Mattress Flipping — A Beginner’s Guide

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Flipping the Plank Firm Natural.

Throughout history, mattresses were stuffed with whatever materials were currently available. Beds from the Neolithic period were packed with leaves, grass, and straw. The Ancient Persians used water, while the Egyptians slept on piles of palm boughs.

Of the ancient civilizations, the Romans were clearly the most serious about slumber. This population stuffed their mattresses with wool, feathers, and hay, materials that would remain popular for centuries (many of which are still used today).

The Innerspring Mattress

The single greatest advance in the history of sleep was the invention of the innerspring mattress. This new type of mattress was invented in the late 19th century, but it did not become widely popular until the 1930s.

As the name suggests, the average innerspring mattress has hundreds of springs or coils that are connected by wires. Not only does does this inclusion help the bed maintain its shape and last the test of time, it also works to keep sleepers’ bodies supported throughout the night, helping them to maintain a healthy spinal alignment.

Because buying a new mattress can be a major investment, and, for a lot of people, it is one of the most important pieces of furniture in the home, sleepers must properly care for their beds if they want them to last. This requires basic maintenance on a regular basis.

Mattress Maintenance

Although innerspring mattresses are typically quite resilient and tough, the steel coil springs inside your bed will wear out if you sleep in the same spot for an extended period of time. A sagging mattress — one that has been worn down through prolonged use, so much so that the springs on the inside have lost their resilience and can no longer return to their original shape — is no fun for any sleeper. So how do we prevent this sagging from occurring? Keep reading to find out.

Can These Springs Be Fixed?

Sometimes it is possible to fix sagging springs, but usually, this process costs more than the actual mattress is worth. Instead, it is better to prevent this problem before it actually occurs with simple, regular maintenance.

Why Rotate?

If you regularly sleep on the same side of your mattress every night, you should try to rotate your bed at regular intervals. To do this, simply spin your mattress 180 degrees, so that the end that was at the headboard is now at the footboard.

And you’re done! It really is that easy. After you flip your mattress, you will be putting pressure on a different set of springs than where you slept before. This will not only save your mattress from sagging, but it should provide more support where you need it most, helping to alleviate soreness or pain that may pop up when your body is not fully supported.

How Often Should You Flip Your Mattress?

Some folks rotate their mattress at least once a month, but that may be a bit excessive for the majority of sleepers. At the very least, we recommend that you turn your bed at least twice a year. It is important to note that not all mattresses require spinning. Some beds are designed for extended use and actually become more comfortable the more you sleep on them. Make sure to check your mattresses’ FAQ page or website to find out if it needs regular flipping.

Why Should You Flip?

For the most part, mattress companies are going to suggest that their beds be flipped at least once a year. Unfortunately, most bed owners ignore this advice, instead opting to sleep on the same side of their mattresses for years on end. Then, these same sleepers wonder why their beds wear out sooner than expected.

According to mattress makers, flipping a bed at least once a year can make it last 5-7 years longer. This simple chore will also prevent sagging and depressions in the layers of the bed. However, the exact number of times you should flip your mattress will depend on your preferred sleeping position, body weight, and whether or not you sleep with a partner or a pet.

Does Size Matter?

To put it simply: Yes. Weight is always a consideration when it comes to mattresses. The heavier you are, the more pressure you will put on the steel coil springs in your mattress, which may affect its resilience and durability.

If you are a heavy sleeper (those over 250 pounds), or you sleep on the same side of the bed every night, you should rotate and flip your mattress at least twice a year.

Mattress flipping is especially important if you share your bed with another person, no matter how much you weigh. The extra pressure that comes from two people sleeping on the same structure will inevitably lead to irregular wear on the bed. Some mattress professionals even recommend that couples flip their mattresses at least once a month.

What Happens If You Don’t Flip?

A lot of couples like to cuddle and snuggle at night (who doesn’t?). However, this activity invariably brings these sleepers closer to the center of the mattress, which, in turn, brings more weight into the middle of the bed, where their bodies meet. Because of this, it is no wonder that most beds start to sink and sag in the middle. Large depressions can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, and when the springs start to loosen and lose their resilience, especially in the middle, the mattress must be replaced. It’s better to flip your mattress now than wait until it has to be replaced entirely.

Final Thoughts

While flipping your bed consistently will not make it last indefinitely, it should extend its lifespan by several years. If you are a heavier sleeper, share a bed with a partner or a pet, or regularly sleep in the same spot, it’s a good idea to add flipping your mattress to your monthly to-do list. Or at least your yearly one.

Sleepopolis Team

The Sleepopolis team is all about helping you sleep better. We live, eat, breathe, and sleep (ha!) all things, well, sleep! Whether you need a new mattress, are having trouble sleeping, or are just tired of counting sheep, we've got you covered. Check back here often for the latest and greatest in mattress reviews, sleep news, or health tips, and in the meantime, sleep well. 

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