Rotating or turning a mattress is only important when the mattress manufacturer recommends it. Even then, it isn’t typically necessary – your mattress won’t break or degrade rapidly if you don’t follow the instructions.
Mattress manufacturers recommend rotating and turning because, theoretically, it evens out the wear of the mattress, prolonging its performance. It could save you money in the long run, although most mattresses last ten years anyway.
For example, the foams and springs (where applicable) compress when you sleep on a mattress. Over time, this compression wears down the support system, and turning or rotating reduces wear at one end of the bed, evening it out.
General recommendations for rotating and turning
If you can’t find any manufacturer recommendations for rotating and turning, it’s worth contacting them to find out. If you can’t get a hold of them (or can’t be bothered), here are a few general recommendations:
- Memory foam and latex foam mattresses – rotate every six months (twice per year)
Sprung mattresses (open coil, Miracoil, pocket sprung) – rotate every four months (three times per year)
- Old innerspring mattresses – rotate every two months (six times per year)
Most mattresses should never be flipped/reversed because they have a top side, and the mattress layers do not repeat.
Overall, springs are more susceptible to degradation than foams, so you should rotate sprung mattresses more frequently than pure foam mattresses.
In terms of sprung mattresses, pocket spring mattresses wear less than open coil mattresses, but they last around the same time in most cases. You don’t need to rotate an open coil mattress more frequently than a pocket spring one.
What mattresses can be turned?
You can only turn double-sided mattresses because they are stacked with reverse layers. The bottom of the mattress is the same as the top side, so you can turn/flip them to even out wear and tear.
It is a common misconception that all pure foam mattresses are turnable; most have different bottom layers from the top layers. If in doubt, ask your mattress manufacturer for advice, or you can ask us if you buy from us.
Why is rotating and turning a mattress important?
Rotating and turning extends the lifespan of most mattresses, and it does so for slightly different reasons depending on the mattress’s construction.
Sprung mattresses have springs that provide support. The springs compress under your body weight, and they are rated to compress over several cycles. Rotating evens out these cycles, extending the mattress’s lifespan.
Pure foam mattresses have no moving parts, but they do have layers of foam bonded with adhesive. Over time, the adhesive degrades, and this degradation accelerates with wear, so rotating or turning makes the mattress last longer.
Rotating also makes it easier to clean your mattress because no one side will be more saturated with sweat and dead skin than the other.
What happens if I don’t rotate or turn a mattress?
Nothing will immediately happen if you don’t rotate or turn a mattress, but over time you might notice the end of the bed you sleep on is less supportive. You might also notice that the mattress is firmer at the foot end.
Rotating evens out mattress wear because all your weight is shifted to one side of your bed while sleeping. By rotating your mattress, you are evening out the wear.
Rotating a mattress evens wear and tear and extends its lifespan. Sprung mattresses should be rotated every four months and foam mattresses every six months.
Only turn/flip double-sided (“reversible”, “turnable”) mattresses because these have a top and bottom construction that is the same.
Rotating a mattress is so easy that you might as well just go ahead and do it. There are no downsides other than the effort it takes to shift it around.