Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress review – an ultra-supportive option

The Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress strikes a careful balance between comfort and support

Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress against a white wall, next to a houseplant.
(Image credit: Bear)
Homes & Gardens Verdict

The Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress ticks all my boxes. It's soft to cushion your joints and alleviate aches and pains; it's supportive to maintain the natural alignment of your spine; and it's cooling to suit hot sleepers and warmer weather. A few customers doubt the durability of the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress, but after all my time testing, I'm impressed.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Medium feel to suit most sleepers

  • +

    Comfortable hip support for side sleepers

  • +

    Cooling features for hot sleepers

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Might be too soft for stomach sleepers

  • -

    Potential for long-term breakdown according to some reviewers

You can trust Homes & Gardens. Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, helping you choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress is plush yet supportive for optimal joint health and comfort. It isn't too tough around the edges, nor is it soft and saggy in the middle. It's a hard balance to strike, but the team at Bear have struck it.

I tested the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress for more than a month in the comfort of my own home. I'd recommend this hybrid mattress for front, back, and side sleepers, as well as anyone who runs a little warm: you'll appreciate the cooling properties of the mysteriously named 'phase change material'. If you prefer to sleep on a firmer surface, you might be better off shopping elsewhere: the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress is a little on the softer side. 

At Homes & Gardens, we've sampled some of the world's best mattresses. I know exactly what I'm looking for in a hybrid mattress: plush memory foam; supportive steel coils; decent motion isolation; and a reasonable price point. I can confirm that the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress excels in (almost) all areas.

Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress Specifications

Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress against a white background.

(Image credit: Bear)
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FirmnessSoft, Medium, Firm
SizesTwin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King
CareSpot-clean mattress cover only
ShippingFree shipping and free returns; ships in 3-10 days from the contiguous US

Who would the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress suit?

Close up of the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress.

(Image credit: Future / Alex Frost)
  • All sleep styles: that's the point. The Bear Elite Hybrid comes in three styles: soft, medium, or firm support. I tested the mattress in Medium, which felt slightly fluffier and softer than I expected, but not so much as to be saggy or unsupportive.
  • Anyone who sleeps on their side: you'll appreciate a hybrid mattress. The memory foam will cushion your hips, knees, and shoulders, while the stainless steel springs should lift your lumbar region.
  • Anyone who suffers from chronic pain: the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress would suit people who are dealing with joint pain issues, or just the usual wear and tear of achy backs, knees, and hips as we age. This mattress is gentle on those areas, while helping you to maintain a natural and healthy position, keeping your spine and legs in alignment as you sleep. 

Setting up the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress

Unwrapping the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress.

(Image credit: Future / Alex Frost)

Setting up the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress was a bit cumbersome, because the people who delivered it didn't remove the plastic from under the mattress. I had to figure out how to hoist the mattress up again to remove the wrapping, even though this was a 'white glove' delivery service. I suggest you request the mattress is fully unwrapped, or you'll be lifting a massive mattress on your own. 

Plastic wrap aside, the mattress comes ready to use, with none of those odd smells you sometimes get as memory foam mattresses settle and deflate after shipping. My initial impression was that the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress appeared to have high-quality structure, materials, and feel. I was excited to give the mattress a try, and I wasn't disappointed. 

Before bed, I pushed down on the mattress to see how much motion transfer I should expect, but there was little to none. Sure enough, I didn't feel my partner moving around during sleep.

What's it like to sleep on the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress?

The Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress on a bed frame between two nightstands.

(Image credit: Future / Alex Frost)

The Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress makes it exceptionally easy to fall asleep because you are just so comfortable. I sank into the mattress a little, but not too far: it felt like each of my joints was surrounded and supported by the foam. When I lay down on my stomach, my spine stayed straight. This is a quick and easy way to test the firmness of a mattress: too soft, and your back will arch, which makes for back ache in the morning. 

A hand pressing down on the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress.

(Image credit: Future / Alex Frost)

I appreciate how the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress has zoned support. The mattress manufacturers anticipated exactly where you'd need more coils for enhanced lumbar support. It's this sort of attention to detail that sets Bear apart from other bed-in-a-box brands.

The Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress incorporates 'phase change material' to dissipate heat and wick moisture to keep you just the right side of cool and dry. However, Seriously hot sleepers might want to pair the mattress with a set of the best cooling sheets

How does the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress rate online?

The side of the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress.

(Image credit: Bear)

The Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress has many fans. The average rating is 4.6 stars out of 5 from almost 4,000 reviews on the Bear site. One happy customer wrote: 'It's like sleeping on a supportive cloud. I've had neck, shoulder, back, and hip surgery and when I get out of bed − I do not hurt. I am so happy. As a side sleeper, this has been a great stress reliever. Definitely not sending this mattress back – it's a keeper.'

Others appreciate that the mattress is versatile for multiple users. One wrote: 'I love this mattress. It's medium-firm for my petite self and my average-built husband and so far it has provided support and comfort for both of us without sagging or motion transfer. My scoliosis is thanking me for the relief.'

A few customers felt that the mattress didn't hold up over time. One complains that 'almost immediately after the 120-night sleep trial was up, the mattress developed deep indentation where my partner and I sleep. When I contacted their support line, they offered no help since the 120-day period was up.'

In typical Goldilocks fashion, some customers complained that the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress was too hard, or too soft, but I thought it was just right.

Is the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress worth it?

Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress in a bedroom.

(Image credit: Bear)

There's a reason that the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress is so popular: it strikes the perfect balance between softness and support, and it's cooling, too. With the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress, I felt that I was sleeping in the optimal position for my body. I didn't have to work against a floppy or firm surface to stay in my desired position. Depending on sales, the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress retails for a little more than $2,000, but it's often listed for less. It tends to be around $1,500. I'd happily pay that price for this mattress.

How we test mattresses

Top-down view of the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress.

(Image credit: Future / Alex Frost)

We put a lot of thought into how we test mattresses. It's more than a matter of sleeping on the job. Our expert testers sample mattresses for months to monitor their performance over time. We sleep through all four seasons to assess the thermoregulation of the mattress: we're looking to stay warm in the winter and cool for the summer. 

Some of our mattress tests are simple and intuitive. To gauge the comfort level, we just lie down on the mattress and see how we feel. With a hybrid mattress, such as the Bear Elite, we'd expect to sink into the top layer of memory foam but be boosted by the stainless steel coils. To test the edge support, we move over to the side of the mattress and see how far we sink. The further we go, the poorer the edge support. 

Other tests take a little more preparation. To assess the weight-bearing capacity of a mattress, we take a dumbbell, the sort you'd find in any home gym. We place it on top of the mattress and measure how far it sinks into the foam. Then, we remove the weight and time how long it takes for the foam to spring back into shape. The quicker it reforms, the better the weight-bearing capacity, and the less likely it is that the mattress will form indentations. 

To measure the motion transfer of a mattress, we might take our pet or partner and lay them down on the other side of the bed. We let them toss and turn and see whether we can feel their movements from our side of the mattress. The less we feel, the better the motion isolation, and the more suitable a mattress might be for light sleepers. With a hybrid mattress, such as the Bear Elite, we aren't expecting exceptional motion isolation: all those steel coils create a bit of bounce.

Alex Frost

Alex Frost is a Cincinnati-based journalist and content marketing writer who specializes in medical/health, mental health and wellness, parenting and relationships, education, trends, business, and lifestyle writing. You can find Alex's work in Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Glamour, Parents, Women's Health, Reader's Digest, Popular Science, and Today's Parent, among other publications.