Some nights, you may find yourself laying face down in your bed, unable to sleep. You keep jumping around, trying to find the most comfortable spot to finally drift off, but it’s impossible. After about two hours of mind games and thinking to yourself, “Maybe I have Restless Leg Syndrome,” you eventually fall asleep.
The next morning, as you start your pot of coffee, a thought comes to mind:
What in the fu*k ever happened to waterbeds?
Surely, a waterbed would have been a much more comfortable alternative than this shitty hard mattress, so it brings back some memories to that time when you could sleep on a water cloud.
In the late 1980s, waterbeds were the next big thing, and then they weren’t… The industry quickly dried up (get it) and today, waterbeds are barely even being sold. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who owns one when walking the streets of New York or Chicago on an average day.
The idea of the waterbed seemed genius and was clearly a hot commodity for a reason. Sleeping on them was the No. 1 selling point, but sex was the other top marketing area as they truly promised a better motion in the ocean.
At the height of their popularity, waterbeds were a billion dollar industry and in 1987 accounted for 22% of all U.S. mattress sales.
But for all of the positives, came plenty of negatives. For one, they were high maintenance as installing one meant you would have to run a hose into your bedroom and fill the mattress with gallons upon gallons of water. Also, the leaks and heavy weight of the mattress provided extra stress – especially if you weren’t exactly the athletic type.
In the 90s, the novelty of waterbeds had worn off and by the time we got to the 2000s, waterbeds had essentially died off. Although there is still a waterbed market today, it’s extremely small compared to the 80s and 90s.
Modern waterbeds are lighter with foam padding and fibers that ensure less frequent and less severe leaks. Those who are still into the retro style, stay loyal to the waterbed brand, but you’re few and far between.
It seems like the soft, sloshy water trend has no real pulse left in America. But who knows? Maybe a few more sleepless nights could get the idea flowing again.