Our round-up of the best cooling technology to keep your bed at the optimum temperature for a great night’s sleep.
Why a cool bed is better for your sleep
Most experts agree that getting the temperature right in bed at night is one of the biggest factors to getting a sound night’s sleep.
And despite notions of warm cozy sheets and bed covers, our biology means that to fall asleep, we need to cool down.
During the night, your internal body clock, or circadian rhythm causes your body temperature to naturally decrease by 1 to 2 degrees(98.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
Some studies have shown that this rapid decline in core body temperature increases the likelihood of falling asleep and can also help to promote deeper sleep throughout the night.
So when you’re too hot in bed, whether it’s a hot summer night, illness, infection, night sweats, or hot flashes, the result can be the same – drenched sheets, discomfort and restless nights.
What’s the alternative to air conditioners or fans at night?
Air conditioning (AC) units are very effective at cooling down your bedroom, but many people don’t like to sleep with the AC on because it creates a dry, uncomfortable environment to breathe in.
Room fans can be useful for circulating air, but they’re noisy and often end up just circulating warm air round the room.
Fortunately, however there are many different ways that you can tackle the problem of hot nights in bed.
Solutions range from hi-tech bed air conditioner systems, (like the BedJet V2) or smart water-cooling systems like the ChiliPad and Moona to simpler, more affordable options that introduce fabrics and materials that improve the cooling properties of your bed and mattress.
Broadly speaking, bed cooling systems fall into two main categories – active systems which actively alter the temperature of your bed environment, and passive systems which make the most of fabric technology to improve the heat regulation properties of your bed and prevent heat from building up.
Passive bed cooling (mattress toppers and bed cooling pads)
Cooling mattress pads and bed cooling mattress toppers help regulate your body temperature by using specially formulated material (such as gel infused memory foam) which allow more air ventilation than a standard mattress.
This creates a cool sleeping surface by absorbing heat energy within the air spaces and allowing heat to disperse to the edges of the mattress topper or cooling pad.
Unfortunately passive cooling mattress pads cannot fully cool down your bed to a specific temperature. The reason is because when the cooling pad has absorbed warmth from your body, it then needs to release the heat back out somewhere.
If your room is already quite warm, the amount of heat dissipation is limited. So if it’s an especially sweltering night, or if you are experiencing particularly severe night sweating or hot flashes, you may need to look for a bed cooling system that has active cooling functions.
Active bed cooling (bed fans, air cooling, water cooling)
The next option involves bed cooling systems that, rather than just removing heat, actively work to bring about a cooler temperature in your bed.
Many of these systems are quite recent innovations and incorporate advanced technological features including smartphone apps, sleep tracking, and smart home connectivity.
Although more complex to operate than cooling mattress pads, active bed cooling systems offer a cost-effective way to sleep in a cool, temperature regulated environment, where previously the only options were to sleep all night with the AC running.
Although the products vary considerably there are two main types of active bed cooling systems.
Bed fans and air cooling systems are ventilation devices that blow cool air either underneath the sheets, or into a bespoke cooling blanket. Water cooled systems circulate cold water through a mattress topper or cooling pad to provide accurate and steady temperature regulation throughout the bed.
So without further ado, here’s our round up of the best solutions for active and passive bed cooling systems to keep you cool at night.
Advanced bed cooling systems
Right now there are two main contenders for the top advanced active cooling systems, the Bedjet air ventilation system, and the Chilipad water cooled system. We’ve provided a description of both products below, but here’s a table outlining the main differences between the two:
BedJet Vs Chilipad
1) BedJet V2
Designed by ex-NASA engineer, Mark Aramli, BedJet is the world’s first smartphone-controlled, ultra-fast cooling and heating device for beds. Bedjet V2 is an active bed-cooling and heating device which regulates the temperature of your bed with a controlled air ventilation system.
Whilst the BedJet may come across as an expensive fan for blowing air into your bed, in practice, BedJet offers a range of sophisticated functions unavailable in any other bed cooling system in the market.
For starters, BedJet V2 is designed to provide near instant temperature control of your bed. It’s made up of a small air ventilation unit which goes under the bed and attaches to any standard mattress via a small hose.
>> Read more about BedJet V2 here
When you’re ready to go to bed, just switch on the unit and air starts circulating in between your sheets and mattress, lowering the temperature in matter of a few minutes. In winter time you can switch from cooling mode to heating for those chilly nights.
The ventilation system uses an ultra-quiet DC motor with acoustic damping technology so as not to disturb your night’s sleep. BedJet V2 offers a range of advanced functionality which can be controlled by the supplied remote control or via a Bluetooth enabled smartphone app.
You can set the exact temperature from a barely noticeable light cool breeze right up to toasty hot. Having personally worked on the NASA space suit program (specifically relating to heating, cooling and climactic comfort) Mark Aramli designed the BedJet V2 with a high level of comfort, safety and ergonomics in mind.
The air flow system is designed to deal with the common problem of warm air that gets trapped beneath the bed covers. BedJet wicks away moisture and heat from both your body and the bed surfaces, dealing with the common problems of night sweating, hot flashes and providing an optimized climate controlled environment for a perfect night’s sleep.
An optional upgrade allows two people to benefit from BedJet’s advanced cooling and heating functions. So if your partner likes a warm bed, but you prefer to sleep in a breezy cool climate, the BedJet Dual Zone system can create independent cooling and heating zones for each half of the bed.
There are many other features including ‘biorhythm technology’ which takes into account your body’s circadian clock to create a temperature profile that changes to adapt to your sleep cycles. There’s also a smart alarm system which does away with the need for an alarm clock.
Unsurprisingly for such a sophisticated product, BedJet is not a cheap option when you compare it to a passive mattress cooling pad. But as a complete bed cooling system, BedJet V2 has no competition in the market.
It effectively acts as an complete air conditioning unit for your bed and in the long run, it could save you money as BedJet lets you reduce your whole home heating and cooling thermostat settings at night and still enjoy a perfect climate-controlled sleep environment.
2) BedJet V3
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After the amazing success of BedJet since its launch in 2014, the company announced the latest version of their award winning technology, the BedJet V3.
>> Read our in-depth BedJet 3 review here
BedJet V3 has been completely redesigned and upgraded with new features. The main improvements include:
Amazon Alexa and Smart Home connectivity – control your sleep comfort by voice and integrate with all sorts of cool platforms enabled by the new wifi chip in BedJet 3.
Smaller, sleeker new look – more features, more technology, same cooling/warming performance in a slimmer (30% smaller) low-profile design.
Advanced remote control – worlds most advanced color screen remote control for a bedding/sleep tech product. For folks who don’t like bringing their phones (ie using the BedJet app) now everything (including the biorhythm sleep cycles) can be programmed via the new remote.
3) ChiliPad Cube by Chili Technology
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ChiliPad Cube is another active system for cooling and heating your bed, but instead of circulating air like the BedJet, ChiliPad uses a water-based system to control your bed temperature. Chili Technology, the company behind Chilipad has been an innovator in bed cooling since 2007.
The ChiliPad Cube is the latest iteration of their bed cooling/warming system and enables you to accurately control your bed temperature from 55-100 degrees Fahrenheit, making it one of the most versatile bed cooling systems that you can buy. The ChiliPad Cube consists of the control unit (the Cube) and the specially designed cooling mattress pad. A built in connection tube (96 inches in length) connects the cube to the pad, maintaining a steady, temperature regulated flow of water in and around the mattress pad.
The mattress pad itself is made of poly cotton with a 150 thread count. Woven into the material are a network of soft medical grade silicone microtubes which circulate water through the pad. The tubes themselves are designed with a low profile so that you won’t feel them while you’re in-bed.
Depending on the size of your bed, the ChiliPad comes in various sizes from single up to king size. In addition, Chili Technology also make a Dual-Zone ChiliPad which consists of two cubes and a mattress pad that can be set with two completely independent temperature zones – one for you and one for your partner.
The ChiliPad comes with a supplied remote control and can be set on a timer if you don’t want it running all night whilst you sleep. The ChiliPad Cube has also been designed with cost efficiency in mind, operating at an average of 80 watts, which is about the same as an incandescent light.
Like the BedJet, ChiliPad is a sophisticated product, hence it’s not a cheap option. But the ChiliPad technology offers a genuine alternative to costly AC and whole room heating. So if you need a bed cooling system that works effectively and throughout the night, the ChiliPad Cube is one of the best options available.
4) Ooler Sleep System
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If you think Ooler looks familiar, then you’d be right. The Ooler Sleep System started life as the Kryo Sleep Performance System, the Indiegogo-funded advanced bed cooling system from Chili Technology, makers of the popular Chilipad.
Having finally made it to production in June 2019, the Ooler system is the result of 10 years of development which builds on the engineering and innovation expertise of the Chili Technology team, making Ooler the most advanced hydro-powered bed cooling system on the market today.
Like the Chilipad, Ooler consists of a control unit, and the cooling ‘hydronic’ pad which you place on top of your mattress. Apart from a redesigned chassis and new materials, what sets Ooler apart are the all-new app controlled functions.
This allows for a range of advanced customizations such as automatic scheduling for turning the device on and off, programmable sleep schedules for minute by minute, degree by degree adjustability, a ‘warm-awake’ function to gently rouse you in the morning with a gradual temperature increase.
You can even connect your Fitbit with Ooler to use your wearable device’s sleep data to adjust your sleep temperature throughout the night.
Ooler allows you to control the temperature of your bed from 55°-115°F (12.8°-41.6°C). There are two product options, the ME version is for single sleepers, whilst WE gives you the power to independently control two sides of the bed.
Ooler is designed for to optimize your sleep for a number of different goals; athletic performance, insomnia, night sweats, productivity and symptom recovery.
Prices start at $699 for ME single occupant and $1399 for WE dual bed cooling/warming.
5) Moona – smart pillow temperature device
Debuting on KickStarter in 2017, Moona is a smart device that understands your sleeping patterns and regulates your temperature to help you fall asleep faster, increase deep sleep, reduce night awakenings and wake up more naturally.
Whilst BedJet and Chilipad use mattress cooling technology, Moona is designed to work with your pillow. Because the head and shoulders area is a major heat exchanger, by focusing on that part of the body, Moona can effectively regulate your core body temperature. The founders explain more about the science of sleep and temperature on their website here.
Moona is a three part system, consisting of a bedside device, a pillow pad, and the mobile application.
To use Moona, simply insert the pad into your pillowcase and set your desired wakeup time. The pillow pad contains a network of tubes full of water, connected by a hose to the bedside cooling unit.
As you fall asleep the temperature of the pad is regulated by a water circulation system which starts to cool down as you lay in bed. During the night, Moona regulates your head temperature to ensure deeper sleep and reduce night awakenings.
A major benefit of Moona’s water cooled pillow is its ability to adapt and learn about your own individual sleeping preferences. It does this because of the machine learning algorithm built into the Moona app and software.
Because Moona also contains environmental and movement sensors, it’s able to track your sleep at night and determine which temperatures, at which times, bring about the best sleep for you.
So the more you use Moona, the better the machine-learning gets, ensuring you’re never too hot or cold at night and bring about a more peaceful night’s rest.
6) The Pod by Eight Sleep
Launched in May 2019, The Pod from Eight Sleep is a new class of product, an advanced sleep system offering dynamic temperature control, biometric sleep tracking, sleep coaching and a host of integrations for the connected smart home.
>> Read our hands-on, in-depth Eight Sleep Pod Review here
Aligning with the growing trend for smart beds The Pod does a lot of things. A complete integrated system, it consists of four elements:
- a foam mattress with four layers of adaptive foam for maximising comfort
- an ‘Active Grid Layer’ – ie a mattress topper containing the temperature regulation and biosensor networks to enable heating/cooling and sleep tracking functions
- the Hub – the Wifi connected control unit which houses a water tank and enables control of all Pod functionalities
- the Eight Sleep mobile app where you can adjust the temperature, browse your sleep metrics and interact with your sleep coach
What is a bed fan?
A less hi-tech solution (and cheaper) alternative solution than the Bedjet or water-cooled systems is a bed fan, essentially . There are a few different models available, but the basic functionality is the same. Bed fans sit at the foot or the side of the bed and circulate air under your sheets to reduce the build up of heat and moisture in your bed. Rather than supply cold air, they rely merely on air circulation to provide a cooling effect.
7) bFan Bed Cooling System
Created by US inventor Kurt Tompkins. bFan® is manufactured in Texas and features a patented adjustable floorstanding design that provides a neat and simple solution for hot sleepers, and those who want to save money on their air conditioning bills.
The bFan is positioned above the top of the mattress with a ‘Breeze Bar’ which stops the air stream getting blocked by your bed covers. bFan® features a wired remote control to adjust the speed of the fan from light cooling to a strong breeze.
8) Brookstone Bed Fan
Extremely similar in concept to the original Bedfan®, the Brookstone model only comes in one size but can be adjusted to fit even ultra-thick mattresses. One advantage the Brookstone Bed Fan has is the inclusion of a wireless remote.
The remote gives you full adjustment of fan speed and being wire-free it can site on your night stand. To stop you fumbling round at night, the remote lights up in a blue glow on touch. The Brookstone Bed Fan is designed and manufactured in China.
9) Night Bliss Bed Fan Cooling System
Designed to help with hot flashes at night
Marketed as an ‘in-bed body cooling system’, Night Bliss is a different type of bed fan design, and it’s the only available system that’s been designed with features to specifically help women who experience hot flashes at night.
A different design concept from the original upright bed fan, NIght Bliss works by fixing to the bottom end of your bed, and in effect creating a wind tunnel over your body with an extremely powerful set of fans.
Night Bliss is tailored to help women who experience frequent bouts of intense, short duration hot flashing, a symptom that affects the majority of women around the time of menopause.
Hot flashes, (also known as hot flushes ) is a sudden feeling of heat, and causes skin reddening (blushing) and sweating. Whilst more common in women, men can also experience hot flashes, usually if they are dealing with certain hormone problems, notably testosterone deficiency. Because hot flashes can happen at any time, they can be extremely disruptive to sleep.
The Night Bliss bed fan is designed to help with the symptoms by producing an on-demand, controllable blast of air over your body in bed. The Night Bliss bed fan system works in conjunction with a small remote control ‘pendant’ that’s worn around your neck.
When you start to feel the effects of hot flashing starting, simply press the button on the remote to activate a pre-timed cooling cycle that starts in seconds and can last for a time interval of your choosing.
Cooling Mattress Pads, Toppers and Pillows
Finally we take a look at cooling pads and mattress toppers that use special materials and fabrics which help regulate the temperature in your bed, allowing you to sleep cooler at night. If you live in a warm climate, or you’re just a hot sleeper, and your mattress doesn’t provide much airflow, then a cooling mattress topper can be a simple and effective solution to overheating in bed.
How do cooling mattress pads work?
Instead of actively introducing a cooling element, such as air, or water-cooling, mattress toppers and cooling pads work by either improving the amount of ventilation and airflow in your bed surface, and/or absorbing heat from your body to allow you to sleep cooler.
The benefits of using a cooling pad for your mattress, instead of an active system is that you won’t have to deal with any wires, power connections or complicated setup procedures. You simply place the pad on top of your existing mattress and leave it there. The downside of course is that you have do dynamic control of temperature, and you rely of the heat-conducting properties of the mattress pad to work its magic.
There are various types of approaches and materials used to achieve this effect. Some cooling mattress toppers are made of gel-infused memory foam which is designed to provide more breathability and airflow than a normal mattress.
Other toppers like the Outlast Iso Cool Mattress Pad use a special NASA-designed internal cooling material called ‘Thermolecules’ to wick away heat from your body. Finally, if you’re looking for a portable bed cooling solution, you can also buy removable mattress pads made of cooling gel which helps to dissipate heat if you’re a hot sleeper.
For extra cooling efficiency you can also place these pads in the fridge for an hour or two before bed. This will provide additional cooling benefits, and whilst it won’t last all night, will help you if you have problems in trying to fall asleep because of the hot bedroom environment.
We hope you enjoyed our roundup of the best smart gadgets and solutions for staying cool in bed. As the technology improves and more products are released we’ll keep this page updated so you can ensure you’ll be best equipped to banish those hot, uncomfortable sleepless nights with the latest in cutting edge sleep gadget technology.