Waterbeds were a popular bedroom fad during the 70’s and 80’s, but today they are not as common. Many people do not even know they still exist. Back in the day people likely think of the older style water beds where it was a sturdy wood bed that contains the water blatter and makes it hold its form. There are more styles of water beds than that kind these days.
A waterbed, also known as a flotation mattress, is a vinyl mattress filled with water. Waterbeds consist of water tubes called bladders and are either one large bag or a group of tiny tubes. Modern-day waterbeds support themselves, eliminating the need for a separate frame. Some waterbeds have temperature-control devices to make the water warm so that you can stay warm at night.
Waterbed buyers can also choose between free-flow, semi-waveless, and waveless designs. Free-flow beds produce dramatic undulations at the surface, resulting in a wave-like sensation that many sleepers enjoy; others, on the other hand, dislike the sensation and many feel seasick as a result. Semi-waveless beds have more subtle undulations, resulting in a more balanced sensation, while most waveless waterbeds live up to their name and do not produce any undulations whatsoever.
Types of waterbeds
Few varieties of waterbeds are available in the market, but waterbeds broadly come in two main categories, hardside and softside.
1. Softside Waterbed
A Softside waterbed maintains its shape with foam bolsters and a fabric casing covers these foam bolsters with a padded top. The foam frames present a level surface and more comfortable side support compared to wood frames. They are thinner yet last longer than the traditional hardside waterbed.
2. Hardside Waterbed
A hard-side waterbed holds its shape with an external wooden frame. Traditionally, hard-side waterbeds are rectangular wooden boxes with a vinyl bladder inserted in them. Fabric is coated over the vinyl shell to give it padding. Hardside waterbed frames come in unique sizes making it difficult to find accessorize them. They also come with a waterbed headboard and footboard, eliminating the need to buy one.
Benefits of Waterbeds
- Perhaps one of the biggest benefits to Waterbeds is that they remove pressure from the spine and can provide relief to those with back pain. With no coils or springy foam pushing back on your body you will find waterbeds can have great pressure relief.
- Second, I would say is this great feature. Firmness can be adjusted by adding or removing water so you should be able to find a firmness that works well with your body.
- It is easy to clean a (old style) waterbed and the dust particles can be wiped away periodically with a cloth and vinyl cleaner.
- Regular cleaning of the waterbed eliminates the chances of dust mites in the bed.
Cons of waterbeds
- Depending on the climate: the water inside of a waterbed needs to be heated (mostly just the old style), which increases the maintenance cost.
- Moving about on a waterbed is difficult compared to a regular bed as there is little bounce.
- Waterbeds may occasionally leak.
- Emptying, repairing, refilling, and reheating the bed can be an inconvenience.
- Waterbeds are heavy and are difficult to transport from one place to another.
- Older water beds can be hazardous on upper level rooms as they are very heavy when filled.
Below are my Favorite WaterBed options today:
Best Hardside Waterbed (for use inside wood frame)
RMR Readers will get the best price with the link below
This is a hardside waterbed. These will require a wood frame. Many people still have old wood frames from the 70’s-90’s since they were built very well. If that is the case for you, you can replace the old blatters with one of these more modern blatters with all the tools needed to fill and drain. This is a good and inexpensive way to continue using an older bedframe but replacing the old blatter that could be at a higher risk of leaking.
Highlights of this trundle:
- 4 Year Full, 11 Year Prorated Warranty
- Highest Quality Heavy Duty Vinyl
- Approximately 95% Motion Reduction made to fit a traditional wood frame waterbed
- Generously Cut Virgin Vinyl for Contoured Support
- 4 Layer Wave Reduction System
Specs & other information:
|Item Weight||40 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||84 x 60 x 9 inches|
Best Softside Waterbed
RMR Readers will get the BEST price the Link Below
This type of waterbed does not require a wood bed to contain the blatter. This is the more modern day waterbed and can be used on any type of bedframe which is why this type is preferred today.
This model comes with a heater as well which is a great benefit for those who often sleep cold. This model also allos you to be 95% waveless or 100% waveless.
Highlights of this daybed trundle:
- Very Luxurious and Super Comfortable
- Comes with a Luxurious Bamboo Pillow Top
- Your choice 95% or 100% Waveless -Full Wave is also available
- Adjustable Digital Heating System
- Also you will receive an electric pump w/ Hose Adapters
Specs & other information:
|Item Weight||120 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||80 x 60 x 9 inches|
How Do Waterbeds Feel?
Waterbeds may be free-flow, semi-waveless, or waveless.
Free-flow waterbeds are ideal for people who essentially want the feel of sleeping on water. Some find the waves therapeutic and helpful for sleep onset. Because free-flow waterbeds are typically hardside models with thin covers, sleepers also feel the water very closely. This type of waterbed will not have good motion isolation. So if you or your partner move or adjust positions you will feel the movement of the water.
Semi-waveless waterbeds offer a good balance of the wave sensation of waterbeds and a standard mattress surface. Sleepers typically have some separation from the water since these models generally have a layer of quilted foam and comfort foams above the water blatters, which can benefit those who enjoy that sensation of water but also the combination of water and foam feel. Semi-waveless waterbeds also isolate more motion than free-flow models, though sleepers may notice some slight motion transfer when their partner moves it will be much less than a free-flow model.
Sleepers will find this type of waterbed to be more similar to a traditional mattress.
One perk to either model is the ability to add or remove water to increase of decrease the firmness.
Main things to consider when buying a waterbed?
One of the main things to consider when buying a waterbed is where does it need to go and will you be staying there for a while?
Waterbeds can be a pain to move considering they need to be drained and refilled.
- Closeness to a sink or drain: you will need to be somewhat close to a sink to fill and drain your waterbed.
- If you are renting and plan to move in a year or two I would not get a waterbed since it will be a lot of work to drain and fill.
- Rentals: many rental properties do not allow waterbeds because of the risk of leaking as well as weight. The older hardside waterbeds can be very heavy and cause a risk on upper level rooms.