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Top 10 Problems with Waterbed Insert Mattresses

February 29, 2012
In the BedroomWaterbed Insertswaterbeds

The mattress made to fit and drop into a hardside wooden waterbed frame is called a waterbed insert. Learn about the:

Top 10 Problems with Waterbed Insert Mattresses

  1. Doesn’t have a boxspring- This is true and while it doesn’t have a boxspring you really don’t need one. Most wood framed waterbeds are in the range of 8.5 to 9 inches deep. The average waterbed replacement mattress is in the thickness range of 10 -13 inches putting it above the surface of the side frames for easy entry and exit. Anything thicker starts blocking the headboard especially when the  bed is made and pillows are in place. One other note concerning boxsprings: if you were to get rid of the waterbed frame and keep the mattress insert it can be difficult to find boxsprings to fit the oddly sized waterbed insert.Top 10 Problems with Waterbed Insert Mattresses
  2. Waterbed drop in mattresses are Not heated- Correct waterbed inserts do not have heaters. They are simply a mattress made the old fashioned way with coil springs that slips into your waterbed while replacing the vinyl bag of water.
  3. Replacement Inserts are too firm- Waterbed replacement mattresses, drop ins, or inserts whatever you want to name them, are offered in a variety of firmness’s to choose from. One only needs to ask and they shall receive, but be careful, people who abandon their old mattresses for a firmer feel are often uncomfortable and find themselves on a firmness that exceeds what they are used to. This new firm mattress can make the transition to a conventional waterbed insert mattress one that many buyers regret. Consider softer surfaced varieties like pillow tops, plush tops, or think about adding a softer mattress topper for cushioning that mimics the old waterbed feel.
  4. Water bed inserts don’t fit the wood frame correctly- Properly made waterbed mattress inserts should always fit the frame with room to spare. This is part of their design. 1 extra inch all the way around is the norm and it leaves plenty of room for your hands to slide between the mattress and the frame to easily make the bed. Beware of stores that tell you queen mattresses are supposed to fit into a waterbed frame and that California King mattresses fit California King waterbed frames. Neither mattress works well in this type of application.
  5. Short life span compared to other mattresses- we have heard the rumors but in most cases this just isn’t true. The fact is most mattresses don’t use flexible boxsprings anymore.  Nearly all springy box springs have been replaced with non-flexible foundations / boxsprings. These non-flexible or non-springy mattress bases are no different than the unyielding plywood used in a waterbed deck underneath of a waterbed insert.
  6. No one stocks them, they all seem to be custom order- Custom mattresses generally are not stocked by mattress retailers, however most stores like STL Beds have immediate availability through manufacturers in just a couple of days plus quick shipping or delivery.
  7. My waterbed sheets will not fit a drop in mattress- While the old waterbed sheets may not fit as tight and snug as they did on the waterbed mattress they generally will fit depending on the waterbed insert thickness. Flat sheets can also be used for easy making and cost savings.
  8. Water bed inserts are hard to make- Only if you didn’t purchase a waterbed insert as described in Tip #4. A properly made waterbed insert with a waterbed frame that has not be cut on or modified is a dream to make any day of the week.
  9. Cannot use padded rails anymore- For the most part this is true, smaller padded rails will sometimes fit however you should find that you don’t need them anymore. Waterbed inserts sit high enough above the wooden frame that entry and exiting the mattress is easy on the back of the legs eliminating the need for padded rails used when filled with water.
  10. Hard to find two sided mattresses, memory foam, latex, and air mattresses to fit a waterbed frame- Many mattress manufacturers will make their mattresses whether it be latex, memory foam or air mattress and even two side coil spring mattresses to slip right down into your existing wooden side rails. Contact your favorite mattress manufacturer and ask if they make waterbed inserts. If they answer yes, ask them to refer you to the nearest dealer in your area.

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