Waterbeds are often seen in a negative light, but the latest generation of energy-saving waterbeds from Akva is light years ahead of the discount products of the past. The answers given on these pages explain why.
What are the advantages of a waterbed?
Waterbeds offer five important benefits - total body and back support, minimal surface pressure for greater comfort, a genuinely hygienic surface, a controllable sleeping temperature and remarkable durability. These qualities are essential for a superior sleeping environment.
Don't I need a firm mattress?
The worst bed to sleep on is a soft, shapeless mattress providing little or no support. In the past, a firm bed was the only alternative to this. But this firmness increases the few points of hard contact between you and mattress. These 'pressure points' often restrict your blood circulation and induce more tossing and turning. By contrast, a waterbed provides a therapeutic sleeping surface combining the essential qualities of support and comfort.
Are there medical benefits with a waterbed?
Many. In fact, the medical benefits of waterbeds were being appreciated and developed long before the modern commercial waterbed was in production. It was realised that 'the state of weightlessness' relieved bedsores and assisted in the repair of burn injuries. The gentle, even support and warmth of a waterbed is particularly beneficial to those suffering from arthritis or rheumatism. Waterbeds are extensively used in the care of premature babies and have been of great help to pregnant and nursing mothers.
Waterbeds are also highly recommended for asthma and allergy sufferers because a water-filled mattress cannot absorb dust of bacteria. They are easily cleaned with a mild disinfectant and the removable, washable covers can be laundered free of the irritating house dust mite.
Research has also shown that people fall asleep faster on a waterbed and that a good night's sleep is one of the best forms of medication in any type of illness. The support, comfort and warmth all contribute to better health and a more relaxed state of mind.
Are there any disadvantages to a waterbed?
The only criticism might be the need to plan the extra time required to fill or drain the bed. For a product with so many advantages, it is a small inconvenience.
Are waterbeds good for my back?
A waterbed provides the best support your back can get. When you lie on a flotation mattress the water displaces to contour to your shape. The bed does not sag or distort (even a decade later it remains the same). Whether you are heavy or light it automatically and immediately adjusts to provide total body support. These features combined with the low surface pressure and precise temperature control provide a superior back support system.
Will I feel seasick on a waterbed?
Not at all. Unless you move, a waterbed will not move. Any motion you give to the mattress tends to be gentle and soothing and ceases as soon as you stop moving. If you select a very stable mattress there will be minimal movement at any time - even if your partner moves.
Remember, the pressure reduced support of a waterbed also minimises the need to toss and turn while you are sleeping.
Will the waterbed sag?
No. A water mattress is a very forgiving surface even if you jump on it. Unlike conventional springs it will not sag or distort. Even a decade later, your waterbed remains as comfortable and supportive as the first night you slept on it.
Will I wake my partner getting into bed?
Very unlikely. Unless you literally dive on to the bed, the movement you create will be gentle and relaxing. The more stable your mattress, the less movement will be generated.
I am heavier than my partner. Will that be a problem?
No. The waterbed will support you equally. Also a dual (split) system is available allowing individual stability and temperature within in each mattress.
Is it easy to get in and out of a waterbed?
You will experience no difficulty with the soft-sided waterbeds, as they have a comfortable edge support.
Hard-side beds require a bit of practice for the less agile but, once learned, soon present no more of a problem.
Is it comfortable to sit up in a waterbed?
Yes. In fact, emphatically yes. It is very comfortable to sit up in a waterbed. The best results come from using the combination of a round bolster for the base of your spine with pillows to rest your back against. Then you have the most comfortable bed in which to read, write or watch television.
Are waterbeds noisy?
No. When the water mattress is first filled there will be air with the water in the vinyl mattress. As soon as this air is vented from the filter valve with the Air Extractor, the waterbed is noiseless.
During the first fortnight it might be necessary to use the Air Extractor agian if the mattress 'gurgles'.
Will I perspire on a vinyl mattress?
No, you should not. You should, however, never sleep directly on the actual vinyl mattress without a covering but rather use a washable top mattress that will absorb any moisture. In a traditional bed, moisture will penetrate the mattress. This is impossible with a waterbed.
Keep the temperature on your waterbed set at your skin temperature. The normal comfort level is approximately 28 - 30 degrees C. This constant temperature helps you to get a better night's rest, something which is difficult if you are too hot or cold in bed.
Will my cat or dog damage the water mattress?
Highly unlikely. If you permit them access to your bed they will enjoy the comfort as much as you will.
Can a cigarette damage a water mattress?
The actual water mattress is covered by a top mattress which does not contain fire-resistant materials due to environmental considerations and possible allergy problems. Akva therefore advises against smoking in bed.
A burning cigarette or ember will always damage the surface of a mattress but it will be difficult to damage the vinyl itself, as the water will have a cooling effect on any fire hazard. There are instances where a waterbed and the immediate area surrounding the bed have come through a fire without sustaining major damage.
In extreme cases, the waterbed is an excellent water source for extinguishing any fire.
Do waterbeds burst?
Never. A waterbed is a pressure less system and not like an air mattress which is under pressure.
Does it matter if children jump on the bed?
No. The waterbed can withstand several children at any one time. The bed is well supported and without springs, which can be damaged. Innurseries and other institutions, waterbeds are used as relaxation points - involving several children at one time.
Will the waterbed leak?
Chances are very remote, particularly if you have selected a brand name quality bed. The technology producing today's waterbeds is sophisticated. The seam welds are very strong. All mattresses are surrounded by a safety liner so that any spillage will automatically be held by this liner and will not fall on the floor.
Will it fall through the floor?
Put simply; if the floor can withstand a party, it can take the weight of a waterbed.
We do no know of any cases of a waterbed falling through a floor. The weight of a waterbed is well distributed and the pressure on the floor per square metre corresponds to a refrigerator or roughly three people standing within a one square metre radius.
Because a waterbed rests on a purpose built plinth, the floor loading is not only well below the basic requirements of building regulation, it is often less than 10% of the contact pressure of a conventional bed on legs or casters. Millions of waterbeds sold throughout the world have failed to penetrate a ceiling and the majority of those sales have involved the heavier hard-sided systems.
Does the waterbed vinyl contain harmful substances?
Akva's mattress vinyl is completely free of harmful substances and and has therefore been awarded Eco-Tex Standard 100 certification in product category 1 (suitable for babies and infants). Since 2000, Akva has been able to provide phthlatate free vinyl in its waterbeds thanks to Mesamoll II from Bayer.
Environment-friendly and healthcare constitute an important part of Akva's core values.
Who invented the waterbed?
The earliest recorded use of a 'waterbed' was over 3000 years ago when Persians slumbered on sun-warmed goat skin water bags. Modern waterbeds were first devised by a British physician, Dr. William Hooper, in 1851. He recognised the benefits of a pressure reduced surface in the treatment of a number of medical conditions and made a basic water filled mattress fro rubber. Finally, in the 1960's an American, Charles Hall, refined the construction using hi-tech materials and sophisticated production techniques into the vinyl mattresses we are familiar with today.
What does a waterbed cost to run?
On average, £25 per annum for a soft-sided divan waterbed. It will depend on the style of bed and what bedding covers the mattress. The heater only comes on to replace the heat lost to the bedroom. If the bed remains covered, the heat loss is reduced and the heater will use no more power than a class A refrigerator.
What is included in the price of a waterbed?
Usually everything you require to begin using a bed as soon as it is installed in your bedroom. (Most manufacturers and retailers offer a direct delivery and installation service.) As with a conventional bed you only need your own selection of bedding.
Can I clean the mattress?
Yes. Waterbeds are very hygienic. Unlike a conventional bed, waterbeds will not accumulate dust or skin perticles inside the mattress. Alomst all waterbeds have a removable washable cover, when laundered, virtually eliminates dust mites.
It is a good idea to protect the vinyl mattress with a regular cleaning. Most manufacturers offer a venyl cleaner which helps to maintain the thig quality of the mattress. (Note: do not use strong detergents wihch may harm the vinyl.)
Best of all, the plinth of a waterbed makes continuous contact with the floor so you will never need a vacuum under the bed again.
Will I need an electric blanket?
No, almost all waterbeds are warmed to your skin temperature by a specially designed heater. It has a thermostat so that you control the setting. Temperature control is one of the joys of sleeping on a waterbed - it is never too hot nor too cold.
Can I try a waterbed out for a night?
Ask you local supplier if they offer a scheme to test a waterbed. Alternatively, more quality hotels are offering rooms with waterbeds, try one of them.
Akva also has a showroom at the factory where it is possible to view a selction of our various waterbeds.
Are waterbeds covered by my house insurance?
Generally yes. Most policies now include waterbeds in the same way they treat washing machines, dishwashers, etc. For specific information contact your insurance agency.
What guarantee is offered?
Ongoing monitoring of production, method and quality control all enable us to comply with the toughest quality demands.
Therefore, Akva offers a five-year guarantee on the hating element and the mattress' weldings. The other parts of the waterbed are covered by a two-year guarantee.
What kind of bedding fits a waterbed?
Standard bed linen and top mattresses can be used with waterbeds.
As with traditional beds, it is a good idea each morning to thoroughly air the bedroom. We also recommend airing the waterbed from time to time, ie be allowed to breathe without the top mattress, etc. This can be done when you change the bed linen or when the waterbed is cleaned.