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Waterbed Styles

In the early years waterbeds were made to form a box and the water mattress then fitted inside.

This box frame could be very plain and uninteresting. Then posts and ornate headboards were added.

Through the years this became the norm and a whole variety of styles were produced by different manufacturers. However, getting in and out of the bed could be difficult as people aged and became less nimble. The first prota type of soft sided waterbeds came in the late 70's / 80's and soon became very popular. Refinements took a while, but now we have a vast selection of soft side waterbeds to choose from. Colour schemes could also be achieved as upholstery became second nature with a whole host of textiles being available. Today, soft sided waterbeds probably account for 98% of the waterbed market.

In principle there are three different types of waterbed.

The old hard sided frame, the soft sided waterbed and the soft side conversion.

Hard side frames

Hard Side

The traditional hard sided frame is usually made from wood or MDF and upholstered. They are just as comfortable as soft sided waterbeds and offer the same support, except they can often be a little difficult to get in and out of with a solid frame which houses the vinyl mattress. Although still available, most manufacturers are phasing them out from their production program. However, one or two have re-invented the wheel and redesigned the traditional and popular styles of frame to offer as 'soft side conversions'.

Soft Sided Waterbeds

soft sided

A soft sided waterbed has a specially designed foam cushioned edge surrounding the water mattress giving it a 'soft edge' which makes it easier to get in and out of bed, making it the most popular type of waterbed. In many ways it can look just like a conventional sprung bed.

soft sided split

The later type of soft sided waterbeds have what we call a 'split cushion' where the regular foam side is split horizontally to form a 2 part cushion. The advantage of this is there is less cushion to lift when dressing the bed and the lower cushion can be upholstered to colour co-ordinate your bedroom décor.

The Soft Side conversion

soft side conversion

The soft side conversion is basically where a hard side frame waterbed and a soft sided waterbed are combined, or an existing conventional bed frame is converted into a waterbed. The platform is positioned so the foam cushions sit higher than the frame itself to give the bed a soft edge. This gives the advantage of having both a stylish frame and a waterbed. The disadvantage is that you are affectively buying two beds to form one, so obviously more expensive.

split cusion

A conversion with a split cusion is usually designed so that the split on the foam edge runs along side the top edge of the frame. This gives the bed a lower profile and is easier to dress. Typically used when converting a sleigh or TV bed.

Choosing your water mattress

On average, there is usually a choice of 5-6 mattresses. All are made to the same very high standard and give the same support. Adding water makes the mattress firmer, taking water out, makes the mattress softer. Inside the 9" (23cm) mattress are layers of fibre that dampen the movement of the water. Some manufacturers have introduced a range of mattresses known as the 'Mudbed' or 'Ultimate' which has more fibres inside to reduce any movement to an absolute minimum, especially beneficial for the slightly heavier person.

Memory Foam water mattresses. A special memory foam replaces the fibre filled mattress. Designed to be immersed in water it acts in a very similar way to a conventional dry memory foam, but is temperature controlled by the water, so reducing the risk of 'getting too hot' in bed.

Free Flow
Contains no fibre, and as the name suggests, it will move for at least 15-20 seconds before settling. Traditionally, this is how a waterbed was made, giving rise to the image that a waterbed will make you seasick.

Semi Motionless (50%)
Stops moving after about 8-10 seconds. With only a small price increase as you step up through the range.

Waveless (75%)
With about 5-6 seconds movement, this mattress still has the feel of sleeping on a waterbed, but you are no longer disturbed by the movement of the water.

Motionless (95%)
The mattress has a little movement and it readjusts to your body shape. The motionless is a popular mattress.

Fully Stabilised (99%)
The mattress is filled with layers of fibre (baffles) which will absorb nearly all the waters movement making this mattress fully stabilised.

Memory Foam (medium & firm)
A specially designed memory foam that is immersed in water which has a gentle delayed reaction to any movement.

Dual System

With your choice of motion

European Waterbed Association

Your right to cancel
All orders may be cancelled within 7 working days from date of order. A handling charge of 25% of the invoice total may apply if your order is already in production, your deposit is not refundable.

Distant Selling
All our product range are made to order and "to your personal requirements or specification" (unless clearly stated as a "stock" item) and therefore the "right to cancel or cooling off" period will NOT apply. Please ask for details or refer to

Akva Waterbeds
Aquastar Waterbeds
High and Dry Waterbeds
Stretch Top Systems Waterbeds
Eclipse Waterbeds