partial view of woman sitting on mattress in furniture shopMattress and bed terminology seems like a non-exhaustive list these days. To be fair, this is a positive thing because it means there’s plenty of options. Finding that perfect, nearly made-for-you mattress has never been easier. On the flip side, this also means it can feel daunting to even browse mattresses online. I mean, what even is a hybrid mattress?

In this article, we’ve put together a mattress comparison between the four main types of mattresses that you’ll see on the market today. We’ll go in depth about what they are, their main components, and their individual strengths and weaknesses. Whether you’re purchasing your first mattress or upgrading to a new one, this guide will help you know more in depth about the choices available to you!

What is a memory foam mattress?

Did you know? Memory foam mattresses were initially designed for NASA airplane seats. It was discovered that it was able to help pilots and passengers sustain crashes and impact. And now we see memory foam being used today, not just in mattresses, but also pillows and mattress pads. Even the medicine world found a place for its use in prosthetics and products to prevent pressure ulcers.

Memory foam is made up of viscoelastic, known for its conforming and motion isolating properties. This allows your body to feel its natural curvatures being supported. Memory foam materials are made to give you a deep hug feel. Now here’s the thing: memory foam mattresses also come in their own variety of styles and construction-type.

Types of memory foam

Components of a memory foam mattress


  • Distributes body weight evenly
  • Reduces motion transfer for couples and co-sleepers
  • Helps in reducing pain because the foam doesn’t put pressure on the body
  • Excellent contouring and conforming effects, especially at the hips and shoulders
  • Provides good spinal alignment and lumbar support
  • Quiet
  • Good for people who are allergy-prone because the materials used are generally hypoallergenic


  • Are more prone to sagging and dipping over time
  • Not great at retaining body heat for hot sleepers (though gel would be better at this)
  • Some people don’t always love the “stuck” feeling that memory foam can produce
  • Sometimes has longer lasting off-gassing effects
  • Slower responsiveness compared to hybrid and innerspring mattresses

What is a hybrid mattress?

Hybrid mattresses are made up of innerspring coil as the supportive core layer, then topped with at least two inches of memory foam, poly-foam or a latex foam layer. This mattress type essentially combines different materials to offer sleepers a best of both worlds scenario. You get the responsiveness and firmer foundational support from an innerspring coupled with the pressure relieving, cushioning benefits of a foam mattress.

Components of an innerspring mattress


  • Promotes air-flow and temperature regulation for hot sleepers
  • Provides extra support for pressure relief
  • Versatility in firmness and layer materials
  • Offers more contouring and cushioning than innerspring and latex mattresses
  • Comfortable for all sleeping positions
  • Good motion isolation so you’re not waking your partner up or vice versa


  • A higher price tag
  • Heavy and challenging to move
  • Potential initial off-gassing

What is an innerspring mattress?

Innerspring mattresses are undoubtedly the oldest player in the mattress game. They’ve been around the block since the 19th century! No wonder innersprings are still one of the most popular styles. They have longevity on their side, not to mention, a classic, familiar sort of feeling. Innerspring mattresses are known for their steel coils in the support structure which creates a responsive spring and bounciness. This coil layer is underneath a thin comfort layer, typically made from polyfoam.

Components of an innerspring mattress


  • One of the most affordable mattresses on the market
  • Promotes good air circulation to keep you cool
  • Bouncier and good responsiveness making them good for sex
  • Even sleep surface, making it good for stomach and back sleepers
  • No off-gassing effects
  • Good construction and longer lifespan


  • Doesn’t offer good pressure relief or body contouring
  • Reportedly too firm for some sleepers but if you like a firm mattress than it might okay for you
  • Noisy and not good at motion isolation
  • If the underlying layers are made of wool or fiber it’s a breeding ground for dust mites

What is a latex mattress?

Latex mattresses are made, in their natural state, from the rubber tree. The sap from a rubber tree is like a milky fluid that when exposed to air, becomes a solid rubber. This is then manufactured with either springs or reflex foam to make up a mattress. Latex mattresses can be made from natural, synthetic, blended or a combination of materials. However, natural is deemed to be the best because it lasts a long time and it is the most eco-friendly of them all.

Types of latex


  • Excellent durability and long lifespan
  • No smells or off-gassing effects (all-natural latex)
  • Eco-friendly and biodegradable
  • Hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites
  • Known for good breathability and cooling properties
  • Comfortable and pressure-relieving – good for supporting sleepers with back pain or joint pain because of its cushioning but is more responsive than a memory foam mattress to deliver better spinal support


  • Latex mattresses tend to cost more, especially because natural latex is an expensive material to produce.
  • Tend to be heavier than other mattress types and therefore harder to move
  • Some people report latex to be too firm, especially in the first 30 days. Always confirm your Impression Load Deflection (ILD) to gage the level of firmness that would suit you. The higher the ILD, the firmer it will be.


As you can see, there are many benefits and drawbacks to each of the major mattress types. But hopefully you come out of reading this armed with more mattress knowledge so you can shop with a purpose and find the mattress type most suited to your needs and preferences. If you need more information, check out our roundups of the best memory foam, hybrid, innerspring, and latex mattresses. We’re here to make your mattress shopping as easy and breezy as possible!