Lifestyle: The Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Waterbed

Bed and waterbed mattress
Bed and waterbed mattress Image from

A waterbed is a bed or mattress filled with water whose use can be traced back to The Persians 3,600 years ago. In the 1800s waterbeds were used by doctors in hospitals to prevent or minimize the formation of painful bedsores and ulcers.

Modern waterbeds are connected to electric heaters and their temperature can be controlled using a thermostat so that it’s set to your personal preference. If you are considering moving from a traditional mattress to a waterbed, here’s an overview of the benefits, uses, and concerns to keep in mind.

Benefits of waterbeds

Offers total support

Waterbeds are formfitting thus offering total body support. It contours to the exact weight and shape of your body providing total, even support. This provides excellent sleeping comfort and an end to tossing and turning looking for a comfortable position to sleep. The contoured support offered to the back and spine reduces pressure on the joints and muscles. In this way, it may help with back pain, arthritis, and other joint issues.

Improve sleep quality

The heated waterbed provides gentle warmth that relaxes the muscles allowing for more restful and therapeutic sleep. The heat also improves blood circulation. The waves of water also give the feeling of a massage which helps a person sleep faster and is very relaxing improving the overall quality of sleep. Waterbeds are proven to help with insomnia and extend periods of restful sleep.

Hygienic and easy to clean

They do not harbour things like dust, body secretions, dead skin cells, etc. This makes waterbeds hypoallergenic thus beneficial for people with allergies as well as people suffering from hay fever, eczema, and asthma. They are also easy to clean. Just wipe the surface down using a vinyl cleaner and cloth once a month. This will keep both the bed and the sheets clean.


The lifespan of waterbeds is 12 years which is more than that of a traditional mattress. With the right care, they can last over two decades with ease.

Sores relief

Waterbeds minimize pressure and distribute the weight which prevents the occurrence of bedsores for people in comas or those suffering from paralysis.

Good for pregnant women

Sleeping on waterbeds reduces stress and anxiety in expectant women, allowing them to sleep comfortably even on their stomachs.

Precautions and disadvantages of waterbeds

Not for everyone

The movement of water makes some people nauseous. Plus, while some people say that waterbeds enhance intimacy and sex, others say intimate moments can be difficult on them. You may have to develop a new rhythm because of the constant movement. Being thrown off their usual groove can be difficult for some people. Everything is subjective though.

Risk of leaks

There is always the risk of waterbeds leaking. The vinyl used by manufacturers is sturdy and durable and leaks are extremely rare but possible.

Can be costly

If you live in an extremely cold area, the heating costs can really add up. Regular beddings and accessories may not work requiring you to purchase a new set of bed linens. The care and maintenance requirements can also be high especially in the event of a leakage or just regular things like conditioning the water and maintaining the outer vinyl cover.

Your home insurance costs may also be higher if you have a waterbed. Some insurance policies and apartment leases do not allow any water-based furniture because of the added stress on the floor and the risk of damage from accidental leakage.


Although the weight is well-distributed, waterbeds are considered too heavy for certain constructions and may exceed the weight-bearing capacity of some older houses as well.

Difficult to move

With a normal mattress, if you get bored with the position of things you can easily move things around to your liking. Not so with waterbeds. With waterbeds, you need to disassemble the bed, drain the mattress, move the parts and then reassemble it in the new place. No casual pushing it around like you would with a normal bed.

Check out

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