Many of those who have owned a waterbed mattress for years are now thinking of replacing it with a more modern bed. One popular choice is a viscoelastic foam mattress. How does it compare against waterbeds in terms of advantages and disadvantages? You can use our mattress comparison tool to compare 5 types of mattresses side-by-side.
Waterbed Health benefits
Unlike a conventional sprung mattress, which relies heavily on pressure to give support (which was a wonderful idea in the nineteenth century when it was invented), a waterbed supports your body totally without the pressure points. When a bedridden patient develops bedsores due to lying on a conventional mattress a water mattress is used to relieve the pressure and help circulation to contribute to the healing of sores.
What has this got to do with normal sleep patterns or people who are not bed-ridden?
When sleeping you will turn 20 to 80 times a night due to pressure and restriction circulation if you don’t move frequently pins and needles or numbness occurs in the limbs. When sleeping in a waterbed there is no circulation restriction, no numbness, very little body movement and obviously a deeper more restful sleep ideal for light sleepers, insomniacs or people who just want a good night’s sleep.
It’s a fact
30% of all people suffer from some sort of sleep disturbance. In your ordinary bed, you will change position about 60 times a night to relieve pressure points and help restore your blood circulation. A waterbed supports the total weight of the body and helps to minimize these pressures and the need to toss and turn all night.
Medical studies have shown that even distribution of body weight, as on a waterbed, benefits everybody, young and old alike. Your conventional mattress creates “pressure points” on any areas of greater weight concentration. The water mattress conforms to the exact shape of your body, providing total support and eliminating uncomfortable “pressure points”.
Arthritis and rheumatism
All our waterbeds come with a temperature controller precise to one-tenth of a degree so not only do you have perfect support but the warmth in the winter to ease and relax tired muscles and help to reduce swollen joints perfect for easing most types of back pain and ideal for arthritis and rheumatism sufferers. Remember it can take 2 to 18 minutes to warm a bed up with body heat a waterbed has a 24-hour temperature control and only approximately 50p a week on your electric bill. Waterbeds can also be cooled down for hot sticky summer nights so you wake in the morning refreshed not in the night to hot.
Waterbeds – The hygienic solution
Our old relic the sprung mattress is a haven for dust bed mites, dead skin hair and body fluids. Tests have shown that even with regular vacuuming a seven years old sprung mattress is 5lbs heavier than a new one. Compare this to a waterbed strip of bedding and mattress cover wash at 60 degrees, wipe down the vinyl mattress replace the cover and bedding and you have a totally hygienic sleep surface time after time ideal for asthma and allergy sufferers when it comes down to healthy sleep you cant beat a waterbed.
Insomnia is not a problem with a waterbed, because you feel comfortable and soothed by the warm water you will go to sleep faster and sleep longer. You will awake feeling more relaxed, stronger, and brighter – mentally and physically ready to tackle the day.
Advantages of Visco Elastic Foam Mattress Technology
- Relieves pressure and enhances deep sleep by reducing pressure points, increasing comfort level, and reducing night time movement by as much as 90%.
- Conforms precisely to your body, distributes weight, improves circulation, and allows your blood to flow more freely.
- Has the ability to react to body temperature, softening accordingly.
- You don’t sink right through a high-density visco elastic mattress nor do you risk bottoming out.
- The foam dampens shock and absorbs the motion.
- The lifespan of 10-20 years, depending on the manufacturer.
Advantages of Waterbed Mattresses
- They reduce pressure points.
- Better sleep experience due to spinal alignment and pressure relief.
- Controllable sleeping temperature.
- The delicate water movement has calming effects.
- The vinyl is one of the most hygienic surfaces (if taken care of properly) for allergy sufferers.
- Light and easy to move when emptied.
- Life span of more than 15 years, if taken care of properly.
Drawbacks of Viscoelastic Mattresses
- High quality visco elastic foam mattresses like Tempur-Pedic are quite expensive.
- They respond with stiffness when you quickly lie down or throw yourself onto the mattress like you would do when you were a kid.
- Can get uncomfortably warm during sleep.
- Because of the melting weightlessness feeling it induces, memory foam requires an adjustment period.
- May have a strong odor when new.
Drawbacks of Water Mattress Beds
- It takes some time to fill and empty the bed (around 2 hours).
- It is subject to punctures and tears (even if highly unlikely), in which case you will have to use the repair kit immediately.
- Low back support if no foam layers are placed on top.
- Not recommended for people who like (or have to) sleep with their heads elevated.
I’ve had a waterbed since 1976 and wouldn’t consider anything else. I have arthritis besides FM and the warmth really helps both. When I sleep on a regular bed I notice more stiffness that I normally have.
I had a waterbed in the early to mid-80’s, after hearing that they might be good for my back and legs (pain and spasticity). As it turns out, a waterbed was the worst thing for me. I have a pronounced curve (scoliosis), which is related to cerebral palsy and abnormal posturing. That space in my back essentially had no place to rest, and I always woke up stiff and sore.
I have chronic low back pain that is muscular. I moved and tried a waterbed which just KILLED my back, as does any soft mattress I have tried at friends.
Because the mattress squishes down around you in a very nesty way, it was very difficult for me to get out of the “hole” – to turn over, I had to get fully awake and work quite hard (and painfully, I might add!) to get out of my little spot.