For years, Hollywood movies have teased us with the enticing exoticism and the seductive curiosity of water mattresses, which seemed unreal, fabulous and insanely desirable. Millions of people were inspired by the dream of making such a bed for themselves someday in the distant future. And now the future has arrived – without difficulty to buy a water mattress is now possible in Russia. But is it worth it to do? Will there be room in our bedrooms for a reckless childhood dream? It is necessary to think seven times and buy once. Or not to buy.
Water mattresses are not often found in stores and in ordinary apartments. And it’s not even in the price or unaccustomedness of such products, but rather in the flip side of sleep on the waves and the troubles associated with it. Do you want to know what the difference between water mattresses, what their advantages are and what difficulties might result in such a purchase? This is what we will talk about in our article.
What is a water mattress?
Water (or water) mattresses are a special type of mattresses where the filler is water or a special liquid based on it. The result is a unique sensation of sleeping on the soft sea, gently swaying waves.
The first water mattresses appeared 3,000 years ago. In 1883, Dr. William Hooper decided to improve the idea of our distant ancestors and patented a water mattress that was more similar to the modern one. At that time it was intended to alleviate the suffering of patients by reducing the pressure on the body. In 1969, Charles Hall significantly improved Hooper’s invention by equipping it with adjustable heating.
Today’s water mattresses are made of durable poly-chlorvinyl, which gives the products high elasticity and reliability. In the latest models the problem of excessive mobility of the “filler” is also practically solved. The installation of special stabilization fibers reduces the number of oscillating movements of water and gives the mattresses rigidity.
Somewhat later, a special orthopedic frame capable of supporting the enormous weight of the water mattress was developed. Its cross-shaped design distributes the weight more evenly and as a result the pressure does not exceed 200 kg per 1 m². To prevent in the case of puncture or leakage the water mattress is not harmful to the environment and people, it is recommended to put it in a special tray, where most of the liquid will collect.
Today water mattresses can be single-chamber, multi-chamber, multi-chamber with a frame, with polyurethane block, as well as models for children and infants. Single-chamber ones are otherwise called “free-moving”, because they do not assume the regulation of pressure in separate sections. This is the cheapest and least comfortable model, suitable for sleeping only one person and excluding the possibility to sit on the bed.
Multi-chamber mattresses consist of several water-filled “cylinders” with separate pressure and temperature regulation function and no wave effect. Water mattresses with coconut layers and polyurethane blocks are even more elastic, guarantee extremely precise weight distribution, and perfectly support the back.
Peculiarities of using water mattresses
Water mattresses are absolutely unique and do not resemble standard bedding. Accordingly, they require special care. To begin with the main thing – with water. In economy class models it is necessary to change it completely periodically, in some models it is enough to add a special conditioner once a year, which kills bacteria, fungus and mold, and the liquid that replaces the water is changed every 2-3 years.
Sleeping on a cold surface (including water) is unhealthy and very dangerous to your health. To make your bed comfortable, you will need a power connection, without which vital heating will not work. This fact will have to be taken into account when choosing where to put the bed, and do not be surprised by large electricity bills. By the way, the larger the mattress, the more energy it needs. A medium-sized model “burns” about 10-15 kilowatts per month.
The weight of a double water mattress can exceed 500 kilograms. Accordingly, you will need a special grid, bed or frame. In recent years, began to produce and lightweight models with sections of coconut or polyurethane foam, but even in such cases, the weight of the mattress remains very impressive.
The owners of toothy and clawed four-legged friends should be especially careful using water mattresses. Without additional protection on the sides, made in several layers, the products are too vulnerable to pets.
Advantages of water mattresses
The success of water mattresses in the West (thanks to which they began to appear on TV screens) is absolutely not accidental. Through the thorns of operating difficulties and contrary to all arguments of reason in Europe, sleep on waves, according to various estimates, chooses 10-15% of the inhabitants. Why? It is all about the unique advantages of water mattresses. Namely:
- A water mattress allows the spine to take an anatomically correct position of the body, relaxes muscles and takes the load off the joints, i.e. has an orthopedic effect. The water adapts perfectly to the body contours and does not exert reciprocal pressure on it, does not interfere with blood circulation. It is as if a man is sleeping in zero gravity. It is fair to say that the same feelings are given by orthopedic mattresses with the shape memory effect or cooling Technogel, which are lighter in weight and easier in use;
- Built-in adjustable heating guarantees that even on the coldest nights you will rest in warmth and comfort. By the way, in a warmed bed a person falls asleep faster, the muscles relax almost instantly;
- Water mattresses are absolutely hypoallergenic and hygienic, they will never catch dust mites, mold or fungus. Also they are easy to keep clean – you just need to wipe the PVC cover;
Over time, water cannot deform, break, or sag like other mattress fillings. If you manage to keep the vinyl cover itself intact (no piercing, ripping, burning, etc.), the water mattress will last you up to 15 years.
Water mattresses are ideal for people who are not afraid of complications. Allergy sufferers and asthmatics will love the complete absence of dust. For swelling, muscle aches, gout and rheumatism, a helpful heating will demonstrate a terrific effect. People suffering from arthritis, arthrosis and other diseases of the joints and vessels, too, it is highly recommended to sleep on water mattresses. As well as on the usual soft models, because the key requirement here is softness.
Disadvantages of water mattresses
Nothing in our world is perfect. And water mattresses are no exception. In addition to a number of pluses, they also have many disadvantages, which can forever discourage a rash purchase.
Let’s start with what some call a virtue – with the effect of waves. The peaceful bobbing on the water surface – it is, of course, beautiful, but it can cause another attack of seasickness. Even if you do not suffer from such an illness, sleeping on the water mattress will be a serious test for the vestibular system. Of course, in the more expensive models it is possible to stabilize waves, but you can’t get rid of rocking motion completely. Even if you want to take a break and sleep on a stable bed. The wave effect is undoubtedly exotic, that’s the whole point. But is it worth it to give yourself such an ordeal every night?
Water mattresses are very bulky. They require the purchase of special frames, trays, beds, frames, and weigh about 500 kilograms. For a standard small apartment is simply unrealistic. And if there is a lot of free space, such cumbersomeness will bring a lot of trouble. For example, imagine that you decided to make a rearrangement and put a bed according to feng shui. You will have to move these 500 kilograms, and then pull the wires from the heating system. The renovation will be a nightmare. If you like to change your surroundings frequently, a water mattress is absolutely not for you.
Another disadvantage is condensation. If the temperature in the room has changed, small droplets of moisture immediately appear on the surface of the mattress. If the heating is on while you sleep, it is unlikely to bother you. But often you will have to take off and dry the bedclothes.
The covers of water mattresses are made of polyhlorvinyl, which does not absorb the moisture excreted by the human body and does not allow the skin to breathe.
Water mattresses are quite difficult to use. Periodically, they need to change the water completely, once a year – add a special conditioner against mold and mildew. In addition, the products must be permanently connected to the power grid, and in case of emergency power outages, sleeping on the mattress will be dangerous to your health.
A water mattress can be pierced, punctured, torn, and as a result, all the water will rather quickly pour out on the floor (if you have not bought a special tray), ruining the repair not only for you, but also for your downstairs neighbors.
Buy water mattresses are not advised to people with small children, who can cut the cover, and pets with sharp claws and teeth. After such damage, the product is very difficult to repair.
It is uncomfortable to sleep on one-chamber water mattresses for two persons, because all movements of the person lying next to them are strongly felt. That is why couples can not save money – it is necessary to take the most expensive mattress with a partition and several water cylinders.
Water mattresses can be neither hard nor very hard. By inserting coconut or polyurethane foam manufacturers can make their models moderately soft or medium-hard, but it is impossible to achieve real support and rigidity. And for many people (age under 25 years, the problems in the upper spine, weight over 90-100 kg, the habit of sleeping on the stomach, etc.) recommend exceptionally rigid models.
A water mattress for many people is a childhood dream. He, of course, has a lot of advantages, but is also associated with a lot of trouble and problems, objectively suitable for not every family and not for every apartment. In a standard-sized bedroom, he definitely has nothing to do. Are you personally ready to put up with all the other disadvantages of a water mattress? If not, the childhood dream is better to stay in childhood.
Orthopedic mattresses are those which are able to support the spine in the natural, anatomically correct position. To do this, the product must sag differently under different parts of the human body: under the hips – a little more, under the lower back – less. The real spring and non-spring mattresses have sufficient stiffness and elasticity to guarantee this effect. But the inflatable analogues to support the spine and allow it to fully relax just not able.
Inflatable mattresses consist of vinyl air chambers surrounded by foam or rubber, and there is nothing in them to provide any serious support. The result is the so-called “hammock effect,” where the hips and lower back are recessed and the head and legs are noticeably higher up. This position is bad for the spine and wrong. The consequences of sleeping in it can manifest themselves in the form of back pain in the morning, or after some time, if previously the person had no problems.
Sleeping on an air mattress is a real challenge for the spine. For a couple of days in the countryside or on a visit, of course, nothing bad will happen. But if you constantly sleep on such a surface, the consequences can be very serious.