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#1
Old 08-06-2006, 09:31 PM
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Are waterbeds safe? Do they hurt your back?

My roommate recently is thinking about investing in a waterbed. He seems to remember hearing that they may not be as good compared to traditional beds. Do they hurt your back or damage you in anyway? I wouldn't think they would but he wanted to me to check it out. Any other drawbacks or benefits to a waterbed over a traditional bed?
#2
Old 08-06-2006, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quasimodal
My roommate recently is thinking about investing in a waterbed. He seems to remember hearing that they may not be as good compared to traditional beds. Do they hurt your back or damage you in anyway? I wouldn't think they would but he wanted to me to check it out. Any other drawbacks or benefits to a waterbed over a traditional bed?

Does your landlord approve? When I was a res. manager, all my leases specifically prohibited the use of waterbeds.
#3
Old 08-06-2006, 09:43 PM
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Mr. SCL and I have been sleeping on a waterbed since we married in 1989. I, for one, find I am much stiffer upon awakening if I sleep on a regular mattress. Mr. SCL has a family history of hip disease and says it makes his hips much less painful than a regular mattress.

I think part of this is the warmth of the water mattress - you can adjust your heater from ice to just-below-melt-the-plastic. We usually adjust the thermostat twice a year - spring and fall.

Cats make a difference - we have a queen-size bed and buy king pads and covers to reduce the risk of kitty claws making tiny holes. Our first water mattress looked as if it had a disease because it had so many patches. Not to mention that "warm, wet" feeling...

I highly recommend them. Of course, I'm now 45 and thinking about a winch to help me out in the mornings!
#4
Old 08-06-2006, 09:49 PM
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Yeah, they can hurt you if you let them get too "soft" or low on water. Barring that, though, I've never slept on one that wasn't better than a regular mattress. Some of these newfangled mattresses might (or might not) be better, though.

And if you're living on any floor that doesn't have concrete under it, a waterbed may not be a great idea. They are very heavy when filled.
#5
Old 08-06-2006, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulFrost
And if you're living on any floor that doesn't have concrete under it, a waterbed may not be a great idea. They are very heavy when filled.
Growing up there were 2 super single waterbeds in my room. One for me and the other for my brother. Regular 2x10 floor joists in a house 25 years old.
#6
Old 08-06-2006, 11:05 PM
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Just don't fill it with heavy water.
#7
Old 08-06-2006, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers
Just don't fill it with heavy water.

That only makes a difference if you live with a nuclear family.
#8
Old 08-06-2006, 11:24 PM
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They're expensive, very heavy and use a lot of power, they can easily be the most expensive electrical appliance in your home. If they spring a leak, which is quite common, the water can do a lot of damage. The water requires regular maintenance and if you ignore it, it can be expensive. I've had two and I'll never have another, but there are many people who love them.
#9
Old 08-07-2006, 02:13 AM
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SnakesCatLady has a good point .. as lovely as a waterbed can be while sleeping in it, you still gotta get up out of it. I remember being 9 months pregnant and unable to get out of bed without my husband's help. If you plan on keeping one until retirement age, you might want to think about your ability to rise from one.
#10
Old 08-07-2006, 03:30 AM
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They are safe, as long as the heater works. If the heat goes out, don't try and sleep on it. Water is an excellent conductor of heat, and will draw the heat right out of your body.

They keep you nice and warm in the winter, assuming that the heat isn't broken of course.

YMMV, but I can't stand sleeping on the damn things. Mrs Geek bought one. I struggled with it for a week, then slept on the couch until she got rid of it. Some people love 'em, some people hate 'em. I hate 'em.

If you get one with more baffles in the mattress, it won't be quite so "wavy." With the old non-baffled ones, you can just about flip someone out of the bed by jumping into bed on the other side.

Filling and draining the mattress is time consuming, but easy.

Invest in a patch kit. It will leak, sooner or later. Leaks are generally no big deal. You may get a wet spot on your bed covers, but unless you attack the mattress with a chainsaw, you're not going to end up with big puddles all over the floor. Leaks are easy to patch.
#11
Old 08-07-2006, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek
They are safe, as long as the heater works. If the heat goes out, don't try and sleep on it. Water is an excellent conductor of heat, and will draw the heat right out of your body.
It works the other direction as well. The thermostat for my aunt's water bed went on the fritz, and the heater didn't turn off. My aunt said she dreamed of being in hell.
#12
Old 08-07-2006, 11:53 AM
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Waterbed heaters???? People still buy waterbeds that need heaters?

I've used waterbeds for 20 years and never had a heater. Tube style, the top mattress layer is thickish.

Note that the tubes sit in a "kiddie pool" chamber lined with plastic so leaks don't go anywhere. I just check occasionally when I change the sheets.

Tube style beds don't weigh that much/square foot compared to many other furniture items.

Mrs. FtG loves it, me not so much.
#13
Old 08-07-2006, 12:32 PM
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Since I have cats, mine has the "kiddie pool" liner also. I've never had a leak make it to the floor.

I remember reading somewhere that a waterbed weighs less per square foot than a fridge. None of the houses/apartments I've lived in were concrete slab, and I've had waterbeds in second floor apartments/military quarters. It never came crashing through.
#14
Old 08-07-2006, 02:21 PM
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We had one from 1988 to 2002 and loved it. No back problems whatsoever. Lovely in the winter when we turned up the heat, though a number of years we never bothered (ours was a soft-sider, that had a thick layer between the mattress and our hides; a more traditional style has your body closer to the plastic liner and you can become chilled if it's not heated). We ultimately got sick of replacing the liner every couple of years. I think the quality went downhill somewhat, as the first liner lasted 5-6 years before it failed.

It does ruin you for a regular mattress, comfort-wise, at least if you get a good waveless one. The old-fashioned wave-ful ones can be entertaining if you sit down on the edge suddenly and watch your spouse go flying off the other side

We ultimately replaced it with a Select Comfort bed (the "Sleep Number" line) and I like it but my husband has quite a bit of trouble with his back.
#15
Old 08-07-2006, 03:01 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawaiitentaclebeast
Does your landlord approve? When I was a res. manager, all my leases specifically prohibited the use of waterbeds.
I found out waterbeds cannot be excluded out of hand in this state by landlords.
But they can insist that waterbeds be constructed after some particular date when standards were implemented, that the bed contain an un-torn and un-patched liner, and insurance is used.
#16
Old 08-07-2006, 03:03 PM
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WARNING! 10 years of sleeping on a waterbed I screwed up my KNEE. I tend to sleep on my side and while the weight of your body pushes down in the middle, near the foot the water pushes up on your lower leg. This apparently separated the joint. Switching to a standard solved the problem.
#17
Old 08-07-2006, 04:20 PM
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I used to have a waterbed and liked it very much. But it got so it was more trouble than it was worth. I think that if you get a soft-side style bed instead of the traditional wood frame with bladder you could avoid the problems. Every little speck of food or spilled anything finds its way down between the mattress and the frame. It's hard to clean up because the matteress is so heavy. Also, if you sweat alot, you probably won't like a waterbed. I did like the swishing around feel and the warmth.
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