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Waterbed Vinyl

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Vinyl is used almost everywhere today. We find it on the sides of our homes, in our plumbing, our compact disks are vinyl. There is so much vinyl around us even our credit cards are made from it!

Vinyl is made from a chemical process where ethylene, a petroleum by-product, and chlorine are combined¹.

Plasticizers are important to waterbeds because the mattress must be flexible throughout the life of the mattress to provide comfortable support, yet provide strength so that you can get in and out of the bed without causing damage.


The optimal thickness for vinyl mattresses is 18 to 25 mils thick

vinyl comparison image

We are often asked if there are thicker vinyls. Many years ago thicker vinyls were tried to see if that would make them less apt to fail. As you can see above, you can make vinyl too thick. As it is bent around a radius, it bunches on the inside of the curve and starts to crack around the outside. The damage above has been magnified to illustrate this concept.


{vinyl weld}

Waterbed mattresses use welds to join the vinyl sheets together. Welding does reduce the plasticizer content at the weld joint which is why its even more important to buy mattresses made only from vinyls with the best plasticizers.

¹Once formed, vinyl can be extruded (long lengths are heated and forced through a mold), injection molded into shapes, calandeered into sheets, blow molded or dispersion molded into shapes or thermoformed to make it stiff. Resins, plasticizers and other additives can be introduced to change its characteristics. It can be hard and rigid or soft and supple.