Water mattresses: dreams and reality

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Over the years, Hollywood films have teased us with tempting exoticism and seductive curiosity – waterbeds that seemed to be something unreal, fabulous and insanely desirable. Millions of people caught fire with a dream one day in the distant future of equipping themselves with such a bed. And now the future has come – now you can easily buy a waterbed in Russia. But is it worth it? Is there room in our rooms for a carefree childhood dream? You have to think seven times and buy once. Or not to buy.

Water mattresses are not often found both in stores and in ordinary apartments. And the point here is not even the price or the unusual nature of these products, but rather the inconvenience of sleeping on the waves and the problems associated with them. You want to know what makes waterbeds different, what are their advantages and what difficulties such a purchase can entail? We’ll talk about it in our article.

What is a waterbed?

Water mattresses are a special type of mattress where water or a special water-based liquid acts as a filler. The result is a unique feeling of sleeping on soft, gently undulating water.


Matelas à eau: rêves et réalité

The first water mattresses appeared 3000 years ago. Then they were water-filled otters. In 1883, Dr. William Hooper decided to improve on the idea of our distant ancestors and patented a water mattress, already more similar to the modern mattress. It was then intended to alleviate the suffering of patients by reducing the pressure on the body. In 1969, Charles Hall greatly improved Hooper’s invention by providing controlled heating.

Modern water mattresses are made from durable polyvinyl chloride, which gives the products high elasticity and reliability. The latest models also virtually solve the problem of excessive mobility of the “filler”. The installation of special stabilizing fibers reduces the amount of vibratory movement of the water and makes the mattresses hard. A little later, a special orthopedic mesh was also developed, which is able to support the enormous weight of a water mattress. Its cruciform design distributes the mass more evenly and, as a result, the pressure does not exceed 200 kg per 1 m². To ensure that in the event of a puncture or leak, the water mattress does not harm the environment and people, it is recommended to place it in a special tray, where most of the liquid accumulates.

Today, waterbeds are single-chamber, multi-chamber, multi-chamber with a frame, with a polyurethane block, as well as models for children and newborns. Single-chamber waterbeds are otherwise known as “free moving” because they do not involve pressure regulation in the individual sections. They are the cheapest and least comfortable models, suitable for one person to sleep and exclude the possibility of sitting in one’s bed. Multi-chamber mattresses consist of several “cylinders” filled with water with the function of separate regulation of pressure and temperature, without wave effect. Water mattresses with coconut layers and polyurethane blocks are even more resistant, guarantee extremely precise weight distribution and excellent back support.

Characteristics of waterbed operation

Water mattresses are completely unique and unlike standard bedding. Consequently, they require special attention. Let’s start with the basics – water. In economy class models, it must be changed periodically and in some, it is sufficient to add a special air conditioner once a year that kills bacteria, fungi and mould, the water replacement fluid is changed every 2-3 years.

Sleeping on cold surfaces (including water) is harmful and very dangerous for your health. To keep your bed comfortable, you need an electrical connection, without which the vital heating will not work. This fact should be taken into account when choosing the location of the bed and not be surprised by large electricity bills. By the way, the bigger the mattress, the more energy it needs. An average-sized model “burns” about 10 to 15 kilowatts per month.

The weight of a double water mattress can exceed 500 kilograms. Therefore, you need a special mesh, bed or frame. Recently, they have started to produce lightweight models with coconut foam or polyurethane sections, but even in such cases, the weight of the mattress is still very impressive.

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Owners of four-legged friends with teeth and claws should use water mattresses with extreme caution. Without additional protection on the sides, made in several layers, the products are too vulnerable to animals.



Advantages of waterbeds

The success of waterbeds in the West (thanks to which they began to appear on television screens) is by no means accidental. Through the thorns of operational difficulties and contrary to all the arguments of reason in Europe, sleep on the waves, according to various estimates, is chosen by 10 to 15% of the inhabitants. Why is this? It all depends on the unique advantages of waterbeds. Namely:

a water mattress allows the spine to adopt an anatomically correct body position, relaxes the muscles and relieves stress on the joints, i.e. has an orthopedic effect. The water adapts perfectly to the contours of the body and does not exert reciprocal pressure on the body and does not disturb the blood circulation. The person seems to sleep in weightlessness. To be honest, the same sensations are given by orthopedic mattresses with shape memory or refreshing Technogel, which are lighter and easier to use;
The integrated adjustable heating ensures that even on the coldest nights you will rest in warmth and comfort. By the way, in a heated bed, a person falls asleep faster, muscles relax almost instantly;
water mattresses are absolutely hypoallergenic and hygienic, they will never catch dust mites, mould or mildew. They are also easy to clean – simply wipe off the PVC cover;
over time, the water can’t warp, break, sag, like the loads of other mattresses. If you can keep the vinyl cover intact (don’t puncture, tear, burn, etc.), then the water mattress will serve you for up to 15 years.

Waterbeds are ideal for people who are not afraid of trouble. People with allergies and asthma will love the total absence of dust. With oedema, muscular pain, gout and rheumatism, a beneficial heating will show an amazing effect. It is also highly recommended for people suffering from arthritis, osteoarthritis and other diseases of the joints and blood vessels to sleep on water mattresses. As, however, and on ordinary soft models, since the key requirement here is softness.

Disadvantages of waterbeds

Nothing in our world is perfect. And waterbeds are no exception. In addition to a number of advantages, they also have many drawbacks that can keep a reckless purchase away forever.

Let’s start with what some call virtue, the ripple effect. Swaying peacefully on the surface of the water is, of course, wonderful, but it can cause another seasickness crisis. Even if you don’t suffer from this disease, sleeping on a waterbed will be a serious test for the vestibular apparatus. Of course, expensive models have a wave stabilizing function, but it will not be possible to get rid of the swaying completely. Even if you want to take a break and sleep on a stable bed. The wave effect is undoubtedly exotic, that’s the whole point. But is it worth organizing such a test for yourself every night?
Water mattresses are very bulky. They require the purchase of special frames, pallets, beds, frames, weighing about 500 kilograms. For a small standard apartment, this is simply unrealistic. And even with a lot of free space, such bulk will bring a lot of problems. For example, imagine that you decide to reorganize and put the bed in Feng Shui. Those 500 kilograms will have to be moved one way or another, and then the wires of the heating system will be pulled. The renovation will be a real nightmare. If you like to change environment frequently, the water mattress is certainly not for you.
Another disadvantage is condensation. If the room temperature changes, small droplets of moisture immediately appear on the surface of the mattress. With the heater on while you sleep, this is unlikely to bother you. But often you will have to remove and dry the bed linen.
Water mattress covers are made of polyvinyl chloride, which does not absorb the moisture released by the human body and does not allow the skin to breathe.
Water mattresses are quite difficult to use. Periodically, you need to completely change the water they contain, once a year – add a special conditioner for mold and mildew. In addition, the products must be permanently connected to the mains, and in case of a power failure, sleeping on the mattress will be hazardous to your health.
A water mattress can be punctured, punctured, torn, as a result, all the water will spread quickly on the floor (if you have not bought a special tray), ruining the repair not only for you, but also for your neighbors below.
The purchase of water mattresses is not recommended for people with young children who can cut the blanket and for animals with sharp claws and teeth. After such damage, the product is very difficult to repair.
It is uncomfortable for two to sleep on single room waterbeds because all the movements of the person lying nearby are very strongly felt. Therefore, married couples will not be able to save money – they will have to take the most expensive mattress with a partition and several water cylinders.
Water mattresses are neither hard nor very hard. With coconut or polyurethane foam inserts, manufacturers are able to make their models medium soft or medium hard, but reliable support and stiffness cannot be achieved. However, many people (under 25 years of age, upper spine problems, weight over 90-100 kg, habit of sleeping on their stomach, etc.) are recommended extremely rigid models.

A waterbed for many is a childhood dream. It undoubtedly has many advantages, but it is also associated with big troubles and problems, objectively, it is not suitable for every family and not for every apartment. In a small standard room, it definitely has nothing to do. Are you personally prepared to put up with all the other disadvantages of a waterbed? If not, it is better to leave the childhood dream behind.

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