What about other hybrid foams?

Whilst we are aware of a number of other foams with gel beads, intelligent heat dispersal and so forth used in mattresses, the only two Hybrids we will recommend are Laygel and Coolblue at this stage. There are a number of hybrid foams out there but how can you tell them apart? What’s the differences between them? This article tries to help explain the terms that may baffle you otherwise!

Hybrid 50009 2

What is a hybrid foam mattress?

Any material that doesn’t respond to heat, ie viscoelastic, can’t legitimately be called memory foam in our opinion, at best it’s in the memory foam family, but more accurately we call these hybrid foams. Hybrid foam mattresses offer some excellent benefits over memory foam mattresses.

The two we use, Laygel and Coolblue, have been tried and tested and truly do what they say on the tin. Remember there are hundreds of memory foams and hybrid Foams out there with varying qualities, so each supplier is trying to come up with a new way to say or sell the same idea. It’s important you avoid the jargon and spin and get down to the basics. Let’s investigate some of the foams on the scene.

Geltex Mattress Foam

Sealy has released their Geltex foam which we were shown by Sealy scientists themselves at the National Bed show 2013. It’s a hybrid foam mixing a gel compound into a foam. They showed us some cell structures and gave us a demonstration that it has more responsiveness than a traditional memory foam. What puzzled me was there was no specifics on the density or hardness of the foam. The representative stated that Geltex has the ‘triangle of sleep’, which covers ventilation, pressure relief and support. What exactly does this mean we asked? We didn’t really get any firm convincing answers!

Any quality hybrid foam should offer these three properties. Without knowing the density and specifics, it’s hard to quantify these 3 pillars of Geltex. There were also no data sheets provided on Geltex. Which as we know makes it very difficult to compare to our hybrid foams, we will have to watch this space as the new Sealy Hybrid range has only recently been released and there is little customer feedback on them.

Cool Gel /Gel-Zone

Cool Gel / Gel Zone has recently, 2014, started to make an appearance but again there are no specifics on this foam, its density, behaviour or response rates. There are claims that it is 15 times less heat retentive than memory foam but I’ve seen no clinical trials or data sheets to support this. Also the claim its the ‘softest solid on the planet’ sound very grandiose but I’m unsure what this oxymoronic statement actually means or is tested by!

Mammoth Sports Mattresses

Mammoth mattresses specialise in ‘sports mattresses’ using medical grade foam. But what exactly are they? Mammoth don’t give any details on the density of their medical grade foam again making it very hard to compare or say with any certainty. My experience is that any synthetic foam can be classed as a medical grade if it’s robust and doesn’t harbour bacteria. Usually medical grade foam is used on hospital beds and is basically a very firm reflex foam, the supportive element of a memory or hybrid mattress. Mammoth mattresses castellate and cut lines into the top of their foam which allows them to soften the feel of the top layer without necessarily layering other

Usually medical grade foam is used on hospital beds and is basically a very firm reflex foam, the supportive element of a memory or hybrid mattress. Mammoth mattresses castellate and cut lines into the top of their foam which allows them to soften the feel of the top layer without necessarily layering other foams on top. This means that a solid block can be used which is then castellated to give a softer feel on the top but with support.

They do have a range with latex, again no blend given, and other foams together but, in essence, it is the cutting of the foam that provides the comfort / softer top layer.

Kaymeds K3Gel

Kaymed is one of the UK’s foam and mattress manufacturers. They recently released the K3Gel which is a type of grid/mesh like gel material used in mattresses. They describe it as being less heat retentive and allowing air to circulate more freely through the cubes. From our experience, the K3Gel has a rubbery jelly like feel and it feels quite soft. I’m uncertain of the makeup and density of the foam so can’t really liken it to any other foam or material. k3gel mesh john ryan

It looks at first glance somewhat similar to Mammoths grid like mattress construction but upon further inspection is entirely different this being a complete unit of grid gel/foam. The question we have is that once its compressed surely the grid flattens into a gel-like sheet once you’re in bed? So how does the air circulation work? What happens to the air flow if its compressed entirely? That said, it certainly is an interesting idea.

Viscool / Viscoool

What is viscool/ viscoool? Is viscool any good? These are a few recent questions that a few of you have asked and so we have done some digging! We must distinguish that viscool is an American foam made by American Excelsior which manufactures their own brand of breathable foam. We have not been able to test this out as it seems to primarily exist in the USA and not Europe. Then there is viscoool, different to viscool (confusing huh!) seen in Carpet rights beds department. This Viscool is also listed in the Salus Viscool 1000 which categorises it as memory foam whereas Carpet right class is as a less heat retentive foam.

Again there are zero actual details on this foam on their site or any other so it’s a bit of a mystery so far. This material is used on their pillow top ranges at present and you already know our aversion to the dreaded pillow top mattress with its myriad of problems! You can read our review on why pillow top mattresses are a bad idea here.

Remember to ask the important questions when looking at Hybrid Foams

  • What is the depth of the foams used?
  • What is the density of the foams?
  • Are they heat sensitive?
  • What is the rebound rate?

Guide to hybrid foams Laygel and Coolblue

What do memory foam and latex mattresses really feel like?


As always there are varying qualities of these foams and we only provide quality foams we have tried and tested ourselves. We have produced a video on the hybrid foams we use, what’s in them and how they react so you can make up your own mind! If you can’t find out the depth, density or logical explanation for how the foams work I would take caution. If one thing is sure, when talking about hybrid foams the science is always wheeled out to confuse and baffle you so take care. We specialise in talking plain English so call us if you need any assistance with hybrid foams.


View Comments
  • Rob says:

    Whats the difference between the bensons Igel foam, Geltex foam and the new Sealy Hybrid foam I’ve read about. I’ve looked every where but can’t find out any information like the John Ryan Foams about their composition?

    Can you do a comparison please to help?

    Hi Rob, Now you’re asking the million pound question! The simple answer is we have no idea what is in Bensons Igel, Geltex or Sealys Hybrid Foam. Why is this? Because the details on the foam are a closely guarded secret. Which is fine but it does make it very difficult if not impossible to compare. What I can say is most foams that are manufactured in the UK range from 40kg to 75kg in density, with 75kg being the firmest. We release all the details on our foam because we think its only fair for a customer to know exactly what they are buying. Our John Ryan Business has been built on this transparency from day one. Some mattresses like the ergoflex use 85kg memory foam which is very dense and firm. I’m not sure what Tempur use in their range but it ranges from very firm to a softer foam in their Cloud. You can start to see some of the issue in the like for like comparison. Hybrid foams tend to be softer as their benefit is heat reduction and being more responsive than memory foam. If you want a really firm foam which is also progressive the best for this is Latex, all other foams struggle to give the benefits that Latex has. We provide all the details of our hybrid foams and are always on the look out to find out what the competitive foams contain, you never know we may learn a trick or two from their foams, if we knew the densities and properties!! In the mean time if you have any other queries please get in touch Rob.

  • Lynne Dixon says:


    I’ve been looking at your website for some time now, trying to decide between a good pocket sprung and a hybrid mattress. Having never laid on a hybrid bed I thought I’d better give them a try so visited Furniture Village. After trying out the traditional Vi Springs I was directed to a Mammoth Pocket 270 – 7cm Medical Grade Foam with 1600 ‘luxury’ pocket springs. I was very pleasantly surprised how good this felt and now feel that this kind of mattress could be more suitable for me (5’6″, 10 and 1/2st and aching joints) than a traditional pocket sprung. I’d be interested to know if you have any thoughts/opinions on Mammoth and whether your Hybrid mattresses would offer a similar feel.

    Hi Lynne, The hybrid style mattresses provide the support of a traditional mattress but with the pressure relief and moulding feeling that you would get from a memory foam or latex mattress. They really do provide the best of both worlds!

    As for the mammoth mattress; they use a castellated construction method of their ‘medical grade’ foam which gives a softer more pliable feel to the top layers of the mattress. What is medical grade foam you ask? Good question! Having tried a number of mammoth mattresses and seen them naked, without coverings, I can only liken the medical grade foam to reflex PU foam, i.e. regular dense foam usually used at the bottom of memory foam mattresses. I can confirm that it does last longer than memory foam but its much firmer and harder in its properties than memory foam. The castellation makes the medical grade foam feel softer and more malleable to over come this firmness.

    In terms of what is similar I’d ask you to look at our Hybrid 6 or 7 mattresses which are deeper than the mammoth but are similar in construction method, albeit without the castellated foam. There is also a considerable difference in price!

    If you are preferring a vi-srping style traditional bed then I’d advise our John Ryan By design site and look at the Artisan Range of mattresses. If you want more tailored advice please give us a call. Thanks – Lee

  • JAMES BOYLAN says:

    Hi please help if you can,now i am a large build male 23 stones in weight,can you recommend the perfect 4ft 6in double for me,i was thinking of a Hypnos ortho gold firm tension,is this the right choice for me ? or what is your choice please help if you can, because i have found it a nightmare choosing as its like a minefield out there,their is 1000s of mattresses to choose from,but i don’t have a clue, so where do i start, my budget goes up to £650.00.

    Regards James.

    Hi James, Thanks for getting in touch sorry to hear you’re struggling through the minefield of mattresses. Unfortunately at that weight none of the John Ryan Contemporary models would be suitable I’m afraid as they would all be too soft. The only means to create a suitable mattress is to look at our Artisan range, maybe the Artisan naturals mattress for example, which we can create bespoke with an extra firm spring. This is however excluded from the 30 day love it or return it guarantee and is above the budget you’re working to I’m afraid.

    The mattress you have seen, Hypnos Gold, does seem suitable for your weight based on the firm tension, which may feel more like a medium. The other specifics of the bed don’t really give me much to compare to without say the GSM of the Cashmere etc, I doubt theres more than a few percent in there with white fibre. Our advice if you’re a heavier sleeper is to go for a firmer base, such as a bespoke extra firm which accommodates 20-25 stone but if your budget doesn’t stretch to say an Artisan then its preferable to choose a cheaper firm mattress and replace more frequently if need be ie eveyr 2 years or so.

    I hope thats been on some help James.

  • Sally says:

    I have been browsing your site the past month which had been really informative. I’m glad i came across it as we were very close to buying the Sealey Adelaide geltex mattress from bensons.
    We liked the mattress the best as it gave a medium-firm feel and was wondering if you have something similar? Bensons told me that the geltex is 3cm (their sitejust says ”deep”!).
    My weight is 9 stone and my husband is 12.2, we are after a king sized mattress.
    Look forward to hearing from you


    Hi Sally,

    Given that Sealy don’t provide any details for Geltex such as its density I can only go off the depth, making the comparison pretty difficult! I would say that 3cm would not be considered a deep layer for foam. We only provide foam layers in 5cm or 7.5, anything less than this can be rendered useless given all foams can compress by unto 2cm.

    It you like a medium feel then our hybrid 6 or 7 would be ideal for your weight. The Hybrid 6 is slightly softer in the top layer than the Hybrid 7 which is medium in both the top comfort layer and the support layer.

    If you need further advice please give us a call. – Lee

  • Helena says:

    Hi John and Ryan,

    I left a comment on your site a couple of weeks ago, but now can’t find it – so I thought I would email you instead.

    We spoke several times last year about soft mattresses. I am 5 foot 2, seven stone, and have arthritic hips. I am naturally a side-sleeper, but can’t sleep on my side as my Vi-Spring medium mattress is too hard, despite having a goose-feather topper on it, with a memory foam topper on top of that (yes, I need a ladder to get into bed).

    I’ve been looking at your 6-pocket Laygel hybrids, but am not sure that they would feel soft to me if they feel soft/medium to people who are two stone heavier than I am.

    When we last spoke, you said you may well be producing something really soft in the future, so I was wondering if you have meanwhile developed something that might be suitable? The one mattress I really liked when I tried it was a very well-used Vi-Spring Shetland Superb on display in a store in York – but when I tried another, less well used, one in ASTB, it felt much harder and less comfortable.

    Any advice would be very welcome indeed!

    Kind regards,


    Hi Helena, I wouldn’t recommend the Hybrid 6 for your weight, it will feel more of a medium given your proportions.

    The only mattress I would recommend is either the Origins Comfort or the Artisan Luxury, both of which are our softest mattresses. The origins is our starter spun bond pocket spring model with synthetic fibres where as the Artisan Luxury is a natural fibre calico encased pocket sprung mattress.

    Please give us a call if you want us to go into more detail on these with you.

  • Michael says:

    i have been looking at some of your hybrid matteresses and was just hoping for a point in the right direction, i am 5ft 9 and 10stone i have a very minor degree of scoliosis which is a curve of the spine i have tried a few matteresses over the years currently on an orthapedic very hard matteress and it really is to hard. I recently went into dreams and laid on several but 2 that i found the most confortable was a tempur sensation deluxe 22 in firm rating and then also the new sealy geltex in soft as the said they did not have a medium although i think i wpuld have preffered a medium had the had one the firm was a touch to solid my osteopath recommended a firm support but i think i need something that is also soft and comfortable at the same time i tend to sleep on my stomach and sometimes on my side any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

    Hi Michael, It sounds like you may have fallen into the old firm mattress for a bad back trick! Over the years this advice has been given out to any one with a bad back, the truth recently backed up by the British Chiropractic Society is that a firm mattress is not necessarily the best option when it comes to back complaints!

    The sound advice is that you need an equal mix of support (based on your body weight – not just soft med firm) and comfort (the softer top layers of a mattress). If you end up with too much of one then its either too soft meaning your in an awkward position or too firm meaning you’re back is being rigidly held.

    So mattress advice – Based on your weights I wouldn’t go higher than a medium in our range or in a spring tension either. A firm will simply punish you and provide no comfort. I would have a look at the Hybrid 4 rather than the Hybrid 5 which I think would be too firm in the top layers for you. The Hybrid 4 is a comparator to the tempur cloud which I think would be a more suitable long term match for you. The Hybrid 5 would be fine for you I just think based on my experience it maybe a bit too firm for your height and weight. The hybrid foams are less heat retentive than memory foams and are faster to respond.

    If you’re really looking for the best mattress for your money though the Fusion 3 would also be ideal, latex is far less heat retentive and respond much faster still. The budget is a consideration though as latex is more expensive than hybrid foams.

    We have videos here if you want to see the difference. If you need any more help please give us a call Michael. Our last order date for pre-xmas deliveries is this Wednesday. – Lee

  • E Townsend says:

    Came across your site by chance and interested in your products. I am considering purchasing the European King mattress in your outlet store. Can you advise me what condition “B” means and if this still operates your Love It or return it policy?
    Prior to seeing your site I was almost ready to buy a Falcon Mattress http://www.falcon-sport.co.uk/ can you tell me how your mattress differs to theirs?
    Also can you deliver in time for Xmas?
    Thanks in advance.


    Firstly the falcon mattress gives practically zero detail about the mattress other than its just foam. It looks like its a spin off of the popular ‘sports mattresses’ style of mattress which make no sense to me at all. Whether you’re sporty or not the basics of mattress comfort are identical! These are foam thats been castellated. I’m having to hazard a guess as that site gives no detail whatsoever about the grade, density or style of foam used!

    As for the continental kingsize, the grade B in this case refers to one or two small marks from transport. The mattress grading for a B is usually like new, The love it or return it guarantee still applies to this model to.

    The Fusion is a vastly different mattress to the ‘foam’ one you’ve shown me. Latex is a natural product which is breathable and has a great lifespan. Synthetic foam degrades much quicker and retains far more heat.

    If you order in the next week we can get the mattress to you before xmas if your mainland UK some parts of Scotland may take longer. – Lee

  • Matt says:

    Hi,we’ve been into Bensons and liked the feel of the Sensaform Visicool Ortho mattress £629.99 for kingsize(their firmness rating 4). I’m worried about it sagging overtime and being too hot. Can you recommend which of your matresses would be of equal firmness and which to opt for to remain cool.

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    The sensaform viscool is a memory foam topped one sided mattress. It is also a dreaded pillow top mattress which you may have read about on our site. This means that when the pillow top fails or collapses which they usually do over time, you can’t remove or replace it meaning your stuck with a lumpy topped mattress. The pillow top is the weakest part of the mattress you see.

    All of our range come with removable deep toppers that can be turned and rotated.

    If you like the firmness of the sensaform you’ve seen I’d recommend you look at our Hybrid 7 which is a FEPs (foam encapsulated pocket spring) mattress which uses cooler hybrid foam which is more responsive and also is a far deeper mattress giving you much more for your spend.

    If you need further advise please give us a call.

  • Paul says:

    Hi. Found yr site. Looking at a Decadence mattes from bensons at the moment but am unsure abt it as I think they are unique range to bensons from relyon. I like the idea of pocket springs. Do you offer a similar model? Are all your mattresses latex/foam? so much info on yr site I can’t get clear info. Thanks. Paul

    Hi Paul, Thanks for your enquiry.

    I’ve looked at The decadence mattress and can’t give a comparison to any of our mattresses as we don’t do anything with a pillow top also they don’t give the exact components of the mattress.

    Please find a link below to our site we have many pocket sprung mattresses on there, once you have a had a look please do not hesitate to contact me and I will advise which mattress would be suitable for you.

    Hope this helps. Marie

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