Flipping or rotating the mattress may be a familiar bedroom routine for you. And now that you have a new mattress, you’re probably going to do the same thing. After all, either action can even wear that your bed eventually succumbs to. But take it easy. More recent models do not necessarily require constant flipping or rotating. You have to know if your mattress type and specifications allow it.
You might be asking: “how often should you flip your mattress?” or ” how often should you rotate your mattress?” That’s a good place to start. Aside from answering these questions, this guide gets you started with the reasons to rotate or flip your mattress and which ones you should or should not flip or rotate.
If you don’t know the difference between the 2, then you need to dip into this guide all the more. Below are the things involved in proper mattress care and maintenance.
Table of Contents
- Why Rotate Your Mattress?
- How Often Should You Rotate Your Mattress?
- Which Mattress Should You Rotate?
- Which Mattress Should You Not Rotate?
- Why Flip Your Mattress?
- How Often Should You Flip Your Mattress?
- Which Mattress Should You Flip?
- Which Mattress Should You Not Flip?
- Should you Rotate or Flip?
Why Rotate Your Mattress?
Okay, first, what does rotating your mattress mean? It is turning the bed 180 degrees so you’re switching the position of its head and foot. You will still be lying on the same surface all throughout, but now your head is placed where your feet used to be and vice-versa. The general reason here is to even out the body impression and pressure on both ends.
Specifically, you would want to prevent your sleeping space from early sagging. Your head, neck, and shoulders put more weight and pressure on the bed. So the more you use the mattress, the higher the chance of dipping in those parts where they rest. Meanwhile, the spots supporting your legs and feet may only register minimal body impressions. Rotating provides some sort of balance in the 2 areas.
Another reason to motivate you to move it is that it can signal freshness to your body. You would feel the upper half of the surface firmer. This can boost your comfort level, which in turn can enhance your sleep. You can schedule rotation alongside major cleanup session. And speaking of schedule, we will discuss in detail how often should you rotate your mattress.
How Often Should You Rotate Your Mattress?
Rotating your mattress should not be hard and confusing. You can set aside a time to do it, which does not have to be every month. Realistically, 4 times a year should be enough. That means you can perform this task quarterly. Plan and order it so you can execute well. Keeping a schedule can also help you track your progress–and ask your partner or someone else to assist you.
Here is a sample schedule for you to follow:
- Ring in the new year by rotating your mattress on the first day of the year.
- Cap off your spring cleaning with another rotation on April 1st.
- Include it in your pre-Independence duties on July 1st.
- Do your final rotation of the year on October 1st.
Every three months feels like the right cadence as it’s easy to remember. But of course, you can customize the schedule and pick your own dates. Just outline them ahead to make it easier for you and your partner to commit to it. You will need an extra pair of hands especially when the bed is quite big.
That said, factor in the foundation or bed frame. It is much simpler, say, to rotate a mattress if the bed has a straightforward headboard and/or footboard than if it has four posters.
Which Mattress Should You Rotate?
Even without explicit instructions to do so, it is a good idea to rotate your mattress regularly. The exception here is when the manufacturer advises you to skip it altogether. It is safe to assume that the most common mattress types can benefit from this practice: memory foam mattress, latex foam mattress, hybrid mattress, and innerspring mattress. Many models can be rotated to even out the impressions they incur.
Some airbed models can also be rotated, especially if they feature a mattress topper. The rotation is particularly useful for beds that use specialized layers, such as pillow top and memory foam. When rotating, make sure to stick with one motion: clockwise or counterclockwise. But if you want to even out the sides as well, you can alternate the movement to cover them.
As we said, it is okay to rotate those with specialized layers. Also, if the mattress does not have targeted zones, it is safe to switch its head 180 degrees. You will learn more about the targeted zones in the next section. So for now, pay attention to this crucial factor. Rotation should not be as delicate as flipping. Modern beds can still make good use of it.
Which Mattress Should You Not Rotate?
Most mattress types can be rotated. Memory foam mattresses are given a special mention. In light of this, you should watch out for models that sport targeted zones. These are your ergonomic zones or 5-point zones. Meaning, these beds are designed to support pressure points, such as the head, shoulders, lumbar area, hips, and feet. Their construction is based on the idea that these body parts weigh and create pressure differently.
So, you probably see why it is not ideal to rotate such beds. The support meant for the head and shoulders should not be swapped for the support meant for the legs. Go for it and you’ll suffer from pain, soreness, and discomfort. Don’t worry as those models with targeted zones adapt quickly to weight and pressure–so sagging should not be an issue.
In particular, Sleep Number and Tempurpedic mattresses should not be rotated.
Read our full review of Tempurpedic mattresses.
Why Flip Your Mattress?
Back in the day, as in decades ago, flippable mattresses were a thing. Their designs enabled owners to turn them upside down, evening out both surfaces. This was believed to keep sagging at bay. It’s this reason that remains the main driver as to why some people have kept the tradition alive. You can flip yours for the same reason for as long as it is not specified as one-sided.
Making the alternate surfaces even was also thought to make the mattress comfortable. While contemporary models have very sophisticated constructions, a few brands have been dishing out ones with flippable features. As a result, you and your co-sleeper can customize your bed’s firmness and comfort levels. Just make sure the mattress indeed is flippable or dual-sided.
One more reason why sleepers should flip their beds is that it results in longer life. Depending on its type, it can reach its average life span–minimum, maximum, or in between. If the one you have is a big-ticket investment, you would do everything to maximize its use. Flipping the mattress is going to help you unlock that achievement. So, when to flip the mattress?
How Often Should You Flip Your Mattress?
Now that you know the few reasons why you should flip your mattress in the 21st century, it’s important that you do it at the right time, regularly. Like rotating, plan it out and create reminders for yourself. You can set an alert on your phone. Or you can associate your target dates with an event you can’t miss, like the changing of the season.
According to experts, flip your mattress every 3 to 6 months. That’s quarterly or twice a year. If you go with the first route, you can alternate flipping with rotation. That is if it is all right to do both. If you ‘re not allowed to flip, you’re more likely not allowed to rotate the mattress. So make sure to follow what the manufacturer says. Prioritize comfort and sleep health.
Refer below for a sample schedule. This applies to cases wherein you are alternating with rotation:
- Begin your spring cleaning in March with a mattress flip.
- Follow it up with another rotation in September, as autumn sets in–or right before Thanksgiving!
If you want to do it 4 times, add June and December to the above schedule.
Which Mattress Should You Flip?
It is pretty easy to tell which mattress you can flip. The ones that come with a flippable firmness feature are #1 candidates. They are designed to have comfort layers on both ends. Then there will be the transition layers before you get to the sole core layer. Either side has a thickness that is equal or at least feels balanced when compared to the other.
You can also look for dual-sided firmness in the label. Some brands make it easy. Layla, for instance, sports a cover that divides its two sides by assigning white to the Soft one and gray to the Firm one. On the other hand, mattress types that do not explicitly include flippable sides can still be flipped. It depends on what and how the layers are arranged inside them.
Say, a memory mattress or specialized all-foam mattress like Casper can be flipped. But its hybrid version may prove to be a challenge in this case–more of this in the section that follows. Further, you can flip new mattresses that satisfy any of the factors mentioned. But old ones should be replaced instead of flipped or rotated.
Read: Layla vs Nectar Mattress Review
Which Mattress Should You Not Flip?
Modern mattresses are mostly one-sided. In other words, they’re not meant to be flipped at all. Their construction is sophisticated enough that each layer fulfills a certain task. You’d normally find comfort layer at the top, followed by the transition and core layers, and the supportive base. The latter is usually made of springs or high-density foam. If flipped, the bottom can be too hard and uncomfortable for many.
Never flip such mattresses if you want to rest and sleep well. Take note of distance to the middle of the layers that make up the bulk of each side. If they are not equal, don’t flip. Skip this, too, if you have a bed with targeted zones. Only the intended top side should touch your body at all times. One mattress brand that shouldn’t be flipped is Simmons, which pioneered the one-sided model in 2000.
Should you Rotate or Flip?
As you have just learned, you can rotate most mattress types as long as they don’t have targeted zones. This can go hand-in-hand with flipping. So you can rotate and flip some models as long as they satisfy the first criterion and also have an equal amount of layers end-to-end.
You can flip those that are dual-sided in the first place. But normally, you cannot flip those with targeted zones on one side unless, of course, the other side also sports targeted zones. Exercise good discernment when deciding whether to flip or rotate or do both.
We have outlined the things you have to think about to make a smart decision. There are nuances to consider and manufacturer instructions to follow. At the end of the day, you just want to care for your mattress, so that it can continue to give you a comfortable and supportive sleep.
When it comes to the question of “how often should you rotate your mattress” or “how often should you flip your mattress,” the answer is simple. There are intervals–every 3 years on average–to allow bodily adjustments and keep the pressure low. And remember: it is not a solo effort to do either regularly. Grab a friend or family member, then rotate or flip.