Pocketed coils extend this life even further as the coils are individually packed in a casing which allows individual movement and puts less strain on the coils, so they tend to last much longer.

Plus by being at the base with layers of memory foam on top prevents the memory foam from sagging and prevents the coils from being damaged. Innerspring mattresses tend to have a much shorter lifespan than hybrid mattresses because of the pressure the coils become worn over the years.

Cons Of A Hybrid Mattress

There are a couple of drawbacks with hybrid mattresses, but this is bound to happen with any mattress as it ages. The two main drawbacks are that hybrid mattresses are quite costly and can begin to make noise over the years– which is normal with the aging of any mattress.

Costly:

Because of the many layers and components that make up a hybrid mattress, it can be quite costly. You also need to ensure the materials used are high quality as otherwise, it won’t be later than a few years– which is the last thing we want. Hybrids are very much an investment, over traditional innerspring mattresses, but they’ll last for many years to come.

But with the price comes quality. You’ll want to spend a little extra to ensure you get high-quality components like pocketed springs and memory foam with built-in cooling technology. All of these factors will contribute to a quality night’s rest and a mattress that will last you for years to come.

Many cheap manufacturers use Bonnel coils which are connected with a lattice structure; not only does this cause noise with every movement, but this coil support system won’t last you longer than a few years. The same goes for cheap memory foam; the mattress will begin to sag.

With the right care and high-quality materials, many hybrid mattresses will last 10-15 years with ease, so while it comes at a steep price to begin with, it lasts a long time, so it’s worthwhile.

Motion Transfer After A Few Years:

So pocketed coils are the best type of coils used in hybrids, but as time goes on, these coils will begin to experience some wear and tear over the years; it’s bound to happen, and with this, your mattress may become slightly squeaky.

But the best thing about pocketed coils is that they are extremely durable, and when they begin to squeak to the point that it disturbs your sleep, then this may be a sign that it needs replacing, but if you buy a high-quality mattress, this shouldn’t happen for at least ten years.

If you buy cheap, then motion transfer and noise will be bound to happen, which is why it’s important to invest in a mattress that will last.

innerspring mattress

What Is An Innerspring Mattress?

 So now we’ve covered everything there is to know about hybrid beds; what is an innerspring mattress? Well, an innerspring mattress is the most common mattress type on the market; it is one of the first mattresses to reach the market, with its most memorable feature being bounciness.

It has a thin top layer and springs underneath; you’re bound to have slept on an innerspring mattress before, maybe one that was old that sent sharp pains in your back because one of the springs has popped out– we’ve all experienced this, right?

The most common innerspring mattress is a pocket spring mattress. The coils are individually wrapped, making them more durable while also helping to reduce motion transfer, as innerspring mattresses are known to be quite noisy. Pocket springs are also used in hybrid mattresses for this same reason.

The coil gauge and coil count can impact the cost and feel of your innerspring bed, but for added comfort, many innerspring beds come with a pillow top. Most innerspring are paired with box springs, as otherwise, the coils can sag prematurely.

Innerspring Mattress Construction:

A traditional innerspring mattress has a very simple design with a coil support system sandwiched between two thin comfort layers. Many innerspring mattresses can be flipped, while most hybrid mattresses can only be rotated.

Most innerspring mattresses have a comfort layer that is filled with cotton or wool for padding; some top-quality innerspring beds also qualify as pillow-top mattresses, which is an extra layer of padding sewn over the traditional comfort layer which increases the cushioning.

If you can see and feel how the pillow top is separated from the mattress, it is a traditional pillow top, but if the pillow top is sewn into the mattress, giving it a seamless appearance, it is a Euro-top. Each mattress has its advantages and disadvantages.

Types Of Coils:

There are a few different types of coils often used in innerspring mattresses; these coils can really affect the quality and overall feel of the innerspring mattress, so knowing which is super handy to know. 

Pocketed Coils: These are also known as pocket springs; they are individually wrapped or encased coils. Each coil is covered in cloth, and then the cloth is stitched together to make these pockets. These coils are most durable as they move individually and don’t touch. 

Pocket coils also offer a good level of motion silencing as the coils move individually, so they don’t produce a “squeaking noise” with every movement. They’re ideal for couples as they isolate motion; plus, when paired with a layer of memory foam or Latex on top, it is silent. 

Because of this, pocket coils are by far the most popular coil type used in most innerspring and hybrid mattresses. 

Bonnell Coils: Bonnel coils are designed with an hourglass-shaped spring system; each coil is connected directly to the internal lattice structure that holds them together. But because of this, they are far less flexible than the pocketed coils. 

You’ll most likely find Bonnel coils in cheap innerspring beds as they are cheaply made. They are not recommended as the compression of nearby coils can affect the whole structure; this makes them less durable, offer less support, and transfer more motion.

Bonnel Coils tend to be quite noisy with every movement, but with memory foam on top, this helps silence this to an extent, but this is one of the noisiest coils in innerspring mattresses with the lowest support and comfort. 

Continuous Wire Coils: Continous wire coils are very similar in characteristics to Bonnel coils and offer similar performance, but the springs are formed out of one single piece of wire, so if you thought Bonnel coils offer zero support, continuous wire coils are even worse. 

If you find a cheap innerspring mattress on Amazon for under 200 or even 100 bucks will most likely have a continuous wire coil construction along with cheaply made polyurethane foam which will feel like you’re sleeping on pins and needles and only last a year– not ideal.

Offset Coils: Offset coils offer a little bit more flexibility over Bonnel coils by not connecting the coils themselves to the interior structure but rather are attached to a small piece of metal. Since there is an increased range of motion, this helps with motion isolation. 

However, they are still not as effective as pocketed coils or as durable, but they are certainly better than the other alternatives. 

What You Need To Know About Coils:

When looking at a mattress with springs, there are a few different terms that you will encounter, no matter if it is an innerspring or hybrid mattress, so there are a few things you should know, such as the coil count, coil gauge, coil density, turns or pitch.

But don’t worry, I’ll be running them through with you now.

The coil count refers to the number of coils inside the mattress. The exact number of coils depends on the mattress size and type. So if you’re buying a queen-size mattress, there will be more coils than a twin– roughly around 800 to over 1000.

The coil gauge is the thickness of the wire that makes the coils. But this doesn’t usually determine the mattress’s firmness. It is sometimes just handy to know. The coil density turns and pitches, however, determine how soft or firm the mattress feels. But let’s break this down:

  • “Coil density” refers to how tightly the coils are packed, which can affect the firmness of the mattress.
  • The “turns” is the number of turns that make up the coil or how tightly wound the coil is.
  • The “coil pitch” is how the coils are angled in relation to the mattress’s surface.

All of these factors can determine how long the mattress will last and the firmness of the mattress as a whole.

Coils make the mattress sturdy and supportive, so the higher the coil count, the better, really. However, if cheaper companies use poor quality, thin coils to achieve this higher coil count and inflate the mattress price, it can be quite difficult to determine which mattress is great or not.

High-quality spring mattresses use a mix of coil gauges to create areas where the mattress feels softer and firmer. So thinner coils may be used around the shoulder and hip areas for more pressure relief, while thicker coils are used where firmness is needed.

Pocketed coils tend to have a higher gauge between 14 and 18 and 18, so choosing a mattress without pocketed coils for a thicker gauge means giving up many benefits that these types of coils offer. It’s just good to keep in mind when choosing a hybrid of an innerspring mattress.

Pros and Cons Of An Innerspring Mattress

There are many pros and cons for all mattress types, and while innerspring mattresses may be a perfect match for some, especially hot sleepers, they may be someone else’s worst nightmare.

Innersprings tend to come at a very low price, quick availability, and cooling nature, but they make transfer motion and don’t offer the best pressure relief, and they’re likely to sag much sooner than a hybrid mattress.

Pros Of A Innerspring Mattress:

But let’s start by talking about the pros of an innerspring mattress; they’re best for those on a budget.

Affordable:

Innerspring mattresses are brilliant for those on a budget because they cost under 1000 bucks a mattress. They are much cheaper than hybrid mattresses, but with the low cost, the components tend to be a lot poorer than you would get in hybrid mattress types.

You can also often find them at most mattress showrooms, furniture stores, and even a few department stores; innerspring mattresses are the perfect choice for those than needing a mattress as soon as possible as they are the easiest mattress type to get hold of.

Cooling:

Innerspring mattresses tend to be very cool because of the thin comfort layers, so airflow passes easily through the top and the bottom of the mattress. Innerspring mattresses are by far the coolest mattresses on the market, with hybrids being second best.

This makes innerspring beds best at wicking away moisture and heat so you can sleep cool all night long.

So if you are an extremely hot sleeper, then an innerspring mattress may be best for you, but if you want the benefits of memory foam but the cooling of the springs, then hybrids are the next best thing. Plus, hybrids offer a latex alternative that has similar qualities to memory foam but has a neutral temperature.

Since innerspring mattresses are quite firm and don’t offer much pressure relief, people often turn to memory foam, but with hybrids, you get the best of both worlds, cooling and body contouring.

Cons Of An Innerspring Mattress:

There are a few drawbacks of an innerspring mattress that kind of trump the benefits, which is also why many people nowadays opt for a queen-size hybrid mattress instead of an innerspring one.

Innerspring mattresses are likely to sag, collect allergens transfer motion, all while not offering much pressure relief, even less as they age.

Motion Transfer:

Because of the way innerspring beds are designed, they are prone to motion transfer, so when you toss and turn in your sleep, every movement will be heard and move across the mattress. Pocketed springs are the best option to try and prevent this, but they don’t silence motion completely.

Unlike a hybrid mattress, whether it is a hybrid latex mattress or a hybrid memory foam mattress, there is no layer of foam to help absorb movement. Memory foam and latex are best known for reducing motion transfer, making hybrids alternative.

Pocketed springs paired with memory foam or latex not only make these mattresses best for hot sleepers, but the springs move individually, and the foam layer is known to absorb shock already, so hybrids do offer a good level of motion isolation– making them ideal for couples.

Not Much Pressure Relief:

Unlike hybrid or memory foam beds, innersprings do not offer much pressure relief as they create a very firm surface that cannot completely conform to your body. This means that innerspring mattresses are not ideal for those with chronic back pain or joint pain as it doesn’t relieve pressure points.

There are thin comfort layers, so it will leave sleepers waking up feeling sore after a restless night’s sleep. So for side sleepers or skinnier sleepers, innersprings are not recommended. Hybrid, however offers conforming capabilities of the memory foam but the coolness and bounce of the innerspring core.

So if you like the idea of the bounciness of an average innerspring mattress, then a hybrid is a great alternative and, if anything, a much better option.

Prone To Sagging:

Innerspring mattresses tend to sag much faster than any other mattress type, which can really damage your sleep quality. Springs are not as durable when pressure is placed on them every night, so they tend to have a shorter lifespan, even shorter with Bonnel springs.

A sagging mattress may cause you to wake up with about ten different aches and pains– not ideal.

Hybrid mattresses, on the other hand, last much longer because the layer of springs is protected by a few layers of memory foam on top, making them less prone to wear and tear. But if you do go for a hybrid, go for one with high-quality pocketed springs; they are individually wrapped and more durable.

Not Ideal For People With Allergies:

The comfort layer of this bouncy mattress does not do a good job at keeping out pollen, dust, dirt, dead skin cells, and other allergens, so it is not ideal for those with allergies. If you have severe allergies, I would recommend going for a hybrid option with natural latex, as it is free from chemicals and helps fight allergies.

The coils leave plenty of room for dust to settle and build up, so for those who suffer from allergies, it might not be an ideal choice. Hybrids, however, despite there being gaps between the springs, there are many layers of foam on top, so it’s difficult for dust and dirt to reach these areas.

Plus with having the mattress multiple times a week will prevent this buildup. Latex, memory foam, and hybrid mattresses often resist common allergens and provide relief for people with certain allergies.

So while innerspring mattresses might not be the right fit for those with allergies, hybrids are a great alternative if you still want the coolness of the innersprings but the contouring of memory foam.

mattress coils

Which Mattress Is Best For Me?

 So in order to work out which mattress is best for you, you’ll first want to consider your preferred sleeping position along with firmness levels and a few other factors. So let’s talk about them in more detail!

Innerspring mattresses are not recommended for side or petite sleepers as they tend to be very firm; instead, I would recommend a softer hybrid mattress or an all-foam mattress instead if you need a bit of softness and support. No one wants to wake up with aches and pains!

I broke it all down in a simple table here:

Hybrid Recommended Innerspring Reccomended
Side sleepers  Yes No

Back sleepers

Yes Yes
Stomach sleepers Yes Yes

Combination sleepers

Yes No

Petite sleepers

Yes No
Average size sleepers Yes It depends on sleep position
Plus size sleepers Yes Yes
Hot sleepers Yes Yes
Couples Yes No
what is memory foam

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, your hybrid vs. innerspring mattress showdown; after reading this guide, you may be, wow, I love an innerspring mattress, or maybe more swayed towards a combination instead. Or, if you’re still not sure, you can always check out my best mattress guide for my top recommendations of all mattress types.

Or even if you’re now stuck between memory foam vs hybrid mattress then be sure to check out that article too, it might be a lot of help. Whatever you decide, do your research and check out my recommendation guides to make your life a lot easier and happy shopping!

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