Luxury 'hybrid' mattresses include springs and foam for a more contoured sleep - here's what sleeping on one feels like

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Bear MattressThe Bear Hybrid mattress has six layers of foam and spring coils for a customized fit and great night's sleep.

  • The Bear Hybrid mattress has four different layers of foam, hundreds of individually wrapped spring coils, and a unique topper for a total of six layers to create a sleeping experience that's perfect for any body type.
  • The soft fabric top features Celliant fibers that reflect your body heat as infrared energy, helping promote ideal circulation and muscle recovery while you sleep.
  • A Bear Hybrid starts at $1,090 for a Twin and goes up to $1,690 for a King and California King, so it's not cheap, but it's covered by a stellar 20-year warranty, so you can count on durability that justifies the price.

A few weeks ago, I had this moment of realization - I haven't remarked on a hotel bed in years.

Whenever I used to travel for work, or for fun with my wife, I would without fail bemoan how amazing the hotel bed felt when compared to our decidedly middling traditional coil mattress. Now, no matter how comfortable a bed I encounter, I have yet to find one more sublime than the Bear Hybrid mattress we have at home.

Bear's mattress is a so-called Hybrid because it has both foam and coils to support and contour around your body. Well, make that four different layers of differing foam types and hundreds of individually wrapped coils, to be more precise. And we'll talk about the quilted Celliant fiber topper later.

You'll be amazed by the comfort of a Bear Hybrid mattress from the first second you lie down on it. Even better, you'll realize you stayed comfortable all night when you wake up in the morning - potentially even in the same position.

For reference, I tested a queen-sized Hybrid mattress - as in, I slept on it for the sake of research. It's a standard 80 inches x 60 inches, but it's thicker than others like the Casper Hybrid at 14 inches, so make sure your sheets will fit, or you might have to order some new ones.

Read more: The best mattresses you can buy

Delivery

The mattress arrived rolled up and tucked into a big box that I was able to carry upstairs by myself, but at 110 pounds, it was just about at the limit of me doing so without back injury or sending the thing bouncing down the stairs, so definitely consider enlisting a friend or your partner to help.

And careful when you cut the thing out of its vacuum-sealed plastic bag too, slicing through a $1,390 mattress wouldn't be much fun.

Once out of the bag (so to speak), the Hybrid mattress perks up to nearly its full size in a matter of seconds, and in a few minutes, it's ready for positioning, adding sheets, and then slumber. Because it's vacuum sealed and rolled up, you might want to let it air out for a few hours or even overnight if you can spare it.

Design

There are no secrets as to why this mattress is so comfortable - just science and good design. Let's start at the bottom-most layer of foam and work our way up.

Bear MattressI fell asleep faster on the Bear Hybrid than I did with my old spring-only mattress.

The lowest level of the six-layer Hybrid mattress consists of high-density foam that supports the weight of the rest of the mattress, not to mention the people sleeping atop it.

Next, we have by far the thickest layer which encompasses the individually wrapped coils. There are hundreds of coils that expand and contract to absorb your movement, and contour around your body for a customized fit, creating excellent alignment for your hips, spine, and so on.

Third, there's a thin layer of low-density foam that provides excellent airflow and relieves pressure points.

The next is a super-soft foam for that immediate comfort when you lie down. Think of the whole "like sleeping on a cloud" cliché that we should really all move past because you'd just fall right through the cloud to a unique but horrific death.

The top layer of the mattress is a cooling gel foam hybrid that draws heat away from your body and helps regulate your body temperature to promote deep, steady sleep. And that's not even the layer worth noting.

The top-most layer is a quilted honeycomb mattress topper that's soft and smooth to the touch, and woven with Celliant fibers throughout. This inimitable material reflects some of the heat your body radiates outward back to you in the form of infrared energy that penetrates a few millimeters into your body, helping create ideal circulation and support healing and recovery in joints, muscles, and other tissue.

Meaning? You'll wake up feeling refreshed both mentally and physically.

What is it like sleeping on a Bear Hybrid mattress?

I've always had trouble falling asleep, so it's not like I was out within seconds the first time I slept on the Bear Hybrid. But I did find myself nodding off faster than with our old spring-only mattress, and even while still awake, I wasn't shifting around as much. My wife was out like a light, though she never has trouble sleeping.

Many mornings, I find that I haven't kicked the blankets off myself, so the upper layers must indeed be helping regulate my body temperature. And while I used to wake up with mild back pain most days what with being in my mid-30s, I experience much less of that now. I attribute that to the mattress since I haven't changed anything else about my activities.

I wake up less during the middle of the night too as I think I'm shifting around less to find a comfortable position. This, I wager, is thanks to the soft support of the foam and the way the coils reduce pressure on my hips, knees, and neck.

The Hybrid vs. the all-foam original

So what sets this new Hybrid mattress apart from the all-foam mattress for which Bear is known? (And of which I myself was already a fan, for the record.)

Well, for starters, the warranty is twice as long with the Hybrid, and so too is its potential lifespan because of the improved structure. Another thing that's bigger is the weight - the Hybrid is a good 30% heavier and can be a pain to get into the bedroom and onto your bed frame.

As for the actual experience, the Hybrid is slightly more supportive than the all-foam version, which is softer in feel but doesn't help reduce pressure on the hips, shoulders, and head and neck quite so well.

Also, if you run hot like I do, the Hybrid is a better bet because of all the open space around the coils that provide plenty of airflow.

Cons to consider

There's only one major drawback with the Bear Hybrid and that's price. A Queen-sized Bear Hybrid mattress costs $1,390. Move all the way up to a California king and you're looking at $1,690. Even the Twin is expensive at $1,090.

And just to be clear, the high price is mitigated by durability. Bear backs the Hybrid with a 100-day trial with free return shipping (which, for context, many other online mattress companies also offer), and an amazing 20-year limited warranty (Casper and Leesa only offer 10-year limited warranty each), so chances are that you're going to get your money's worth no matter what.

Another minor issue is that it does transfer motion more than a 100% foam mattress. Not an issue for my wife, who sleeps like a log once out, but I do wake up sometimes when she shifts. But, as you might've guessed by now, I'm a light sleeper.

Also there's that hefty weight, but once in place on your bed frame, that's hardly an issue any more. Just get a partner or buddy to help with the unboxing process.

So is the Bear Hybrid worth it?

A thousand times yes.

This mattress is going to help you get quality sleep, and that's close to priceless for me. The fact that it may last you two decades actually makes it quite reasonably priced if you think about it in the long run.

That whole thing about replacing your mattress every eight years? That's a holdover from the spring-only days. With all the additional foam, this mattress is in it for the long haul. Just don't hurt your back while you haul it to the bedroom.

Other alternatives to consider

If you're looking for a more affordable mattress that's still quite comfortable, try a Tulo.

The four-layer Queen mattress costs less than $650, and while it might not have the longevity of a Bear Hybrid, it will still provide you and your family years of quality sleep. I should know - my five-year-old son Ben has a Tulo twin and I fall asleep on it several nights a week during snuggles.

Pros: Several layers of foam and springs creates custom sleeping experience, built to last two decades, Celliant fibers promote faster healing and recovery after exercise, thermal foam layers helps regulate body temperature

Cons:Expensive, heavy to carry by just one person, some motion transfer

Buy the Bear Hybrid Mattress for $1,090 (Twin) to $1,690 (King and Cal. King)

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