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Best Waterbed Mattress for You

Updated June 12, 2020

Waterbeds used to be quite the hit back in the 20th century. But, do they still make waterbeds? You bet! They’ve changed and improved. So, today we’re going to explore what happened to waterbeds, a dying trend, but one that does provide a certain level of comfort and intriguing uniqueness that simply can’t go ignored.

Rank Product Highlights
#1

Boyd’s 98% WAVELESS

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  • Available sizes: Super Single, Queen, Cal King
  • Type of mattress: semi-waveless mattress for hardside frame
  • Warranty: 17 years
#2

INNOMAX Genesis 800

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  • Available sizes: King
  • Type of mattress: hardside waterbed
  • Warranty: 20 years
#3

Classic Style Deep Fill Waterbed

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  • Available sizes: King
  • Type of mattress: softside
  • Warranty: 12 years
#4

Classic Mattress Semi-Waveless Waterbed

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  • Available sizes: Cal King
  • Type of mattress: hardside waterbed
  • Warranty: 12 years
#5

Softside Waterbed

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  • Available sizes: Queen
  • Type of mattress: softside waterbed
  • Warranty: 15 years

Types of Waterbeds

While it’s true that waterbeds can have plenty of different variations, they currently fall under two major categories:

  • Hardside waterbeds are characterized by wooden frames that give the bed its shape. Basically, these wooden chambers are the ones that contain the water, but these beds are quite heavy even if they aren’t filled with any liquid. They are the least expensive category of waterbeds.

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  • Softside waterbeds also have water chambers, but instead of using wooden frames, they use a combination of fabric upholstery and foam. If you see one without touching it or knowing what it is, you are likely to confuse it with a regular mattress. Much like a regular bed, softside waterbeds also have padded upper comfort layers.
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You will also discover that waterbeds can be recognized by how the surface feels. Consequently, you can come across:

  • Freeflow waterbeds, which don’t use baffled or bolsters are they create noticeable waves.
  • Semi-waveless waterbeds, which contain baffles or bolsters (sometimes even both) and have subtle wave movements.
  • Waveless waterbeds, where the water chamber is so well-padded, you can’t feel the water moving inside the bed.

Waterbed Benefits

The two main types of waterbeds are actually very different from another, and it’s important for you to know the characteristics of each if you want to be more informed about what you’re going to buy. Such as, how much does a waterbed cost, or what types are available, and where to buy a waterbed mattress?

When it comes to hardside waterbeds:

  • They will most likely have covers that are made from vinyl. Since the covers are really thin, the sleeper comes in closer contact with the water, which gives the bed a more floating feel.
  • The vast majority of hard side waterbeds integrate some sort of heating element that controls the temperature of the water. These heaters typically consume a lot of electricity.
  • Even if the water chambers are made from wood, don’t be fooled into thinking they are more resistant. In fact, the thin cover makes it easier for the bed to get punctured, and you can imagine where that leads.
  • They are cheaper compared to softside waterbeds (can cost as low as $50), but they are typically available in only three sizes: super Single (measuring 48 x 84 inches), Queen (measuring 60 x 84 inches), and Cal King (measuring 72 x 84 inches).

And then there are softside waterbeds:

  • They look and feel much like a conventional mattress.
  • They have a variety of different covers made from materials like polyester, cotton, or other regular mattress cover fabrics.
  • This type of mattress also has an internal heating element, but this one consumes less energy compared to the one inside the hardside waterbed.
  • If the structure of the frame of a softside waterbed is good, there is less damage potential when compared to a hardside waterbed.
  • These beds can be as expensive as a regular luxury mattress. They are available in most standard sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King, and Cal King.

Are Waterbeds Hard to Care For?

If you’ve never owned a waterbed, it’s perfectly normal to ask yourself about the durability of such a product, and how hard it is to care for it (because nobody wants a punctured waterbed). There are three main bits of information that you should know: how to store a waterbed, how to drain it, and what to do in case of any punctures.

Draining a waterbed required using a hose attachment with a reverse suction features. You need to make sure that the heater is turned off. Use a thick tower to pad the mattress valve to make sure there aren’t any water leaks.

The way you store a waterbed is also something that you have to pay attention to. Make sure that you’ve drained the bed as much as possible to avoid water leaks. A water conditioner is also a good idea because it helps maintain the water sterile. The bed eventually needs to be stored at room temperature in order to avoid too much heat or high levels of humidity. Also make sure that you fold the mattress as best as you can, or otherwise it can crack and tear.

In the event that your waterbed starts to leak, you need to know how to handle the situation. The first step is identifying the punctured spot. There are high chances that the warranty of the bed will cover the repair/replacement of the product, provided that human error wasn’t what lead to the puncture in the first place (note of advice: don’t play with scissors in bed).

If there are any small leaks on the top side of the mattress, you can proceed to fix this yourself. You will need a patch kit (which is typically easy to find online). By measuring the hole you can select the appropriate patch size and use rubbing alcohol around the punctured spot to make sure that there are no impurities that might prevent the patch’s adhesive from sticking to the bed. If your punctured spot is on the edge of the bed, the side, or the corners, you should seek professional assistance, as these are harder to fix.

Top 5 Waterbed Mattress Reviews

Hopefully, we’ve shed a little bit of light on the waterbed situation. That means that it’s time to dive into some of the best and coolest waterbed models that money can buy, and maybe we can make you reconsider the idea that waterbeds are a thing of the past.

#1. Boyd’s 98% WAVELESS WATERBED Mattress

SPECS:

  • Available sizes: Super Single, Queen, Cal King
  • Type of mattress: semi-waveless mattress for hardside frame
  • Warranty: 17 years

Best overall 

The Boyd mattress is one of the best waterbeds that money can buy right now. It is designed to be compatible with a hardside frame, but that will require an extra purchase as one doesn’t come with the waterbed. 

What makes this waterbed really interesting is the layering: it comes with five foam layers that are designed to provide you with extra support and comfort. For example, there is a layer of convoluted foam that stands between the sleeper and the water chamber, making sure that you don’t feel the waves moving. 

Additionally, the bed also offers three additional support layers that are meant to provide good lower back support. The corners have also been reinforced with excellent air cushions that are designed to minimize friction. And if that doesn’t impress you, maybe the 17-year warranty will. 

Pros Cons
  • Really good layering choice.
  • Good at motion isolation.
  • Reinforced corners.
  • Semi-waveless motion.
  • Frame is sold separately.

Who Should Purchase This? 

Because of its construction, the Boyd waterbed is really great at isolating motion, being a wonderful option for couples who share a bed and don’t want to be disturbed by their partner’s movements.

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#2. INNOMAX Genesis 800

SPECS:

  • Available sizes: King
  • Type of mattress: hardside waterbed
  • Warranty: 20 years

Best for couples 

The Genesis 800 is another example of a well-constructed waterbed. It features a design that’s meant to protect the water chambers in such a fashion that you won’t feel the waves inside the bed. What makes this waterbed so special, you ask? 

First of all, it comes with a four-layer reduction system which means that motion isolation is one of these mattresses’ strong points, making it a solid bed for couples. Are waterbeds good for your back? The midsection has a foam pad that provides additional lumbar support for those who like to sleep on their backs. The 24-millimeter vinyl cover is pretty thick and shows signs that it will protect the mattress. 

Probably the biggest downside of this bed (or maybe it isn’t a downside for you, who knows?) is the fact that the sleeping surface is rather close to the water chamber, which means that you will most likely get that floating sensation which, to be really honest, some people rather enjoy. 

Pros Cons
  • Four-way support system.
  • Great motion isolation.
  • Reinforced corners.
  • Great for couples.
  • Generous warranty period.
  • Floating sensation can be noticeable.

Who Should Purchase This? 

Because of its construction, this mattress does a really good job in isolating motion, making it one of the best waterbeds for couples so far.

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#3. Classic Style Deep Fill Waterbed

SPECS:

  • Available sizes: King
  • Type of mattress: softside
  • Warranty: 12 years

Best luxury option 

If you’re into something a lot more comfortable, but also a tad more expensive, this waterbed may be straight up your alley. It’s a mattress that comes with an organic pillow-top cover, which is definitely something you don’t see in mattresses in this category. 

But that’s not everything that you’re going to love about this bed. It features foam comfort layers that make it almost untraceable that there are actually water chambers inside this thing. It is perfect for side sleepers or those who prefer a plush mattress, particularly for those who often wake up with joint aches and back pains.

The heated system which is delivered together with the mattress is very interesting and grants the user plenty of control over features like water temperature control. Upon ordering, you will also receive an electric pump that’s equipped with all the right hose attachments. 

Pros Cons
  • More control overheating system temperature.
  • Very soft compared to other models.
  • It comes with an electric pump and hose adapters.
  • Organic pillow-top cover.
  • Great support and motion isolation.
  • Expensive.

Who Should Purchase This? 

The Classic Style Deep Fill Waterbed is for those who prefer a softside waterbed, but particularly for those who are side sleepers or are looking to gain more control over the exact temperature of their heating system.

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#4. Classic Mattress Semi-Waveless Waterbed

SPECS:

  • Available sizes: Cal King
  • Type of mattress: hardside waterbed
  • Warranty: 12 years

Bargain buy 

Generally speaking, waterbeds aren’t a very expensive investment, not unless you go for top-of-the-line softside waterbeds like the one we showed you earlier. If your prioritizing budget over everything else, the Classic Mattress Semi-Waveless Waterbed is the best way to go. 

Despite its low price point, the mattress does pretty well in terms of durability, being equipped with a 24-millimeter vinyl cover (you probably have no clue what that means, but know that this makes this cover thicker when compared to other covers on hardside beds). The cover is scratch and puncture-resistant. 

The corners have been reinforced in order to prevent friction. However, it has about a 70 percent wave reduction, which means that you’ll most likely feel a little bit of undulation. 

Who Should Purchase This? 

The Classic Mattress Semi-Waveless Waterbed is for those of you that want the cheapest option in the category because money doesn’t just grow on trees, does it?

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#5. Softside Waterbed

SPECS:

  • Available sizes: Queen
  • Type of mattress: softside waterbed
  •  Warranty: 15 years

Best for side sleepers 

If there is anything that reviewing beds has taught us over the years is that side sleepers generally have a rougher time in finding the perfect mattress. That’s because hips and shoulders are quite pretentious and require the perfect balance between cushioning and pressure point relief in order not to hurt in the morning. Which is why we present you with a softside waterbed that’s perfect for side sleepers. 

This Queen-sized bed has everything going in its favor, starting with the cotton pillow-top that comforts and contours the body from the moment you lie down. The cover also features two layers of soft fiber plus a cotton blend and, to top it off, it also has some orthopedic foam in there. 

It also features double-edge support made from high-density foam. The foundation is made from solid pine to ensure proper mattress protection. The heater features an adjustable knob that gives you control over the heating system. 

Who Should Purchase This? 

The Softside Waterbed is great for couples that are looking to try something different than the classic mattress, and it’s even further recommended to those seeking pressure point relief when sleeping on the side.

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Bottom Line 

It is true that when it comes to good waterbed mattresses, your options are very limited. That’s because there isn’t enough market demand for this particular type of bed, but also because manufacturers prefer to invest in construction that they know people are going to buy. 

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a single good waterbed out there, as all the models we spoke of today are quite good in their respective categories. Just remember that you have to understand what exactly using a waterbed implies, how you’re going to feel when you sleep on it and make an effort to understand the construction and characteristics of each type of waterbed so that you can make an informed shopping decision.