Memory foam has long been in development as a revolutionary new sleeping material, and after its third generation of improvement in the mid-2000s, it became the new standard for mattresses, replacing traditional structures like inner springs. Memory foam is soft and dense, responding to the weight of the people laying on it, but still firm enough to provide joint and bodily support. it’s also reasonably inexpensive, making it an option for just about any consumer. However, there are still some weaknesses associated with standard memory foam mattresses.
Recently, hybrid mattresses have emerged as an attempt to balance the weaknesses of memory foam with the strengths of other varieties of mattresses. But what is it that makes hybrid mattresses unique, and are they truly better than memory foam?
The Weaknesses of Standalone Memory Foam
Let's start by covering a few of the main weaknesses of a standalone memory foam mattress:
- Excessive dips. Memory foam is designed to be supportive, but some people find the dips in the mattress to be uncomfortable. This is a subjective factor, but an important one nonetheless. If you’re the type of person who wants firmer, more consistent support, a pure memory foam mattress won’t offer an ideal sleeping situation.
- Less support over time. Memory foam mattresses are designed to be resilient; the foam itself should provide some degree of resistance when you’re sleeping, and after you remove your weight from it, the foam should bounce back. Unfortunately, even the best-quality mattresses have a finite lifespan. Over time, the foam takes more wear and tear, and becomes less capable of bouncing back in full. This results in pure memory foam mattresses offering diminishing returns, gradually sagging in commonly worn areas and getting less supportive overall.
- Heat retention. The structure of memory foam is what makes it so comfortable; it offers many layers and is incredibly dense. But this structure also has an unfortunate side effect: retaining heat. Most people sleep better in a cool environment, favoring lower temperatures in their surroundings. But if you sleep on a purely memory foam mattress, with several inches of foam, your body heat can make you warmer than you otherwise would be. It’s possible to counter this by simply turning up the air conditioning, or turning on a fan, but this is still a less-than-ideal setup for most consumers.
- Weight. As previously stated, memory foam is a dense material. When you’re sleeping on it, this can be a good thing, but when you unpack the mattress or try to move it, it can be a major weakness. Pure memory foam mattresses are extremely heavy, making them harder to move around than other varieties.
How Hybrid Mattresses Work
The term “hybrid mattress” could refer to many different combinations, but in the modern context, it usually refers to a mattress that takes advantage of an innerspring structure as well as memory foam.
For example, at Perfect Cloud, our hybrid mattresses have a foundation that relies on individually wrapped internal springs. On top of that are several inches of memory foam, so you can keep most of the advantages of a pure memory foam mattress. Our hybrid mattresses are also infused with gel, allowing them to more efficiently distribute your body heat.
This provides several advantages over a traditional memory foam mattress:
- Consistency. Thanks to the combination of innersprings and memory foam, you should be able to have a much more consistent level of support. You won’t have the extreme dips associated with memory foam, nor will you have the excessively firm texture of springs to deal with. Instead, you get the best of both worlds, and a comfortable, consistent experience.
- Support durability. Memory foam mattresses and pure innerspring mattresses both have mechanisms that makes them degrade over time. In the previous section, we wrote about how memory foam can gradually lose its ability to bounce back, and of course, springs can wear out over time as well. But a hybrid mattress protects against these weaknesses; springs provide more support for fewer inches of memory foam, and memory foam makes it so that springs are bearing less of a load. This makes hybrid mattresses hypothetically more durable, and more consistently comfortable over time.
- Temperature dispersal. If you have a hybrid mattress with gel infusion, you’ll be able to negate the heat-trapping detriments of pure memory foam mattresses. The gel included in these structures allows your body heat to disperse evenly and quickly throughout the mattress, so you aren’t stuck trying to sleep in overly warm conditions. This is an ideal setup if you’re particularly sensitive to temperature.
- Weight reduction. Though somewhat minor compared to the other benefits, it’s important to realize that hybrid mattresses do clock in at a lower weight than their memory foam counterparts. You may still need some help moving them from place to place, but they won’t be nearly as much of a burden.
Is a Hybrid Mattress Right for You?
Though hybrid mattresses do offer many advantages, there’s no such thing as a single “best” mattress. People always have different individual preferences, and may find themselves subjectively favoring one type of mattress over another. Be sure to try out multiple types of mattresses before you make a final decision.
You’ll also need to consider the condition and nature of your current mattress before you make a purchase. For example, if your current mattress is in bad shape, and you haven’t been satisfied with its long-term support or temperature dispersal, a new hybrid mattress may be a great investment. If your mattress still has some life left in it, you may consider purchasing a gel-infused mattress topper, which can give you some extra support and temperature balance for less money.
Regardless of your current sleeping situation, Perfect Cloud likely has an ideal option for you. Our selection of mattresses, mattress toppers, pillows, and wedges is unparalleled. Browse our most popular offerings, and discover how you can get better sleep, night after night.