In recent years, one of the newest trends in the mattress industry has been the increase of “no-flip mattresses.” On a surface level, this seems like a great idea; less work, less hassle, and one less thing to worry about. Great, right? Not so fast.
One of the reasons flipping traditional mattresses was originally suggested by manufacturers is that it helped balance the wear and tear on a bed by distributing pressure evenly across all surfaces. It may have been a pain in the neck to do, but it resulted in a mattress that stayed in better condition for longer. Two sides to a bed mean two different sleep surfaces. If you have two pairs of shoes and wear each one half of the time, you’ll have both pairs longer than if you only wore one pair every day. With two sides to a bed, each will last longer when alternated than a single side used alone.
Of course, mattresses are heavy and unwieldy, and the bigger the size, the more difficult they are to flip. By removing the need to flip them, mattress companies offer an easier way to own your bedding. Or, that’s what they want you to think at least.
A conventional, no-flip innerspring mattress lacks the ability to use both sides of the bed and evenly spread out wear and tear. This means that while you won’t have to go through the rigmarole of flipping your mattress, the inability to do so means you shorten the functional life of the bed.
Additionally, by making mattresses in the no-flip style, companies only have to build them to be supportive and comfortable on one side. A no-flip pillowtop mattress, for example, certainly doesn’t have the plush pillow cushioning on the “bottom” side, so when you wear out one surface through constant use, the mattress is done for. Under the guise of making your life “easier,” conventional mattress companies have actually found a way to spend less on materials to make your mattress, as well as ensuring you’ll need to purchase a new one sooner than you would have if you had a mattress that had two usable sides.
Fortunately, this no-flip fad is restricted to conventional mattresses, and specialty inflatable bedding. (Obviously, waterbeds are impervious to the same type of wear and tear.) Foam bedding, through the simplicity of its design, is identical on both sides, flippable, and because of that, longer-lasting.
As a solid slab of foam material, whether it’s conventional foam, memory foam, or latex foam, there is no internal construction that needs to be designed. No springs, no padding, and no cushioning. Foam materials, all at once, are cushioning and supportive, so there’s no build quality or unique materials needed to produce a stronger, better bed.
Foam materials will break down over time, as any bedding material will. Logically, it will occur where areas of pressure are greatest. By being able to flip and rotate your mattress, the spots that have to bear the most pressure can be alternated, and you can keep the bed in great shape for longer.
Of course, it’s completely up to the user to decide if they want to flip their bed. But in situations where you’re able to, it is often in the best interest of your mattress that you do. It’s also important to consider why changes are being made to a product that has worked well for centuries. In the case of no-flip mattresses, those changes aren’t being made for the benefit of the consumer, regardless of any sales-talk a customer may receive.