Waterbed victim checking in.
My mother has insomnia (among other things). At some point in the early '70s she decided she slept better on a waterbed. As such, everybody got waterbeds. I had one from the age of 3 or so. My sister had one from the age of 2. When on vacation, it was necessary to find a motel that had waterbeds. You can only imagine the kind of motel one finds in rural Kansas at 9 at night that has waterbeds. No. None of this was pleasant. And if somehow a waterbed could not be found at 9pm in rural Kansas, mom was a stone-cold bitch for the next three days because she "didn't sleep." Note that she didn't sleep anyway but without the talisman of the waterbed it was somehow worse. Vacations were an endless ordeal of crabbiness in no small part because of her habituation on waterbeds.
Something never mentioned in these articles about waterbeds is they leak. Waterbeds were fucking cheap and they were basically a pool float filled with a ton of water. Prior to laser-welding they were held together with vulcanizing glue, and the seams would go. Maybe your parents had an expensive waterbed with double-sealed seams. You didn't. So every 2 months or so you woke up in a literal puddle. And then you have to wake up your parents and say that you're sleeping in a puddle. And then they get mad at you because WHY DO YOU KEEP BREAKING THE WATERBED so before too long you just fucking accept the puddle until morning and end up sleeping on the floor.
Something else never mentioned is that if you change the temperature of a waterbed, you get to wait about 8 hours before anything changes. And in order for it to not leech all the heat out of your body it needs to be kept at like 87 or 88 degrees. But if the power goes out it goes to ambient. So if you were comfortable at 9, but the power goes out at 10, you have hypothermia by 2. And that won't change until the next morning. Also, god help you if you kick the extension cord while making your bed in the morning. Surprise! you're going to bed on a 65 degree slab of slushy hell.
What's really ironic about waterbeds is they SUCK to have sex on. They slosh. They have their own rhythm. There's no purchase. And girl on top? Yeah her knees are gonna hit the bottom and she's gonna jackknife you. I honestly don't know how the myth that having sex on a waterbed is fun perpetuated for so long. They are BULLSHIT for fucking.
Nonetheless I went to college terrified that I'd be incapable of sleeping. See, the dorms flat out say that waterbeds are forbidden. So I went off anticipating a future of exhaustion, insomnia and mental illness because that was my perspective and the first time I crashed out on an actual, honest-to-god non waterbed that wasn't in a hotel I slept like the dead. It was amazing. Fuckin' real mattresses? HOLY SHIT
'didja see those prices? Nobody wants to talk about that. People ran waterbeds because they were cheap and countercultural. Know what killed waterbeds?
Now - futons also suck. It is known. But you and your buddies can move from one shitty apartment to another without invoking a garden hose, a drill gun and a 2-hour dismantling procedure. Not only that but your shitty-ass futon doubles as a shitty-ass couch while your shitty-ass waterbed isn't even good for goldfish. Sex on a futon also sucks but not as hard as sex on a waterbed and clearly, "sex on a futon" was a sales strategy too.
And there's no covenants in anybody's leases about futons. Waterbeds? Every apartment that isn't on the 1st floor has a rule against waterbeds and most of the apartments on the 1st floor have a rule anyway because they leak and they suck. A queen-sized waterbed mattress weighs more than a VW beetle and while the weight is distributed in such a way that your joists can take it, landlords aint' gonna hear it, hippie, buy a real mattress like a citizen.
Waterbeds barely make sense if you own your own home and never move. bunch of 'boomers getting their first place? Sure. Buy a goddamn waterbed. But as soon as GenX had to schlep from one shitty basement apartment to another, they took one look at the waterbed and said fuck this shit in the ass. THAT is what happened to the waterbed - they were a bad idea that tickled the 'boomers because 'boomers are stupid but since they could buy a house for six quarters and a used saltine cracker they never noticed what a bad idea waterbeds are.