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How Often Should You Rotate Your Mattress?

A man is seen lifting a mattress to flip or rotate.

How Often Should You Rotate Your Mattress?

A man is seen lifting a mattress to flip or rotate.

You probably have a preferred sleeping position, but how you sleep could be affecting the mattress. Whether you ball up into the fetal position, roll on your slide, or lay on your back or stomach, that favored sleep position may allocate wear and tear on only certain sections of the mattress.

Over time, that preferred position could wear down the mattress and perhaps leave you resting less comfortably. Like tires on a car, the mattress needs to be rotated to preserve the life of the investment.

With proper care, most mattresses can last up to a decade.  How often should you rotate or flip  your mattress? That really depends on the type of mattress you purchased.

A close up photo of a plush pillow top mattress.

Rotate Pillow Tops

Flipping a pillow top doesn’t make sense, because flipping means losing the pillow. Instead, rotate the mattress 180 degrees. The part of the mattress that kept your feet rested now should rest the head…and vice versa.

Sleep Advisor notes that how often you rotate may be subject to the brand’s own specifications but that rotating six-monthly or annually tends to be the standard advice. However, most mattresses should have care instructions; use these for guidance. You also could call the manufacturer.

Flip & Rotate Innerspring

Those springy mattresses can (and should!) be flipped and rotated. Again, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendation. Or you can choose to flip/rotate quarterly. Just make sure to check if your innerspring mattress is designed to be flipped. Most new models are one-sided and are only rotated.

Innersprings can feel pretty hefty, and you might need some assistance flipping the mattress. Although, smaller mattress sizes like Twin can be a bit more manageable for one person.

Better Homes & Gardens recommends a seasonal flip and rotation, which is technically quarterly. So celebrate the equinoxes and solstices by tending to your innerspring.

Rotate Memory Foam

Many memory foam mattresses cannot be flipped, but they should be rotated. For the best wear, 2920 recommends rotating the mattress every month during the first six months, and then rotating every 6 months. And you’ll be just fine if you just start with rotating every 6 months.

So why suggest rotating monthly?

Boxed foam mattresses “inflate” after opening; the mattress takes a bit of time to take on its full shape and depth. Monthly rotation simply keeps wear and tear from affecting only a certain part of the mattress. This is a break-in period, and even wear-and-tear is crucial to ensuring the proper comfort and support of a new mattress.

After the six month break-in period, rotate the mattress every six months.

How to Make Flipping Easier

It’s easy to forget mattress maintenance, especially when maintenance involves moving around larger and more cumbersome mattresses.  Neglecting to flip or rotate, though, could diminish the life of your investment.

Here’s how to make the chore of flipping and rotating a bit easier… and a higher priority:

  • Schedule flipping/rotating on your phone calendar (and set a reminder)
  • Enlist a partner or friend to help you flip
  • Flip or rotate at each new season (the first day of the equinox or the solstice)

Use the spin technique for easy rotation (keep the mattress on the bed and pull the corner around to rotate…like you’re spinning the mattress)

I Forgot to Flip! Now What?

Maybe a long time has gone by and you realized you neglected that mattress. Don’t freak out. Flip or rotate as soon as you remember. Then add in a reminder to a phone or planner to help remember the next time.

More Maintenance Tips for Better Sleep

Flipping the mattress is also a good time to do other bed maintenance. Schedule this time to dry clean or wash a duvet cover or comforter.

Today recommends cleaning the duvet cover monthly, but that duvet can go years without washing (maybe even the entire life of your mattress!).

Wash pillows when you flip the mattress, too. Those who are prone to allergies may need to clean pillows more frequently.

Hopefully, the mattress has been protected with a mattress cover. Before you flip or rotate the mattress, remove the cover and clean it, too. If you use a waterproof plastic cover, wipe it down with a gentle cleanser.

How often should you flip or rotate your mattress depends on the type of mattress and the recommendations of the manufacturer. A general guideline is to flip or rotate the mattress every six months or at least yearly to ensure even wear and tear on the mattress. Proper care and maintenance including mattress rotation helps to prolong the life of your investment and ensure many more nights of great sleep.

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