help with hybrid and memory foam

My head is spinning! I am ready to switch from an innerspring mattress to either a hybrid or memory foam. I’ve looked at so many that I don’t know what to pick! I know I want a medium feel or luxury firm (on a Simmons) and I am a side sleeper who sleeps hot. I am currently considering the Alexander Signature Hybrid or the Helix memory foam. Has anyone had experience with either of those? I don’t want to spend more than $1,000 for the mattress. Thanks.

Hi casper179,

Assuming that the materials in a mattress you are considering are durable enough for your body type and meet the quality/durability guidelines here relative to your weight range … the choice between different types and combinations of materials and components or different types of mattresses are more of a preference and a budget choice than a “better/worse” choice (see this article). The most reliable way to know which types of materials or mattresses you tend to prefer in more general terms would be based on your own local testing or your own personal experience. when you sleep on it.

While I can certainly help with “how” to choose … It’s not possible to make specific suggestions or recommendations for either a mattress, manufacturers/retailers, or combinations of materials or components because the first “rule” of mattress shopping is to always remember that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved that are unique to each person to use a formula or for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components or which type of mattress would be the best “match” for you in terms of “comfort”, firmness, or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) or how a mattress will “feel” to you or compare to another mattress based on specs (either yours or a mattress), sleeping positions, health conditions, or “theory at a distance” that can possibly be more reliable than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here).

I’m not sure what you’ve read since you found the site but just in case you haven’t read it yet … the first place to start your research is the mattress shopping tutorial here which includes all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choice … and perhaps more importantly know how and why to avoid the worst ones.

Two of the most important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you’ve read are post #2 here which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best “match” for you in terms of “comfort” and PPP that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for and post #13 here which has more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well you will sleep), durability (how long you will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

While other people’s comments about the knowledge and service of a particular business can certainly be very helpful … I would always keep in mind that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and I would be cautious about about using anyone else’s suggestions, experiences or reviews on a specific mattress (either positive or negative) or review sites in general as a reliable source of information or guidance about how you will feel on the same mattress or how suitable or how durable a mattress may be for you. In many if not most cases they can be more misleading than helpful because a mattress that would be a perfect choice for one person or even a larger group of people in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP may be completely unsuitable for someone else to sleep on (even if they are in a similar weight range). In other words … reviews or other people’s experiences in general won’t tell you much if anything about the suitability, quality, durability, or “value” of a mattress for any particular person (see post #13 here).

You can see some comments about the Alexander Signature Hybrid in post #26 here and a forum search on Alexander Hybrid (you can just click the link) will bring up more comments and feedback about it as well (the search results that are about purchases from March 20th, 2016 and later will be about their current design)

You can read more about the type and quality/durability of the materials in the Helix along with many of the other simplified choice mattresses in post #2 here in the simplified choice topic. Post #1 in the same topic would also be well worth reading. A forum search on “Helix” (you can just click the link) will bring up more comments and feedback about them as well.

The Helix mattress doesn’t contain any memory foam and contains blended Dunlop latex, polyfoam, and microcoils.

The Dunlop is a high quality and durable material.

The microcoils are also a good quality and durable component and there is more about microcoils that are used in comfort layers in this article and in post #8 here and post #2 here (although how much you will feel the microcoils will depend on the order of the layers).

The 2" of 1.8 lb polyfoam in the comfort layers meets the minimum polyfoam density I would suggest for those that are in more average weight ranges. They also use 1.5 lb polyfoam in the base layers of the mattress and while the deeper layers will have less effect on the durability and useful life of a mattress … it’s still a little lower than I would normally like to see in a mattress in this budget range. The deeper layers can still have “some” effect on the durability and useful life of the mattress but the effect would be more for those that are in higher weight ranges and/or that tend to compress the deeper layers of the mattress more than those that are in lighter weight ranges.

If you are considering online options then the mattress shopping tutorial includes several links to lists of many of the better online options I’m aware of (in the optional online step) that include many different types and categories of mattresses that use different materials and components in a wide range of designs, budgets, firmness levels, and with different return/exchange policies that would be worth considering (including many that are in your budget range).

Your own careful testing or personal experience is the most reliable way to know whether any mattress is a good “match” for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP … but when you can’t test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and who can help “talk you through” the specifics of their mattresses and the properties and “feel” of the materials they are using (fast or slow response, resilience, firmness etc) and the options they have available that may be the best “match” for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept on and liked or other mattresses you are considering that they are familiar with, and the “averages” of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about “matching” their specific mattress designs and firmness levels to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences (or to other mattresses that they are familiar with) than anyone else.

Of course the guidance you would generally receive from a company that only offers a single mattress in a single firmness choice would generally be along the lines of “try it and see if you like it and if you don’t then you can return or donate it and receive a full refund” because they wouldn’t have any other options to offer as an alternative.

If you are also interested in local options that you can test and compare before a purchase then if you let me know your city or zip code I’d be happy to let you know about the better options I’m aware of in your area.