Why you should stop flipping your mattress — and what to do instead

A person lifts up the edge of a mattress
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You've probably been told that the best way to keep your mattress in good condition is to flip it every once in a while. The reason behind this advice is to prevent your mattress from sagging and to make it last longer. However, you should never flip some mattresses and should instead try another trick to stop wear and tear. 

Even the very best mattresses made of high-quality materials can eventually become worn out. After all, you spend hours on it every night. However. flipping your mattress can stop one side of your bed from becoming overused and indented, but some mattress designs simply aren't designed to be turned over. 

A lot of modern beds can't be turned, so it's important to know whether you can flip your mattress or not. Here, we'll discuss which mattresses should and shouldn't be flipped, and how you can keep your bed in top shape without having to turn it over. 

How often should you flip a mattress?

A mattress care tip that is often shared is that you should regularly flip your mattress. However, this piece of advice dates back to when almost all beds were traditional spring mattresses. If your mattress is a classic spring mattress, then you  can extend its life by flipping it every so often. According to Lydia Lloyd, textile expert at M&S Home, this should be every few months. 

“In general, sprung mattresses should be rotated and turned weekly for the first three months, then once every three to four months as this helps the filling to settle,” advised while answering common questions about mattress care. “Not only that, but it means general wear and tear will be distributed across the mattress evenly.”

However, this advice only applies to traditional spring mattresses, as their spring-and-padding design is identical on either side. There's are a lot of modern mattresses that can't be flipped, and this is because they are designed in layers that are placed in a special order. When the mattress is flipped, the order turns upside down and becomes incorrect, so you can't get all the benefits that the design intended. 

Instead, these mattresses need to be rotated. To find out if you need to rotate your mattress and how often, you first need to know what type of mattress you have (all-foam or hybrid) and whether it comes with a pillow top.

A man and a woman move a mattress after trying to flip it

(Image credit: Getty)

How often should you flip a memory foam mattress? 

You shouldn't flip a memory foam mattress. In fact, many memory foam bed manufacturers specifically advise you not to (so if you do, you could be voiding the warranty if it becomes damaged). Even the best memory foam mattresses aren't built to be flipped and won't be able to withstand the pressure of being turned over regularly. 

Moreover, they are designed to only be slept on one side, so you won't get the comforting benefits if sleeping on the underside. Instead, rotate the memory foam bed end-to-end every few weeks. To do this, turn it 180 degrees while it's still lying flat, rather than having to turn it completely over. 

How often should you flip a hybrid mattress?

Like memory foam beds, hybrid mattresses should not be flipped. They are designed in layers, with the top layers usually consisting of comforting foam for a soft sleep surface and a bottom layer consisting of coils for a sturdy, supportive base. 

Some of the best hybrid mattresses also come with cooling tech at the top of the mattress (such as gel-infused foam or a cover made from cool-to-the-touch material) for a refreshing sleep surface. The benefits of the hybrid design won't be realised if the mattress is upside down.

Instead, rotate the hybrid bed end-to-end every three to six months. To do this, turn it 180 degrees while it's still lying flat, rather than having to turn it completely over. 

How often should you flip a pillow-top mattress?

If your mattress has a pillow top or Euro top, then the pillow top will need to remain on top for a plush sleep surface, so you shouldn't turn it upside down. Instead rotate it head-to-foot. You should rotate a pillow top bed every few weeks if it is an all-foam bed and every three to six months if it is a hybrid.

Frances Daniels
Sleep Staff Writer

Frances Daniels is a Sleep Staff Writer at Tom's Guide and her role includes covering all mattress and sleep news, in addition to mattress reviews and buyer's guides, plus sleep accessories such as pillows and mattress toppers. Frances is a PPA-accredited journalist and is hugely interested in the relationship between good sleep and overall health. When not writing about mattresses and sleep for Tom's Guide, Frances enjoys writing about women's issues, health and wellbeing, the environment, and her native Wales.