How To Flip or Rotate Your Mattress (and Why You Should)
Last Updated on September 24, 2023
When's the last time you either rotated or flipped your mattress? If you can't remember, consider this your reminder!
Rotating and/or flipping your bed is one maintenance tip many of us forget to do because—let's be frank, it can feel like a hassle. But if you want to prolong the life of your new bed, it’s a must.
In this post, we’ll discuss some common questions and share our tips to make this maintenance to-do easier than you ever imagined.
Overview: Should I Flip, Rotate or Both?
Rotating and/or flipping your mattress will give your bed a chance to recover as your body's weight spreads to new areas. This simple step prolongs the life of your bed, helps you get the best sleep possible and ensures you make the most of your investment.
- If you have a memory foam mattress, rotate it every three months.
- If you have a traditional innerspring mattress, flip and rotate it every three months.
- If you have a hybrid mattress, rotate it every three months.
Should You Flip or Rotate Your Mattress?
Back in the old days, before the advent of memory foam and pillow top mattresses, it was common to flip and rotate one's bed every three months. Nowadays, however, you can take flipping out of the equation if you have a memory foam mattress. Most memory foam and hybrid memory foam beds contain multiple materials, all layered strategically for maximum comfort and support. So, flipping just isn’t necessary.
The only exception is if you have a “two-sided” mattress, which is how some older innerspring mattresses are constructed. With this style, there are springs in the center and additional padding or comfort layers on both sides of the springs.
What happens if you don’t flip/rotate your mattress?
Regularly flipping and/or rotating your mattress can add years to its life. Couples who like to cuddle up to each other in the center of the mattress, for instance, may notice an uncomfortable indentation forming from all the pressure over time. Flipping and/or rotating is a great way to keep sagging at bay. Moreover, if your mattress has springs in the middle, forgetting to flip or rotate can wear them out, altering the intended shape of your bed. But don't worry if you fail to flip. You can always do it whenever you remember! One missed flip won't ruin your mattress, but years of forgetfulness definitely can.
How often should you rotate your mattress?
To lengthen the life of your investment, most experts recommend rotating your mattress every 3 months. One easy way to remember to rotate your mattress is to align it with the annual holidays.
- Start the new year by rotating your mattress on January 1st.
- April Fool's Day is perfect for your second mattress rotation of the year.
- Celebrate independence by rotating your mattress for July 4th.
- Get ready for fall cuddling and family movie nights with the last mattress rotation of the year on October 1st.
If you have a hard time remembering things, why not take a moment right now to set a recurring reminder on your phone or add your new mattress rotation schedule to your family calendar?
How often should you flip your mattress?
If your mattress calls for flipping, you’ll want to do this quarterly as well. Traditional double-sided innerspring coil beds with a box spring can typically be flipped and rotated, but always be sure to refer to the manufacturer's instructions before doing so.
How to Rotate Your Mattress in 4 Easy Steps
Rotating your mattress can be easy to put off, but it shouldn't be! Once you get on a regular schedule, you'll never go back to the old days of indents and creases in your bed. Luckily, it only takes 4 easy steps to protect the comfort and durability of your mattress.
Step 1: Prepare For Rotation
As we mentioned earlier, setting reminders is a great way to stay on track with quarterly rotations. But once the day approaches, you'll want to make a few preparations. Twin sized beds are relatively easy to rotate and are usually manageable for one person. If you have a larger mattress, you may wish to ask someone to help you.
Step 2: Ready For Rotation
A full size or larger mattress will need a considerable amount of space to rotate into. You will be turning the bed a full 180 degrees, which means you should arrange the room for the rotation. If you don't prepare, your mattress may end up being like a bull in a china shop, knocking over and breaking precious items along the way. Remove bedside lamps and other breakable items from nightstands, and remove your bedding.
Step 3: Time To Rotate
Now it's time to rotate that mattress! One thing that will determine the job's difficulty is your bed frame. If you only have your mattress sitting on a foundation with a headboard, it will be a lot easier than rotating a mattress that sits within a four-poster bed with a headboard and footboard. You will definitely need help with larger beds that have more intricate frames.
Key points to keep in mind for rotation day:
- You will be rotating the mattress a full 180 degrees so that what was once the head of the bed will now be the foot.
- Have a person on each side of the mattress to pick up the bed evenly and avoid injury.
- Plan your move to be clockwise or counterclockwise, so you don't end up shouting, "PIVOT! PIVOT! PIVOT!" at your helper.
- If your bed frame lacks a headboard or footboard, simply glide the mattress into the designated rotation place.
- If you do have a headboard, move the mattress away from the head of the bed to rotate smoothly.
- For a bed with a headboard and footboard, carefully turn the mattress, lift it and rest it on the footboard as you rotate it.
- Once you have rotated the mattress, make sure it's centered on the bed frame.
Step 4: Fresh Rotation, Fresh Bed
Think of your quarterly bed rotation as a perfect occasion to clean your bedroom. Before rotating your bed, strip and wash your sheets, bed skirt, pillows and mattress protector. Take the opportunity to vacuum around your bed and clean your mattress.
How to Flip Your Mattress in 4 Easy Steps
We've taught you how to rotate your memory foam or pillow top mattress; now it's time to learn how to flip a mattress.
Before moving on to step 1, check your mattress manufacturer's instructions to find out whether you should flip your mattress or not. You can also try taking a peek under the bottom corner of your bed. If the top and bottom look the same, there's a good chance that it's a go.
As we mentioned earlier, some mattresses shouldn’t be flipped. Most memory foam mattresses, like those in the GhostBed line, are designed to have strategic layers that should stay in order. For example, the cooling cover on top and the high-density support foam for the base.
Step 1: Ready For Rotation
Once you've confirmed that your mattress is flippable, the first step is to rotate it. Start by sliding the mattress 90 degrees to parallel the sides to the footboard and headboard.
Step 2: Prop It Up
Next, prop up your mattress. You can do this by tilting the mattress and leaning it against a wall or another sturdy surface.
Step 3: Flip and Rotate
The last step is turning the mattress over so that you can drop it (gently) onto your bed frame, box spring or foundation. Next, rotate the mattress into its final place.
Step 4: Start Fresh
Now is the perfect time to vacuum under your bed, clean and change out your linens and do any spot cleaning your mattress may need.
Rotating and/or flipping your new mattress regularly will prolong the life of your bed. Remember, your bed will memorize your body over time. By rotating and/or flipping it, your mattress will have the opportunity to recover as you spread your body's weight to new areas. And BONUS for you, it’s like getting a whole new bed every 3 months!
Marc has spent the last two decades designing & manufacturing mattresses and other sleep products, drawing on a lifetime of experience working with the material sciences. With several patents to his name, he works closely with the GhostBed team to create products with the perfect balance of comfort & support. Learn More