What Is the Difference Between Hybrid Mattresses and Gel Foam Mattresses?

October 09, 2023 5 min read

If you are in the market for a new bed, you will be pleased to know that many scientific advances over the last few years and months have ushered in a new era of breakthroughs in the design and construction of adequate sleeping amenities. Memory foam mattresses are one of the most notable breakthroughs and have led to a variety of world-class mattress designs with unprecedented comfort levels.

The two innovative mattress styles we will be comparing and contrasting in our article today are memory foam matters and the hybrid mattress. The latter is a sort of halfway point between conventional and memory foam mattresses.

Both of these items are exceptionally comfortable, but they can provide different dynamics to your sleeping style and should be selected as they match your personal needs. In the following article, we will discuss how and why these mattresses should be chosen.

Hybrid Mattress

Hybrid mattresses are among the more popular types you will find on the market today as they offer the best of both worlds. In addition to the conventional support of a pocketed coil spring array, they have a nice chunky 2-inch layer of memory foam. This layer allows for the support and comfort of top-quality memory foam with the support and responsiveness found only in a conventional spring mattress.

Hybrids will typically have a set of specific layers that provide comfort and distribute weight across the coil springs below. Some of these may give the sleeping body a sturdy support layer that reduces motion transfer coming from the coil’s blow. Another layer commonly found in a hybrid mattress is a transition layer of polyurethane foam that absorbs motion and weight between the coils and the softer foam above.

Pros and Cons of a Hybrid Mattress

Hybrids are the perfect option if you like the comfort found in cushy memory foam but still prefer the livelier bounce and responsiveness found in the conventional spring mattress. Nevertheless, these hybrid mattresses can have a set of drawbacks that you should be aware of. The coils in a hybrid mattress will become affected by use; over time, the mattress will sag around the middle. The life expectancy of a hybrid mattress is not as long as the average memory foam mattress.


  • Better responsiveness than foam
  • Improved airflow and coolness
  • It gives contouring pressure relief and maintains good bounce
  • Better motion control compared to straight innerspring coils


  • Typically expensive mattress type
  • Springs lose tension and sag
  • Heavy and cumbersome to relocate
  • The Coil system increases the tendency to retain allergens

Hybrid Mattress Cost

Hybrid mattresses cost considerably more to manufacture than a memory foam mattress, and this means that your average hybrid mattress will cost a bit more as well. A top-quality hybrid mattress will cost about $1000. Depending on additional features and larger sizes, you will probably pay a bit more than that. It is not uncommon to find that hybrid mattresses cost as much as $3,000.

The cost mentioned above may seem like a high price. But when you think about the considerable amount of technology and material designs that go into a hybrid mattress, it is evident that you can expect to pay a bit more to achieve this high level of comfort and coolness. Those who have used the hybrid mattress have concluded that they are worth the price and can help you achieve a better night’s sleep if this is a problem.

Gel Memory Foam Mattress

There is also the option of gel memory foam, which is not that different from regular memory foam, except microbeads added in the gel memory foam recipe. These gel beads are incredibly cool to the touch and help dissipate heat. Therefore they are especially beneficial for those that get hot during sleep at night. Standard memory foam may get a bit hot at some points, but gel memory foam is the perfect solution for this problem.

 Pros and Cons of a Gel Memory Foam Mattress

Gel memory foams have a lot to offer, improving the design of traditional memory foams and helping make for a more relaxed and more enjoyable sleeping experience. Gel-infused foam still molds to your body, cradling your pressure points and conforming to your curves in the way only memory foam can.

Not everyone likes the slower responsiveness of memory foam as they feel it gets clingy and restricts movement. Gel-infused foam still doesn’t bounce back the way pocketed coils do. Also, despite its enhanced cooling ability, gel foam still doesn’t have the circulation offered by the innerspring system of a hybrid mattress.


  • Improved airflow compared to memory foam
  • More durable than conventional mattresses containing coils
  • Better contouring power
  • Isolates motion
  • Hypoallergenic


  • Even gel retains more heat than a hybrid mattress
  • Heavy as a hybrid mattress
  • Memory foam won’t bounce back quickly

Gel Memory Foam Mattress Cost

Gel memory foam may be a more costly option than regular memory foam mattresses — and depending on which additional design and functional features you choose, the price is generally inflated. But compared to the hybrid mattress, they are certainly a more cost-effective option. Prices can vary by as much as several hundred dollars.


What are pocketed coils?

Pocketed coils are a step up from the open coil system found in the traditional coil spring mattress. The conventional spring mattress uses an array of springs wired together to a metal frame and cushioned one side with fabrics, matting, and cushions.

But pocketed coil systems take this further with a traditional innerspring-style bed with springs enclosed in their private fabric compartments. This enclosure ensures that the spring system lasts a long time and diminishes motion transfer.

It isn’t just hybrid mattresses that use this pocketed system. Many innerspring mattresses also include this technology in their design plans.

Can I get a gel-infused mattress topper?

You can also get a gel memory foam topper available for all bedsides, and this is a whole lot cheaper than purchasing an entirely new mattress. You will also be able to select from a wide variety of mattress toppers with different thicknesses, firmness, and design features. Always take time to consider your personal needs for firmness and support before making selections for beds, bed covers, and pillows.

Does gel memory foam have a problem with off-gassing?

All memory foam mattresses will have some off-gassing as part of their regular production. When off-gassing, some potentially harmful VOCs are released into the immediate environment. While this is an unpleasant smell to some, others find that it will make them nauseous.

Can I use box springs under a hybrid?

You will not be able to use the conventional box spring with a traditional spring mattress with your memory foam mattress. Traditional box springs are not strong enough to bear the weight of these heavy mattresses. Furthermore, the box spring provides outstanding support that would be bad for a memory foam mattress.

The best thing for a memory foam mattress or hybrid mattress is a bed frame with a plank base.

Which mattress is best for back pain?

Memory foam mattresses are the best thing for those suffering from back pains. Memory foam allows for full-body support that keeps the muscles of the back aligned during sleep. This is accomplished as the heavier parts of the body are supported in line with lighter components. Memory foam allows the body to achieve a natural balance and comfortable posturing.

Bottom Line

While both of these mattress options can significantly support your sleeping habits, they are a bit different. If you feel that you get hot during the night, the hybrid option could be the better choice for you. But if you think that proper cushioning and support is what you need the most, the gel memory foam mattress is probably a better choice.