How we test products
Our mission is to take the guesswork out of finding the perfect sleep products.
We've dedicated hundreds of hours to testing mattresses and sleep accessories, and rely on a team of testers of differing weights, temperature preferences, and sleeping positions to evaluate each product.
Tested products are granted the Sleep Hero tested stamp of approval, a mark of our review's reliability.
If we haven't personally tested a product, please be assured that we invest significant time and energy into scouring the UK market and researching the best recommendations, and we work with a team of sleep experts who review our articles, ensuring that the insights we provide are not only relatable but also reliable.
What is a hybrid mattress?
What happens if you have one good thing and add it to another good thing?
You get something even better. 😉
And that pretty much sums up hybrid mattresses.
A hybrid is a mattress composed of two or more materials, creating an end product that's even better than its individual components.
You'll generally find a foam layer above a pocket sprung layer as the bare minimum.
The materials selected for hybrid mattresses are often complementary. 💘
This means that one material is introduced to make up for the downfalls of another material. 👍
By way of illustration:
- Two of the most common materials in hybrid mattresses are memory foam and pocket springs.
- Memory foam offers cushioning support, but it can be too uncomfortable to move on and sleep too hot.
- Pocket springs, in contrast, are very comfortable to move on (though they could be too bouncy) and sleep much cooler.
- If a hybrid mattress combines these two materials, you'll get the perfect result - a bed with all the benefits of memory foam and pocket springs but with none of the downfalls.
The perfect example of this is the Nectar Hybrid mattress, which blends memory foam and pocket springs.
Criteria to consider when purchasing a hybrid mattress
There are several key criteria to consider before purchasing your new hybrid mattress.
Hybrid mattresses are generally more expensive than single-material mattresses, but this doesn't mean you should look for the cheapest option. 🙅
As with all mattresses, you need to focus on getting the highest quality mattress you can afford.
The quality of your mattress, after all, affects the quality of your sleep - and the quality of your sleep affects the quality of your life! 🥳
How do you determine quality?
A good factor to consider is mattress density. 👍
The higher the density of the mattress, the higher the quality.
- For foam mattresses, consider the actual density of the foams (stick to a minimum of 40 - 50 kg/m3).
- For spring mattresses, consider the number of springs used (don't go for less than 350 springs for the smallest size).
- For hybrid mattresses, consider both the density of the foams and the number of springs used.
Higher-quality mattresses also last much longer.
You can expect a good mattress to keep you comfortable for at least 10 years.
This is why most quality mattresses also come with a 10-year guarantee!
Some, like the Nectar Hybrid, even come with a lifetime guarantee. 🤩
But, we'd still recommend changing your mattress every ten years.
Most hybrid mattresses offer a medium-firm feel, but there is still some variance here.
Some may be softer, and some may be firmer. 🌩🧸🧱
The right degree of firmness largely depends on personal preference, but your build, weight, and preferred sleeping position also influence what degree of firmness is best for you. ⚖️
Here is a general guideline:
- Lighter-weight people and side sleepers generally do better on softer mattresses.
- Average-weight people and combination sleepers generally do better on medium-firm mattresses.
- Heavier-weight people and pure back sleepers or front sleepers generally do better on firmer mattresses.
If you're a combination sleeper and of average weight, then a hybrid is the perfect choice for you. 🥰
The Simba Hybrid is a great medium-firm option.
But if you're looking for something softer or firmer, you'd need to double-check that the mattress you're considering meets your firmness preferences.
The most common UK mattress sizes include:
- Hybrid mattress single: 90 x 190 cm (3’ x 6’3”)
- Hybrid mattress small double: 120 x 190 cm (4' x 6'3")
- Hybrid mattress double: 135 x 190 cm (4’6” x 6’3”)
- Hybrid mattress king-size: 150 x 200 cm (5’ x 6’6”)
- Hybrid mattress super-king-size: 180 x 200 cm (6’ x 6’6”)
So how do you know which size is right for you?
Deciding on the right mattress size will depend on:
- Whether you sleep alone or with a partner.
- Your budget.
- The size of your bedroom.
Larger sizes are always preferable for the most comfortable sleep, but you can do just as well on a smaller mattress. 💤
Couples shouldn't go smaller than a double-size mattress, though we'd recommend a king mattress.
If you're looking for the most luxurious mattress size, you can choose an emperor bed. 👑
The only hybrid mattress in a box we've found in the emperor size is the Otty Hybrid.
Risk-free trial periods
While we like hybrid mattresses, they won't be suitable for everyone.
That's why we always recommend purchasing an online mattress that comes with free delivery, a risk-free trial period, and free returns. 🙌
Why does this matter?
Trial periods give you the opportunity to try the mattress in the comfort of your own home for a set period of time. ⏰
It can take up to three weeks to get used to a new mattress - especially if your new choice is vastly different to your old mattress!
If, after the trial period, you still don't think the mattress is right for you, you can send it back - free of charge - and receive a full refund. 💰
Different mattress brands offer different trial periods.
- The Simba Hybrid mattress comes with a 200-night trial period.
- The DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress comes with a 365-day trial period.
While you don't necessarily need a whole year to decide if a mattress is right for you, we love that many brands offer great trials and put their customers first!
Many great brands also offer an old mattress removal and recycle service, so they'll take away your old one when they deliver your new one.
Different materials used in hybrid mattresses
Each hybrid mattress is unique, but certain materials are used more often than others.
Let's take a quick look at the most common mattress materials found in hybrids.
Memory foam is one of the best materials for body-contouring orthopaedic support and motion-free sleep.
Memory foam is best characterised by its memory imprint.
When pressure is applied, the foam becomes softer and allows the body to form an imprint.
Look at the demonstration in the images below:
This responsiveness ensures that the foam moulds perfectly to the body's contours, allowing for maximum comfort. 🤗
Due to its high adaptability and pressure-relieving properties, memory foam is often used for orthopaedic purposes.
As a downside, memory foam tends to be quite soft and retains more heat than other materials.
This makes it unsuitable for very hot and restless sleepers. 🥵
All-foam beds are also generally softer than hybrid beds.
If you want the benefits of memory foam without the downsides, then a hybrid is a good choice.
The Nectar Hybrid is one of our favourite hybrid memory foam mattresses!
Latex foam is a natural material made from tropical rubber trees, though you'll now find both natural and synthetic latex options. 🌴
Natural latex is a great eco-friendly choice, but it's often much more expensive.
Latex is breathable and provides a cooling effect, making these mattresses ideal for hot sleepers. ❄️
Latex is also naturally anti-mite and antibacterial, making it a great choice for anyone suffering from allergies. 🤧
Comfort-wise, it's very similar to memory foam, with good relief of pressure points and good motion isolation.
On the downside, latex mattresses can be pretty heavy, cumbersome to care for, and quite expensive.
Some mattresses include a combination of latex, memory foam and pocket springs providing the benefits of latex but at a more budget-friendly price.
The Hypnia Supreme Hybrid mattress has a memory foam pillow top with a natural latex layer and supportive pocket springs.
Pocket springs are usually found at the core of hybrid mattresses, providing stability, firmness, and good pressure relief.
Spring mattresses are often recommended for back support. 🦴
They have excellent edge support, meaning you can use the entire width of the mattress.
They're also a great choice for hot sleepers.
This is because the spaces between the springs allow for natural ventilation channels, enhancing airflow and overall breathability. 💨
This keeps the mattress cooler and more comfortable.
Most hybrid mattresses will contain at least one layer of pocket springs.
The Simba Hybrid is one of our favourite hybrid mattresses with 2500 pocket springs!
Some hybrid mattresses also feature other spring systems, like continuous coil systems, but we always prefer sticking to pocket coils.
These are much better quality and much more comfortable to sleep on. 😴
High-resilience cold foam
Cold foam is a type of polyurethane foam (also known as poly-foam) commonly used as the support foam or base layer of high-quality mattresses.
This is because cold foam offers great stability, support, and enhanced durability.
It's rare to find pure cold foam mattresses, but most hybrid mattresses have a cold foam support base. 😊