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Question: You say that all you need is a new mattress insert and nothing else, however the size of the insert is an odd size so what fitted sheet will fit?
Answer: This is a great question and boy is this one that we get a lot. I finally recognized the need for a more detailed answer and I really get into the details below offering several viable solutions including the possible use of your current waterbed sheets. Before I get into all that I want to explain the need for such unique sheets and some things the reader may want to know and understand.
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For those who are not savvy in the terminology of oak and pine hard side waterbeds there are many optional replacement parts and accessories. The waterbed insert or replacement mattress is perhaps one of the most asked for items by owners who have gone ahead and made the decision to get rid of the water filled mattress while having chosen to keep the wooden surrounding frame. This type of waterbed is called a hardside and was once one of the most popular beds ever sold. With such an abundance of them in homes, there was sure to be a group of people who liked the look, storage, headboard, and perhaps had some costly bed room furniture that matched the bed. (Dresser, mirror, chest, nightstand, headboard). For them changing these home furnishings is not an option but neither was continuing to sleep on a water filled mattress. The affordable solution, a water bed insert.
We have written an entire article about these beds and how they work. The gist of the mattress is that it allows you to do away with a liquid filled bed and return it to a more traditional feeling inner coil spring design. Others simply want to update to a more modern sleep surface such as an air bed, natural dunlop or talalay latex rubber, and visco elastic memory gel foam bed. Our experience has shown that most people have looked to the traditional brand name mattress makers they’ve trusted for years and found that they were not being offered special made inserts to fit their odd sized California 84-inch length waterbed frames. Secondly brand names for the most part have also done away with a longer lasting flippable 2-sided mattress choices. Buyers often opt for these because they know from history that turning a mattress head to toe and occasional flipping will most definitely improve how the mattress surface feels and wears over the life time of their bed. Add in that these beds use plywood for support underneath of them and don’t use boxsprings and you can see where durability concerns can arise.
The cut of these built to fit mattresses is much different than standard sizes like twin 38 x 75, full 54 x 75, queen 60 x 80, and eastern king at 76 x 80. The waterbed industry’s wood framed waterbeds include only 3 sizes that are very different from the previously mentioned. They include the Super Single 48 x 84. California Queen 60 x 84 and the California King at 72 x 84. The issue owners encounter is that if a mattress is made to these exact dimensions yes it will fit, however it leaves absolutely no space along the mattress sides or ends. The solution is custom fit mattress inserts. Super Single 46 x 82. California Queen 58 x 82 and the California King at 70 x 82. If your waterbed was built to industry standards then ideally making your bed should be a breeze thanks to the extra one inch of space that is left as result of smart engineering.
Use What You Have: Finding sheets to fit these beds may be as simple as going into your linen closet or drawer. Since their inception the waterbed industry has said to use Super Single Sheets 48 x 84. California Queen Sheets 60 x 84 and the California King Sheets measuring 72 x 84. One thing to take note of is that since the mattresses are slightly undersized it many say it helps with the bed linens fitment, but now days because of demand for comfortable, pillow topped and of plushier thicker mattresses this can sometimes create issues, especially if the waterbed sheets did not fit well to begin with.
Sheets straps are the one possible solution: They are essentially garter straps that hold your sheets on and in place. They can fit under the corners only or go completely under your mattress from left to right and attach and hold the sheets into place. These can be found at places like Target, Walmart, and Bed Bath & Beyond. You can also Google the term sheet straps.
Use Oversize Flat Sheets: Another option is not using a fitted sheet at all. Many who like the military, hospital, tight taught make have opted to purchase over sized flat sheets and simply tuck them in.
Custom made sheets: This may sound expensive but frankly we found them to be only slightly higher and satisfaction seems to be very high. For those who like that military make or a tight hospital fold then this should be your best option. There are several companies online that offer special made sheets to accommodate your undersized mattress that fits a waterbed frame. All one must do is provide specific color needs, width, length, and depth. You must first measure your mattress according to their specific instructions and fast free shipping.
Sheets specifically made to fit a waterbed insert: Short of having them made we do not know of any other options. Manufacturers of sheets generally do not make them since they are such low volume and custom in size. If you have found them somewhere be sure to share and pass it along to our readers.
What ever choice you make know that you can keep your waterbed frame and have some kind of comfy bedding to sleep on. It all will boil down to your expectations, preferences, and budget.