Monthly Archives: April 2016

Two Sided vs. One Sided Mattresses

I remember watching my grandparents flip their full size mattress over periodically. Then my grandmother would carefully vacuum their mattress while the curtains in their bedroom swayed in the breeze. “It’s good to let the fresh air in when you can,” she’d holler over the sound of the vacuum. Most mattresses today are not meant to be flipped over. I’m not sure what my grandparents would think about this, but I know many of my customers are disappointed when they realize none of the major bedding manufacturers make two sided mattresses anymore. The one sided mattress has been the standard since the early 2000’s.

“It’s like you’re getting only half a mattress,” an unhappy customer said of the trend.

Why No More Two Sided Mattresses?

New Flammability Standards

Why did bedding manufacturers like Simmons, Sealy, and Serta start making all their mattresses one sided? It really all came down to a change in the federal flammability standard issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that took effect in July, 2007. This flammability standard was specifically aimed at mattresses and foundations, but also crib mattresses and futons. Prior to this regulation, a mattress was a massive source of fuel in a house fire, due to its large size and the fact that most of the foams inside are made of petroleum. Within three to ten minutes, the whole mattress is engulfed in flames, creating massive heat and smoke, hampering rescue efforts and endangering the lives of the home’s occupants and firefighters.

With the new flammability standard, mattress companies were required to use flame retardants, and those worked incredibly well. Rather than burst into flames, a mattress smolders, allowing occupants to get out of harm’s way. (Of course, there are folks who argue about the safety of the flame retardants, but that’s a discussion for some other time!)

Mattress Manufacturing Changes

Starting in July, 2007, mattress manufacturers must send each new mattress in their lineup to a testing lab for compliance with this regulation. At the lab, each mattress set gets placed mattress on top of foundation. It must pass a flammability test before the set is sold in the US. All this testing was and is costly for bedding manufacturers, and they did not believe consumers would willingly pay for flame retardants in their bedding, an advantage that customers can’t see and can’t feel. Additionally, if bedding had two sides, both sides had to have flame retardant material in it, and both sides had to be tested. This required two sets of bedding for testing.

And so it was in the early 2000’s, that the one sided mattress took over the mattress industry. This helped keep the costs of the required flame retardants from affecting consumers, even if consumers didn’t know it.

Are Two Sided Mattresses Better?

No, not really. We sell some two sided mattresses by Jamison Bedding. If you want to be able to flip your mattress, you can. If you have a two sided mattress, you must flip it to keep it in good shape. Plenty of owners of two sided beds never flipped them anyway, and that’s why one sided mattresses made sense to begin with, notwithstanding the flammability issue.

The design for the one sided mattress was studied and well-thought out, at least by the larger manufacturers like Serta. They used (and still use) a sturdy base foam at the bottom, topped with coils, and then pre-compressed foams on top. We always recommend rotating your mattress from head to foot frequently, at least with the seasons.

Those who really believe they need a two sided mattress have a one sided pillow top. Pillow tops are the worst to show body impressions. In fact, mattress manufacturers have not been able to make a pillow top that won’t get body impressions. Even if those pillow tops magically grew a second side,  body impressions develop after a night or two on that second side.



How to Add Full Headboard to Queen Frame

Add Full Headboard to Queen Frame

To add full headboard to queen frame: First, determine whether you have a hook-on headboard or a bolt-on headboard.


Below, you’ll see a picture of a typical hook-on bed rail and headboard. (And by the way, you could use these products to add a queen headboard to a full bed frame as well!)

Add full headboard to queen frame. A detailed view of a hook-on bed rail and hook-on headboard.
A detailed view of a hook-on bed rail and hook-on headboard.


The other common type of attachment is bolt-on. Bolt-on bed rails and frames attach using long bolts or screws through metal plates. You can learn more about both types of connections on our bed frame vocabulary page.

Add full headboard to queen frame. Mod Adapt Plates
Mod Adapt Plates on Bed Frame


If you have a great full size headboard and want to attach it to a queen size bed frame, we have some great headboard hardware to help you do this.

If your headboard is bolt-on, you only need Mod-Adapt Headboard Plates. This nifty bed frame hardware makes it easy to bridge the distance between your full size headboard and your queen size bed frame headboard brackets. Our website shows a video of how easy it is to install mod plates.

Add full headboard to queen frame - Bed Hook Adapter
Bed Hook Adapter # 711 attached to Bed Frame

Queen bed frames nearly always come with bolt-on headboard attachments. This makes it easy to attach today’s decorative metal and wood headboards, but it makes it very hard (well, nearly impossible!) to attach a hook-on headboard. If your headboard is a hook-on style, you will need the Mod-Adapt Plate to bridge the distance between the full to queen width, and you’ll also need a set of Bed Hook Adapters. Bed Hook Adapters are a wonderful little piece of bed frame hardware that turn a standard bolt-on bed frame into a hook-on bed frame! The video below shows the two headboard adapters being used together.

Difference between a box spring and a foundation

Box Spring

Coil Box SpringBox springs like the one at left are rare today. Bedding manufacturers opt for less expensive wood foundation or steel foundations, though some suppliers still offer the old fashioned coil box springs as an option. It is not a requirement for today’s bedding, however, to have a coiled box spring, because today’s bedding offers so much more plushness than bedding of old. The old coil box springs provided additional “give” to old fashioned mattresses, offered in firm, firmer, or firmest.

What We Offer – Steel Foundations & Wood

In our store, we offer most mattress sets with a steel foundation. We call them box springs or foundations; using both words interchangeably. Our less expensive mattress sets come with wood foundations. The support is often just fine. The problem is in the construction. Wood foundations are made with wood slats to create a stable base for your mattress. The wood slats are covered with cardboard, and the cardboard is covered with fabric so it looks just like a box spring or steel foundation. Over time, the cardboard tends to squeak, and the wood weakens. There is nothing more annoying than rolling over in the bed awakening to the sound of a squeaky foundation.Steel Foundation

That’s why, when we have the choice, we always provide our customers with steel foundations, like the one at right. Steel foundations have a wood base, with a heavy gauge steel grid designed to support your mattress properly. Steel foundations are generally stronger and less likely to crack and squeak than wood foundations.

When given the choice, choose a steel foundation. Inexpensive bedding often only comes with a wood foundation. If the set is for a guest room or a child, that may be okay. For a good, quiet night’s rest, the steel foundation is the way to go.

Mattress Sizes

Mattress Sizes
The most common mattress sizes are twin, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. Sometimes twin size is called a half bed. Full size is often referred to as double or standard size. Listed below are the most common bedding sizes (and some uncommon ones!). These sizes are approximate – each manufacturer has its own specs and sizes may vary slightly.

Twin Bed Dimensions:  38″ W X 75″ L

Other than a crib mattress, the twin size mattress is the smallest mattress available. A twin size bed is a good size bed for one child or one small adult.

Twin Extra Long (XL) Bed Dimensions: 38″ W X 80″ L

Twin XL Size mattresses are often used in college dorms, because they are a good size for one adult. They are longer than regular twin size mattresses to allow for the extra height of adults. Twin XL mattresses are also often used on adjustable beds.

3/4 Bed Dimensions: 48″ W X 75″ L

3/4 Beds (Three-quarter beds) are not manufactured today, but they were once a common bed size. You can find 3/4 beds in antique shops around the country. While larger bedding manufacturers do not make this mattress size, many small and independent bedding suppliers custom make this size. We do not not recommended 3/4 beds for couples, because of the small size. We recommend this size only for one adult or one child.

Full Bed Dimensions: 53″ W X 75″ L

Full size beds, also known as double or standard size are a good choice for children. While for many years, full size was the choice for many happy couples, it is hard to see how a couple got a truly good night’s rest on a full size bed. On a full size bed, each person only has 27 inches of space – that’s less than a crib! We recommend queen or king size for couples.

Full Extra Long Bed Dimensions: 53″ W X 80″ L

Full XL size is a usually a special order mattress, but it is a good size if you have less width in your bedroom. The 53″ width makes full extra long an unappealing bed size for couples, the extra length makes this a good choice for taller children who may have a smaller bedroom.

Queen Size Bed Dimensions: 60″ W X 80″ L

Queen size is the most popular size for couples. It has about 5 or 6 extra inches of width, compared with the full size mattress, and 5 more inches in length. Couples who like to snuggle find this size more appealing than the king size. Queen size is also a good size for guest rooms.

King Bed Dimensions: 76″ W X 80″ L

Over the years, king size has become a very popular option. Each person has his or her own sleeping space. There is generally less partner disturbance and both get a better night’s sleep. If you have pets or children who often climb in the bed with you, you’ll love the extra space of a king size bed. Sometimes, this size is called Eastern king.

California King Bed Dimensions: 72″ W X 84″ L

California king size is a good choice for taller people, because it is the longest of the standard bed sizes available. There is ample room in a California king size bed for two adults, and a pet or two. Maybe even a child! The most confused bed sizes are king and California king sizes. Customers often believe California king is much larger than king size, and they often believe their bed is larger than it really is! California king is narrower and longer, but not really bigger than Eastern king. When someone orders a California king size bed frame or bed support from our website, and they are not in California, we always call them to confirm the size. If a local customer in North Carolina wants a California king mattress, we ask them to measure twice because it is quite rare to have a California king size!