A waterbed, water mattress, or flotation mattress is a bed or mattress filled with water. Waterbeds intended for medical therapies appear in various reports through the 19th century. The modern version, invented in San Francisco, California and patented in 1971, became a popular consumer item in the United States through the 1980s with up to 20% of the market in 1986.[1] Currently they account for less than 5% of new bed sales.[2]


Softside Waterbed 160 × 200 cm with dual heating

Waterbeds primarily consist of two types, hard-sided beds and soft-sided beds.

A hard-sided waterbed consists of a water-containing mattress inside a rectangular frame of wood resting on a plywood deck that sits on a platform.

A soft-sided waterbed consists of a water-containing mattress inside of a rectangular frame of sturdy foam, zippered inside a fabric casing, which sits on a platform. It looks like a conventional bed and is designed to fit existing bedroom furniture. The platform usually looks like a conventional foundation or box spring, and sits atop a reinforced metal frame.

Early waterbed mattresses, and many inexpensive modern mattresses, have a single water chamber. When the water mass in these "free flow" mattresses is disturbed, significant wave action can be felt, and they need time to stabilize after a disturbance. Later types employed wave-reducing methods, including fiber batting and interconnected water chambers. More expensive "waveless" modern waterbeds have a mixture of air and water chambers, usually interconnected.

Softside waterbed 160 × 200 cm with two water chambers and flexible chamber isolation inside

Water beds are normally heated. Temperature is controlled via a thermostat and set to personal preference, but is most commonly average skin temperature, 30 °C or about 86 °F. A typical heating pad consumes 150–400 watts of power. Depending on insulation, bedding, temperature, use, and other factors, electricity usage may vary, significantly.

Waterbeds are usually constructed from soft polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or similar material. They can be repaired with practically any vinyl repair kit.

Other Languages
català: Llit d'aigua
dansk: Vandseng
Deutsch: Wasserbett
español: Cama de agua
Esperanto: Akvolito
français: Lit à eau
Bahasa Indonesia: Tempat tidur air
עברית: מיטת מים
Nederlands: Waterbed
Simple English: Waterbed
slovenščina: Vodna postelja
suomi: Vesisänky
svenska: Vattensäng
中文: 水床