The traditional waterbed has gone through a series of changes since its first incarnation as a playpen for young adults.
Today, waterbeds have proved their real worth not only in medical therapies but also in most bedrooms as the main bed.
Since you are here, I guess you are looking for a full guide on how to buy a waterbed, right? We’ve got your back. We’ve also identified 10 models from the market worth considering.
Why should you consider a waterbed?
Not unless you are a long-term waterbed devotee, the idea of riding on a wave throughout the night can be intriguing at first.
In fact, among other reasons, most people who’ve not tried out these beds are of the opinion that they cause seasickness. Well, that’s just one of the many myths that surround these models.
Consider your answers to the following questions if you are on the fence wondering whether a waterbed will work for you.
- Are you in dire need of a mattress that will help you sleep cool at night?
- Are you sick of mattresses that always sag just after the return period is over?
- Have you tried all other types of mattresses for your back pain to no success?
- Could you be in need of a sure fix for dust mites and other allergens in your bedroom?
- Do you want a bed that won’t be so hectic to pack when moving?
If you answered YES to most of the questions above, then a waterbed mattress might suit you.
You could go through the reviews directly and pick a model that fits you just right. However, if you are new to these mattresses and don’t know what features to look for, then our buying guide section might be the place to start.
Best Waterbed Mattresses Reviews
Classic King Size Pillowtop Softside Waterbed Mattress- Best for Temperature Regulation
The Classic Pillowtop Softside waterbed is among the most advanced models in this department. It might be a good bet if you don’t mind spending top dollar for a mattress that will take you safely through the winter.
Admittedly, what actually captivated our attention to this mattress is its stylish design. It features a white, plush, and very soft cover made from a blend of cotton for breathability and sweat-free nights.
It also has fiber fillings that will contour to your body and cradle you comfortably to minimize turning and tossing.
Worth noting, the midsection has been endowed with extra fiber. This extra filling offers you more support around your hip to prevent you from sinking too much into the mattress.
This helps in aligning all your spine and back joints and bones to prevent pressure points and relieve pain and soreness. Notably, back pain reduction is the major highlight that clearly comes out in the reviews section.
But the best part about the Classic waterbed is that it features a thermal regulation kit that lets you adjust the temperature of the water to your likeness. This is a low-watt digital heating system that will offer warm nights in winter and cold days.
Lastly, while this is a free flow model, you could also get it in 95% or 100% waveless style.
- Easy to assemble
- It’s sturdy and supportive
- Thoughtful fiber filling for extra comfort and even weight distribution
- Excellent customer care
- Does not offer separate blunders for couples
Perfections Comfort Craft Waterbed- Best for Budget
In case the Classic King above is slightly above what you plan to spend on a waterbed, then the Perfections Comfort Craft may fit the bill.
This model is a few hundred bucks less expensive yet it offers almost all the features that our first recommendation boasts.
The comfort Craft is a frame-free mattress. It uses this manufacturers’ Euro Design Support System for its shape and M-rail sling design to make the entire sleeping surface usable.
Speaking of the sleeping surface, this mattress features a durable sturdy 12mil vinyl safety liner that protects your floors and furniture in case of a leakage. It also comes with a super soft cotton and bamboo cover that is smooth on your body and sweat-wicking to absorb all perspirations.
The blunder itself is a heavy-duty 22mil aqua marine vinyl gauge that features a 4-way hook and eyelet tethered support system and 2-inch double strength corners for integrity.
This mattress also comes fitted with a top-class heating system that holds the preset water temperatures at + or – 1/8 degrees for consistency.
In case you are wondering, this mattress comes in 3 sizes; queen, king, and California King.
- Sturdy construction assures durability
- Package includes everything you need to set it up (except the base)
- Advanced heating system offers consistency
- Designed to prevent spillages and flooding
- Couples will have to agree on a common setting
Boyd Specialty Sleep Waveless Waterbed- Best for Support
Our next pick here comes from a giant manufacturer that has led this industry since 1976. This is a completely waveless waterbed that comes as a solution for those who fear that a waterbed mattress will make them seasick.
What attracted us to this model is the high level of support that it promises to its users. The Boyd Waveless features 3 lumbar support fibers that target your heavy hip region for optimum spine alignment.
It also uses 5 layers of fiber that are held together by a 4-point memory stretch system to make it completely motionless even as you turn. On the same note, these layers of fiber also absorb and dampen all motion from your partner to ensure a more restful night.
The Boyd is a king-sized mattress measuring 72in by 84in and will fit just fine in your bed frame. Again, you have a choice of 3 colors to select from: blue, purple, and green.
- Offers impressive lumbar support
- 99% waveless design and impeccable motion absorption traits reduce disturbance
- Package comes a filling kit and conditioner
- Lightweight and easy to fold for moving
- Has a plastic smell when new
Boyd Lumbar Supreme Waveless Waterbed Mattress – Best for Lumbar Support
As its name suggests, the Lumbar Supreme is particularly crafted with your lumbar support in mind. This mattress is pretty much similar to the Boyd Specialty above in almost every aspect.
However, a closer inspection of its construction design tells you otherwise. What makes this mattress a worthy recommendation is the additional convoluted foam comfort layer.
It aims at offering you a more even sleeping surface with advanced weight distribution. This helps in aligning your body subsequently minimizing pressure points.
The Boyd Lumbar has also been designed with durability in mind. It features a vacuum molded top for that extra protection from leaks and tears.
It also boasts a 4-layer wave reduction system and a noise-absorbing liner and cover to keep off all noises that may distract your rest. This motion reduction build plus the comfort layer make moving across the bed quite easy.
- Very affordable for a mattress with thermal regulation
- Convoluted foam layer offers more back support
- Has incredible pain reduction
- Sturdy construction for durability
- You get 3 bottles of 4 oz. conditioner and fill kits
- Its top is not quilted
InnoMax Sanctuary Full Wave Waterbed Mattress – Best Single Free Flow Waterbed
Our next recommendation here is among the best options for those who want to experience the natural movement of water with zero wave reduction.
This is an extremely affordable option for homeowners who don’t want to sink a few hundred dollars on a waterbed.
Don’t get it twisted though. Despite its low price, the Innomax has been highly rated among the most comfortable full wave waterbed mattresses.
This mattress consists of a 20mil vinyl with a reliable T-corner lap seam construction. All the 4 corners have been double reinforced to ensure that the mattress maintains its shape inside the frame.
The manufacturer recommends not filling it above the safety liner to ensure that you get optimum contouring and pain relieving benefits of the mattress.
On this note, the Innomax Sanctuary features an easy-to-use fill valve with an easy pull cap and valve for top-notch air and watertight security.
Worth noting, this waterbed does not come with a liner. So, consider adding the Innomax premium stand-up liner to your alongside the mattress.
- Very affordable
- Reinforced seams and ultra guard corners to minimize leaks
- Easy to use valve
- Comes with a 20-year limited warranty
- May have a plastic smell that lingers for some days before dissipating
Better Sleep Super Single Semi Waveless Waterbed Mattress- Best Semi- Waveless Model
The Better Sleep Super single is another model that we’ve recommended to most of our readers who want something boyant yet supportive.
This is a hard-side waterbed and will, therefore, require a special frame. One feature that puts it ahead of the competition is its 24mil gauge vinyl construction.
This is a high-quality material that is 2 inches thicker than the industry standard. This sturdy vinyl eliminates any fear of your pets tearing it off with their paws.
We also appreciate that this mattress features sturdy ‘T shell’ corner seam construction to eliminate the risk of leaks, especially with nighttime activities.
Another easily notable feature of this mattress is the 2-ounce resin bonded fiber atop the blunder. The manufacturer states that it has been specially engineered to reduce pressure on your back and joints.
Again, the Better Sleeper is a semi waveless mattress that offers 8-10 seconds of motion. This reduced movement coupled with the resin fiber and the reinforced edges make it easy for all sleepers to get out of the bed with confidence.
- Comes with a 12-year no-questions warranty
- 24mil vinyl for durability
- Easy to fill
- Comes with a free bottle of conditioner
- Very comfortable
- It could have a water heater at its price
InnoMax Genesis 400 Gentle Wave Waterbed Mattress- Best for Buyers on Budget
Best affordable semi waveless mattress
We could view the Innomax Genesis 400 as the middle ground between the Innomax Sanctuary and the Better Sleep Super Single above.
This waterbed mattress is slightly pricier than the Sanctuary but offers more support than the Better Sleep that comes at a higher price tag.
The Genesis 400 has been constructed with a 20-mil specially formulated Azure vinyl and has a generous overcut top for low tension.
Among other impressive features about this waterbed include 1-inch double strength corners and a 4-way tethered support system. These 2 work by keeping the mattress in shape to prevent premature leaks and to minimize unwanted shifting.
Unlike the Sanctuary and the highly priced Better Sleep, this particular waterbed uses 2 layers of fiber for excellent water control and body support.
True to Innomax’s nature, you also get 20 years of warranty with your purchase.
- Has reinforced corners for durability
- Fill location- around the foot- and the easy fill valve make filling a breeze
- 2 layers add more comfort
- You can fill the water valve with your feet
Strobel Waterbed 1800 King- Best Heat Compatible Waterbed
Most people who have used the Strobel Waterbed say that it offered the most comfortable sleep that they have ever had in life.
Whether that is true or not, we really appreciate the thoughtfulness that Strobel- a USA-based company- has used in this mattress.
Among other standout features about it, we like that it uses 25mil vinyl which is by far the thickest that we’ve seen on a waveless waterbed. This translates to more durability and minimal risks of leaks, especially from sharp objects.
Similar to other mattresses here, the Strobel has 4-way tether system to prevent shifting. It also has reinforced corners to give it a good fit and shape on your 74 by 84in wooden frame.
Well, we’d have really appreciated if this mattress came with a water heater kit already in place especially given its price. Luckily, its bottom is compatible with most heaters. So, you could add one if it matters to you.
- High-quality construction
- Top-notch lumbar support
- Very comfortable
- Quite pricey
- Does not feature a water heater
California King Waveless Waterbed – Best Waveless Free Flow Mattress
Softside waterbed mattresses are known to be pricey due to the ability to minimize water movement by up to 99%.
What we have here, however, is a hardside model that could offer you up to 3-4 seconds of water movement when filled as per the instructions.
The California King features a heavy-duty vinyl construction and strengthened corners. Its inside features flexible fibers that will contour to your body shape to cradle you in a relaxed posture.
Worth noting, its mid section has been reinforced with extra fiber for more support and to hold you from bottoming out.
The extra fiber in the middle also prevents a couple from sinking too much into the mattress when sleeping at the centre.
Another impressive feature about it is that, unlike the Innomax Genesis 400, this waterbed’s filling valve is located slightly along the side in the bottom area. This not only makes filling easier, but it also means that you won’t be feeling the valve.
- Comes with a lifetime prorated warranty
- Reinforced midsection prevents bottoming out
- Offers good support
- The 4 oz conditioner that its ships with won’t be enough (add another bottle to your order)
InnoMax Genesis 800 Mattress- Best Ultra Waveless Waterbed
The Innomax Genesis 800 is among this manufacturer’s most advanced waterbed mattresses. It comes with a 20-year warranty and it’s also quite affordable if you are looking for something within the 300-dollar ballpark.
The major drawback that plagues the Genesis 800 is its seemingly cheap fill valve that might need replacement. Not everyone reports this problem though.
All in all, this is an innovatively designed waterbed that intends to eliminate almost all the motion compliments to its multi-layer system.
The fiber layers have a closed cell foam craftsmanship and are designed to contour to your body and consequently promote neutral spine and lumbar joint alignment.
Its 24mil outer shell, on the other hand, comes second in terms of thickness after the Strobel’s. This heavy-duty vinyl doubles with the multi-laminate corners to give you a mattress that holds its shape and lasts for years.
- 10-layer support system for excellent wave reduction
- Has firm lumbar support
- Has a thick vinyl construction for durability
- Not-so-good motion isolation for couples
- Reports of a slight chemical smell (it dissipates quickly though)
Waterbeds Buying Guide- Know What Matters
The definite advantage with waterbeds is their ease of buying. You see, unlike buying a memory foam or latex mattress, choosing a waterbed does not involve density and thickness considerations that only seem to make your purchase hard and confusing.
But that does not guarantee you that any other bed will serve the purpose.
So, what matters when purchasing a waterbed?
Understand the 2 major categories
Worth noting is that waterbeds come in 2 major types; hardside waterbed mattresses and softside waterbed mattresses. How do they differ? Which one should you consider?
Hardside waterbed mattresses
These mattresses are relatively unstructured vinyl casings that have been filled with water. Given their unregulated perimeter, hardsides waterbeds are pretty much hard to sleep on without a solid frame made of wood or metal.
They are relatively inexpensive
Hardside waterbed mattresses are considerably cheaper to purchase. However, do note that you’ll need a wooden frame to contain it. A standard 9-inch waterbed mattress will require a frame measuring roughly 2 inches (thickness) by 9-10 inches (tall).
Experience the full range benefits
Hardside waterbed mattresses don’t have a layer of padding to keep you off the water surface. They feature only a layer of vinyl that keeps you as close to the fluid as possible.
That being said, these models create a feeling of being in the open water. Thus, you’ll be able to experience the restorative and health benefits of waterbed mattresses even better.
Well, it might be hard to quantify the benefits, but most long-time waterbed sleepers affirm that these models offer more restful nights.
Make movement a tad bit hard
The major issue with hardside waterbeds is that they limit movement due to their buoyancy and unregulated perimeters. While waterbeds are known to help with back pain issues, a hardside mattress might aggravate the situation each time you want to get out of bed.
Can’t be used without a frame
If you prefer placing your mattress directly on the floor, then a hardside waterbed mattress won’t suffice.
Won’t accommodate a heater
Hardside mattresses lack enough upholstery to make it possible to attach a water heater. Thus, you’ll need to find other ways of keeping cold at bay during the cold season.
Softside waterbed mattresses
For those who don’t prefer the ‘rough wood’ or ‘western look’ that the traditional hardside mattresses offer, then a softside model may be the way to go.
These types have a contemporary look and are bound to blend in quite well with your bedroom’s aesthetics and décor.
They feature a small water-filled chamber/blunder encapsulated in layers of foam and a soft quilted fabric cover. Simply put, softside waterbed mattresses are pretty much similar to other mattresses only that they are filled with water.
Unlike the classical hardside waterbeds, soft-sided mattresses don’t require a frame. Thus, they can be used directly on the floor without any hitch.
Buying is easier
The major pro with softside mattresses is that they come in standard sizes. Similar to conventional mattresses, you can get it in twin, full, queen, or king size depending on your existing frame.
Interestingly, they also offer single and dual options. The latter is ideal for couples who have different sleep needs.
Accommodates a water heater
High-end soft-sided waterbeds come with the water heating kit already installed.
Easy to get in and out of bed
The additional layers of foam and quilting dampen the water-feel on softside waterbeds. This makes getting in and out of the bed somewhat easy.
They are more durable
Waterbeds have for long been known to be more susceptible to leakages due to friction and sharp objects. The layers of foam used on soft-sided waterbeds solve this issue completely subsequently offering you a more durable mattress.
Moreover, these models eliminate the need for investing in a dedicated wooden or metallic frame as it’s the case with hard-sided waterbeds. This is not only a cost-saver but it also makes replacing the mattress easy and hassle-free.
The only drawback that these models present is their high price tags. All in all, most of them never get as pricey as memory foam and latex mattresses.
Solving the issue of floppiness
One thing that potential waterbed buyers dread is the floppiness that is common with these models. Well, traditional hard-sided mattresses may have been plagued by this issue to a large extent.
But the advancement in mattress technology has not left these mattresses out. Today, you could get a waterbed mattress that makes almost zero waves.
Basically, waterbed mattresses offer 3 options in this regard;
Free flow waterbeds
Most hard-sided mattresses fall into this category. As the name alludes, the water flows and flops naturally as you turn and toss in the bed.
These models have foam or fiber baffles that restrict the natural movement of water. Most of these models claim to be 95%-99% waveless. As you can imagine, these waterbeds make the best options for anyone who is looking for a mattress that will be easy to get in and out of.
With a grasp of what free flow and waveless waterbed mattresses, I bet you can tell what a semi-waveless mattress is, can you?
You guessed it right. These models lie between waveless and free flow waterbeds. Most of them claim to be around 90%-95% waveless.
These models might suffice if you want a mattress that lets you experience the natural movement of water beneath you without making it hard to climb off the bed.
Other Important Considerations
Both hardside and softside waterbeds feature a vinyl gauge that holds the water. Although this gauge is tough enough to prevent leaks, we advise our readers to consider a model that uses a gauge that is at least 22mil (note: not millimeter). Most manufacturers may not reveal this though.
Waterbed mattresses don’t suffer from premature sagging as it’s the case with other mattresses. However, they are prone to leakages. In that case, you want a manufacturer that offers a good warranty in case of any eventualities.
Waterbed mattresses FAQs
Can a waterbed mattress burst?
Waterbed mattresses are made of tough vinyl that won’t burst under your weight not unless it is pierced with a sharp object. Even so, these mattresses don’t spray out water in case of a leak because the water is held under neutral pressure.
Do waterbed mattresses cause sea sickness?
No. The slight movement that modern waterbeds make isn’t enough to make you seasick.
Will it help with my back pains?
Sure! Waterbeds offer excellent conformabilities, even weight distribution, and temperature control. Thus they put less strain on your pressure points than your regular drab and boring mattress.
How often should I replace the water?
Actually, you don’t need to unless you want to drain and move with the mattress.
Will algae grow inside my mattress?
Of course, there will be growths if you don’t take proper care of your bed. Fortunately, preventing this is super easy. Most waterbeds come with a conditioner that is basically an algaecide that you need to add in the water when filling it and after every 6 months.
These treatments are also fairly inexpensive online in case your mattress does not ship with them.
Will a waterbed mattress solve my back pain issues?
Although waterbeds are not regarded as the best mattresses for back pain relief, they truly contour to your body.
This means that your weight is evenly distributed across the mattress thereby relieving pressure points on your back and joints.
In addition to conformability, the wave effect from the water offers a massage feeling that might help in relieving spinal conditions.
Note: I don’t recommend a waterbed if you have chronic back problems or serious injuries from an accident.
In any case, a waterbed mattress might only escalate the problem because;
- It’s a little bit hard to climb off the bed
- The wave action may strain certain areas and cause more stress
So, if you are considering these mattresses for your bad back, consult your spine specialist first.
Waterbeds may not be as common as they were in the 80s and 90s. But technology seems to be in their favor and they are making bold steps towards popularity again.
What makes them unique is their excellent conformability and the ability they give to the sleeper to adjust the firmness level.
These 2 features coupled with the ability to accommodate a heating element make them excellent pain relief beds that the conventional mattresses just can’t beat.
So, which is the best waterbed mattress?
At sleepmentor, we believe that a mattress is a personal preference and there’s a model for everyone. However, if we were to help you pick one model from our top picks above, our recommendation would definitely be the Innomax Genesis 400.
We like that this mattress is not insanely priced and does what it’s meant to do perhaps even better than models double its price.
This mattress has a rigid construction with seemingly strong seams and reinforced durable corners. Its 2 layers do a great job in minimizing water motion but still allow a good water wave effect to help you drift into sleep.
These fiber layers also dampen motions from your spouse to ensure that you get a good sleep with minimal disturbance for optimum rest.