I switched from a traditional coil spring mattress to one that combines coils and foam — now I fall asleep faster and wake up less during the middle of the night

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  • The Bear Hybrid mattress (starting at $1,090) has six different layers of foam and spring coils for a customized experience that's great for any sleeping position.
  • In fact, I fell asleep faster on this mattress than I did with my previous spring-only mattress.
  • Right now, Bear is offering up to $250 off plus two free pillows with the code "SAVE250" at checkout.
  • It's not cheap, but to potentially even save on your mattress, check out all the best mattress sales over here and Business Insider Coupons to find promo codes for a range of online stores.
  • And if you're looking for other styles, check out our guide to the best mattresses.
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About a year ago, I realized that 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 rave how amazing the hotel bed felt 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 spring coils to support and contour around your body. To be more precise, it has four layers of different foam types, a layer with hundreds of individually wrapped coils, and a quilted Celliant fiber topper that I'll get to later.

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

Specs

I tested a queen-sized Hybrid mattress. 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 the deeper dimensions, or you might have to order some new ones.

The mattress arrived vacuum-sealed in a box and weighed 110 pounds, so I suggest asking your partner or a friend to help. 

There's no magic behind the comfort — just science and good design. Let's start at the bottom-most layer of foam and work our way up. 

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 on top.

Next, we have 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, aligning your hips and spine.

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 "sleeping on a cloud" comfort when you lie down. 

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. This material reflects some of the heat your body radiates outward back to you in the form of infrared energy that can help increase circulation and support healing and recovery in joints, muscles, and other tissue.

We'd like to note that while infrared energy does have benefits, Celliant might not. In 2017, Hologenix, LLC, the makers of Celliant, said the material was determined as a medical device by the Food and Drug Administration because of its responsive technology, but we've been unable to verify that claim independently. In my experience though, I felt less back pain and I slept faster than usual. 

Delivery

I was able to carry the mattress 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.

This is even more important for those who live in apartments or even houses as Bear has temporarily suspended its white-glove delivery option due to the novel coronavirus and will not enter residences.

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 quickly perks up to nearly its full size, and in a few minutes, it's ready for positioning, adding sheets, and then slumbering. 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.

Review of the Bear Hybrid 

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 be helping to 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 daily activities.

I wake up less during the middle of the night too as 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.

Pros

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.)

The usual 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 — a Queen-sized Hybrid weighs 110 pounds while the all-foam version is 70. The extra weight means it can be a pain to unpack and move for many people.

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

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

Cons 

There's one major drawback with the Bear Hybrid and that's the price. A Queen-sized Bear Hybrid mattress costs $1,390 if it's not on sale. Move all the way up to a California King and you're looking at $1,690. Even the Twin is expensive at $1,090.

But 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 warranties each), so chances are that you're going to get your money's worth no matter what.

A 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 anymore. Definitely get a partner or buddy to help with the unboxing process though.

The bottom line

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 reasonably priced if you think about it in the long run. Bear also runs regular promos so if you were to buy one, make sure you're taking advantage of that.

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.

If you're looking for a more affordable mattress that's still quite comfortable, try a Tulo. The four-layer Twin XL mattress costs less than $500, 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 create a custom sleeping experience, built to last two decades, Celliant fibers reportedly promote faster healing and recovery after exercise, thermal foam layers helps regulate body temperature

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

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