pros and cons of double-sided mattresses

The Pros and Cons of Double-Sided Mattresses

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Considering how common double-sided mattresses are today, it’s hard to believe that a couple of decades ago virtually all mattresses were double-sided.

Legacy companies like Serta and Simmons manufacture flippable mattresses, usually with stickers indicating when to rotate and turn over the mattress.

The situation today has flipped, no pun intended. Single-sided mattresses are the norm with double-sided ones feeling more and more like novelties.

But are traditional flippable mattresses more comfortable? Do they last longer?

In this post, we discuss the pros and cons of double-sided mattresses and compare them to single-sided designs.


How Single-sided Mattresses Came to Be

prons and cons

The introduction of single-sided mattresses was mostly because of cost-saving measures by mattress manufacturers.

A single sided mattress saved them more money because they used fewer premium materials, and they only had to use fire retardants on one side.

Over time, these savings were passed on to customers, meaning single-sided mattresses got cheaper. That’s why they caught on quickly and have remained very popular.

Today, it’s harder to get a double-sided mattress from bedding stores or online bed-in-a-box companies.

But sometimes, the extra effort (and sometimes money)you spend to get a double-sided mattress is worth it.


Benefits of Double-Sided Mattresses

Benefits of Double-Sided Mattresses

Note that these benefits do not apply to all double-sided mattresses. That’s because the design and the type of materials used vary widely from mattress to mattress.

1. Comfortable

Because manufacturers have to use high-quality materials on both sides of the mattress, double-sided mattresses tend to be more comfortable than comparable single-sided mattresses.

Double-sided foam mattresses are especially good at contouring. They mold easily to your body, relieving pressure on your shoulders, hips, and back.

2. The Wear Out Slowly

Double-sided mattresses tend to wear out at a slower rate, but only if you properly maintain the mattress.

If you religiously rotate and flip the mattress as recommended, no single side takes all the brunt of your weight.

The foam degrades and deforms more slowly, and it gets a chance to recover when you flip the mattress.

On a single-sided mattress, your weight is constantly on one side of the mattress. Unless the mattress uses high-density foams, you’ll notice depressions and cratering after a couple of years or sooner.

The worst part is that you cannot turn it over to the better side. Your only option is to either buy a new mattress or get a temporary mattress pad.

That’s why some single mattress manufacturers strongly recommend that you rotate your mattress from head to foot once every 3 months to even out the wearing.

But the reality is that few people bother rotating or flipping their mattress. Most mattresses are heavy and tedious for one person, or even two, to flip.

So even if you get a double-sided mattress, it probably won’t last much longer than a single-sided mattress unless you remember to turn it regularly.

And even if you do follow the recommended maintenance schedule, the quality of materials used still matters when it comes to longevity.

A single-sided mattress with high-quality memory foam will likely last longer than a double-sided mattress that uses low-quality poly foam.

3. More Comfort Options

Double-sided mattresses have not gone extinct. There are still some manufacturers making them. Some of them, especially the new direct-to-consumer brands, are doing things a bit differently.

Instead of making a normal flippable mattress, they provide different sleeping experiences one each side of the mattresses.

These adjustable comfort mattresses are great for people who are not sure what level of mattress firmness they want or those who want to be able to modify the mattress’ feel in the future if their comfort needs change.

Two brands that sell such mattresses are Luxi and Layla.

One side of the mattress is softer than the other. If you want more support or the soft side begins to sag, you can flip over and the mattress feels as good as new.


The Downsides of Two-Sided Mattresses

Downsides of Two-Sided Mattresses

Before we discuss the main downsides of double-sided mattresses, let’s dispel one common myth.

Double-sided mattresses are typically not more expensive than single-sided mattresses. Maybe that was the case when single-sided mattresses first came about.

Manufacturers saved money and in turn, these mattresses cost slightly less.

But today, single and double-sided mattresses that use comparable materials and design cost about the same.

A two-sided memory foam mattress sold online costs around $700-$1,000 for a queen size. So does a single-sided memory foam mattress.

If you think a double-sided mattress is the best one for your needs, don’t let any perceived cost difference discourage you.

That said, there are some real downsides to a double-sided mattress that you should know before you settle for one.

1. They Need More Maintenance

Many owners of double-sided mattresses don’t enjoy their longevity and slow-wearing benefits because they don’t take care of them as required.

As I said, mattresses are heavy and cumbersome. I don’t blame people for letting months and even years pass by without ever flipping the mattress.

Many people only flip when one side has sagged and is showing considerable wear. It does help a bit, but the damage is already done.

If you want your double-sided mattress to last long, either put the flipping dates on your calendar or coincide them with memorable events to ensure you don’t forget.

If you live alone, you are disabled, or you are a senior, you might find it easier to ditch double-sided mattresses completely since you might be unable to flip it on your own.

2. Some Have Less Support

For overweight or plus size sleepers, we highly recommend a mattress with a steel coil core. It can be a double or single-sided mattress.

If you prefer the soft pressure relief of an all-foam mattress, buy a single-sided one.

Double-sided foam mattresses won’t provide adequate support. That’s because both sides are designed to be relatively soft for comfort.

In contrast, a single-sided foam mattress will have a thick, extra-firm and dense base that provides excellent support and durability.

Even for innerspring mattresses, we generally prefer single-sided designs. Their multi-layer design combines the support of a spring core with that of a dense foam base.

Some mattresses like Saatva have two coil layers for extra support.

3. Less Variety

If you are nostalgic for the old two-sided mattresses, you are not in luck. Most mattresses today are one-sided.

Shopping for the right double-sided mattress is a challenge. There’s less variety to choose from, meaning you probably have to settle for a mattress you don’t really like.

The good news is, more and more online mattress companies are making these mattresses. Some great examples include Nest Bedding’s Alexander Signature Series, Saatva’s Zenhaven, and the Nolah Signature 12 mattress.

Some of these mattresses like Nolah,  Zenhaven, Layla, and Luxiincorporate an innovative adjustable comfort design that lets you change the feel of the mattress simply by flipping it.

Talking of innovative…

4. Fewer Innovative Designs

Some of the most exciting innovations in the mattress industry are in single-sided mattresses.

Take the Purple mattress for instance. It uses a neat grid-like polymer to enhance contouring and pressure relief. It’s a single-sided mattress.

Other mattresses like the Eight Sleep and Ameri sleep use proprietary foam(only on one side of the bed)that provides a better sleeping experience than traditional memory and latex foams.

The Big Fig mattress is designed especially for plus size sleepers. It uses a special hybrid design that would only work on a one-sided mattress.

I’m not saying that double-sided mattresses are boring. There are some great designs out there.

But if you want the best in innovate and creative designs, you’ll have more luck with single-sided mattresses.

These innovations are not just for show. Most of them improve the support, overall comfort, and durability of the mattress.


Double-Sided vs. Single-Sided: Which One is the Best?

Double-Sided vs. Single-Sided

None. It all depends on your comfort needs and personal preferences.

And are highly subjective. Just because a certain mattress feels great for one person doesn’t mean it’s going to feel comfortable for you.

Even a luxury mattress costing thousands of dollars may be a downer if it doesn’t meet your particular needs.

The durability advantage of double-sided mattresses is not that big of a deal.

Most people don’t flip their mattresses and most modern single-sided mattresses will last almost as long as a comparable two-sided mattress.

Focus on comfort and overall sleeping experience.

Here’s how to select the best mattress for your needs.

Do your Research.

Find out what types of mattresses are in the market and what each type offers.

Get familiar with latex, memory foam, innerspring and hybrid mattresses and the comfort differences among them.

Learn about organic mattresses, pillow-top mattresses, and adjustable comfort mattresses.

Learn about materials and technologies such as perforated foam, gel foam, phase change materials and so on.

If that sounds like a lot of work, it’s because it is. There are so many types of mattresses in the market.

Luckily, we have just the thing to help you. Our best mattress buying guide tells you what you need to know about mattresses and recommends the best mattresses for different needs.

Buy Online

Forget about mattress stores and their woefully inadequate 10-minute mattress testing.

Online mattress companies sell better quality mattresses for way less money and with the convenience of home delivery.

In addition, you get 100 days or more to test your mattress with the guarantee of a free return.

Most online mattresses are backed by a 10-year warranty.

Test Your Mattress

Make the best of the in-home trial period to make sure you’ve got the best mattress.

Here’s a quick guide on how to test a mattress in your home.


See My Favorite Products of 2021!
Select a list >MattressesToppers & PadsCooling/HeatingPillowsSheets
Touch a tab above to reveal my top picks for that category.
Of the 60+ beds I've reviewed, these are my current favorites:
My Top PickType of MattressPrice
1. Saatva ClassicInnerspring$887 - $1,774
Save $200 on purchase of $950 or more
2. Puffy LUX
Luxury Foam$1,145 – $1,695
Save $300 + Free Accessories Upto $433
3. Leesa Original
Budget Foam$699-$1099
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4. Nest Alexander HybridLuxury Hybrid$949 - $1799
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5. PlushBeds Botanical BlissLuxury Organic Latex$1,149- $2,148
save $1,250 On Bedroom Mattresses + Free Luxury Sheet Set.
6. EcoterraBudget Latex$849 - $1,349
Save $175 Usecode: LABOR175
7. DreamcloudLuxury PillowTop$599-$1,099
Save $200 + $399 Free Accessories(Sheet, Protector, Pillows)
8. LaylaFlippable/2-Sided$499 - $1,099
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9. Big FigFor Plus-Sized People$1,499 - $2,099
Save $200 With Code: FALL
10. HelixCustom-Fit$500 - $1,149
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Mattress toppers & pads are a great way to cool your bed and extend its life.
Topper SizeMaterialFirmnessWarr.
LINENSPA
LINENSPA 2 Inch Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Twin
Best Value2"Gel memory foamMedium3 years
MOLECULE AIRTEC
MOLECULE AIRTEC
Best Comfort3"Memory foamMedium-firm5 years
MyPillow
MyPillow Three-inch Mattress Bed Topper (Twin)
Best pressure point relief3"FoamMedium-firm10 years
LUCID
LUCID 2-Inch Ventilated Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper - Full
Best cooling2"Gel memory foamSoft3 years
Milemont
Milemont Mattress Topper Twin, 2-Inch Cool Swirl Gel Mattress Topper for Twin Size Bed, Blue
Best for back pain2"Gel memory foamMedium10 years
Pure Green
Pure Green 100% Natural Latex Mattress Topper - Firm - 2 Inch - Queen Size
Best for stomach sleepers2"Natural latexExtra-firm5 years
Sleep Innovations
Sleep Innovations 4-inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Enhanced Support, King, Made in the US Mattress Topper
Best for side sleepers4"Gel memory foamSoft10 years
Sleep Number DUAL TEMP
Sleep Number DUAL TEMP
Best temperature regulation-Forced Air-1 year
TEMPUR ProForm
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR Supreme 3-Inch Mattress Topper Medium Firm, Full, White
Best memory foam3"Memory foamMedium-firm10 years
Avocado Green
Avocado Green
Best organic2"Organic latexSoft/firm10 years
Bed cooling/heating systems have come a long way – especially the BedJet, my favorite.
SystemTypeBest For...Temp. RangeControl
BedJet V3
BedJet V3
Air cooledBEST OVERALL (esp. for night sweats)66°F-104°FWireless remote control/smartphone app
ChiliPad Cube 3.0
Chili Technology chiliPAD Cube 3.0 - ME and WE Zones - Cooling and Heating Mattress Pad - Individual Temperature Control, Great Sleep Enhancement, Wireless Remote Integration (Queen (80" L x 60" W))
Water cooledBest water cooling system55°F-115°FWireless remote control
Ooler Sleep System
Ooler Sleep System
Water cooledBest temperature control55°F-115°FSmartphone app via Bluetooth
The Pod by Eight Sleep
The Pod by Eight Sleep
Water cooledBest smart cooling system55°F-115°FSmartphone app/smart voice assistant
Mattress Cooler "Classic"
2020 Mattress Cooler "Classic" Chilled Water Sleep Cooling System (Now with a Spare "27x63" Cooling Pad)
Water cooledBest budget cooling systemN/AWireless remote control
SleepNumber Dual-Temp v3
SleepNumber Dual-Temp v3
Air cooledN/ARemote control
bFan Cooling System
bFan Cooling System
FanBest bed fanN/AWired remote control
Brookstone bed fan
Brookstone Bed Fan with Wireless Remote
FanN/AWireless remote control
These pillows excel at relieving neck and shoulder pain:
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PlushBeds Shredded Natural Latex Pillow
Best Cooling Mattress Pads

best shredded latex pillow for side sleepers
Coop Home Goods Memory Foam
Coop Home Goods - Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow - Hypoallergenic Cross-Cut Memory Foam Fill - Lulltra Washable Cover from Bamboo Derived Rayon - CertiPUR-US/GREENGUARD Gold Certified - Queen
perennial, proven Amazon Choice with over 16,000 reviews
MARNUR Contour Pillow
MARNUR Cervical Memory Foam Pillow Orthopedic Contour Pillows for Neck Pain Ergonomic Pillow with RoHS Certification and Pillowcase Covers, White(23.5×14.5×5.5 Inch)
perfect spine support using a groove down the middle
SleepRightSplintek Side
SleepRight Splintek Side Sleeping Pillow Memory Foam Pillow – Best Pillow for Sleeping On Your Side – 24" x 5" Standard Size
full facial cradle plus a perfectly-angled shoulder cradle
Xtreme Comforts Adjustable Pillow
Xtreme Comforts Hypoallergenic, Adjustable Thickness, Kool-Flow Micro Vented Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Bed Pillow for Sleeping, Back, Stomach & Side Sleepers, Queen Size, Made in USA
thinner and softer than most, so your head will not bend back
UTTU Sandwich Pillow
UTTU Sandwich Pillow, Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow, Bamboo Pillow for Sleeping, Cervical Pillow for Neck Pain, Neck Support for Back, Stomach, Side Sleepers, Orthopedic Contour Pillow, CertiPUR-US
designed specifically for neck support and alignment.
Mediflow Water Pillow
Mediflow Fiber: The First & Original Water Pillow, clinically Proven to Reduce Neck Pain & Improve Sleep. Therapeutic, Ideal for People Looking for Proper Neck Support
clinical tests prove it reduces neck pain
Cradle Me Cervical Pillow
Cradle Me Cervical Pillow - Orthopedic Contour Memory Foam Pillow for Back and Side Sleepers with Neck and Spine Support - Helps Reduce Back and Neck Pain
best overall design with lots of position choices
KaUa Neck Roll
K Ka Ua Neck Roll Pillow Cervical Bolster with Bamboo Cover – Memory Foam Spine Lumbar Traction Spondylosis Support 4” Diameter x 17 “Length (4 Inch)
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J-Pillow Travel Pillow
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added chin support prevents your head from falling forward.
EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow
EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow Orthopedic Sleeping Pillows, Ergonomic Cervical Pillow for Neck Pain - for Side Sleepers, Back and Stomach Sleepers, Free Pillowcase Included ( Firm & Queen)
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J-Pillow Travel Pillow
AVOCADO GREEN PILLOW-Loveable non-toxic pillow has an adjustable fill, made from GOLS organic certified latex and GOTS organic certified kapok.
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These are my favorite luxury sheet sets sold online:
Best Luxury SheetsIncludesSizesColours
Parachute
Parachute
Fitted sheet + two pillowcasesTwin to Cal KingSand, Slate, White, Light Grey, Blue
Brooklinen
Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set – Includes 1 Flat Sheet, 1 Fitted Sheet + 2 Pillowcases – 480 Thread Count Sateen Sheet Set – 100 Percent Long-Staple Cotton – Oeko-TEX Certified – Smoke – Twin
One flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases.Twin to Cal KingWhite, Cream, Steel, Smoke, Smoke Stripe
Saatva
Saatva
One flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases.Twin to Cal KingWhite, Ivory, Grey
Boll and Branch
Boll & Branch Luxury Fair Trade Long Staple Organic Cotton Sheet Set - Full, Natural
one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, and two pillowcases.Full, Queen, King, Cal King onlyWhite, Solid Natural, Striped White, Pewter
Best For Specific Needs Soft and Warm: Parachute’s Sateen sheets Most Luxurious: Brooklinen’s Linen sheets Organic Luxury Sheets:  Saatva Lofton Organic sheets Breathable/Cool: Percale sheets from Parachute or Brooklinen

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