For many of us, there’s a tension at play during sleep. Should we purchase a firm, springy mattress, or something softer? What’s best for our body? Furthermore – isn’t there a choice for those who want a happy medium, instead of rolling to either extreme?
There is, of course: the hybrid mattress. It sits between the ‘sprung’ and ‘soft’ ends of the spectrum, making it a safe bet for a comfortable night’s sleep. But what is it made of, and how is a hybrid mattress made? We’re here to answer your questions once and for all.
Read our essential hybrid mattress guide to learn everything you need to know before making this ‘dream’ investment…
What is a hybrid mattress?
These items are quite something – representing some of the best advantages, you might say, in modern mattress production. Hybrids are a mix of the supportive and yielding traits found elsewhere, at either extreme, in other mattresses.
Instead of an all-foam, gel foam or latex item, you get straight-backed support; a combination of springs and foam, gel or latex, depending on the manufacturer. The coils are laid beneath layers of foam to make for a three or four-tier build. A final cooling layer is applied on top so you don’t get too warm. This means you’re able to regulate breathability, contouring, and the extent to which you’re able to get in and out of bed with a firm surface for balance.
Who are hybrid mattresses suited for?
Hybrid mattresses aren’t for everyone, but their ‘best of both worlds’ design makes them incredibly popular – especially amongst couples who can’t decide whether to opt for memory foam or pocket sprung mattresses.
The memory foam mattress is often associated with luxury, but it’s also good for a handful of chronic conditions. Anyone with a hip, neck or shoulder problem is likely to enjoy a foam design. However, many sleepers find they get too hot at night or that they dislike the deep-sink features. Whilst materials such as laygel mediate the issue somewhat, they aren’t as breathable as traditional mattresses.
Meanwhile, a pocket sprung mattress caters for buyers who don’t tend to curl or twist as they’re sleeping. Stability takes centre stage, helping a stretched-out posture or the sort that leaves people on their back, staring up from the pillow. Weight has more even distribution thanks to the coils in each ‘pocket’ beneath the fabric. You can use your palms to spring out of bed in the morning, or crash onto it with a little bounce, looking forward to a straighter spine when you’re under the covers.
As we’ve said, then, hybrid mattresses land somewhere in the middle. It keeps the spine aligned, as well as the head and neck. There’s a certain degree of sink-ability that will appeal to those who sleep on their side and front or back; it’s the most adaptable mattress you can own. For couples, it’s also a happy compromise, as movements at night won’t wake the other partner with undue springiness.
Additionally, you won’t have to make drastic changes to your bedding through the year – piling on layers for winter (pocket sprung) or stripping your duvet for summer (memory foam). There’s a natural temperature balance, leaving hybrid mattresses in a fantastic position for easy, flexible rest.
Who are they not suited for?
Whilst the majority of sleepers warm to these all-round properties, some don’t, which is fine. There are plenty of other options to take in; finding the right design for your sleeping preferences is key. So let’s explore the drawbacks and how to counter them…
Firstly, hybrid mattresses tend to cost a little more than their peers. It shouldn’t be a gargantuan step up for your budget, but it will be an increase nonetheless. Therefore, if you’re swaying towards memory foam or pocket sprung mattresses and you’re on a tight budget, you may be better going with these models instead.
Weight may also be a factor. Hybrids are heavier than pocket sprung and single coil mattresses. Partly, that’s why they’re not built for flipping – but they’re tough to move when you’re ready for a new property. Two or three people are required for transport, at the very least. Then again, it’s a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things.
Finally, they’re not 100% degradable, unlike latex mattresses, for instance, which come from the rubber tree. To counter this, if you decide to buy a hybrid mattress, look closely at the companies you’re considering buying from. Tweak, for example, use organic products wherever possible in our mattresses, and manufacture them in the UK to minimise our environmental impact.
How is a hybrid mattress made?
Mattresses have their own distinct creation process. For hybrids, you should focus on three key words: ‘coil’, ‘latex’ and ‘foam’. Together they merge for the variety you’re searching for, with high-level craftsmanship going into the most luxurious designs on the market.
Their development goes like this:
- Coiled springs are made and fastened to the hollow mattress frame, where the support core lies. There are around 1000 springs in a great mattress, and between 600-700 in a mid-tier model. A support core, in effect, absorbs most of the impact you put the mattress through over its lifespan. It’s made of a tougher foam that can survive mould and mildew, as well as heavy pressure.
- The springs comprise a pocket – hence the term ‘pocket sprung’. These are the base for the reflex, memory or gel-foam material to rest upon. Typically, the support system is 6 to 7 inches in height, with vessels running vertically and horizontally along the length and width of the design.
- The top layer is cut and measured until it’s ready for application. Synthetic components like latex or gel can be used instead of foam, depending on the item. As we’ve mentioned, foam is less breathable than the gel variant. The downside? Gel doesn’t last as long. Its' impressionable qualities will start to diminish with a couple of years’ use.
- The second and third layers are fixed into place. A true hybrid has a thicker insulator than the spring base upon which it rests.
- Stitching is applied around the mattress, providing the decorative and unifying aspects of the final product. Some companies may introduce a final ‘pillow layer’, but this is quite rare.
As you can see, a hybrid mattress layers up like a cake – a delicious rest is assured for those who love these complementary factors, all of which work in unison. However, not all hybrids are born equal. You should check for signs that you’re getting value for money: a subject that we’re about to dive into…
What is a good hybrid mattress?
There’s a persistent myth about mattresses: that, first and foremost, you should try them out for yourself in a showroom. Lying down and shifting position – paying attention to the sink vs. spring – is meant to be a good grade for deciding on a model you’ll appreciate.
Really, though, many of the top mattresses are found online. And even if you do locate a hybrid mattress in person, chances are that there’s more than meets the eye, or rather, a brief spell of time with the item. In that case, we advise talking to a professional – the person selling the mattress should know a thing or two about it, including the safety and allergenic properties.
So, ask them some of the following:
How do you define a hybrid mattress?
Since hybrids are most certainly on trend, too many sellers are throwing the name out like a catch-all label. But in reality, there are some marks of ‘official’ hybrid production. One is that the mattress isn’t packed with fibre. Another is the standard we use at Tweak, whereby multiple foam inserts are used, making up the bulk of the mattress; it isn’t just a sprung style with extra padding.
Can you flip a hybrid mattress?
This might catch a dishonest supplier out. Essentially, modern mattresses don’t need to be flipped – merely rotated 180 degrees every now and then to avoid pressure building at either end. But flipping isn’t necessary. When you have a hybrid mattress, and turn it over, you’ll be ruining the precision of the multi-layer design. Should the seller claim otherwise, they don’t really know what this mattress type represents.
Which chemicals have been used to make the insulator?
If the answer is mercury, formaldehyde, phthalates, lead or any other irritant, you may want to avoid them. It depends, of course, whether you’re allergic to some natural or synthetic products. If the top layer is 100% natural cotton, you’ll avoid coming into contact with the foam or gel block directly; a crucial distinction for sensitive sleepers. At Tweak, we don’t use synthetic latex at all, so you’re free from dust and allergenic risks.
Is the coil count under or over 1000?
If there are too many coils, the surface will be incredibly rigid. It’s just as critical as having a spring count that isn’t too low, either. The 1000 mark is a good aim.
Is there an option to customise my model?
With Tweak there is! Our bespoke offer is like nothing else on the market. We can adjust the perfect hybrid model until it’s primed for your contours, sleep style and any aches or pains you may experience. Head to the bottom of our guide for more details on our revolutionary mattress approach.
Why a custom hybrid mattress is the choice you’ve been waiting for
We hope our guide has given you an insight into why hybrid mattresses are a force to be reckoned with. But we firmly believe that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to sleep, even with something as versatile as a hybrid!
Pleasure, durability, and a broad level of personalisation – these are the traits that have inspired Tweak since we began to make our mark on the mattress scene. And we really have… Our models are one-of-a-kind in the UK.
When you buy a mattress online from us, you can pick the exact proportions with layers of foam, relevant to your preference and body type. Five comfort zones rock on the 1000-strong pocket springs below, for a hybrid mattress that lives up to the name.
Plus, you can change it further if you sleep with someone; each partner has their half of the bed to Tweak, so you can both rest your own way. We call it the DUO mattress and the foam positioning is super flexible for any preferences you and your partner have.
Head to our website for an introduction to the Tweak philosophy. Or instead, read some reviews of our mattresses and those of our competitors. We aren’t afraid to show you how we match up.