Advantages and Disadvantages of Waterbed Mattresses

Waterbeds for many people may be a throwback to the 1970′s but, like many ’70′s things, they are becoming popular again. In fact it’s a little surprising that it’s taken so long for waterbed mattresses to have their resurgence.

They come in two main forms – that’s the hard-sided beds and the soft-sided beds. On a hard-sided bed the waterbed mattress sits inside a rectangular wooden frame which rests on a plywood deck which all sits on a platform. A soft-sided waterbed has the mattress sitting inside a frame of sturdy foam, zippered inside a fabric casing, which sits on a platform that may resemble a conventional box-spring. The soft-sided type looks more like a standard bed.

How comfortable a waterbed is nowadays will largely depend on the mattress. The early ones often used a single water chamber which meant that motion in one area of the bed was transferred very easily via waves into the other areas of the bed. For sleeping couples this obviously wasn’t ideal. As the technology improved the mattresses incorporated wave-reducing methods such as fiber batting and interconnected water chambers. Nowadays some of the most expensive waterbeds are, essentially wave-less and use a mixture of interconnected air and water chambers.

Most waterbed mattresses are made from PVC. Punctures can be repaired with a normal vinyl repair kit. Many of these beds are heated ( sleeping on cold water can be uncomfortable)and temperature will be controlled by a thermostat, but this can be a rather expensive process as it uses a lot of electricity, especially in the case of a hard-sided model.

Other downsides of waterbeds include that sometimes hard-sided beds are made in different sizes to standard mattresses so that finding the right sized bedding can be problematical; movement of waterbeds is difficult as the bed needs to be drained, the base taken apart and, after movement, it needs to be re-assembled and filled with water that may need to be heated for many hours until it’s ready for use; also the chances of an annoying leak at some point in your waterbed’s life are fairly high – a plastic liner is a good idea to reduce damage but it will still need repairing which is a big inconvenience as the water will have to be drained and then re-filled again; the other major disadvantage is the heavy weight of a fully-filled waterbed, which can put a stress on floorboards in some properties – rented apartments especially may restrict the use of waterbeds.

Looking on the brighter side, the main advantages of waterbeds are that wave-less, heated models are extremely comfy, as there is virtually no pressure on the spine or the joints from water. The other main reason why people might choose a waterbed is that there is no place for dust-mites or other potential allergens to hide; even dirt and dead skin can be easily cleaned from the surface of the bed so they are very hygienic and easy to maintain.

The price of waterbeds will vary hugely – you will see $200 beds online, but you will also see $2000 beds in the same stores. As ever, do your research first and choose carefully.

Sleep Number beds are made by Select Comfort and have been on the market for about 25 years now. You may have seen them advertised on TV by Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or you may even have been into one of their 400 stores nationwide. They have been marketed as the adjustable bed for personalized comfort on each side of the mattress, but how much does a Sleep Number bed cost?

Let’s first just see what these beds feature as it will help to explain their price. They have an adjustable air chamber in the middle of each side of the mattress. Above the foundation, the air chamber is situated between two support foam layers, above which lies a comfort pad of foam before the mattress is topped off by a breathable knit fabric cover. So the whole bed is foam and air based – there are no springs at all.

Select Comfort advertise their Sleep Number bed prices on their web site so there is no great mystery, but their pricing policy can mean that it’s very difficult to find discounted beds.

The Classic range features 4 beds ranging in price from $1000 – $1800 for a queen size mattress with a standard modular base (not including a mattress cover.) The pricing difference is based upon the thickness of the mattress and the type of remote control.

The Performance Series includes 3 beds that range in price from $2000 – $2800 for a queen size mattress with a standard modular base. Again thicknesses vary between the cheaper and more expensive models, as well as the usage of memory foam in the top of the range P7 model.

Finally the two mattresses in the Innovation series are priced at $3000 and $4500 for a queen size, depending on the thickness of the memory foam comfort layer.

You will see from the above that the Sleep Number bed cost will be prohibitive for many people, but Select Comfort do run sale pricing on their beds from time to time and it’s worth checking their web site for current promotions. Often savings of a few hundred dollars are advertised there.

Ikea are a massive European name in home decorating, originating from Scandinavia and now being recognized all around the world for reasonably-priced, good quality products. They have outlets in over 40 countries and have been in the US since the 1980′s. Let’s take a look at some Ikea mattress review sites to see how their bedding shapes up.

I think it’s fair to say that Ikea mattresses fall into the value-for-money, high-volume bracket. They are made for bulk sale and are therefore priced very much at the lower end of the scale.

There are around 20-25 mattresses to choose from in several ranges. The most basic twin size Jaren spring mattresses can be picked up for around $80 online and would be best suited as a spare bed – they probably would not stand up to the rough and tumble of everyday usage. Even thicker spring mattresses like the Sultan Huglo are only around $150 online. Slightly more advanced active response coil mattresses are also available at a slightly higher price.

Next we move to the foam mattresses. Ikea make a mixture of high-resilience foam mattresses, memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses. The memory foam models range from $200 – $600 for a twin size, depending on thickness. Natural latex models are around $350 – $700 (twin size) and are top of the range, as per usual, though there are couple of spring/latex combinations that are cheaper.

Ikea mattresses, while very reasonable priced, do come with a 25 year limited warranty in most cases (please note that the Jaren, mentioned above, does NOT.) In the US you are able to exchange a mattress within ninety days if you’re not satisfied with it.

They use edge support technology that reinforces the area of the mattress that suffers wear and tear most easily – Ikea claim that a 220 pound weight is raised and lowered onto the bed’s edge 20,000 times during testing. They also claim that the main body of their mattresses are tested by a body weight moving up and down on them 10,000 times.

Ikea mattresses are sold with a choice of removable, washable covers that make maintenance of the mattresses a breeze. They make a wide array of mattress toppers and bed bases too, including box springs and slatted bases that are often bought together with the mattresses. They also have a range of futon beds and sofa-beds if you are looking for space-saving ideas.

Ikea mattress reviews are a little hard to come by online, other than on the Ikea site itself. One site that we did spend some time one rated most Ikea mattresses well for their value for money and warranty, as well as their overall comfort. The main criticism was that some of their mattresses are not very thick so watch out for that when shopping.

There’s not really much of a secret to finding the best mattress prices these days. Unless you are lucky enough to need a new mattress at the time that a bedding center is closing down and you can pick up a phenomenal price in the sale they are holding, then it is likely that the best price will be online. If you are reading this then you will probably know that already and you may be familiar with the discounts that can be made by buying items online.

A word of warning here though, to those who are not used to the process – it is all well and good going for the cheap mattress prices you can find online, but it’s not much use if the mattress you receive is not comfortable, not the right one or is delivered to the wrong address! Each of these things can and do happen…here’s how to prevent them happening to you.

Firstly you need to research your product. Considering you may be using it for 8 hours a night for the next 10 years it’s the least you can do for your peace of mind and your back! Spending time to check the manufacturers’ web site and balance the claims they make with what independent review sites say is a good way of getting a fuller picture.

Also, balance your online research with testing beds out in-store. Beds are a very personal buy, so the more you can try the more you will have a feel for the right type for your body. If you will be sharing your mattress with a partner then make sure you both check them out.

The trick is to make notes while shopping in the store. Take note of the exact models you like, the sizes, the finishes and all the options that are best for you. You can then check for mattresses from the same maker of this exact spec online. You may be lucky and find the exact one at a reduced price from the store. Buying “cold” online, having no prior experience of comfort or support levels, is a dangerous path to take and is not advised.

Likewise, if you do decide to take advantage of the best mattress prices online then be sure to use a retailer that has a good track record of delivering what it promises. That means that they should have efficient selection, ordering, payment and delivery procedures.

Corsicana mattress reviews – Named after the Texas town in which they were founded, Corsicana Bedding Inc. was formed in 1971, so they are relatively new on the US mattress-making scene. Originally formed to meet the demand for furniture and bedding from mobile home manufacturers, they expanded to become a leading US retail brand of box-spring beds, especially in the western states. That expanded eastwards to the point that they eventually moved their manufacturing plant to Tennessee, where they are now based.

Corsicana pride themselves on being low cost, high volume, wholesale manufacturers and supplying discount models that are attractive to dealers and are delivered on time. They market to dealers rather than to the public.

Nowadays, Corsicana mattresses fall into 6 main ranges and the company also makes bunk-beds and has a rental service. The 6 mattress ranges are the Visco Memory Foam collection, the Regal Collection, the Elegance Collection, the Elite Collection, the Bingham Collection and the Harmony Collection.

All of the Inner-spring collections feature a large range of mattresses. In most of the collections there are 4 Double-Sided mattresses that vary from 290-460 inner-springs (Verticoils or Bonnell springs), 9 Single-Sided mattresses that have a similar range of spring densities, 7 Foam-Encased mattresses that all have 460 Verticoils but are foam encased to add more edge support to the sides. Finally in the Bingham Collection are the Pocket-Spring mattresses that feature between 567 and 720 pocket springs in foam encased units. Most of the mattresses mentioned come with a 1 to 5 year warranty, except the pocket springs which are little higher grade and carry a 10-year warranty. The differences between the Regal, Harmony, Elegance, Elite and Bingham are minimal.

The Visco Memory Foam range includes 3 mattresses with Plush, Euro-top or Pillow-top finishes. The lowest spec model features 2 inches of 4 LB memory foam with 6 inches of support foam and the highest grade model uses 3 inches of memory foam and 7 inches of support foam. All mattresses come with a 10 year warranty.

Corsicana mattress prices are very reasonable. They don’t pretend to make the highest quality mattresses and there prices are clearly aimed at high volume. You can pick Queen size inner-springs up for a few hundred dollars online and even their memory foam models are not expensive. It is actually quite difficult to find a Corsicana mattress priced at more than about $650.

Reports about the mattresses offering 5 to 10 year warranties are fairly good, with many people happy that they didn’t spend the extra money on a higher-end brand that spends a lot of their money on advertising – which the mattress buyer ends up paying for. Corsicana advertises only to dealers, so their overheads are immediately lower in this sense.

The Sealy Posturepedic mattress is something of an institution in the mattress world, if only for the length of time that it’s been gracing the showroom floors around the US. Not only have Sealy themselves been making mattresses for 130 years, but they have been producing the Posturepedic model in various guises for 60 years!

During the Great Depression, Sealy not only managed to survive, but they introduced a new Button-Free Innerspring mattress model. This tells you something about the company and helps explain why they have risen to become the largest mattress manufacturer in the world. They sell a LOT of beds!

Even as times have changed and new models have been introduced – like the Embody range of memory foam and latex foam mattresses – the Sealy Posturepedic models still sit proudly as a key feature of the Sealy lines.

If you are looking to buy one of these what will you get for your investment? Firstly, being 60 years old, you probably guessed it’s a traditional innerspring model but it’s not quite that simple. There are 2 different types of systems used – one using the Posturepedic Titanium SS technology and the other using the Posturepedic Titanium DSx. The SS is a single-stage coil and the DSx is a dual-stage coil that offers even more support. The center third of the mattress, where the most support is necessary, is power-packed to further increase support there.

All mattresses feature LiftRight handles which may or may not go all the way around, making maintenance of the mattresses (turning, flipping, changing bed linen) much easier. They also feature a StayTight rubber foundation cover stops shifting of the mattress on its base.

Around the edges of Sealy Posturepedic mattresses you find the SitTight Edge System which reinforces the bed edges from the wear and tear they can experience; it also extends the sleeping surface right to the corners of the mattress.

The base of a Posturepedic is adjustable and uses a Dual Massage programmable position memory function and a wireless controller.

The top of the mattress comes down to your personal taste, as Sealy offer plush, firm and pillow-top finishes for you to choose from.

The mattresses are available in all the standard sizes you would expect, plus the California King size and a split Queen size (two 30″ x 80″ box springs.) They all come with a 10 year warranty.

Sealy Posturepedic prices vary depending on the options you choose, but the most basic Queen size mattress will be around $600. If you choose a Titanium DSx it will be around $900 for the mattress.

Loft beds are from the same family as bunk beds, in that they include an elevated bed on the top level that is usually reached by a ladder running up the end of the structure; unlike bunk beds they don’t have a lower bed. Instead they have an open space underneath that can be used for storage using a chest, drawers, shelves or even a desk or work station.

Sometimes the storage devices may be built in to the structure. This makes them popular in homes where space can be a problem – especially in kids’ rooms, where clutter and mess can be a problem and where loft beds will also hold some novelty value.

Sturdy, cheap loft beds are available at major online retailers like Amazon, as well as sites that focus on bunk bed style beds. They may be more expensive than bunk beds if they have built in storage areas or other features, as some do. For example, some of them will have a built in trundle bed that stores away and can be rolled out when needed to provide an extra sleeping surface.

As with other types of beds like cabin (captain’s) beds, designers have become more and more creative with loft beds to tap into their novelty value with children. This has created something of a resurgence in the popularity of kids loft beds. Nowadays there are ones specifically aimed at young girls bedrooms that are pink colored and Wendy House or cottage shaped, with slides and other accessories; likewise for boys there are loft beds in the theme of castles or boats.

The simplest kids loft beds, made of powder-coated steel and really just a frame with a slatted upper base for a twin mattress, a side rail for safety and a built-in ladder, are available for a couple of hundred dollars online, with the more elaborate themed ones, made from wood and with lots of built-in draws, closets and a workstation, rising to over two thousand dollars, even when discounted on Amazon.

If you’ve ever had to consider getting temporary bedding for your home you are probably no stranger to the air mattress concept, whereby an inflatable bed can be deflated and packed away in a closet when not being used, to save floor-space. Here we take a look at one of the leading manufacturers of these items, by casting an eye over the Coleman air mattress collection.

The first mattress to look at is the Double High Pillow Top Air Mattress. This is a queen size bed (78″ long by 60″ wide when inflated) that is as thick as a standard mattress and is topped off with a fiber-filled, quilted, pillow-top pad, just like a standard mattress. Of course there are no springs or foam though – just air inside. The pad zips off and can be machine washed for easy maintenance. The bed is designed for permanent or frequent use (as opposed to some air mattresses which are not as robust and are designed for temporary or occasional use.) It has a built-in electric pump that inflates and deflates the bed in seconds and the Coleman Airtight System guarantees a leak-free mattress. Usually it comes with a convenient carry bag that makes it nice and portable.

Another of the more popular air beds from Coleman is the Queen Double-High Airbed with 120 Volt Pump. This mattress measures 78″ long x 60″ wide x 17″ thick when inflated, so is again the same size as a standard queen mattress set that raises the sleeper well off the floor. It has a soft suede finish to it that provides a smooth and soft sleeping surface. Obviously firmness can be controlled by deflating or inflating the mattress and it comes with an electric pump that inflates the bed in about 3 minutes. It uses the Coleman Advanced Double Lock Valve, which locks in the air, working in combination with the Coleman Airtight System. It is easy to store as it can be rolled up, so it makes an ideal bed to keep for visitors who need a place to rest their head for the night. You should find that this mattress wears well as it is made from resilient PVC that doesn’t puncture easily but, like with all air mattresses, it’s best to keep the cats away from it!

The above mattress also comes in Twin size, measuring 78″ long x 39″ wide x 17″ thick when fully inflated. There are several other variations on this theme in the Coleman Collection that are featured on their web site and available on Amazon for around $60-80. Coleman also makes a combination air mattress and cot, designed for guests or camping quarters. It has a lightweight aluminum folding frame and nylon cover and the frame carries a three-year warranty.

If you’re expecting a new arrival in the coming months you will have to put some time to selecting from the wide array of baby cribs available in the mother and baby stores, baby sections of department stores and at specialist sites online. The trick to making a good choice is combining reading online with physical testing and measuring.

Starting with size, there is a standard crib size in the US, since regulators clamped down in the 1970′s.This is 30 inches wide by 54 inches long. This is important because when you buy your crib mattress it will need to fit as snugly as possible. You will need to measure both the crib and the mattress yourself , rather than relying on the measurements on the labels, and when the mattress is sitting in the crib there should not be more than two fingers width of a gap between the mattress edge and the crib sides. This is a safety precaution so that there is no place for catching anything or creating suffocation risks.

There are many other safety considerations to bear in mind, seeing as that’s the single most important factor when selecting the best baby cribs. Most manufacturers in the US fully abide by the guidelines set down by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, but it doesn’t hurt for you to know some of the key ones as you are choosing your crib: firstly, the vertical bars or slats on the sides and ends must be 2 and 3/8 inches or less apart, so that your baby cannot get stuck or fall through. You should also check that the slats or bars are fixed firmly and cannot be dislodged by a strong baby. Thirdly, when the sides are lowered there must be at least 9 inches between the top of the mattress and the top of the side; this distance must be 26 inches minimum when the sides are raised.

This last point will not be a factor in the future because, as of June 2011, all cribs sold in the US will have to have fixed sides; the sale of and use of drop-side cribs in hotels and care centers will be prohibited, because of connections to infant deaths. In fact, 50 infants die each year and around 9,000 are injured in crib bed accidents in the U.S.

Apart from the regulations there are some basic safety precautions you can take yourself so that you know you are choosing one of the safest baby cribs. This includes a firmness test for the mattress: if you can bend it in two then it is far too soft; it will need to have some firmness to it so that suffocation pockets cannot form.

In addition to this, check carefully what is in your baby mattress. Sometimes labels can be misleading and claim all “natural” materials despite chemicals being used in the treatment of those materials to make them waterproof or fire retardant for example. Many parents like to choose all natural or organic crib mattresses nowadays, which use materials like wool, cotton and latex, so there is no risk of toxins affecting their baby.

Nowadays baby cribs come in many different designs and some of them can even be converted in to a toddler’s bed when the child has outgrown the crib. As well as convertible cribs there are also Jenny Lind designs, sleigh designs, rocking cribs, mini-cribs, round cribs, portable cribs and cribs for twins. Some cribs may be mounted on caster wheels these days and others may include storage compartments underneath.

You might be lucky and find safe, well-made cheap baby cribs online, but be wary of ones that are too cheap as they may not last or they may present a safety hazard.

Serta, based in Illinois, are the second largest mattress manufacturer in the US after Sealy. They have been making mattresses for 80 years and are best known for their inner-spring mattresses like the Perfect Sleeper and also their latex mattresses, which they supply to the hospitality industry as well as to home users. Here we take a quick look at the Serta memory foam mattress range to see how it stacks up.

Memory foam mattresses appear across several Serta ranges including the Perfect Sleeper and the Vera Wang ranges and they also make quite a range of memory foam toppers.

The Vera Wang is probably the best known of the Serta memory foam mattresses. The collection actually uses Serta’s exclusive Free Flex Innerspring (532 coils in a queen size) as its core and latex foam or memory foam is added in selected models. The memory foam model is a luxurious bed that uses a dense, high quality, 5lb memory foam that molds to the contours of the body, relieves pressure on the joints and reduces motion transfer to an absolute minimum, because it absorbs the movement of the sleeper without affecting the other sections of the mattress. It uses SmartFabric technology to finish the mattress off and keep the sleeping surface cool. The Vera Wang mattresses are also extremely sturdy and robust, employing a double-beam foundation and they back up this durability with a 30-year limited warranty.

If you are shopping for a Vera Wang mattress then you will need to check out the various comfort finishes that Serta provide – whether you opt for the Euro-Top, the Firm or the Plush finish will depend on just how soft you like your comfort layer. The Euro Top features an extra layer of upholstery to provide extra cushioning like the Pillow-Top (but it will feel slightly firmer than the Pillow-Top.) The Plush finish will feel soft even without the extra upholstery layer – this is achieved by extra comfort layers at the sleep surface. Some people choose the Vera Wang without these comfort finishes and prefer the classic memory foam with zippered cover, so that they are sleeping directly on the memory foam core rather than plush comfort layers on top of it.

Serta claim that they make the best mattresses in the world. This can be debated forever, but the Vera Wang memory foam model is certainly well rated online. A queen sells for around $1500 in stores but you should be able to pick it up at a discounted price online.

Southerland Inc. is another one of the traditional US manufacturers that has been producing mattresses for well over a century. With their headquarters in Nashville Tennessee they are unusual in that they are 100% employee-owned. Southerland made a name for quality in production of inner-spring mattresses but recently announced an agreement with the Sharper Image to make specialty mattresses in memory foam, inner spring, air and latex, plus adjustable mattresses. Here we take a quick look at the existing Southerland mattress range.

The main Southerland collections are the basic Southerland range, the Sleep Xpressions range, the American Sleep range, the Estate Collection, the Majestic gold, the Majestic Silver and the Total Protection range.

If we take a cross-section of Southerland mattresses from across these ranges we see that a queen size Sleep Xpressions Rockwell inner-spring is a 14 inch mattress that includes over 800 coils in combination with memory foam or latex foam. It costs around $900 and comes with a 12-year warranty. A queen size Singer mattress from the same range is slightly thicker, uses latex foam and costs around $1000 and a Turner will be around $1200.

In the Majestic Silver range a queen size Athens mattress is a 7.6 inches thick mattress, using around 460 coils, polyurethane foam in the comfort layers and comes with a 7-year warranty. This mattress retails for around $400.

This gives you a feel for Southerland mattresses but it is rather difficult to find much information online for such an established mattress manufacturer. The Southerland official web site has many pictures of their beds but very little detail on the individual products; likewise you may find it a struggle to find much in the way of meaningful Southerland mattress reviews.

Fold Up beds are something you may consider for a temporary bedding solution where space is at a premium – like in a small apartment for example. Usually apartment living means that you don’t have a spare room, so if you want to host overnight guests then you need a way to provide a temporary bed without it taking up floor-space. There are a few options available for you.

Probably the most common space-saving beds in this situation are futon sofa-beds and air mattresses – not really fold-up beds – but saving space by acting as a sofa or chair in the case of a futon and being able to be packed away in a cupboard in the case of an air mattress.

A true fold up bed, on the other hand, can be in the form of a simple army-style canvas bed on a metal frame – usually a single/twin size for one person; an ottoman bed that stacks joined cushions into an ottoman stool when not being used as a folded-out bed – again, usually a one-person size; a wall bed or “Murphy bed” as it’s known in the US, that completely hides in the wall and then folds out – this may be a full, queen or king size unit and is a very high end solution; or, most commonly a fold-up bed may be in the same form that a hotel or hospital will use for an extra guest in a room – these will fold a metal frame and mattress in half, so that it can be stored neatly in a cupboard or storage room, taking up no floor-space. Many of these will be mounted on caster wheels for extra portability and may be called “rollaway beds.”

If you are looking for any of these types of folding bed units to keep tucked away in your apartment the best place to shop is online. Most bricks and mortar stores may have very limited ranges of these types of specialist beds but online there are stores that are designed with these fold up beds and other temporary bedding solutions in mind. There will be more choice and the prices will be more competitive. Of course you need to check brands and quality, but it’s less important for you to check personal comfort levels as it will only be used occasionally and temporarily, not every night like a bed in the master bedroom.

For example, a cheap fold up hotel-style bed, on wheels, can be bought for around $150 online. Higher-end, heavy duty models with sturdier frames and plusher mattresses may be up to $500 or $600, but there are plenty of designs to choose from between these two extremes.

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