Some people can still remember their parents telling them to flip or rotate their mattress every so often back when they were growing up. Flipping your mattress, they said, would help increase the lifespan of the mattress and maintain the durability of the cushion.
In today’s day and age, technology has come a long way, even in the world of sleepwear. With so many brands and different combinations of materials being used in order to create the perfect sleep, there isn’t really a complete guide to when and how often we should flip or rotate our mattresses. There is even a question in whether or not we still have to do this rotational routine.
Why do we Rotate or Flip?
If this is an entirely new concept, to begin with, people used to flip or rotate their mattresses in order to help even out the wear and tear on the mattress. Our beds are subject to so much stress whether it be a difference in weight distribution depending on user or lifestyle. There can be an imbalance in how much support and how well aligned the mattress is holding your body at.
Mattress stores used to recommend that people flip their mattresses every couple of months, typically three. Flipping your mattress would keep it comfortable and reduce the appearance of a saggy mattress. Mattresses used to be made double-sided. No matter which way they were facing, there was comfort on both sides of the bed.
What is the Difference and Which is Better?
Flipping the mattress involves literally picking up the mattress and flipping it to its other unused side. The face of the mattress that hasn’t been used yet is still fresh and is only collecting dust while pressed against the bed frame.
Rotating the mattress involves only turning the mattress 180 degrees so that the other end is facing the opposite end it was turned to earlier. Rotating does not mean flipping as well, so you would still be sleeping on the same surface, but the end that was potentially less elevated would be in the other direction.
So which is a more useful method in order to prolong the lifespan of your mattress? Flipping is most likely the better and more obvious choice. If you’re already planning on lifting the heavy thing, you might as well turn it to the more supportive side that hasn’t been used. The pressure would be more comfortable with flipping it as the stronger side is the new back and body support system.
Is Mattress Flipping Mandatory?
In this day and age, mattress flipping has become less common in the typical household. This is because most mattress manufacturers have transitioned from making double-sided mattresses into single side ones.
How do you know if your mattress is able to be rotated with received comfort? A bed will say so on the mattress label or in the warranty.
However, if you as the user know that your mattress has been around for a very long time, it is more than likely safe to assume that your mattress is good for flipping.
Certain memory foam mattresses that have been manufactured more recently do not need the traditional flipping as the layers of foam or cushioned material are strategically placed in order to provide the optimal amount of comfort as possible. The thicker bottom layer is often the base support system and the softer, more cushioned layers are at the top where the body makes the most contact. Flipping a mattress like this would result in reversing the layers, and the mattress may not feel as soothing as it originally did.
The same goes for pocket mattresses or any type of innerspring mattress. Layers are strategically placed so that their user is least likely to feel the effects of the springs pushing into their back. Rotating would be fine to do, but any flipping to expose the opposite side would be less than preferred by the user.
How to Flip or Rotate a Mattress
So let’s say that your mattress is eligible to be flipped or rotated. The expected flipping or rotating time is still expected to be every 3-4 months in order to prolong the life expectancy of the mattress. There are some brands though that recommend every six months and even others that require it only once a year.
The first step is to be intentional about it. Scheduling a specific day to rotate or flip your mattress is good because it allows you to plan better. Giving yourself notice in advance actually reduces the stress in moving the mattress.
There’s no denying it; mattresses can be pretty dang heavy, especially if you’re only one or two people. With master bedrooms or partners preferring those California King or King mattress sizes, clearing the space close to the mattress would prevent any unnecessary damage to your bedroom. This includes moving any lamps, nightstands, or movable bookshelves.
Rules for Friendly Flipping
Most often when you think of flipping the mattress, it’s just flipping it right over from the side. This means they will technically have a new surface to sleep on, but the same area is still in the same spot.
Flip your mattress instead from end to end. Lift your mattress from one end of the bed and flip it so the head end has become the new bottom side of the bed. This method consequently guarantees you rotating your bed 180 degrees at the same time; it’s a win-win situation.
Starting with the bottom left corner of your mattress, pick it up and move it clockwise until that bottom left corner is on the top at the right.
Certain brands will make it easy to rotate or flip your mattress by having some type of visual guide on the mattress. For example, Leesa mattresses have stripes on the foot of the bed. If rotated properly, the stripes will have moved to the head.
Basic Guidelines for Mattress Flipping
Depending on the material or type of mattress that yours is made of, there are different guidelines for how often to flip or rotate them. Here are the most common:
● Flip it once every 3 to 6 months
● If you’re more relaxed with time, then 2-4 times in a year
Pillow-top Innerspring Mattress
● Rotate your pillow top mattress once every other month
● These mattresses have a designated side that faces up
Memory Foam Mattress
● Brand matters; consult them to make sure they are the same on both sides
● Can be flipped but is mainly rotated
● Rotate these at least 4 times a year
● Caution: these mattresses are HEAVY. If you think you’ll need help, ask for it
Gel and Latex
● Designed for one side only, rotate
Air Chamber Mattress
● No need to flip or rotate this type of mattress
● If you have a topper, these can be flipped or rotated
When to Get a New Mattress
Flipping and rotating your mattress won’t keep your mattress holding up long enough to last your lifetime. At some point you will need to get a mattress if you want a guaranteed support system. If you find your mattress losing its comfort, or you by losing sleep, this is a sign it is probably better to just invest in a new mattress.