Hybrid mattress vs hybrid bed topper: which is best for you?

The Saatva Micro-Coil Hybrid Mattress Topper vs the Saatva Classic Hybrid Mattress
(Image credit: Saatva)

Both hybrid mattresses and hybrid bed toppers can offer the perfect balance between the comfort of foam and the support of coils or springs, but which should you buy? In this hybrid mattress vs hybrid bed topper piece, we'll take a look at the pros and cons of the two, and which one is better for your sleep.

A hybrid bed is the best mattress if you want a combination of cushioning memory foam and supportive coils. Hybrid mattress toppers, meanwhile, can offer the  benefits of a hybrid bed at a lower price. While our top picks in our best mattress toppers guide are all-foam or latex, hybrid mattress toppers are a growing market and are set to become more popular in the future.

Here, we'll explore the key differences between hybrid mattresses vs mattress toppers in terms of design, support, and comfort. Plus, we'll explore which suits your budget more and the best hybrid mattresses and hybrid bed toppers to buy in this month's mattress sales

What is a hybrid mattress?

The best hybrid mattresses combine foam (usually memory foam or latex foam) and springs or coils to create a balance between body-hugging pressure relief and enhanced, responsive support. The foam tiers are often called "comfort layers", while the tier of springs or coils are often called "support layers". 

While luxury hybrid mattresses can be shipped flat and in their original shape, a lot of the best mattresses in a box are hybrid. Hybrids tend to be more expensive than the best memory foam mattresses, but plenty of the best cheap mattresses have hybrid designs, too. 

What are hybrid mattress toppers?

Hybrid mattress toppers are a relatively new invention, but they are designed to be placed on top of a mattress to alter its feel just like any other bed topper. These bed toppers, like hybrid mattresses, combine foam with coils to add both comfort and support to beds. Most hybrid mattress toppers are called microcoil toppers as they use microcoils (coils that are designed to be smaller and more flexible than standard mattress coils) for enhanced support. 

Traditionally, the best memory foam mattress toppers are the most popular - and more affordable - kind (followed by latex, wool, and down toppers), but hybrid or microcoil mattress toppers are an emerging market that can cater to those who don't like the ultra-plush feel of most toppers.

Hybrid mattress vs hybrid bed topper: Price and deals

While you can get a hybrid mattress in a queen size for under $500, a lot of the best luxury mattresses come in a hybrid design thanks to the deluxe combo of premium foam and strong, sturdy coils. On average, a queen-size hybrid mattress costs around $1,250, but a mid-range queen hybrid will usually cost under $1,000. Hybrid mattresses are also frequently on sale, so you'll rarely have to pay full retail price.

The Saatva Micro-Coil Hybrid Mattress Topper in al light bedroom

(Image credit: Saatva)

Hybrid bed toppers cost much less than most hybrid mattresses, with the average queen-size hybrid mattress topper costing between $350 to $500. However, some hybrid mattress toppers aren't on sale as frequently as their mattress counterparts.

Trials and warranties also tend to be shorter for bed toppers, too. For instance, Brooklyn Bedding's Microcoil Mattress Topper can be returned within 30 days after date of purchase, while the brand's hybrid mattresses come with a 120-night sleep trial. Likewise, Saatva's hybrid mattresses all come with a 1-year sleep trial and lifetime warranty, while their Micro-Coil Mattress Topper comes with a 180-night sleep trial and a 1-year limited warranty.

Hybrid mattress vs hybrid bed topper: Design and materials

A hybrid mattress usually has some variation of the following design: 

  • A breathable or cooling cover
  • A top comfort layer of body-contouring memory foam or gel foam
  • A transition layer of foam
  • A tier of springs or coils
  • A sturdy base layer
  • A shift-resistant lower cover

Hybrid mattresses tend to be around 10" to 15" tall, with the spring or coil layer being the thickest. They often come with a pillow-top design to add comfort and cooling tech to add temperature regulation. Most hybrid mattresses rely on memory foam to add cushioning, but many hybrid mattresses use different types of foam. For example, the best organic mattresses tend to combine coils with latex foam. 

In contrast, hybrid toppers have fewer layers and a thinner design of around 3" to 4" (which is pretty thick compared to other mattress toppers), with around one or two layers of foam and one layer of microcoils, plus a breathable or cooling cover. The bottom layer tends to be high-density foam for support, while the top layer of foam is for comfort. Some also come with anchor straps to stop the topper from shifting on top of the bed.

The Brooklyn Bedding Microcoil Mattress Topper's multiple layers

(Image credit: Brooklyn Bedding)

Due to their thinner designs and microcoils (which, like all coils, can wear out quite quickly) hybrid mattress toppers will need to be replaced every three to five years, while a hybrid mattress can last around eight to 10 years. The shorter lifespan of hybrid toppers is why you tend to see a shorter warranty.

Hybrid mattress vs hybrid bed topper: support & comfort

Hybrid mattresses are great for those looking for both comfort and support, and they are available in a range of sizes and firmness levels. A lot of hybrid mattresses come in a medium-firm, a firmness rating that suits most sleep positions and body types, but you can also get firm or plush hybrid mattresses. Their coils also maximize airflow, so they tend to be more suitable than memory foam beds for hot sleepers.

DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress

(Image credit: DreamCloud)

Unlike hybrid mattresses, hybrid bed toppers cannot be used alone and should be placed on top of a mattress. These toppers are more responsive than all-foam toppers and are designed to replicate the bouncy, supportive feel of an innerspring bed, making them the perfect companion for a memory foam mattress that's too sink-in soft. Their micro coils also mean that they sleep much cooler than all-foam toppers, so are great at adding temperature regulation to a mattress that sleeps too warm.

However, while hybrid mattress toppers are great for boosting the support, temperature control, and firmness of a mattress, they should not be used to save a sagging, unsupportive mattress that's older than 10 years old.

Hybrid mattress vs hybrid bed topper: which should you choose?

Buy a hybrid mattress if...

 Your mattress is over 10 years old and unsupportive. Hybrid toppers should not be used to fix a sagging, unsupportive mattress that's over a decade old. 

✅ You share a bed with a restless partner. A lot of hybrid toppers don't come with anchor straps to keep the topper in place, so you might want to try a hybrid bed with individually wrapped springs and a memory foam surface for strong motion isolation.

✅ You can afford to buy a new mattress. Hybrid mattresses can be quite expensive but can be an amazing investment, so we suggest replacing your mattress when you have the budget to do so.

Buy a hybrid mattress topper if...

✅ You don't like the feel of your memory foam bed. While some love the sink-in softness and body-hugging comfort of memory foam, some find it too soft and stifling. A hybrid mattress topper can give your all-foam bed more bounce and support for a firmer feel.

✅ You're on a tight budget. Hybrid mattress toppers are much cheaper than a full-fledged hybrid mattress, so it's the best option if you don't have the budget to replace your mattress.

 You're sleeping hot. If you find your bed too warm, you can add a hybrid mattress topper to introduce some ventilating coils and cooling covers to your mattress.

The top 4 hybrid mattresses and hybrid mattress toppers to buy 

1. Saatva Classic Mattress$1,395 $1,186 at Saatva

1. Saatva Classic Mattress: from $1,395 $1,186 at Saatva
The Saatva Classic is our top pick for both best hybrid mattress and best mattress overall thanks to its firmness options and generous extras, including a 365-night sleep trial, lifetime warranty, and white glove delivery. Our reviewers for the Saatva Classic mattress review were also impressed with its pressure relief and temperature regulation. Right now, there's a 15% off Saatva mattress sale, taking a queen-size Classic down to $1,781. 

2. Dream Cloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress: $839 $419 at DreamCloud

2. Dream Cloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress: from $839 $419 at DreamCloud
There's up to 50% off the DreamCloud Hybrid Mattress right now thanks to an evergreen DreamCloud mattress sale -  a queen costs just $665, which is an incredible price for a luxury hybrid mattress. Like the Saatva Classic. it comes with a 1-year sleep trial and lifetime warranty, and our DreamCloud mattress review loved its motion isolation, temperature regulation, and luxe feel. 

3. Saatva Micro-Coil Mattress Topper:  $325 at Saatva

3. Saatva Micro-Coil Mattress Topper: from $325 at Saatva
The Saatva Micro-Coil Topper is 3" thick and features body-cradling micro-coils topped with gel-infused foam comfort. The cover is made from breathable organic cotton and comes with anchor straps to stop the topper from shifting. A queen size is now $475, and all sizes come with a 1-year warranty and 180-night sleep trial. We haven't had the chance to test this topper out yet, but it's received an overall rating of 4+ stars out of 45k online reviews. 

4. Brooklyn Bedding Microcoil Mattress Topper: $400$300 at Brooklyn Bedding

4. Brooklyn Bedding Microcoil Mattress Topper: from $400 $300 at Brooklyn Bedding
This hybrid topper has a 3.75" design featuring a GlacioTex cooling cover, premium comfort foam for plushness, 0.75" micro wrapped coils, and a base of high density foam.  You can currently get 25% off this topper, with a queen down to $495 from $660.

Frances Daniels
Sleep Staff Writer

Frances Daniels is a Sleep Staff Writer at Tom's Guide and her role includes covering all mattress and sleep news, in addition to mattress reviews and buyer's guides, plus sleep accessories such as pillows and mattress toppers. Frances is a PPA-accredited journalist and is hugely interested in the relationship between good sleep and overall health. When not writing about mattresses and sleep for Tom's Guide, Frances enjoys writing about women's issues, health and wellbeing, the environment, and her native Wales.