Waterbed insert

We have recently married and are converting my California King waterbed to a regular mattress. My husband is used to sleeping on a king Serta Perfect Sleeper and we want a mattress that is comparable. I found STL beds that make waterbed inserts by Affinity. We would have to buy this mattress online and are concerned about buying a mattress over the Internet. We have gone to a mattress store here in Austin, Texas (Mattrezzz Guys) They can order us a Simmons BeautyRest with the measurements we need for the waterbed frame. It would be a little larger as STL offers flippable and 1" less on all sides to get hands in there to sheet it. Is that necessary? My husband is used to rotating his mattress every couple of months. We seem to like the feel of the pillow-top best. Also, we want it high enough that it will be higher than the waterbed frame side-rails. Probably over 15". I realize that our choices are limited but what do you recommend for quality, comfort and ease of making the bed and getting out of it??

Sounds as though you might have problems finding sheets that would accomodate a mattress that size. One of the things I really liked about getting rid of my hardsided waterbed was that I could again use ‘regular’ sized sheets.

I don’t think I ever saw any waterbed sheets where the bottom sheet would fit a 15" or higher mattress, and it seemed to be getting more and more difficult to find any sheets that would work for the off-sizes needed for the waterbed.

Thank you Clawdia for your reply however our main concern isn’t about getting rid of my canopy waterbed frame or about finding sheets. We have plenty of sheets that I found at a medical supply store. They have huge over-sized sheets and some very pretty prints. We are looking for the correct sized mattress to fit inside the frame and for its quality and our comfort.

Hi MichelePE,

There are really two separate issues involved in buying a waterbed insert. One of them is finding a mattress that is a good match for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are important to you. The second is making sure that your insert is the right size and height.

For the first one I would start with the tutorial post here which has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that you will need to make the best possible quality/value mattress choice … and know how and why to avoid the worst ones. The same guidelines would apply to choosing a waterbed insert as would apply to any other mattress purchase.

For the second part of your purchase choice I would suggest a custom size for a waterbed insert that leaves a little room all around your mattress or you may have some real difficulty making the bed. It will also allow for a little better ventilation. I would also suggest a height that rises above your waterbed frame so that you don’t have a hard edge when you are sleeping or when you get in and out of bed. To find a custom size waterbed insert you would need to deal with a factory direct manufacturer who can make custom sizes or deal with a retailer who either carries or has the ability to order a mattress from their manufacturer(s) that would be a suitable size for a waterbed insert.

There is a good article here about waterbed inserts (which you’ve probably already seen since you were already dealing with them) which has some good information.

There is more about trying to “match” one mattress to another one in post #9 here. Unless you know all the specifics of your Serta Perfect Sleeper and are able to find a mattress with the same specs and components (which is unlikely) your most effective approach would be to test local mattresses using the guidelines in the tutorial post so you can compare how close they feel for you in terms of PPP. As you can see in the guidelines here … I would also avoid Serta or any mattress where you aren’t able to find out the quality of the materials inside it (see this article) or that uses lower quality materials in their mattress compared to other manufacturers that use higher quality and more durable materials in the same or lower price ranges. Without knowing all the materials inside your mattress there is no way to identify any weak links or make meaningful quality/value comparisons with other mattresses.

If you are buying a mattress online then you would need to have a more detailed conversation with an online retailer/manufacturer who was familiar with the Serta Perfect Sleeper you had and could give you some good guidance about which of their mattresses would likely be the closest. Since this can be very subjective and different people can have very different opinions about how well one mattress “matches” another one … it would also be a good idea to make sure that there is a good return or exchange policy with an online purchase and that you are clear about the costs involved in case the mattress you decide on doesn’t match the Serta (or your “ideal” in terms of PPP which may be even better than the Serta) as well as you hoped.

Once you reach step 3 in the tutorial then the better options and possibilities I’m aware of in the Austin area are listed in post #2 here but I would call them before visiting to make sure that they either carry or can make or order the custom insert size you will need.


Wow! Thank you. I will look into all of this information ; )