Hardside vs Softside Waterbed

Softside Waterbed with topper folded open

What is the difference between a harside waterbed and a softside waterbed?

A softside waterbed mattress is made to mimic the look of a traditional mattress, while still providing the great feel of floating on the open water. A softside waterbed allows you to use a standard bed frame and bedding with these mattresses. Different types of softside waterbeds range from shallow fill, to mid-fill, to deep fill softside water beds, depending on how much motion or wave action you prefer during sleep.


Natural Wood Hardside WaterbedA hardside water bed mattress is what you typically think of when you imagine a waterbed. It is comprised of a a hard-sided bed frame that keeps the sides of the waterbed from bulging outward. (Hence the name hardside waterbed) The waterbed bladder itself is usually made from flexible yet durable vinyl. Hardside waterbeds require a heating element underneath the fluid chamber that will keep the water a pleasant and safe temperature.

What are the benefits of each bed?

Hardside Waterbed Mattress

A hardside waterbed lets you sleep closer to the water. By sleeping with only a layer of vinyl in between you and the fluid, you will feel more like you are on the open water and will experience more of the restorative and health benefits that people report when sleeping on a hardside waterbed. Although these benefits are often hard to quantify, they have been reported for year by waterbed sleepers.


Whether you prefer a free-flowing (unbaffled) water chamber or a waveless chamber, you can experience the full range of positive benefits that a hardside water mattress can offer.

Softside Waterbed Mattress

A Softside waterbed looks like a traditional mattress yet offers most of the sleep feel that a hardside waterbed mattress offers. There are additional layers of padding and quilting in a softside water mattress that will dampen and somewhat isolate the water-feel of the mattress. However many people report similar health benefits and a feeling of general well being as a result of sleeping on a softside waterbed.


Many people prefer the additional layer of padding that a softside waterbed offers. For those that prefer less wave-action a softside watermattress can be the perfect solution.