Moving Waterbed
Your waterbed is an investment in your comfort, health and well-being. With adequate planning and correct packing, your waterbed can be transported safely. If you do not have an exact record of the cost of your waterbed, you might want to obtain a current retail cost prior to selecting a protection plan from your mover. If you desire replacement cost rather than depreciated protection, many moving companies, including United Van Lines, offer full-value coverage against loss or damage.
Following are some general guidelines for preparing your waterbed for shipping:
Draining And Disassembling Your Waterbed.
  • Disassembly time will vary with each waterbed because of the difference in mattress sizes and drainage methods used. For information on how to drain a particular type of mattress, contact a local waterbed store or the manufacturer. Allow adequate time to completely drain and disassemble your waterbed. Most moving companies require customers to drain mattresses prior to moving day.
  • Unplug the mattress heater and allow it to cool before starting the drainage process. Otherwise, the heater can scorch or even melt your mattress.
  • If your mattress is to be in storage for more than five weeks:
  • Add mattress conditione to the water a day or more before draining to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Use a vinyl cleaner on the outside of the mattress as a protectant.
  • There are three ways to drain waterbed mattresses:
  • Straight siphon method - takes about an hour, can be used for “freeflow” mattresses that have no interior baffles. Using a faucet adapter and drain pump - typically comes with mattresses, can take up to three hours depending on your water pressure and type of mattress. Using an electric pump - available for rent or purchase at waterbed stores, draining typically takes about 30 minutes.
  • Get as much water out of your mattress as possible! If you press down on the mattress and see a handprint afterward, continue draining. Have your cap and plug handy to place on the mattress fill/drain hole right after draining to ensure a vacuum-packed seal.
  • Put all screws, nuts, and bolts in a plastic bag and tape it to the back of the frame.
Folding Your Mattress.
If you have a motion-reducing mattress, you must use special care while draining and moving it in order to prevent the interior baffles from shifting.
After the mattress is completely drained and sealed:
  • Fold it into thirds, starting from the head of the bed and folding towards the foot.
  • Make sure the baffles do not shift out of place, but if they do, try to reposition then. (They should be in place before you refill your mattress.)
  • You may pack the folded mattress with blankets in a box.  Make sure it will not be at risk of being punctured or otherwise damaged by other items.
  • Finish by folding the mattress in half widthwise.
  • The heating pad and tube thermometer must be treated with care. Roll the pad and thermometer – each separately – from either end. Rolling items ensures the elements in each will not be broken or twisted. 
Upon Delivery.
If any servicing or reassembly is required for your waterbed, advise your moving company representative at the time of your estimate so appropriate arrangements can be made. Because a waterbed holds 80 to 200 gallons of water, you should determine where you want the bed placed before you fill it.