Jump to content

Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

- - - - -

What ever happened to waterbeds?

  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
55 replies to this topic

#41 of 56 OFFLINE   Ryan Wright

Ryan Wright


  • 1,877 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 30 2000

Posted April 08 2003 - 10:28 AM

So I've been doing research on water vs air beds... I emailed a large number of bedding outlets on the net and have received over a dozen responses thus far. The conclusion? There isn't one. Nobody agrees on anything. I focused on outlets that sold primarily water & air beds (no traditional mattresses). Some insist that waterbeds are really good for your back and airbeds are horrible. Others are the opposite. I think this is really going to boil down to personal comfort here. For everyone who says a waterbed hurt their back, there's someone else who says they solved their back problems. We're just going to have to lay down on a few of these beds and decide for ourselves.

#42 of 56 OFFLINE   videoguy



  • 1 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 04 2009

Posted June 04 2009 - 08:48 PM

I happen top know a bit more than I should about this topic, so I'm going to share as my first post...

Waterbeds were totally hot stuff in the 80's, and even before. The industry quickly grew a bad reputation for itself however by racing to the bottom. More and more manufacturers began making their beds cheaper and cheaper until people were bringing home beds made from thin plastic that sprung leaks, stretched out, did not provide proper support, and did not relieve pressure as well as they should. Today's waterbeds are very different, and come in 2 MAIN categories, with a couple sub categories.

The first category is the classic HARD SIDE waterbed. These are what you probably remember. A big wooden frame, with a giant sack of water in the middle. These come in everything from what is know as "free flow" meaning it has lots of waves, and if you jump on one side throw your partner out of the bed, all the way to motionless...where you can feel the water, but your partner doesn't feel you getting in and out of bed all that much.

The second category are the newer types of beds referred to as SOFT SIDE waterbeds. These beds LOOK like a normal mattress. They sit on a type of strong box spring on a regular bed frame, but have a fluid support. The can have very little quilting on top, or they can have a pillow top made from different material and in different thicknesses. The softside waterbed addressed all the issues people had with hardside beds including lack of support, looks, and ease of getting in and out of bed.

The subcategories would be for Softside Waterbeds, and they are "Mid Fill" and "Deep Fill" Most softside waterbeds are midfill, meaning there is less water in them. True waterbed enthusiasts, generally prefer url=http://www.restonclouds.com/memory_foam_mattresses/prod/water_bed_perfection_deep_fill.php]DEEP FILL waterbeds[/url] since they provide a truer floatation support. Most people just looking for a nice mattress are perfectly happy with midfill beds.

waterPosted Image

Yes, a lot of people with water beds are excited to try switching to air, but I would estimate that 80% or more of the people who currently have a waterbed, and switch to air end up very unhappy. The reason is this - Water, being dense, holds your body in true, almost pressure free floatation, meaning pressure points on your body are eliminated. Air beds simply give the illusion of changing pressure, but what they are actually changing is body alignment and support. No matter how low or high you set the pressure on your air bed, when you lay down on it, the SAME AMOUNT of pressure is exerted against your body. Memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses are the only beds that come close to the pressure relief provided by waterbeds.

I a nut shell - If you have water and like it - don't change. Just because you saw a cute commercial on TV making Sleep Number look like the best mattress in the world...stay with what you've got. There is an 80% chance you'll HATE and air bed. If you're thinking about an air bed like Sleep Number, or any of the many knock offs, consider what I've said and think about fluid support instead. PLUS YOU CAN HAVE WHATEVER TEMPERATURE YOU WANT IN THE BED!

Back problemsPosted Image

Sounds like I think waterbeds are the best thing ever, huh? Well they're pretty great, but if you sleep on your stomach FORGET waterbeds! Waterbeds are mostly for people who sleep on their back. When you sleep on your stomach on MOST waterbeds, it's like sleeping in a hammock face down. You put excess pressure on your lower back. If you sleep on your back, however, the waterbed will keep you in perfect alignment. Now that said, half of the people that sleep on their stomach WOULD sleep on their back if they had a waterbed. Many people sleep on their stomach because of pressure points when they lie on the back. Since the pressure is eliminated with waterbeds, those people can sleep comfortably on their back.

Fact is, if you sleep on your back, a waterbed is a GREAT OPTION.

There is one other, newer technology to consider as well. It's a mattress called the Perfect Harmony. It's a hybrid bed that is a cross between a waterbed and a memory foam mattress. It provides a firm support, but with wonderful pressure relief. I think it's possible the worlds best mattress.

The reason I link to the same store is because I know the people there, and I know their stuff is good, but there are a lot of online shops that sell waterbeds still.

OK- now that all of that's done, be sure to check out my Theatre Room/Bar/Nightclub on youtube. Posted Image

#43 of 56 OFFLINE   BCBG



  • 1 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 15 2010

Posted November 16 2010 - 02:47 AM

I have a waterbed, and I also decided to buy it because it losts a long time (my parents have been using it for 25 years already!!!) My bed is made in Germany, I bought it in an e-shop, because it was cheaper and very stylish. And what's more, it has German quality! So I advise you to search in the Internet an European company and buy a waterbed there. My choice was Waterdream Wasserbetten

#44 of 56 OFFLINE   Steve Berger

Steve Berger

    Supporting Actor

  • 969 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 08 2001

Posted November 16 2010 - 05:55 AM

I've been using one since the 70's. A friend had broken his back in the military and they gave him a medical prescription for one. They had no heaters or even frames back then.   If you sleep on your back or front, or engage in "bed sports" then a conventional mattress is possibly equal or better.   If you sleep on your side like I do, then I think a waterbed is the best choice - long term. I cannot see "foam" lasting 20 years. Latex has a limited lifespan.

#45 of 56 OFFLINE   Martino


    Supporting Actor

  • 725 posts
  • Join Date: May 05 1999
  • Real Name:Martin O.
  • LocationSanta Clara, CA

Posted November 16 2010 - 01:57 PM

I might have some insight into the waterbed/air bed debate.  I had an old waterbed, a newer model, and I now have an air bed (but don’t like it as much.)        I bought a California king waterbed in college – with the old style mattress.  I have a problem with my back for years and sleep on my side.  The back problems got a little better after switching to the waterbed.  After I got a job and moved, the mattress was getting old and brittle.  I ended up keeping the frame and getting a new “wave less” mattress.  This was even more comfortable.  The best part for me is that the bed was always warm when you got into it.  After I got married, my wife, who likes to sleep on her stomach, didn’t like the bed.  We ended up getting one of the dual air mattress and donated the waterbed to some friends of hers who worked at a monastery.        I miss having the water bed and have been having many issues with the air bed.….it takes a while to find your correct sleep number.  When we first got the mattress, I set the number too high and had a back ache for a week.  My wife’s side seems to have a small leak and is always going down.  You pick up the controller, and the number shows up as the same, but if you try to change the number, the actual and much lower number shows up in the window.  She is always messing around with the settings.  It can also be a pain to keep sheets on the thing – as it has two hoses that come out in the middle of the top of the bed that the sheets will not go around.  Her side of the bed has an indentation in it and is lower than my side – probably do to the different firmness setting or that her side is just messed up.

#46 of 56 OFFLINE   mattCR


    Executive Producer

  • 10,400 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 05 2005
  • Real Name:Matt
  • LocationOverland Park, KS

Posted November 16 2010 - 02:32 PM

I'll sound like an bad person here, but I loved my waterbed.  I can sleep on almost anything, and often enjoy sleeping just straight up on a floor (seriously) for the firmness.  And, no joke, I do find sleeping on flat slab, or flat wood flooring to be the best (for me).   I wake up in the morning and feel like I need to jump up and just go.  But, I miss my waterbeds.  The one thing I did love about them was the ability to crank the heat way up.  I remember nights in college I'd set the waterbed up to 75 or 80, and just damn near turn the heat off in the apartment, lay in bed and sweat like a banshee, get up and leave.  I saved a crap load on utility bills those winters; I remember one January paying $44 in electric and thinking I had really worked a trick.. (I am not -that- old, it was a 1 bedroom apartment).   But I did really love that. I love my wife, but I think after about 5 years of being married, we started sleeping seperate; because despite bed sizes, nothing solves getting kicked in the freaking back at 3AM.  :)  Despite all of the relationship gurus who tend to pretend it dooms a marriage, I will tell you waking up rested cuts down a whole hell of a lot of potential frustration for the day, and not having to crawl over someone to go to the bathroom at 3AM?  Priceless.  She has a queen Sterns and Foster - which is a decent mattress, but it's way too "mushy".  I've tried "sleep comfort" beds, but there really isn't anything to them that I really like, they can't get firm enough and they always have to frill it up.  So, I redid our other room with Bamboo flooring, installed radiant heating, and I have been in heaven.   My wife loves the soft type nature of the Sterns and Foster, but I would trade almost nothing for radiant heat and the flat firm bamboo.  It allows me to keep the room exactly as I want, I don't have to worry about floor space, and with newer timers, the floor 'stays warm' until about 1am, cools off, then starts to warm up right before I get up.  In years, I have never slept as well, or felt as good getting up.     We joke about it sometimes, when my wife tells a friend "Oh, he sleeps on the floor" and we laugh, but damn straight.. getting that setup took me about a month and a half to get it all installed the way I wanted, but flat out awesome.   It doesn't get as hot as I wish it would (the best I can reliably get is about 75 without feeling like something may be wrong)  but I'll work on that.   See: we all just have different sleeping styles.

Ask Me about HTPC! (Threads in HTPC / PMs always responded to)

This signature is povided by MediaBrowser 3 Trakt Plugin: Media Browser 3

#47 of 56 OFFLINE   Scott McGillivray

Scott McGillivray

    Supporting Actor

  • 852 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 20 1999

Posted November 16 2010 - 03:49 PM

Yeah, waterbeds were a huge fad in the city where I grew up.  We wound up having 4 waterbeds in our house at one time.  I enjoyed it (as far as I remember) but I had to get rid of mine because of an acid-reflux issue.  Turns out, with a waterbed you tend to sleep a little bit skewed towards your head since your upper body weighs more.  So, at night, the acids from my stomach were trickling up my esophagus and I wound up having some real issues.  Still, waterbeds were pretty cool at the time.  I just remember SO many waterbed stores opening up in our little city.  It was amazing. 
Scott A. McGillivray
Vancouver, B.C.

Struggling Actor and Movie Nut!
(Check out my profile on IMDB!)http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1425496/

#48 of 56 OFFLINE   Steve_Tk



  • 2,833 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 30 2002

Posted November 18 2010 - 08:05 AM

I can't imagine how some of you share a bed with someone on a full size bed!  I'm a thin guy, but when the time comes to actually stretch out and go to sleep, I need my space.  Even a Queen is not enough, I really need a king. 

#49 of 56 OFFLINE   DaveF



  • 16,321 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted November 20 2010 - 04:52 PM

You're asking about "needs" on the Home Theater Forum ?!? Posted Image

I'm 6' and my feet hang off the end of a twin (and a full is the same length). My new bed is a Queen size, and it's almost too short. But it's far wider than what I really want.

As a single guy, my ideal bed would be one-and-a-half times as wide as a twin, and a bit longer than a Queen.

Always funny to find my own posts from different phases of life. Then, I was single and sharing an apartment. Now, I'm married and in a house. That too-wide Queen bed is great now that I'm married. And now that we've got a pair of cats that want to lounge there too, it's maybe too small :)



But I still have no waterbed. Probably not a good thing with cats. ;)

#50 of 56 OFFLINE   Marianne


    Supporting Actor

  • 855 posts
  • Join Date: May 18 2000

Posted November 22 2010 - 10:53 AM


#51 of 56 OFFLINE   Scott Burke

Scott Burke

    Second Unit

  • 458 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 27 2000
  • Real Name:Scott B.
  • LocationUnited States

Posted March 12 2014 - 08:01 PM

I have had a waterbed since elementary school and love it. I have never had back problems for it. In fact, my back only hurts when I try to sleep on something else. I like the free flow the best. I tried other waveless options but didn't like them. LOVE MY WATERBED!

#52 of 56 OFFLINE   annapolitan



  • 1 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 27 2014
  • Real Name:Steve

Posted December 27 2014 - 08:59 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!

Ryan -

My wife and I have had a waterbed for over 20 years, without any problems.  It is not a single bladder, but seven tubes that sit side-by-side and run the length of the bed.,  The tubes are filled separately and all sit inside the large plastic liner.  The tubes are great, because we keep the center one the fullest, to keep us from rolling into each other, and then you can adjust the firmness of your side by how you fill the three tubes on your half fo the bed.  I completely refute - from my own experience - that waterbeds are bad for your back - at least this type.  I think it's fantastic for my back!  Also with the tubes, I can move around on my side and it doesn't create a "wave" over to her side.  And yes, air and water work in similar ways.  My 84-year-old mom came to visit recently and we had her sleep on the water bed and we slept in a spare bedroom, and she siad it was the best night's sleep she's had in years!  So I was going to try to find a similar waterbed for her ... and seems nobody makes them anymore.  Let me know if you find anyone still making them - especially with the cylinders.

#53 of 56 OFFLINE   andySu



  • 2,669 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 07 2006

Posted December 27 2014 - 11:46 PM

Always funny to find my own posts from different phases of life. Then, I was single and sharing an apartment. Now, I'm married and in a house. That too-wide Queen bed is great now that I'm married. And now that we've got a pair of cats that want to lounge there too, it's maybe too small :)But I still have no waterbed. Probably not a good thing with cats. ;)

#54 of 56 OFFLINE   schan1269


    HTF Expert

  • 16,735 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 2012
  • Real Name:Sam
  • LocationChicago-ish/NW Indiana

Posted December 28 2014 - 01:02 AM

I miss my waterbed. I don't even remember why I got rid of it. I've always slept on large beds. My parents gave me their King when they got a California. Then when I moved out into apartments in college (1990)...I got a waterbed. Still King.Right now I sleep on a Stearns & Foster Silver Series. Nobody stocks sheets for this thing. No joke, 20" deep. Currently have 1000tc Turkish* cotton sheets.My girlfriend nicknamed the bed "instant coma"...(in a scene from Californication...she punched me once...cause I was falling asleep...)*Turkish sheets are great for people who "sleep" hot...

#55 of 56 OFFLINE   Gary Seven

Gary Seven

    Grand Poo Pah

  • 1,535 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 15 2003
  • Real Name:Gaston
  • LocationLake Worth, Florida

Posted January 05 2015 - 12:06 PM

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!


Water displaces and provides very little firmness.  The air mattress has far less displacement and can be made to be much firmer by adding more air.  Water mattress does not share that same level of firmness  when you add water.

#56 of 56 OFFLINE   bobinphx



  • 1 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 28 2015
  • Real Name:bob

Posted February 28 2015 - 06:17 PM

I would like to add my little waterbed / bed story.


1977, I was 17, had a great job (200 bucks a week!!! ) and was living at home. I was tired of the bunk beds that Mom and Dad got me. I had a truck and money in my pocket. I went into a waterbed shop and bought the biggest king sized water bed they had. Huge 6 foot tall headboard, captains pedestal, 4 drawers per side and a cabinet on each side and the end (stored my snow skis there!! ).. I moved out to an apartment 2 years later. Still had that huge bed. Bought a house and move it there, got married and moved it to a new house. Got divorced and moved it again. Moved in to what to day would be a "tiny house" (700 sqft, which I loved). Met a girl who had waterbed too. Got married, sold my huge bed and used her queen sized waterbed for a few years. Then we got a soft sided waterbed (WHICH WAS TERRIBLE!!!). 15 years latter, the soft side was saggy and finally sprung a leak, the leak made mold, which we didn't find for about a month.


The wife and I sat down and talked over the options. We searched the internet, tested air beds and foam beds, nothing really felt good. We were sleeping on a single bed (from the guest house) and a trundle (from the kids room) and we were in rough shape. One night, I was researching beds and I found that in Europe waterbeds are still very common (as are latex and wool etc).. But what caught my eye was that waterbed mattresses had changed so much. Gone were the days of full motion. Gne were the days of one big bag!!! What I found what that hard side waterbeds can now use two mattresses!!! This was a revelation!!! The only reason we gave up on hard sided was the arguments about how hot and how much water to put in!!! So we started to search for dual waterbed mattresses here in the states. I found them!!! So the search began for a frame. To my surprise, hard side waterbed frames have not changed one single bit since the 1970's. And I have to add that with todays taste, wow were they ugly. As we searched and searched we could no agree on a frame. Finally, we listed out what we liked and didn't like. We like wood, but nice wood, not cheap looking pine, we like captains pedestals with drawers and we like the height. She didn't like a full huge waterbed headboard with a mirror and lights, I do like that. She wanted about 80 to 90 percent waveless and I wanted full motion. We agreed that we wanted two heaters, I wanted digital heaters!!.


We found an deal on a frame, but it had a headboard (complete with a mirror). So we bought it and I cut the headboard off and bolted up a more modern one. We put the dual mattresses in (with a thermal divider!),bought a very thin mattress pad that holds the liner and mattress, with a zip off very thin cover (to let the heat through), bought twin digital heaters and finally had a bed that looked good and was a waterbed!!!


Its been a year since we go the new bed and I can say that we both are very very happy. She has her side cooler than mine by 3 to 4 degrees, she has lumbar support and 80 percent waveless. I have full motion and run my heater about 3 to 4 degreees hotter. The split in the middle of the bed is hidden to the point, where you cant even feel it. The mattress pad is very soft, but lets the heat and motion (my side) through. When I get out of bed, I don't even wake her up and the same goes for me. When I lay down, there is no change in the softness of her side and no change on my side when she gets in. We are sleeping so well that its just amazing how much better we feel. I cant tell you how great the bed looks and how great it feels, words just cant describe the feeling. for the last 15 years I have slept on my side, I can now sleep on my side or my back, or even on my tummy, the same with my wife.


About 6 months after we go the new bed, I happened to read about something called tp116, which is a chemical treatment for beds and furniture. About that same time, some of the minor skin issues my wife had had for the last 15 years, started to clear. Coincidence??? I don't know. I do know that we can now wash our mattress with a damp cloth and then machine wash the cover. And I a sleeping like I was a kid again and waking up is so much easier now!!!

Edited by bobinphx, February 28 2015 - 06:20 PM.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users