Mattress Guides

Do You Need to Flip Your Mattress?

Find out if flipping your mattress can give you a better night’s sleep.

By Alex Reale

New mattresses require regular maintenance and upkeep in order for them to deliver the best sleep experience. This maintenance can include things like regular washing, purchasing accessories like mattress toppers and mattress pads, and in some cases, changing the mattress’s position, whether by flipping or rotating. However, in this day and age of modern bedding, do you still need to flip your mattress to help maintain its structural integrity, reduce wear and tear, and combat back pain? Read on to find out.

Flipping Your Mattress vs. Rotating Your Mattress

There is a difference between flipping a mattress and rotating it. Rotating your mattress is the act of spinning your mattress on its foundation 180 degrees. This can be done for a majority of mattresses, but depending on the mattress material, it’s recommended that it’s done on a specific schedule. 

For latex mattresses or memory foam mattresses, you’ll want to rotate them approximately twice a year, once every six months. For innerspring and hybrid mattresses that have coils in their construction, you will want to rotate them a little more frequently, approximately two to five times a year. Most modern innerspring mattresses may need rotating on a less frequent basis, but it’s always a good idea to go by the mattress manufacturer’s recommendations.

Flipping a mattress is when you completely turn it over to the opposite side, and it’s usually a much more involved process. In the past, it was common for mattresses to be flipped on a regular basis in order to promote a solid sleep experience and to increase their lifespan and durability, but in recent times, flipping isn’t very common.

When Should a Mattress Be Flipped?

Older types of mattresses were designed by mattress companies to be double-sided, meaning that they were built with the same level of support on either side. This allowed people to sleep on the mattress no matter how it sat on the bed base. Nowadays, modern mattresses, such as pillow-top mattresses, are usually designed to be one-sided, which means that there is only padding on the one side. That is why you should always carefully inspect the mattress directions to make sure you don’t accidentally place your mattress upside down and subject yourself to sleeping on the unpadded side. Not only will this be uncomfortable for you, but it can also add excess pressure to the mattress’s comfort layer and pillow top, which can severely (and permanently) damage the structural integrity and void the warranty.

If you discover that you have a double-sided flippable mattress, determine what kind of flippable mattress it is. Some are built so that one side is firmer than the other, in which case you’ll want to choose whichever side fits your preference. If both sides are the same, then you’ll want to look into flipping it once every six months. It’s possible that you may need to flip it more frequently depending on a variety of factors such as the mattress’s age, your body mass, and how often you lay in bed. 

How to Flip Your Mattress

Flipping a mattress is not easy, especially when it’s a larger or heavy mattress that’s a king size or queen size. Before you flip yours, you need to make sure you’re taking the proper precautions and steps to ensure you don’t damage your bed or harm yourself in the process.

First, you’ll want to be sure that it’s time to flip your mattress. As mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea to flip the mattress once every six months, but only if it’s a double-sided mattress that’s designed to be flipped. You may also consider flipping it if you notice excess sagging or indentations in your preferred sleep spot. Depending on your sleeping position, you may see sagging particularly around the hips, shoulders, and other high-pressure areas.

Next, you should take this time to clean all the bedding. This includes putting all your sheets in the washer, and also vacuuming the mattress itself. If the weather is nice and warm, it may be a good idea to bring the entire mattress outside to sit in the sun (if you have adequate outdoor space), which will help kill off dust mites. Just make sure to avoid placing the mattress in any areas where it can get wet.

Before you move the mattress at all, you’ll want to think about getting a friend to help. Even if you think you can flip the mattress by yourself, most heavy mattresses can be very awkward to handle on your own, and you might have trouble with the weight distribution. It’s always a good idea to seek help for any mattress flipping or replacing.

Remove all small knick-knacks or furniture such as nightstands out of the way. You want to give yourself plenty of room to maneuver during the flipping, especially while handling queen or king size mattresses. If your mattress has handles, take advantage of them to make the entire process much easier for you.

With your partner, you’ll want to slowly flip the mattress over and gently rest it on its new side face up. Avoid letting it fall, as this can potentially damage the boxspring or bed slats if the mattress is too heavy. Once it’s on its new side, slide it into position on the bed frame and replace all the sheets and bedding.

Even though you’ve flipped your mattress, it’s still highly recommended that you rotate it as well. Once it’s been flipped, rotate the mattress 180 degrees to get the best results.

If this is the first time you’ve flipped the mattress, it may not feel comfortable right away. Typically, new beds straight from the manufacturer have a 30-day break-in period, so you’ll want to give your newly-flipped mattress some time to accommodate your body. 

Summary

Not every mattress is designed to be flipped, but for the few that are, it can make a significant difference in your quality of sleep and extend the overall life of your mattress. If you own a double-sided mattress and you’re looking to improve your sleep experience, check to see if it can be flipped. It might completely change the way you relax and give you the best mattress experience ever.