Preserving Mattresses: When (and if) to 
Rotate or Flip

For hoteliers, the expense of replacing mattresses can be huge, as one mattress alone may be the single most expensive piece of furniture in a guestroom. Mattresses are also subject to extensive use, and in some cases abuse, as they sit in the center of most hotel rooms and serve as the focal point of temporary residence for guests. Hence, it makes prudent sense to preserve the useful life of this item as long as feasible, for the sake of both guest comfort and the hotel’s bottom line.


 Always Rotate!

To ensure even wear on each side and minimize premature sagging, every mattress should be rotated 180 degrees at least twice, if not four times a year. Simply move the head of the mattress to the foot of the bed. Mattress rotation can be scheduled with the changing of the seasons or when each guestroom is deep cleaned. Always have two employees work together to perform this task so furniture and walls are not damaged and the room attendant does not incur an injury. Also, be sure to take this as an opportunity to vacuum the edges and cording of the mattress, as well as its boxspring/support platform.       



 To Flip or Not to Flip?

Before pillow top and synthetic mattresses became common, it was essential to also flip a mattress twice a year when rotating them. Many higher-end mattresses should not be flipped as they are meant for one-side use only. If unsure whether to flip, check the manufacturer’s recommendations, which can be found on the mattress tag. To flip a mattress, have two employees rotate it 90 degrees clockwise so that it is overhanging each side of the box spring/support platform. Stand it on one side, and then pull the bottom side out from underneath. Rotate clockwise 90 degrees back into position.    


About the Author
Dr. William D. Frye is an Associate Professor in the College of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Niagara University and co-author of AH&LEI’s housekeeping textbook 
Managing Housekeeping Operations.

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Dr. William D. Frye is a hospitality educator, researcher, consultant, and former hotel general manager. He is the co-author of AHLEI’s housekeeping textbook Managing Housekeeping Operations.