A memory foam mattress has several layers of foam that contour to the body. A hybrid mattress combines layers of foam and spring coils.

This article will look at the pros and cons of each type of mattress and outline which one might be most suitable.

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A memory foam mattress has several layers of foam.

A memory foam mattress consists of multiple polyurethane layers, which respond to the shape of the body. After lying on a memory foam mattress, there will be an imprint of the body that does not spring back immediately.

The body-contouring quality of memory foam supports natural curves in the spine. It also responds to body weight, providing an even distribution of body weight to increase comfort.

Some pros and cons of a memory foam mattress include:


  • They contour to individual body shape and support the spine.
  • Additional foam layers increase comfort and relieve pressure points.
  • They reduce motion transfer.
  • They are more durable than spring mattresses.
  • Additional features, such as cooling gel, improve heat control.


  • They prevent airflow and trap heat.
  • They slowly adjust to the body, which may be a problem for people who frequently move during the night.
  • There may be a chemical odor after unpacking the mattress.
  • They are heavier the other mattresses, such as spring mattresses.
  • The sinking feeling might be uncomfortable for some people.

A study in the Journal of the Ergonomics Society of Korea compared memory foam with other types of mattress. In 35 people with different sleeping positions, the memory foam mattress provided more comfort and lower body pressure than other mattresses.

A hybrid mattress combines foam with an innerspring mattress. It contains layers of spring coils and foam or natural fiber.

A hybrid mattress offers the qualities of both foam and spring mattresses. Innerspring coils provide support, firmness, and a slight bounce. The foam layers contour to the body and increase comfort.

Some pros and cons of a hybrid mattress include:


  • Different types of hybrid mattress include features that are suitable for different needs, such as back support.
  • They are cooler than the foam-only mattresses, due to the coils allowing for airflow.
  • They are lighter and easier to move around than foam mattresses.
  • They are suitable for people who prefer to avoid sinking into a mattress.


  • They are typically more expensive than other types of mattress.
  • The number of options and features available with a hybrid mattress can be confusing.
  • They may not contour to the body as well as memory foam mattresses can.

Some things to consider when deciding whether to buy a memory foam or hybrid mattress include:

Reasons to buy a memory foam mattressReasons to buy a hybrid mattress
They relieve back pain: Memory foam may be better for people with back pain.They prevent overheating: Layers of coils within the mattress encourage airflow and provide a cooler surface for sleeping.
They offer contouring: This provides support to the back and reduces pressure.They bounce: Hybrid mattresses contain springs that may suit people looking for a slight bounce from the mattress.
They cost less: Some memory foam mattresses are cheaper than hybrid mattresses.Personalization is available: Hybrid mattresses contain a wide range of features that suit individual needs.
They reduce motion transfer: A memory foam mattress may suit people who share a bed with someone who frequently moves during the night.They offer different levels of firmness: A hybrid mattress offers more choice in levels of firmness.
They improve snoring: Memory foam mattresses could reduce snoring by providing improved spinal alignment to support breathing.They support sleeping positions: Different hybrids are available to suit a range of sleeping positions.
They are easy to clean: Memory foam is dust resistant.They offer edge support: Many hybrid mattresses provide extra support around the edges of the mattress, which increases the sleeping surface area and prevents sagging.

Memory foam mattresses are a good option for people with back pain. They support the natural curve of the spine, which reduces stress and fatigue on the body and helps reduce back pain.

Memory foam may also be better for people at risk of pressure ulcers, such as during long periods of bed rest. One study found that memory foam mattresses reduced pressure injuries compared with normal hospital mattresses in people with chronic conditions.

Hybrid mattresses provide a cooler surface for sleeping, due to the layer of coils that allow for airflow. Many hybrid mattresses also contain gel or copper, which provide a cooling effect.

They are a good option for people with conditions that cause hot flashes or night sweats, such as:

Some hybrid mattresses support specific sleeping positions. People who sleep on their side, back, or front can find a hybrid mattress with features that support their usual position.

Memory foam mattresses contour to the body and support the spine, but they also trap heat.

Hybrid mattresses combine spring coil layers with foam or natural fibers. They provide more advantages but are also more expensive.

Hybrid mattresses can also offer a range of additional features to suit individual needs, such as back support or temperature control.