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But there’s one sleep hack that doesn’t require you to open your wallet: flipping your mattress. Mattress flipping is exactly what it sounds like. Just like flipping your pillow to the cool side, you flip your mattress like a pancake to reveal a fresh surface for dreamland.
But does it actually help? Below, we unpack the flipping benefits and steps involved.
Should you flip your mattress?
- Yes. It’s recommended that you flip or rotate your mattress every 3 to 6 months, depending on mattress type.
- If your mattress can’t be flipped, you should buy a new one at least once every 7 years.
- Flipping your mattress regularly can lengthen mattress life span, improve comfort, sleep quality, and pain relief.
- Vacuuming and/or cleaning your mattress is a recommended part of the regular flipping process.
The practice of flipping mattresses came from the idea that it’s a good way of taking care of it over the years. Experts at The Better Sleep Council say you should spring for a new mattress *at least* every 7 years.
But the obvious issue is not every mattress can be flipped. Many modern models are one-sided, with foam on top and support on the bottom. Flipping them wouldn’t be convenient *or* comfy.
For reversible models, flipping them makes sense. If your mattress top and bottom are indistinguishable, switching between the two lets you wear it down equally on both sides and maximize its life span.
The Better Sleep Council recommends periodically rotating (from end-to-end) and flipping over your mattress “if applicable.” So, how do you know if that advice applies to you?
First, you must figure out if your mattress is *supposed* to be flipped. Reversible mattresses have a smooth, sleep-friendly surface on the top and bottom. Some of them feature a firm side and a slightly cushier side for versatility.
If you’re still not sure after looking at both sides, look up the product info on the brand’s website. Flippable mattresses are usually labeled as such.
How often should I flip my mattress?
There aren’t any scientific studies on the perfect intervals for mattress flipping. Most manufacturers recommend flipping them every 3 to 6 months.
Like many things in life, a little effort could go a long way.
Increased mattress longevity
Like we’ve already mentioned, the most common reason for flipping a reversible mattress is to make it last longer. It’s like a two-for-one deal on a product you already own! #winning
Sleep sags, snooze slumps, sexy-time slopes… Whatever you call them, mattress indents are no fun.
Flipping your mattress could help prevent lumps and divots. It *also* gives you a fresh, smooth surface every 3 to 6 months.
It’s tough to sleep on a lumpy bed. Some older research suggests that getting a new bed system — or, in this case, a new side of the bed — can improve sleep quality and reduce stress. We’re here for it!
Less back pain
Wanna give it a whirl?
- Check first. As in, peek under the bottom corner of your mattress and make sure it looks the same as the top side. Remember some mattresses aren’t made to be flipped.
- Rotate. Slide the mattress 90 degrees so that the sides are parallel to the headboard and footboard.
- Prop it. Tilt the mattress until it’s standing up. Lean it against a wall or something sturdy while you complete the next step.
- Vacuum it. Now that both sides are visible, make sure your mattress is clean. This is also a good time for rando cleaning tasks like wiping off your boxspring.
- Flip it. Turn that bad boy over and drop it onto the bed.
- Rotate into place. After a few final shimmies to make sure your mattress fits snuggly into place, put your favorite sheets on the bed and slip right in.
Pro tip: To prevent more back pain, have someone help you rotate and flip your mattress and remember to bend lift with your legs, not your back!
The bad news: Unless you have a dual-sided mattress, your rest nest probably can’t be flipped.
The good news: Pretty much *any* mattress can (and probably should!) be rotated.
Rotating your mattress just involves turning it 180 degrees so that the end that’s been against your headboard is now against the footrest.
- easier than flipping
- faster than flipping
- a solid option for just about every other mattress that can’t be flipped
Though rotating won’t change up your sleep surface as much as flipping will, it still prevents lumps and dips by more evenly distributing your weight on different sections of the mattress.
Only reversible mattresses — where both sides are sleep-friendly — should be flipped.
Here’s a look at a few popular mattress types and which ones belong to the flippable club:
Where to buy a flippin’ dual-sided mattress
Many brands offer flip-friendly mattresses. Here are a few faves:
Handling any heavy object can be risky for your back (especially if you’re stretching out on a king-size beauty). Also, flipping a mattress that *isn’t designed to be reversible* is no bueno for the mattress or your back.
Prevent back injury with these tips:
- Get help. Ask your partner, family member, or friend to assist with the process.
- Take it slow. Rotate and prop before flipping rather than lifting and flipping too quickly.
- Know your limits. If you’re recovering from an injury or don’t think you’re strong enough to lift without straining, don’t do it. Recruit a friend for the job instead.
The goal is normally to get a mattress that’s just right as is, but flipping an old one regularly could extend its usability. However, not all mattresses are flip-friendly, and rotating them is a good alternative.
Rotating your mattress can also help prevent indentations and sagging over time. Whether you flip, rotate, or neither, experts recommend getting a new mattress every 7 years for better sleep.