I had an urge to put "how to convert a waterbed into a platform bed" down in case there's someone else searching the web for ideas on the subject.
How it began:
After reaching my mid-40's I began waking up during the night (one too many times) with shoulder pain and wondering if it was related to our beloved waterbed. That's what began N's and my search for what to replace it with. There are unexpected benefits I've discovered since then (of switching to memory foam); no more leg pain in the AM when feet first meet the floor and not waking when bed partner tosses and turns. We also hope to see a change in our electricity usage. The cost of having a heater on that big bag of water has concerned me for a long time.
Both of us began a dedicated search and shared information on mattresses. Our focus soon narrowed to memory foam mattresses, after reading an overwhelming number of testaments from satisfied owners. Brands were trickier. Night after night of searching made us believe there aren't that many manufacturers out there, but there are a ton of vendors.
We read what to look for;
- how many layers of which kind of foam,
- how thick each layer should be and
- how to help the issue of sleeping too warm.
- Oh and to make sure your foam is made in the USA.
Prepping the bed frame:
After measuring the existing waterbed platform, we purchased the plywood to make the surface large enough for the memory foam mattress dimensions, allowing extra for the addition of a frame around the outside edge. (Frame was made cutting and using the wood that used to be the waterbed sides.)
We began the long process of draining the waterbed. To speed up the process we ended up buying a water pump/siphon attachment for N's drill.
Finally, we picked which mattress to purchase (ours is from an Ebay store), we began to draw up possible ideas on how to modify our existing bed. Once we figured out it was possible, N made a plan and we decided to go ahead and buy a California King mattress to replace our queen. (More space is good when you sleep with dogs.)
The mattress arrived on our doorstep via UPS. We opened it up and allowed it to air for 72 hours on our guest bed.
Summary of the Changes:
Once the old mattress was removed, N changed and added to the 3 equal sections of the plywood configuration that made up our platform. Our two banks of under bed drawers were moved farther apart to shift the support of the slightly bigger bed. Together we put our new mattress on top of the platform and began the process of designing and eventually making the new headboard. Here's what N used for the backing of the headboard. Instead of trying to figure out how to attach the headboard to the frame, the headboard stands independent of the rest of the bed.