This article was written by the site owner – Dan Cartwright – who has been testing mattresses and reviewing products online since 2015.
If you own a pillow top mattress, then you might be wondering if you can flip it over to extend the lifespan, make it firmer, or cover up any indents or areas that are sagging.
You cannot flip most pillow top mattresses because pillow top mattresses usually have a one-sided design – flipping the mattress over would damage the pillow top, void the warranty, and be uncomfortable to sleep on. Double-sided pillow top mattresses can be flipped.
Pillow top mattresses are similar to Euro top mattresses in the sense that they have an extra layer of foam or padding attached to the top of the mattress for better pressure relief and support – however the Euro top stitching is often different and the material is better encased.
So, can you flip a Euro top mattress?
Most Euro top mattresses cannot be flipped due to their one-sided design. However, double-sided Euro top mattresses are available and can be flipped over. Euro top mattresses are more likely to be flippable than pillow top mattresses due to the better construction and stitching.
In the rest of this article, I have explained in more detail how to find out if your pillow top mattress can be flipped and the consequences of doing so.
Related: click here to see the 3 best Euro top mattresses to buy that I’ve tested.
How to Find Out if You Can Flip Your Pillow Top Mattress
Whilst nearly all pillow top mattresses can’t be flipped over, there are some double-sided pillow top mattresses that can be flipped.
Here are two ways to find out if your pillow top mattress can be flipped over or not:
1: Check the Specifications
The easiest way to find out if your pillow top mattress can be flipped is to check the specifications – pillow top mattresses marked as ‘double sided’ or ‘flippable’ can be flipped over and slept on without any issues.
If there’s no mention of the mattress being double-sided, then you can assume your pillow top mattress is single-sided and therefore cannot be flipped.
Click here to learn more about which mattresses can and cannot be flipped over.
2: Check the Mattress Layers
If you’re unable to check the specifications of your mattress, then you can inspect the mattress layers yourself to figure out if your pillow top mattress can be flipped over or not.
If you can unzip the cover, then you may be able to see the mattress layers (but make sure your mattress doesn’t contain fiberglass – since unzipping the cover can release this harmful substance).
In most cases, you’ll see a layer of foam and then the support core underneath – this indicates a single sided design which means that the mattress can NOT be flipped over (as shown in the picture above).
But if the mattress has the same types of padding on the upper and lower sections of the mattress, then you may have a double-sided mattress that can be flipped.
However, this would be rare in the case of a pillow top mattress because the pillow top is specifically stitched on top of the mattress for extra pressure relief.
Check out the 5 best lightweight mattresses I’ve reviewed here.
3 Reasons Why You Can’t Flip a Pillow Top Mattress
I’ve explained in more detail below why you shouldn’t flip a single-sided pillow top mattress below:
1: The Pillow Top Will Become Damaged
Flipping over a pillow top mattress that’s not designed to be turned over can damage the pillow top material and structure.
Pillow top mattresses are designed to provided additional comfort by reducing pressure points on your body through the addition of an extra layer of foam or padding on top of the mattress.
Turning the mattress over would crush this layer and damage it.
Pillow tops are particularly susceptible to damage because unlike Euro tops that are stitched so that the material is encased within the perimeter of the mattress, the material is attached directly on top of the mattress and moves around more.
This increased mobility means that the stitching is more likely to tear when placed under heavy loads and subject to movement – such as when turning the mattress over.
Find out if a soft mattress can cause back pain here.
2: The Mattress Will Feel Uncomfortable
Flipping over a one-sided pillow top mattress means that you would end up sleeping on the support core instead of the pillow top.
This would more than likely feel very uncomfortable for you because the support core of a mattress is typically encased in hard foam that doesn’t provide pressure relief like the pillow top side does.
Click here to find out if memory foam is bad for your back.
3: The Warranty Will Be Voided
Flipping over a pillow top mattress will likely void the warranty because most warranties stipulate that they will not cover damage to the mattress caused by improper use.
A good mattress warranty is important because it protects you from manufacturing defects and flaws.
A warranty shouldn’t be confused with a mattress trial – which allows you to return the mattress if it’s uncomfortable.
Click here to see the best mattresses with a lifetime warranty that I’ve tested myself.
How to Make a Pillow Top Mattress Firmer
One of the main reasons for wanting to flip over a pillow top mattress is because it’s either too firm or has indents and areas of sagging that are making the mattress uncomfortable to sleep on.
If the mattress is sagging or otherwise damaged, you should buy a new one because lying in bad posture can cause chronic back pain.
If your pillow top mattress is too soft, and it’s still under the terms of the sleep trial, then you can return it for a firmer one or a full refund.
Otherwise, you can try the following 3 ways to make your pillow top mattress firmer:
1: Attach a Firm Mattress Topper
The most effective way to make a pillow top mattress feel firmer is to purchase a firm mattress topper and place it over the pillow top.
Memory foam mattress toppers offer the most pressure relief, but also sink in the most.
Latex foam mattress toppers have more pushback and bounce, and they are more breathable than memory foam toppers.
Other firm mattresses toppers are available in polyfoam and other padding materials.
Find out if firm or soft mattresses are better for back pain here.
2: Put the Mattress On the Floor
Putting a pillow top mattress on the floor can make it feel firmer because the hard surface provides more pushback.
The increase in firmness may be significant for thinner mattresses under 8 inches, but less noticeable for mattresses thicker than 8 inches.
Click here to find out why sleeping on a mattress on the floor isn’t ideal long term.
3: Use a Box Spring or Sheet of Plywood
Placing your pillow top mattress on a box spring or a sheet of plywood can also provide more support so that the mattress feels firmer.
This technique can also be used to temporarily reduce the effects of a sagging mattress, but should not be used as a long term fix.
Click here to see the best mattresses to buy that don’t require a box spring.
How to Rotate a Pillow Top Mattress So it Lasts Longer
Another reason why you might want to flip your pillow top mattress is to make it last longer by distributing the surface pressure that it’s exposed to more evenly to guard against sagging and indents.
If you can’t flip your pillow top mattress, then you can rotate it 180 degrees once every 3-6 months so that the same areas of the pillow top aren’t being exposed to pressure in the same areas.
This can help to stop sagging and indents appearing prematurely.
Click here to see the best mattresses to buy that don’t sag.
Image Attribution and Licensing
Main image: ‘Couple Carrying Mattress In Room’ by cavanimages (used with permission and commercially licensed through Envato Elements).
Dan is the founder and head content creator at Bedroom Style Reviews.
He has been working as a professional online product reviewer since 2015 and was inspired to start this website when he ended up sleeping on a memory foam mattress that was too soft and gave him backache.
Through in-depth research and analysis, Dan’s goal with this website is to help others avoid such pitfalls by creating the best online resource for helping you find your ideal mattress, bedding, and bedroom furniture.
Dan is a qualified NVQ Level 2 Fitness Instructor with 6 years’ experience helping clients improve their health through diet, exercise, and proper sleep hygiene.
He also holds several college and university-level qualifications in health sciences, psychology, mathematics, art, and digital media creation – which helps him to publish well researched and informative product reviews as well as articles on sleep, health, wellbeing, and home decor.
Dan also has direct personal experience with insomnia, anxiety, misophonia (hypersensitivity to sounds), and pain from both acute and long-standing sporting injuries – he enjoys writing insightful articles around these subjects to help fellow sufferers of such conditions.
Learn more about Dan here.