Waterbeds have gotten a poor reputation for being bad on the back and neck. However, they pose a little to no threat considering the advancements in related technology. Actually, waterbeds provide a number of benefits to the body, which makes the bedding solution a good choice for those seeking a new mattress.
Good and Bad
Waterbeds can be good or bad depending on the quality of the mattress. There’s not a simple answer that relates to all waterbeds. Older waterbeds may place stress on the neck and back because they have poor inner support systems, which elicits an effect similar to sitting in a bean bag chair. That type of support allows the lower back to sag and contributes to back injuries. Also, particular features may contribute to less back support, so it’s essential to understand what type is right for you.
Advantages of a Waterbed for Back
Firstly, a waterbed allows for better muscle relaxation. Also, modern waterbeds provide equal pressure to different parts of the body, especially the back. Such a distribution allows the muscles to relax while you sleep, more so than with conventional mattresses. It’s great for those who are bedridden since they will not develop bedsores.
Temperature control provides the ability to ease back muscles with heat. In the winter, you can adjust the temperature for optimal comfort and relief. The more comfortable you sleep, the less you toss and turn and the better it is on the back.
Waterbeds help with circulation, so aside from helping to relieve back issues, it’s great for muscle soreness and all around general health. Waterbeds are more hygienic as compared to traditional mattresses. The surface can be cleaned easily with simple detergents and disinfectants. Read about waterbed supplies at Boyd Water Beds. Otherwise, a traditional mattress can attract dust mites and bacteria.
A greater level of comfort makes it easier for those with conditions like insomnia to get a restful night’s sleep. Waterbeds have earned a reputation for treating arthritis due to the weight distribution.
Types of Waterbeds
Hardsides and softsides are the two general types of waterbeds. A hardside has a wooden platform that supports the water-filled bladder. There is no structure to the mattress and the wooden frame creates the shape of the bed. Some do not prefer the somewhat dated look of a hardside since there are more options for today’s consumer. Mattresses for hardsides are of an unconventional size so special sheet sets must be purchased. Free-flow hardside water mattresses are generally inexpensive.
Softside waterbeds have a water bladder that is covered by foam and vinyl. It appears more like a conventional mattress and is offered in different sizes (and can be used with regular bed linens). A softside mattress requires more materials so they cost more than hardsides, yet they cost less to heat.
Hardside and softside mattresses are offered in various degrees of motion. Free-flow beds must have a hard side because of the lack of structure. A full-motion waterbed continues to move after a sleeper gets on top. Such an effect is called a wave action; it provides the sensation of floating on water.
A semi-waveless waterbed uses foam or resin inserts to reduce the wave action. The effect as described above is reduced but not altogether eliminated.
A motion-free or waveless waterbed use a combination of fiber and foam to rid the experience of a free-flow effect.
Myths About Waterbeds
Waterbeds are heavy and a potential buyer should keep this in mind when considering where it can be placed. It’s also not as easily moved around a room; once it’s in place and filled, it would take a considerable amount of time and effort to move it. However, a waterbed does not place more force on the floor than a refrigerator, so there should be little concern for those who live in second floor apartments. Waterbeds are sometimes not allowed in second floor apartments due to the potential for leakage, so it’s best to check with your property management representative.
The vinyl of a waterbed is heavy duty, so when used regularly, there is little concern for a leak or puncture. However, cats, small dogs, and playful children do pose a threat. Even those with long fingernails or wearing sharp jewelry can puncture the bladder. The corners of a waterbed are especially fragile, so approach with care when stripping and changing linens.
Few people feel ill from motion sickness when sleeping on a waterbed. Tossing and turning is kept to a minimum due the lack of uncomfortable pressure points that exist with conventional mattresses. Semi-waveless or waveless models pose a lesser threat.