This debate might seem like a no-brainer to anyone who has tried a water bed. A water bed offers a level of comfort which is nearly impossible to match with an air mattress or conventional mattress, but that comfort is not the only criteria to consider.
Water beds may be comfortable, but they have some disadvantages which may change your mind on which is the best for you. Let’s take a look at those disadvantages and you can decide which is best for you.
Water Mattresses – The Advantages and Disadvantages
Comfort is one of the biggest advantages of a water mattress. The water allows the mattress to give you consistent support on all parts of your body eliminating the pressure points of a traditional mattress. Older style water beds let water slosh from side to side with a wave-like action, but that is no longer true. New water mattresses use a combination of baffles and isolation compartments to eliminate the waves providing you with a comfortable bead with no sloshing.
A water bed gives you better comfort than a memory foam bed and bounces back instantly when you roll and move.
A second advantage is warmth. Most water mattresses use a warming system to keep the water at a comfortable temperature. You can adjust the temperature up slightly for colder months, and adjust it down for the heat of summer. You can be comfortable in bed year-round.
Another advantage is water mattresses are more resistant to bed bugs and mites. There is no fabrics and padding for them to dig deep into, so you reduce the possibilities of infestations.
If a water bed has all of these advantages, why is it not more common in homes? The disadvantages steer many people away. The main disadvantage is cost. Water beds are more expensive than most traditional mattress and support systems. The second major disadvantage is weight. Water is heavy. Many apartment complexes and home leases forbid the use of water beds in their facilities due to the weight. Your insurance rates may be higher if you have a water bed since a leaking water bed can result in water damage in your home.
You need to be a little more cautious when you own a water mattress, too. You need to make sure you keep anything sharp off of the bed. Something as simple as a sharp zipper clasp could cause a leak in a water mattress.
Air Mattresses – The Advantages and Disadvantages
Air mattresses were invented to solve the discomfort of campers. They were a cheap and easy way to have a comfortable sleeping surface in your tent without hauling bulky mattresses. Their reasonable comfort and low cost soon had people using them in their homes to have an extra bed for guests or for their kids.
The original air mattresses took a lot of effort to inflate. You huffed and puffed until you fill it with air, or you invested in a foot pump and stepped and stomped until it was inflated. Newer air mattresses come with an electric air pump which is either attached or can be easily attached, to fill the mattress. Some of the best air mattresses include a remote control so you can adjust the firmness while you are in bed.
Air mattresses provide great comfort because like a water mattress it will conform to your body eliminating pressure points. The air mattress adds an extra level of comfort since you can adjust the firmness using a remote.
One of the primary disadvantages to the air mattress is the material they are made from. Most air mattresses use soft PVC which are known to release small amounts of toxins. While the levels releases at any time are very small, it could be a concern if you are sleeping on an air mattress 8 hours per night for months at a time. Several European countries are reviewing the use of PVC materials for use in toys and may take a look at their use in air mattresses, too.
An air mattress has some distinct advantages over a water mattress, but those advantages are offset by concerns of the toxins released by PVC. At the moment, water mattresses win as the preferred style of mattress, at least until air mattress manufacturers come up with new materials to replace PVC.