Frank Martin
Frank Martin

Hotel Mattresses: Two Sided vs. One Sided

Hotel Mattresses

Manufacturers started making one sided mattresses and marketing them as “no flip.” Sales exploded. Consumers loved the idea of not hassling with flipping their mattress.  Most consumers stopped buying two sided mattresses for themselves because most never flipped their two sided mattress when they had one.  The trend has perpetuated itself and now we have a mattress market that is 90% “no flip.”

Two Sided Hotel Mattress

The benefits of purchasing a two sided hotel mattress are twofold. Firstly, two sided hotel mattresses will last longer. Much like tires on a car that will last longer if properly rotated, mattresses will last longer, wear more evenly, and develop less body impressions if properly flipped and rotated.  Secondly, if one side of the mattress is damaged, e.g., a ripped cover, the other side is still a viable sleeping surface.

Two sided hotel mattresses are suited perfectly for the rigors of the hospitality industry. Two sided hotel mattress wear more evenly and last longer when properly rotated and flipped.  Typically in a hospitality setting hotel mattresses are much more likely to be flipped and rotated than in a home setting.

One Sided Mattress

One sided mattresses are by no means inherently bad.  Many one sided mattress can stay body impression free and hold up through years of use. In order to get the same life expectancy out of a one sided hotel mattress vs. two sided hotel mattress the mattress must be manufactured with much higher quality components.  If the comfort layers of a mattress are absorbing 100% of the pressure 100% of the time those comfort layers need to be of the highest quality.  High quality comfort foam layers that can remain resilient night after night and year after year cost more.  In the hospitality industry where bed bugs, mattress stains, and customer abuse can lead to hotel mattresses being thrown out before their used up, cost is an important consideration.

For example, if a hotel bought a 15” thick plush two sided pillow top mattress with a life expectancy of 10 years for $500. Then that same hotel should expect to pay about $600-650 for a similar feeling 15” thick one sided pillow top with a 10 year life expectancy.

The reason most two sided hotel mattresses last longer is because, in an effort to keep costs down, most mattress manufactures use the same quality components in both two sided and one sided mattresses. When manufactures made the switch form producing mostly two sided mattresses to mostly one sided mattresses they never increased the quality of their comfort foam layers.  One sided mattresses are not necessarily cheaper to make so in order to keep price points at the same spots manufactures just kept using the same foam as before. That same foam when slept on only half the time lasted but if it was slept on all of the time it didn’t.  

Like most things, there are positives and negatives to both one sided hotel mattresses vs. two sided hotel mattresses.  The same answer and solution will not work for every hotel, motel, lodge, camp, and retreat center. Make sure to contact several professionals and get expert advice before making your big hotel mattress purchase.


Frank Martin
Frank Martin

How long should an institutional mattress last?

I often get questions about how long "should" last, or more specifically how long my waterproof institutional mattresses will last. This is a very tricky question because it depends on a few different factors. For example, how is the mattress being used? Are there adults sleeping on the mattress or kids? Is it a dormitory mattress setting? Is the mattress being used for more than just sleeping?


Who is sleeping on the institutional mattress?

The biggest factor for determining the longevity of an institutional mattress is the size of a person using the mattress. The bigger the person the more strain being put on the foam, padding, fabric, and innerspring. Smaller people, like youths, put less weight on a mattress night after night and therefore less strain on all of the mattress components. Less strain on mattress components will equate to a longer mattress lifespan. Youth institutional mattresses usually need to be replaced less frequently than mattress for adult facilities.


How is the institutional mattress being used?

Institutional mattresses get used in a variety of ways that are not exactly their intended use. For example, when I was in college we would often take our mattress and push them down flights of stairs with fellow students riding on top.  This was definitely mattress abuse and without a doubt shortened the usable lifespan of my college dorm mattress.

There are other ways that institutional mattresses get used that are not quite so extreme but do contribute to a shorter lifespan. More specifically, institutional mattresses get used as a couch, chair or lounging space quite frequently. If any mattress, including institutional mattresses, are used like furniture their lifespan will suffer.  For example, sitting on the edge of a mattress is the single biggest reasons mattress start to "look" saggy.  Activities like sitting in bed while watching TV or reading putts most of the user’s body weight on one relatively small spot. All that weight in the same spot night after night can lead to a failure.

In conclusion institutional mattress lifespan depends greatly on how the mattress is used and who is sleeping on it.


Frank Martin
Frank Martin

Foam Mattress Vs. Innerspring Mattress

Institutional and Dormitory Mattress with Waterproof Covers: Foam Mattress vs. Innerspring Mattress


The information here is geared toward decision makers in student housing, group homes, transitional housing, camps, detox and rehab facilities.

People always ask “should I buy a foam core mattress or an innerspring mattress for my facility?”  The answer to this question has to do with six different considerations.

Who is sleeping on the mattress?

Typically adults want to sleep on an innerspring mattress and innerspring mattresses are usually the best sleeping option for them.  Adult sized people will also wear out a foam core mattress much faster than children (this depends on the quality of foam in the foam core). 


How often will the mattress be slept on?


If the mattress is going to be slept on for more than a few nights at a time, by an adult, innerspring mattresses are the best option.


Safety: will people be sleeping on the mattresses that are not allowed to have sharp objects?


Mattress innersprings are made out of steel and with some considerable effort can be dismantled enough to make a sharp object.  Tearing apart a mattress and yanking out a coil is not easy but it can be done.  If your facility is working with clients or residents that are a danger to themselves or others foam mattresses are a great option.


Does the mattress need to be moved carried or lifted often?


Innerspring mattresses are heavier than foam mattresses and do not bend.  If a mattress in your facility will be moved often or needs to be stored in a closet than a foam mattress will work best.


What size mattress is needed?


Foam core mattresses can be manufactured in a wider variety of sizes than innerspring mattresses. If an odd or nonstandard size is needed, foam mattresses are probably the best option.


Mattress Shipping Costs?


Foam mattresses weigh less than innerspring mattresses. One of the two main factors for calculating shipping costs is weight.  If you’re on a budget, foam mattresses may be a good pick.

Hopefully this helps to make the decision about foam mattress vs. innerspring mattresses a little easier.


Frank Martin
Frank Martin

Vinyl Mattress vs. Nylon Mattress

When deciding what kind of mattress to buy for a dormitory or transitional housing type of facility one of the first decisions that must be made is – vinyl or nylon? Both vinyl mattress and nylon mattress fabrics have positives and negatives. The information here in this article will hopefully make the decision process a little easier. Both vinyl covered and nylon covered mattresses are very well suited to be used in situations where multiple people might sleep on the mattress over the course of its life. Both vinyl and nylon fluid proof fabrics are usually very heavy duty and will hold up to the rigors of non-traditional use and, almost daily cleanings.


Nylon Mattress


Nylon fabrics are not 100% waterproof without a little help. Nylon is a woven fabric and therefore has little interstices that water can soak through. Most nylon fabrics are treated on the top and have a laminated backing that makes it impermeable to fluids. The top side treatment to nylon helps any fluids bead up and roll off the fabric. One major drawback to nylon is that that it’s a woven fabric and if a fluid is not allow to roll off (for example: if someone is sleeping on its surface) the fluid will eventually soak in. This is why all nylon mattress fabrics have some kind of fluid proof backing. It prevents soaked in liquids from getting through to the padding. Once the fluid soaks into the nylon “clean up” becomes more difficult. It usually involves soaking and scrubbing, and in some cases a mild detergent might not be enough.

Though nylon fabric mattresses may require more effort to keep clean and might not ever be 100% bacteria free they do have a few benefits. Nylon fabrics usually have a softer and slightly stretchy feel because of their woven construction. This translates in to a slightly softer sleeping surface. Also, nylon tends to take a little longer to reach maximum body heat reflection. The woven nature of the fabric helps insulate a sleeper from their own body heat being reflected back instantly. A sleeper may not experience total heat reflection from the impermeable barrier beneath the nylon for 1-2 minutes.

Vinyl Mattress

Vinyl fabric mattresses are not a woven fabric so the very top layer is 100% fluid proof. No amount of fluid can soak into any of the fabric. This is a great benefit for any situation where the mattress needs to be cleaned between users or after spillages. A fluid could sit on top of this fabric for hours and never soak in. This makes cleanup very simple. Just dry and wipe down with mild soap and rinse well. The mattress will dry immediately and be ready for use. Vinyl fabrics can even be disinfected with a bleach solution to create an antibacterial sleeping surface.

Vinyl mattress fabrics do tend to be a little stiffer and reflect body heat faster than nylon fabrics. These are marginal characteristics that most sleepers can’t notice in real life situations.

In conclusion, woven vs. non-woven, is the main difference between vinyl mattress and nylon mattress fabrics. Vinyl fabrics are easier to clean and dry instantly because of it’s a non-woven structure. Nylon has a little extra stretch and is a touch softer because it is a woven structure. As with most things in life there are tradeoffs, good and bad.

Which mattress fabric to use? This is a question that has to do with the mattresses application.

  • Will the mattress have frequent different users?

  • If fluid gets on the mattress how quickly will it be dealt with?

  • Who is sleeping on the mattress?

  • Does the mattress need to be disinfected?


Why use vinyl mattresses?

• Easiest to clean

• 100% fluid proof

• Easily disinfected

• Instantly dry – no fluid absorption

• Firmer



Why use nylon mattresses?

• Easy to clean

• 100% fluid proof

• Dries quickly – some fluid absorption

• Firm