How Often Should You Rotate Your Mattress? – And Should You Flip It?
If someone is like me, they grew up rotating or flipping their mattress over every now and then. Always after a gentle reminder from Mom, of course.
We’ve been told (correctly) that rotating and/or flipping the mattress is often the key to its healthy performance and long lifespan. When we sleep in the same spot every night, ourbody weight leaves an impressionin that spot. If we do not rotate our mattress and give that space the ability to recover, we may need a new mattress sooner than later.
Now, with a new generation of bed in a box mattresses made with specific and customized layers, rotating and flipping may no longer be necessary. That being said, we’ve put togethera general guide to rotating and flipping a mattressto help address the following questions:
- Why should I rotate my mattress?
- Does my mattress need to be rotated or flipped?
- How do I do it?
- How often should you rotate your mattress?
Keep in mind that more likely than not, the folks who make the mattress will tell peoplewhether or not it needs to be rotated or flipped.To keep a warranty in good standing, we’re going to suggest that people go with their recommendation above everything else.
Why Should I Rotate My Mattress?
First, let’s clarify what we mean by “rotate.” When we talk about it in this post, we meanmoving the mattress 180 degrees,so the portion that was at the head of the bed is now at the foot of the bed.
As we mentioned up at the top, some mattresses needed to be rotated because it evens out the overall wear and prolongs the bed’s lifespan. It also helpskeep the spine in neutral alignment, a crucial aspect of getting a good night’s sleep and waking up pain-free.
Sleeping in the same spot every night, night after night will cause the bed towear unevenlyover time. This can also result in sagging,which will cause the spine to get out of alignment and could ultimately cause people to feel pain and potentially need to replace their mattress. By rotating it, people are giving one area a chance to recover and a fresher spot to take on new weight.
How Often Should I Rotate My Mattress?
There are so many different materials and combinations of materials used in mattress construction now that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how often people should rotate their mattress.
In general, mattress brands that recommend rotation suggest doing itevery three months to once a year.The main point seems to be that people keep up with it and try to be regular about their rotations.
How Do I Rotate My Mattress?
Here are some recommendations on how to rotate a mattress in the most stress and hopefully pain-free way possible.
Plan out rotationsfor the year in advance. People should use a phone, laptop or a printed calendar to remind themselves to periodically rotate their mattresses through the year. Some mattress brands may recommend every three months, in which case they could use the beginning/end of a business quarter to rotate. The Fourth of July holiday is a great halfway point to rotate the bed as well. And it’s never a bad idea to start the new year out sleeping on a fresh side of the bed, either.
Prep the space. Nothing is more frustrating than lifting a heavy mattress and holding it while people make decisions. People should spare themselves by moving nightstands away from the bed, removing all bedding and deciding if to turn the bed clockwise or counterclockwise first.
Strategize the rotationbased on the bed. If people have a bed with a headboard, they will want to move the mattress slightly away from the top of the bed before rotating. If it also has a footboard people could lift the mattress and rest it on the footboard to aid in their rotation.
Get in there with the vacuum, while possible. Depending on the mattress and bed set up, it may be worth pausing mid-rotation to grab the dustbuster and get into those hard to reach spots under and around the bed and mattress. Adding fresh clean sheets to the newly rotated bed may make people feel like they’ve got a brand new bed.
What Mattresses Need To Be Rotated?
Unless the mattress company that someone purchases their bed from says otherwise, it’salmost always a good idea to rotate the mattressregularly.
Here is a list of mattress types that would benefit from rotation:
- Memory Foam
- Latex Foam
- Hybrid (a mix of more than one material – usually a combo of foam and innerspring)
In some cases,air beds with foam topperswill also benefit from rotation.
Some mattresses should not be rotated because they are only supposed to be facing one direction. For instance, the Level Sleep mattress features a proprietary zoned construction, and the lumbar zone will not be in the right position if the mattress is rotated.
Why Should I Flip My Mattress?
The truth is thatmost modern mattresses are not meant to be flipped.For the most part, they are designed with specific layers and will not operate correctly if turned upside down. Typically, onlyolder mattressesand innerspring mattresses with no pillowtop should be flipped.
Thesteel coil springsinside an innerspring mattress will wear out over time if someone sleeps in the same spot on the same side every night for the entire time they own their mattress. To help remedy this, it is recommended that people not only flip their innerspring mattresses over butrotate themas well.
How Do I Flip My Mattress?
It is a good idea to rotate a mattress when flipping it, as it will help with even wear and increase longevity for all mattresses. Check out ourtips for rotatinga mattress earlier in the post.
During the rotation process, take the opportunity to flip the mattress upside down and continue rotating until it’s completed its 180-degree turn. This may be possible to do on one’s own, but forlarger or heavier mattressesit may be best to have a friend to help.
Non-pillow top innerspring mattressestend to be the type of mattress that will still need to be flipped, but foam mattresses that are designed with specific layers do not need to be flipped. If people have a hybrid mattress with springs or a traditional innerspring mattress, it would be wise toconsult with their mattress manufacturerbefore rotating or flipping.
Keeping all this in mind, itshould be easyfor most people to rotate and flip their mattresses. Again, make sure to ask a friend for help because there’s no need to make it harder than it is!
Is it good to rotate your mattress?
It is a very good idea to rotate a mattress because it will even out the wear and indentations that form over time. Rotating the mattress every 3-6 months should ensure that it will last for a longer amount of time.
Do you need to rotate a hybrid mattress?
Most hybrid mattresses need to be rotated so that they wear evenly over time. Just make sure to check with the manufacturer about when is the best time to rotate.
Can you flip a one-side mattress?
No, one cannot flip a one-sided mattress. A one-sided mattress is built to lie one way, with the support layer on the bottom, the transition layer in the middle, and the comfort layer on top. Flipping the mattress will make it very uncomfortable to sleep on.
When should I rotate my mattress?
It depends on the mattress, but most companies recommend rotating a mattress every 3-6 months.
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How long does a mattress last?
My mattress is getting on in years. In fact, Bill Clinton was in his first term as president when I last bought a new one. Is it time for me to replace my mattress?
You’ve probably logged more than 30,000 hours in your bed, and your mattress has likely become less comfortable and less supportive. But there’s no set formula for determining when you need to replace a mattress. It might be time to buy one if:
•You regularly wake up tired or achy—you make Oscar the Grouch seem as cheerful as Mr. Rogers.
•You tend to sleep better away from home, than in your own bed. Are you planning unnecessary business trips or looking for any reason to go on a weekend getaway?
•Your mattress looks or feels saggy or lumpy—it needs go on the Abs Diet.
•You’re over age 40 and your mattress is five to seven years old. Remember, your body tolerates less pressure as it ages. As if getting older weren’t tough enough . . .
A mattress can be an expensive investment—we’ve tested models that cost in excess of $4,000—but if you treat your new one properly, it could easily last 10 years. Our advice:
•Don’t let your kids use your bed as a trampoline.
•Rotate your mattress. If you have a single-sided mattress (you sleep on only one side), rotate the mattress from end to end—that is, move the mattress 180 degrees. The foot of the mattress is now at the head, and vice versa.
If you have a double-sided mattress, rotate it as above, then turn it over so the bottom is now on top.
Perform these steps every two weeks for the first three months you have your new mattress, then once every two months thereafter. You’ll find illustrated instructions on a number of different Web sites.
• Use a bed frame that has a center support.
Essential information:See “How to buy a mattress without losing sleep” for detailed advice on finding the perfect bed. And watch our video buying guide.
7 Signs You Should Replace Your Mattress
A good night’s rest is crucial to your health and well-being, yet millions of Americans suffer from lack of sleep. TheSleep in Americastudy by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) found that 75% of adults have problems sleeping well. The study showed that 60% of respondents experienced daytime sleepiness that interfered with activities, caused work absences, or mistakes on the job. While medical conditions may be responsible for some instances of bad sleep, it might be your mattress that’s the issue. Review these seven signs that it’s time to replace your mattress to see if your bed is to blame for inadequate sleep.
#1 Your mattress is 7-10 years old
Research has found that mattresses have a life-span of roughly eight years, but this varies by manufacturer, mattress type, whether you sleep alone or with a partner, and how you sleep. If you’re a larger person, your mattress will likely wear out faster than manufacturer guidelines suggest.
Mattresses were not designed to last forever, and excessive wear and tear will age a product faster. Inferior products don’t last as long, yet even the highest-quality mattress has a maximum lifespan and will eventually need replacing. If your mattress is old, that’s the first sign you may need a new one.
#2 The mattress is saggy
If there’s a dent in your mattress in the shape of your body, that’s a signal that your mattress is overly worn. Sagging can occur with almost any mattress material (aside from waterbeds) and can be observed under your sleep area, at the edges, or both. If your mattress has springs, they can break down and sag.
Fiber, foam, and pillowtop materials all break down over time and the deeper the sag in your mattress, the more discomfort you’ll likely experience. Saggy mattresses can disrupt sleep and cause aches and pains. If your memory foam mattress core has softened, you may feel the sag as a “hammock” effect.
#3 Your spine isn’t aligned when you sleep
No matter how old (or new) your mattress, if it doesn’t offer proper support and alignment, you won’t get optimal sleep. For back or stomach sleepers, your spine’s natural S curve should be evident when you’re lying on your mattress. If it’s flattened or exaggerated, the mattress isn’t aligning your spine properly.
For side sleepers, your spine should be straight from neck to bottom if you’ve got proper support. A yardstick or level can confirm adequate alignment. A good pillow may correct minor issues, but if you can slide a hand in the gap between body and mattress, it’s a red flag that you might need a different mattress.
#4 Your mattress is uncomfortable
Knowing whether your mattress is comfortable sounds like common sense, but many people adjust to discomfort. If you get better sleep on a hotel mattress or a friend’s guest room, your home bed might not be comfortable enough. A bed may seem comfortable in a showroom but then doesn’t perform well at home.
The upper part of your mattress consists of “comfort layers” that should support your body and provide pressure relief. Comfort layers break down over time resulting in poor sleep and body aches but in some cases, your mattress choice might have been faulty from the start, and you need to replace it.
#5 You wake stiff and sore
Poor sleep can contribute to chronic back pain. If you wake up stiff and sore every day, your mattress could be part of the problem. If your back pain is worse when you wake but subsides when you stretch and move around, that’s a sign that the mattress is causing or contributing to your pain.
A firm mattress may not be the answer. A study from the Kovacs Foundation in Mallorca found that medium-firm mattresses provided better comfort for chronic low-back pain. Experts recommend sleep testing different types of mattresses before buying if you suffer pain while sleeping or when waking.
#6 Worsening allergies or asthma
If it’s not allergy season and there’s no alternate explanation for an uptick in allergy or asthma symptoms, your mattress might be the culprit.Slateinterviewed an expert on dust mites that said your mattress is a “crime scene in terms of how it gets inoculated with [dust] mites” over time.
The protein in dust mite feces may cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks and so can the dust that accumulates in your mattress. Vacuuming, steaming, and flipping your mattress might reduce dust and mites to ease your symptoms. If these steps don’t help, a new mattress might be the solution.
#7 You gained or lost weight (or added a co-sleeper)
For those that experience a significant gain or loss in weight over the life cycle of your mattress, the change might alter the effectiveness of your mattress. A Canadian study linked both inadequate and excessive sleep to weight gain so how you sleep and what you weigh are intermingled.
Heavier body types trigger more wear and tear on springs, foam, cushioning and mattress components. Also, if you were a solo sleeper but now have a partner in your bed, your mattress might not offer adequate sleep surface or support for the extra weight. That means it’s time for a new mattress.
Become an informed consumer
If you suspect you need a new mattress, do your homework, and educate yourself before you buy. Understand the lingo and gimmicks employed by mattress firms so that you get the product you need that fits your budget and gives you the best night’s sleep. There’s no prescription for which mattress will best fit your unique needs.
Look for a mattress that offers adequate support for spinal alignment. Comfort is subjective – it’s how a bed feels to you. You might find a firmer mattress superior to a softer one or vice-versa. Mattress selection is highly personal and should be your preference at the cross-section of proper alignment, support, and comfort.
How Long Do Mattresses Last? The Results May Shock You!
Mattresses are pretty expensive — one quick glance at our buyer’s guide will confirm this fact. This is why many people do not replace them – not even after many years of use.
They do not want to spend a lot of money on a new one. Besides, now you can delay the process of buying a new one if you do an excellent job at maintaining your existing one.So, how often should you replace your mattress?
It doesn’t matter which type of bed you have. Most of them are ready for replacement within ten years to ensure a good night’s rest (old mattresses can hurt your sleep quality). Besides, it can last beyond ten years on average, if the owners maintain it properly.
Also, many different factors affect a bed’s lifespan. You can extend its life expectancy by following a few easy steps in the text below. We prepared and wrote down some tips to boost its longevity.
How Often Should You Change (and Clean) Your Pillows?
If you can’t really recall whenthe last time you changed your pillowwas, it might be the right time to do it.
There is a general rule of thumb that you ought to do so at least once a year or two years at worst.
There are a few different reasons for which you’d want to consider doing so, and we’ve taken the liberty of elaborating a bit on this topic.
Why Replace Your Pillow
Your pillow has a direct impact on the way your neck and head are supported, and when they are brand new, the support is the best. This keeps your spine aligned which translates to a great night of sleep. Keep this in mind.
You sweat. That’s a fact. Furthermore, your dead skin cells peel and all of this gets absorbed in the pillow. With time, you might experience certain allergic reactions or skin inflammations resulting from these – it’s important to keep this in mind.
How Often Should I Wash My Pillow?
The general rule of thumb is three weeks, even though you could do it more frequently. This is what’s considered a great habit to get into. Should you do so, rest assured that you wouldn’t experience any issues regarding hygiene.
Types of Pillows & Replacement Timeline
Memory foam pillows should be replaced once a year. Their conforming is great, but they tend to sag. The material is not that reliable, and that’s the main reason for it.
Down pillows should also be changed once a year, maybe a little longer than that. They tend to lump quite a bit, and it is at that point they’d become unusable.
Latex is more durable than memory foam, and as such, if you have a latex pillow, you can replace it once every two years. They are more expensive as well.
Feather-based are amongst the most common types out there, and they are also usually the more inexpensive ones. You should change these at least once a year even though certain people recommend even more often.
These should be changed once every year and a half as bamboo fibers tend to be a bit more reliable than cotton ones.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Pillows go in the dryer?
Some of them can – others can’t. For instance, you can throw a bamboo pillow in the dryer, but you can’t put a feather-based one in it as you risk making a substantial mess.
Are there health risks associated with an old pillow?
The more you use a pillow, the more its properties diminish. Think of it as amortization. An old and inappropriate pillow could cause spinal misalignment so – yes, there are health risks associated with old pillows.
The most important thing to consider is your health. As such, you are obligated to ensure that everything is handled as per the highest standards. Follow the above guidelines to guarantee that your pillow is in perfect condition and that it delivers the necessary capabilities.
Sources and References:
- When Should You Replace Your Pillow? – sleep.org
- Pillows: A Hot Bed Of Fungal Spores – sciencedaily.com
Author: Sleep Advisor
Our team covers as many areas of expertise as we do time zones, but none of us started here as a so-called expert on sleep. What we do share is a willingness to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards healthy living. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture, but also how we deliver information to our over 12.7M readers.
Sleep research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you sleep better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better rest.
Transparency Disclosure– We may receive a referral fee (at no additional cost to the buyer) for products purchased through the links on our site or other applicable pages. To learn more, please read our full disclosure pagehere. We also encourage you to read about how we may research and/or test Products here.
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Transparency Disclosure– We may receive a referral fee (at no additional cost to the buyer) for products purchased through the links on our site or other applicable pages. To learn more, please read our full disclosure page here.We also encourage you to read about how we may research and/or test Products here.
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There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to better health and better rest, but no one has time to sleep, let alone figure out how to upgrade the sleep they’re getting.
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