Waterbeds- not just for the 70’s anymore:
Waterbeds mattresses are those filled with water, either in a single or multi chambered environment. The modern version of the waterbed mattress was invented in San Francisco, patented in 1971, and became a hugely popular item throughout the 1970’s. Sales peaked in the mid to late 80’s, comprising about 22% of the domestic mattress industry.
Waterbeds mattresses come in essentially two types; Hard sided and Soft sided. Hard sided waterbeds are a water containing mattress inside of a generally rectangular wooden frame that rests on a plywood ‘deck’ atop a platform.
A soft sided waterbed is a water filled mattress inside of a rectangular frame of sturdy foam, zippered inside a fabric casing, which sits atop a platform. Soft sided waterbeds look like conventional beds and are designed to fit existing bedroom furniture. The platform usually looks like a conventional bed frame or Box Spring and sits on a reinforced metal frame.
Many of the early waterbed mattresses and inexpensive modern mattresses are comprised of a single water chamber. These single chamber mattresses can have significant wave action and take awhile to settle down after a disturbance. Over time, mattresses began using wave reducing methods like fiber batting (called ‘fiber filling’ or ‘baffling’) and interconnected water chambers. More expensive ‘waveless’ modern waterbeds have a mixture of air and water chambers, usually interconnected.
Waterbed mattresses are generally constructed from soft polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or similar material. They can be repaired with almost any vinyl repair kit. The waterbed mattresses are normally heated and the heat is controlled by a thermostat the sleeper uses, this is especially prevalent in the single chamber beds, as they generally have less foam padding and insulation surrounding them.