Waveless or motionless waterbed mattresses have a bladder inside them that holds the water. To make them waveless, the manufacturer places vinyl baffles, fiber and foam inside the bladder. The material inside is not connected to the corners, the top or the bottom of the mattress, but it is free floating.
If you recently drained your waterbed mattress then refilled it and it now has a huge hump in the center that looks like a ball or an accordion on one end, you are experiencing fiber-shift. This occurs when a waterbed mattress is not properly drained and it can be fixed with a little time and determination on your part.
Properly Draining a Waterbed Mattress
You must first drain your mattress properly in order to have access to the internal baffles and fibers to correct fiber shift. First, turn off and unplug your heater if you use one with your bed. The heater is actually water-cooled and needs to be off so that it doesn’t burn up while draining the bed.
Connect your drain and fill kit to the mattress and a nearby water supply. Put an object of some sort on top of the end that connects to the mattress so that the end is below the water’s level in the mattress. Fill the mattress at high pressure for about 5 minutes. Disconnect the end of the hose from the water supply and place it outside or into a bathtub to allow it to drain. Adding water for a few minutes creates a gravitational pull to allow the bed to drain quickly.
As the bed is draining, do not pick up a corner to try to make it drain faster. This is what can cause fiber-shift to allow the fibers to come apart from each other and may result in you needing to purchase a new waterbed mattress.
Fixing the Baffled Mattress
After the mattress is drained properly, you can blow the mattress up with air from a wetvac in the valve opening. Remove the wetvac and peer inside of the valve to see where the fiber is located and bunched up. Grasp the mattress fiber through the bladder and work it into a corner so that the corner of the fiber is in the corner of the bladder. Grasp the corner including the vinyl bladder and the fiber inside and raise it up as high as you are able. This allows gravity to pull the baffles and fiber inside to its original position and lie flat. The insert should appear smooth and very flat within the bladder.
You can now refill your waterbed mattress as you usually do and have a restful night’s sleep without the fear that the bunched up baffle will dump you out of the bed.