5 signs you'd sleep better on a plush hybrid mattress, not a medium firm

A couple go shopping for a plush hybrid mattress to help them sleep better than on the medium-firm bed they currently have
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Could a plush hybrid mattress be your ideal this Memorial day? Hybrid beds (foam and coils) feature heavily in our best mattress of the year guide, but many of these come in a medium firm rating only. For brands that only make one mattress, medium firm is seen as the best ‘one size fits all’ option, and it’s fair to say that they are a good fit for a variety of sleeping styles.

But, as we all know, one size doesn’t really fit all. So if you’re not sleeping well on an existing medium firm mattress or are wondering if a plush hybrid would be a better buy in the Memorial Day mattress sales, this is the guide for you. We’ll explain what a plush hybrid mattress is and the five signs that suggest you'd sleep far better on one. Let’s get started…

What is a plush hybrid mattress?

A plush hybrid mattress, sometimes called a medium soft hybrid mattress, is one with a firmness rating of 4/10 or under, and many of this year's best hybrid mattresses for all sleepers are available in a plush comfort level. These mattresses provide a soft and cushioning feel at the top for enhanced pressure relief, whilst also including a layer of coils for added support. 

The coils can also be good news for hot sleepers, as they’ll help more air to circulate. In general, plush hybrid mattresses can sleep a little warmer, due to the fact you’ll sink deeper into the mattress.

Image shows the Saatva Classic plush hybrid mattress on a wooden bedframe in a neutral bedroom styled with a large green houseplant climbing the wall

The Saatva Classic is the best plush hybrid mattress we've tested (Image credit: Saatva)

The comfort materials on the top of the coils can be made up of a variety of foams and fillings. Memory foam is a popular choice, as it contours to the sleeper and gives a body hugging feel.

The ultimate plush hybrid mattresses often have a pillow tip, which is an extra layer of soft padding sewn onto the top. These are made up of materials such as fiberfill, foam, or latex, adding an extra plushness to the mattress. Our round up of the best pillow top mattresses should be your first stop if you’re on the hunt for a plush hybrid mattress.

Today's top plush hybrid mattress sales

5 signs you need a plush hybrid mattress, not a medium firm

1. You sleep on your side

Side sleepers need more cushioning around high impact pressure areas such as the shoulders, hips, and knees. If you sleep on your side for hours on end, you’ll be putting continuous pressure on these parts of the body and, without enough cushioning and pressure relief, you’re likely to wake up with pain. 

Many of our recommended best mattresses for side sleepers are plush hybrid options, as whilst side sleepers need cushioning, they also need support to stop their hips from sinking too far into the mattress, throwing the spine out of alignment. The extra support from a coil layer allows for plenty of pressure relief, without letting sleepers sink too far into the mattress.

2. You’re a lightweight build

We should stress that again, one size doesn’t fit all here, but lighter weight sleepers often need a plusher bed. With less weight to push into the mattress, lightweight sleepers will still need contouring around their joints to prevent pressure from building up. 

Of course, there will be some lightweight sleepers who prefer a firmer mattress, but in general a plush mattress is a better option. Adding in the hybrid element also helps to ensure that lightweight sleepers don’t sink in too far, which can be a problem with all-foam beds. 

A plush hybrid will provide just the right blend of comfort and support for smaller bodies. There is one caveat to this and that’s lightweight stomach sleepers, who will need a firmer mattress to keep their hips aligned with the spine. 

A woman with long dark hair wakes up after an uncomfortable night's sleep on a hybrid mattress as she's really better off sleeping on a plush hybrid mattress

(Image credit: Getty Images)

3. You’re waking up with aches and pains

As you’ll no doubt be aware, waking up with aches and pains doesn’t necessarily mean that your mattress is too firm. In fact, many of the best mattresses for back pain are medium firm. But some pain is definitely related to sleeping on a mattress that’s too firm. 

If your joints are pressure against a surface that’s too firm, pressure points can build up as there’s no give in the mattress. As mentioned above, this is particularly noticeable if you’re a side sleeper, as you’ll be putting a lot of pressure on your shoulders, hips, and knees through the night.

If you’re waking up with aches and pains in these joints, it’s likely that your mattress is too firm for your sleeping style. You may also notice pain in your neck – often down to us involuntarily tensing up as we sleep due to the pressure points forming at our joints.

4. You like a more contouring feel

Many of the plush hybrid mattresses on the market offer a combination of body-hugging foams, combined with supportive coils. This means you can experience the ‘hug’ which memory foam is famous for, without being completely enveloped by the mattress. 

A mattress that isn’t cradling you sufficiently is not going to lead to a restful night’s sleep

Many hybrid beds come in a medium firm rating, but there are plusher hybrids available too. A lot of them have a quilted pillow top, combined with multiple comfort layers before you get to the coil layer.

Meaning that you’ll get far more sinkage and body contouring with these mattresses than you would with a medium firm option. Deeper sinkage in a mattress can also be really useful if you’re prone to tossing and turning at night, as the ‘hug’ will help to keep you in one place.

5. You’re not getting enough sleep 

Probably the most common sign that your mattress isn’t right for you is that you’re not getting enough sleep. If you’re currently sleeping on a firmer mattress and waking up frequently through the night, or waking up feeling exhausted in the morning, then the mattress could be the culprit. Struggling to find a comfortable position on a mattress that isn’t cradling you sufficiently is not going to lead to a restful night’s sleep.

Of course, before you blame the mattress, do look at other things that could be preventing you from getting enough sleep. Many of us simply go to bed too late, and then lie there staring at the blue screens of our devices. Neither of these things are conducive to rest. Try these tips for resetting your sleep schedule before you rush out to purchase a new mattress. 

The 3 best plush hybrid mattresses in Memorial Day sales

1. Saatva Classic: was from $1,395now $995 at Saatva

1. Saatva Classic: was from $1,395 now $995 at Saatva
The Saatva Classic is available in three firmness options – choose plush for the softest feel. Unlike some plush hybrid mattresses, you’ll still sleep ‘on’ the Saatva rather than sinking in, and as we explain in our Saatva Classic mattress review the luxury innerspring offers enhanced lumbar support and lots of cushioning comfort. The new Saatva mattress sale takes $400 off all sizes, discounting a queen size from $1,695. You’ll also get a 365-night trial, lifetime warranty and free old mattress removal.

2. Helix Midnight Luxe mattress: was from $1373.80now $961.66 at Helix

2. Helix Midnight Luxe mattress: was from $1373.80 now $961.66 at Helix
As we explain in our Helix Midnight Luxe mattress review, this side sleeper mattress offers exceptional pressure relief and a plusher hybrud sleep surface than the original Helix Midnight. Although currently listed on Helix’s website at 25% off, the code MEMDAY30 will get you 30% off plus two free pillows. This takes the price of a queen mattress down to $1,780 (was $2,373) in the new Helix mattress sale. You'll get a 100-night trial, 15-year warranty and free shipping too.

3. Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid: was from $865now $648.80 at Brooklyn Bedding

3. Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid: was from $865 now $648.80 at Brooklyn Bedding
The Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid is a cheaper option (relatively speaking) that comes in three firmness levels. Choose soft and add the optional Cloud Pillow Top for extra contouring and pressure relief. This is a supportive and slightly bouncy mattress, with excellent motion isolation. And there’s currently 25% off the mattress with code MEMORIAL25, reducing a queento $1,299 (was $1,732). You’ll also get a 120-night trial, 10-year warranty and free shipping. 

Jo Plumridge
Mattress tester and sleep writer

Jo Plumridge is an experienced mattress reviewer with several years' experience covering all things mattresses and sleep, and who tests memory foam, hybrid and organic mattresses. What Jo doesn't know about a boxed mattress isn't worth knowing, so naturally we tasked her with producing a series of features for Tom's Guide looking at all aspects of mattresses, from how to pick between latex and memory foam (it's a tricky one), to the seven mistakes people make when buying a mattress for the first time. When testing the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid for Tom's Guide, Jo said: "I loved the back support and pressure relief it offered. Plus, it looks far more expensive than it is." When she isn’t writing about sleep, Jo also writes extensively on interior design, home products and photography.