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You shouldn't flip your mattress -- here's why

Conventional wisdom goes out the window when it comes to foam mattresses.

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Long before foam mattresses , flipping your innerspring bed was the norm. By flipping and rotating your mattress, you could extend the life of it and help it wear down evenly over time. 

That wisdom doesn't really work with today's foam mattresses that come rolled up in a box to your front door. Many of these new mattresses have strategically placed layers of foam on only one side, so that side must always remain up.

But what are you supposed to do when your bed starts to sag, or wear down in the spot where you sleep? Keep reading.

Flipping an innerspring mattress

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Most innerspring mattresses have identical padding on both sides.

IKEA

I'll bet your first "big kid" bed used an innerspring mattress -- they have been the most popular choice of mattress for decades. Because they generally have identical padding and support on both sides of the mattress (with some exceptions), you are supposed to rotate and flip them a few times per year. Doing that ensure the mattress wears evenly on both sides so that you can get more life out of it. 

Read more: The 10 best pillows in 2019, according to the internet

This was a regular practice for me with the two innerspring mattresses I've owned, and I always felt like my bed felt more comfortable and more supportive once I flipped it.

But today's innerspring mattresses from some of the top brands -- like Serta, Sealy, Beautyrest and Spring Air -- aren't designed to be flipped. They are constructed of several layers of padding on top of a base of coils, and so they should always stay right-side up.

Wait, so why can't I flip a foam mattress?

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Nectar's mattress has several layers of foam stacked on one side.

Nectar

Mattresses from Leesa, Purple, Casper, Nectar and more all have layers of padding that start at the top of the mattress and go down. It's not that you can't actually flip these kinds of beds, but you might end up damaging the mattress by doing so.

They also won't feel as comfortable if you flip them. In most of these beds, the top layers of foam are soft and less dense to promote airflow and cradle your body. If you flip the mattress, you'll likely be sleeping on a denser layer of foam that could feel warmer when you sleep. 

Rotate, don't flip

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Therapedic

Most foam mattress companies will tell you to rotate your mattress 180 degrees every 3 to 6 months. That's especially important if you sleep alone and tend to stay to one side of the bed, so that you aren't wearing out on side faster than the other. 

Also make sure that your foam mattress is on the right kind of foundation -- if you use a box spring or bed frame that's not supportive enough, your mattress can sag -- and you might even damage the foam.

Comfort issues

One of the most common reasons people flip or rotate their mattresses is when they start to notice that their bed isn't feeling as comfortable as it once was. 

If, after a few years of using your mattress, you notice the foam has broken down and rotating it doesn't fix any comfort issues you're having, there are a few more things you can try.