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What ever happened to waterbeds?

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55 replies to this topic

#1 of 56 OFFLINE   Ryan Wright

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Posted April 01 2003 - 10:27 AM

Waterbeds were hot stuff in the eighties. When I was a kid, my parents bought a new waterbed for themselves, and one for me. That bed lasted me a good 10 years and was still in excellent condition when I sold it at the age of 18.

What ever happened to waterbeds?

My wife and I bought a queen sized mattress about 7 years ago. It's now sagging and uncomfortable and needs to be replaced. I want a bed that will last a long time and a waterbed seems to be the way to go, because it doesn't "wear out". If it starts to sag you just put some more water in it. Posted Image Oh, and I want to upgrade. King sized, baby. The queen bed is too small.

Does anyone own a waterbed here? How do you like it? Has the waterbed industry made any advances over the past decade that I should be aware of? Any other info you can tell me??

How about waterbed problems? Anything I should be aware of? It's been awhile since I've owned one, so I'm going into this as a newbie...

Thank you!

#2 of 56 OFFLINE   Matt Gordon

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Posted April 01 2003 - 10:42 AM

Ryan, I'm still sleeping on the same one I bought in 1986. Waterbeds are getting harder and harder to find. Many people are moving from waterbeds to the "air" beds such as the well-advertised Select-Comfort. Keep us updated on what you find! Matt
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#3 of 56 OFFLINE   Chris Moe

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Posted April 01 2003 - 10:56 AM

I had a waterbed for a long time. My present bed is actually a waterbed frame with a foam matress, my room is up in an attic and the floor isn't strong enough to hold the weight of a waterbed.

I do have a great waterbed story though. My second year of college I moved into my first apartment with a couple of friends and I brought the waterbed with me. Moved in and setup the bed and started to fill it. This can take awhile so I left the room and then made the big mistake and started drinking. Well several hours later, my friends and I are all drunk when I suddenly remember about the bed. I scream "OH SHIT!!!" and run down to my room. The bag is now overfilled by about 3 feet above the frame and there is a little hole right on the top and the water is squirting out of it all the way up to the ceiling. The sides of the bed were made out of wood and the wood was bowed out about six inches in the center due to the pressure being put on them.

It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life, I really wish I had a picture of it because it was really something special to see.

After I drained out the bed, I had to patch a couple of holes in the bag, took awhile to track them all down. The bed worked fine after that though, I used it for several more years. The metal clamps that held the frame together where all bent out of shape though.

Posted Image

#4 of 56 OFFLINE   Kevin Farley

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Posted April 01 2003 - 01:37 PM

Dude, I did the same thing! It stretched out the bag and the bed never slept right since. Waterbeds aren't good for your back (very unfortunately Posted Image ) because they don't exert pressure in all directions. i.e. they don't resist your weight on the bed; the water just displaces.

Now, I have a natural latex foam mattress (unreal comfort) topped with a 3" organic cotton/wool futon. It's the most comfortable bed I've ever slept on (including 4 and 5 star hotels) but the waterbed was nice...

#5 of 56 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted April 01 2003 - 02:16 PM


Waterbeds aren't good for your back

[quote] The best current example is in About Schmidt, when Jack Nicholson tries to get up the next morning. Posted Image
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#6 of 56 OFFLINE   Scott Van Dyke

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Posted April 02 2003 - 06:11 AM

If you get a King-sized waterbed, just make sure you have the room. I'll never forget what a pain it was in some of my apartments.

#7 of 56 OFFLINE   Ryan Wright

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Posted April 02 2003 - 08:55 AM

Our bedroom is huge. No problems there.


Are waterbeds good for my back?

A waterbed provides the best support your back can get. When you lie on a flotation mattress the water displaces to contour to your shape. The bed does not sag or distort (even a decade later it remains the same). Whether you are heavy or light it automatically and immediately adjusts to provide total body support. These features combined with the low surface pressure and precise temperature control provide a superior back support system.

So, I've got a call in with my wife's chiropractor. His secretary says there are some types of waterbed mattresses that he recommends. I'll see what he says and let you know. Perhaps this back issue has changed over the years... (and I slept on a free-flow mattress for some 10 years and never had back problems - on the other hand, I was a kid at the time...)

#8 of 56 OFFLINE   John Giddens

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Posted April 02 2003 - 09:31 AM

I have a relatively new soft side water bed that I'm extremely pleased with. I got it in early '99 so I can only imagine they've improved them even more since then. The features I noticed that were new to the one I got were, separate water bladders on each side instead of one huge bladder. Inside the bladders are lot's of foam and coils. It's a pillow top water bed that looks like a regular mattress from the outside. My wife got a different firmness level on her side. There's no waves created when getting in and out of the bed, and since it's two separate bladders my movement during the night doesn't bother my wife. Here's a cut away of what some of the new ones look like.

Posted Image

The specific one I have is made by a company called Land and Sky. I couldn't tell which model though as it's been too long. Since getting this waterbed I can't stand to sleep on anything else, which makes for a less than enjoyable nights sleep when traveling.

#9 of 56 OFFLINE   Matt Gordon

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Posted April 02 2003 - 09:48 AM


Since getting this waterbed I can't stand to sleep on anything else, which makes for a less than enjoyable nights sleep when traveling.


Yes, I have the same problem!
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#10 of 56 OFFLINE   Todd_B


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Posted April 02 2003 - 10:15 AM


College. Co-eds. Drinking. Waterbed. Babyoil.

[edit: Posted Image ]

Brings back memories Posted Image

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#11 of 56 OFFLINE   Joe Szott

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Posted April 02 2003 - 12:29 PM

Todd -

I'm a little disturbed your list doesn't include "co-ed" at the end, but I don't think I want to press it.

Waterbed nightmare - Had one in the 80s during High School. Great waterbed, loved it a lot. One weekend morning a nice big gash suddenly opened in the top and I had a REAL waterbed. Had to shove the sheets/water/etc out the window and siphon off what I could. Shopvaced the floor too, took all day. Turns out the heater had been a little wacko and was slowly burning the hole in the top over a few weeks. Never thought to get another waterbed after that Posted Image

#12 of 56 OFFLINE   Jed M

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Posted April 02 2003 - 01:31 PM

Joe, the exact same thing happened to me, coincidentally in high school too. My heater melted a huge hole in my bed and I woke up with water gushing around me. My parents accused me of smoking until they saw the heater which was charred too. Lucky my house didn't light on fire, but with all that water it would have been hard. That was my last waterbed, but I had it for about 10 years and it was a great bed, I just got to the college days and it would have been too much of a hassle moving it every other year so I never replaced it.
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#13 of 56 OFFLINE   Ryan Wright

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Posted April 02 2003 - 02:01 PM


My parents accused me of smoking

Don't you just love parents?? As a teenager, I once opened the windows in my bedroom and sat by one of them. It was a beautiful day outside and my room was a bit stuffy, so I wanted some fresh air. If I recall correctly I was waiting for a phone call or something, which is why I didn't actually go outside.

So my mom comes in and flips out - obviously, I'm smoking, otherwise why would I have the windows open? Posted Image Never once have I touched cigarettes or tobacco of any sort. My own daughter is now six years old, and I'm going to remember this little incident to ensure I don't repeat it. There's nothing worse than realizing your folks think you're a deviant little troublemaker...

Oh, and thankfully, my waterbed was never punctured... I could just imagine waking up in a miniature swimming pool.

#14 of 56 OFFLINE   Ron Etaylor

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Posted April 02 2003 - 02:22 PM

I've been sleeping on the same waterbed for about 20 years now. It's baffled and foam filled so it doesn't get too sloshy. My wife loves it, but I have a lot of muscle/back soreness that I suspect comes from the bed.

#15 of 56 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted April 02 2003 - 02:53 PM

I know a lot of people (myself included) who had to give up their waterbeds due to back problems. Posted Image

#16 of 56 OFFLINE   Steve Schaffer

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Posted April 02 2003 - 03:29 PM

I had to give up mine because of my bad back, but had a regular pillow-top mattress custom made for it. It's a California King size with 2 levels of drawers underneath. It takes up most of the bedroom but I don't need a dresser becuase of those drawers. The top surface of the mattress is about 3 1/2 feet off the floor so I had to make a set of steps so my little dog could climb up on it.
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#17 of 56 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted April 02 2003 - 07:32 PM

Ah yes, the waterbed...it was over 30 years ago and I had the mattress, but had not yet built the frame. Did that slow me down? Even though I was in a second floor apartment?

Not a bit. Posted Image

I invited the new friend up to see my place. She was intrigued. The plastic held.


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#18 of 56 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted April 03 2003 - 07:56 AM

Mike: This is not a regular waterbed. A regular waterbed has waves and go's "swishswishswishswish". Notice this bed has no waves. Steve: So why didn't you just buy a regular bed? They don't have waves. Mike: This bed doesn't have waves!
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#19 of 56 OFFLINE   Ryan Wright

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Posted April 04 2003 - 10:37 AM

OK, I'm curious about this back issue. Can anyone give me more information?

My wife's chiropractor got back to us. He claims waterbeds are horrible for your back - but he highly recommends air beds. Now, what the heck is the difference? Seems to me you're sleeping on a very similar surface either way. Only difference I can see is that one is adjustable on the fly.

I took his advice and looked at the Select Comfort mattresses - almost $3k for a king sized mattress with the goodies to make it work. Posted Image No thanks!

#20 of 56 OFFLINE   Keith_R



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Posted April 04 2003 - 01:29 PM

I'm 17 now and have slept on a waterbed ever since I moved up to a real bed when I was young. I couldn't see myself sleeping on anything else. My bed has held up real good over the years. As for the back pain thing, I can't comment since I don't have back pain.

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