The ChiliPad was a lifesaver for me for several years. After 5 or 6 years, it no longer cooled down, and it was time to upgrade. Chilisleep (now Sleepme) offered two products that were upgrades to the Cube that I had owned for years: the Ooler and the Dock Pro.
I chose the Dock Pro because it was their highest-quality product and I used it for three weeks and it was far better than the Cube. After a few years, the noise level of the Cube was getting on my nerves; the Dock Pro was far quieter. I didn't like that I had to add water to the Cube every 5 or 6 days, and occasionally I would forget and wake up sweating. The Dock Pro has an app that warns you when it's getting low, but water still needs to be added every 5 or 6 days. Both also needed Chilisleep system cleaner every month.
I started reading a lot of reviews and watching a lot of videos about the Eight Sleep system. I read about the tech and could see that what they offered was far superior. I returned my Dock Pro, even though I liked it, to start using the Eight Sleep system.
The Eight Sleep system is far superior. You can read our full Eight Sleep review to see exactly how it beats Sleepme's products in every way except price (Eight Sleep is more expensive.) Another option is to check out our review on the Best Cooling Mattresses.
I returned the Dock Pro to Sleepme within the 30-day return period. They confirmed on the phone and via email with the transcript of our conversation that I would get my money back and they would stop charging me the monthly fee. After several weeks they sent me a message that they were no longer doing refunds and that I should file a dispute with my credit card company!
Before I had this strange issue with Sleepme I was trying to talk to someone in the company about an uncommon issue. I sent four emails, left two voicemails, and one twitter message. I never heard anything back. When you call them, it says in the voicemail that you can get an answer with their live chat, yet every time I went to their "live" chat, it was only a bot. And I'm not suspicious that it's a bot, it literally says it's a bot.
Between having a far superior alternative in Eight Sleep, the lack of communication from Sleepme after six weeks of trying, and their refusal to honor their return policy, we can no longer recommend them in good conscience. I don't know why Sleepme has fallen apart; I get the impression that they are going out of business, but that's just my conspiracy theory after almost two months of strange and unprofessional behavior on their part.
Why Sleeping Cool Is Important
The optimum room temperature is between 60° and 67° F, but some mattresses (especially foam) compress and trap your body heat. After a few hours, the trapped body heat can cause you to get hot and can negatively affect your sleep, as lower body temperatures better stimulate melatonin production (the sleep hormone). For this reason, some sleep experts recommend a hot bath before bed because your core temperature starts dropping when you get out of the bath.
Those who sleep on a box spring mattress won't have an issue with trapped body heat, but box spring mattresses tend to be much firmer than foam mattresses. For those who need a softer mattress and find themselves heating up at night, the ChiliPAD is a great option. It's also great for a couple that fights over the temperature at night. One person can use the ChiliPAD, and the other can get the warmer air temperature they want.
Sleep.org, the website of the National Sleep Foundation states, "Wearing special clothing that lowers skin temperature by 1°C can reduce middle-of-the-night arousals and early morning waking."
I first heard about the ChiliPAD from Tim Ferriss, famous bio-hacker and author of the 4-Hour Work Week, who raved about it. Mark Sisson, health expert and founder of the Primal Blueprint, also uses it.
Quick Summary on the Cube Sleep System
- You can set the temperature anywhere from 55 to 110°F
- The unit is very simple to set up and attach to your mattress
- You can use the controls to conveniently change the temperature during the night
- Electromagnetic field (EMF) free
- It's 95% cheaper than air conditioning
- 90-day return policy
- The cost of the unit ranges from $499 for a half queen to $1199 for a California King
- The fan creates a bit of noise (though some feel that this white noise helps them sleep)
- The light on the controls is very bright
- There is no warning before the water level gets too low and the unit shuts off
- Water needs to be refilled around once per week, depending on how much you use it
The Cube Sleep System has 4 parts: the cube, the mattress pad, the hydroponic tubes, and the remote.
To get started, follow these steps:
1. Fill the cube with water (ideally distilled water).
2. Attach the mattress pad to your mattress underneath your cover.
3. Connect the tubing to the cube.
4. As the water in the cube disperses into the tubing in the mattress, add more water to the cube.
5. Turn on the unit, set the temperature, and give it time to reach the desired temperature.
Before I bought the Cube Sleep System, I read a lot of reviews. One of the most common critiques is that the motor made too much noise. This is a personal preference regarding how much noise you consider white noise (that helps you sleep) and how much it disturbs you. I have enough space to keep the cube under my bed which muffles the sound and helps keep me asleep.
I recommend putting the mattress pad on the bed so the end of the pad that has the plastic tubing attached to it goes at the foot of your bed. If you leave it at the head, the soft plastic is slightly uncomfortable if you rest your head or hand on it.
The first night I assumed that being in the range of the ideal sleeping temperature (60 to 67° F) would be best, and when I woke up in the morning, I was really cold. Each night I raised the temperature by 2° F until I landed at 80°. This may sound hot, but remember that your normal body temperature is 98.6° F. I tend to sleep better with a slightly warmer room and bed, so I recommend taking a few nights to find your optimum temperature.
If I feel the need to change the temperature during the night, I try not to look directly at the controls. It has a really bright blue background. As a sleep nerd, I'm always telling people to reduce their blue light exposure before bed and if they have to get up at night. The background only lights up for a few seconds if you press one of the buttons; it's not on all the time. But in the future, I'd love to see the manufacturers modify the remote so that it isn't so bright. Other than that, I like the remote in that it's simple and has 3 buttons: on/off, raise the temperature, and lower the temperature.
The material has a poly-cotton top that has plastic tubing running throughout it. When you lie on it, you can't feel the tubing. It's comfortable.
I've found that I need to add water once every 2 weeks. When the cube runs low, the cube will stop running, and you'll see an image of a water drop on the cube. The manufacturer recommends that you use distilled water. I often forget to add water, and I'll wake up during the night because the unit shut off while I was asleep. This has happened a few times, so now I have an alarm on my phone to add water once per week.
The ChiliPAD comes in several sizes for you and/or your partner:
- half queen (single) 30" x 74"
- half king (twin XL) 38" x 80"
- half cal-king (split cal-king) 3" x 84"
- full 53" x 75"
- queen 60" x 80"
- king 76" x 80"
- cal-king 72" x 74"
If your partner doesn't want to use the ChiliPad, you can buy one of the half sizes so you can sleep on it, and it won't affect them at all unless they're sensitive to the fan noise.
Should You Buy the Cube Sleep System?
Cube Sleep System FAQ
Here are the answers to our most frequently asked questions about the Cube Sleep System.