Mattresses can come in one and two-sided. One-sided mattresses are not meant to be flipped and only have one sleeping side. So how do you know which side of the mattress is up or the top?
Generally, the softer side of a mattress is the top and should face your ceiling. If you are unable to tell, try looking at the tags or for labeling which may demonstrate which way is up.
It is important to determine whether you have a one-sided or two-sided mattress. The different sides of a mattress are that way for a reason. This is because they can be flipped to deal with different weather or to get a different feel of material or comfort. I’ll explain how to tell the differences, what to look for in a mattress, and the best way to get the maximum life out of your mattress.
Is the Mattress Tag on the Top or Bottom?
A tag indicates which side is designed to face up. So tags can be found in a variety of locations on a mattress but often attached to the side at the top edge so that sheets and similar can be fit over them easily. The most common location for a tag is the bottom right of the bed when looking at it from the foot of the bed.
How Do I Know if My Mattress is Double-sided?
It can be hard to tell if a mattress is double-sided. The confusion behind which side is on top is very common and depends on the manufacturer. Since 2007 most mattresses are made to be one sided.
One way is to look for a thin memory foam layer stitched on top. If unsure, sit on the mattress, and the side that conforms to the shape the most is likely the top. Some models have slight dimples on top whereas the bottom will be flat.
Some mattress manufacturers, such as Sealy, have a decorative fabric on top compared to a plain bottom side. There are often markings or tags which will also tell you which side is up. Some mattresses have wheels or legs or pads on one side which would be a clear sign that is the bottom. Dust protectors or holes for a bed frame to go in would also signify that it is the bottom.
If you really can’t tell because both sides feel so similar, it would be worth contacting the manufacturer, looking at mattress websites or asking in a mattress store.
Most one sided mattresses have non-skid fabric on the bottom that will not be anywhere near as comfortable as the top layer, and there may also be buttons or zippers on the bottom.
Which Side of the Mattress is for Summer and Which for Winter?
There will generally be some indication on the mattress itself as the external material is often the same. The indication “winter side” is present on the stitched label found near the edge for some brands and others tend to have other similar markings.
Sometimes the material of the mattress can give a clue as to which side is which. Cotton and other similar fabrics tend to be cooler and so will be the summer side. Thicker fabrics such as wool will tend to be much warmer or stop heat from dissipating and so are the winter side.
Other variants use polyester to disperse heat during the warmer months while still providing a comfy and supportive feel, and thick memory foam can be used for the winter side.
Some mattresses include vents to help remove heat during summer, and so you can determine by the angle of the vents and what surface they are venting to help you decide which of the mattress side is up.
The mattress head is the end where the sewing together of the side panels happens, and this is where the tag is sewn in. This tag will be a sort of proof of purchase and warranty. By law, you generally cannot remove a tag and it will likely also have information on whether it is a one sided or two-sided mattress, or which side is for warmer weather and colder weather.
Can You Use Both Sides Of A Mattress?
Mattresses are designed to be either one or two sided mattresses. Those mattresses that can be used on both sides should be flipped every six months. This helps to distribute the body weight evenly on both surfaces. If it is a one sided mattress, you should not use both sides.
Can You Flip A One Sided Mattress?
Unless you know your mattress is two sided, it is best not to flip it. The manufacturing process is different and means that one sided mattresses have twice the amount of comfort materials on the sleeping surface even when of even thickness. Flipping your mattress is a pain anyway and should be avoided if not needed!
One sided mattresses have a much more comfortable top material and so rotate it to keep it in good condition. It is optimal to turn your mattress five times a year, at regular intervals. For these types of household chores, it’s best to have some kind of system, like at the beginning of every second month or setting automatic reminders in your phone.
It’s worth doing a full clean of the mattress if you’re going to rotate it. It’s worth doing a full clean of the mattress by stripping it completely, fully washing all sheets, etc, and vacuuming the mattress itself thoroughly. Ideally, you want to leave the mattresses in the sun for a few hours.
One sided mattresses will generally be completely unusable as a sleeping platform if upside down.