Latex vs Hybrid Mattresses—What's the Difference?

There are several distinctions between latex vs hybrid mattresses that you should learn about before buying your next mattress.

By Marissa Merkt

Jun 14th, 2022

As you search for a mattress, you’ll likely come across various types. Two popular mattress constructions are latex and hybrid, which we’ll examine more deeply in this comparison article.

What is a Latex Mattress?

A latex mattress is a bed made up of foam layers derived from rubber. Typically, these types of mattresses have three to four layers, with each layer approximately 2″ to 4″ thick. To make these mattresses, companies extract liquid latex from rubber trees and process them into foam. The best latex mattresses do a great job of isolating motion and provide excellent pressure relief.

A latex mattress can consist of all latex layers, or it can be a hybrid that combines latex and an innerspring system. This type of mattress also varies depending on the type of latex used in it.

Different Types of Latex Mattresses

Synthetic Latex

Synthetic latex, or polyurethane foam, is a man-made foam created from petroleum-based compounds styrene and butadiene. It tends to have a less springy feel than natural latex and often has an off-gassing smell.

Natural Latex

Natural latex is processed using all-natural ingredients. It’s the most eco-friendly type of latex and doesn’t contain chemicals. Natural latex can either be Talalay, which involves a five-step washing process, or Dunlop, which has a less complicated production process.

Related: Dunlop vs Talalay Latex: What’s the Difference?

Blended Latex

Blended latex combines synthetic and natural latex. This type of latex is the most common type sold in the U.S. It tends to be more durable than natural latex while using less chemicals than synthetic latex.

Pros of a Latex Mattress

Check out some of the advantages of buying a latex mattress.

  • Eco-friendly: While synthetic latex mattresses use chemicals, natural latex mattresses are completely eco-friendly and naturally resistant to mold and dust.
  • Durable: Natural latex mattresses are built to last for up to two decades, making them a great option for those looking for their “forever mattress.”
  • Comfortable: Known for reducing pain and providing pressure relief, latex mattresses are extremely comfortable.

Cons of a Latex Mattress

The following are some disadvantages to keep in mind when considering a latex mattress.

  • Expensive: Latex mattresses tend to cost more upfront than those made with other materials but last for a while so you can really get your money’s worth.
  • Off-gassing: Synthetic latex mattresses especially are known for having a slight off-gassing smell.

What is a Hybrid Mattress?

A hybrid mattress is a bed consisting of foam and pocket springs. These tend to have two to three layers of foam on top of an innerspring system. Hybrid mattresses include a comfort layer that contours to your body as you sleep. Other layers include a transition and core foam layer along with a base layer.

Some of our favorites on our best hybrid mattresses roundup include firmness customization so you can find one based on your preferred comfort level. Hybrids can be great since they combine the support an innerspring mattress has with the comfort of an all-foam mattress.

Pros of a Hybrid Mattress

Learn about some of the benefits of buying a hybrid mattress.

  • Breathable: The innerspring core in hybrid mattresses helps promote breathability so that heat doesn’t have to get trapped as it does with traditional memory foam mattresses.
  • Edge Support: This type of mattress has great edge support due to its spring system, so you don’t have to worry about falling out of bed at night.
  • Spine Alignment: Hybrid mattresses do a good job of keeping the spine in a neutral position at night so that you can wake up free of back pain.

Cons of a Hybrid Mattress

See some potential drawbacks of owning a hybrid mattress.

  • Heavy: These types of mattresses tend to weigh more than all-foam beds, making it difficult to move around from one room to another. However, many companies offer a white-glove delivery service where they will set up your bed for you.
  • Less Durable: Hybrid mattresses typically don’t last for more than seven years and can experience sagging depending on the type of foam layers used.

Which Is Best for You?

Picking between a latex vs a hybrid mattress can be overwhelming, but paying close attention to how they meet your top needs can help you decide. Take a look at which type of mattress works well for different sleeping positions, sleep environments, and budgets.

Sleeping Position

Hybrids work great for all sleeping positions since they typically come in a medium-firm comfort level. As we mentioned earlier, many companies offer customizable firmness options for hybrid mattresses as well, so stomach sleepers can select a firmer option to support their hips, while side sleepers can select a softer one to give them great cushioning.

Both types of mattresses work well for combination sleepers since they are very responsive and make it easy to change positions. Latex mattresses especially do a great job of contouring to your body when you sleep on your side. Back and stomach sleepers can also benefit from latex mattresses, as long as they are firm enough to give enough support.

Sleep Environment

Both latex and hybrid mattresses are great for those that sleep hot. The open-cell structure in a hybrid mattress allows for airflow so heat doesn’t get trapped. Latex mattresses also do well at keeping an ideal temperature thanks to their ability to draw heat away from your body.

Couples likely will do best with either type of mattress since they do well at isolating motion. However, when it comes to taking advantage of every inch of your bed, the hybrid is a better option for couples since it has better edge support.

Budget

While both latex and hybrid mattresses tend to cost more than all-foam mattresses, hybrids are typically the more affordable option. However, if you buy a synthetic latex mattress, it may have a lower price point since they are easier to make. Keep in mind that latex mattresses last a while, so while they have a higher price tag initially, they can end up saving you money in the long run.

Other Latex Comparisons