The Bear and Bear Hybrid mattresses are built with active sleepers in mind. Both feature responsive constructions designed to aid in sleep recovery, with adaptive materials that are sure to keep you from growling out of bed in the morning. But which of these products is better for your nightly hibernation: the all-foam Bear or its pocketed coil sibling? I’m here to find out.
Below, I’ll compare the most important details and differences between these two mattresses so that by the end, you’ll be absolutely certain of which one is going to be better for you.
So, without further ado, let’s get started with this Bear vs. Bear Hybrid comparison! Short on time? You can always skip over to my review summary.
Before we get to the differences, it is important to understand what makes the Bear and Bear Hybrid similar. Some important features that both beds share include the following:
- A Celliant cover – Some studies suggest that Celliant aids in sleep recovery. While we can’t verify this 100% one way or the other, it is notable that both the Bear and the Bear Hybrid use this technology.
- Memory foam feel – Both beds make use of memory foam comfort layers to provide that classic feel of sinking into the mattress. If you enjoy the feeling of having a mattress contour around your body, both the Bear and the Bear Hybrid provide this and is why Bear is a mainstay on our best memory foam mattress list.
Now that we know the similarities of the Bear siblings, we can take a look at their differences. I will describe each bed layer by layer so you can see exactly what they’re working with. If you want to go into even more depth, we also have full reviews of the Bear and Bear Hybrid.
Cover – As mentioned above, the cover of the all-foam Bear is made with Celliant. This material is soft to the touch and allows the sleeper to sink a bit into the bedding.
Comfort – Making my way below the cover, I come to a 2” section of memory foam. This material has a slow response to pressure, which brings some immediate relief to the shoulders, an important factor for side sleepers. Athletes who are strict side sleepers are likely to enjoy the ability to reduce this tension after a hard workout. Bear also infuses this layer of memory foam with a cooling graphite to counter the natural tendency of memory foam to trap body heat.
Transition – After the soft layer of memory foam comes the first layer of poly foam. Slightly firmer than the layer above it, this transition layer is meant to provide cradling support without letting the sleeper sink too far into the mattress.
Base – The first layer of poly foam is followed up with 6” of high density poly foam, a common material in the support base of all-foam, bed-in-a-box mattresses. This is the layer that provides the majority of the support for the sleeper and helps shape the bed.
Thoughts: The marriage between soft memory foam and slightly firmer poly foam beneath it is one of the Bear’s important features. Sleepers get a bit of that classic memory foam contour without losing mobility, which could be a good choice for strict back or combo sleepers who need pressure relief but don’t want to sink completely into the mattress.
Cover – The Bear Hybrid starts off the same way as the original Bear, with a soft Celliant cover. The company adds an extra layer of cooling gel foam quilting to the Hybrid, which produces a slightly more luxurious feel.
Comfort Layer – Under the cover, the comfort layer is built from the company’s Premium Comfort Foam, which acts and feels like memory foam. The Hybrid comfort layer also has an extra bit of quilting sewn into it, unlike the all-foam Bear. The memory foam’s slow response to pressure and extra quilting provides more body contouring than the Bear for strict side sleepers, who usually need a deeper sink in the shoulder area to avoid joint jamming.
Transition – Following the memory foam comfort layer, the transition layer of responsive poly foam gradually eases the sleeper into the firm support layer without curbing too much of the memory foam’s pressure relief or body-contouring.
Base – The base layer in the Bear Hybrid is a combination of bouncy pocketed coils surrounded by a thin layer of high density poly foam. Because they are individually wrapped, the coils can isolate motion across the mattress without losing bounciness. The pure poly foam base in the original Bear doesn’t have coils, so it doesn’t quite achieve the same bouncy feel.
Thoughts: The pocketed coils in the Bear Hybrid provide bounciness and mobility that is usually attractive for combo sleepers. The added padding on the cover gives a soft initial feel and works with the memory foam layer to provide pressure relief in the shoulder area for side sleepers.
Bear vs. Bear Hybrid
Although it feels soft to the touch initially, the original all-foam Bear provides a good deal of support for strict back and stomach sleepers. In these positions, the body usually needs support in the hips and lower back to keep good spinal alignment. Most sleepers should enjoy the body-contouring of the soft cover and memory foam comfort layer, but the supportive nature of this mattress is its major feature.
The Bear Hybrid provides a good balance between a plush, soft memory foam feel and the traditional bounciness of an innerspring mattress. The pocketed coils keep the bed bouncy without transferring motion across the mattress too heavily. Being able to easily switch positions is a feature that combo sleepers should find attractive with this mattress.
The Bear and the Bear Hybrid seem to work best for different types of sleepers. The Bear seems to be a great choice for sleepers who want to feel on top of the mattress. Strict side sleepers and people who just like to sink into their mattresses may find the Hybrid more comfortable. The added quilting in the cover and comfort layer of the Hybrid gives it a plush feel with more immediate pressure relief in the shoulders, which is great for side sleepers. However, sleepers who need more support in the hips and lower back (strict back and stomach sleepers) may prefer the firmer nature of the Bear.
Which Mattress Has the Best Feel?
Now that you understand the differences in construction between the Bear and Bear Hybrid, it is time to look at how these mattresses feel. Everyone answers this question in a slightly different way, and we account for this in our testing.
The firmness of a mattress is subjective and based on body shape, weight, and size. I run my tests with co-workers of varying body types to account for this. All of us try both mattresses and average our results for the number you see below. The firmness scale ranges from 1 to 10, with 6.5 being the industry standard for medium firmness.
The all-foam Bear earned a 7/10 firmness rating, which is slightly firmer than the industry standard of 6.5/10 for medium firmness. The mattress is soft enough to allow back sleepers to initially sink a little into the memory foam comfort layer, but supportive enough to keep the hips aligned with the spine when lying on the stomach. Combo sleepers should enjoy the bounciness of the Bear, which allows for greater mobility when switching positions.
Strict side sleepers may find the firmness of the Bear a bit uncomfortable in the shoulder area. When I was in the side position, the Bear did not allow me to sink into the mattress enough to relieve the pressure in my shoulder joints.
We gave the Bear Hybrid an average firmness score of 6/10. This is slightly softer than the industry standard of 6.5/10. The pocketed coils give the Hybrid good bounce and allow for high mobility in the mattress. Back-side combo sleepers should appreciate the pressure relief in the shoulder area and the support for the lower back in both positions. Stomach sleepers may need a bit more support for the hips, however.
Both mattresses allow for an initial comfortable sink into the cover and comfort layers, but the extra foam laid into the Hybrid cover gives it a slightly more plush feel than the original Bear. I do feel that strict side sleepers may find the original Bear too firm in the shoulder region, while the Hybrid gives good pressure relief in the shoulders. However, stomach sleepers may find that the Hybrid is too soft to keep the back aligned with the hips in that position.
Which Mattress is the Winner?
We are nearing the end of our Bear vs. Bear Hybrid comparison! I have gone through the construction of each mattress, how they feel, and how they compare to each other. Here’s where I sum up all of the major points to help you make your buying decision.
The all-foam Bear is probably the better choice for people who prefer a firmer mattress. Both beds have good mobility, but the coils in the Hybrid create a bouncier feel without too much motion transfer. This motion isolation is usually attractive for people who sleep with a restless partner.
The Original Bear is great for strict back and stomach sleepers who may need more support in the hips and lower back to keep the spine aligned. However, it may feel less comfortable for strict side sleepers who need pressure relief in the shoulders. This is where the softer Hybrid wins out, because it allows for a bit more sinkage that keeps the shoulder joints from being jammed.
The Bear and the Bear Hybrid are both bed-in-a-box mattresses, so you should let them decompress for a few hours before initially sleeping on them. The original Bear comes with a 10 year warranty, while the Hybrid comes with a 20 year warranty. The all-foam Bear ($590-$990) is slightly less expensive than the Hybrid ($1,090-$1,690), and you can use the code SLEEPOPOLIS to save 20% on either purchase.
FAQ: What’s the difference between Innerspring & Memory Foam mattresses?
Before we end this comparison, here are my most important takeaways from the Bear and Bear Hybrid. This summary should help you make a decision if you are on the fence.
- Strict back sleepers should enjoy the supportive nature of the all-foam Bear mattress. The firmer feel keeps the hips from sinking too far into the mattress, which is necessary for good spinal alignment.
- Bear embodies that classic memory foam feel, but it also sleeps cool because of the graphite infusion in the comfort layer.
- Strict side sleepers should enjoy the plush feel of the Hybrid mattress. This softness provides much-needed pressure relief in the shoulders, which keeps those joints from jamming up.
- The Hybrid has a bit more bounce than the all-foam Bear, which will lend mobility to combo sleepers when switching positions.
How Much do the Bear Mattresses Cost?
We’re all done with the Bear vs. Bear Hybrid comparison, but the comment section below is where we continue the conversation. Feel free to leave any questions or notes that you may have below!