Why Hybrid Mattresses Eliminate Pain And Help You Get Better Restorative Sleep: An Insider’s Guide
Looking for the best hybrid coil/foam mattress options? Did you know that innerspring, or coil, type mattresses are the most common version of mattress sold in the U.S.? And while innerspring mattresses have been around since the mid 1800’s, a mattress containing strictly coils are a kind of dinosaur.
First of all, let’s figure out what “hybrid” means in the mattress world, now that everyone’s throwing it around.
Today’s “hybrid” mattresses are simply more complex versions of the very simple and vintage “innerspring” mattresses your parents have.
Their design includes sophisticated cooling textiles near the top, innovative memory and gel foams that wick away moisture and heat, and even latex for a slightly bouncy and lively feel.
The best hybrid coil/foam mattress options are also reasonably priced, generally well under $2,000, and in some cases, right under $1,000 for a decent mattress.
Known for providing the best uplifting and elevating support, today’s coil mattresses are referred to as hybrid mattresses, since they incorporate foam layers placed strategically above and below the coil system, which is typically a continuous layer of individual pocketed coils acting much like the suspension on a really nice car.
With pocketed coil systems being the new trend in the mainframe mattress industry, you can find many options, especially in brick and mortar stores. Not as many online stores will carry them, primarily because they are difficult and expensive to ship, flat packed in large, unwieldy boxes.
New technology however, has allowed pocketed coil mattresses to be built on a hinge system, allowing them to be rolled up, much like a foam “bed in a box” type mattress, so there are some options available from e-commerce stores for this new niche.
The best hybrid coil/foam mattress options deliver uplifting support you just can’t get in a typical bed in a box “slab of foam”.
Old school innerspring mattresses used to be fairly simple beds, about 6″ – 8″ thick with a continuous “rack” of coiled wire surrounded by a bit of foam or batted cotton.
Today they are made using highly advanced individual pocketed coils that offer pinpoint pressure relief and zoned support that offers more precise weight distribution and support.
We reviewed dozens of pocketed coil mattresses and selected a handful of options that we would recommend.
The best hybrid coil/foam mattress options deliver the benefits of focused pressure relief, excellent edge support, and very effective weight distribution.
“Bottom line, you stay on top of the mattress, not inside of it.”
As a mattress industry CEO and manufacturing veteran, I’ve designed many of my own pocketed coil mattresses, and have found that combining the benefits of pocketed coils with other specialized foam layers, such as natural latex, memory foam, and gel foams, provides excellent pressure relief, while being super comfortable and inviting.
A common problem shopping for a mattress online is that most options are made with multiple layers of foam and often are too soft, and complaints ranging from feeling trapped inside of a mattress, sliding off of the edge of the mattress, and back pain resulting from improper spine support are typical.
The best hybrid coil/foam mattress designs are in fact, often pretty simple. this prevents failure of components down the line and allows online mattress companies to offer long trial periods, and attractive factory warranties.
The recommendation we’ve included below are pretty much built in similar styles, offering excellent back and neck support, and filling in void areas to prevent muscle fatigue while you sleep.
You can also check out our best mattresses for heavier people page if you are a bigger person and you haven’t had luck with sagging and soft mattresses in the past.
This unique mattress option is excellent for side or back sleepers, since the individually suspended coils will fill in void areas, responding kind of like keys on a piano, pushing back in very precise areas. Bottom line, you stay on top of the mattress, rather than inside of it. Here’s our list of recommended dealers that provide outstanding pocketed coil hybrid mattresses.
The Best Pocketed Coil Hybrid Mattresses I Found After 25 Years As A Mattress Manufacturer
I’ve recommended this outstanding hybrid mattress for years. At $1199 in queen, it’s one of the most popular pillowtop foam and pocketed coil hybrids on the web, but why?
Tired of sinking knee deep when you’re on your side? This hybrid foam/pocketed coil option sleeps pain free and insures proper spine alignment.
Pocketed coil system is not spongy but rather lively and supportive, giving you positive lift at all times-no sink, effortless position changing so you stay in REM sleep.
The “no regrets” recommendation I love to give. You’ll get five layers of comfort in a 14″ tall sumptuous mattress, a 365 day free trial, and up top, the quilted cashmere top feels like butter.
Overall, an outstanding mattress that delivers on support with zero indentation, rutting, or that trapped feeling.
You control the level of firmness. A latex and coil hybrid mattress with a medium firm sensation. 11” finished height, 100 night trial period, 15 year warranty, $1196 for a queen. Free shipping.
At checkout, you choose either a 2″ or 3″ latex top piece to control softness vs. firmness. There is another layer of 2″ latex inside the mattress as well.
The ONLY latex hybrid mattress with up to 5″ of pure natural latex, delivering sumptuous bouncy comfort with no chemicals or off gassing smells.
Overall, the mattress is levitating and uplifting, yet lively and bouncier than typical dead feeling foam mattresses.
Fantastic edge support, due to firmer coils at edges, making transfer in and out easy. A five star option that delivers on calming, restorative rest.
Pocketed coil and foam hybrid mattress with sumptuous “euro” top. Medium level of support, nest like feel. 14.5” finished height, 120 night trial period, 15 year warranty, $1949for a queen. Free shipping.
Marc’s comments: If you like firm, with zero motion transfer, consider this option. Saatva knows how to build beds (known the team for 15 years).
If you like to nestle and squirm before finding your sweet spot, get it. Saatva is a highly established player in the hybrid game, a good investment mattress at the right price. Solid industry reputation.
An ultra-high-tech luxury hybrid mattress packed with advanced cooling, support, and comfort features; graphite infused AirFoamICE™, patented HDMax™ support coils, reinforced Edge-Tech™ support, and quilted comfort layer wrapped in a ArcticTex™ cover.
If you are a hot sleeper, there’s enough cooling tech in this mattress to let you sleep cozy and cool all night. Superb edge support and I liked that it was supportive and easy on my back.
Sumptuous, nestled feeling-without feeling trapped. Nolah’s patented AirFoam and IceFoam are two innovations in the industry that deliver legit benefits to this bed. In queen it’s reasonably priced at just $1599.
Medium firm with no collapse edge support- excellent for sitting on side and for transfer, probably the best on the market.
With 700 individual foam pods suspended above a pocketed coil system, this mattress individually cradles and supports each vertebrae. Best in class spine support, cooling channels that ventilate, 10 Year Warranty, 100 Night Trial, Free Shipping. No other mattress like it nurtures and treats back pain and muscle tension.
Essentially, it operates like a coil mattress, but with no metal springs. Each small foam column responds independently to the topography of your body.
Dr. Jason Loth and Dave Schen designed a pocketed coil hybrid mattress that outperforms foam beds like Casper or Leesa.
It’s architecture includes a quilted foam pillow top, a pocketed coil system with great edge support, body contouring and shock absorbing foam.
30 Night Trial, 10 Year Warranty, Free Shipping. Really great for spine health, straight and level support, and recovery.
Designed specifically to distribute weight laterally, and not downwards into pinpoint pressure areas. Queen $1099, free shipping and a 30 day trial. Choose from plush or firm option (I loved the plusher, softer model)
why are pocketed coil hybrid mattresses rapidly becoming the most popular category?
Innerspring mattresses have been around forever but advances in technology have transformed the notorious rack of twisted wire into precision instruments that allow for pinpoint pressure relief and excellent back support.
The best hybrid coil/foam mattress options of today give you more dynamic response to natural body movements, which helps to deliver the support necessary for deep, relaxing sleep.
Coil type mattresses transfer heat 28% more efficiently than foam and are cooler on initial contact, are typically made from up-cycled or recycled steel, are 26% more durable than an all foam mattress (meaning they won’t develop ruts, depressions, or gulleys), and their design requires less petroleum products. They also weigh far less than a memory foam mattress or latex mattress, too.
Typically, pocketed-coils are individually wrapped high-carbon springs that compress freely from one another to provide custom support. Coils react to specific pressure areas, and the heavier portions of the body, like the hips and shoulders, sink deeper into the mattress, which allows for proper spinal alignment.
This isolated and free-moving coil design also offers excellent motion dampening as well.
The pocket coil concept is a hugely popular advancement in the mattress industry. Most mattress manufactures make their own versions of the individually wrapped pocket coil design. Other names used to represent the pocketed-coil concept include pocketed spring, encased spring, Marshall coil, and wrapped coil.
The largest component builder that supplies pocketed coil inserts to the mattress industry in the U.S. is Leggett & Platt, a 150 year old American company that build all of their products on our soil.
The best hybrid coil/foam mattress options all have pocketed coil inserts which offer unique qualities to further enhance the user experience. For example, on the outer edge of these mattresses, where you tend to sit, put your shoes on, or simply transfer to a standing position, the first few lines of coils may be stiffer.
As you move into particular zones of the bed, the coils may be slightly softer and cushier in feel. It’s not unusual to find as many as 1,200 individually pocketed coils in a king size mattress, and around 1,000 in a queen.
Each individual coil is wrapped in a fabric encasement, and the top and bottom of the entire array is attached to a flexible fabric that allows your body to operate each coil independently- an ingenious reinvention of a system that is more than a hundred years old.
Forward thinking manufacturers of coil or innerspring mattresses kept the innerspring core, but layered around it these new comfort layers. I’ve tried many of these mattresses, and since I am a latex fan, I tried to find a pocketed coil model that had some latex above it, since the floating and buoyant sensation that you get from latex would seem to enhance the effect of the coils. The best hybrid coil/foam mattress brands feel springy, soft and supportive, but not too bouncy.
One thing I did notice about all of the pocketed coil type mattresses was one common feature – minimal motion transfer. I think this is because the coils are not all woven together, so you don’t get that springy, bouncy transfer from one coil to the next.
I also tried memory foam, and other kinds of layers, like wool, and although they had a nice feel, the memory foam kind of sank into the coil layers and did not keep me supported. If you have back and neck issues, a pocketed coil system with latex might be one solution, at least in my opinion.
When shopping for a hybrid coil/foam type mattress, I advise looking for solid third party reviews, a high BBB online rating, and a bulletproof return period of at least 100 nights, at no cost to you, and a warranty that has at least five years full replacement coverage.
This insures that you will be covered in the event of failure, especially since these systems are still somewhat new. The best hybrid coil/foam mattress options are priced well below big retail store name brands, often referred to as “Black” series models.
Types Of Coil Mattresses
Originally developed in the late 1800’s, innerspring mattresses were essentially an outer encasement that was stuffed with a dense foundation layer on the bottom, and some softer cushion layers on top. In between, a one piece rack of coiled wires would be stuffed inside to create the mattress.
Now, these inserts are highly specialized and built with individually place coil units, sometimes numbering up to 2,000- in one single mattress. They are far more comfortable and beneficial than the original design concept.
Basically, there are four kinds of mattress coils. One important characteristic for each of these coil types is there “response range”, meaning the change in firmness as the spring is compressed – initially soft, to conform and follow body contours, then firmer, meant to provide support. Here is a description of the four basic coil types:
Continuous Coils (the Leggett & Platt brand, for example, is their “Mira-coil”) is an innerspring configuration in which the rows of coils are formed from a single piece of wire. They work in a hinging effect similar to that of offset coils. This is the old school version of a one piece system of woven coils.
Bonnell Coils are the oldest and most common. First adapted from buggy seat springs of the 19th century, they are still found today in mid-priced mattresses. Bonnell springs are knotted, have a rounded top and are an hourglass-shaped steel wire coil. When laced together with cross wire, helix shaped twists, these coils form the simplest innerspring unit, also referred to as a Bonnell unit. Steel coils make innerspring mattress construction responsive, but they also don’t offer a whole lot of pressure relief like memory foam does.
Offset Coils are an hourglass type coil on which portions of the top and bottom convolutions have been flattened. In assembling the innerspring unit, these flat segments of wire are hinged together with helical wires. The hinging effect of the unit is designed to conform to body shape. LFK (Left Facing Knot) coils are an offset coil with a cylindrical or columnar shape.
Marshall Coils, also known as wrapped or encased coils or pocketed springs, are thin-gauge, barrel-shaped, knotless coils individually encased in fabric pockets—normally a fabric from man-made, non-woven fiber. These are what forward thinking manufacturers are moving towards using exclusively, and are included in the mattresses we recommend above. Some manufacturers pre-compress these coils, which makes the mattress firmer and allows for motion separation between the sides of the bed, an added benefit.
As the springs are not wired together, they work more or less independently: the weight on one spring does not affect its neighbors. This allows them to react to pressure independently instead of all together, which minimizes movement and allows for a more buoyant feel. More than half the consumers who participated in a survey had chosen to buy pocket spring mattresses.
Why Pocketed Coils Are Beneficial For Back Support And Comfort
As a mattress manufacturer myself for over 25 years, I designed a lot of all foam mattresses. When the bed in a box craze really gained steam around 2014, most of what was offered online didn’t have coils. This was primarily due to the fact that no one had figured out how to compress a layer of metal springs that could be rolled up and safely transport in pre-compressed fashion.
Imagine a straw mat that you roll up, having small cloth “hinges” between each solid piece of straw and you’ve got the solution. Pocket coils, which provide a kind of “suspension” for your back by responding to pressure and cradling your body, could also be built with fabric hinges to allow the entire layer of coils to be rolled up and gently compressed along with other foam layers and the quilted outer covering of a mattress.
Pocket coils, also known as individually wrapped coils or pocketed coils, can be beneficial for back support and pain relief due to the fact that each coils is wrapped in fabric and acts independently of other coils since they are not intertwined. Here are some reasons why pocket coils are often considered effective in providing back support, and even eliminating pain:
- Localized Support: Pocket coils are designed as individual springs wrapped in fabric pockets, hand placed after being wrapped in cylinder form. This construction allows each coil to move independently, responding to the specific pressure applied to it. As a result, pocket coils can provide individualized support to different parts of the body, including the back. They can contour to the body’s curves, filling in the gaps and promoting proper spinal alignment.
- Targeted And Zoned Pressure Relief: The independent movement of pocket coils also contributes to targeted pressure relief. As each coil responds individually, it can adapt to the body’s shape and provide support where it’s needed the most. By isolating and relieving pressure points, pocket coils can help alleviate pain and discomfort. Overall, I will tell you that hybrid mattresses are more effective at relieving back pain that all foam mattresses.
- Reduced Motion Transfer: Pocket coils are known for their ability to dampen motion. Since each coil is separate and wrapped individually, they can minimize the transfer of motion across the mattress. This characteristic is especially beneficial for couples who share a bed as well as restless sleepers, as it reduces disturbances caused by movement during sleep. This can help maintain a more stable and undisturbed sleep surface, which can be important for those with back pain.
- Enhanced Airflow and Temperature Regulation: The open structure of pocket coils allows for increased airflow within the mattress. This enhanced ventilation can help dissipate heat and regulate temperature, which can be beneficial for individuals who tend to sleep hot. A cooler sleep environment can promote more comfortable sleep and potentially alleviate discomfort associated with back pain.
The overall effectiveness of pocket coils for back support and pain relief can also depend on weight and whether the coils a wound more tightly, offering a firmer feel.