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  Image credit :: Wayne Pearson 

Waterbeds were huge in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Your parents might’ve even been early adopters and the envy of all of their friends – assuming they’d be getting endless amounts of sleep and …um …ahem.

All of a sudden, waterbeds disappeared. Where did they all go? Some people say they were difficult to get in and out of, or prone to bedroom floods. But waterbed designs have come a long way since Hugh Hefner made them popular over 30 years ago.

Since having kids, I’ve become a light sleeper and prone to the kind of body creaks that will keep someone in their 40s up at night. My twisted positioning always ends in pins and needles or a completely dead arm, and me wide awake. So, I started looking into waterbeds to see if they could solve my nocturnal problems. I went one step further, driving to Ultimate Waterbeds with my family to talk to owner Philipp Recknagel about modern designs and how they could help an old bloke like me.

  Image credit :: Wayne Pearson 

Natural way for better sleep

Waterbeds are a natural alternative that can give you a better night’s sleep. They remove pressure from the spine, which can help you fall asleep more easily as well as reduce disturbances during the night.

Here’s how they tick the boxes. I couldn’t see the waterbed section. Turns out I was already standing in it. They look exactly like those really comfy beds in all the traditional bedding stores.

Ultimate Waterbeds upholsters beautiful headboards in-store, but if you already have one, your waterbed will fit those dimensions, too.

✓ I noticed a brightly-coloured area filled with kids’ beds. Surely, they can’t be waterbeds? They are. Philipp says kids often test a bed by jumping on it — his waterbeds won’t burst. A lot of his customers love their modern waterbeds so much, they put their kids in one from the time they transition out of the cot.

He says waterbeds are also great for people with sensory issues and those prone to dust-mite allergies. I’ve got some niggling back issues and was still a bit skeptical, so I tried some out. They are very easy to get onto and I was blown away by the lack of movement.

✓ ✓ It’s just like a traditional innerspring mattress, except without obvious pressure points cutting off circulation at my shoulders, back or hips. I felt very comfortable, but would Hayley wake up if she was asleep next to me? She jumped on beside me and I barely noticed her.

✓ This would work a treat trying to go to sleep after an argument! As a fail-safe, they offer a twin system, where you’re on an individual waterbed within the same mattress. Choose from very soft right through to very firm. And you can adjust your water temperature to suit — cooler in summer and warmer in winter. I’m the perfect candidate, because my internal thermostat is broken and I run hot all the time — it’s like I reached menopause when I hit 40! With excessive body heat comes lots of sweat at night. Fortunately, Ultimate Waterbeds’ 100-per-cent Australian pure-wool cover is machine washable and breathes better than cotton.

  Image credit :: Wayne Pearson 

Waterbed myths debunked

X Waterbeds will burst and flood your house – In the unlikely event of a pinhole through lack of care, water is contained to the lined frame and very easy to repair.

X Waterbeds are expensive to run – The thermostat idles after reaching your preferred temperature. The foam frame retains the heat and delays the need to kick in again. A king/queen would cost about $15 per quarter — that’s less than a takeaway coffee each month.

X Waterbeds are hard to get into – Ultimate Waterbeds are made with a memory-foam frame, making them easy to get into and out of. Nothing like the old wooden frames where you’d fall into bed and have to call emergency services to get you back out.

X Waterbeds are bad for your back – This is the main thing I was looking for and, hand on heart, I had no pressure points or awkward positions. Don’t believe me? Ultimate Waterbeds offers a 60-night sleep satisfaction moneyback guarantee. And they’re not just great for people with back injuries — modern waterbeds work with the body, making them great for pregnancy, sportspeople and tradespeople who do a lot of bending every day.

X Waterbeds make you seasick – You choose the firmness of your modern waterbed. Once you settle into bed, so will any movement.

X Waterbeds cost more – An Australian-made waterbed mattress is comparable to any other top-quality innerspring mattress. If you follow the care instructions, it should outlast everything else. They don’t absorb body oils and dirt, so complete replacement is unnecessary. Replacement bladders only cost a couple of hundred dollars, instead of a new mattress that goes well into the thousands.

James xx


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