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Flip vs. No Flip Mattresses

Flip vs. No Flip Mattresses

What we think of as modern-style mattresses date back to 1900.  All were ‘flip’ or two-sided design, no matter what was packed inside as upholstery padding and/or ‘springing’.

In regular use, body imprinting or impressions was found to be a normal function of all upholstered cushioning including mattresses as the padding is compressed. For two-sided mattresses, maintaining uniform wear was accomplished by both flipping over and reversing the mattress several times a year. This helped to even-out and restore the mattress upholstery padding of the mattress by way of each flip cycle of its maintenance.

Later, all the pocket spring and other innerspring mattress or foam mattress designs continued to be built as two sided, ‘flip’ mattresses. That remained the physical standard right up until the early 1990’s when ‘no-flip’ single-sided mattresses were introduced in North America by one major manufacturer. The no-flip design concept gradually was embraced by most manufacturers here and abroad, gradually becoming the dominant form of mattress making.

Although the greatest percentage of mattress producers in North America make only no-flip mattresses, there are a few that either make both formats – flip and no flip;  a very few produce ‘flip’ alone. Marshall Mattress produces both types and flip represents at least 80 percent of residential bedding it produces each year.

By nature, flip mattresses have the greatest ability to maintain uniform, even support and comfort. As both sides are equally- finished, there arises a moderating effect on the ‘mattress feel’, not quite duplicated by no-flip designs. Flipping and reversing the mattress surface offers the greatest amount of even, cushion-wear recovery (of normal body outline imprinting) as the minimum maintenance required restores the mattress sleep surface. Flip mattresses require some physical effort but the results ensure the greatest value in terms of mattress useful-life.

No flip mattresses require less maintenance than flip types.  None the less, more even wear is ensured by periodic rotation that reverses the mattress from end to end every few months or, 4 to 6 times per year.  However body imprinting (or impressions) is an expected normal wear pattern for no-flip mattresses. The manufacturer describes this fact in its warranty, where it states the anticipated maximum allowable measured depression-wear that is standard for service under warranty.  Premium no-flip mattress designs, especially those made with higher grade Soy-foams, Soy Memory Foam and natural Latex are more resistant to non-recovering cushion wear and related impressions. This class of mattresses demonstrates heightened performance and useful life that is comparable to flip-style mattresses.

The once significant difference is that a flip mattress by virtue of its two-sided design and maintenance regimen is more able to maintain a consistent sleep surface recovery than a no-flip mattress.

In all cases described comfort and support benefits are rarely at risk in the types of flip and no flip products described whether they are Tight-Top, Pillow Top or Euro-Top in configuration (Marshall’s design is referred to as Comfort Top).