Can you sleep on the non-pillow top side?

Sleep is a fundamental aspect of our well-being, and the quality of our sleep largely depends on the comfort of our sleeping surface. One often overlooked option for achieving a restful slumber is sleeping on the non-pillow top side of a mattress. While pillow top mattresses are designed for added cushioning, the non-pillow top side can offer unique benefits for certain individuals. In this guide, we’ll explore the reasons behind choosing the non-pillow top side, offer tips for maximizing comfort, and address potential concerns.

Guide: Sleeping on the Non-Pillow Top Side of Your Mattress

  1. Assess Your Comfort Preferences: Before flipping your mattress to sleep on the non-pillow top side, consider your comfort preferences. Some people prefer a firmer surface for better back support, and the non-pillow top side could provide this.
  2. Check Mattress Design: Not all mattresses are designed to be flipped. Some models have a designated top and bottom side due to asymmetrical construction or specific comfort layers. Ensure your mattress is suitable for flipping.
  3. Clean and Prepare the Surface: Before flipping, make sure the non-pillow top side is clean and free from debris. Vacuuming or wiping down the surface can help create a fresh sleeping environment.
  4. Use a Mattress Protector: To prevent wear and tear on the non-pillow top side, consider using a mattress protector. This can also help maintain a hygienic sleep environment.
  5. Adjust Bedding: When sleeping on the non-pillow top side, your body might interact differently with the mattress. Adjust your bedding accordingly – use a slightly thicker or softer mattress topper if needed.
  6. Give it Time: Your body might take some time to adjust to the different feel of the non-pillow top side. Give it a few nights before deciding if this sleeping surface is right for you.
  7. Monitor Comfort and Support: Pay attention to how your body responds to the non-pillow top side. Do you experience better support for your spine and joints? Are you waking up without aches and pains?
  8. Address Concerns: If you experience discomfort or any issues, consider placing a thin mattress topper or a folded blanket between you and the mattress. This can provide a slight buffer without compromising the firmer feel.
  9. Rotate Periodically: To ensure even wear, rotate your mattress occasionally – this applies to both the pillow top and non-pillow top sides. This can extend the lifespan of your mattress.
  10. Consider Individual Needs: Sleeping preferences vary from person to person. While some find the non-pillow top side beneficial, others might prefer the cushioning of the pillow top. Listen to your body’s cues and make adjustments accordingly.

What is a Pillow Top Mattress?

A pillow-top mattress is a type of mattress that features an extra layer of cushioning and padding sewn onto the top surface. This added layer, known as the “pillow top,” is designed to provide enhanced comfort and a plush, luxurious feel for sleepers. The pillow-top layer can consist of various materials, such as memory foam, latex, polyfoam, or even a combination of these materials. This layer is often thicker and softer than the rest of the mattress, creating a more cushioned sleeping surface.

Key features of a pillow-top mattress include:

  1. Comfort Layer: The pillow-top layer is the uppermost part of the mattress, providing an additional cushioning element that can help relieve pressure points and provide a more contouring and plush feel.
  2. Enhanced Softness: Pillow-top mattresses are known for their soft and luxurious feel. The extra padding creates a cloud-like sensation that can appeal to individuals who prefer a softer sleep surface.
  3. Support Core: Beneath the pillow-top layer, there is typically a support core made of innerspring coils, foam, or other materials. This layer provides the mattress with its foundational support and structure.
  4. Variation in Firmness: While pillow-top mattresses are generally softer, they can still come in a range of firmness levels, from medium to extra soft. This allows individuals to choose a firmness that suits their comfort preferences.
  5. Non-Flippable Design: Due to the asymmetrical design and the emphasis on the pillow-top layer, most pillow-top mattresses are not designed to be flipped. Instead, they are usually meant to be rotated periodically to even out wear.
  6. Durability and Maintenance: Pillow-top mattresses can be comfortable, but the pillow-top layer may be prone to compression and sagging over time, especially if not properly cared for. Regular rotation and proper maintenance can help extend the lifespan of the mattress.

Pillow-top mattresses are often favored by those who enjoy a soft and cushioned sleeping experience. However, it’s essential to consider individual preferences, body type, and any potential comfort issues, as some people might find that a pillow-top mattress doesn’t provide the necessary support for their sleep style.

Ultimately, the choice of a pillow-top mattress or another type of mattress depends on your comfort needs, sleeping habits, and any specific health considerations you may have. It’s advisable to test different mattress types and consult with experts before making a decision.

Can You Flip a Pillowtop Mattress?

Flipping a pillow-top mattress can be a bit more complicated compared to traditional mattresses. Pillow-top mattresses have an additional layer of padding sewn onto the top, which is meant to provide extra comfort and cushioning. This design makes them more one-sided, meaning they’re not typically designed to be flipped over like traditional mattresses.

Here’s why:

  1. Asymmetrical Design: Pillow-top mattresses are often designed with a specific top and bottom side. The pillow-top side is meant to be the sleeping surface, while the bottom side usually has a firmer support layer. Flipping the mattress could lead to sleeping on the firmer side, which might not be as comfortable.
  2. Wear and Tear: Flipping a pillow-top mattress can accelerate wear and tear, especially on the pillow-top side. The padding on the pillow-top is not evenly distributed for both sides of the mattress, so flipping it could lead to uneven compression and reduced comfort over time.
  3. Maintenance: While flipping a traditional mattress can help distribute wear more evenly, pillow-top mattresses benefit more from regular rotation (turning the mattress 180 degrees) rather than flipping. This helps prevent the mattress from developing permanent indentations and extends its overall lifespan.

If you’re interested in maintaining the longevity of your pillow-top mattress and ensuring its comfort, consider these tips:

  • Rotate Regularly: Rotate the mattress 180 degrees every few months. This will allow for more even wear and help prevent sagging in specific areas.
  • Use a Mattress Topper: If you’re finding that the pillow-top side is becoming less comfortable, you can use a mattress topper to rejuvenate the comfort layer without flipping the mattress.
  • Follow Manufacturer Recommendations: Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for care and maintenance specific to your mattress model. They can provide the best advice on how to keep your mattress in optimal condition.

In conclusion, flipping a pillow-top mattress is generally not recommended due to its asymmetrical design and potential impact on comfort and longevity. Instead, focus on regular rotation and proper maintenance practices to ensure you’re getting the most out of your mattress.


Can a pillow-top mattress be turned over?

Any mattress that isn’t clearly advertised as being double-sided should not be turned over. Most mattresses made of memory foam, latex, hybrid, pillow top, or Euro top are one-sided. Flipping a one-sided mattress puts too much strain on the comfort layer, harming the mattress permanently.

Are mattresses with pillows good for side sleepers?

A pillow top mattress’s greatness for all types of sleepers, especially side sleepers, is one of its best qualities. No matter what sleeping position you prefer, they provide enduring support to aid with pain alleviation.

How can I tell whether my bed has a pillow top?

A single, gusseted layer comprised of fiber or foam makes up this design. Pillow-top mattresses, as its name suggests, frequently have a soft, “pillowy” feel to them. The layer is attached to the top of the mattress by sewing, leaving a thin space between it and the mattress’s comfort layer beneath.


Sleeping on the non-pillow top side of your mattress can be a viable option for achieving the right balance of comfort and support. It’s essential to consider your personal preferences, mattress design, and overall comfort. By following these guidelines and paying attention to your body’s response, you can determine whether this sleeping surface enhances your sleep quality and contributes to your overall well-being.

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