Flippable Vs. Non-Flippable Mattresses

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

Flippable Vs. Non-Flippable Mattresses

Only when you sleep on an uncomfortable mattress tossing and turning all night, do you begin to appreciate the real health benefits a good quality sleep system can provide. It doesn’t matter if you prefer a firm or soft mattress, finding the right mattress is essential when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Some say in 2000 Simmons Company “lead the industry” with cutting-edge technology when they introduced the first single-sided mattress.

They marketed it as a more maintenance-free product, a product that didn’t require being flipped over. This new introduction of only one useable side was a foreign concept to mattress owners. This group of people had grown up with old-style mattresses that could be flipped over. 

You still have a choice contrary to belief. That is the choice between one side or two sides. 

That choice is between low maintenance and shortened life, or regular care and it will still be there.  

Here are some things to consider when the day comes that you must make the same important decision.

View Of A Mattress From 10,000 Feet

The modern mattress is made of coils or inner springs surrounded by layers of fabric and foam for cushioning. In double-sided mattresses, layers of fabric and foam surround the inner springs on both sides of the mattress. But in single-sided mattresses, the layers of fabric and foam, “comfort layers,” are only put on one side of the innerspring coil unit. By 2007 most major mattress manufacturers followed in the footsteps of the Simmons Company and began only producing mattresses with one useable sleeping surface. In fact, flammability regulations passed that very same year added increased costs of production as just another reason to do away with the double-sided mattresses. Today there are but a handful of smaller companies that still produce double-sided mattresses.

Deciding What To Buy? What are your wants, needs, and physical abilities? How you answer those questions can help you decide whether a single or double-sided mattress is best for you. 

Why Buy Single-Side Mattresses?

  • Low maintenance. There is no need to flip the mattress if it only has one side.
  • Single-sided mattresses typically have less motion involved when the sleeper moves than the motion that occurs on a double-sided mattress.
  • Single-sided mattresses usually have the same 10-year warranty that double-sided mattresses have.
  • Warranty: Neglecting care negates the warranty. Less care is required to sustain the factory guarantee.
  • Most people are too busy to flip their mattresses regularly anyway. Heavy and too cumbersome for most people to accomplish alone, flipping a mattress can be a major undertaking and usually requires two people. While manufacturers of single-sided mattresses advertise “no flip, no rotate,” for maximum durability they still recommend rotating it at least every 2-3 months.
  • Shop our huge selection of 1 Sided Heavy Duty Mattresses Now.

Top Ten Benefits Of Flippable Mattresses

  1. Extends Bed Life & Lasts Longer: Like anything, proper maintenance is the key. Take care of your investment with a little upkeep. Regular care for your mattress is no different than caring for your carpet. Occasionally moving home furnishing in your home changes, the wear pattern on your carpet, especially in high-traffic areas. It’s the equivalent of keeping the car tires properly inflated and rotating them every 5000 miles. You’ll get more life out of them. So, turn your mattress over, rotate it from one end to the other, and flip it back over regularly.
  2. More Mattress For Your Money: 2 useable sides not just one. More bang for your buck. That’s a huge plus, not to mention these same beds will accommodate most sheets, mattress pads, and bedspreads so nothing special to buy.
  3. Same Cost As Equivalent As A 1-Sided Mattress: Crazy isn’t it? While this doesn’t seem possible it is true, two sides’ beds rarely if ever cost more than their one-sided competition. Sadly, this makes double-sided mattresses a hard-to-find value in today’s world.
  4. Manufacturers Can’t Make As Much Money: This conspiracy theory may be true. In fact, we do believe that you get less quality raw materials in a 1 sided bed. Weight is a typical sign of mattress quality and has become pretty much nonexistent in these newer beds. Fewer raw materials mean less cost to build and mattress prices have done nothing but go up since 2007. This was the year nearly every company changed the way they built their sleep system. Because of this, flippable mattresses offer another big advantage to the consumer.
  5. Mattress Thickness: Generally speaking, comfort layers are traditionally not as thick. Single-sided beds put all the upholstery on one side of the mattress. They are customarily built using less steel which is the heart of any good quality innerspring mattress. Additionally installing all the foam and padding on one side typically speeds up the breakdown process of a mattress whereas two-sided utilizes the strength of more overall steel in their design. In the end, there is less foam and padding to break down and degrade.
  6. There Are Still Manufacturers That Build Them: Medicoil, Therapedic, King Koil, Capital Bedding, Corsicana Bedding, Symbol Mattress, Campbell Mattress, Gold Bond, and Englander just to name a few.
  7. Mattress Fire Laws: While all mattresses must comply with federal fire laws, double-sided mattresses require both sides to conform to this law. This gave mattress builders an ah-ha moment when they realized they could save work by not having to go through the costly process of building a second useable side. This allows them to save time and money while increasing their profits. Small savvy manufacturers are gambling that people will see through deceptive money-making practices. They realized it would be more beneficial to offer educated mattress shoppers a greater value found in mattresses like 2-sided mattress designs.
  8. 2 Sides Offer Greater Comfort: This is because a double-sided mattress has a more useable sleeping surface. Since we cannot sleep on all parts of the mattress at the same time the care mentioned above gives upholstery time to recover and rest if all else is equal.
  9. Light Weight: It seems like everything is made lighter these days and mattress sets are no exception. While they may not weigh as much as old-time beds there is a huge benefit to this lack of weight, newer 2-sided mattresses are easier to move, turn, and flip over.
  10. Earth Friendly/Green: It is pretty much common knowledge that today’s one-sided mattresses don’t last as long as their flippable counterparts. A longer-lasting mattress means green. Why? Prolonged mattress life means valuable landfill space isn’t being used up by mattresses that don’t last. Additionally, the precious resources needed to build a mattress are in lower demand. Long life means it will be a long time before we need those resources like steel, foam, fabric, wood, etc.
  11. 20-25 Percent More Life: Don’t be fooled, the double-sided mattress will not last twice as long but they can add 20%-25% to the beds’ life when compared to one-sided beds that have comparable building materials.
  12. There Is Another Fresh Side. You can hide stains, frays, tears, wear, and body impressions by flipping it over.

Top Ten Problems With Flippable Mattresses

  1. Cost More To Buy: This is not necessarily true. Building a mattress with two sides often creates a finished product that is much thicker. Thicker requires more foam, more padding and more steel yet somehow today’s mattresses are but a fraction of the weight of their predecessors. Even though there are more building materials, and the bed is thicker, today’s mattresses are lighter and simply don’t match up. Perhaps they are giving buyers less bed for their money.
  2. More Expensive To Build: More materials should equate to more money to build. Are mattress makers skimping? Yes, the building materials being used today are not the same as those built even a few years ago, so do your homework and compare things like steel coil design, gauge, number of coils, foam density, and so forth. The real telltale sign of cheating is total mattress weight. An old saying in the business is you do not know anything else about a mattress buy it by its weight. An educated shopper will see and feel distinct differences between brands, models, and designs, and one and two sides.
  3. Requires More Maintenance: While many manufacturers say you never have to turn your mattress or flip it, our grandparents’ generation knew the best way to extend mattress life. There was nothing more important in mattress care than to turn, flip, and rotate it on a regular basis. Today’s one-sided mattresses slap common sense in the face.
  4. Mattress And Furniture Retailers Don’t Display Them Anymore: Unfortunately, this is a true statement and, in many stores, you no longer have the benefit of choice.  Contact local retailers in advance, check out their websites, and finally contact the manufacturer directly to see if they have a dealer that either shows or has access to double-sided mattresses.
  5. Not As Good Of Quality As A One-Sided Bed: If the quality of everything were equal: the steel coils, foam density, and resiliency, etc. Then without a doubt, you must give the decisive edge to the two-sided versus the one-sided. The fact that a double-sided mattress has a second useable side, and that even mattress wear can be maintained through regular turning over, and flipping makes the old-style beds the hands-down winner.
  6. Manufacturers Don’t Make Them Anymore: Not true. While you may not find them on every street corner or being built under the brand names you have grown to trust and recognize, they are still being made. So-called tier-two manufacturers that use comparable building materials and, in some cases, even superior building materials have begun to fill the flippable mattress void.
  7. 2 sided Mattresses Will Not Last Twice As Long As 1 Sided Mattresses: People automatically assume that today’s flippable beds are built just like the beds of yesteryear, but they are not.  For the most part, today’s flippable mattresses are made with the same low-quality foams, fibers, and other upholstery at best a person can expect up to 7-9 years. So again, do your homework and learn about the differences in the materials being used to build today’s beds.
  8. Weight… These Mattresses Are Just Too Heavy: Newer 2-sided beds as mentioned earlier are typically not built the same. I guess depending on how you look at it today’s 2 sided beds are sadly much lighter making them easier to flip over. Our suggestion, lift the mattress and see for yourself. If it turns out to be heavier you may have lucked out. As we have learned, the rule of thumb is that the raw materials used in heavier mattresses will be better and longer lasting.
  9. Sheets And Bedding Won’t Fit Thicker 2-Sided Mattresses: This just isn’t true, whether the mattress is one-sided or double-sided retail stores sell sheets that fit all mattress thicknesses. It is important to note that you need to know mattress thickness in advance to assure a proper fitting sheet, mattress pads and protectors, and other bedding.
  10. They Don’t Make The Firmness I Want In A Two-Sided Mattress: Mattress manufacturers that build two-sided beds make them in a wide variety of firmness levels to suit even the choosiest shopper. Hard, medium, soft, and everything in between. The downfall is that with few stores showing two-sided beds anymore particularly choosy people may find it hard to test rest the precise model in a store before buying it.

While Double-sided mattresses have the competitive edge, like getting 2 mattresses in 1 bed, there are arguably some real benefits to a quality one-sided bed as well. You must decide what is right for you.

Both One-Sided And Flippable Mattresses Require Care

Double-sided mattresses should be flipped and rotated. According to consumer advocacy magazine Consumer Reports, this should be done every two weeks for the first few months you own your bed and at two-month intervals after that. This type of mattress promotes fewer body indentations and more even surface wear. Always follow the manufacturer’s warranty for tips to extend mattress life. Do everything we mentioned for a one-sided bed except for flipping it. In fact, you may want to rotate it more often as the materials are working much harder since only one side is being utilized.

Kick The Tires They Say

We realize not everyone visits a showroom, but even if you are buying online, it is important to go into a showroom and see, feel, and experience what mattresses are like. There are really solid differences, and you need to experience and learn them. It will help you make a better buying decision.  When shopping for a mattress wear loose, comfortable clothing to stores. Lie down on each mattress in the same sleeping position you exercise at home, removing your shoes beforehand. Ideally, you should take your own pillow to replicate the same sleeping situation you experience at home. A good indication of long-term satisfaction is if you are still comfortable lying on the mattress after fifteen minutes.

There are benefits to both single and double-sided mattresses. Only you can determine the mattress that’s best for you. Comfort, support, and yes long-lasting quality is the real key to a restful night of sleep. Use our heavy duty mattress guide to help you pick out the right mattress for you, especially when comparing flippable vs. non-flippable mattresses.

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James McMinn

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