Way back in 1968 Charles Hall presented what is today known as the modern waterbed in his Master's Thesis project as a design student at San Francisco State University. Hall's fellow students were enthralled by Hall's innovative use of a vinyl mattress filled with warm water. For the next 20 years America, too, fell in love with the waterbed.
Waterbeds, known for their pressure-minimizing, form fitting nature --which offered optimal comfort-- reached their peak of popularity in the mid 1980s. In fact, according to retail figures, back in 1984 water beds were a nearly two billion dollar industry. Today waterbeds make up only a very minuscule fraction of overall mattress and bed sales. The good news is this delightfully retro trend is still available to consumers. Many online retail giants are now offering waterbed mattresses after consumers demanded a resurgence of the once popular trend. Customers with back issues also tend to rave about waterbeds, as the mattresses' contoured back support offers relief from a myriad of skeletal issues, pains, and general stiffness.