Hey folks, it's Joe from Alex Fergus again!
In this blog post I'll review Chili's OOLER sleep system. The Ooler is an upgrade of the original ChiliPad and can be used to cool you down & warm you up during sleep.
If this blog post is your first exposure to the Ooler sleep system and/or you suffer from the effects of night sweats, I’m going to ask you to hop on over to Alex’s very thorough review of and the original Chilipad sleep system HERE.
The purpose of this blog post is to share a real-life example of hot flash resolution with the Ooler, describe the features and benefits of the system, as well as remind readers of the top three reasons to own one of these fantastic sleep-enhancing devices.
In other words, I'll review the product!
First, a little background. For reviewing this product, I've actually not used the product myself - my wife has, instead!
Well, my wife, Ilisa, is a tireless mother of four. Having recently crossed the 40-year old threshold, she has begun to experience some of the "niceties" associated with the transition from the reproductive years to the non-reproductive phase of life.
These niceties include a very narrow temperature tolerance range along with fits of cold and hot sweats during sleep.
Not too good...
To add complexity, our youngest critter is still nursing and sleeps in the bed with mom and dad nightly. I’m sure those of you with children can relate to the challenge that is sharing a bed with an infant. For those without kids yet, buyer beware.
Anyways, prior to using the Ooler, Ilisa had been experiencing severe night sweats.
The kind that required towels on top of the sheets, and almost daily laundering of the linen, resulting in unfulfilling, disruptive sleep night after night.
As parents, we’ve long known the value of a good night’s sleep. So it was imperative to find a solution to the disruption. We felt the Ooler could offer a solution.
Why the Ooler?
Because of temperature’s impact on sleep quality.
Let me give you a litle bit of extra background:
In college, my master’s thesis explored the neurocircuitry of the sleep-wake cycle. Completion of this process led to an intimate understanding of the various areas of the brain involved in sleep regulation.
As humans, we typically operate at an ambient room temperature of 20 degrees Celsius (68 F) and a core body temperature of 37 degrees Celsius (98.6F). Transitioning to sleep, however, generally requires a drop of ambient room temp by a few degrees to 16-20 degrees Celsius (62-68F) and a couple of fractions of a degree in a drop of core body temperature.
Interestingly, the founders of the Ooler system understood VLPO-driven temperature-sensitivity and developed a product to cater to that. Me and my wife are certainly glad they did.
This solution is incredibly effective, and I’ll explain why in a second. Let's first explore the product in more detail:
First, let’s have a look at what the system includes.
The Ooler, produced by ChiliSleep, is a bed cooling system that has three fundamental parts:
The Ooler is a simply designed system. The cube pumps water at a specified temperature through hoses to the mattress pad, allowing the user to experience modified bed/sleep temperature, which in turn impacts the quality of one’s sleep.
Installation was a breeze.
You’ll need to add distilled water to the cube, as the heating/cooling of water is how the system delivers temperature control to your sleep. The cube’s reservoir holds 30oz/900mL of water. Make sure to have a gallon or two on hand.
Distilled water is recommended to prevent build up of dirt/mold and other non-niceities in the tubes.
I highly recommend following this advice to ensure the longevity of your machine. If you use tap water, you might grow an algae experiment in your mattress pad, which is highly undesirable!
The cube is managed from an app on a smartphone and really puts the benefit of customized temperature regulation into your hands.
Essentially, you choose a desired temperature for the various hours of your sleep duration and let the device do the rest of the work for you. This is truly one of the most unique and beneficial aspects of owning this device.
(I'll dig deeper into the app later on in this review!)
Next, let's venture into actually using the product:
You can “trial and error” your way to the ideal sleep temperature pattern by customizing the app to suit your needs on multiple levels.
Assuming you generally crawl into bed at the same time with some regularity, the Ooler will automatically begin regulating temperature at your predetermined time and temp preferences. This will require some experimenting to find what works for you.
Once determined, you can lock it in and let this and/or may other profiles serve as your default for nights ahead.
One of the most commonly cited drawbacks of the Ooler system is the white noise generated by the control module.
This is interesting because the cube comes programmed to operate at any one of three noise levels, “silent, regular, and boost”. The product was designed to serve as a white noise device for those who prefer that.
Here’s our take: My wife and I already sleep with a white noise air purifier in the background. We cannot hear the Ooler module over the white noise in our bedroom.
So if you are already a white noise sleeper, the module will not disrupt your sleep. However, if you are a silent bedroom sleeper, the module could be a disruptor to your pattern.
So here’s my advice:
If you are disrupted by the Ooler module, adapt your sleeping pattern to white noise inclusion. It doesn’t take much to encourage your system to adapt. In fact, humans are very adaptable creatures.
Quite the contrary, in fact. White noise actively muffles the random creaks, cracks, and other distractors of the night that can jolt one out of deep sleep.
City dwellers can likely relate to that conclusion...
The din of trains, sirens, and buzz of the city may just be background noise. The same goes for white noise given off by a fan, air purifier, and the Ooler. It is something you become used to and it buffers against random bursts of noise that disrupt sleep.
In sum, the Ooler noise is a non-factor for us and probably increases sleep quality for many.
Let's move on to the next topic - maintenance:
Maintaining the Ooler is pretty straightforward.
The system has a built-in auto-clean feature that utilizes UV light - that’s pretty slick. Additionally, the app includes a “deep clean” feature that cycles the water through the cube at 75 degrees F for an hour, zapping it with UV.
Further, the manufacturer recommends the addition of an antimicrobial cleaning solution, sold on their website for ~$8.00, every 1-3 months. Simply pour in the packet, run the system, and you are done.
So, in full, there are 3 ways to prevent the hoses from being overtaken by microbes: 1) using the correct water; 2) a UV filter; 3) the cleaning solution.
With that many fail-safes built into the system, I’d have to guess that that is the greatest threat to your system's long term survival. Lastly, the mattress pad is machine washable. That makes owning and maintaining an Ooler simple!
All in all, the cleaning solution will set you back around $50 a year, which is doable for many people. I know many people who would pay $50 for a great night of sleep, so, I'm assuming that for most people, the 50 bucks is more than affordable.
Now that I've covered the basics, let's move on to what my wife experienced for her sleep quality;
Ok, having described the features of the system, let’s cut straight to the benefits:
Within the first couple nights after set up, Ilisa’s night sweats disappeared and sleep was as good as it could get for a nursing mom with an infant in the bed.
Fast forward to a couple months later, the trend continues.
So, the increased sleep quality effect wasn’t transient - the improvement remained intact together with the ongoing resolution of the night sweats.
This experience jives with the clinical research Chilisleep has conducted on their products. According to their website, a 4-week study on Chili product users resulted in positive sleep outcomes across four metrics, of which 25% experienced a reduction in night sweats.
Chili has also published a white paper on the effects of cold therapy on health, which is visible HERE.
While company-published white papers should always be consumed with a dose of scepticism, I found this piece to be well referenced and chock full of legitimate information and conclusions.
The whitepaper is definitely worth a read.
With that topic handled, let's consider how we set up a sleep schedule in the app:
Want to learn a bit more about how me and my wife set up our temperatures? Here's a few pictures below.
First off, a view of the main screen in the Ooler app, which you can use to set up the nightly temperatures:
Next, in the schedule section, you can see a possibility to create different temperature schedules for different time periods. As you can see, my wife is using the same temperature schedule on every day of the week:
(Observe that we're very strict with our circadian rhythm and usually go to bed at the same time!)
Then, lastly, you can also specify how exactly temperatures change throughout the night:
Observe that we're slowly getting the temperature down over time, and increasing it again at the end of the night.
This programming has given us the best results. I highly recommend you also experiment with temperatures and find out what works best for you.
Also, for those who worry about EMF exposure, the BlueTooth function can be switched on and off very easily.
If you want more EMF readings for this device, watch Alex's video below:
There was a problem, however, with our use of the Ooler. Let's find out how Chili's customer support fixed the issue:
Shifting gears, our unit experienced a malfunction where it would not communicate with the app. As such, we connected with customer service, who asked us to return the unit and offered to replace the original.
Comments on our customer service experience will follow.
In the meantime, while without the dearly beloved Ooler device, the night sweats returned with all their vengeance. No better way to ascertain the impact the system had on sleep quality than to experience a malfunction and reversion in sleep.
When the replacement device arrived (we did a collective happy dance) and was promptly put back into service, the night sweats - wait for it - immediately disappeared again.
So, I and my wife are obviously sold on the benefits of this device. The Ooler has, without question, been the single most important factor in improving the sleep quality of a nursing mom with a very narrow temperature tolerance range.
(If you're interested, you can click HERE to get the OOLER sleep system and use code OOLER15 for 15% off)
Back to the customer service experience.
The Chilipad team stand behind their system.
They were courteous, responsive, and effective in resolving our issue. With any technological product, system malfunctions will happen. How a company chooses to respond to these situations is what really defines one’s satisfaction with the product.
In our circumstance, we could not be happier.
Great job Ooler team!
Ok, the title of this blog promised three reasons to own an Ooler, with one of those being a surprise.
The two relatively obvious reasons are: the cooling effect of the Ooler system absolutely helps manage disruptive night sweats. Secondly, with a responsive and courteous customer service team, Ooler owners can count on help when they need it.
Here's one more reason:
The surprise you reason you may not be aware of is that the Ooler system can also be programmed to HEAT UP at your pre-defined intervals.
That’s right, even though the system is designed to cool the body to ensure deep, refreshing sleep, it also gives you the option of programming a cozy warming experience when you want it.
In fact, per the manufacturer’s website, the system can be programmed for a wide temperature range: 13-46 degrees Celsius (55-115F)!
Hate crawling into a cold bed? Pre-warm it with the Ooler.
Want to wake up naturally in the morning to warmth? Use it as a warm-up alarm clock.
Want to keep a fussy infant in womb-like heat during naptime? Crank up the Ooler.
Seriously. This recommendation isn’t hyperbole!
We’ve got a fussy youngster that struggled to remain asleep during naptime. We found that when laid down on a toasty warm mattress pad, his napping duration significantly increased. Parents, give this a try!
I actually think that the warming function is highly underrated and can be a huge asset in some countries where it's really cold during the wintertime. So if you're living in Iceland or Russia, or even France, and you're cooling down too much at night, the Ooler can be an amazing help during the wintertime!
There you have it.
Three compelling reasons to own the Ooler system for managing night sweats and getting deep, refreshing sleep. Despite the cube module setback, we’ve struggled to find any negative aspects of this system and highly recommend this to anyone suffering night sweats.
Hop over to Alex’s deep dive on night sweats and Ooler review for more even details!
Want to grab an Ooler?
Click HERE to get the OOLER sleep system and use code OOLER15 for 15% off.
Are there no downsides then?
Well, for many people paying $500+ for a unit is a little pricey. But, I'd like to remind you that you're losing a lot of money too by sleeping too hot or cold. Sleepless nights and insomnia literally ruin your productivity during the day, so that you get a lot less done.
Over the long run, you cannot afford these sleep issues. Yes, $500 or $600 might be pricey, but with the OOLER15 code you get a discount when using THIS LINK.
Want to know Alex's opinion on the Ooler? Watch his review below:
This is a post by Joe Ailts. Joe has completed degrees in biotechnology (BS) and nutrition (MS) and is a science writer for Alexfergus. He has 14 years of experience in the clinical laboratory arena as well as in the dietary supplement industry.
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