When it comes to taking care of your bed (AKA caring about the overall wellness of your sleep space), the only thing more annoying than changing your duvet cover (seriously—who decided to put those buttons on them?!) is flipping or rotating your mattress. It’s basically 15 minutes of awkwardly wrestling with a giant, puffy object until you’re sweating so much you can practically count the whole thing as a workout. But old wives tales have always implored that you do it every six months to keep your bed feeling #fresh.
In the name of myth busting, I got right down to it, trying to discover whether or not this was a necessary ritual. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: You’ve all been wasting your time.
“Most mattresses today do not need to be flipped and are actually one-sided,” says sleep psychologist Michael Breus, PhD, who’s known by many as The Sleep Doctor. “Rotating them however may make some sense, depending upon the weight of the person sleeping and the type of mattress purchased.”
Think about it like this: Your mattress is to your body what a foundation is to your house, and any good one should be able to support what goes on top of it. “The bottom of a mattress supports movement and weight, so we shouldn’t be flipping the mattress to sides that have already sunk in,” says Joe Alexander, CEO of Nest Bedding. He equates the flipping a mattress to the days when dinosaurs walked the earth, so it’s fair to say we can all go ahead and file the practice under “outdated AF.”
In the old days, mattresses were simply stuffed with some kind of a soft material, so it made sense that once they settled, you might need to reconfigure. Because the new style of mattress is made with memory foam or a pillow top, however, your body won’t make as much of the dent in the layering, explains Philip Shen, CEO of Snuz.com. “Because they are made with specific and customized layers, rotating and flipping is actually no longer necessary,” he says.
Instead of doing a full flip-over, the experts agree that you should actually be rotating your bed from head-to-toe every six months to make sure that all sides are getting equally tossed-and-turned on. Especially if you tend to snuggle up in a single spot.
Even though it may be hidden under a cozy duvet, your mattress is still an important part of your sleep routine… and here’s everything you need to know about finding the best bed-in-a-box version for you.
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