Updated January 4, 2021The main difference between a hybrid and innerspring mattress is design. Both contain a coil support system. However, hybrids have a thicker comfort layer than an innerspring mattress. Hybrids also have a top-to-bottom structure that keeps the mattress from being flippable. Meanwhile, innerspring mattresses have the same layer on the top and bottom.We give an in-depth overview of hybrid and innerspring mattresses to make it easier to decide what your best mattress is.What is a Hybrid?Hybrid mattresses are essentially a fusion of innerspring and foam mattresses. A true hybrid contains a coil structure topped with 2 to 3 inches of conforming, responsive foam. Combining these materials provides the benefits of an innerspring and foam mattress while also reducing their drawbacks.Mattress ConstructionA hybrid mattress must have at least three layers. There’s a comfort layer, a coil layer, and a foam base. Many of the best hybrid mattresses have a fourth layer between the comfort and coil layer known as the transition layer.The first layer inside a hybrid mattress is its comfort layer. A hybrid mattress is often topped with a memory foam layer. Latex or inexpensive polyurethane foam are also common comfort materials. Regardless of its material, the top foam layer of a hybrid should conform to the body and ease pressure points.Next is the optional transition layer, typically a firm and responsive poly-foam. A transition layer can improve a bed’s feel by limiting how far a person can sink into their mattress and help the mattress react faster to a change in sleep position.The second or third layer is the bed’s support core, a coil system. Most hybrids have pocketed coils, with every coil encased in foam or fabric. Wrapping the coils like this prevents motion transfer.The final layer is the poly-foam base underneath the coils. The base promotes the coils’ structure by absorbing shock and providing a stable surface, ensuring a long-lasting mattress.Pros and Cons of a Hybrid MattressHybrid mattresses are designed to minimize the drawbacks of foam and innerspring mattresses. However, they still come with their own set of pros and cons.Pros of a HybridSleepers often choose hybrid mattresses because their design maximizes pressure relief, responsiveness, airflow, edge support, and motion isolation. Because hybrid manufacturers produce the beds in a wide variety of firmnesses, the beds are also suitable for most sleepers.Full-Body Pressure ReliefA hybrid’s top foam layer should contour to a sleeper’s body, regardless of its material. Molding so closely to the body ensures that no part goes unsupported, allowing pressure to build up and cause pain.ResponsivenessA hybrid’s signature bounce is one of its main draws. The pocketed coils lift a sleeper and keep them on top of the mattress while also reacting to their movements. Plus, the coils are wrapped to provide a springy feeling without motion transfer.Airy DesignHybrids are excellent cooling mattresses thanks to their standard pocket coil base. Air can slip through the mattress’s bottom and flow around the coils, removing collected heat and moisture. Many hybrids have additional cooling featuring, such as ventilated foams or gel infusions.Edge SupportMany hybrids have a sturdy foam surrounding the coil layer. This foam perimeter not only protects the coils but also firms up the sides, making it easier to move in and out of bed. Edge support is beneficial if you’re looking for a mattress for arthritis or another medical condition that hampers movements.However, edge support can reduce a mattress’s available sleep surface, so this feature has its advantages and disadvantages.Motion IsolationIf you share the bed with a partner, a hybrid mattress can give you the freedom to move about without disturbing each other’s rest. The wrappings around each coil ensure the springs react independently so that the coils won’t carry your every movement across the mattress.The foam top also tends to absorb motion at the point of impact, keeping any movement from rippling across the surface.Versatile ComfortHybrid mattresses come in numerous designs and firmnesses. Soft hybrids are suitable for side and petite sleepers, medium feel hybrids are excellent for combination sleepers, and firm hybrids can support back, stomach, and plus-size sleepers.Hybrids can also move well with adjustable beds, while innerspring mattresses can become damaged if used with an adjustable base.Cons of a HybridA hybrid mattress’s drawbacks include the high prices, heavy weight, and the chances of sagging as its materials wear out.Expensive Price TagsThe average queen size hybrid mattress is about $1700, although prices can range from as little as $200 to $5100, depending on the bed’s size and materials.Heavy WeightA hybrid mattress is one of the heavier types of mattresses. On average, only a latex mattress tends to weigh more than a hybrid. If you have difficulty lifting heavy objects, you may struggle with changing the sheets on your hybrid mattress.Likelihood of SaggingBecause a hybrid mattress relies on coils for support, it may become uncomfortable as its coils wear down. It doesn’t take even a full inch for a sagging mattress to leave you sore in the morning.However, sagging is covered under most warranties, so if a hybrid mattress sags significantly, you should double-check if you’re eligible for a replacement mattress.What is an Innerspring?Innerspring mattresses were once the most common mattress, though their popularity has waned over the years as other mattress types have risen to prominence. An innerspring mattress’s most memorable feature is its bounciness, with its springs easily felt through the mattress’s thin comfort layers.Mattress ConstructionA traditional innerspring mattress has a simple design, with a coil support system sandwiched between two thin comfort layers. This design does allow you to flip an innerspring mattress, while most hybrids can only be rotated.A traditional innerspring’s comfort layer is usually filled with cotton or wool for padding. Many high-quality innerspring beds qualify as pillow top mattresses. Pillow tops are an extra layer of padding sewn over the traditional comfort layer, increasing the bed’s cushion. How the pillow top is sewn on affects what it’s called:If you can see and feel how the pillow top is separated from the mattress, it’s a traditional pillow top.If the pillow top is sewn onto the mattress and then the cover is pulled over the bed, giving the mattress a seamless appearance, it’s called a Euro-top.While all innerspring mattresses must have a coil system to qualify as such, there’s leeway in how the coils are constructed. Innerspring mattresses may have any of the following types of coil systems:Bonnell coils, where the springs are hourglass-shaped and wired together. While the design is durable, Bonnell coils tend to carry movements across the mattress.Continuous coils are a single length of wire molded into a series of coils. Like Bonnell coils, this style gives the mattress durability but increases the chances of motion transfer.Pocketed coils are thin-gauge coils wrapped in foam or fabric to limit motion isolation. This design is more costly to produce than Bonnell or continuous coils.Pros and Cons of an Innerspring MattressLike a hybrid mattress, innerspring mattresses have a set of pros and cons. We give a brief overview of each to help you decide if an innerspring bed is the best mattress for you.Pros of an InnerspringMany people choose an innerspring mattress for its low price, quick availability, and cooling nature.AffordabilityInnerspring mattresses are great budget mattresses. Many queen size innerspring mattresses cost under $1000.Easy AvailabilityYou can find innerspring mattresses sold at mattress showrooms, furniture stores, and even a few department stores. Innerspring mattresses are a good choice for anyone who wants a mattress quickly.Cooling DesignAn innerspring mattress’s thin comfort layers make it easy for air to slip through the top and bottom, wicking away heat and moisture. Hot sleepers can rest undisturbed on an innerspring mattress.Cons of an InnerspringThe drawbacks of an innerspring mattress include a tendency to transfer motion and provide inadequate pressure relief. Innerspring mattresses are also likely to sag and collect allergens as they age.Carries MovementsThe average innerspring mattress lacks a coil system designed to prevent motion transfer. So when you shift or get out of bed, your partner will likely feel your movements across the mattress.Insufficient Pressure ReliefThe coils inside an innerspring mattress often create a firm surface that can’t completely conform to the sleeper’s body. When paired with an innerspring mattress’s thin comfort layers, many people find they wake up sore after lying on an innerspring mattress.This limited amount of pressure relief is why we don’t recommend innerspring mattresses for side and petite sleepers.Prone to SaggingInnerspring mattresses tend to sag faster than other types of mattresses. As we mentioned previously, a sagging mattress is one of the main reasons why you might wake up in pain.Allergen TrapThe thin comfort layers don’t do a good job of keeping out pollen, dust, dirt, dead skin cells, and other allergens. The coils inside the mattress also leave plenty of room for debris to settle and accumulate, so allergy-sensitive sleepers may notice an uptick in their morning symptoms if they’re sleeping on an innerspring mattress.Who Can Sleep on a Hybrid or Innerspring?As our table below shows, hybrids are better suited for a wider range of sleepers because they come in varying firmness levels. Hybrids also have better motion isolation, making them a better choice for people who share a bed. Is a Hybrid Recommended?Is an Innerspring Recommended?Side sleepersYesNoBack sleepersYesYesStomach sleepersYesYesCombination sleepersYesNoPetite sleepersYesNoAverage-size sleepersYesDepends on sleep positionPlus-size sleepersYesYesHot sleepersYesYesCouplesYesNoWe don’t recommend innerspring mattresses for side or petite sleepers because these beds tend to feel firm. Side sleepers and smaller people need a softer mattress to conform to their bodies for pressure point relief. Otherwise, they risk waking up sore and stiff.Here’s a general rundown of the firmness levels recommended for each sleeping position and body type.A mattress for side sleeping should have a soft to medium feel for pressure relief.A mattress for back sleeping should have a medium-firm to firm feel for good spine support. Medium mattresses are also acceptable if they have targeted lumbar support.A mattress for stomach sleeping should have a firm feel to minimize sinkage and spine misalignment.A mattress for combination sleeping should have a buoyant, medium feel to promote easy movement and spinal support in any position.A mattress for a lightweight sleeper under 130 pounds should tend toward the softer end of the firmness range for their position. Lightweight people don’t place a lot of pressure on a mattress, so they need a conforming surface for pressure relief.A mattress for a heavier sleeper over 230 pounds should lean toward the firmer end of the range for their position.What to Know About CoilsWhen you’re looking at a mattress with springs, there are a few terms you’re likely to encounter, no matter if it’s an innerspring or hybrid mattress. A mattress’s coil count and coil gauge are commonly cited, for starters. You might also catch a mention of coil density, turns, or pitch.Coil count refers to the number of coils inside the mattress. The exact number of coils to expect depends on the mattress’s size and type. For example, a queen size hybrid mattress may have between 800 to 1000 coils.Coil gauge expresses the thickness of the wire that makes up the coils.However, it’s important to note that coil gauge isn’t the only factor when it comes to a mattress’s firmness. Coil density, turns, and pitch are all factors that affect how soft or firm a mattress feels:“Coil density” refers to how tightly the coils are packed, which can affect how the mattress feels.The term “turns” expresses the number of turns that make up a coil, or in other words, how tightly wound the coil is.Lastly, “coil pitch” refers to how the coils are angled in relation to the mattress’s surface.Do all of these terms truly matter? Well, there is the idea that a higher coil count and a lower coil promote a longer-lasting mattress, but does that bear out?Coils make a mattress sturdy and supportive, so a higher coil count is good for that reason. However, others argue that a mattress company could use thin, low-quality coils to achieve a high coil count and inflate the mattress’s price. So coil count may not be the best way to determine if a mattress is great or not.Quality spring mattresses often use a mix of coil gauges to create areas where the mattress feels softer and firmer. For example, thinner coils may be used in the shoulder and hips areas for more pressure relief. So, it’s not practical to look for a mattress with a low coil gauge and expect it to be durable and comfortable.Plus, pocketed coils are usually on the higher end of the gauge range, between 14 and 18. Choosing a mattress without pocketed coils for a thicker gauge means giving up the many benefits that this type of coils exclusively offers.All of these terms are good to keep in mind when you shop, but you shouldn’t hinge your decision solely on the coil count or coil gauge of a mattress.Other Mattress Types to ConsiderShoppers aren’t just limited to innerspring and hybrid mattresses. There are two other major types of mattresses, memory foam and latex mattresses.Memory FoamMemory foam mattresses react quickly to heat and pressure. When a person lies down on one, the bed conforms to their body within seconds. This full-body support allows a memory foam mattress to relieve pressure points and ease pain, promoting restorative sleep.Like hybrid mattresses, memory foam beds are sold in a wide range of firmnesses. Regardless of your preferred sleep position and your body type, there’s a memory foam mattress out there that’s right for you.LatexLatex contours to a sleeper’s body like memory foam does, though thanks to the material’s buoyancy, latex usually keeps a person on top of the mattress more than memory foam does. Latex mattresses also tend to feel cooler and firmer than a memory foam mattress.Many shoppers choose a latex bed if they’re seeking an organic mattress. An all-natural latex mattress usually contains sustainably harvested materials such as organic wool and cotton.If you’re interested in learning more about the differences between latex and memory foam mattresses, read our memory foam vs. latex guide.Frequently Asked QuestionsDo hybrid mattresses last longer than innerspring mattresses?Yes, a hybrid mattress does tend to last longer than an innerspring mattress:An average hybrid mattress lasts about 7 seven years.An average innerspring mattress lasts up to 6 years.Hybrid mattresses are still a relatively new design, so that gap may widen as more durable models come out.How high should a hybrid mattress be off the ground?The bed height ideal for you will depend on your own height. Most people find a mattress surface between 16 to 24 inches off the ground comfortable. You can check if the height’s right by sitting on the edge of your bed. If your feet lie flat and if your thighs are even with your hip, then it’s at a good height.It’s simple to calculate your bed height. All you have to do is add your bed frame’s height to your mattress’s thickness. A quick side note that we always stress the importance of choosing a mattress at least 10 inches thick, regardless of what type of mattress you’re considering. So you’ll likely want a bed frame no more than 14 inches tall.Is a hybrid mattress good for back pain?Yes, hybrids are suitable mattresses for back pain, thanks to their conforming foam tops. When a person lies down, the material should mold to their curves. This malleability relieves pressure that can cause or worsen back pain.Still, it’s important to make sure your hybrid has a firmness that matches your sleep style. If you sleep on a too-soft or too firm mattress, you may have a stiff or sore back in the morning.Is a memory foam bed or hybrid better?Which mattress type is better for you depends on your preferences and budget. For starters, memory foam and hybrid mattresses have slightly different feels. A memory foam mattress lets a person sink in and cradles their body, while a hybrid’s coils keep a person on top of their mattress.When it comes to saving money on a new mattress, a quality memory foam mattress usually costs less than a quality hybrid. While an excellent queen size hybrid often costs over $1000, numerous memory foam mattresses cost under $1000. Still, the price difference between these types isn’t so great that you should keep yourself from buying a hybrid if it’s what you truly want.For more information, check out our hybrid vs. memory foam guide.Are hybrid mattresses good for side sleepers?Yes, hybrid mattresses are good for side sleepers interested in a bouncy mattress. We usually recommend side sleepers stay away from traditional innerspring mattresses. The coils inside an innerspring tend to create a firm surface that doesn’t adequately cushion their shoulders and hips.However, hybrid mattresses have thicker comfort layers than a typical innerspring bed. They provide the pressure relief side sleepers need for a good night’s rest.Is a Hybrid or Innerspring Right for You?The mattress type you want is an important shopping consideration, along with mattress firmness and price. Hybrid and innerspring mattresses have similar support layers but different feels. This can make a decision tricky.Some shoppers may choose an innerspring for its inexpensive, cooling design. Others may choose a hybrid mattress for more cushion. Overall, we recommend hybrid mattresses because they suit more sleepers. However, only you can decide what the right mattress is for you.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.