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Flipping a Mattress

Flipping a Mattress

Kirk Forsyth of Gardner Mattress talks about flipping your mattress, including what mattresses are flippable, why flipping is important, and when and how often to do it.

John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher, and I’m here today with Kirk Forsyth, the general manager at Gardner Mattress, which has been making high-quality custom-made mattresses since 1933. Today, our topic is flipping a mattress. Welcome, Kirk.

Kirk Forsyth: Thanks, John.

How Important Is Flipping Your Mattress?

John: Sure. So Kirk, a lot of people say that you should flip and rotate your mattress periodically, so that it wears in more evenly and you don’t end up with dips in it. What does flipping a mattress do? Is it really important?

Kirk: It can be. Probably about 65% of the products that we make are still flippable, are two-sided products. I would say most of the products available to you in the general retail space are all going to be one-sided and so rotating is your only option.

John: Okay. So that’s interesting. So if you need to make sure that you have a mattress that has the same materials on the top and the bottom in order to be able to flip it over. And some mattresses don’t have that, so if you flip it over, it’s just like a more harder surface on the bottom or something like that.

Kirk: Yes. It would either be a harder foam or you’re almost right on the springs or some of them have almost nothing on the bottom of them at all. So yes. So the first thing, that you’re right, would be to understand “what did I buy?”. Did I buy a one-sided or two-sided mattress? I would say outside of us, there’s only a couple other vendors around that maybe even have anything two-sided. If you go to some retailers, they’re going to tell you that flippable two-sided mattresses don’t exist anymore, which in their world they don’t, but in our world they do. You’re not stuck. If you’re looking for something you can flip, well, here we are. So they are available to you.

So yeah, I mean, it’s really more important in the first couple years of the mattress. So if you did it every, say, once a season, you either flip or rotate the mattress, the more you do it, the longer you’re going to have it on the back end of the mattress. Listen, I don’t rotate my tires, but I know that, ultimately, I’m not going to get as long as they have described that I should get out of these things, because I’m not doing what is expected of me. So if you don’t do it, well, maybe you’re not going to get 10 years out of the mattress. You know what I mean? That’s just the point. There’s a little consumer responsibility there, too, so it’s a two-way commitment.

But yeah, I think that especially mattresses that have a lot of cotton in them, some of them are organic products, it’s actually more important, because those are the materials that are going to pack down a little bit more over time. The benefit though, with a cotton filled product, is that unlike a mattress that has a lot of foam in it, the foam degrades and loses something, whereas compact cotton, it just gets firmer. So even though it might pack down a little, you haven’t lost anything, it’s just getting more densified. And when you flip the mattress, actually smooths out the surface of the product, too. So those are big time important. I think I probably don’t do it enough as I should on mine, but I’m okay with that, too.

Health Problems from Not Flipping or Rotating Your Mattress

John: What types of issues do happen when you don’t flip your mattress and what kind of… Maybe could some health issues arise because you’re sleeping on a mattress that maybe has an indent in it or something like that.

Kirk: It depends. I mean, some people’s backs are way more sensitive than others. It also depends on your sleeping position. As a stomach sleeper, for sure, because as soon as you start to sink into the mattress a little bit, you’re putting huge pressure on your lower lumbar area, because it doesn’t take much, if you’re on your stomach, you’re really going in the wrong direction. You can bend forward, but bending backwards, you can’t go very far. So if you’re bending, even from say the hip and moving your face towards the ground, fairly good mobility in that direction. Well, try to stand up straight and move the back of your head towards the ground. You’re either going to fall over, you know what I mean? We’re restricted in that sense.

John: Right, you can only go so far.

Kirk: Yes. So if your torso sink into a mattress, and you’re wondering why you’re having a bad back, well, that could be one reason. There’s not tons of stomach sleepers anymore, most people seem to be side sleepers these days. So anyway, yes, there can be, certainly, certainly. And if you’ve ever had potential or historic back issues or whatever pains, certainly it can, so flipping a mattress is always one of our first questions. If somebody calls and says, “Hey, look, I’ve had a little problem with the mattress.” “Have you been flipping it? Have you rotated it?” So those will definitely make a difference on the wear of the product and your overall experience with the mattress.

How Often Should You Flip or Rotate Your Mattress?

John: So how often do you recommend flipping and or rotating a mattress? You mentioned seasonally. Do you have any schedule, where in the spring you flip it and then in the fall you rotate it, or what’s sort of the ideal schedule?

Kirk: Yeah, I would say you alternate. I always recommend flipping as the first move. And then, as I say, seasonally just seems to make sense. Then the next time you’re going to rotate it, then the next time flip it, then the next time rotate it. And you can do it on whatever schedule you want. I just think to get the best wear out of the product, that’s just what we recommend.

We know that it’s not easy, especially the size, if it’s a king mattress, they’re big, they’re heavy. We’ve done our best to create some very sturdy handles on all four sides of our king, queen, and full products, so there are at least something to grab onto. Whereas many products these days don’t bother with handles because it’s a time consuming process. It doesn’t sound like much, but they take a long time to put together. At least we’ve got something to at least help you with that process. But who knows, maybe in the future we’ll start doing a flipping service for people, as an annual thing.

John: [Laughs] Right. Yeah, you can get people on a subscription, you come out every spring and fall and flip the mattress around. I like it.

Kirk: I used to do for somebody, do the air conditioner in the window. I used to go to an elderly housing in Danvers. I did it for one woman and the next thing you know I had five people that were like, “Can you do mine?”.

John: Take mine out, put mine in. Yeah.

Kirk: $20 a piece, and I’d come in the spring and in the fall, put it in and take it out.

John: That’s a good little business.

Kirk: And do all their windows, too.

John: All right. Well, coming soon from Gardner Mattress, a seasonal flipping service. There you go.

Kirk: Maybe. [Laughs]

John: All right. Well, thanks again for speaking with me today, Kirk. I appreciate it.

Kirk: Thank you, John. Appreciate it.

John: And for more information, you can visit the website at or call 1 (800) 564-2736.

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