Waterbed Mattress Accessories
The Waterbed Heater: What You Need to Know
A Waterbed heater is basically a heating unit that has been designed to safely heat the water of a waterbed mattress. Generally a user will set the temperature so the bed will be at around average skin temperature. Waterbed heaters all work in basically the same way; i.e. a heating mat of the appropriate size for the mattress will be placed under the bed. The heating element in the mat will be connected to a thermostat outside of the bed. This thermostat will allow the user to adjust the temperature as desired. The heating mat must always remain on, or the water will quickly cool.
Whichever brand of waterbed heater chosen it is important that you first verify that it is suitable for the type of waterbed mattress being used. There are three types of waterbed mattresses available, hard sided, soft sided and soft side with tubes. The hard sided waterbeds are the traditional type with a hard frame, general made of hardwood. Soft side waterbeds are supported by foam padding on the sides. And soft side with tubes is a soft sided waterbed with cells added to hinder the flow of water and keep the bed steadier. There are a wide variety of heaters out there, but the three most readily available brands are:
The Thermal Guardian Waterbed Heater has several varieties available, and all of them are highly rated. These heaters are known for heating quickly and staying warm. Using state of the art thermal regulation technology these heaters are generally long lasting. Most of the designs feature thermostats with touch screen controls for easy temperature changes on cool evenings. These heaters are designed primarily for use with hard sided mattresses. One possible problem with the Thermal Guardian is that some reviews mention it has trouble compensating for cool evenings in poorly insulated houses, and turns on and off repeatedly.
The Strobel Organic Waterbed Heater is a solid state heater which uses copper inside the heating element rather than aluminum like many others do. The copper is considered to make the heat last longer as well as conduct heat more efficiently. These heaters are rated to control the temperature to within 1/10th a degree. All Strobel Organic models features an overlimit safety switch to prevent the pad from overheating. The thermostat is not as user friendly as the touch screen variety, but still seems to be efficient, and does the job. The Strobel Organic heaters are for use with hard sided waterbeds.
The Calesco waterbed heaters are one of the only ones advertised as being suitable for all waterbed mattress sizes, twin to California King. These highly rater heaters are also one of the few that are designed for use with deep fill soft side waterbeds. There is a potential issue with these beds however as they are designed to run on 220/240 volt electricity and while they will fit most European and Asian electrical outlets, they will not work in USA without the use of an adapter.
Whichever brand of waterbed heater chosen it is important that you first verify that it is suitable for the type of waterbed being used.