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How Often Should You Flip or Rotate Your Mattress?

Tyler Joseph (TJ) Thomas

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On top of spot cleaning and vacuuming your mattress surface, rotating and flipping is another great way to take care of your bed. Mattress flipping or rotating can keep your bed comfortable for longer.

However, flipping your mattress and rotating it are not the same. Flipping involves turning the mattress upside down, so the unused mattress surface becomes your primary sleeping surface. Rotating your mattress involves turning the bed 180 degrees, so the foot and head of the mattress are reversed.

In this article, we will explore how often you should rotate or flip your mattress and what types of mattresses need rotating or flipping. We will also discuss how flipping or rotating your mattress extends its lifespan and possibly helps you sleep better.

How Often Should I Flip or Rotate My Mattress?

First, we suggest reading your mattress’s care tag, as this will provide the best instructions for maintaining your new bed. Beyond tips for cleaning your bed, these instructions should state how often your mattress needs flipping or rotating. Note that some mattresses should not be flipped at all, since this would change the feel and order of the layers. We do not recommend flipping a mattress unless it’s marketed as “dual-sided” or “flippable.”

If you don’t have access to your care tag, we suggest flipping or rotating your mattress every three to six months.

Why Do I Need to Flip and Rotate My Mattress?

When you sleep on a mattress, your body forms an indentation in the material over time and causes your mattress to lose support. Rotating your mattress helps you avoid this issue and potentially extends its lifespan in the process. If your mattress is dual-sided, you can flip it to the unused side, giving you a little more time before you have to replace it.

What Type of Mattress Needs Flipping or Rotating?

Some mattress models require both flipping and rotating to wear evenly, while others only need rotating. But how do you know if your mattress needs rotating or flipping?

Most modern mattress companies build beds from the base up rather than the middle outwards; they are called one-sided mattresses. Mattresses made with the core as the bottom layer only need rotating. You can determine if your mattress is flippable or not by looking at its construction— if it has a “base layer,” don’t bother flipping it.

Flipping one-sided mattresses and sleeping on the unintended side disintegrates the materials quicker, making the mattress unsupportive. The support layers are not made to bear weight directly— they need the transition and comfort layers to disperse pressure and preserve the core’s structural integrity. Not to mention, sleeping on the core of a mattress is rather uncomfortable. You should not flip a mattress unless it’s specifically marketed as “flippable”— if you do, you could void the warranty.

Dual-sided mattresses are constructed with two sleeping surfaces— one on either side — and can be flipped. In the 90s, these mattresses were very popular and have currently reentered the limelight thanks to their two-in-one firmness.

A flippable mattress’s main purpose is to give the sleeper two firmness options. That way, if your sleeping preferences change, you can flip the mattress to the softer or firmer side and potentially use it for much longer than you would have.

Of course, don’t forget to check your mattress’s care tag if you’re unsure about whether or not to flip or rotate your bed.

Mattresses You Shouldn’t Flip

Memory foam mattresses: Memory foam mattresses are designed with specific layers that enhance sleep when laid on correctly. Flipping the mattress will place the firm core at the top and the softer comfort layers on the bottom, leading to rapid deterioration, sagging, and discomfort. Flipping mattresses not meant to be flipped can also void the warranty.

Pillow top innerspring mattresses: Like memory foam beds, innerspring mattresses are built with specific layers from the core up to enhance the sleeper’s sleep experience. If you flip a pillow top, you will end up sleeping directly on the coils. Turning the mattress upside down compresses the pillow top, so it cannot cushion your body as it’s intended and may lose its plush feel.

Hybrid Mattresses: Hybrid mattresses are made with a combination of memory foam or latex layers and a coil system. Sleeping on the mattress’s unintended side can damage the comfort layer and decrease the coil system’s durability.

How Do I Flip My Mattress?

Before flipping your mattress, prepare your bedroom by moving furniture and breakables out of your way. Then, strip the blankets and sheets to get a better grip on the mattress.

Flipping a mattress is difficult if done alone and without enough space. Once all the bedding is removed, you can enlist some help to make the process easier and faster.

  • Rotate the mattress clockwise 90 degrees, so it’s perpendicular with the foundation.
  • Raise the mattress up on its side and shift it down, so it has room to lay flat on its opposite side.
  • Lower the mattress gently, so lays on the opposite side your used as a sleep surface.
  • Rotate the mattress clockwise until it’s back in alignment with the foundation.

When rotating and flipping your mattress, you can take the opportunity to clean the mattress. You can spot clean and vacuum all six sides to lift debris. Once again, check your care tag before flipping as the bed may not need it.

How Do I Rotate My Mattress?

Rotating a mattress is much simpler than flipping. Essentially, you rotate your mattress 180 degrees, although you should still pull furniture away from the area to give yourself enough room and avoid breakables.

Strip the mattress of any sheets and blankets beforehand, so you can firmly grab the mattress. Get a second person to help, too.

Lift the mattress from the frame and make a 180-degree turn, so the mattress’s head is now by the footboard.

Tips and Tricks

  • Rotate the box spring: If your mattress sits on a box spring, rotate it the same way you rotate your mattress. Box springs wear with use the same way a mattress does. Rotating prevents the foundation from becoming unsupportive early on.
  • Prepare the space: Move your nightstands and other bedroom furniture away from the bed to prevent damage.
  • Vacuum the mattress’s underside: Vacuuming your mattress, especially the underneath, prevents allergens and other debris from accumulating. Vacuuming the mattress’s underneath side also prevents your bed from sliding off the mattress base.
  • Ask a friend for help: Rotating a heavy mattress by yourself can cause back strain and inflict damage to your bed frame. Enlist another person to help you flip or rotate it.

When To Get A New Mattress

All products need replacing at some point. While flipping or rotating your mattress can extend its lifespan, it won’t prevent even the best mattress from aging.

A bed needs replacing if some areas of the mattress are more comfortable than others, there are visible indentations or sagging, the bed makes noise, or it’s over 10 years old. Waking up tired and with sore muscles could also indicate it’s time to invest in a new bed.

Before you start shopping, look at your mattress’s warranty to see if the company offers replacements or repairs for free or a prorated cost.

If you have an unsupportive bed but cannot get a new one right away, a mattress topper can make your mattress more comfortable, at least temporarily.

What Mattress Firmness Do I Need?

As a general rule, you can find the right bed by identifying your preferred sleeping position and learning what mattress firmness alleviates your pressure points.

  • If you’re looking for the best mattress for back sleepers, choose something medium to medium-firm. Medium-firm mattresses can alleviate pressure points in the shoulders and tail bone and prevent the sleeper’s hips from bowing into the mattress, causing misalignment and pain.
  • The best mattresses for side sleepers are medium in firmness as these beds offer enough comfort to alleviate pressure in the shoulders and hips and enough support to prevent the spine from twisting.
  • Stomach sleeping overextends back muscles, ligaments, and the spine, which leads to chronic pain issues including sciatica, herniated discs, and neck pain. We advise stomach sleepers to switch to side sleeping to avoid chronic pain. If you’re not ready to switch to side-sleeping just yet, a medium-firm or firm mattress encourages neutral alignment to minimize chronic pain.

Conclusion

Rotating your bed may be the last task on your mind, but if you haven’t done it in the last six months, we encourage you to do so at your earliest convenience. Rotating your mattress may not make a difference with a new mattress, but down the road, you will appreciate the mattress’s extended lifespan.

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