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5 signs you should be sleeping on a hybrid mattress, not a memory foam bed

 A woman in a brown t-shirt massages her painful lower back because she's sleeping on a memory foam mattress that's too soft for her and she should switch to a hybrid bed.
A woman in a brown t-shirt massages her painful lower back because she's sleeping on a memory foam mattress that's too soft for her and she should switch to a hybrid bed.

Have you fallen out of love with your memory foam mattress? While this body-hugging material is popular with millions of sleepers, it isn't for everyone. And if you're finding yourself waking up a lot in the night because you're too hot, or you simply hate the feeling of being hugged by your cuddly foam mattress, these are just two of the common signs that you should be sleeping on a hybrid bed instead.

When it comes to hybrid vs memory foam mattresses, both deliver high quality support and pressure relief, but the feel and temperature regulation performance are hugely different. As are things like edge support (the part of a mattress that makes it easier to get in and out of bed).

Many of this year's best mattresses for all sleepers are a hybrid design (foam and coils), so there's plenty of choice if you do decide to switch. Most of them are currently discounted in the Presidents' Day mattress sales too so now is a good time to buy. Here are the five common signs that you should be sleeping on a hybrid bed and not a memory foam one...

What is a hybrid mattress?

A hybrid mattress is any mattress that mix springs and foam (memory, latex, or gel-infused). The usual hybrid design features internal layers of foam for comfort, a tier of springs or coils for support, a breathable top cover, and a stabilizing base cover. Some also come with either a Euro top vs pillow top for extra plushness.

Hybrids are universally popular (and more expensive) due to combining the best of both worlds: the cushioning comfort of foam with the breathability and support of springs. Some of the brands behind the best hybrid mattresses include Saatva, DreamCloud, and Nectar, and they also throw regular sales. However, many luxury sleep brands sell hybrid mattress, including eco mattress brands (such as Avocado and Awara) who usually make latex hybrids.

The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress photographed in our testing studio on a light wooden bed frame and with a blue light shining in the corner
The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress photographed in our testing studio on a light wooden bed frame and with a blue light shining in the corner

What is a memory foam mattress?

A memory foam mattress is a bed made entirely from memory foam and other foams. These all-foam beds are perfect for those in need of body-moulding pressure relief, such as side sleepers and those with joint pain. They also have great motion isolation for couples thanks to memory foam's slow-moving properties.

The typical structure of a memory foam mattress includes a top layer of gel-infused memory foam for pressure relief and cooling properties, a supportive layer for bounce and spinal alignment, and a foundation layer of foam that keeps the mattress stable, as well as a anti-shift bottom cover and breathable top cover. Some of the top-rated and most affordable mattress brands are behind all-foam beds, typically because they tend to be cheaper than hybrids. Some of the brands behind the best memory foam mattresses include Nectar, Siena, and Casper.

However, despite their sink-in softness and body-adapting comfort, memory foam do have a few issues. They can be a little too plush for those who need firm support, such s stomach sleepers, and have a tendency to trap body heat.

5 signs you’re better off on a hybrid vs memory foam mattress

1. You’re waking up because you’re too warm

Memory foam is notorious for absorbing body heat, causing some sleepers to feel overheated at night. This hot sleep surface is due to memory foam using both weight and body heat to offer pressure relief, so a side effect of this body-adapting comfort is rapped heat.

While a lot of memory foam mattresses today have some cooling features, such as gel and copper infusions, breathable cover, and perforated foam, hybrids tend to sleep much cooler thanks to their air-circulating springs.

2. You hate feeling 'hugged' by the mattress

While a lot of sleepers (particularly lightweight and side sleepers0 love the traditional "hug" of memory foam, others can feel trapped and stifled by it. Hybrid sleep surfaces tend to have less of a sinking feeling and more bounce  — ideal for those who prefer to rest upon the mattress rather than dip into it.

A man struggles with restless leg syndrome at night as he tries to fall asleep
A man struggles with restless leg syndrome at night as he tries to fall asleep

3. You can’t move around in bed or get out easily

Another drawback of the traditional memory foam "hug" is the lack of responsiveness, which can make it quite a challenge to move around or get a good night's sleep if you're a combination sleeper. Restless sleepers may also feel immobilized when tossing and turning. In hybrids, the added layer of springs add a responsive, bouncy feel to the mattress, making it easier to move around.

4. You’re missing the bounce of an innerspring

While you'll find foam in a lot of high-quality mattresses, innerspring beds (although less durable and less plush) are still popular budget mattresses. If you've slept on an innerspring your whole life and switched to memory foam, you may find the all-foam  bed lacks the same bounce. Hybrid mattresses can offer the bounce of an innerspring, with the comfort and pressure relief of memory foam.

5. Your foam mattress is soft where it shouldn’t be

Some sleepers (particularly stomach, heavyweight, and back sleepers) need firm support in some areas, particularly the middle section. If the mattress is too soft to support the hip region, this can cause the hips to sag into the mattress. This sagging can lead to the spine becoming misaligned and, in turn, lead to lower back pain.

If you're waking up with lower back pain and sleep on a memory foam bed, it may be a sign you need to switch to a hybrid bed. Memory foam mattresses can lose their elasticity and start sagging over time, causing them to become too soft in places that face the most pressure. Hybrids, on the other hand, have the support and responsiveness of springs to make the mattress firmer.

Can a mattress topper make a difference?

Yes, mattress toppers are a great way to add some firmness to a memory foam mattress if you are not able to currently buy a new hybrid mattress. The best mattress toppers are usually to make a firm mattress softer, but there are a number of latex and memory foam toppers designed to add firmness and support to a mattress. If you're looking for firmer support and even weight distribution, the thicker and denser the topper, the better.

Toppers are the most cost-effective way to add support to a memory foam bed, but there are a lot of budget hybrid mattresses available. Some of our top picks for the best cheap mattress are available in both memory foam and hybrid versions, and you can find some great options now for under $500.

Our top memory foam and hybrid mattresses to buy now

DreamCloud Hybrid: from $839 $419 at DreamCloud Sleep
The DreamCloud mattress is one of the most affordable luxury hybrids on the market. With a high firmness rating of 8/10, this will have all kinds of sleepers feeling supported. Our DreamCloud mattress review also found the mattress to sleep cool and we have a lot of praise for the 1-year sleep trial and lifetime warranty. Currently, there's a 50% off sale at DreamCloud, knocking a queen size down to $665 (from $1,332). While we have seen 60% off on this mattress, this is still one of the best DreamCloud mattress deals that offers 10% more savings than their evergreen deal. View Deal

Saatva Classic Mattress: from $1,295 $1,095 at Saatva
Not only one of our favourite hybrid beds, the Saatva Classic is also our favourite mattress overall. It comes in three firmness types (soft, luxury firm, and firm) so all kinds of sleepers are covered. When putting together our Saatva Classic mattress review, we loved its excellent pressure relief and extras, including a lifetime warranty, 1-year sleep trial and free white glove delivery. The current "up to $600 off" sitewide offer might not be the best Saatva mattress sale we've seen, but savings could get bigger closer to Presidents' Day so perhaps consider waiting a little longer.View Deal

Siena Memory Foam Mattress: from $499 $199 at Siena Sleep
In our Siena Memory Foam mattress review, our testers were surprised by how cool this mattress slept and the amazing edge support (both of which tend to be quite poor in all-foam beds). There's also minimal hugging and has quite a firm feel, so it's perfect for those who don't like the traditional hug of memory foam. Right now, you can get 60% off this mattress, but it isn't a huge offer as it's pretty much permanent. Extras include a 180-night sleep trial, 10-year warranty, and free shipping and returns. View Deal

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress: from $699 $349 at Nectar Sleep
When putting together the Nectar Mattress review, we found this budget bed to sleep cool for a memory foam bed and offers a good balance of softness and support. Currently, Nectar are throwing a 40% off sale for Presidents' Day, knocking a queen size down from $1,099 down to $659 - one of the best Nectar mattress deals we've seen. The extras are also great for the mid-range price too – you'll get a 365-night trial, a forever warranty, and free shipping. View Deal