4 Things to Look for in a Hybrid Mattress if You're a Stomach Sleeper
Innerspring mattresses have come a long way from the days when the springs inside were notorious for popping through the mattress's outer covering. Nearly all of them on the market today feature a layer of cushiony memory foam or latex for added pressure relief and comfort. Because these mattresses combine springs and foam for a "best of both worlds" sleep experience, they're often referred to as hybrid mattresses.
But the right hybrid mattress for you may not be the best choice for someone else. If you sleep mainly on your stomach and are interested in trying a hybrid mattress, there are a few things to consider in deciding for yourself: Are hybrid mattresses good for stomach sleepers?
Here, learn about the benefits of a hybrid mattress and how to choose the best hybrid for stomach sleepers.
What is a hybrid mattress?
Technically, a hybrid mattress can be any mattress made from more than one material. But, as Better Sleep Council board member and director of mattress education Mary Helen Rogers explains, the term "hybrid mattress" is most often associated with innerspring mattresses that contain a coil support system along with another material, such as memory foam.
This combination of traditional coil support with the contouring comfort of foam is what gives a hybrid bed mattress its appeal. “Many will say that hybrids bring the best of both worlds together," says Rogers.
Of course, the specific feel of any individual hybrid mattress depends on the type of materials inside it. But it will usually be different from what you feel if you lie on a traditional innerspring or a pure foam mattress, explains Mark Kinsley, vice president of marketing for the Bedding Group at Leggett & Platt, a company that manufactures bedding components (including some of the materials used in Saatva mattresses).
Initially, you'll experience the soft feeling that foam provides. But you'll also feel reinforced support from the coils, making it easier to move around and change sleeping positions than on an all-foam mattress. Kinsley says the foam-spring combination makes you feel more elevated and buoyant—instead of sinking, as you would on an all-foam mattress.
Hybrid spring-foam mattresses also tend to sleep cooler than all-foam mattresses, because more air can circulate through the springs than is be able to circulate through foam layers.
Benefits of a hybrid mattress
These are the top benefits of sleeping on a hybrid mattress if you're a stomach sleeper:
Ensures a cool night's sleep
You get airflow from the coils, and even more cooling if you choose a hybrid with a layer of natural latex. If you decide on a hybrid mattress with a memory foam comfort, look for one infused with cooling gel or graphite, as traditional memory foam tends to sleep hot.
Reduces motion transfer
The added layer of foam on top of the mattress helps reduce the sensation that you're riding a wave as your sleep partner moves around in the middle of the night—and likewise if you're the one who moves.
Provides excellent support for stomach sleepers
Latex, which contours like memory foam but has a naturally buoyant quality, is a great option to look for in a hybrid mattress if you're a stomach sleeper. Its natural buoyancy supports and lifts the body.
Our Best Hybrid Mattresses for Stomach Sleepers
Best hybrid mattress for stomach sleepers
The key to comfort for stomach sleepers—for any sleepers, really—is neutral spinal alignment. Because most people carry their weight across the hips and belly, sleeping on one's stomach can cause an unnatural bowing of the spine, which in turn can lead to back pain.
To assure proper lumbar support and overall comfort, look for the following features in a hybrid mattress:
- Durable coils. Stomach sleepers shouldn't cut corners on a mattress. Hybrid mattresses made with low-quality coils will sag sooner, messing up your alignment and leaving you vulnerable to back pain. Pay attention to the style and thickness of the coils in the mattress. Individually wrapped coils, which move independently and contour to your body, are standard on higher-quality hybrid mattresses. As for coil thickness, it's measured in gauge—the lower the gauge, the thicker the coil. A high-quality innerspring mattress will have coils in the 12-15 gauge range.
- Firm comfort level. Most stomach sleepers snooze best on a firm surface. If the mattress is too soft, your hips and belly will sink in too deeply. Experts recommend a medium to firmer comfort level (around a 6-8 on the firmness scale) to adequately support a stomach sleeper's body.
- Cooling features. Feeling hot is a common complaint of stomach sleepers. Hybrid mattresses are naturally cool, as the open construction allows for easy airflow. Choose a hybrid mattress with a latex comfort layer (latex is naturally cool) or gel-infused memory foam, as well as an outer cover made of a breathable material, such as organic cotton.
- Added lumbar support. Lumbar support is one of the most important features to look for in a hybrid mattress if you're a stomach sleeper—this is especially true if you have back pain. Lumbar support will ensure your spine is kept in neutral alignment while you sleep. In a hybrid latex mattress, you will find added lumbar support in the form of “zones." A zoned design features firmer latex in the center third of the mattress.
Still trying to decide if a hybrid mattress is right for you? Here's how it compares to other mattress types: