Waterbeds became wildly popular in the 70's and 80's. The modern day waterbed was created by Charlie Hall in 1967 as an art project while a graduate school student at San Francisco State University. Waterbeds utilized a rigid wood frame and were later joined by hybrid watebeds that look like conventional mattress but have an inner bladder of water or water filled tubes. Many people still sleep on the rigid frame waterbeds and periodically replace components of the beds such as heaters, liners or bladders. The hybrid models, while not as popular as they once were, are still available in several choices. Waterbeds of all styles were very popular, likely because they offered conforming support at a time that traditional mattresses were made hard as a rock. Conventional mattress manufacturers noticed how many waterbeds (up to 30 million by some estimates) were being sold and started to offer softer, plusher mattesses. Latex and other foam models hastened the decline in sales of the original style waterbed.
Hybrid waterbeds, particularly the tube models, avoid many of the inconveniences that some waterbed owners dislike. They can be filled, drained and moved without the need for a hose and most don’t use or need heaters. The weight is much less than full bladdered styles and the mattress can oftentimes be used on a standard wooden bed with little or no additional reinforcement
Cost of the hybrid mattresses is in line with medium priced spring beds and provides good support and longevity. Either the tube or bladder varieties can come in all water (full motion) styles or waveless.