A waterbed frame can be made with hard sides or soft sides. The frames are designed to sit on a pedestal or platform, creating a wide variety of bed styles.
Hard Side frames
Traditional hard side frames consist of a shallow box on a baseboard designed to support the sides of a waterbed placed in it. They are usually made of wood, though steel waterbed frames are now available, providing extra strength and a degree of lightness.
Soft Side frames
Soft side frames are built around the mattress but out of foam. The foam performs the same task as the wooden frame but provides a more normal mattress appearance and feel. Soft side frames are popular because they provide space to sit on the edge of the bed and they are easier to fit sheets.
Platforms or Pedestals
Platforms with drawers are particularly useful because they free up storage space. Many are fitted with headboards and footboards, giving the appearance of a regular bed.
With the soft side frames, under-bed storage, headboards and footboards, waterbeds have lost their old utilitarian appearance and are now comfortable as well as attractive.