One-Sided Mattresses? ‘Can’t Flip’ Mattress Rant

Woman raises her fists & shouts in a rant about "can't flip," one-sided mattresses


I’m pretty frustrated with the mattress industry.

I’ve been in the sleep business since 1970 and a retailer of mattresses and bedding since 1972. Since the Private Equity Firms (the wonderful folks that helped bring about the recent financial troubles in the U.S.) bought up all the major mattress companies (Simmons, Sealy, Stearns & Foster [owned by Sealy], Spring Air, and Serta) the industry has taken a “consumer be damned” attitude. The introduction of “can’t flip” mattresses or “no need to flip” mattresses in 2000 is an insult to consumers who can now expect three to five years out of their new mattress. That’s one third of what can be expected from two-sided mattresses.
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Like many industries, the mattress industry has gone through a period of cheapening products in order to save on manufacturing costs. Problem is, they market the cheapened product as a benefit to consumers — which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Think about home appliances, another industry where the majority of companies are now owned by private equity firms. Depending on your age, it used to be that you would buy an appliance — a fridge, a washer/dryer, an oven — expecting it to last 20 years. If something broke, a repairman would come to your home and fix it. Now, if you get five to seven years from an appliance you’re lucky. And you can forget about repairs; parts either aren’t or won’t be available.

Mattress companies make “no need to flip” or “can’t flip” mattresses to save on their own costs, NOT to give you a better night’s sleep or make your life easier.

The profits manufacturers make on selling half a mattress are too great to go back to two-sided mattresses. Companies can save 25-30% by not including the second side cushioning layer, which is the most expensive part of most mattresses. Companies don’t pass these savings on to the consumer. As you may have noticed if you’ve done some research, some “can’t flip” mattresses sell for several thousands of dollars! They’ve just used the savings to increase their profits and then resell the company to another investment firm. Simmons, for instance, has now been sold many times over. The added benefit (to them) of selling “can’t flip” mattresses is that the consumer is back in the marketplace for a new mattress every three to five years. Their only other option is to put up with a saggy, uncomfortable bed, and the achy back and body that can result from it.

At Bedrooms & More, when we deliver new mattresses to customers, we offer to take away and recycle (if possible) their old mattress.

Recently, on a day when we delivered 10 new mattresses, we took away three “can’t flip” mattresses. All three were from one of the best known “S” brands, all just three years old and all completely worn out. Not even homeless shelters or charities will take mattresses so saggy, so they ended up in a landfill. These were not inexpensive mattresses — they retail locally for over $2000 each! You’d think that such dramatic wear and tear after just three years would be covered under warranty, but no. These companies consistently deny all but the most extreme breakdowns.

They have PLANNED for the failure or obsolescence of their mattresses after 3-5 years. It’s how they do things now.

Retail stores that sell “can’t flip” mattresses often tell people that these companies no longer make two-sided mattresses. It’s not true, but they’ll give you all kinds of made-up reasons for it.

Most manufacturers DO still make two-sided mattresses, they just don’t sell them to the consumer. They make them only for the hotel/motel industry. Owners in this industry avoid one-sided mattresses because they know that they won’t last more than a few years.

Doesn’t that show the manufacturers’ true stripes?

That’s my rant and this is why my store won’t sell “can’t flip” mattresses.

In order to be sold on our floor, mattresses need to have TWO sleeping surfaces. That, or they need to have zipper access to the inside so that components can be flipped or refreshed. It is not right to sell mattresses that wear out so quickly. A consumer should be able to expect their new mattress to last and be comfortable for at least 8 to 12 years. If they purchase a 100% botanical latex mattress model, it should last even longer. 

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91 Comments on "One-Sided Mattresses? ‘Can’t Flip’ Mattress Rant"

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Ken Russo
Guest

Hi Jeff,

I agree with everything you said in your article about no flip mattresses. My 2000 dollar mattress has just broken down after 3 and a half years of use. I am furious as I was guaranteed a minimum of 10 years. I live in cape cod on the east coast do you know any store that sells 2 sided mattresses?
Thanks for your time
Ken Russo

Rod Grieshaber
Guest

Cheapening products, so you have to buy more. Everyone needs to protest by refusing to purchase mattresses that do not last. Complain, hold on to your money, go on-line and look at alternatives..thankyou for this website on 2 sided mattresses. I will definately be spreading the word.

Marlene Jasiorkowski
Guest

Wish I saw this before buying last night.
My $2500.00 no flip mattress lasted almost 6 years.

Tara
Guest

I have a Sealy and I was under the impression that it was a flip matress since the guy made a big ordeal about the non flipping does void out the warranty, my question is how am I not suppose to “void the warranty?” It’s been less than 2 years and both my husband and I are suffering w/ numb limbs, back aches and concerns b/c the more we rotate the more of a “W” our bed looks like and it has a 10yr warranty. Looking into getting it resolved soon hopefully.

DedBerd
Guest

Try small pillows or blankets under the neck and knees- my doctor recommended that to me and I have not slept flat since, no new bed needed.

tori
Guest

Have been having to many issues with sagging and cradling even with firm or extra firms, costing $2K+. Before the mfg of 1 sided beds I never had these issues. Need to resolve these issues and buy a 2 sider. When Ive called Sle*pys they said that this is normal wear and tear. I think not. Changes must be made.

GL
Guest

I appreciate your integrity. I wish your store were in our area. We tried a one sided mattress, and sure enough, it lasted a little less than 5 years. We are now purchasing hotel models through Sams Club, but have to special order them and buy two at a time. Sigh. But, its better than being screwed and having to go through the whole ordeal every 4-5 years.

Mary
Guest
Purchased a one sided twin not knowing or realizing it was one sided. Salesman bragged on he was giving me the best one in the store. this is a warehouse furniture store, Super Warehouse Furniture on Spencer in Pasadena, Texas, cash only. When they delivered, I was given a no match box spring with this one-side piece of no good mattress. I have tried to get them to do me good but they are now ignoring me. Say they will be at my home, I wait, nothing. I know I will have to eat this mattress and box spring but… Read more »
Kathryn
Guest
After close examination of my new 6 month old Sealy, it now has two valleys on it (one from me and one from my husband) We have rotated the mattresses now twice and are no longer getting quality sleep, I’m absolutely beside myself as our last double sided Sealy lasted 10 years by flipping it every 3 months. I’ve not had to camp out in guest bedroom because my back is killing me….I can’t believe we are going to have to replace this the first year. I’m going to place the mattress cushion side down on the ground and jump… Read more »
Elizabeth
Guest

Actually, thank you everybody for making me feel better. I only paid about $300.00 for “Famous ‘S'” brand mattress. (I thought maybe that was the reason I couldn’t ‘flip’ it – because it was so cheap.)

drew
Member
Thank you for your comment, As with every story, there are always two sides. When it comes to mattresses, there is no magic material that will not change over time. Even botanical latex, which we love and is the longest lasting, is not an unchanging material. If you were to sleep in the same spot every night for 10 years on a 6″ slab of rubber, and never flipped or rotated it, though it would not show visible compression, you would still be able to feel where you slept. When it comes to comfort, feeling flat, and looking flat can… Read more »
Tom Hess
Guest
The last 4 “can’t flip” mattresses I bought all lasted about one year before starting to hurt my back. 11 to 13 months and they were already worn out. Finally I told myself NO MORE. I will NEVER buy a mattress again. The mattress industry lost me as a customer for life. Here’s what I did. I bought a used Tempurpedic box spring of craigslist for $40. I first covered the top of it with flat wood boards to make sure it is solid and firm. Then I bought a two regular foam mattress pads (the egg crate type) and… Read more »
Stephanie B
Guest
Hi. I don’t know what to do. I purchased a Simmons Beautyrest Black Mattress Yvonne Tight Top Cushion Firm 4 months ago and it is not comfortable like when I first got it. I needed something that had good support for my lower back but not too firm. This mattress felt great in the store and great at home until 3 months of owning it. It sags in the middle just a little but it’s enough for my lower back to feel it and hurt. I was told that this mattress was not going to change in the comfort level… Read more »
Peggy
Guest
We paid $1700 for a Sealy Vera Wang model. It broke down within 3 months but I was in denial because we spent so much on it, it couldn’t have gone bad already! Sealy told me to call the store, I did and they tols me the 60 day/.75 inch bs story. My back is killing me but before I spend more money on a new mattress, I am going to FLIP this unflippable piece of junk- I just bought a feather pad- I’ll let you know how that works out. It just frosts my cookies that these mattress companies… Read more »
pat
Guest
i’m need advice on 2 mattresses of the same brand and i’m most concerned about durability of the comfort layer since the innerspring design for both are very similar and very sturdy. i’m about 155 pounds and sleep mostly on my back 1) a very firm (10 inch thick) 2-sided tight-top but with only high density PU foam in comfort layer so worried that PU foam will break down quickly ! 2) a firm (10 inch thick) non-flip (not tight-top but definitely not pillow-top) – has high resilient PU foam top layer, a latex layer in the middle and a… Read more »
drew
Member
Pat, The two-sided bed will stay flat longer (it won’t even be close); particularly if you’re good about maintenance. The reason a two-sided bed will stay comfortable longer is: when the foam is on the bottom, the coil system will distribute the weight of the mattress, and the person evenly. The foam that was not being compressed is what is on top, is now what is compressing while it was on the bottom. The foam that had previously been compressed on top is able to recover, and though your mattress is getting thinner through the years it is able to… Read more »
pat
Guest

thank you very much, Mr Garfield !

always nice to hear valuable honest advice from experts like yourself !

Kerin
Guest

Excellent article. My wife and I fell for the no flip mattress lie 5 years ago and purchased a $1300 Stearns & Foster mattress. The mattress that felt so comfortable in the showroom is now in need of replacement. After doing a lot of research, we bought another mattress at the Original Mattress Factory which actually makes two sided mattresses. We ended up with a better mattress for less than we paid for the Stearns & Foster 5 years ago. If you have an Original Mattress Factory store anywhere near you, be sure to check them out.

Maureen
Guest

Looking for a flipable mattress. Only company I can find in the south is the original mattress factory. Can anyone tell me how their products hold up. The warranty is 12 years non-prorated

Linda Arnold
Guest

Our 4 year old $1200 mattress that started out great has been so bad for two years that my husband has now got back problems and can’t sleep so we flipped this unflippable piece of junk and put a memory foam topper with 2 inches of dense foam under 2 inches of memory foam, king size for 150 dollars and it is fine. It will be cheaper to just replace this every few years ! I wonder what it is we are laying on but really don’t care as long as it is comfortable.

Karen Best
Guest
Ah, now I understand. After buying my second “can’t flip” mattress, albeit at half the cost of the first one (which lasted just ~5 years, right on schedule, eh?), I swore never again. I didn’t realize until I stumbled upon your website that I probably won’t be able to find a flappable any more (I thought the solution as to go back to cheaper products). Meanwhile, a renter left me his latex foam mattress … my dad had recently said there wasn’t anything better. I’ve rested on it a couple of times so far, and thinking, hmmmm, maybe I’ll switch… Read more »
Teri Larison
Guest
We decided recently to upgrade in size, from Queen to King. My spouse and I have different workdays so we decided to shop online. I knew I wanted to go with the same brand and firmness (Serta, firm). We were really excited about our new purchase (bedframe from one company, mattress from another well-known store). However, we received a nonflippable mattress just two days ago. I was somewhat caught offguard but accepted the delivery anyway, and the delivery people took my old mattress. I should have kept it! My last mattress was purchased in 2001 and is flippable. Evidently, once… Read more »
Flipping on the No Flip!
Guest
Flipping on the No Flip!
We purchased a $1700 Sealy Latex noflip mattress. It was great at first until it started to sink where I sleep (not visibly sunken though). My husband’s side is still pretty firm because he is very light weight. When we rotate the mattress, even my skinny husband sinks on the side I used to sleep on and I am so sore from his firm side (I don’t remember being so sore breaking in my side when it was brand new?!) I’m wondering how much Latex is really in this no flip mattress. It springs up back to shape pretty well… Read more »
Flipping on the No Flip!
Guest
Flipping on the No Flip!

Thanks for the info. Live in Pennsylvania. That really sucks about the Sealy latex it sinks even in the middle when you apply pressure but no one ever slept in the middle of the bed as husband and I share the same bed. Ugh. I am perturbed with Raymour & Flanigan sales associate duping us into thinking the best was all natural latex. The top of the bed feels like it’s padded with foam or something. Class action lawsuit sounds pretty tempting right about now……

Sandy Braden
Guest
We spent over $2500.00 on a Stearns and Foster Euro plus firm pillowtop Kaitlin mattress set on March 2012. It is non- flippable which it turns out is a big mistake. We have two nice sag spots on either side of this king size mattress in a little over a year of normal use. Neither one of us is heavy so this is premature wear but the retailer Sleep Country and Stearns and Foster both say that is “normal” for this mattress. It seems that the generous sounding warranty is only valid if the sag is at least an 1… Read more »
Diana
Guest

As a Government employee who procures mattresses for our military, one sided mattresses are costing the Government more money in the long run because they do not last as long and they are costing the tax payers more of their hard earned dollars.

drew
Member

This is really sad for all of us! We hear this complaint a lot, but not from a source who is so vastly affected by it. Thank you so much for sharing with us and all our followers.

Joyce Jacobus
Guest

Both my husband and I have back problems. We are looking for
a new flippable mattress. What firmness would help us the most
and what brand should we consider. We have always purchased Sealy Posturepedic until we bought our current non-flippable mattress which was a big mistake.

Roberta Metalious
Guest

Amen! I had a Simmons Beautyrest “flippable” mattress for 25 years!!! Most comfortable mattress I ever had and I only got rid of it because I had to downsize!

Jennifer
Guest
I am also in the mattress, bedroom, furniture business, we have a family business that started 41 years ago by my grandparents. You hit the nail on the head about the cheaper to make and bigger profits for them. We do not sell the S brand of mattresses. We sell Restonic, the make both flipable and non flip mattress, they are a consumers choice 8 yr winner also. They warranty is great, and they stand behind their word. We have very very few calls on problems with them and we sell a lot of them. I just wanted to put… Read more »
Carol
Guest

I don’t have the energy to retell the nightmare I experienced the last time I bought a mattress. I did learn something useful: Sleeping on the floor sometimes relieves a bad back. Just use your pillow and covers for warmth.

It’s not a permanent solution. However, it’s a lot better than sleeping on a sagging old mattress.

Michael Cahill
Guest

Just went thru this at one of the large chain “s ” stores and the “sales professional” said that they do a one sided mattress because of a fire code ? What the H ! The mattress industry is really sleezy! I paid $ 1500 5 years ago and mine is shot!

KC Green
Guest

Glad I found this web forum. Hope it’s legit. Fortunately I do have an Original Matt Factory near me – actually within walking distance. Regardless…

It seems that pocket coil mattresses are exclusively one-sided and continuous-coil mattresses are exclusively two-sided. Is this by necessity or just a trend? If so, it means one cannot buy a non-disturbable (Is that a word?) flippable mattresses.

Pocket coil mattresses

Tim
Guest
Today’s mattresses are a joke. To all those who can’t sleep you must go buy an old school flippable mattress at an estate sale. I am not kidding. “Sagging” of your new mattress has nothing to do with why you can’t sleep on it. And adding a foam “topper” won’t do anything. The same topper, however, WILL revive a worn out old-school flipper. If you have one of these old mattresses DO NOT throw it away. And don’t bother with a 2 sider made today–it will be of the same horrible hard internal construction as the no flippers. Simmons or… Read more »
Sara
Guest
HI. I am in search of a flippable mattress. We made the decision to upgrade to a king from a queen. After being advised from many family and friends to NOT purchase a pillow top or non-flippable mattress, we sought out a flippable one. We have the headboard/footboard/frame/bedding already purchased, and when we went to 2 large West coast retailers we were informed that it’s impossible to buy flippable mattresses anymore. This can not be true. Do you have any recommendations of retailers like yourself in the North/Central California area? We will drive for this, but your store in Seattle… Read more »
drew
Member
Hello Sara and thank you for your comment. What you have been told from the retailers in your area is very common. Retailers all over the country are telling their potential customers; “It’s impossible to buy flippable mattresses”. Seeing as we sell thousands of two sided mattresses every year, this simply is not true. We have been carrying two sided, flippable innerspring mattresses for decades and will continue to do so. I know of mattress retailers in the Portland, OR area who carry two sided mattresses; and though I am unaware of any closer to your area, it is possible… Read more »
June Heimsoth
Guest
You are right on both counts! In 2003 we bought an Amana stainless steel trio, slice in range. large refrigerator, and dishwasher. First the range went at the two year warranty expiration date. We did a brain transplant on it and that fix lasted another year. Bought a new Frigidaire. Two years broiler went out. (Never used it even once.) Putin a new brain after a two year punishment period. Cost $350. Still haven’t used the broiler. :^ ) The Amana fridge lasted about 5 years had a 200.00 repair then it went out again. Bought a new Whilrlpool. Dishwasher… Read more »
Kathlyn McCaughna
Guest

Will someone please tell me where I can buy a no-so-thick mattress with hand holds on the sides so I can flip it? I hate the hight of my latest mattress & it’s sinking in the middle but it’s too heavy to turn. Why this idiocy in making a product so inconvenient?

drew
Member
Hello Kathlyn and thank you for your comment. We hear you. That is why we strive to offer practical solutions that avoid the problems you’re describing. Without handles, and/or a manageable weight, how can you be expected to flip and turn your mattress; and if you can’t flip your mattress, all you’ll end up with is a big saggy mess. If you need a bed that just makes more sense, give us a call. We can help coach you through the process of finding the durable two-sided you’ve been seeking. We’re open seven days per week and have shipped mattresses… Read more »
Batbara
Guest

I actually bought the only two-sided mattress I could find in a local store but it landed up with body indentations in its pillow top in the first week! They only carry a plush firmness level and as well, the padding was a really cheap synthetic, giving little support and causing hip and back pain. Flipping didn’t help nor trying to flatten and bind it with quilt. What a nightmare.

Jackie Littke
Guest

I purchased a foam no flip matress from Sears and twelve days later I had problems with a sagging matress, body aches and a crick in my neck. I contact Sears and was told the store would like me to try the bed for thirty days, now its been thirty days and they are singing a different song by asking me to send pictures and

measure the “sagging sink hole”

Ryan K. S.
Guest

Hello, thanks so much for this informative site. If only I had found it three years ago! I too have been suffering from a “no-flip” mattress from one of the big “S” companies. I have a simple question: has anyone had luck just flipping the no-flip mattresses? I intend to try it and supplement the cushion-less side with mattress pads. Has anyone done this???

drew
Member
Flipping a one-sided mattress can yield positive results. If you put a topper on top after flipping the mattress you are in essence creating a two-sided mattress. This can help even out the wear on the sagging side, and after a few months, the entire combination should be rotated to maintain even use. The underside of one sided mattresses can vary, and care should be taken to insulate the coils from the foam if there is not already some limited cushioning there. Good luck, and I hope that you get more years of comfort out of your existing bed.
may
Guest
I would like to thank Mr. Garfield for his “rant” . I hope someone alerts him to read all the comments. I am disgusted with the mattress industry, and the state of American business and the marketplace in general. Companies exist merely to please Wall Street in the short term, and are no longer even interested in their own long term health. Back to my mattress; I refuse to buy a one sided mattress. I hope some 2 sided ones will remain in US stores. If necessary, I will import one from another country, or have one custom made for… Read more »
Kella Ettinger
Guest
Love this blog. We had a Sterns & Foster double sided mattress that was the absolute best. When we replaced it I said I wanted comparable and got a horrible Sterns & Foster that we ended up returning. Was told that the one we originally had was a presidential anniversary model that was no longer made and that they were not made double sided anymore due to the weight issue. We had two mattresses after that and the final one got such gullies that they showed when the bed was made. We switched to talalay latex and and also went… Read more »
Laine Foegley
Guest

Just bought a non-flappable and so far so good. But wondering about a year or so of sleeping in the middle with no option to flip and even out any potential sagging. Was told by two stores that flippables were no longer available. Go figure! Dumb me?

Dan L.
Guest

Just incredible. I’ve even talked to people who were told by sales people one sided mattresses last longer which flies in the face of logic. Simply twisting/spinning a mattress only makes a problem that was on your side of a bed become a problem for your partner.

Flippable mattresses always have and always shall provide consumers with best value especially when bought from independent local manufacturers that routinely buy only American components.

steve
Guest
GRRRR! I hate the new mattresses. I have one sided pillow top mattress which used to be comfortable, now there are two canoes with a ridge/mountain in-between my husband and myself. I will NEVER buy a one sided mattress again. I will forever boycott the major manufacturers who have decided they don’t give a c*** about their customers comfort and since I have three teens, I will make sure that they understand that if they buy one of those pieces of c*** that they will be wasting their $$$$. I hope that your company continues to have the philosophy of… Read more »
Maria Alvarez
Guest

This blog is on point. I bought a new mattress three years ago. Now I wish I would have kept my old one. I hate that you cant flip the mattress. Its the worst. The price is too great for the poor quality.

Rox
Guest

I have an old 15 yr plus double sided that i started sleeping on again. Woke up fine. Meanwhile, the 3 yr old non flipper has dips from where hubby sat every day and where i slept. Never again.

Frank
Guest

agreed – we still sleep on a 20yo double-sided mattress I flip every time we change the sheets – springs still fine – only the top padding under my hip has compressed so I’m starting to feel some pressure against my hip – but not enough to rush out to replace it yet

yeah I’ve heard the pitch from stores – ‘they don’t make double-sided anymore’ – lies – a local guy who sells by the truckload gets them made to his specs, and only sells double-sided – that’s what I’ll buy again

Leanantj@optonline.net
Guest
Leanantj@optonline.net
Wow I really believed the guys at Sle**** when they said you can’t get the 2 sided mattress and I must be gross to have not needed a mattress for 14yrs on the contrary I said I’m here for my teenaged son who’s 6’2″ and 300lbs I had bought him a mattress (1sided) 1yr ago not realizing what I had bought until it was delivered I kinda felt ripped off but I thought I’ll give it a shot maybe it is as great as the salesman had convinced me it was, haha jokes on me. Needless to say I am… Read more »
John Mason
Guest
Great info. We have waited too long to replace our indented pillow top latex Englander. I hope to get up to Seattle to check out your mattresses. I am going through a cancer battle right not so I might have to wait a while for finances. In the meantime I was wondering if I could just flip our latex pillow top and buy a good mattress topper. I also thought it possible to remove the pillow top but not sure if the indents are mostly in the pillowtop or extend past the pillowtop. I was thinking one of these procedures… Read more »
blake
Guest
It is possible to open up a mattress and remove the worn out layers. It can be very labor intensive, and is not always successful. In most mattresses, the layers are glued together, and the process of tearing them apart can leave the remaining layers feeling lumpy. Note: Before you start, you should know that the second you cut into the mattress, you have voided your warranty, and it is no longer going to be flame resistant to the degree that it was intended. If you’re careful, and can isolate the failed layers and remove them, what you’re left with… Read more »
Rosita
Guest
You nailed it in your blog. I totally agree with you about private equity firms which are destroying our nation. It is not just the mattress industry but all aspects of our life, new developments funded with PE $$$. They could care less about a community. I have three friends who all bought mattresses at the same time as I did,we paid top dollar for different pillowtop one sided mattresses and all of us are miserable due to the sinkholes that happened almost immediately and we are all single so the bed isn’t getting that much weight for such caverns… Read more »
blake
Guest

Support the people who are making products like ours. Buy that two-sided mattress. Shop at that independent store. Skip the chain. Skip the Private Equity products. Vote with your pocketbook.

frustrated consumer
Guest

Omission is a lie by definition. if one deals with someonexwho by character is a liar, what can one expect? two stores, 5 different mattress manufacturers snd still sagging after 3 nights. Our 41 year old mattress was better. chuch those dust mite commercials and in my opinion keep your old masttress until it dies. Bottom line pay or else.

blake
Guest

You’re dead on. Using a mattress for as long as possible is better for the world and your pocketbook.

Janet
Guest
Was researching whether I could flip my 2 year old Stearns and Foster mattress and stumbled onto Jeff Garfield’s “mattress rant”. So, now I know why this thing looks like it is sagging already. After researching different types of mattresses and brands, I bought a S&F because they were supposed to be such good quality. Don’t remember the salesperson discussing the finer points of the one sided vs two sided mattress (maybe he did/maybe he didn’t). He did call the model I bought “the rock” because of the level of firmness. Went ahead and paid … you guessed it… $2000.… Read more »
blake
Guest

If it’s a coil mattress, I’d recommend flipping it anyway. Put a thin topper on the side that is not upholstered. It will extend the life of the mattress, and you might even be able to flatten out the sags.

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