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If you recently drained your waterbed mattress and you were left with a large wad of baffling bunched up in the middle or it has shifted to the end of the bed, you may very well ruined you waterbed mattress. The shifting of the fiber or baffles is caused when a waterbed mattress is drained incorrectly. The material can accordion to one end or if handled improperly can bunch up and ball up in a big mass or hump.
In order to fix the baffling you must first know how these mattresses are put together. Most of us realize that a free flow mattress is nothing more than a big rectangular vinyl balloon filled with water. When we add fiber, baffling, or pod baffles, and coils we are creating wave breakers. Whichever baffling system is being used, the principal idea is the same, stop the motion and increase mattress support while giving you a more relaxing night of rest on your waterbed.
We will not go into each baffling system specifically because we are talking about all wave control systems that are free floating, meaning they are not attached to the vinyl mattress. This may not mean much to you at the moment but if you would picture 10 sheets of notebook paper lying in your hand with your palm up. You will notice the pieces of paper are stationary and stay in place, however if you were to slightly tilt your hand more and more the pieces of paper would shift out of place. A fiber filled mattress uses sheets of fiber that act much like the notebook paper and will shift out of position also. The problem is that the fiber acts like a giant sponge and most people do not get the bed drained enough before handling it and this is where the shifting problem evolves.
The draining process is key to being able to move you baffled mattress properly. Overlook this step and you may very well be purchasing a new mattress. The most important thing to know about these waterbed bladders is that they must be vacuum packed. The vacuum not only squeezes the excess water from the baffled insert collapsing the top and bottom of the mattress around the inserted baffling. When drained it looks exactly like a package of beef jerky that has been vacuum-sealed. When the top and bottom of the mattress collapse around the baffling it locks the inserted materials into place keeping everything in its original and correct position. When lifting one end of the mattress and it is not possible to vacuum seal it, you must grasp the baffling through the vinyl to help hold it in position.