Can You Flip a Pillow Top Mattress

To flip or not to flip that is the question?

Can a Pillow Top Mattress Be Flipped Over?  The answer solely depends on the type of pillow top mattress you have. Whether you have a Euro Pillow Top or Traditional Pillow top doesn’t matter. What is of concern is whether or not the bed has the pillow top on both sides, meaning the top and the bottom side of the mattress or just on the top side only. Knowing this and you are half way to your answer.

No Flip Pillow Top Mattress

Today the majority of manufacturers use the one sided variety of bed which only has the pillow top cushioning that is located on the surface of the mattress. The builders claim that these non-flippable models are every bit as good as the old beds and have all but replaced their two sided predecessors. That they are better is debatable but with high quality foams and building materials one-sided versions really can mean less maintenance over the life of ownership. The most common complaint is that most people feel that manufacturers are using inferior building materials and that they don’t last so shop and compare things like steel, foam content, and foam density.

Can You Flip a Pillow Top Mattress

Can You Flip a Pillow Top Mattress

There is another way to identify the one sided mattress if you are not certain you own one. A 1 sided pillow top mattress often has a non-skid surface located on the bottom side. It typically is not very pretty and doesn’t feel very soft to the touch. This portion of the mattress should not be slept on or it could damage the mattress.

Double Sided or Two Side  Pillow Top Mattress

Each side of the mattress more often than not looks identical to the other  as the name implies. A Double Sided mattress has Two Sides and should be flipped over according to the warranty instructions or care instructions that were provided with the mattress. Turning over the mattress and rotating it end-to-end extends the mattress’s life. Not doing so can cause uneven wear due to the same persons body weight  being in the same location every night which causes upholstery layers to compress and coil springs to fatigue and loose their spring.

Mattress care is important and two sided mattresses do have another advantage in that airing both sides of the mattress is possible. Whether you own a one sided mattress or a double sided version one note of caution: Thick pillow tops with lots of soft cushioning are notorious for developing body impression or indentations .Follow care instructions religiously or plan to purchase versions with higher quality layers of padding.

The bottom line one-sided mattresses can only be rotated 180 degrees turning mattress from head to toe.

Two sided versions should be turned over so that the top is now on the bottom. Rotating 180 degrees is also required turning the head of the mattress to the foot end. Turning and flipping intervals as required by the manufacturers warranty an important note is that you cannot flip or turn your mattress too much. Regular care promotes longer mattress life for either mattress. Sleep tight.


Doug Belleville and his father Dave own and run STLBeds - a specialty sleep store located in Arnold, MO. The staff at STLBeds is highly educated about sleep, comfort and their special sleep products. STLBeds only carries high quality mattresses and bed-related products. You won't find the brand names here - just call and ask us why!

7 Comments Leave your comment »

“This portion of the mattress should not be slept on or it could damage the mattress.” I have had a one sided for 5 years and after less than a year the indentation was real bad. Alot of complaints online that I dd not see before buying. Simmons has denied every request. I have decided after spending all this money that I needed to do something but as is, my wife and I could not sleep on it any longer. I bought a very thick mattress pad and turned the mattress over and now every six months I flip it and it has worked fine for 5 years like this. So back to my first sentence, which is actually your quote that this will ruin the mattress. How and when?

Comment by Mike Rome — May 23, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

Ron, this article was designed to educate people about what is recommended by the builders and engineers of mattresses, including what is “supposed” to be done and “not supposed” to be done when it comes to the various types of pillow top mattresses. I cannot communicate to you the number of times people have come to me complaining how different one side of the bed felt from the other not to mention complete discomfort. Why? Honestly I think it is because they were never informed by the industry or sales people of the major structural change that took place in July 1 2007. At that time nearly all mattresses and mattress brands not just pillow tops made the change to a single sided mattress.
I think your circumstances are unlike the majority of mattress owners. You were in a position of no alternative if I understood you correctly. (Manufacturer Simmons would not stand behind the issue?) While some mattresses do fail the majority and larger percent do not fail and last their intended life. Personally, if I had been forced to live with an uncomfortable mattress I would likely have got desperate and done the same thing. You disclosed to having built up the other side with padding in the form of a thick mattress pad I assume to make it sleepable. To simply turn it over and sleep on it would be unbearable for most any sleeper as I mentioned before. I think the lesson is here is to research before you buy and determine the pros and cons of what we are about to buy. Thank you very much Mike for sharing your experience. I am sorry to here our industry failed you.

Comment by Douglas Belleville — May 23, 2013 @ 8:20 pm

I do not agree that a pillow top cannot be flipped over We have a Serta that we payed over 600.00 for . We have had it 2 years and we couldn’t sleep on it anymore. We were awake half the night and my husband woke up with a sore arm every morning. We decided to flip it over. What could it hurt. This is the best we have slept since we bought it. It is hard no doubt about it. We figured if we didn’t like it we would just flip it back. My husbands arm no longer hurts when he wakes up. I have never been a fan of pillow top in the first place. I guess we just like a firm matress.

Comment by jo — May 23, 2014 @ 8:17 pm

First of all let me say thank you for the good information contained in this article. I was trying to buy a new mattress today for the first time in over 15 years. I was surprised when the salesman could not tell me in clear language the reason why i could not sleep on the other side of the mattress. “You can’t, because that’s what the manufacturers say.” I asked: “But why not, is there something wrong with the other side, is it structurally different; is it less supportive than the rest of the mattress?” “Youre not supposed to” Is all he could say to me. That was a very frustrating conversation to have because he wouldnt give me any explanation. So now I’ve been doing some research online. Ultimately, I want a regular mattress that can be slept on both sides. Who really needs a pillow top anyway? There are thousands of out of the box mattress pads available to place on the bed. I feel the industry has just manufactured a way to rip off the public, knowingly; knowing that the mattress wont last half as long, because flipping isnt allowable. What a crock. Is this happening all over the world, or just in the USA? I doubt the entire world would put up with this crock.

Comment by OwlJulie — August 1, 2014 @ 12:55 pm

Julie, thank you for your comments. We are always surprised at how many mattress salespeople don’t know the real reasons for why/what they sell. We’d love the opportunity to talk to you and tell you about our 2 Sided Mattresses (with free shipping!). And you’re right, there are plenty of other ways to ‘create’ a pillowtop feel!

Comment by admin — August 1, 2014 @ 1:00 pm

I bought my frds bedroom set, it has a King bed. I didn’t realize it was a pillowtop mattress until I got it up. I’ve never had a good eperience with them, so this purchase was soley my fault for not making sure. Anyway after sleeping in my spare room for a month 1/2 I missed my room and decided to try this (pillowtop) out. for almost a month I had no problem. slept like a baby, woke up with no backaches. Well that has chgd and I flipped my mattress to the firm (spring) side. I covered it with 2 mattress toppers and its really not working at all. My sister said b/c of of all the padding I have now put on top its still a pillowtop mattress…Uggh! I cant afford to purchase a mattress right now. So Im going to see if the pillowtop foam can be removed. Should this not work. Do you have any suggestions as to what to use to pad it? Im about at my wits end and I cant keep sleeping in my spare room……

Comment by Pam Mc — August 15, 2014 @ 1:32 pm

Hi Pam, Sorry no, I have no advice about padding up the other side because it was not built or designed to sleep on. You are also using the soft padded side as the base support which not only does not make sense but is probably the reason for poor support and comfort. Wish I had better news. Doug

Comment by Douglas Belleville — August 19, 2014 @ 7:37 am

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