What type of mattress is best for me? What type of mattress do I need?
These and similar questions are often asked by people who are considering buying a new bed. Here you will find the answer.
In this article I have something a little bit different for you.
Instead of comparing two specific mattresses head to head, I’m actually gonna be talking about two different types of mattresses, that being hybrid versus all foam.
I do talk about some of the differences between hybrids and all foams in other articles, but here you will find a full detailed breakdown on why you might want to get a hybrid and why you might want to get an all foam.
Table of Contents
Let’s start by discussing the materials in general.
A mattress is designed to provide you with support and comfort and every mattress I’ve ever seen has different layers dedicated to both.
You have mattresses with all foam support layers or coil support layers.
Nowadays the vast majority of beds that use coils for support use something called pocketed coils as opposed to traditional inner springs.
Traditional inner springs are just one big interconnected unit and it was really easy to transfer motion through the mattress because what you did on one side affected the other.
Nowadays most hybrid beds are made with what’s called pocketed coils and they’re quite a bit different than those inner springs.
They’re actually individually wrapped and lightly woven together, which means that the coils themselves are able to behave more independently than old school inner springs did.
If you remember sleeping on an inner spring bed when you were growing up or you sleep on one now, you don’t really like it, just know that most modern hybrid coil beds aren’t really going to resemble the bed you might be thinking of.
Let’s start breaking down some of the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid beds and all foam beds.
Starting with that topic of motion isolation that I just mentioned.
You might remember when memory foam beds first started to become popular in the early 2000s, brands like Tempur-Pedic really like to show that their beds were good at isolating motion by jumping on the bed with a glass of wine on it. They showed how a glass of red wine didn’t tip over even when jumping up and down.
This has been a pretty popular thing to test ever since.
I actually test motion isolation on all beds and it’s especially important for couples sharing a mattress because it can help you get more restful sleep by making your partner’s movement less likely to wake you up.
All foam beds just perform in general a bit better in this category.
It’s obviously going to depend on the mattress and the comfort foams used in the mattress. But it makes a lot of sense because a foam is just going to be a bit less bouncy and naturally transfer less motion through the mattress.
However, because all these modern coil beds use pocketed coils, they are not that far behind in this category and it will depend on the mattress you choose.
For example, a memory foam hybrid is going to be a bit better at isolating motion than an all latex bed.
Support, Durability & Body Weight
But on the other hand, one of the primary reasons I recommend people look at a hybrid mattress has to do with support, durability and the sleeper’s body weight.
A coil mattress is just going to provide sleepers with more long-term support and durability in comparison to a foam.
If you are a heavier person in the 250-pound range, you’ll likely be just fine on an all foam mattress for the first several years, but you want your new mattress to last a minimum of seven years, hopefully longer.
If you are heavier you’re just going to put more pressure on your mattress on a nightly basis and a hybrid mattress is just going to have less of a chance of developing body impressions over those years.
Again it’s definitely going to vary depending on the specific mattress you end up going with.
A really high quality bed made entirely of foam is probably going to last a bit longer than a super budget tier hybrid. And something really good is probably going to last you way beyond that 10 year mark.
But in general, if you are heavier or just in general worried about durability, you’re probably going to want to go with a hybrid bed.
Airflow and Cooling
Let’s touch briefly on the subject of airflow, which is another category that hybrids generally do a bit better in.
Having solid airflow in your mattress is a key factor in making sure your bed doesn’t sleep really hot at night.
Since support foam is a big slab of foam, there’s way more material for air to travel through as opposed to coils, which are naturally open and airy.
Bear in mind other factors, like your bed frame. Platform bed frames usually don’t allow for as much air flow as a slotted bed frame.
Also, the actual comfort foams used in the mattress and any other cooling factors they put in.
Hybrid beds just going to usually do a bit better in terms of airflow.
Another underrated factor is the actual physical weight of the mattress.
You probably don’t think about this at all. I think about it a lot, especially because I have to move beds around all the time.
But if you have some kind of physical impairment or maybe you’re getting older, you probably don’t want to have to move around a bed that’s heavy
When you’re making your bed trying to lift the corners with a fitted sheet on can be a bit of a hassle.
All foam beds are just going to be generally lighter than their hybrid counterparts. This isn’t to say that hybrid beds are always going to be heavier. In fact some of the heaviest beds out there are actually full latex mattresses.
But in general a basic all foam mattress is going to be a bit lighter than a hybrid.
The last big factor I’m going to want to talk about is in regards to pricing.
Like everything I’ve talked about so far, it’s going to vary depending on the mattress you choose, but in general all foam beds are just going to be a bit more affordable than hybrids.
For example, the original Casper mattress comes in an all foam version and a hybrid version and the all foam version is around $1100 for a queen size. If you want to get that hybrid version, it’s around $1300. So an extra $200.
Looking at Purple, the original Purple mattress that uses support foam as opposed to coils is $1200 for a queen, while the Purple hybrid, which uses the same amount of that hyper-elastic polymer material in its comfort layers is $1800 for those coils.
If you’re really watching your wallet, an all foam bed might be the way to go. Again it’s going to depend on the specific mattress you want to buy.
That’s just about going to wrap up this article.
I really hope you found it helpful, maybe you got some useful tools to help you out with your mattress search.
While there’s no way to objectively say that a hybrid bed is going to be better than all foam or vice versa, here are some factors you should keep in mind.
Hybrids are usually going to be your better bet in the categories of long term support, durability and airflow.
While all foam beds are going to be lighter, easier to move, more affordable and isolate motion a bit better.
Alex P. Davis has a BA in Interior Design from The New York School of Interior Design and 10 years of experience expertly designing sophisticated interiors.