Ever dreamt of floating while sleeping? Well, with waterbed mattresses hitting the market, this is no longer a fantasy. Sleep has been redefined with the new water bed mattress. A survey by the National sleep foundation points that 50% of the U.S. citizens endure sleep deprivation or poor quality sleep. Bid adieu to the days when you had been restless the whole night tossing and turning on your uncomfortable mattress.
With waterbed mattress the story is entirely different; you have to forcibly pull yourself out of bed every morning. With ample sleep, you wake up fresh in the morning, brimming with energy and vigor to handle your frenzied schedule. Get the lowdown on different types of water bed mattresses, from soft side water bed mattress to water bed mattress heater.
Water bed mattress
A mattress or bed that is filled with water is termed as waterbed or water bed mattress. Waterbed mattresses are either hard-sided waterbed mattresses or soft-sided waterbed mattresses. The hard-side waterbed mattress has a water holding mattress that is enclosed in a rectangular casing wood that is in turn rested in a plywood deck which sits on a stand.
Soft-side waterbed mattress has water held in a mattress within a rectangular casing of strong foam, zippered in a fabric sheath and is placed on a stand. This mattress appears similar to that of the archetypal customary bed and usually fits with existing bed stands. Waterbeds can also be heated with waterbed heaters that use a thermostat to regulate the temperature as per individual preference. The year 1883, saw the patent of the waterbed by Dr. William Hooper of Portsmouth, England.
He devised this type of mattress to suit the requirements of his patients suffering from bed sores. It failed as he was unable to regulate the temperature and restrain the water. Charles Hall fashioned the contemporary waterbed in 1968. He initially wanted to design a chair and used cornstarch in a vinyl bag weighing 300 pounds, and later used jell-o, both of which turned out to be failures.
He laid his hands on making a perfect waterbed and he did succeed but failed to get a patent. Heinlein in 1980 received the patent but Hall, Edison and Bell are considered the forefathers in the waterbed manufacturing industry.
Choosing water bed mattress
There are varieties of water bed mattress to suit the comfort levels of each individual, it is always best to buy a firm waterbed mattress. Waterbed mattresses can be classified as below.
Fiber filled mattress: Inside the bag of the mattress, a polyester sheet is used to reduce the amount of wave and to increase the support. More fiber means extra firmness and reduced motion. To give the lower back more support, you can fill more fiber in the lower lumbar area. This mattress offers the best of comfort but is difficult to drain as the fiber retains water. Another shortcoming with fiber-filled waterbed mattress is that the fiber might budge within the mattress.
Free flow mattress: Unlike the first one, this type of water bed mattress has no fill up within the mattress and hence offers minimal support. Care should be taken to ensure that the outer vinyl is not a used one.
Hydraulic mattress: The base of the mattress holds round vinyl coils that fill up with water and hover just close to the surface, thereby reducing motion. Small ports on the coils push water through them as you get on to the bed and as a result water is dampened. Each individual has a separate hydraulic coil and so the lighter person will not be pushed higher than the heavier person. More number of coils will help reduce the motion in the mattress. Draining is very easy too.
Soft side water bed mattress
- Soft-side waterbed mattress does not have springs in the box spring when compared with the regular mattress. The foundation is best suited if made of solid wood and in two pieces so that it can be moved with ease. Bowing, flexing and warping can be kept at bay if the foundation comprises two pieces.
- The foam rails form an important part as this holds on to the mattress and the rail has to be of good quality to withstand the number of times you get in and get out. Foam rails weighing 2 pounds per square density are generally recommended. Thinner rails at the crown and wide at the foot provide larger sleeping area and help avoid bowing.
- Covers for mattress come in an assortment of styles. Choose the mattress cover depending on what has been used to fill the mattress. For e.g. polyester fills do not breathe as much as lambs wool do. Hence choose the right type that will suit your body requirements. Latest models include summer fills and winter fills on either side. Summer fills are made from a blend of silk fibers to keep you cool and winter fills are made from loft hollow fiber and lamb wool. Viscose elastic is the latest trend as it is both temperature and pressure sensitive and makes for a comfortable sleeping experience.
- You can choose either a single or dual mattress. With a dual water bed mattress, you can control the temperature on either side of the bed as per your comfort. With a lumbar support system, your back will receive the support it badly needs and keep your spine aligned while you sleep.
- You can use the regular bed linen that you use for your regular mattress on these waterbed mattresses.
Water bed heaters
- Waterbed heaters supply heat to the waterbed mattress; they contain a set of coils in a shielding plastic casing, a temperature sensor and a thermostatic controller.
- They can be either analog or digital or solid state controls to control the heat flow. Water temperature is set at body temperature, normally around 28 degree Centigrade. With more innovation, the coils can be set at temperature that can suit your body levels.
- Approximate power consumption of a waterbed heater will be around 1kWh per day. Of course this depends on the size of the bed, temperature of your bedroom and other factors. In summer you can set the temperature of the heater at lower levels and you can sleep peacefully on a cool mattress. Water temperature can be reduced to 25 degrees Centigrade.
- You can pick up waterbed heater mattresses in 3 varieties - standard cap and bulb heaters, solid state heaters and soft side heaters. Standard cap and bulb heaters use ethylene gas filled in a copper wire to heat the water. They are not very precise or energy efficient. Solid state heaters make use of a computer chip to control the temperature and have no moving parts. They are very efficient and good energy savers. Soft-side heaters are used mainly in soft-side waterbed mattresses. They work on lower wattage levels. Take care never to use a heater that is meant for a hard-side waterbed mattress in a soft-side waterbed mattress.
Water bed mattress guide
Top of the Page: Water Bed Mattress
- Unlike the traditional mattress, these water beds can be heated with the help of a heater, thereby making it very comfortable during winter.
- The warmth in the water improves blood circulation thus soothing stiff and aching joints.
- The waterbed takes the exact shape of your body therefore giving you the best possible comfort. Such water bed mattresses let the spine relax totally by easing the pressure from the spine.
- A waterbed mattress can be used up to 12 years when compared to normal mattress that can be used only for 3-4 years.
- Electricity bills might shoot up for the heating system depending on the size of the bed and the surrounding environment.
- Beds sheets hard bed mattresses are not easy to find.
- Shifting the waterbed can be a difficult task when compared to a normal mattress. Removing the water and re-filling it can be big challenge.
- The volume of the water might cause damage to the flooring of old houses unable to bear the total weight.
- Leaks are rare but are a nuisance if they ever occur.