The Life Expectancy of a Mattress – Two Sided Lasts Longer

updated 3/23/2019

No-Flip Mattresses are Worth Less

The people at Bedrooms & More proudly announce the “reintroduction of two sided mattresses”. The NO-FLIP mattress fad has proven to be a success for manufacturers, and an outright failure in the eyes of the consumer. We have seen the life expectancy of a mattress drop from between 12-15 years, down to 5-7 years. The people at Bedrooms & More, have decided that the era of disposable mattresses has to end. In a world that needs to focus more on renewability, and recycling, it is imperative that we eliminate the wasteful practice of manufacturing “can’t flip” mattresses. Two-Sided lasts longer.

The con was on from the very beginning; it was pitched as a you benefit to the consumer, “never flip your bed again.”

The reality of it is, the cost of manufacturing a one sided bed is up to 30% less, and the prices aren’t lower. Manufacturer’s margins went through the roof. A successful ad campaign carried them to record breaking profits. Great for them, bad for you. Consumers felt like they were getting a great deal, but body impression problems started almost immediately. Sometimes people weren’t even told a bed couldn’t be flipped though, and when they went to turn the mattress, they thought they had been cheated.

Now you’re thinking, with the shorter life expectancy of a mattress, “why not just buy a mattress by another manufacturer?”

If it had been just one company, the next bed you’d get after this disappointing purchase would be a two sided bed by someone else. But eventually they all did it: Sealy, Simmons, Stearns & Foster, Serta, Spring Aire, Tempurpedic, Select Comfort, etc. Not one of those companies makes a bed that can flip. So what is one to do?

This is a tough pill to swallow, consumers are more limited than they used to be, and most don’t even know it. In July of 2007 a new federal fire safety standard went into effect on all mattresses sold in the United States, and it was a costly test to pass. Each bed tested has to pass the fire regulations and it costs thousands of dollars per mattress. This drove many small mattress manufacturing companies out of business (much like small gas stations were driven out of business when tanks needed to be replaced; an unintended consequence). It consolidated the industry into primarily the big players listed above.

Now if you are looking for alternatives, you have to know where to look.

Furthermore, while you’re out there shopping they might even tell you no one makes two sided mattresses anymore (a lie that Bedrooms & More customers report having been told at competitors stores frequently).

In comes Bedrooms & More, though this was presented as a reintroduction of two sided mattresses, they actually never stopped selling them. Bedrooms & More has been in the same location in Seattle for over thirty years, using their knowledge of mattresses, and materials to shape the line of products that they carry. Through the years manufacturers, and mattresses have changed. Waterbeds have faded into a novelty. Pillow-tops and ultra plush mattresses arrived, and are disappearing again. Memory foam, and adjustable air mattresses advertised their way into the forefront. Bed-in-a-box companies are here now. “No-flip mattresses” have taken over. One thing that has never changed, is my desire to help customers find solutions that suit their needs, and budget. Let’s re-raise the life expectancy of a mattress.

The needs:

What people want is a comfortable supportive mattress that will stay comfortable, and not break the bank (optional). What makes this seemingly simple task complicated is sorting through all the information, and misinformation presented to a consumer. Even once you’re in a store, you have to trust a salesperson that is inherently difficult to trust; furthermore you can’t verify what they are saying by looking inside the mattress, or often times even calling the company that built the bed. So why trust the people at Bedrooms & More? We are not some big box or chain store. I can’t throw huge amounts of money at advertising on television or the radio. More than half of our customers find out about Bedrooms & More through a friend, relative or colleague. If we don’t do a good job, then people don’t refer business, and we wouldn’t have been there for over 47 years. We want to exceed your expectations for the life expectancy of a mattress.

So, when one sided beds entered the market place we looked on the concept with skepticism (just as one must with any new product). The manufacturers claimed that the beds would last just as long. We asked “How?” The materials were the same; though manufacturers claimed they were better. The polyurethane foam, which is in most mattresses breaks down. It compresses roughly 20 % every 5 years with use. The exact amount is dependent upon the density of the foam; more dense is more durable. If one were to believe what they said, then some miracle had to be at work. Unfortunately for consumers, there are no mattress miracles, and saggy mattresses have ensued.

Here is what differentiates a one sided bed from a two sided bed:

When you sleep in a spot on the mattress you compress the foam only in that area; after a few weeks, or months you will be able to see a defined difference between where you sleep and the rest of the bed. If there are two people then you will develop a crest in the middle of the mattress over time. If you rotate your mattress head to foot, you will still be sleeping in mostly the same place, but you will vary it slightly. However, the crest in the middle will remain. After a couple of years it will get more and more defined, to the point that your mattress will look like two hammocks side by side (over 2” sags on each side have been reported on mattresses under 2 years old). It will be uncomfortable. Not saggy enough to meet the warranty requirements.

This could be avoided by flipping the mattress over. When you flip the bed, the weight of both you, and your mattress will be distributed across the entire surface on which you had been sleeping. The majority of the pressure will be on the areas which you had not compressed, resulting in in flattening of the mattress as you wear the other side. The durability of a two sided bed then becomes significantly greater. Almost always leading to a life expectancy of a mattress being 2-3 times as long.

Our failing:

At Bedrooms & More, we wish that they could claim that “we’re perfect,” and had never carried any  “can’t flip” beds. But we were not immune. Though not without serious qualms, we eventually carried some. We researched products and chose the most durable options. Though we never sold them without being clear to the customer, they were sacrificing by getting a one sided mattress. It felt as though they were trying to talk someone out of buying a bed (an odd way to stay in business).

“Why carry them at all then?” you might ask. Fear.

They were afraid to give up the name brand mattresses. Those companies have spent a long time, and a lot of money creating value in those names. Name brands create trust, and have value in the mind of consumers. Someone who has a had a Simmons for 15-20 years may want to get another one. Unfortunately for them Simmons today is not the Simmons of 20 years ago. They are making a completely different product, and are owned by completely different people. Even with this knowledge, it has taken the people at Bedrooms & More years to realize, that they are the brand. They are why people refer friends, coworkers, and family members to the store. The trust is in them to provide consumers with accurate information, and a quality product; because the name brands have proven that they can no longer be trusted with your best interest. We can now be sure to exceed your expectations for the life expectancy of a mattress. 

It’s the Casper, Purple and Avocado’s of the world that are getting people now. Making disposable quality products that we are taking away when delivering new two-sided mattresses. I’d bet that most of the beds these companies make will be in a landfill in just a few years.

Maybe you didn’t know. Maybe you haven’t had to buy a mattress in the last 8 years. If you have, you probably have had to buy more than one.

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