Turns out, arguably the most important factor in a restful night’s sleep isn’t the coziness of your pajamas or the melatonin supplements you take before zonking out. It’s actually temperature. According to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, cool temperature is one of the most crucial environmental factors in getting a good night’s rest. The ideal temperature? 65 degrees, or anywhere between 60-67 degrees.
Because of our circadian rhythm, our bodies are naturally programmed to drop in temperature slightly when it’s time to hit the hay and rise in temperature when it’s time to wake up in the morning. Mimicking that natural temperature change is one popular strategy for getting more restful sleep. There are many ways to accomplish this — turning your thermostat lower, buying cooling sheets and blasting a fan right next to the bed are a few. However, how can you know you’re sleeping in the ideal temperature range without spending a ton on A/C bills? Or getting a dry throat from blasting your heat all winter? What if you could set your sleep temperature exactly, and program it to change throughout the night to match your sleep schedule?
The OOLER from Chilisleep is designed to do just that, and after sleeping on it for 18 months I can definitively say it’s worth every penny. Sleeping with the OOLER cooling pad gave me the best sleep I’ve ever had. Plus, if you share your bed with a partner like mine who transforms into an infrared sauna in the evening, then it makes it much easier to customize your sleep temperature to your liking. Keep reading for my full review of this revolutionary sleep aid product.
OOLER Sleep System
What Is the OOLER?
The OOLER, made by Chilisleep, the company behind the Chilipad and similar bed cooling systems, is a hydro-powered sleep system that changes the temperature of your bed from the inside out. Rather than needing to change the temperature of the entire room to sleep well, it pumps water, set to a certain temperature, through a pad you lay across your mattress and gives you the exact temperature you want inside the sheets. You can buy it for one or both sides of a Queen, King or California King bed, and program your sleep temperature schedule via the OOLER app on your phone.
- The temperature range for the OOLER is 55-115 degrees Fahrenheit, or 13-46 degrees Celcius
- Your purchase comes with the OOLER control unit (or two if you buy it for both sides of the bed), a hose for connecting the unit to the pad and the reversible Chilipad cool mesh mattress pad
- You can buy it in two forms: ME or WE — either for one or two sides of the bed, the WE option enables you to set different temperatures for either side of the bed
My boyfriend runs very warm most of the time, especially when he sleeps. I bought this system for his birthday over a year ago and we’ve slept very soundly ever since.
It’s a pricey machine, so before you splurge I encourage you to read my full review below.
How Does the OOLER Work?
The OOLER takes your standard cooling mattress pad to the next level by incorporating water, a substance notoriously good at maintaining hot and cold temperatures. You fill up the main unit with water and connect it to your bed via a hose. The water then is set to a certain temperature on the control unit, and is pumped through the pad spread across your bed, cooling you down throughout the night. You can program the system to turn on and off at certain times or program it manually whenever you head to bed. The OOLER is designed to change your ambient environment temperature by up to 15 degrees, and wake you up in the morning without an alarm via the Warm Awake function.
OOLER Sleep System Review
My review criteria for the OOLER were as follows:
- Noise Level
Overall, I love this machine and plan to use it for years to come. I’m not a hot sleeper and I find it very helpful in maintaining a consistent comfortable body temperature throughout the night.
When I first got my OOLER system it arrived in a gigantic, very heavy box, ostensibly because I had purchased the “WE” option for a king-size bed. Sadly, I didn’t take a picture, but unpacking it and identifying all of its parts went smoothly. One of the temperature control units for my original order did arrive defective, because of a loose part inside that couldn’t be fixed. Their customer service was wonderful, and we were able to return it and get it replaced within a week. Once both units were working, we were off to the races.
Setup is very simple, all you have to do is fill the unit with water, sync it via Bluetooth with the app on your phone, lay the pad out over your bed and you’re good to go.
The hoses that connect the control units to the bed are large, bulky and definitely not the most aesthetically pleasing. You can orient the pads so the hoses tuck behind the bed and connect to your units underneath, which basically solves this problem. The units are a bit too tall to fit underneath our bed frame, so they sit next to our bed on either side. This has not been a problem or a nuisance in any way, but I would note the height of them against your bed frame if that would bug you.
We were able to program our OOLER’s to our exact temperature specifications within minutes of connecting them, and they’ve worked flawlessly every night since. The app makes programming your sleep schedule easy, but if the OOLER gets unplugged or loses power, then it can throw off the schedule.
The OOLER system is very well-designed. It only has three main components that are very easy to connect to each other, and the quality of the product has stood the test of time. We haven’t experienced any leaking, breaking, cracking or waning of durability of any kind, and we don’t feel the pad on the surface of the mattress either. The mattress pad has a “cooling” side where the tubes of water are more exposed and a “comfort” side that’s more plush. We’ve used the “comfort” side and still felt all the effects of the temperature changes, and I imagine the “cooling” side wouldn’t be uncomfortable to sleep on if you wanted to sleep closer to the cooling tubes.
The hose is very easy to detach from the unit if you’re remaking the bed or moving, and the pad has straps on it that keep it from sliding off or detaching from the mattress after months of sleep.
The unit does run low on water from time to time, but it’s very easy to refill and has an indicator light on the control panel so you know when it needs a glass or two. As soon as the water reaches an optimal level again, the machine starts running.
The OOLER receives a perfect 10/10 score for effectiveness. This thing WORKS, and is far more effective than standard A/C or a fan. It cools you down from the surface of your mattress up, so you don’t have to remove your covers or sleep naked in order to cool off in the summer. It also works well in the winter, if your bedroom is freezing and you need a warmer temperature than your ambient environment. I’ve never slept more soundly.
In terms of the Warm Awake function, I’ve never trusted it fully on days when I’m working. But, I do notice that I wake up about 30 minutes after my OOLER turns off, ostensibly proving that a warmer temperature will stir you from your slumber. I imagine it would work for some folks, but I prefer to use my smartphone alarm and shocking myself unpleasantly into the day.
This is the one area where the OOLER does have a potential downfall, which is why it’s its own section. It’s not a quiet system. It’s not loud either, and I’m still able to sleep through it as I like white noise when I rest, but if you need a silent sleep environment you shouldn’t buy this product. It makes the same amount of noise as a loud fan, because of the water cycling through it, and there isn’t really a way to adjust it. The noise it creates isn’t bad or annoying, but it is there, so much so that I can tell if it’s still on after I get out of bed in the morning. This is definitely not a dealbreaker for this product, and I’d argue it helps me sleep even better because it drowns out other weird noises from my apartment building, but if you like things quiet it could take some adjusting to get used to it.
Ah, the price. Isn’t it always the case that what we love the most costs an arm and a leg? With this brand, that’s definitely the case. This sleep machine is not cheap. A two-sided model for a queen size bed will set you back close to $1,500, and they only get more expensive the larger your bed is. All of their models are currently 10% off, but they’re still expensive compared to other cooling sleep solutions.
If you’re desperate for better sleep, or if you have a partner that generates way too much heat under the covers — and not in the fun way — then the OOLER could be exactly the solution you’re looking for. Unfortunately, that comfort comes at a cost, and prices for the OOLER start at $800.
You have to look at the OOLER as an investment in a long-term sleep strategy that could very well change your whole life. I’m not promising that it will, but good sleep does make a difference to overall health and quality of life, and this machine has given me deeper rest for almost two years.
There are more affordable options out there like cooling bedsheets, but if you’re willing to drop the dough, it’s worth every penny.