hybrid mattress question??

I see a lot of labor day sales on mattresses which sparked my interest in potentially purchasing a new mattress.

That being said i like to over research EVERYTHING I buy and subsequently found this site after spending a few days online and visiting a local sleepys. I really didnt have much intention of necessarily buying a mattress from sleepys because the salesman was basically useless and I knew more about his beds than he did.

I was drawn to the new sealy hybrid (Ability or Encourage) because I like the idea of a soft pillow like top with the support and resistance of a traditional coil mattress under it. The useless salesman also showed me the king Koil Perfect Contour Somnigel bed. With that i researched somnigel which seemed to be a pretty awesome product made by leggett and platt who seem to be the big guns in regards to mattress technology. I like the idea of a super soft gel top with more air surface than gel surface to disperse heat and still be a very comfortable buffer to coils. However, it seems to be difficult to find any beds with somnigel besides the one built for sleepys, and i aslo didnt find any forum about it here when i searched.

Im a fairly large guy (230) and i like the cloud affect of a soft bed with a firm core support to avoid waking up with back pain.

So next are some questions:

  1. Thoughts on somnigel??
  2. What beds/manufacturers use it and where can i find them (New Jersey/Internet)
  3. Is it worth it or is the memory foam gel/coil hybrid a better option.
  4. Am i wasting my time with a hybrid and should i just get a traditional mattress with a euro top.
  5. Taking into account my thought process above and the materials im looking at do you have any solid recommendations that are around if not less than $1000.

Thanks in advance!!


Hi cmv,

You can read a little more about “fake sales” in post #5 here.

The first place I would start your research is the mattress shopping tutorial here which has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choices … and perhaps most importantly know how and why to avoid the worst ones.

Somnigel is a type of buckling column gel similar to nexgel or intelligel. There is more information about this type of material in this article and in post #2 here and the posts it links to. A forum search on “buckling column gel” (you can just click the link) will also bring up more comments and feedback about it as well. It would be similar to Orthogel/Nexgel or Intelligel.

I don’t have a record of the mattresses that retailers or manufacturers have on their floor in all the many areas of the country (this wouldn’t be possible for one person to keep up with in a constantly changing market) but you could check the King Koil retail store finder here and then call to confirm with each retailer to make sure that they carry these specific mattresses. You could also contact Nexgel here or Intellibed here (although they won’t likely have any retailers close to you). Other manufacturers may also make some mattresses that use buckling column gel as well (see here and here for examples).

Post #13 here has more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase relative to each person. If a mattress is the best match for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences), uses good quality materials relative to its budget range and has no weak links in the design, and compares well with all your other finalists based on the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you … then it would be “worth the money” yes. If there were other mattresses that were better value for you based on the same criteria … then it wouldn’t.

The materials or types of mattresses that each person tends to prefer is a personal preference and there is no right or wrong here. Having said that … if you are dealing with a retailer or manufacturer that won’t be able to provide you with all the information you will need about a mattress you are considering (see this article) so you can identify any weak links in the mattress and make more meaningful comparisons with other mattresses, then you would be wasting your time visiting them IMO.

There are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved for anyone to make meaningful suggestions about a specific mattress or even type of mattress that may be best for you (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here) but assuming you are in the Northern NJ area then the better options and possibilities I’m aware of (subject to following all the steps in the tutorial post of course) are listed in post #7 here.


I’m 6’5" tall and weigh 280 lbs. I’ve been through an endless assortment of mattresses, including standard innersprings, air, memory foam, latex, combinations of both, and hybrids. I recently found the line of King Koil Perfect Contour SomniGel mattresses at Sleepy’s. It appears that they currently have an exclusive on them since there is no mention of any SomniGel mattresses on the King Koil site nor can I find them listed at any other dealers.

I’m primarily a side sleeper, and have had problems with too firm mattresses causing me extreme shoulder pain and softer mattresses giving me back pain. I ended up purchasing the top of the line Performa model which has the most SomniGel at 1.75" and includes a 1" layer of latex underneath the gel along with a pocketed coil innerspring base. Sleepy’s rates this model as being ultra plush but I don’t agree with that rating. It is very conforming but still extremely supportive. It fills in all of the curves in my back or side with an amazing feeling of support, and does not sag under my weight even if I sleep on my stomach. It also sleeps very cool, which I guess is from the gel structure only contacting 22% of the top surface with 78% being air columns. Details on SomniGel can be found on the Leggett & Platt website. These SomniGel mattresses have a bouncy feel similar to latex and are completely unlike memory foam’s sinking feeling, but I find that they provide much better and more consistent support than any of the other mattress types I’ve experienced.

I think that finally after many tries I’ve found my ideal mattress! With Sleepy’s sale pricing and first time customer discounts, the price of this mattress is also about half of what the most similar model from Intellibed sells for. The buckling gel they use may not be identical to SomniGel but it is similar in design and structure and are both licensed by the same company. This type of gel is completely different than the more commonly used gel infused memory foams so don’t let salespeople convince you that they are the same or even similar. I hate the feeling of memory foam mattresses and this is nothing like it at all, you have to try it to know how it differs in feel and support.

I originated a new thread yesterday on the SomniGel mattresses and thought I should add a reference to it here.