Technical FAQ

 

What are the different styles of waterbeds?

The are basically two styles: hard-side og soft-side.
 
The hard-side waterbed is the classic, original waterbed. The mattress has staright sides and must be supported by a firm bed frame.

Soft-side mattresses have slantings sides and a cushioned surround that reduces the heat loss and allows you to sit comfortably on the edge. 

In contrast to a hard-side mattress, a soft-side mattress can stand on its own without a bed frame and almost looks like a box mattress.

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Can I alter the stability of the water mattress?

No. This is decided on the point of purchase. For which reason, it is a good idea to try out display beds with different stabilizations. The most popular models tend to be the 75 and 95% motion reduced mattresses. 

It should be noted, however, that with repeated siphoning and moving of the mattress there is a risk that the mattress may lose some of its stabilisation.

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Can I alter the hardness of my water mattress?

No. The stability is determined at the time of purchase. Many people believe that stability can be regulated by controlling the amount of water in the mattress. 
 
This is only partially true, however, as there will always be an optimal amount of water for each individual, so that the body assumes the correct physiological position. With optimal water content, the water mattress possesses its tactile but non-adjustable stabilisation. With too little water, the mattress feels softer but the body will "hang" on the mattress. With too much water, the opposite is true. The mattress will feel harder but your body will feel as if it is lying on a hard tray. If the amount of water is incorrect, strain is placed on the back and the body will assume the wrong position.

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What sizes of waterbeds are available?

All standard sizes and an almost infinite range of custom sizes from 90 x 200 cm to 200 x 240 cm. Akva also produces junior and baby beds.

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Can I put a water mattress in my existing bed frame?

Yes, you can choose between a hard-side mattress which must be surrounded by a bed frame of at least 22 cm. 
 
Should you opt for a soft-side mattress surrounded by foam edges, you can choose the Inside model which is available in a number of different sizes. 
 
In this way, the comfort of the waterbed can be combined with a bed frame that suits your surroundings.

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How do you install a waterbed?

Most waterbeds are installed the first time by the manufacturer or your retail supplier. It usually takes one to two hours. The filling often takes the most time and that depends on your household water pressure.

If your supplier installs your bed, he or she will generally bring a pump to transfer the water from your filled bath straight into your mattress at the correct temperature. If you do it yourself, follow the manufacturer's instructions using a garden hose.

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How much water should I put in the mattress?

The amount of water is an individual parameter which depends on the person's size and the size of the bed, but as a general rule of thumb, less is more. Generally speaking, there is only too little water if your body can touch the bottom of the mattress. 
 
Begin by adding water so that the water mattress is about 3 cm from the foam edge. When you lie in bed, your body should be flush with the foam edge. It is important to remember that you should lie down in and not on top of a waterbed. Your legs, which weigh the least, will often be higher up than the rest of your body, thus promoting comfort and helping your blood circulation.  
 
If two people sleep on one large single mattress - a so-called single - the amount of water must be regulated so the lightest person lies in a comfortable position. The heavier person will lie comfortably even when the amount of water is reduced, leaving the lighter person lying inside the bed and not on top.

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After filling the mattress, how long should I wait before sleeping on the waterbed?

Depending on the water temperature when filling, it may take up to two days. If the bed is too cold, you risk catching a cold.

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What type of water is used in a waterbed?

Normal tap water.

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What temperature should the water be when filling the mattress?

We recommend cold water.

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How often do you have to change the water?

Only when you move the bed. The water is stabilised in the mattress by a conditioner fluid, Long Life, to prevent the growth of algae or bacteria. With regular care the same mattress of water will go on supporting you for years.

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How do the heaters work and are they safe?

The heater system uses a low wattage pad that is placed on the decking underneath the mattress and liner. Once the mattress has reached the desired temperature, the heating system can be set on a 12-hour timer. Thus, the heating up of the element takes place at times when the bed is not in use.

The heating element is completely safe for use. It is sealed in watertight vinyl and is equipped with a childproof power source and temperature regulator.

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Do I unplug the heater in the summer?

No. Even in a hot summer your average bedroom temperature will be below your normal skin temperature. Simply leave the heater plugged in - the difference will be that in the summer the heater will be on less than in the winter.

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What happens in a power cut?

With the power disconnected a waterbed will gradually begin to cool. Because the bed is usually well insulated by bedding, etc. it will be quite some time before you begin to notice the change. Since you will rarely experience a power cut of more than a few hours the chances of it becoming a problem are remote.

It should be noted that following power cuts, Akva's heating elements normally go into 24-hour mode. If you want the heating element to be off when the bed is in use, it must be set to 12-hour mode.

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Does the heating element radiate electronic smog?

The water in the water mattress acts as an insulator against any kind of disturbance that might occur under the bed. Even when the heating element heats up, electromagnetic radiation is extremely low. A socket, clock radio or bedside lamp situated one metre from the bed has an electromagnetic field approx. 300 times greater than that of the heating element. If you use the heating element's 12-hour timer, the element will only be activated when the bed is not in use.

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Can I save energy by turning off the heating element while we are on holiday?

No. Constant heat is important for the waterbed materials and to avoid any damp. If the heating element has been turned off for an extended period of time it will have to run continuously to achieve the desired temperature again and thus there will be no substantial energy savings.

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How would I repair a puncture?

For all but the most severe punctures, the easy answer is to use an appropriate repair kit. It takes only a few minutes to apply and they are available from your local stockist. Once in place it will restore the mattress to its full lifetime's use with no detrimental effect. In most cases a simple repair can be completed without having to empty the bed.

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How easy is it to puncture a waterbed?

Any really sharp object can be used to puncture the water mattress, but it is not as easy as you might think. The mattress vinyl is double laminated and remains watertight even if a hole should appear on the outer layer. Unless you willfully set out to damage your waterbed, you are not likely to puncture it.

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So all mattresses "undulate" to the same extent?

No. The stability of mattresses varies according to the number of fibre layers inside the mattress. Waterbeds are thus avaialable with unstabilised mattresses that stabilise after 25 seconds to completely stabilised mattresses that absorb slowly. In larges sizes a dual (split) mattress system is available which allows individual stability and temperature within each mattress.

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What is the weight of a waterbed?

It depends on the size and style of bed, it can vary from 90kgs to 800kgs. The soft-sided divan models are lighter, size for size, than the hard-sided models. A full depth, long soft-sided divan bed is the equivalent weight of about 5 - 6 adults.

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What is Long Life?

Long Life is a conditioner stabilising the quality of the water so there is no risk of algae or bacteria growth inside the mattress. Akva recommends you add one bottle of Long Life to each mattress each year.

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Will the waterbed sag?

No. A water mattress is a very forgiving surface even if you jump on it. Unlike conventional springs it will not sag or distort. Even a decade later, your waterbed remains as comfortable and supportive as the first night you slept on it.

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How long do waterbeds last?

Some of the first vinyl mattress are still in daily use. Generally, you can expect your waterbed to last between 10 and 20 years. There will, however, be parts that wear out such as the top mattress or the actual vinyl mattress itself. Typically, the vinyl mattress will last between 5 and 10 years.

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Is there storage space underneath a waterbed?

Yes. A normal 25 cm base can hold four drawers and a 37.5 cm base can hold eight drawers. It is also possible to create a storage base with removable fronts.

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Are waterbeds easy to move?

Yes. In fact, once drained, the components of a waterbed are far easier to move than most conventional beds and even long-sized can be carried into rooms that have limited access, narrow staircases, etc. Moving your bed only requires extra time to allow for siphoning or filling. 

Once the mattress has been emptied, the best option is to roll it rather than to fold it. Open the valve and grip the vinyl and the fibre layer at the head end and roll towards the foot end so that any excess air is expelled through the valve. Make sure you follow the manual instructions. 

Should you not wish to move it yourself, your dealer will generally offer a moving service.

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