In my last blogs, Part 5 and Part 6 of my “Improve your Sleep Environment” series, I’ve enumerated some of the most common options for sound sleep on the mattress market. But there are other options for the adventurous or curious among us, dear readers. I thought I’d take a little time to explore two of the most under-loved mattress types—water beds and air mattresses.
Air mattresses get a bad rap as the cheap fold-out alternative for travelers, but a top-tier 21st-century air mattress can be a luxurious option. These allow you add or remove air to adjust mattress firmness, and use a cushioned sleep surface (usually latex or memory foam) to create a luxe sleep experience. Some even let two sleepers adjust their firmness separately, sleeping side by side on two different bladders encased in the same mattress!
Water beds require maintenance, but some of the most recent models are extremely comfortable. If you like moist heat, a heated waterbed may be an option you’ll enjoy. (Keep in mind, though, that water beds in general can sleep hot or cold depending on the model—the bladder is impermeable to air flow, so you may feel stifled, or the water below you may retain the cold of the room around you.)
When Adventure Goes Awry…
Both air and water beds have many satisfied customers… but there are also potential dangers to these types of mattresses. They certainly have their own “personalities.”
The potential for water damage to your home and the excessive weight of waterbeds are a turnoff for many consumers. Just do your research and make sure your house can handle the bed before you buy.
When it comes to air mattresses, the possible damage is far less spectacular—but it can still do a number on your checkbook. Like inner springs, air mattresses tend to have short lifespans. The airtight bladder(s) will eventually develop leaks from the nightly pressure of a body or bodies on the casing… and at that point, your luxury mattress has been rendered useless.
No one but you can decide what’s best for your personality and your budget. But if you’re considering sinking the money into a luxury water bed or air mattress, make sure you consider potentially longer-lasting options like latex too.