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Have you ever been intrigued by the thought of sleeping on a waterbed vs. mattress, but have yet to give it a try? These uniquely designed beds aim to provide several health benefits and are a great alternative to the traditional foam or spring box mattress; however, not all are created equal. If you are looking for the best waterbed mattress to fit your sleep and comfort needs, you’ve come to the right place.
Because your decision will ultimately affect your health, it’s important to consider which benefits you hope to receive. While the different waterbed designs all attribute to a healthier lifestyle, personal preference in terms of feel, firmness, and movement all contribute to your eventual satisfaction with your waterbed.
|The InnoMax GD800||
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|Boyd Specialty Sleep||
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|Classic Style Deep Fill Waterbed||
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|Strobel Hydro-Support 1||
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Health Benefits of Waterbeds
Backaches have always been a prominent health issue for almost every person at one point in their lives. Whether you’re working at a desk, or you’re doing manual labor, there is a good chance that you’ve experienced a sore or hurt back. Are waterbeds good for you and your back pain? Let’s find out.
Sleeping on a waterbed is a well-known treatment for many who suffer from backaches. These beds provide an equal distribution of weight across the whole body, taking pressure off the back and evenly supporting all joints, which allows the spine to relax and leads to less pain and discomfort.
Most notably, these mattresses are known to be used as a very effective treatment for issues related to the lumbar, or lower back. Lumbar support is a current hot topic among chiropractors and other doctors, alike, as it is common that many adults today have difficulty finding adequate support in the work setting and at home in their beds.
But are waterbeds comfortable for those not suffering from back pain? Adults are not the only members of the population who can benefit from the use of waterbeds as an additive to their lumbar support. Much like many proactive and preventative health care practices, choosing the proper bedding with lower back wellness in mind leads to overall health in later years.
Waterbeds are also known to be helpful for those with Arthritis. The equal distribution of weight across the entire body is comforting for the joints afflicted by pain and stiffness. When pressure is applied to sore and tender joints and muscles, it is near impossible to fall asleep.
Sleeping on a waterbed will help you to find a sleep position that is comfortable, and you are more likely to sleep soundly and uninterrupted through the night. Besides, the regulated heating option offered by most waterbeds can create a soothing experience for those with arthritis. This notion is much akin to the idea of soaking in a hot bath when sore or applying a heating pad to sore muscles.
Assistance for Sleep Disorder Sufferers
Insomnia, a terrible sleeping disorder affecting many people, can also be treated by sleeping on a waterbed. It is thought that the use of these mattresses provides an ease of the shifting of weight, and can serve to lessen the time it takes for many to fall asleep. Often, it’s found that those who fall asleep on a waterbed experience deep sleep that is less easy to interrupt.
Individuals who suffer from bed sores may benefit from owning a waterbed as well. These mattresses minimize the amount of pressure on all parts of the skin which promote smooth blood flow and reduced risk of clotting. Also, for those who’ve already succumbed to bedsores or ulcers, you may expect to heal faster when sleeping on a waterbed.
Those with allergies often experience relief when they decide to go with this type of bed because it employs a more clean surface. The bag won’t absorb allergens, pet dander or dust mites. If it’s regularly cleaned and cared for, a reduction in allergy symptoms is expected.
The underlying ideologies of floatation as a healing tool have been applied to many other ailments. Newborns, people with cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, multiple Sclerosis, and other such diseases are shown to improve in their quality of life once they begin implementing the use of a waterbed.
Specifically, for infants and newborns suffering from sleep apnea, waterbeds have shown to significantly decrease the symptoms, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. If you are interested in learning more about the seriousness of sleep apnea, this guide for mattresses provides more information on the condition and other potential solutions aside from sleeping on a waterbed.
Now that you understand the benefits of wellbeing related to sleeping on a waterbed mattress, it’s helpful to know how they’ve been constructed in the past, concerning the innovations being made today. Waterbed mattresses are continually being re-engineered to harness the health benefits of weightless sleeping while ridding them of design flaws such as rolling, leaking or breaking.
Types Of Waterbeds
The two most commonly referenced sub-categories of waterbeds are the “soft sided” and the “hard sided.” Each utilize the weightlessness and weight distribution advantage as their selling points, even though each are diverse in terms of their structure.
Hardside Waterbed Mattresses
The Hard-sided version is the most classically referenced invention. Typically, this bed is a relatively unstructured mattress that is simply a vinyl casing that is filled with water, and perceivably, there is no design consideration in terms of consistent and prolonged comfortability.
Hard sided waterbeds often come with many problems. The first issue is that they are difficult to get in and out of due to their unregulated perimeter. Also, they are not frequently temperature regulated because they lack adequate upholstery or a means of attaching a heater.
However, many long-time waterbed devotees attest that this form of mattress is satisfactory and provides a good night sleep, in addition to several health benefits commonly found with the more modern models (see our hardside waterbed reviews below).
Softside Waterbed Mattresses
Soft-sided waterbeds are the newer and more popular solution to many of the traditional woes. Rather than consisting of water and a thin exterior, the soft-sided option is made with a smaller water-filled chamber, commonly referred to as the bed’s “bladder.” This chamber is encapsulated by a layer or layers of foam and upholstery, which contribute to the waveless feel of this bed.
An added benefit to this innovative chamber design is increased durability and flexibility. In the past, waterbeds have been known by their ability to be easily damaged by sharp objects and friction. Placing the bladder in between the layers of foam and upholstery protects it from being compromised.
Additionally, the soft-sided option encapsulates the water-filled chamber in such a way that it is no longer difficult to get in and out of bed. With this model, there is an even distribution of weight, regardless of your shift or moving about.
Lastly, the soft-sided bed can easily fit within most wooden frames once occupied by older beds. This is a notable cost-saver and an added convenience when you’re looking to replace a current mattress.
Now you have a firm grasp on both the health benefits of water mattresses and their construction. It’s important now, to look at some of the best waveless waterbed mattresses on the market and their specific features before choosing the perfect fit for you. We address this further in our soft-side waterbed mattress reviews.
Top Rated Waterbed Brands
The InnoMax GD800 Genesis 800 Ultra Waveless Lumbar Support Mattress
Originally, when water beds first hit the market, they were intended to offer a free-floating and free-flowing experience. However, it was eventually decided that this continual motion of the mattress wasn’t the best idea for sleep; thus, came the invention of the waveless bed.
The complexity in the name for this deep fill softside waterbed lends to its sophistication in that, it nearly eliminates motion of that water by employing sophisticated technology. The structure of the mattress is meant to contour to the body and assist with the alignment of the spine and lumbar, as well as all other joints.
InnoMax Waterbed’s outer shell is made with 24 mil premium vinyl, which adds to its durability. Complete with 3-dimensional multi-laminate reinforced corners, this king size waterbed is designed to provide comfort for every type of sleeper.
Classic Mattress – Semi-Waveless
Manufactured by the company since 1971, this pick is an oldie but a goodie in the hardside waterbed space. A layer of 2-oz resin bonded fiber on the top to reduce motion down to about 8-10 seconds. What does that mean for you and your sleep?
Unlike old-fashioned waterbeds (essentially just bags of water) that allow you to experience every wave, the materials used in this choice dampen the ripples down just a touch so you can feel as if you’re floating on water without surfing the waves.
It should be a happy medium between waveless and full wave products.
Other standout features include the sturdy “t-shell” corner seam construction that reinforces the corners for added surface area and support across the surface of your bed. Included with your purchase is a 4 oz water conditioner and fill kit.
Boyd Specialty Sleep – Waveless
Also billed as the “lumbar supreme” this is a product that emphasizes spinal alignment and unique support supplied by water but without all the waves.
If you toss and turn a lot, or your partner does you may want to look into a waveless choice that will cut down on the amount of motion that transfers from one end to another. Beds in this category cut down on motion by 90% or more.
This product is built with 5 layers on top of the water supports that supply ergonomic pressure relief, but these layers are tethered to the bottom of the bed, and that allows the materials to conform to your body without shifting around.
The 25 mil vinyl is heat resistant as well. There is a free bottle of conditioner and a fill kit included.
Classic Style Deep Fill Waterbed – Pillowtop
If you’re looking for luxury, this choice might be right up your alley as it contains a lot more bells and whistles than the other products on this list.
There is a pillowtop covered in all-natural cotton for good breathability and plushness to rest in, while the water base works to support your shape.
If you’re not quite sure whether to commit to full wave, prefer waveless, or something in between this model offers multiple versions. Fiber reinforced in the center of the mattress helps to promote better spine alignment.
One of the most unique features built into this system is the temperature control features.
There is a digital heat system that allows you to set and forget your preferred sleeping temperature with an external remote. If you wake up cold, a warmer bed may be as close as a button away.
Innomax Sanctuary – Free Flow/Full Wave
This choice comes the closest to the classic water bed feel that you may be more familiar with. The brand’s full wave option lets you experience the support and comfort of water, as well as gentle undulations brought on by movement.
The experience of this mattress is likened to zero-gravity with full mid-body support to help ensure spine alignment and weightless comfort.
To ensure usability and ease of mobility the corners are reinforced, and the 20 mil premium vinyl material stretches with you with minimal tension, while internal elements help support your weight.
This product’s setup requires a rigid box frame to hold the mattress in place, and if you would like to connect a low watt external heat system to the mattress, these materials are compatible with those choices.
Strobel Organic Waterbed Mattress Hydro-Support 1
This mattress is also considered to be a hybrid, in that it provides the free-flow feeling associated with the hard-sided mattress and the sturdiness and durableness of the fabrics and layers used for the soft sided version.
The makers of Strobel Organic advertise that the amount of vinyl used in production is more than most of its competition, and provides 25% more overall strength. This feature, coupled with its additional fabric at the corners, makes this mattress one of the more durable option available today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do they still make waterbeds?
Waterbeds were the rage in the 1980s, but that attention petered out in the 1990s. They certainly are not as popular as they once were, and for that reason, many stores have discontinued the models they display on their floors.
There are still folks who swear by the experience of sleeping suspended above a mattress made from water, and there are still manufacturers who continue to release new choices into this market with some updated features. For instance, your mother’s waterbed never had a digital heat system or a wave reduction construction.
For those committed to these unique beds, the internet may be your best bet. You may have to install the bed and fill it yourself, but the collapsible nature of many of these choices ensure they are lightweight and easy to ship, which helps to keep the prices fairly low compared to foam or spring models.
When it comes to choosing the ideal water bed for your comfort level and specific health concerns, there is something designed with you in mind. Many long-time fans of this style of mattress will receive the most enjoyment when sleeping on the traditional hard-sided bed. The idea of free flowing and a floating sensation is optimal for them.
For others who are looking to enjoy the advantages associated with sleeping on the best waterbed with features that fit their unique sleeping needs, but do not wish to deal with the hassle of leaking or popping, or who find the idea of continual motion unsavory, a soft-sided version is a feasible option.
Whether you’re a seasoned water mattress devotee or a novice interested in trying out a unique sleeping alternative, there is a good chance you’ll be pleased with the purchase of full waterbed set. The best waterbed for you entirely depends on your preference, as there is an abundance of choices being sold currently that are sure to suit your individual needs.
If you’re unconvinced as to whether a waterbed or a conventional foam or spring mattress is the right choice for you, check out our roundup of the best brands in 2019, which also includes our buyer's guide and all the different types of mattresses including pros and cons of a water bed.
i (2011). The Benefits of a Waterbed. https://www.southwaleswaterbeds.com/waterbeds/benefits.htm
ii Harbour Health Center. (2013, December 2). Why is Lumbar Support important? https://harbourhealthdc.com/why-is-lumbar-support-important/
iii Waterbeds and Arthritis. https://akva.com/en/why-waterbed/waterbeds-and-arthritis
Author: Sleep Advisor
Our team covers as many areas of expertise as we do time zones, but none of us started here as a so-called expert on sleep. What we do share is a willingness to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards healthy living. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture, but also how we deliver information to our over 12.7M readers.
Sleep research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you sleep better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better rest.