A bed with a large rectangular bag filled with water in lieu of a mattress, in order to make it more comfortable. Usually comes with a heater. In recent models, the bed is made of multiple bags, so that a person will not drown if the bag is suddenly pierced.

Do not try to empty your water bed into your bathroom sink, it will overflow.

Robert A. Heinlein invented the water bed, describing it in Stranger in a Strange Land in sufficient detail that later attempts to patent it failed because it was made public domain by being part of a published work. I think Heinlein received a free water bed from the first person to manufacture them.

Heinlein saw the water bed primarily as a hospital bed, having thought of the idea while he spent months in hospitals recovering from pulmonary tuberculosis in 1934.

Update: gn0sis points out that given the fact that even Webster 1913 knows about the water bed, it is unlikely that Heinlein invented it. However, "Heinlein invented the water bed" is a powerful meme on the internet, so I'll let it remain here. Just take it with a grain of salt.

General Wesc says the first water bed dates back to 1871.

Some basic safety tips for the proper usage of a waterbed, that may seem obvious but often are not:

Of course, some of this may have been fixed as the years pass, but in the mid 1990s, they were fickle animals that were best left to the professionals.

Wa"ter bed` (?).

A kind of mattress made of, or covered with, waterproof fabric and filled with water. It is used in hospitals for bedridden patients.

<-- also used in some private homes. -->


© Webster 1913.

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