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- Best Waterbed Mattress Reviews
- What Are The Benefits Of A Waterbed?
- Buyer's Guide: What to Look For in a Waterbed
- Waterbed FAQs
Best Waterbed Mattress Reviews
Want to find out more about choosing the right waterbed for your needs?
Check out our buying guide below!
Here are details of the top waterbed mattresses found in our best waterbed mattress review in 2022:
Since 1975, InnoMax has been making America’s Finest Sleep Products. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, they offer over 1200 sleep products.
They’ve been around the block, quite a few times too. To be almost half a century in business, it’s a testament to their products and reputation as a trusted household brand.
Now I’m going to assume that you aren’t sleeping with a partner that will be jumping around or doing somersaults in bed.
Or, if you do, you might want to tell them to do that when you’re not in the bed with them…unless you enjoy feeling like you’re weathering a storm on a petite, rocky boat.
Some people do – no judgment here!
The feeling of free form can also bring you back to prenatal times when you were still safely protected in your mom’s belly.
So resting on a body of water can feel safe and cozy, and the little ripples can lull you to sleep.
Now, this is the only free flow waterbed in our list of best waterbed mattress reviews.
Supports 450 lbs & Holds 260 Gallons
This InnoMax Sanctuary free flow model can hold up to 260 gallons of water.
That’s a lot of H20 to pump in there.
How much water do you pump in? Well, that depends on your comfort level.
Once the liquid is in there, you don’t have to do it ever again. Unless you need to move the mattress.
At which point, it just makes sense to drain and fill again.
I don’t know about you, but I certainly can’t move 1000~ pounds on my own or even with some help.
Oh, there’s even a fill line that indicates when the water will reach a safe full level. Easy peasy and fool-proof.
InnoMax Sanctuary also sewn in corner seams for extra durability.
You won’t have to worry about the corner busting open unexpectedly and water flooding your home.
It also sports a 20 mils (one-thousandth of an inch = 0.001 inch) of premium vinyl as its plastic wrapping.
22 mils is a good rule of thumb to go by, but that 2 mils difference doesn’t make that much of an impact.
Ideal for heavier side sleepers, most waterbed mattresses can handle a lot of weight. This InnoMax Sanctuary free flow can support up to 450 lb!
3 Sizes to Choose From
This InnoMax Sanctuary free flow waterbed come in 3 different choices: Super Single (48″ x 84″), Queen (60″ x 84″) and California King (72″ x 84″).
The different options are great because you get to pick whichever size works best for your individual space situation.
Sleeping alone? Try the Single!
Is it just the two of you? Go for the Queen!
Do you and your partner have pets that like to cuddle at night? Opt for the Cali King!
Even if you get the biggest size, this water mattress can support up to 450 pounds.
That’s a huge capacity – you can fit 3 people at 150 lbs each. It’s more than enough for most people’s needs.
If anything does happen, don’t worry about it for 20 long years.
The first 3 years will get you free replacements within reason, and then it’s prorated.
For example, Year 3-5 – if you make a claim for a replacement, you may need to pay out-of-pocket 20% of the retail cost. Year 5-8, you may need to cover 35% of the cost. And so on and so forth.
Remember to read the fine print – most warranties only cover manufacturer defects.
A Hardside Waterbed
A hardside waterbed means that you’re using it as is.
A softside is when the water mattress is inside a casing that makes it look and feel like a traditional mattress. This way all the measurements are standard and you won’t have to buy any specialty bed sheets.
You may need to buy special bedding sizes with a hardside – just make sure to check their measurement sizes.
Why is a Hardside Better?
Hardside waterbeds are more economical, built to last and require less stuff.
All you need is a wooden bed frame to keep the waterbed in place – you can either buy one or go the DIY route.
If you’re a handy person, you got this!
Assess the length, all you need are 5 slates of wood – the base and 4 sides.
They’re also better because it takes the shape of your body more, reducing any unnecessary pressure throughout the night. This means you should wake up with no sores, aches or pain.
After all, waterbeds were first used for medical therapy for patients with ulcers and sores.
With a hardside, you get the full benefits of a waterbed rather than sleeping on what looks and feels like a traditional coil spring mattress with the water bladder inside it.
Just based on this point alone, a softside water mattress loses its appeal to me.
Also from the InnoMax family, the Genesis collection spans from 400 to 900 series.
The higher the series, the more layers inside the mattress and the more enforced the corners seams are.
So what does the 500 series get you?
Well, it’s another hardside.
If you’ve been following along, you’d know about my preference for and the benefits of hardside waterbed mattresses.
If not, let me recap.
It’s antimicrobial, built to last, more affordable, alleviates pressure points on the body by evenly distributing your body weight (again, perfect for side sleepers!) and you get temperature control!
What’s not to love?
You can literally adjust the heat setting to the exact degree that you want at any time like a good waterbed.
3 Sizes, 20 lbs, 20 mils & 20-Year Warranty
We got options!
The Genesis 500 comes in: Super Single (84” x 48”), Queen (84” x 60”) and King (84” x 72”).
You have the freedom to pick whichever one that best suits your individual living space, situation, and comfort level.
At a standard 9” tall, this model weighs about 20 lb without any water in it.
This is great for fast, easy shipment and hauling it to the room upstairs that this bed is meant for.
This one also hasn’t been tested for the maximum weight limit, but, from other waterbeds, we can safely assume that keeping the combined weight to under 400 lb is ideal.
That’s more than enough for two grown adults, right?
With a 20 mil premium vinyl covering and reinforced corner guards, this Genesis 500 series is pretty sturdy.
No worries about seams randomly ripping open and water leaking everywhere.
Backed by a generous insurance coverage with free replacements in the first 3 years before proportional coverage kicks in, it’s a pretty good deal overall.
Another complex but a well built internal system to reduce water waves.
There are 3 layers of foam inside the waterbed to restrict wave motion and a smaller layer to cradle that lower back.
This is great if you need that extra lumbar support or just want a more cushy bed.
To keep the foam from twisting together, the layers are tied to all 4 corners of the bed.
Without the tethering, it would be a pain to deal with when you’re refilling water or just plain uncomfortable when you’re sleeping on it.
It takes about 3-4 seconds for the ripple movements to fully stop, which isn’t bad at all.
Even with a spring coil or memory foam, you’d still feel some movement when your co-sleeper comes in and out of bed.
In addition to a sturdier, here are some more tips on how to share a bed with a partner.
Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Strobel started manufacturing waterbeds in 1974.
Eventually, they expanded to other mattresses, such as air, supple-pedic and latex.
With almost 50 years in business, Strobel is also a credible brand where people have confidence in their products.
A softside basically looks like a traditional mattress, because the water bladder is put inside of a casing that looks like a coil spring bed.
This way, you can dress it with standard-sized lining and put it on any platform.
But, to me, it doesn’t feel like a waterbed.
Maybe there’s something wrong with my body, but I really can’t feel the water underneath the casing.
As far as I’m concerned, I might as well have gotten a memory foam or coiled mattress, because I’m not getting the benefits of a waterbed.
3 Sizes, 33 lbs, 25 mils & 30-Year Warranty
Choices, choices, choices!
Available in the 3 standard waterbed options at 9” thick: Single (84” X 48”), Queen (84” X 60”) and King (84” X 72”), so pick the one that suits your needs the best.
Not only does Strobel have the thickest vinyl covering (25 mils), but they also have the most generous coverage of 30 years on this top 5 list!
The first 4 years are free for replacements, and then only a certain percentage of the cost will be covered.
Again, no maximum weight limit indicated but let’s play it safe and stick to 400.
The beds are also 100% made in the US. That’s pretty significant.
Most other brands are not made in America. Perhaps, designed in the country but manufactured overseas.
Softside lovers, no need to despair!
This waterbed mattress comes in both hardside and softside. Since we all know about hardsides, let’s talk a bit about softsides.
Never would I have thought that I’d find an organic waterbed.
The cover is made of 100% organic cotton.
Organic cotton is great for people who prefer a more natural product or have allergies, eczema, or just sensitive skin (like me!) and would flare-up to materials other than soft, stretchy, breathable cotton.
The foams and fibers inside the mattress are made from soybeans – there’s both memory foam and regular foam in the different layers.
The advantages of using soy over other types of foam are multiple. From reducing greenhouse gas emissions to using less energy to produce to moving towards a renewable resource.
It’s also naturally fire-resistant with no fire-retardant chemicals added.
You can feel good about not contributing to leaving a bigger carbon footprint on earth while sleeping on this green, organic waterbed!
Ah, another waveless waterbed with motion stopping in 5-6 seconds!
Strobel has a patented system that they put inside this mattress to reduce water waves.
They claim 90% less tossing and turning at night because of this system.
Who knows if it’s true or not!
I’m not usually a tosser-and-turner, so, unfortunately, can’t verify for you.
So what does this mysterious patented system?
Well, it’s called the…
2-5-2 Fiber Layer Waveless System
What does that mean?
It means that there are only two layers throughout the entire bed, so your head and your legs have two layers under it.
On top of the two layers, there are 3 shorter layers where your back is supposed to go for extra lumbar support.
Does that make sense?
2 layers for the head, (3+2=) 5 for the back, and 2 for the feet.
All the fiber layers are tethered to each corner to prevent from shifting, as well as bottom seams and reinforced corners are added for extra strength.
Again, no need to worry about water seeping out of the bed suddenly and you can expect this waterbed to last and last.
One thing that I really like about Strobel is that they also have replacement layers available to purchase.
So, you can potentially have the same waterbed for life!
Just change out the fibers or foam inside every few years and keep the surface clean.
A sleep specialist leader since 1977 with over 30 patents, Boyd has grown to over 6 locations in Missouri.
With over 40 years of experience in the industry, Boyd is also a trustworthy brand for waterbed mattresses.
This is a great option for people who need that extra ergonomic care for their lower back.
2 Sizes, 475 lbs, 235.6 Gallons & 17-Year Warranty
Available in a California King (72” by 84”) and Queen (60” x 84”), this standard 9” thick mattress weighs 33 lb without water, holds 235.6 gallons of liquid and supports up to 475 pounds.
That’s quite a big capacity.
Let’s just say you opt for the Cali King. It could potentially fit 3 people comfortably – that’s 158 each.
Or let’s say that it’s the two of you plus your child or a few pets.
That’s still plenty of space!
Boyd offers a 17-year warranty on this waterbed.
Know that the time period does NOT equal to how long the mattress will last for – they’re two separate things.
The initial 5 years are free for replacements, then the coverage is proportional less as you get closer to those 17 years.
That’s quite a long time actually, especially since it’s advised that we should be changing the mattress every 7-10 years.
Comes with Accessories
Fill & Drain Kit
Remember, when the mattress is all filled up, it could weigh around 1000 pounds.
That’s too heavy to move to another spot, so make sure it is EXACTLY where you want it to be before you fill it.
If you’re moving houses or want to put it in a different room, then use the complimentary fill/drain kit that it comes with.
It’s nice that it comes with a water conditioner, which is actually algaecide.
It keeps the water INSIDE the mattress from growing algae or other bacteria and the vinyl soft.
It means you won’t have to go out and buy one of your own and spend time researching and deciding which one would work best with this particular bed and material.
4 oz may not seem a lot, but it can actually last a while.
Follow their instructions, but typically you’d want to put the whole bottle in when you initially fill it up.
To maintain an algae-free waterbed, 4-6 oz every 6 months is recommended.
Wow, really?! Actually, yeah!
Only 1% of water motion is felt. This means that after you climb into bed, the motion should stop after 2-3 seconds.
This is great for people who don’t like free flow waterbeds, where every single ripple and wave is felt. It will feel closer to a traditional mattress where motion transfer is minimal.
How is that possible with all that water inside?
Well, they have:
- 5 layers of foam inside to break any waves that might form from you moving on top of the bed.
- These layers are also tethered to the 4 corners to keep from shifting around or getting tied into knots. Because sleeping on knots is never fun!
- On top of the 5 wave-reduction layers, there are 3 fiber layers for lumbar support.
So, we’ve learned about free flow and 99% waveless, but what’s semi-waveless?
It’s in-between free flow and a 90%+ waveless.
Semi-waveless waterbeds typically have fewer layers inside to reduce motion. It’s perfect for you if you like the feeling of floating on water but don’t want to experience every ripple.
This Classic semi-waveless model only has a layer of 2 oz resin-bonded fiber.
Unfortunately, it’s not tethered to the corners, but it’s just one layer so it shouldn’t get tangled all that much when draining and refilling.
With this layer, it takes about 8-10 seconds for movement to subside.
Another hardside waterbed.
You should be able to tell by now that I prefer them over softside.
Hardsides are more economical, longer lasting, reduces pressure on the body, allergen-free and you’re able to control the temperature of the mattress.
The tiny downsides are they need
- to be in a wooden bed frame,
- a water heater to warm up the bed, and
- a waterproof safety liner to keep the water contained if it ever leaks.
Cali King, Lightweight, 24 mils & 12-Year Warranty
At a standard 9” thick, this waterbed only comes in a California King size (72” by 84”).
Sometimes the more choices you have, the more difficult it is to make a decision.
The good news is that it’s ultra lightweight, sitting at only 15~ lbs. This makes the shipment delivery and carrying it up to the master bedroom easier and more convenient.
The plastic vinyl covering is 24 mils.
That’s above the standard 22 mils and is one of the thickest surfaces on this top 5 list.
This means that it’s built to last a long, long time. It even has “T-shell” seams sewn in to reinforce the corners for extra durability.
Now it doesn’t say how much weight it can uphold. Maybe because it wasn’t tested for maximum weight.
Looking at other waterbeds, they’re able to handle upwards of 400 pounds, so if you keep the weight limit to 400, it should be fine.
It also doesn’t detail how many gallons it needs to fill up, which is OK too.
There should have a fill line so you know when to cut off the water supply, or just go by the top of the safety liner.
Classic offers a 12-year warranty, with the first 3 years being free for replacements, then the insurance coverage is proportionately distributed.
It’s certainly not the longest coverage on the list, but anything over a decade is still decent.
*Warranties only cover manufacturer defects!
Comes with Accessories
Like some of the other waterbeds, Classic also gifts a few items.
4 Oz Water Conditioner
You’d need a kit and conditioner to initially fill the bed with water.
It’s nice that they include it as part of your purchase, so you don’t have to go out and get one of your own.
The water conditioner is a premium line from Aqua Fusion.
It’s made for all types of waterbed mattresses and is 100% made in the USA.
You’ll need to use this when you first fill up, then again every 6 months to keep the algae at bay.
What Are The Benefits Of A Waterbed?
This is actually one of the commonly asked questions about waterbed mattresses. There are quite a few advantages waterbeds have over an innerspring or foam.
The average price of a waterbed is less than a traditional innerspring mattress.
Keep in mind that you will also need the following to use your new waterbed:
- Bed Frame – buy one or build your own!
- Liner – it’s like a cheap insurance policy to contain the water if the bed ever leaks
- Heat Pad – so you can adjust the water temperature to your liking
- Water Conditioner – to prevent mold, bacteria or algae from building up
- Fill & Drain Supplies – for when you need to fill or drain
- Repair Tools – for those accidental holes that spring a leak. Keep those sharp objects and pets with claws away from it
- Mattress Pad – (optional) a layer in-between to retain heat and prevent sharp objects from puncturing the bed
Not another item, but a potential increase in your utility bill from filling and warming your new bed.
Waterbeds are typically made from PolyVinyl Chloride (PVC), the most common plastic polymer.
This makes it hypoallergenic – it won’t absorb your perspiration, dead skin cells, pet dander or dust mites. They are also bed bug-resistant because there are no dark holes or cracks for them to burrow into.
A great option for people who are prone to allergies or asthma attacks!
Adjustable Support and Temperature
Too soft? Fill it up with more water.
Too cold? Set your heat pad to a higher temperature
A waterbed is 100% customizable to each person’s preference for firmness and warmth.
Be careful to not overfill it and make sure that you’re replacing your heat pads when they get worn out. This way it won’t malfunction and accidentally burn a hole into your mattress.
Minimize Pressure Points
A waterbed is exactly that – a bed made of water.
It not only provides pressure point relief but also promotes equal weight distribution across the body.
This alleviates unnecessary pressure on your hips, shoulders or knees and allows your spine to decompress from the day.
Great for those with any joint pain or body aches!
Waterbeds are also prescribed to people who suffer from bedsores, ulcers, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and similar conditions.
No Flipping Required
You’ll never need to flip or rotate a waterbed to even out wear.
There’s nothing but water inside. Liquids are able to take the shape of whatever contains it, so it will ever sag.
Instead, a waterbed shows its age by hardening up and springing a leak. (That’s why getting a liner is important!)
They can last as long as any other mattress – from 10 to 25+ years if you take care of it properly.
Buyer's Guide: What to Look For in a Waterbed
Besides the price and how it feels when you lie down on it, here are some other important things to consider:
Hardside vs Softside Mattress
- More common of the two
- Requires a wooden bed frame that supports all sides
- Longer lasting – no digs or sags
- Allergen-free vinyl surface – also mildew, dust mite, mold & bed bug free
- 100% temperature control
- Latest version of waterbeds
- Traditional mattress casing protects the water bladder
- Same size as conventional mattress sizes so can put on box spring
If you’re looking for a semi or waveless waterbed, make sure the foam and fibers are tethered to each corner of the mattress.
This will keep the materials centered and prevent any tangling or flipping.
You would think that motion transfer is through the roof with a waterbed, but they aren’t. There are 3 different types:
You’d definitely need a hardwood bed frame for this type. Free flow waterbeds feel like you are flowing in water. There is nothing inside to stop the natural ripples when you move.
In-between a free flow waterbed and a waveless, is the semi-waveless. A piece of foam inside the waterbed restricts the flow of water motion.
You’d still feel the ripples but it should stop within 5-10 seconds.
The opposite of a free flow waterbed, waveless means you should not be able to feel any waves when you move on the waterbed. The foam and fiber inside the mattress stop the motion.
There is usually a percentage assigned to the waveless waterbed. There are 80%, 90%, 95%, 99% on the market.
If you’re still wary of the motion transfer, here’s a trick.
Get two twin waterbeds. Side-by-side, they are the same size as a King!
Having separate water bladders mean that waves on one bed won’t transfer to the other bed.
Like a proper mattress, a waterbed usually comes with warranty. Anything from 10 to 25+ years.
- 0-3 years a replacement mattress is 100% covered
- 4-6 years 40% covered (so you pay 60% of the price of the replacement)
- 7-9 years 30% covered
- 10-12 years 20% covered
- 13-20 years only 10% covered
Note that warranties only cover manufacturing defects and not normal wear and tear. Chances are that if you accidentally popped your waterbed, it won’t be covered.
Not too familiar with waterbeds?
Check out some of the frequently asked questions below!
How Do You Burp a Waterbed?
Burping a waterbed to get all the air out is a bit tricky the first time around. Follow these easy steps:
- Once you put in enough water in your waterbed, get on the bed without shoes or any sharp items, and push down on the mattress. Keep all the air in front of you.
- Start at the corner opposite to the inlet fill valve and work your way to the valve.
- When you’re close enough, remove the fill cap slowly and release all the air.
- You may want to add in more water to get it to your ideal firmness, then burp the bed again.
Well, because air in the bed will promote algae, which will shorten the lifespan of your mattress.
How Do I Know When I Filled Enough Water?
- Climb to the middle of the bed, lie down, then sit up.
- The water level is right when you push down on the mattress and your body comes up from the bottom of the bed.
- If there is more than one person using the bed, ask the heavier person to do this test.
Can I Put My Waterbed On a Box Spring?
How Often Do Waterbeds Need a Water Change?
How Do I Prevent Waterbeds From Leaking?
To prevent your waterbed from leaking, keep all any pointy and metal objects away, treat it gently and don’t jump on it!
How Do You Fix Holes In Waterbeds?
It’s easy to fix small holes in a waterbed. Just follow these steps:
- Open up the air valve to get some oxygen in.
- Depends on the size of the leak.
A) Pinhole Leaks – Put vinyl adhesive on the tiny hole.
B) Bigger Leaks – Measure the hole and cut a small patch of vinyl. It should be bigger than the size of the leaking hole.
*If you don’t have this material, you may have to go out and get it.
- Clean the area with rubbing alcohol.
- Put adhesive on the area surrounding the hole as well as on the back of the vinyl patch. Let it sit for about 10 seconds or until the color changes slightly.
Apply the vinyl patch to the hole. Then, squeeze a small amount of adhesive along the edge of the patch for good measure.
- Let the adhesive completely dry before you burp the mattress. Refill if you need to. Put the cap back on the valve.
Are Heat Pads, a Wooden Bed Frame & Water Conditioners Necessary?
“when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature.
Normal body temperature is around 98.6 F (37 C). Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature falls below 95 F (35 C).”
Wooden Bed Frame
- measurements of the mattress (waterbeds sizes should be the same as regular mattresses)
- 5 sheets of wood – 4 on each side and 1 for the entire bottom, so the mattress isn’t touching the floor
- Tools to put it together. Like measuring tape, power tool and screws.
How Do You Clean a Waterbed?
Can You Get Seasick On a Waterbed?
That wraps it up!
I bet you see the attraction and health benefits of a comfy bed of water now.
With the buying guide and our 5 best waterbed mattress reviews, you now know how to shop for a quality one.
Keep us updated and let us know how much better you sleep at night!