Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hardside vs. Softside - What's the hype?

Hardside vs. Softside - What's the hype?

Many people often wonder “what is all the hype with waterbeds?”  What are the differences between hardside waterbeds and softsides?  There are several things to note in differentiating between a hardside and a softside waterbed from the appearance, the sizes, and even the heater!

The most dramatic difference is the appearance of these waterbeds.  A hardside waterbed is a vinyl mattress inset in a wooden frame allowing the mattress to keep its form.  On the other hand, a softside mattress has the external appearance of a conventional mattress.  One often wonders “how can a waterbed look just like a conventional bed?”  With a softside waterbed, the water bladder is zipped inside of a mattress cover and it is held in place around the edges by foam bolsters, thus creating the illusion of being a conventional mattress.  A bolster is simply a fancy word for a cushion or in the case of relating it to a hardside waterbed, the inner frame of a softside waterbed.

 Another difference between hardside and softside waterbeds is sizing.  Hardside waterbeds are very simple just like we discussed last week.  They are all 7 feet long and you have a choice of California king which is 6 feet wide, a California queen which is 5 feet wide, or a super single which is 4 feet wide.  Now with softside waterbeds, you have to look at conventional mattress sizes.  Softsides come in king, queen, full or twin.  The King measures 80" long and 76" wide, and queen measures 80" long and 60" wide.  Now, a full measures 75" long and 54" wide, and a twin is 75" long and 39" wide. 

The last notable difference between the hardside and softside waterbed has to do with the heaters.  A hardside waterbed mattress uses a high watt temperature control heater, whereas the softside is limited to a low watt temperature control heater.  Keep in mind there are several other minute differences, but we wanted you to understand the major ones which need to be presented when thinking about your next waterbed purchase!


  1. What is the difference in feeling? I've used a hardside waterbed for about 30 years now, first a full flow and then about a 50% baffled. How does sleeping on a softside compare? Are they all like baffled, and if so, how much?

  2. yeah, I agree with your opinion.
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