When you buy a new mattress you are investing in your sleep and overall wellbeing. Because it can be an expensive investment, you want to ensure that the mattress keeps providing you with restful nights as long as possible. With the right maintenance, you can ensure your mattress lasts as long as possible and does not wear out before its expected lifespan.
A key part of mattress maintenance is flipping and/or rotating it regularly. However, should you flip or rotate your mattress or should you do both? What is the best schedule for flipping and rotating a mattress? How do you know if your mattress needs to be rotated or flipped?
In this article, you will find out all there is to know about flipping vs. rotating a mattress to ensure you get the best out of your mattress for its entire lifespan.
What is the Difference Between Mattress Flipping and Rotating?
While both flipping and rotating a mattress can even out the wear patterns and improve its lifespan, they are not the same thing. Flipping means turning over, while rotating a mattress means you turn it 180 degrees keeping the same side up. After you have flipped a mattress, you sleep on the flip side and after rotating, your head is resting where your feet used to be.
While most mattresses can be rotated, not all should be flipped. Some modern mattresses are designed to be used on one side only and while flipping will not always damage the mattress, sleeping on the flipside is unlikely to give you a comfortable sleeping experience.
Using modern technologies in mattresses means that they can be developed to wear more evenly. In addition, some mattress types are unsuitable for flipping because of the way they have been constructed.
Such mattresses have been made with different density layers to give you a certain sleeping experience. Flipping the mattress would reduce the support and pressure relief the mattress can provide. However, you can, and should, still rotate these mattresses.
Before you flip your mattress over, you need to know what type of mattress it is since not all kinds can be flipped. While innerspring mattresses often require flipping so the springs wear more evenly, most foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses do not need flipping. It is always best to check what the instructions from the manufacturer say about flipping.
How Often Should You Flip Your Mattress?
If you have a mattress that should be flipped, the recommendation is to do this once or twice per year if you have a newer two-sided innerspring mattress. Older two-sided innerspring mattresses will benefit from more regular flipping, between two and five times per year.
Why is Mattress Flipping Important?
Flipping a two-sided mattress at least once a year will improve its longevity. If your mattress has a traditional innerspring design, over time the coils or springs will become compressed and worn out in areas where there is more pressure applied to them. Flipping your mattress allows the coils in these areas to recover, thus extending the lifespan of the mattress.
When you flip your mattress over, it means that your body weight is distributed differently on the mattress, and coils that were previously under the most pressure get a break. This will prevent uneven wear on the coils or springs as well as indentations.
Flipping your mattress will also help to reduce bacteria and dust from building up in your mattress. Even with using bed sheets and a mattress protector, moisture, dust, and debris will accumulate in the mattress over time. Flipping prevents bacteria and dust from collecting on your mattress.
How to Flip Your Mattress
Prepare for flipping the mattress by removing anything that could be knocked over and damaged from the vicinity of the mattress. Remove all the bedding including mattress toppers and protectors.
Raise and prop your mattress on one side. Since mattresses should be cleaned regularly, too, now is a good time to do it. Vacuum the mattress and clean any spots. Also, vacuum the bed base and areas under the bed that you cannot normally reach. Flip the mattress and gently lower it back down on the base.
Why You Should Not Flip One-Sided Mattresses?
Unless your mattress is marketed as double-sided, it should not be flipped. Flipping mattresses that are meant to be used on one side only can cause irreversible damage to their structure.
Memory foam mattresses should not be flipped because it may cause you discomfort and you will not feel the benefits of the contouring foam. Sleeping on the wrong side of a single-sided mattress will not prevent pressure points nor support your spine as it is supposed to which can lead to aches and pains. Flipping it also means that the softer comfort layers are now at the base of the mattress, which will cause it to deteriorate faster.
Hybrid mattresses are made with an innerspring core, usually pocketed coils, and a foam comfort layer. The comfort layer is at least two inches thick to provide a softer surface than sleeping on an innerspring mattress. If a hybrid mattress is flipped over, you will sleep directly on top of the coil core. In addition, you will damage the soft comfort layer because being on the bottom will create excess pressure on it.
If you have a latex mattress, you may be able to flip it. Check the manufacturer’s instructions first. Also, with latex mattresses, flipping is not required as they are extremely durable mattresses. However, unless the manufacturer specifically says not to flip the mattress, you may still wish to do so while you are cleaning and rotating it to sleep on the fresher side.
Most mattresses, whether two or one-sided, can be rotated. While flipping is likely to damage one-sided mattresses, rotating will extend the lifespan of both types of mattresses. Unless the manufacturer specifies otherwise, rotate your mattress regularly.
How Often Should You Rotate Your Mattress?
How often you should rotate your mattress depends on the materials used. Some types of mattresses, such as innerspring or memory foam mattresses should be rotated four times a year. The recommendation for hybrid mattresses is twice to four times a year and for latex mattresses twice a year.
Should All Mattresses Be Rotated?
Almost all mattresses should be rotated. Unless you have a mattress that has special functions that support the head area, you can rotate your mattress. If your mattress has any integrity issues, such as holes or tears that prevent you from rotating it, consider getting a new mattress as these issues are likely to affect how well the mattress supports you.
You also should not rotate your mattress if it has inbuilt zoned support. Some mattresses, such as pocket coil mattresses, can be designed so that they offer customized support, for example, to your shoulders, hips, or both. If you have a customized mattress, speak to the mattress manufacturer or retailer before rotating it as rotation might mean you no longer get the intended support.
Why is Mattress Flipping Important?
Most people have a preferred sleeping position and often sleep in the same spot on the mattress. This means that certain parts of your mattress get used more than others. Over time, the overuse will lead to sagging.
If you sleep on a sagging mattress, your spine is no longer properly supported. When you sleep with your spine in an unnatural alignment, it will trigger neck aches, back pain, and muscle stiffness. When you rotate your mattress, your body weight is distributed to new parts of the mattress allowing the other parts to recover.
How to Rotate Your Mattress
Rotating a mattress is easier than flipping it as there is no need to lift it on its side. You might still like to remove anything that could be damaged as you rotate the mattress on top of the bed base.
It may not be necessary to remove all the bedding since you are not lifting the mattress, but you might still want to do it and vacuum your mattress at the same time. Gently rotate your mattress 180 degrees so the end of the mattress now becomes the head of the mattress.
Other Ways to Improve Mattress Lifespan
In addition to flipping and rotating, you can improve the lifespan of your mattress by cleaning it regularly. It will prevent the buildup of debris, dust, dust mites, and other allergens in your mattress and keep it feeling fresher for longer.
You should also protect your mattress by always using bed sheets. Not only is sleeping on a bare mattress uncomfortable, but there will be no protective barrier between bodily fluids such as sweat and oils and your mattress. For added protection, you can use a mattress protector.
Avoid using the bed as a trampoline or to eat or drink in. Incorrect use of your mattress is likely to shorten its lifespan. While kids will often enjoy jumping on a mattress, especially on a bouncy innerspring mattress, this can cause permanent damage to the springs.
Eating and drinking in bed can cause stains from spills. In addition, any food crumbs in bed will increase the chances of unwanted bugs finding their way to your bed because they are attracted to the food.
How Long Will a Mattress Last With Proper Maintenance?
The lifespan of your mattress will depend on its type and quality. On average, mattresses will last between seven and ten years. However, cheaper mattresses can wear out sooner, while certain mattress types, such as latex and hybrid mattresses can last over a decade.
If you are looking for a new mattress but are on a tight budget, ensure you still get good quality by checking out this list of the best cheap mattresses in Canada. Shoipping on a tight budget does not need to mean compromising on quality or longevity.
Looking after your mattress properly is likely to improve its lifespan. Part of a proper mattress maintenance routine is flipping or rotating your mattress regularly. However, while the majority of mattresses can be rotated, there are many mattress types that should not be flipped. Therefore, you should always check the specific instructions for your mattress type.
You should ensure you follow the guidelines for your mattress. This will prevent uneven wear and prevent lumps, indentions, and sagging that will make the mattress uncomfortable and may lead to aches and pains as your spine is no longer properly supported.
While proper maintenance will mean you get the maximum years out of your mattress, they will eventually wear out. If your mattress is no longer supporting you adequately, it is time to invest in a new mattress. Before you do so, familiarise yourself with the options available in Canada by reading some unbiased reviews.
Frequently Asked Questions
You do not need to rotate a box spring. They are designed to be used in a certain orientation rather than rotated. However, it is a good idea to check the condition of the box spring each time you flip or rotate your mattress. This will help you identify any issues with it and replace it before it can reduce the lifespan of your mattress.
Whether your mattress needs to be flipped or not depends on the mattress type. You can flip most innerspring mattresses and some latex mattresses. Mattresses made with memory or polyfoam should not be flipped and neither should hybrid mattresses. If you have any doubts about whether to flip your mattress or not, speak to the mattress retailer or manufacturer.
Flipping, rotating, or both, depending on the mattress type, will help even out the wear on your mattress. It will prevent indentations, lumps, and sagging caused by uneven wear on the foam or springs. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines on whether to flip or rotate your mattress and how often to do it, will ensure your mattress lasts as long as possible.