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Flip or Flop: Does Your Mattress Need to be Turned Over?

by Olly Mason

Your bed — it’s where you dream big, restore your mind, give your body some tender love and care, and get away from the world. It’s no wonder we’re constantly trying to find new ways to improve our sleep wellness.

But what about flipping your mattress? Whether you heard this tip from your parents, or you’ve stumbled across the thread casually browsing online, the truth behind the practice is largely uncertain. So, is it time to put the habit back into our sleep routine? For some sleepers, flipping a mattress can be a benefit, but for others it’s a fad that can be skipped altogether. In this article, you’ll discover which camp you fall under.

Couple flipping box spring mattress base

Do Flip Your Mattress If…

Despite the growing variety of mattress types now available on the market, innerspring mattresses remain the most sold kind of mattress in the industry. Given the stats, it’s safe to assume coil mattresses aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. But this data reveals more than just popularity: It also means the majority of sleepers in America should be incorporating regular flips as part of regular mattress maintenance.

The reason being, spring mattresses are generally designed with identical padding on the “top” and the “bottom,” which serve as a cushion against the coils in the middle. With regular use, the zones where you sleep most often subject the innersprings in that area to more pressure. Without regular flipping, these areas become worn, which compromises the overall support and durability of a mattress.

Woman sits on a bed and grabs back with graphic visual of pain

However, even modern-day mattress manufacturers are releasing innerspring beds with newer support technologies that allow users to pass on the flip. Typically, mattress brands will label their mattresses as one-sided or double-sided as an indicator to flip or not to flip. You might be able to gather what each means, but just to clarify, here’s a breakdown:

  • One-sided mattresses (also referred to as single-side mattresses) have been specially designed for better weight support and resistance to regular use. One-sided mattresses include memory foam, latex, hybrid, and pillow top models.
  • Double-sided mattresses are designed specifically to be flipped routinely throughout their lifespan.

Therefore, it’s important to heed a manufacturer’s suggestions in order to prolong the life of your investment. In some cases, failure to follow manufacturer recommendations — like flipping a single-sided mattress — can lead to irreversible damage and can potentially nullify a mattress’ warranty. But most of all, reversing a single-side mattress will expose the sturdy base, and when users sleep on this side, they subject themselves to body misalignment, discomfort, and even injuries.

Skip Flipping Your Mattress If…

Foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses contain cushioning, but not every layer is the same. Instead, a softer level is usually used near the surface for enhanced comfort that isn’t too firm on the body. As these layers go further down, they gradually become more robust in order to provide proper stability. Meanwhile, at the bottom of every hybrid mattress is a series of coils, just like on a traditional mattress.

Due to their carefully crafted construction, these three types of mattresses should never be flipped. When a one-sided mattress is flipped, the heaviest layers push down on the softer layers, potentially compromising or damaging them. Instead, it’s recommended to give these mattresses simple rotation.

Graphic visual of layers in a hybrid mattress

Flipping vs. Rotating

Luckily, rotating your mattress is a simple, yet effective, way to avoid overusing a certain area of your mattress — all it takes is a 180-degree flip (or switching the foot of the bed with the head). However, depending on the type of mattress you sleep on, how often you’ll need to rotate will vary.

If you have a newer innerspring mattress, feel free to give it a rotation once every six months. However, if it’s an older coil mattress, try once every three months. If it also happens to be a flippable mattress, give it a spin during every rotation for added protection against wear. 

Foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses all benefit from a rotation every three to six months. However, if your mattress happens to be on an adjustable base, consider more frequent rotations in order to get equal use out of each side.

User slipping a mattress into a wooden bed frame

Embrace the Rotation

With routine rotations, sleepers can avoid common mattress problems, including:

  1. Since most of the weight is placed at the center, mattresses can suffer from what’s called “hammocking.” Essentially, this is when a mattress inverts like a V. This is not only harmful to the natural contour of the body, but it makes it especially hard for elders to get out of bed.
  2. Sagging, much like hammocking, involves indentations from worn out cushioning, padding, or spring. Rotating a mattress ensures no one spot gets overused.
  3. Unless you perform regular rotations, your mattress will remain stationary virtually all of its life. When you give it a turn, you allow the materials to breathe, which works to revive cushioning and helping reduce the growth of mildew, dust mites, and mold.

Save Your Back & Some Bucks

If your current mattress causes you pain in your back, neck, and hips, no matter how many flips, rotations, or fluffs you give it, it will never be enough to unlock the revitalizing rest you deserve. Give yourself the gift of great sleep instead with a reliable mattress from our catalog of trusted sleep brands. With mattress types in a comfort level ideal for all sleep positions, our mattress lineup makes finding better sleep wellness easy and affordable. Shop today!