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- Single and dual-zone pads make this great for partners with different sleeping needs, or just for your own
- Machine-washable and super easy to clean and maintain
- The remote control enables you to change between a wide range of temperature
- Possible savings on your utility bill due to energy efficiency
- Can be used year-round to keep cool or warm for enhancing sleep quality
- May disrupt very light sleepers because of its humming sound
- High price point makes this product less accessible for someone on a strict budget
- Does not reach the lowest temperature setting when in a particularly hot and humid climate
- Cube placement requires ample space which may be hard to accommodate in a smaller bedroom
The optimal temperature for sleeping lies between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. At this condition, you can easily fall into a deep sleep which enables your body and brain to recover from the day before and prepare for cognitive functioning the next day. Due to the small window of ideal sleep temperature and your body’s tendency to overheat, sleeping pad toppers have been helping people reach this optimal temperature in bed for many years. Chilipad makes one of these mattress toppers and they recently sent us one of their cooling and heating pads to give a try. This Chilipad review will tell you what we learned – its features, functions, specifications, the pros, and cons – according to our trial run. Thus, you can decide if it is the right product for you.
Should You Consider Buying a Mattress Topper?
Overheating at night is a common problem that can lead to poor quality of sleep. Adversely, being too cold while you sleep can also contribute to restlessness and poor slumber. If you fall into one of these categories, you may want to consider a sleeping pad with cooling and heating capabilities that can be placed on top of your existing mattress. Maintaining a proper temperature while you sleep should not be overlooked as this will significantly contribute to better sleep.
We recommend trying a mattress pad or topper if you have a fairly new mattress that doesn’t need replacing or if you simply can’t afford the cost of purchasing a new bed at this moment. A mattress pad is a great option that will transform your bed, without the hassle of buying a new one entirely.
What is a Chilipad? A Brief Overview
The Chilipad is a mattress topper designed to enable custom temperature regulation on the surface of your bed. It has both cooling and heating capabilities that can reach anywhere between 55 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit or 13 to 43 degrees Celsius. The temperature control can be changed by 1-degree increments for the perfect feel that suits your individual body temperature needs best. The Chilipad is suitable and safe for children and adults alike.
The Chilipad mattress pad is thin and lies flat on top of your bed, below the sheets. It contains a series of medical-grade silicone micro-tubes that facilitate water flow and retention to achieve the desired hot or cool settings. Two larger tubes connect the mattress pad to the cube, which powers and controls the entire topper. The tubes also allow the transport of water between the two main components. The larger tubes have an additional casing which makes them durable and flexible so you don’t have to worry about damaging them.
The material used to make the mattress pad is a 150-thread count poly-cotton blend. This material is durable enough to last, soft to the touch, enables airflow, and breathability. The mattress topper has elastic straps on each corner so you can secure it to your mattress.
The Chilipad is available in multiple sizes: Twin (may be hard to find because it was discontinued after low demand), Twin XL, Full, Single, Queen, King, California King, and Split California King. Specific size charts are available when you purchase the product online. So, you can ensure you get the right size for your mattress. Likewise, you will not be overwhelmed with the options. The larger choices – starting with Queen size – offer a dual-chambered system to provide the sleepers with individually customizable temperature control on either side of the bed. The dual design utilizes two separate cubes to facilitate the varying temperatures on either side. Therefore, both you and your partner do not have to compromise on the temperature setting.
Features & Benefits
1. Additional Product Specifications
- Cube dimensions: The Cube is 9 ¼ inches wide, 7 ½ inches tall, and 9 ¼ inches long.
- Cube weight: The Cube weighs approximately 9 pounds.
- Energy usage: On average, the device uses 80 watts to function.
- Power source: You must plug the Cube into an AC outlet and the remote control requires two AAA batteries to function.
- Weight limit: The Chilipad has a 500-pound weight limit for each cooling and heating zone. However, Chilipad notes that the closer you get to the weight limit, the less temperature level will be experienced.
- Cord length: The Cube’s power cord is 8 feet long.
2. Shipping and Delivery
Unlike many other online sleep product companies, this mattress pad offers international shipping to many different countries. Depending on where you purchase, you may have to pay an additional fee. Although, this is to be expected when it comes to shipping most items internationally. Chilipad offers free shipping within the continental USA and most orders ship in only a day or two. We tested the international shipping process and had our Chilipad sent to Southeast Asia. We are happy to report that the mattress pad arrived very quickly, and in excellent condition. It’s quite impressive since it had to travel nearly halfway around the world to arrive at its final destination. Rush shipping is also available for an additional fee within the USA.
3. Performance and Temperature Regulation
— Cheryl Larimer (@gypsyof58) April 17, 2019
Whether or not the Chilipad performs as it should, this may very well be the most important part of this Chilipad review. So let’s dive right in!
After sleeping on the Chilipad for a few nights it is fair to say that it performs fairly well when it comes to setting the temperature to hot or cold. Also, it remains cool all night long. However, we tested the Chilipad in a very hot and humid climate and it was unable to achieve the lowest temperature, even after being set for a considerable amount of time.
We’ve set the pad to the lowest possible temperature of 13 degrees Celsius, but the lowest it achieved was only 17 degrees Celsius. All of the recommended ventilation practices have been followed, but the Chilipad just could not compete with the climate combined with personal body heat. Though 17 degrees Celsius or 63 degrees Fahrenheit is still pretty chilly overall, in a particularly hot and humid climate, this may not be enough if you tend to feel heated easily.
When using the Chilipad in place of an air conditioning unit, you will only be cooled from below. The air in your room will remain warm causing slight temperature fluctuation. This should be taken into consideration when determining if the pad will be cool enough to suit your needs. Unlike an air conditioning unit that lowers the temperature of the entire room, you will not experience any cooling effects in the room itself, only while you are in bed.
Use an Insulator
Using a sheet to cover your body, even in the hot climate, will help to keep you a bit cooler as well. The sheet acted as a barrier between the room temperature and the cool energy emitted from the Chilipad, in turn keeping you cooler. We tested both with and without a sheet and the difference was definitely noticeable. The sheet also provided a more consistent temperature that did not fluctuate and inadvertently didn’t disrupt sleep. It is highly recommended to use something like a sheet for an insulator, even though it may feel a bit counterintuitive for cooling purposes.
Note that the Chilipad cooled much faster when no one is lying on top while it’s still working to reach your desired temperature. If someone is occupying the bed while the temperature is adjusting, it would take approximately three times longer or 45 minutes total to cool.
Auto Shut-Off Feature
The Chilipad also features an automatic shut-off function after 10 hours of continuous use. As mentioned above, we forgot to power down the Cube the first couple of days of using it. This feature became handy until we developed the habit of turning it off manually every time we get out of the bed.
Our Chilipad’s heating capabilities are yet to be tested, but it’s expected to reach the maximum temperature if you happen to be in a warmer climate. Adversely, similar results are anticipated on the opposite side of the temperature spectrum if the Chilipad is tested in a region experiencing extremely low temperatures. Other consumer reviews have confirmed this, and while the Chilipad does get pretty warm, it does not reach the projected highest temperature on the thermometer during the coldest of winter nights.
4. Noise Level
Does the Chilipad make noise when turned on?
As far as noise is concerned, there is no denying it – the Cube is a bit noisy. It definitely produces a low hum, similar to a large fan. The Chilipad may even be a bit louder than most air conditioning systems. The sound it emits is a consistent white noise, which many people find soothing and helpful when it comes to falling asleep. If you prefer silence while you snooze, the Chilipad is not the best device for you and may cost you a lot of goodnight’s rest.
When the Cube was first turned on, we immediately noticed the sound and thought it was a bit loud. However, the longer it was left it running, the lesser we heard the noise as it blended well into the background. For some light sleepers, especially in the morning, the Chilipad doesn’t cause sleep disruption because of the consistent humming noise.
5. Energy Use and Practicality
Another important part of this Chilipad review concerns whether or not the Chilipad is cost-efficient when it comes to energy usage. It is estimated that the average Chilipad costs 18 cents per night to operate. This may be a considerable amount of savings compared to using your air conditioning unit or system, especially if you have a large space to cool. One will definitely feel like the Chilipad will decrease energy usage if they live in a hot and humid climate. This, in turn, will reduce their bill, and likewise, be more environment-friendly.
The Chilipad is not inexpensive and may be considered a large investment in some households. It is a high-quality, high-performing product, and you will have to pay a premium for it. When considering the price – and whether or not the Chilipad is a good value – you should include the energy savings into your final decision. It may only save a small amount of energy each night, but the savings will add up quicker than you think. You should also consider the value of good sleep when you consider the high price tag. For many, a great night of sleep is priceless.
7. Maintenance and Product Warranty
Another great perk of the Chilipad is that it is completely machine-washable. Thus, you don’t have to take it to a laundromat for dry cleaning. To clean, simply remove the mattress pad, fold over, tie up the tubes to prevent excessive smashing around inside the machine, and wash on the delicate cycle using cold water. For best results, Chilipad recommends using a front load washer but a top load washer would work as well.
Chilipad also recommends treating the water with hydrogen peroxide monthly to maintain a sterile and hygienic circulation and tubing system. This will encourage a long-lasting lifespan for the product.
To perform this routine maintenance, start by turning the Cube on and setting the temperature to 75 degrees Fahrenheit or 24 degrees Celsius. Next, remove the cap to the water tank and add a capful of hydrogen peroxide to the water inside. Leave the cap off while the peroxide works its magic. You will be able to see bubbles forming on the surface of the water and peroxide mixture inside the Cube. Once the bubbles dissipate and are no longer visible on the surface, you will know the cleaning process is finished and you can replace the cap.
A deep clean is recommended every three months as well. For the deep clean you will want to drain all of the water out of the Cube and mattress pad. Add new, fresh distilled water and set the Cube to the highest temperature setting. Similar to the monthly cleaning, add a capful of hydrogen peroxide and leave the cap off until you no longer see bubbles on the surface. Lastly, replace the cap and reset the Chilipad’s to the desired temperature. It’s best to observe this routine regularly to keep your pad in excellent condition.
Trial and Warranty Periods
The Chilipad offers a 90-day in-home sleep trial paired with a 2-year limited warranty with each of their products. According to the consumers’ review, its customer service honors their warranty easily. Moreover, they have had no issues with any defects or returning the product for a full refund. If you are hesitant to purchase the Chilipad, this could provide you with some additional comfort.
Aside from considering this review, you can try out the Chilipad yourself before you make the final decision and decide to keep it longer than the 90-day trial period. Make sure to double-check the in-home trial duration and warranty terms if you decide to purchase your Chilipad through a third party vendor, as their policies may differ.
Unboxing and Setting-up
When the new Chilipad arrived, it was in a medium-sized box that weighs approximately 17 pounds. The box is easily moved, even though its width made it slightly awkward at first.
Inside the new mattress topper’s packaging, there’s a brief welcome note explaining the pad’s specifications. Along with it are easy to follow instructions for set-up, a remote control, a tube drain, the mattress pad itself, the cube that powers the topper, and warranty information.
To set-up the new Chilipad, one would simply have to follow 5 steps:
1. Place and Secure the Chilipad on Top of Your Mattress
Unfold your mattress pad and place it on top of the bed, underneath the fitted sheet. Use the elastic straps located in each corner to secure the pad before replacing the fitted sheet. Feel free to position the microtubes at the head or foot of the bed, whichever you prefer most. Some have considered it best to position it at the foot of the bed. (A note on proper Cube positioning immediately follows this 5-step tutorial)
2. Connect the Cube
Plug your Cube into an AC outlet and position it, so the water tank is on the top. Next, connect the external tube to the Cube’s connector with the blue release button facing up.
3. Add Water to the Cube
Unscrew the capped opening on the top of the Cube and fill with distilled water. Once the Cube is full of water, you are ready to turn it on. Hit the power button and wait for a light beep which signals the tubes are beginning to fill. Begin adding more distilled water until the ‘add water’ light goes out and replace the cap. You may have to repeat this process three times before the ‘add water’ light went out.
4. Choose Your Desired Temperature
You can control the temperature using manual buttons on the Cube itself or by using the remote. To sync the remote control with the Cube simply hold down the Cube’s power button for 5 seconds until it beeps, and then turn on the remote. Set the temperature in one-degree increments until you find the desired effect.
The display will show the desired temperature, not always the current temperature. Allow about 15 minutes for the changes to occur, particularly when making a big adjustment. In some instances – like in extreme heat or cold – or when you choose to lie in the bed while it cools, you may need to wait for as long as 45 minutes for the pad to reach your desired and preset temperature.
5. Remember to Power Down Your Chilipad When It’s Not in Use
To save power and money, make sure you turn the Chilipad off every morning after use. Not only do you want to preserve the life of the mattress pad, but it changes the temperature so quickly. There is no need to keep it running. We forgot for a few minutes the first morning but it became fairly routine after a few nights.
A Note on Cube Positioning
When it comes to deciding which end of the bed you want to position the connector tubes and the Cube, choose a spot that permits ample space around the Cube itself. The manufacturer recommends having at least 24 inches of space on each side to promote proper cooling and prevent overheating.
One of the Cube’s functions employs a fan to ventilate the system, and for this to work, it must be placed in a fairly open area. While it may seem ideal to tuck it away underneath your bed, we do not recommend this. Doing so could cause overheating and a lower level of functioning overall. In fact, where you position the Cube may be more important than the ambient room temperature, particularly when it comes to reaching the highest and lowest temperatures in the predicted range. Thus, it’s best to pay close attention to where you put it.
Whenever possible, it is recommended to be placed at the foot of the bed to allow proper ventilation. It has been tried and known to have worked very well.
Overall, we found the set-up process quite easy and not very time-consuming. We did notice that it takes a considerable amount of water to get up and running initially. However, the same water can stay in the system – without a complete flush – for a very long time. Since this pad requires distilled water to operate and you can also easily obtain one at an inexpensive cost, it’s wise to strictly follow this instruction. Avoid other types of water, like tap water, because it can cause a buildup and corrosion which leads to poor functioning and a possible early breakdown of your mattress pad.
Upon inspection, the Chilipad was in excellent condition, appeared to be high quality, used durable stitching in the design, and the cover was very soft to the touch. If you will lie down on top of the mattress, you will certainly notice how well it disguises the feel of the cooling tubes within. You could barely feel them at all and the overall sensation was comfortable and inviting. However, you could still feel traces of the cooling tubes. So, if you know you are not going to find this sensation comfortable, you may want to consider other cooling options for your personal bed.
When attaching the pad to the mattress, you will also note that the stretchable loops in each corner have ample space for a mattress with more than 12 inches of depth. Regardless of how thick your mattress is, you should have no issues attaching the Chilipad easily, and quickly with the elastic straps provided.
Overall Experience and Final Thoughts
In conclusion, this Chilipad review will end with a quick recap of who we ultimately recommend this product for. Thus, you can finally decide if you want to give it a try or if maybe it is not the right fit for you.
The Chilipad might be the best choice if:
- You want to save money on your utility bills
- You sleep with a partner that has different sleep needs than you
- You are pregnant and sleeping hotter than normal, or you simply tend to overheat while you are asleep
- You become extra cold and need additional heat in the winter
The Chilipad might not be the right option for you if:
- You are one of those light sleepers and need total silence
- You do not suffer from overheating or becoming too cold while you sleep
- You find an additional mattress pad uncomfortable
- You do not have enough space to accommodate the Cube
We Recommend the Chilipad
Overall, the Chilipad comes highly advisable if you want to improve your sleep health in general. You can expect to get a better quality of sleep in a more temperature-controlled bed. The Chilipad will definitely accomplish a consistent cooling or heating sensation for you night after night. It is fairly expensive, but it is hard to put a price on good sleep. Always remember that it is alright to splurge when it comes to buying yourself sleep products. After all, you spend about a third of your life in bed. It pays to have a comfortable sleeping condition so you would always wake up feeling refreshed. What is great sleep worth to you?