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The Complete Waterbed
The term 'complete waterbed' generally refers to the hardside waterbed, and all the accessories and supplies that are needed to make a functioning and complete waterbed.
The following items form a complete waterbed ensemble, and will make your waterbed experience the most pleasant and gratifying it can be:
The waterbed frame comes in many different styles and wood types. Frames can be made of oak, pine, or padded vinyl. A waterbed frame can be as simple or ornate as you wish. They can contain drawers beneath the bed, and come with or without a headboard thatís either plain, or adorned with cabinets, shelves, or mirror. Waterbed frames don't include the plywood decking as part of the package, so you will need to buy the plywood decking at your local building supply or lumber yard.
The waterbed mattress comes in a variety of comfort levels (or motion levels), from full-wave to waveless. It all depends on the type of mattress you want, and how much motion you and your partner wish to have.
The waterbed heater (Temperature Control System) comes in two different types - digital and solid state. Heater components include thermostat, temperature sensor, power cord, and a heater pad (placed under the waterbed mattress and safety liner). The amount of heat needed is controlled from the bedside.
Waterbed Filling and Draining
Except for when you first setup a new waterbed, you generally will only have to drain and fill a waterbed when you decide to move it. A fill and drain kit makes the process much easier because it comes with all the supplies you will need including hose and adaptors, and an electric drain pump, if you want to speed things up. Many of these kits also include conditioner for stabilizing the water, and also a vinyl cleaner, to prevent the bladder from cracking with age.
Essentially a biocide, the conditioner will help prevent the water inside your mattress or bladder from stagnation, and also protect your waterbed from fungus, mold, bacteria, and other impurities. Use the conditioner every 6 months or so, and you won't have any worries.
Waterbed Safety Liner
Although unlikely, a waterbed may leak. Perhaps it may be poked or spring a leak somehow. In order to protect your floor, carpet, or whatever lies beneath your waterbed, you will need a safety liner. The liner will capture the water, and prevent a near disaster from happening, so it's wise to have one. Hardside waterbeds use what is known as a 'stand up safety liner'. They are quite easy to install. Simply place the liner under the mattress, pulling all 4 corners tight to reduce wrinkles. Do not tape the liner to the frame, and be sure not to place the liner over the heater.
Waterbed Repair Kit
If you ever need to repair a tear or leak, it's a rather simple fix. Simply cut the patch to the correct size, put some glue on it (glue comes with the repair kit), apply to the leak area and allow to dry. Most times you won't even need to drain the waterbed.
Hardside waterbeds require specialized sheets in order to fit properly. Wal-Mart, Target, Kohls and the other big department stores don't carry waterbed sheets. You will need to purchase them somewhere else, such as a waterbed website. Sheets come in many different styles and fabrics including satin and high thread count cotton. The size of your sheets depend on the size of the waterbed you have, and are grouped into the following: California King, Queen, and Super Single.
Waterbed Mattress Pads and Covers
You can purchase mattress pads and mattress covers for your waterbed, if you want. This gives a little extra softness and also protects your mattress. Covers and pads come in a plethora of fabrics including quilted and hypo-allergenic, and can be attached via a zipper or straps.
Padded Rail Caps
You can purchase the rails around your hardside waterbed separately if you like. Padded rails come in different comfort levels.....meaning you can purchase ones with extra padding for more comfort. They are nice because they allow you to sit on the side or end of your waterbed in comfort, and make climbing in and out of your waterbed easier and more comfortable.
Purchasing a complete waterbed package will provide you with all the tools and parts you will require for the lifetime of your waterbed.