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How Often Should You Flip or Rotate Your Mattress? A Quick Guide

The idea that you need to flip your mattress is old. It also tends to resurface every once in a while – perhaps through the spread of false information (or some other unknown reason!). Scroll down to get informed and learn helpful tips for mattress-rotating and keeping your bed as comfy as possible for as long as possible.

How Often Should You Flip Your Mattress?

Never. In fact, flipping a new mattress (“new” meaning a mattress made within the last decade – and in some instances, even longer than that) will actually do way more harm than good. This is because of the way new mattresses are made: with a support layer at the bottom, and more contouring layers towards the top. When you flip a new mattress so that the bottom and top layers are switched, you place a heavy burden on the softer layers, potentially disrupting the integrity of the foam cells or innerspring composition. Doing this can also do more harm than good for your back, since the spine would then be forced to align with harder layers.

There is a caveat: Older mattresses and specially-designed (not standard) mattresses. Older mattresses actually may require flipping. (Check the mattress warranty to be sure.) As well, some specially-designed mattresses are still being made that require flipping; usually, these are innerspring or hybrid, and rarely memory foam. With new mattresses, it is often clear whether or not they need to be flipped; it’s often included along with other basic product details like whether or not the mattress comes with cooling tech, motion separation, pillow top and others.

Should You Rotate Your Mattress?

Many mattress manufacturers explicitly state that you don’t need to rotate your mattress. However, if you want to rotate your mattress, no harm will come out of it. Unlike flipping, rotating won’t disrupt the integrity of the mattress; what it will do is help to create a more even distribution and help to give each side of the bed (the head and the foot) a chance to breathe every once in a while. When it comes down to it, though, most new, modern mattresses are so well-made, that even slight sagging won’t ever be a problem you’ll actually have to deal with – and rotating, in truth, actually isn’t necessary. It’s all a matter of personal preference: if you want to try rotating, we say, go for it!

How Often Should You Rotate Your Mattress?

Once a year or every six months. Knowing how often you should rotate your mattress depends, really, on how it feels. If, after six months, you feel like it could use a refresh (whether it is starting to indent in certain places, however so slightly – or simply doesn’t feel as firm as the other side of the bed), then it’s perfectly fine to rotate your mattress.

Can You Flip a Pillow Top Mattress?

No, you can’t flip a pillow top mattress. Flipping one will compromise the pillow top, which is a soft layer that is found only on the top of the mattress (and not the bottom). A quick way to determine whether or not your mattress can be flipped is to assess its symmetry: if it’s the same on the top and the bottom, you can flip it. If the top and the bottom are not identical, you can’t flip it. (Note: just looking at the exterior of your mattress won’t help in determining whether you can flip it, as the interior may also contain unseen asymmetrical layers.)

Can You Flip a Memory Foam Mattress?

With very few exceptions (including some specialty mattresses designed exclusively for hotels), memory foam mattresses can’t be flipped. By design, memory foam mattresses aren’t even. While the entire mattress is made of foam, the thickness and density of the layers differ – the layers are thicker and denser at the bottom and softer at the top. Turning a memory foam mattress upside down will place it in a position it was never designed to be in. But don’t take our word for it; if you were try it yourself (which we don’t recommend), you would most certainly feel the negative effects – and a poor quality of sleep!

How Do You Flip a Mattress?

Modern mattresses don’t need to be flipped. However, if you own an older innerspring model, flipping may actually be okay. (Check the tags or instructions if you’re not sure.) To flip a mattress, rotate it 90 degrees so that it is perpendicular to the mattress base. After rotating, stand it up in the air on its side, and lower the mattress so that the bottom is now facing up. Rotate it 90 degrees once more so that it is aligned with the base.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.