What is a hybrid mattress and are they any good?

DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress in a bedoom, with a dog lying on it
(Image credit: DreamCloud)

When mattress shopping, you may have come across models called 'hybrids' – but what does 'hybrid mattress' mean and are they good beds? To answer those questions: a hybrid mattress features a mix of materials (usually foam and springs) and they're popular among sleepers who want a balance of contouring and support.

Further proof of how much people trust hybrids is that they make up a bulk of our overall best mattress guide. For as great as hybrid mattresses are, they're not the right choice for all sleepers. Keep reading for the core characteristics of hybrids, their pros and cons, and a selection of the best hybrid mattresses across all price points.

Hybrids tend to cost more than all-foam or innerspring mattresses, but you can find mattress sales all year long. Discounts peak during major holidays, including the upcoming Presidents' Day mattress sales.

What does hybrid mattress mean?

A hybrid mattress contains foam and springs. It has a base layer for stability, a support core of wrapped coils or springs, a layer (or few) of foam (latex, memory, or gel-infused), and a breathable cover. In most cases, hybrid mattresses have stronger springs around the perimeter for edge support. 

You'll find specialty hybrids, as well. Models with Euro or pillow tops offer sink-in softness and a luxurious look. There are also cooling mattresses with advanced temperature-regulating materials and beds with zoned coils for targeted support – a feature most often found in the best mattresses for back pain.

Tuft & Needle Mint Hybrid mattress layers

An example of a typical hybrid mattress construction. (Image credit: Tuft & Needle)

Hybrid mattresses tend to cost more than those made exclusively from foam or innersprings, but you can find reliable budget-friendly options from Allswell and Linenspa. Meanwhile, DreamCloud, Helix, and Brooklyn Bedding boast solid mid-range builds while Awara, Birch, and Avocado are excellent choices if you're shopping for organic hybrids. For luxurious hotel-quality mattresses, browse Saatva and Beautyrest.

Are hybrid mattresses good?

Wondering if this is the right mattress type for you? Consider a hybrid mattress if you fall into any of the following categories:

  • Back or stomach sleepers who want a firm mattress
  • Combination sleepers who need a responsive surface
  • Larger sleepers who can benefit from more support
  • Hot sleepers – hybrids sleep cooler thanks to the springs
  • Sleepers who rely on strong edges to help get out of bed
  • Sprawlers who like to take up every inch of their sleep surface
  • Back pain sufferers, particularly hybrids with zoned coils

The easiest way to remember the pros of a hybrid mattress is that it has the best of both worlds – the contouring of foam minus the sinkage, and the responsiveness of springs but with a slightly softer touch than an innerspring bed. They're also known for their longevity, as a hybrid mattress can last up to 10 years.

What are the drawbacks of hybrid mattresses?

Hybrid mattresses can accommodate many types of sleepers, but they're not right for everyone. Consider alternatives to a hybrid mattress if you relate to the following:

  • You're a side sleeper who craves maximum contouring
  • You're a smaller sleeper who wants a softer bed
  • You share a bed with a restless partner and need good motion isolation
  • You don't want to hear creaking as the springs degrade over time
  • You want to sink into your mattress

Of course, there are exceptions. For instance, the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress is our favorite bed for couples thanks to its excellent motion isolation, and the Helix Midnight Hybrid mattress is one of the coziest side sleeper mattresses around. It helps to read reviews from experts and everyday shoppers  – and mattress trials allow you to get a feel for a hybrid at little to no risk to you.

Hybrid mattresses vs. memory foam mattresses

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress on a yellow background

The Nectar is available in memory foam or as a hybrid. (Image credit: Nectar Sleep)

What are the differences between a hybrid mattress and a memory foam mattress? Their construction, for one – hybrids rely on a support core of coils whereas memory foam beds use a high-density polyfoam core. All-foam beds are generally softer and more contouring while foam-spring hybrids have a firmer, more responsive surface.

When it comes to cooling, hybrids do a better job than memory foam mattresses. Foam is prone to trapping heat but coils allow air to flow more freely. Edge support is another advantage hybrids have over their all-foam counterparts; reinforced springs help prevent the center from premature sagging, a common issue with memory foam.

On the flip side, memory foam mattresses absorb movement better than most hybrids, so they're often recommended for sleepers who share a bed with a restless partner. Noise is another factor – over time, as the coils of a hybrid degrade, they'll begin to creak. Memory foam doesn't have that problem.

Hybrid and memory foam models make up our overall best mattress rankings. Each type has its advantages, and the right one will depend on your unique situation. If you're used to sleeping on a memory foam mattress, switching to a hybrid mattress can feel unusual at first, but you should soon adapt to your new bed. 

Our top 3 hybrid mattresses

Saatva Classic: was $1,295 $1,101 at SaatvaBest Overall -Read more: Saatva Classic mattress review

Saatva Classic: was $1,295, now from $1,101 at Saatva
Best Overall - For most people, we recommend the Saatva Classic, a luxury innerspring hybrid you can tailor to your preferred mattress firmness and height. It looks like something straight out of a 5-star suite and among luxury brands, Saatva by far offers the best extras: free white glove delivery, a one-year sleep trial, and a forever warranty. You can shop Saatva mattress sales for ways to save on this world-class hybrid.
Read more: Saatva Classic mattress review

The Allswell from $217 at Walmart
Budget Buy - Read more: The Allswell mattress review

The Allswell from $217 at Walmart
Budget Buy - The Allswell mattress is a great pickup for a guest room, dorm room, or a short-term sleep arrangement. It's nice and firm for back and front sleepers and edge support exceeded our expectations. However, at under $350 for a queen, it's not a 'forever mattress' but a serviceable 'right now' mattress.
Read more: The Allswell mattress review

The DreamCloud: was $839 $419 at DreamCloud
Affordable Luxury -Read more: The DreamCloud mattress review

The DreamCloud: was $839, now from $419 at DreamCloud
Affordable Luxury -
The DreamCloud looks and feels a lot like a hotel-quality bed, but it's one of the most affordable hybrids around at less than $800 for a queen thanks to regular DreamCloud mattress sales. Better yet, it comes with a lifetime warranty and a one-year sleep trial with free returns. If you like a firmer bed, suffer from back pain, and/or share a bed with a restless partner, the DreamCloud delivers excellent support plus superb motion isolation.
Read more: The DreamCloud mattress review

Alison Barretta
Freelance reviewer and writer

Freelance writer and editor Alison is an expert mattress tester for Tom's Guide, and hails from Philadelphia, USA. Alison has reviewed a wide range of mattresses, pillows and other sleep accessories for Tom's Guide, putting the latest hybrid, memory foam and cooling mattresses from Casper, Nectar, Awara, Brooklinen and other leading brands through their paces. Alison has been sharing buying advice and retail news for over a decade. When she isn't reviewing mattresses, other home products or hunting for great deals to save you money, Alison can be found teaching/training in martial arts, fawning over skincare, and indulging in her quarantine-borne hobby: cooking.