Before answering how often we should flip a mattress, we have to first ask: Should we ever flip a mattress?
Most modern mattresses are designed with a distinct top and bottom. The top often has a pillow top or foam layer to offer the sleeper some extra comfort. The bottom typically has support layers of firm foam, springs, or other sturdy materials. These are called one-sided mattresses.
One-sided mattresses should not be flipped. Instead, many of them should be rotated. So what’s the difference between flipping and rotating a mattress? Let’s take a look.
The Difference Between Flipping and Rotating a Mattress
When you flip a mattress, you turn the entire mattress over, so the side on the bottom is now the sleep surface. Rotating a mattress means you turn it on your bed frame, so the end at the headboard is now at the foot of the bed. Both of these methods help your mattress wear evenly and last longer.
Which Mattresses Should Be Flipped?
Since most modern mattresses are designed with a distinct top and bottom, you should not flip them unless the mattress company says otherwise. A flippable mattress, also called a double-sided mattress, needs to have support in its center. This support could be an innerspring core or layers of firm foam. Then it requires the same or similar comfort layers on the top and bottom, so it doesn’t matter which side you sleep on.
How Often Should You Flip Your Mattress?
If you have a double-sided mattress, you should flip it every 3-6 months. The purpose of flipping a mattress is to distribute the wear and tear evenly. It prevents dents and sagging from happening, which helps the mattress last longer.
An average modern mattress lasts 7-10 years. A double-sided mattress typically lasts longer than that because the wear is better distributed.
The Best Way To Flip Your Mattress
Here are the three steps to follow when flipping your mattress:
- Take off the mattress cover, sheets, blankets, and pillows.
- Turn the mattress 180 degrees, so the end that was at the head of the bed is now at the footboard of the bed.
- Lift the mattress up, so it rests on one of its long sides (some have handles to help with this step). Then lower it, so the underside of the mattress is now the sleep surface.
To safely flip a mattress, make sure you protect your spine by lifting with your knees. If possible, our recommendation is to find someone to help you.
Which Mattresses Should Be Rotated?
Most mattresses can and should be rotated. Many mattresses have handles built into the long sides of the bed to make this task easier. Turning helps the mattress wear evenly and last much longer.
How Often Should You Rotate Your Mattress?
How regularly you ought to rotate your mattress depends on what kind of mattress you have. Here is a rotation schedule for popular types of mattresses:
- Rotate memory foam mattresses 1-2 times per year
- Rotate latex mattresses 1-2 times per year
- Rotate new innerspring and hybrid mattresses 1-2 times per year
- Rotate old innerspring mattresses around 2-5 times a year.
As you can see, most mattresses only need to be rotated every 6 to 12 months. Older innerspring mattresses need turning more often because this kind of mattress tends to wear out faster.
The Best Way To Rotate Your Mattress
Rotating a mattress is significantly easier than flipping one. Because this chore doesn’t require any lifting, it’s typically safe to do on your own. Here are two steps to keep in mind:
- Remove the mattress protector, sheets, and blankets.
- Turn the mattress 180 degrees so that the head of the mattress is now the foot of the mattress.
Taking Care of Your Mattress
Rotating one-sided mattresses and flipping double-sided mattresses help them last as long as possible. It also ensures your mattress supports your spine and distributes your weight evenly, improving your sleep experience. By taking care of your mattress, you help it take care of you for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
A one-sided mattress is a mattress with a distinct top and bottom. Because it has a softer top and a sturdier bottom, you can’t flip one-sided mattresses. To help this mattress last longer, you should rotate it about every 6 or 12 months.
Once your mattress has body impressions, there’s no sure way to undo the wear and tear. However, there are a couple of things you can do to make your bed more comfortable and supportive.
- Try rotating your mattress. The heavier half of your body, namely your head and torso, is what causes body impressions. By rotating, you move the indentations to the foot of the bed and once again have an even sleep surface.
- Buy a mattress topper. These are comfort layers you purchase separately from your mattress and lay on top of your bed. This extra 2-4 inches of cushion helps even out the body impressions in your mattress.
If neither of these solutions work for you, it may be time to invest in a new mattress. Proper support is vital for your sleep health, so don’t cut corners when it comes to your mattress.
The lifespan of a mattress depends on what kind of mattress it is. Each mattress style and the materials inside affect how durable the bed is. Here are the lifespans of a few of the more popular mattress types:
- Innerspring mattresses: 8 years
- Hybrid mattresses: 8-10 years
- Memory foam mattresses: 10-15 years
- Gel memory foam mattresses: 10-15 years
- Latex mattress: 15 years
Rotating your mattress helps it last as long as possible. Your torso and head are heavier than your legs, so by turning the bed you help prevent body impressions from developing. Whenever you buy a mattress, make note of how long it is under warranty. If your mattress wears out before the warranty is up, you may be eligible for a free replacement.
There are a few sure signs that tell you when your mattress is worn out:
- If you wake up sore and feeling tired, that indicates your mattress is worn out and isn’t supporting you the way it should.
- Old mattresses often start smelling musty. They may cause allergy-like symptoms because of all the dust that has built up inside of them over the years. If you start noticing a smell, your mattress is probably too old.
- When a mattress reaches the end of its life, it develops lumps, dips, and sags that make it uncomfortable to sleep on.
If your mattress has one or all of these symptoms, it’s probably time to buy a new mattress. When looking for a new bed, make sure you pick one that offers you plenty of support and neutral alignment for your neck, spine, and hips.
Memory foam and latex mattresses are the best for sleepers experiencing back pain. Back pain is the result of strain placed on your spine while you sleep. This often happens when your mattress doesn’t offer you enough support. Medium-firm Memory foam and latex mattresses both conform to the sleeper’s curves, putting their spine in a healthy, neutral position.