Waterbed Mattress Replacement

What does it take to get the proper waterbed mattress replacement for your waterbed? Waterbed owners know the wonderful benefits of sleeping on this type of mattress, so they typically want to replace one that has lived out its usefulness with another waterbed mattress.

Soft Side Waterbed Mattress Replacement

Soft side waterbed mattresses are not manufactured in a standard size, so it's vital that you take measurements of your waterbed and the mattress in order to properly fit it into your soft side bed.

Soft Side Waterbed Measurements

  1. Take measurements of the outside of the bed so you know if you have a twin, double, queen, or king size

  2. Measure the depth of your soft side - from the bottom of the foam to the top rail

  3. Measure the length of the inside of the mattress at the top of the foam rail

  4. Note the type of side rails - slanted or straight

  5. If slanted - measure both the length and width of inside the mattress at the bottom of the foam rail

  6. If straight - measure depth straight up and down of the inside foam rail

This is also a good time to check your liner for rips, tears, or leaks. You could also add lumbar support at this time too. The lumbar support is one to three layers of padding that's inserted in between the shoulders and hips, providing support for the heaviest part of your body.

What types of soft side mattress replacements are available?

  • Full wave - feels like a traditional waterbed mattress

  • Semi-wave and waveless - you can get this type of mattress with 2 layers, 4 layers, or 6 layers of fiber in addition to the water-filled layer. The more layers of fiber means you'll have less wave motion.

Soft side waterbeds are designed with a single bladder or double bladder. The single bladder is great if you and your spouse like the same mattress firmness. The double bladder comes in handy if the two of you prefer different firmness levels.

Should you replace your heater? A little troubleshooting will help you decide whether or not your heater should be replaced. Make sure it's plugged in and that the sensor isn't too close to the heating pad. Make sure the temperature is set to your preference correctly. If the bed still feels cold two or three days after re-filling your bed, then you may need a new heater. Note: dual bladder beds will require two heaters whereas a single bladder bed requires only one heater.

Hard Side Waterbed Mattress Replacement

Measure your hard side mattress to make sure you get the right size replacement mattress.

  • Twin waterbed - 84" x 39"

  • Single waterbed - 84" x 48"

  • Double waterbed - 84" x 54"

  • Queen waterbed - 84" x 60"

  • California King waterbed - 84" x 72"

  • Round waterbed - 7-foot or 8-foot

  • Octagon waterbed - 7-foot or 8-foot

What types of hard side waterbed mattress replacements are available?

  • Free flow - gives you the feeling of sleeping on a traditional waterbed

  • Semi-waveless and waveless - get mattresses with 1 to 5 layers of fiber added into the mattress so you'll feel less and less wave motion while sleeping

  • Ultra waveless - you can get these mattresses with or without lumbar support. They feature 4", 6", 8", or 10" fiber layers to give you a completely waveless mattress.

You can get a single waterbed mattress or a dual waterbed mattress to fit a hard side waterbed. The dual is nice for two people who prefer sleeping on different firmness levels.

Heaters for hard side waterbeds require at least 8 inches of water in order to work properly. One has a dial-operated temperature setting and the other has a digital setting. Either one will work well with a hard side waterbed.

Coverings for Your Waterbed

A quilted mattress cover encasing your waterbed mattress will help retain heat, help control moisture, puncture-proofs the mattress, provides a barrier between body oils and the waterbed mattress and provides another plush layer on your mattress that will feel just like a traditional mattress cover.

Some waterbed mattress covers feature a pillow top layer too! All of them are lined with a safety liner to control moisture. These can be used on both hard side and soft side waterbed mattresses.

Waterbed Mattress Replacement Option - Airbed Mattress

Another option available to waterbed owners is to replace their waterbed mattress with an airbed mattress. Select Comfort offers a Sleep Number waterbed mattress replacement that will fit right into your existing frame or on top of your existing foundation. The one drawback is that they only offer two sizes: Super Queen with dimensions of 60" x 84" and a Super King with dimensions of 72" x 84". The price for the queen is around $1,899 and the king size price is $2,200.

Does Your Waterbed Have an Odor?

Waterbeds can develop strange odors if you don't maintain your waterbed properly. Here are some tips for keeping odors at bay.

  1. Always add conditioner to the waterbed at the same time you're filling the mattress.

  2. Use something other than a garden hose to fill your mattress or make sure you sanitize the end of the hose thoroughly before using it to fill your mattress.

  3. Bacteria and mineral content is very high in some areas of the country, so the professionals recommend that you use two bottles of conditioner when you're first filling up the mattress and then follow up every 4 to 5 months by adding one bottle of conditioner.

  4. Check your liner periodically for leaks - a leak can cause mold or bacteria growth.

  5. It's a good idea to periodically wipe down the waterbed mattress with a baking soda and water solution.

  6. Purchase your conditioner from a waterbed store or online retailer - not a discount store. They're very different products.

Drawbacks of Waterbeds

Some of the drawbacks of waterbeds include: weight, difficulty transporting or moving, energy consumption due to heaters, finding the right sheets to fit, bacteria build-up inside the waterbed mattress, potential leaks that could damage your floor or carpet, and condensation build-up on the mattress.


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