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hardside vs softside waterbed experience



New Member
Hey everybody. I am starting this thread for getting your reviews about hard-sided versus soft-sided waterbed. Now you may ask why waterbed in this day and age when we get a super comfortable mattress. The answer to it lies in my past, my childhood days. I hope you don’t mind if I weave you the tale that is my childhood and some awesome memories that are entailed with it.

We used to have this house back in Colorado where we’d sometimes spend our weekends as a family. We would sit together and play games and have the mushiest conversations about boyfriends/girlfriends and then have our dad philosophize about life. Those were good times. This was also the one time of the month where I’d sleep the best. Not only most comfortable, but also the longest.

I don’t know how many of you had this kind of a bed, but I used to have this old hard-sided bladder type bed which was the love of my life until I was 15. There wasn’t a day that would go by when I wouldn’t dream to be on it again, and then I begged my parents to let me bring it home.

When I was old enough to work, I bought one for my house as well and felt like my life’s purpose had been fulfilled. I don’t know, but sometimes when you sleep comfortably on any mattress, sleeping on any other one just makes you compare it with the better one. That’s been my entire life.

Now coming to mattress part, I want to relive my childhood days (regarding sleep), and my question here is whether they make that kind of beds anymore and if yes, where do I start looking? Any and all answer appreciated.


New Member
Hey @AshwinMah. Thank you for creating this thread and making us take a stroll into our childhood. It was a pleasuring read for sure, and I also had a similar childhood where sleeping on the waterbed was my favorite part of the day (at least that’s all I distinctly remember). I get glimpses now and then of the comfort I’d experience on that mattress and remember the good old days, but I am happy to tell you that I still sleep on a nice hard-sided waterbed.

Yes, you heard it right, they are still in the market. In fact, now there are some innovations in the field as well. Sure, they do not feel the same way anymore, but I have to say, I’ve been using this waterbed for nearly three years now, and I still find it just as good as my old bed back when I was 15 years of age. The bed that I use is known as a waveless waterbed. It is nice because unlike the older mattresses, they do not have water-filled bladders. I reckon that this is something you would remember about the older bed.

If this is something that you liked about the mattress, that explains why you are “reminiscing” instead of going right out there and getting yourself one of them bad boys. Moreover, this innovation does add some perks to it. Don’t get me wrong, I too liked the older bed’s feeling a lot, but I think after three years, this one has grown on me, and I am absolutely in love with it.


New Member
Thanks, @pwarbi for giving great news.

I can’t help but reminisce back to the older days when I used to have smaller troubles and bigger sleeping cycles when I didn’t have many responsibilities as I do now. Sometimes, I wonder perhaps the back issues I have now have more to do with the fact that I am buried with work constantly and barely have time to concentrate on anything else, like my family.

But most of all, I wonder if I still had that waterbed now, and how it would make me sleep effortlessly even today because I do believe that that mattress was responsible for my being a happy kid. Also, the mattress I have now is a real bi**h to my back and makes me feel so old. I keep going back to the old hard-sided mattress and can’t help but think that they just don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

The only other mattress that I’ve slept half as comfortably as that is the Tempur-Pedic. Sure makes you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has ever slept on the soft-sided one? I haven’t, but I did find it in the market recently and couldn’t help but gawk. This had always been my dream, to involve this beauty into my life and be able to share this moment with my family and possibly pass it on to my children, so I am all up for buying it.

Just that I have my concerns; now I don’t know if the soft-sided mattress is the same as the hard-sided. What if it isn’t and I end up making a huge mistake? This is my only concern. Oh, and what if they don’t make them as they used to in the olden times? I mean I am not that old, but I am seeing some significant changes in the past decade with companies that used to make mattresses better earlier and now just focus on getting their sales and hence infuse their mattresses with the cheap material? At least that’s what I’d heard about some of the giant companies in the industry. I just had these doubts, as to whether it is possible that they feel the same?

Anyway, I shall go try out the soft-sided mattress and have a decent conversation with them as well, asking them if they can perhaps customize a hard-sided mattress, maybe? I don’t mind paying a little extra for that either. Also, if anyone has any idea about whether those mattresses are still for sale ANYWHERE let me know :) That would be a big help.


New Member
Hey @AshwinMah. Your question about the soft-sided: I tried it out three years ago when I was buying this hard-sided beauty, just for fun. Also, my next door neighbor back in the day would always rave about hers and how it was a soft-sided bed and that was always something I’d wanted to try out. Sadly enough it wasn’t half as good as I’d imagined it. Now I don’t know if it was because of this weird layer it had on top, a padded layer that too. It was thick and, therefore, there was this overall loss of feeling that you often get from waterbeds, the feeling of being close to the water.

That was lost altogether, and I decided immediately that this was not what I wanted. I did try out some others too and found that there is just so much innovation today, so many types of beds that you can take your pick. I suggest you go down there and have a detailed conversation with the salesperson/manager, whoever has a decent amount of knowledge about the same and explain to them what you’re in search of.

Since they are well aware of the specifications of all the beds, they will direct you to the right bed. Also if you have time, I suggest that you try them out yourself, because it’s not always believable what they say. I know that when I went, my salesman was pushing me towards the direction of the pricier model, but I spent a good day trying them all out, performing personal experiments on them just to make sure that it matched my level of comfort.

I think that waterbeds are one of the best-maintained secrets even today and the fact that people do not love it as much as us is a real shame. This may just be because most of them have never slept on it, but this gives a feeling that cannot be expressed with words. That said, do not expect too many replies to this query on this forum because over here, people have evolved quite a bit and are becoming more latex indulged. :) :)


New Member
Hey guys. I appreciate the detour down the memory lane, but I do have a story of my own which I’d like to tell you guys, and I hope you get the point that I’m trying to make (trust me, I will be as blunt as possible) only so that it can be like a warning for you. Also note that I am in no way a professional within the field, just know this from personal experience. There’s also no guarantee that you will undergo the same situation, but decided it was my duty to warn you.

So I too used to sleep on a nice waterbed when I was a kid and even took it to college with me because of how much in love I was with it. I had the soft-sided bed though, and I am not sure what the difference is, but after that, I moved in with my boyfriend, and as a welcome home present, he got me a hard-sided bed that was 90% waveless, and my sleeping experience just got better from there on. No doubt, the hard-sided is better for me, of course, if you have been on these mattress forums for a bit, then you’d know that this is a purely subjective factor. Moreover, there’s no saying that the same bed would give you the same amount of comfort.

Either way, now it’s been more than seven years that I’ve been using it, and while the experience is the same every time I get into bed, a few hours into sleeping on it, my arms fall asleep, my joints start hurting and this numbing pain starts circulating up and down my lower back. I cannot get myself to roll out of bed every morning because of how stiff I feel and getting into an upright position is the most challenging thing I’ve done in years.

More than that, there is this stabbing pain in my hips and shoulders (pressure points, I believe). Yes, maybe this has to do with my weight because I am a little on the heavier side, but I’d certainly expect that a bed can support my weight just right. Yes, in terms of comfort there’s still nothing wrong with the mattress, but my concern is, with us growing older and older, maybe a waterbed is just not appropriate in terms of support for our bodies.

Growing old is entailed with all sorts of issues, backaches, joint pain (for people with arthritis) and in general when your body is not as healthy and fit as it used to be. I remember myself springing up bright and beamy every morning before going to school/college, but now it takes me a good 10 minutes to get out of bed. This is why this bed belongs in our guestroom now, or if we have kids anytime soon, for them. I realize you want to share this experience with your kids, which is a great idea.

I just think that if you are getting the bed for yourself, and if you’re well above 30 years of age, I can tell you from personal experience that that is not the smartest decision. Of course, this varies from person to person, and you may be super fit even at this age, but still, I am not so sure that it is the most appropriate bed structure for a grown adult. Just my personal opinion based off of some very personal experiences which I have shared with you :) Now the decision is yours of course.

Oh, and I must say that my mattress also had an extra inch of a pad. Sure, I could not feel the water below me but that grew on me, and I started liking the way the bed felt to me. But most importantly, people don’t realize how risky it is to have a waterbed, especially if you have long nails (or a cat), both of which I do and I was frightened when I saw the bed initially because its durability was at stake. But this extra layer gave a protective edge to the bed, and in the past seven years, I’ve had zero issues with regard to that.


New Member
Thank you @elnory09 for sharing your concerns. I must admit that I sounded sort of socially retarded for a minute back there. Honestly these days on forums, when people make new threads they just ask their queries super blunt and leave it at that. Where’s the love and affection? Where’s the bonding, making new friends, or even acquaintances? Either way, first off @pwarbi, I am very well aware of the fact that this forum is loaded with latex and memory foam fans, which is all good because I see where they’re coming from.

I too owned a Tempur-Pedic mattress, which I assume I’ve mentioned in my post, and I loved it. It was a queen size, and my favorite thing about it was the polyfoam sprayed on the back of the cover, giving it a unique waterproof property. It was the coolest thing, and I just noticed that I might have a thing for mattresses and water. But this was so fun for me because I do not like sleeping hot AT ALL which has always been my #1 complaint sleeping on memory foam mattresses. My wife’s parents have only memory foam mattresses at their place, so some summer nights are horrible for me, but that’s the price that comes with a family, I suppose. I like the sweat staying away from the foam.

@elnory09 that is such a coincidence, we have about four cats of our own (and currently cat-sitting my sister’s as well) which is why I am considering the soft-sided bed now, and I am so happy you posted what you did, about the thickness layer. I would’ve NEVER considered that and that is a huge selling point, I can’t thank you enough. We would’ve gone with a normal mattress, but honestly, after the queen we had, we upgraded to a King when our first born got a little older to sleep on beds and MAN. It was the worst mattress ever. We were steering clear of TP and never looking back. My entire family agreed upon that.

Either way, since we do have so many cats at the moment, I am considering checking out the soft-side. Plus, never had it and have never wanted to try it, which is making me want to try it even more now. Also, I am a side sleeper, but my hard-sided bed was so perfect for me. My shoulders and hips never felt sore or even tender. It’s crazy, but I still remember exactly how it felt under me, which is why I never wanted to go try out the newer ones because I did try one and it was SO different.

I guess I just panicked, that if I kept trying newer ones, the memory of the older one would become a distant memory. Anyway, tomorrow we have been booked to check out and try the King soft-sided waveless (single bladder) model which is said to have two layers until reaching the cover. This I hope is not too far away from the water but at the same time just enough to provide a cool surface to sleep on as well as keep my cats away from potential damage to the bed.

Oh, there was this other model that I saw which involved tubes and something about that seemed overly exciting, but I will describe it in more detail after I get back from tomorrow’s long day. I am going with my two children as well who are old enough to make their judgment. Also, I’ll let you know which one I end up buying ultimately. Thanks


New Member
WOW!!! Can I just say I am so thrilled to see this thread on this forum? Who would’ve thought this day would come. It’s a true “throwback” indeed, and even though I’ve never owned one, I am considering getting one now. I am not as old as one would think, so I think I can make do with it. I think I too will go with the Dreamweaver, which from what I know has excellent quality and everything. Also, I too have two pets, and I’m not ready to risk the mattress’ comfort, so I will make sure to get the one with an extra layer (or two) of padding to keep the pets off.

One question I’ve always had, but never had to ask since I’ve never owned one before, is about the waterbed: when exactly do you stop filling the bed with water? I am not sure if this is even a valid question, or you’re just going to start laughing in my face, but remember I’ve never actually owned one of these before and as you can see the excitement is getting to me. Also, I am quite the impulse buyer, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I talked myself into buying one this very hour!

Either way, I do reckon that there is a certain “burping” period that comes with the instructions? I mean too much water in the mattress cannot be good, and I am only assuming it would render the mattress excessively hard? I for sure do not want that. I like how these waterbeds feel in general, but most importantly the cool surface it provides for the sleeper to sleep on. I have been using memory foam for years now and always wake up covered in sweat. Time to say goodbye to those good old (not so much) days and satisfy my inner child. I was leaning toward the soft-side bed mostly, but now I reckon that the hard-side would be more appropriate for me.

Thank you so much for your valid input, everyone and helping me be able to make this decision FINALLY. I need something which can help me keep my heater off, and the bladder can just be covered to provide a comfortable surface to sleep on, despite the cold water that is filled within the bladder.