Reginald has been a sleep specialist for the past 20 years, training new and veteran associates in the retail mattress industry.
Two - Sided Pillow-top Mattress
A Musical Connection!
I recently attended a concert of symphonic music which featured some famous and outstanding overtures and marches. The music was performed by one of finest Symphonic Bands that I had heard in a long time and lead by an outstanding conductor. But what got my attention was the narrative from the master of ceremonies who explained that these particular pieces of music being performed were from a 'bye gone era'. This term made me think about the mattress industry and in particular the "flip" mattress. So where is the connection you say?
Some of those pieces of music that I heard at this concert were very familiar to me because I had heard them previously. Yes, they were older compositions but still great pieces of music. It's just that you don't hear these pieces being played as frequently today. What a shame! The same can be said about the style of the "two-sided" or "flippable" mattress. This article will explore the differences between the flip vs the no-flip mattresses and explain why the "flip" mattress is not of a 'bye gone era' but instead a very popular style that is here to stay.
A Little History!
Prior to around 2001, most all mattresses were 'two-sided', meaning that you could flip them over and experience the same comfort on both sides. They were constructed with a heavy duty innerspring that would last for years. The materials used were cotton, wool and eventually synthetic materials such as: Dacron, Polyester, Rayon, Foams etc.. - as they became available. This was the standard, world wide and since the late 1800's and with the addition of a few more coil designs along with a variety of new foams and the synthetics came the evolution of the current day comfort level choices for the consumer. Those are all good things.
Today, we have the 'no - flip' mattresses. These are produced by all of your nation-wide mattress manufacturers: Sealy, Serta, Simmons, Stearns and Foster and Spring Air. These are the names in the mattress industry are known as the 'S' brands.
Flip vs. No - Flip Mattresses - No Turn Mattress Pros and Cons
The Simmons company came out with the first 'no-flip' mattress in the 1970s. The rationale behind this new surface was to provide less motion or motion transfer meaning that with two people in the bed, if one moved, the other person wouldn't feel the motion. This was a very popular alternative to this 'two-sided' mattress back then and separated Simmons from the rest of the manufacturers for a time. They also used a new coil system called "The Individual Pocketed Coil" which definitely took the motion out of the mattress. And to this day they still use this coil system (otherwise known in the industry as the "Marshall Coil").
Also, defined as the best coil system in a mattress because of its ability to help give better spinal alignment. By this standard, most manufactures today produce mattresses with this coil - including the two - sided companies.
Meet The Need Not The Greed! (Editorial)
Today, the 'no-flip' or one-sided mattress is popular with consumers due to the advertising dollar. Manufacturers today, bombard the consumer with the story that it is a 'new' revolutionary technology and meets the need of every consumer. The truth is - the manufacturers just want to save money! These companies save themselves between 20% and 30% when they don't produced two-sided mattresses. It's not about the consumer! It's about profit. Plain and simple! And, while I am on the rant about these national mattress manufacturers, I shout out to them - "Meet The Need And Not The Greed!, many retailers are just as bad because the 'no-flip' is what they sell. And because of great deals that the make with big retail chains, the 'no-flip' is what they will sell to the consumer and nothing else.
So, when customers come into their stores looking for a 'two-sided' set, the salesperson just tells them that - "They Don't Make Them Any More". I think you will agree with me when I say that customers don't want to be lied to.
The true comforting fact is that there are many smaller manufacturers who produce the 'two-sided' mattress world wide. These companies wrap themselves around the communities through the local Chamber of Commerce and become part of the fabric that is 'family'. They participate in local as well as national charities. They are old school and produce a product that has made them famous and popular for over many decades.
Advantages of a "Two-Sided Mattress"
1. By flipping and turning the mattress on a scheduled basis the two-sided mattress will last twice as long in normal use than a one-sided.
2. Two sided mattresses are usually produced by the smaller manufacturers opposed to the nationwide companies that mass produce their mattresses. The advantage to this is that you will find better quality and much more attention to detail in the construction.
3. The warranties are as good as the nationwide mattresses if not better.
4. If you put a $699 one-sided set next to a $699 two-sided set, you will find that the quality and look to the two-sided is far superior to the one-sided set.The prices for these mattresses are much lower do the fact that the smaller companies don't have huge budgets for advertising that is ultimately going to be passed on to the consumer.
5. You are more likely to get better customer service with a more local manufacturer.
6. Many of these smaller 'family owned' factories hand make their products and not 'mass produced' like the national counterparts.
7. The smaller manufacturers do not spend millions of dollars on advertising, whereas the national brands do.
8. Two-sided mattresses are available in any custom made size. National brands are not.
Disadvantages of a "Two-Sided"
1. For some people especially older adults the two-sided mattress may be difficult to turn or flip due to it being heavy to lift.
2. Some two-sided mattresses will have a little motion to it.
Clearly, there are more advantages than disadvantages.
Please take the following poll
Who makes the Two-Sided Mattress?
There are many Mattress companies that produce this style. Here is a short list.
Where Can I Find 'Two-Sided' Mattresses?
You are most likely to find this style of mattress in a bedding store. Not a big box store (Walmart, Big Lots, BJ's etc). Not in a department store. Many small family owned furniture stores carry them. Bedding stores will feature the two-sided mattress along with the one-sided (or no-flip). This gives the consumer a wider selection to choose from, making the bedding store a better choice to shop. Again, it's all about volume and advertising when it comes to stores that only carry the 'no-flip'. Check out the bedding stores that carry the companies listed above. And absolutely, try them out for comfort if you never owned one before.
Let me reiterate the fact that the two-sided mattress still exists and not of a 'bye gone era'.
Manufacturers all over the world are producing them and will always be available as long as consumers want them. Your job, if you choose, to get this style of mattress is to be aware of this and find out what retailers sell them. These mattresses are great! My advice to you is to look at a few of the local bedding stores. Call them on the phone and ask if they sell them and engage in a conversation with that person.You'll be so pleased you did.
And me? Well, I will still go to the concerts seeking out the music that is of the 'bye gone era' because I now know where to look.
I hope that this has been helpful to you and feel free to comment below and let me know what you think. I would love to hear about any stories or situations people have when it comes to the Flip vs No-Flip Mattresses.
© 2014 Reginald Thomas
Reginald Thomas (author) from Connecticut on July 31, 2015:
Thank you for reading it Linda. Many people don't think that two-sided mattresses exist anymore.
Linda Chechar from Arizona on July 31, 2015:
I fell into the trap of the single-sided mattress on my last purchase and I have to say, "never again!" I do so miss flipping the mattress every few months. Now, I'm stuck rotating it, which only helps a teeny bit. Hopefully two-sided mattresses will still be around in about 5 years or so when it is time to purchase a new one. I've made a note of the manufacturers you've listed that still make them. Thanks for the helpful Hub!
Reginald Thomas (author) from Connecticut on December 13, 2014:
Thank you Marlene for your kind words. I do believe that we have a lot in common as I am a musician also. I will soon be writing a few articles on community music.
Marlene Bertrand from USA on December 13, 2014:
I found this article to be fascinating! I had a two-sided bed that lasted for decades. I turned and flipped it on schedule and it performed quite well. Then, I got sucked into the concept of the single sided bed. I thought about switching back to the two-sided mattress, but then I thought about how difficult it would be to maintain that type of mattress. I am an elderly woman, and like you mentioned in your article, elderly people would have trouble handling the two-sided mattress. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article. You provided a lot of valuable information.