The History of the Waterbed

goatAccording to legend, the first water-filled beds were used in Persia more than 3,600 years ago and consisted of goatskins filled with water. No information is known as to why they did this; however some think that it was to comfort the sick and elderly, while others believe it was a bed designed for royalty.

The water bed mattress was introduced to the Western world in the 1800’s, when it was first used in aid of medicine.  In 1873, Sir James Paget at St Bartholomew’s Hospital presented a waterbed designed by Neil Arnott as a treatment and prevention of pressure ulcers (bed sores); a condition that was quite common in this era. Paget found that waterbeds allowed mattress pressure to be evenly distributed over the body. Unfortunately, this invention lacked the ability to regulate the temperature of the water.
St Bartholomew Hospital, London, England
St Bartholomew Hospital, London, England

Dr. William Hooper of Portsmouth, England also saw medicinal benefits in waterbeds, specifically with patients suffering from arthritis and rheumatism, and patented his waterbed invention in 1883. Unfortunately, his invention was also a market failure, since he could not come up with a way to properly regular the temperature or contain the water.

By 1895, a few waterbeds were sold via mail order by the British store, Harrod’s. They looked like (and were probably very similar to) very large hot water bottles. Unfortunately, production was halted due to the lack of suitable materials.

charleshallIt wasn’t until the invention of vinyl in the 1960’s that waterbeds would once again gain popularity. In 1968, Charles Hall, a design student at San Francisco State University in California, tried to invent the perfect chair. After stuffing his chair design with everything from cornstarch to jello, his failed attempts lead to his developing a bed, which would be much easier to fill and reproduce. His first waterbed mattress was called ‘the Pleasure Pit’ and it quickly gained popularity with the hippie culture of the 1960’s and 1970’s.  By 1987, waterbeds had achieved full-fledged fad status, representing over  22 percent of all U.S. mattress sales.

Today, waterbeds have really come a long way. The variety of bed designs, improved thermal and wave motion controls, and other options like lumbar supports, make it the most versatile of all beds on the market. The hybrid or soft sided water mattress has also gained huge popularity, since it fits on a regular bed frame and looks like a regular mattress, with the difference being that it contains the added advantage of a water core, allowing you to regulate the temperature of your bed, with your choice of different motion or wave control levels, firmness, and lumbar back support.

Now in our 14th year of operation, Waterbed and Futon has been the # 1 distributor of waterbeds, waterbed mattresses and waterbed accessories to businesses and customers across Canada.

To see our vast selection of waterbeds and waterbed mattresses, be sure to visit our waterbed gallery at: or call us at: 905-231-2310 for more information. We would also be happy to provide you with a FREE (over-the-phone) sleep consultation, to be sure you are choosing the best mattress for you or your loved one, and getting the maximum benefits from your waterbed. Call now for your FREE sleep consultation.

Discover the Therapeutic Benefits of a Water Bed

The Woodland
The Woodland

If you have ever been injured or have had to endure painful physiotherapy treatments, then you know that one of the most effective means of relieving your pain and relaxing your muscles – especially your back muscles, is by applying heat. That explains why heated Waterbeds have been used for medical and homeopathic treatments of various physical conditions, for over 2000 years and are still a ‘hot’ selling item today.

Patients suffering from Arthritis, Rheumatism, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, and other joint, bone, and muscular conditions, the elderly, and anyone with chronic back pain will all reap significant benefits from sleeping on a water mattress. Water has been known to increase blood flow, stimulate blood circulation and properly support all areas of the body evenly and comfortably, allowing you to wake up feeling more rested and better able to start your day. Most waterbeds can be heated and temperature controlled, so you can set it to whatever temperature you find desirable, then crawl into a nice warm bed in the depth of winter’s cold where you will feel snugly warm all night long. More affordable than those posture-pedic specialty beds that cost thousands of dollars, waterbeds also cater to 2 individuals who share a common bed. This means that 2 people with different body sizes and weights will each receive the proper level of support for them, without having to sleep on different levels or angles from each other, like those craftmatic beds.

There are different styles of waterbeds (some are very wavy – like our Free Flow water mattress) while others (like our 8” motionless hybrid waterbed mattress and the 99% Motion Reduction DIAMOND Water Mattress, are firmer with a soft water inner core and added lumbar and spinal support. Each model provides a different level of support and wave action, depending on your needs.

Waterbeds are also very hygienic. The vinyl water mattress helps to prevent dust and dust mites build-up, making waterbeds ideal for anyone who suffers from asthma or allergies.

But waterbeds are not just good for improving your physical health. Water therapy is known to relax both body and mind, so sleeping on a water mattress can also reduce your stress levels and mental fatigue, leaving you feeling more refreshed and alive. Your body is made up of 70-75% water, and just like the gravitational pull of the moon which affects our bodies, women’s menstrual cycles, our moods, and the earth’s ocean tides, sleeping on a waterbed restores the balance of our ZEN; our energy, stamina and zeal.

We invite you to discover for yourself, the wonderful therapeutic benefits of sleeping on a waterbed mattress. Visit our waterbed gallery at:

I love my waterbed because….

We want to hear from you….

You know who you are….You love your waterbed! You can recall when you first discovered what sleeping on a waterbed was really like and you vowed that you would never again go back to a hard, conventional bed.  You were SOLD and would be a waterbed lover for years to come.

Well, if that describes you then read on because we want to hear from YOU! Please take a few minutes out of your busy day to let us know why you simply LOVE your waterbed.

We want to hear from you….

Maybe your very first bed was a waterbed and what an adventure that was! If it was years ago, it was probably a free flowing mattress (100 FULL motion) all gushy and soft… did yours have big velvet bumper style pads on it too!

Or what about the time your old waterbed sprung a leak? (Geezz.. good thing they dont make them like THAT anymore?)

Whatever your waterbed story is, we want to hear it!

Why not take a few minutes out of your busy day right now to let us know why you simply LOVE your waterbed.


Thank goodness that waterbeds really have come a long, long way. The rubbers and vinyls being used today are now more durable than ever, and watebeds now come in a wide range of motion controls – from 100% free flowing to 50%, 60%, 80% even 100% motionless. Many even have built in lumbar spine support. And let’s not forget the added bonus of thermo temperature controls. Pefect for keeping you warm on a cold winters night and keeping you cool on those hot summer ones (especially for those warm blooded athletes with high running adrenoline).. how cool is that?!

There are also hybrid waterbeds – a water mattress (or water bladder) inside a regular looking mattress. Our hybrid waterbed mattresses are available in many styles, including quilted european pillow tops for deluxe comfort.  Check out or full line of waterbed and futon beds, parts, waterbed sheets, futon covers, accessories and more at: