People have been soothed by water since the beginning of time, so it’s no surprise that it would be associated with sleep. Some believe that they started with the Persians and goatskins, but our earliest records come from the 1800s when Dr. Arnett developed it to help people with bedsores, a recurring theme for mattress success. Dr. Ho0per wanted to design one for those with arthritis issues, but again had the temperature issues. Always ask the people who spend the most amount of time with something how they feel about it.
Drs. Arnett and Hooper may have been able to put water into material, but they couldn’t figure out a way to keep it warm, and it’s not hard to figure out why it didn’t take off as to make untold amounts of money. However, a student in San Francisco was going to continue to try to get this whole thing right. After filling a chair with jello (which didn’t end up going well) he was finally able to get the modern water bed patented, and about a fifth of all mattress sales were waterbeds in 1987, which is just insane. Wave control, back support, novelty and heat certainly present a lot of reasons to want to buy one. However, somewhere along the way they went from being coveted to highly tacky. Bachelors trying to lure in women, or cheesy motels spring to mind when people think of them today.
My parents have had one for the last 30 years, so I have a very different connotation to them. I always thought they were kind of fun, and I still love the idea that when I get into bed, it’s already warmed up for me as I tend to run on the cold side. They still had their down points though. Never was the best idea to upset our cat anywhere near the bed since his claws tended to run through the blankets into the mattress, plus it’s best for people who aren’t interested in moving in the next several years. It’s also much harder to find blankets and sheets. Still, it’s the same concept as foam mattresses since they move with your body and do help people with circulation issues or back pain.