Waterbeds can be one of the most relaxing pieces of furniture in your entire home. But this comfort can come at a stiff price. Waterbeds control the temperature via a thermostat, giving the user the ability to manually set the temperature. But heating all that water can drive your energy use and costs up. In fact, waterbeds can actually use more energy than anything else in your home, including major appliances such as your refrigerator and water heater. Heating a waterbed consume 500-2000 kWh/year depending on variables such as climate, size of bed and user temperature preferences.
Waterbeds are generally available in 2 types – hard-sided and soft-sided beds. Hard-sided waterbeds have a water-filled bladder mattress inside a rectangular frame that rests on a plywood deck, which in turn rests on a platform. Soft-sided waterbeds have a water-filled bladder inside a rectangular frame constructed of sturdy foam inside a fabric casing, which rests on a platform. These look more like a conventional bed than a hard-sided waterbed.
Early waterbed mattresses, also called free flow mattresses, have only once chamber for water to be distributed, resulting in wave action. Wave-reduction methods were later introduced using fiber-batting and interconnected water chambers, as well as waveless waterbeds using a mixture of water and air.