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Should You Flip Your Mattress?

Flipping a mattress means to turn it over so that the side that you normally sleep on is facing down and you’re now sleeping on what used to be the bottom of the mattress.

You might have heard that flipping your mattress every few months is required to prevent sagging and increase the lifespan of the mattress.

So should you flip your mattress?

In most cases you should NOT flip your mattress because most modern mattresses have a unilateral design which means they can only be used with one side facing upwards. Flipping such a mattress would mean sleeping on the denser support core which would be very uncomfortable and probably end up damaging the mattress long-term.

The only exceptions to this rule are double sided mattresses that have been specifically designed so that they can be turned over.

In the next sections, I’m going to explain how to find out if your mattress is double sided or not and which specific types and brands of mattresses can or cannot be flipped.

Two Ways to Know if Your Mattress is Flippable

So how do you find out if your mattress is double sided and can therefore be flipped over without a problem?

Well, if you’ve already bought your mattress then go to option 1 below.

But if you’re still shopping for the mattress then go to option 2.

Option 1: Perform a Physical Test

Have you got the mattress in front of you?

Then perform the simple ‘sandwich’ test below – which is pretty reliable.

1: Put one hand on the top of the mattress and one hand on the bottom.

2: Line both hands up and push them together.

If both sides feel the same in terms of softness and density – then you probably have a double sided mattress that CAN be flipped.

If the top of the mattress feels softer than the bottom – then you probably have a single sided mattress that CANNOT be flipped.

Option 2: Check the Specifications

If you can view the warranty for your mattress then it might tell you if you can turn the mattress over or not.

Otherwise, head to the manufacturer’s website.

Where in many cases, the website will say that there’s no need to flip your mattress because it’s ‘strategically layered for comfort’ or some other marketing guff.

But it’s absolutely crucial to note that if the manufacturer basically says that ‘there is no need’ to flip your mattress this ACTUALLY means that you should NOT flip your mattress because it’s one sided!

If there’s no mention of whether the mattress is single or double sided then it’s pretty safe to assume that it’s not designed to be flipped over because most mattresses made today follow a unilateral design.

But if in doubt, contact the support via live chat or email for further clarification.

Which Types of Mattresses Can Be Flipped?

If you still don’t know if your mattress – or the mattress that you’re thinking of buying – can be flipped over then check the table and detailed descriptions below.

Mattress Type/BrandFlippable?
Pillow topMostly no – limited exceptions
Older springOften yes
Modern springUsually no (hybrid design)
HybridMostly no – some exceptions
Memory foamNearly always no
Tempur-PedicNo
CasperNo
Serta iComfortNo

Can You Flip a Pillow Top Mattress?

Usually no – but there are exceptions.

Pillow top mattresses are specifically designed to have a layer of padding sewn into the top of the mattress to make it more comfortable.

This means that the vast majority of pillow top mattresses are single sided because having a pillow top on the bottom would cause it to be crushed under your weight which may damage the integrity of the underside pillow top.

However, I was actually quite surprised to see that some manufacturers do sell double sided pillow top mattresses – such as Dream Solutions’ Firm Pillow Top and Spectra’s 14-inch Double-Sided Pillow-Top.

I can only assume that such models have been specifically designed to resist damage when one of the pillow top sides is sandwiched between the bed base and the rest of the mattress plus your body weight.

But I’ve not reviewed either of those mattresses yet so I can’t really comment if their double sided design negatively impacts the long term durability of the pillow top or not.

Can You Flip a Spring Mattress?

If your spring mattress is quite old then probably yes – it’s quite likely that your spring mattress can be flipped over.

This is because the older style spring mattresses follow the traditional double-sided design and can actually benefit from being flipped every 3-6 months to distribute the pressure that it’s exposed to more evenly to guard against wear and tear.

However, I would perform the ‘sandwich test’ with your hands as described above to make sure that one side isn’t lacking the right amount of padding.

Because some of the newer spring mattresses are actually hybrid mattresses which usually follow the one-sided design.

And if you’re still in the process of shopping for your spring mattress then I would say that it’s VERY likely that it follows the hybrid design.

In which case you should read the next section.

Can You Flip a Hybrid Mattress?

Most hybrid mattresses cannot be flipped – but there are exceptions.

Because hybrid mattresses usually have a higher density base support core that consists of springs and a foam transition layer that’s topped by several layers of foam, memory foam, or latex and a cover that’s designed to keep you cool.

Flipping such a hybrid mattress over would mean that you’re sleeping on the more uncomfortable support core – whilst the softer comfort layers are crushed beneath your weight and the rest of the mattress.

However, there are some hybrid mattresses such as the Layla Sleep Hybrid Foam Mattress that can be flipped over – with one side feeling firm, and the other more soft to collectively suit a wider range of sleeping positions.

But as I said in the last section, many mattresses that are being marketed as spring beds are actually hybrid mattresses.

If in doubt, look for a picture of the mattress layers in the product description and see if the base layer contains springs whilst the upper comfort layers consist of sections of foam or latex.

Can You Flip a Memory Foam Mattress?

Memory foam mattresses are very unlikely to be flippable unless the manufacturer clearly states otherwise.

This is because all-foam, memory foam mattresses are topped by several low density foam layers that adjust to your body shape to increase comfort.

However, in order to stop you from sinking too far into the materials, a higher density foam layer and mid density transition layer take up around 60% or more of the mattress from the base up.

So flipping this type of memory foam mattress over would crush the sensitive comfort layers and cause you to sleep on the more uncomfortable support core.

Can You Flip a Tempur-Pedic Mattress?

No.

You cannot flip a Tempur-Pedic mattress because Tempur-Pedic specifically state on their website that they use a one sided design for their mattresses.

Can You Flip a Casper Mattress?

No.

Casper explicitly state on their website that you cannot flip any of their mattresses over.

Can You Flip a Serta iComfort Mattress?

No.

The Serta iComfort range appears to follow the unilateral design.

However, Serta say that they do manufacturer two sided mattresses – but only for their hotel partners and mattresses bought through the Guest Purchase Program.

Related Questions

Here are the answers to some of the other questions related to mattress flipping.

1: Can Flipping a Single Sided Mattress Void the Warranty?

Yes.

Because flipping a one-sided the mattress would probably be counted as misuse or careless treatment and render the warranty invalid.

Importantly however, if your mattress IS double sided then one of the terms may be that you MUST flip the mattress once in a given time period – usually every 3-6 months.

2: Do Flippable Mattresses Feel the Same on Both Sides?

Not always.

Whilst some double sided mattresses have the same levels of firmness on each side many do not.

In fact, brands will specifically design double sided mattresses with a soft and a firm side and market them as being ‘2 beds in one’ – with the soft side typically providing a plusher feel that will suit side sleepers whilst the firm side is often better for front and back sleepers due to the better hip support.

Summer and winter sides are another variation.

3: What is the Golden Rule For Mattress Flipping?

The golden rule for mattress flipping stemmed from an article in the American Scientist [1] where maths boffins discussed the idea of using a system to flip and rotate your mattress so that it’s exposed to equal wear over time.

However, no one addressed the fact that most modern mattresses cannot be flipped – rendering the exercise somewhat pointless from a practical standpoint.

4: What is the Best Flippable Mattress?

The best double sided mattress that I’ve reviewed so far is the Layla Hybrid.

Because in addition to having both a firm and a soft side to cater for a wider range of sleeping positions, it has zoned ergonomic support that provides softer cushioning around your head and shoulders and firmer support for your hips and spine to guard against back pain.

Click the button below to see my full review.


Sources and References

[1] American Scientist – Building a Better Mattress Flip. Accessed 23/4/20.

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