OOLER Sleep System Review (ChiliPad 2.0): Scam or Awesome Hack?
Temperature is one of the most powerful factors influencing your sleep duration and quality. This review explores ChiliSleep technologies and how they can boost your rest & recovery.
Product Brand: ChiliSleep
Product In-Stock: InStock
Do you sleep too hot or cold?
If so, you’re leaving cash on the table.
Poor sleep and insomnia can wreck your productivity, make you less perceptive, and prevent you from rising to your potential.
Now compound those effects over weeks—or an entire career—and your sleep directly impacts your success.
I’m constantly seeking out the latest sleep hacking technologies and supplements. So when I came across ChiliTech’s ChiliPad, and later their OOLER, I had to test it out myself and report back. I’ve now used it nightly for about a month. In this OOLER review, I’ll help you decide if it’s right for you or a waste of money.
What is ChiliSleep
Founded by Tara Youngblood, ChiliSleep is the company behind the original sleep hacking system. Environmental factors, especially ambient sleeping temperature, have a massive impact on the quality of our sleep.
The ChiliPad and the OOLER are water-powered thermal mattress pads designed to keep hot sleepers cool, and cold sleepers warm. Simply place the pad between your bed and sheets, select a temperature, and relax. Both use the same patented cooling and heating technology.
Now, when I first came across ChiliSleep, I wondered…
How is this any better than my air conditioner.
Water conducts and regulates temperature far better than air, and it also avoids the issue of dirty electricity from electric blankets.
It’s the same principle behind a 104-degree hot tub overheating you faster than a sunny 104-degree day.
By selectively cooling only your bed, you also don’t need to cool ALL the air inside your apartment or room. Reducing your electricity bill.
Chili users quickly notice improvements to their:
- Sleep quality
- Ease of waking
- Ability to sleep in
I track my sleep and recovery (Biostrap makes the best device), and notice the following improvements when using my OOLER:
- Optimized deep sleep
- Optimized REM sleep
- Faster sleep onset
- Fewer sleep disturbances throughout the night
- Lower resting heart rate
- Higher HRV
Subjectively, I sleep deeper and longer (I’m a very light sleeper and struggle to get more than six hours).
Since debuting their original device, the ChiliPad, many years ago, their science team has made some upgrades.
OOLER vs ChiliPad
As you’ll learn next, each device has its pros and cons.
If you can afford it, I’d go for the OOLER. Or even a refurbished model.
The ChiliPad came before the OOLER. It was the first temperature-regulating device on the market back around 2017.
Immediately, you’ll notice that the ChiliPad looks slightly dated. As are the internals. The control unit itself is smaller and lighter, holds significantly less water, yet consumes more energy.
It has only one single fan speed, meaning that you have no way to reduce the noise or speed up how fast it cools down the pad.
Water that sits stagnant for most of the day becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. The ChiliPad lacks any self-cleaning mechanisms, so you’ll need to be more fastidious about changing the water.
The ChiliPad comes with a physical remote rather than an app. If you dislike tech, this could be an advantage, but the app allows for special features that make the newer generation far more useful.
People generally choose the ChiliPad for the better price tag, and all in all, it’s still a solid system. But you can pick up the OOLER on sale for approximately the same price. Over the long term, the additional energy wasted will make the ChiliPad more costly.
The OOLER is the second generation of the ChiliPad, with advanced bells and whistles that make it more powerful and customizable.
OOLER’s primary upgrades from the ChiliPad include:
- Control via app instead of physical remote
- Custom sleep temperature schedules
- Three fan speeds
- Auto-cleaning via UV light
- Modernized design
The updated design and built-in deep cleaning system make the device more functional while simultaneously requiring less maintenance. Deep clean mode pumps water through the system for one hour, all the while killing pathogens with UV light.
Where the new system really shines, however, is the new app (which I didn’t think I’d like) and custom sleep schedules.
OOLER’s New Features
Though it’s quite similar to the ChiliPad, a few new features make the OOLER a better product.
App & Sleep Schedules
I love technology, but also prefer analog devices. For example, though I use my Kindle daily, it has nothing on an old-fashioned paper book.
I didn’t expect to care for the OOLER and its new app, but I found it a positive experience.
The app was easy to set up and simple to use. My phone connects to the OOLER via BlueTooth and it has a surprising range of about 50-feet — even through walls. The remote only has a range of about 20 feet.
Within the app, you can change the fan speed (more on this below) and set custom sleep schedules.
Custom sleep temperature schedules are my favorite new feature of the OOLER.
Body (and environmental) temperature naturally fluctuates throughout the night.
This is one environmental cue that the body uses to optimize the REM & Deep sleep stages. Neurons in the brain also respond and alter their function based on temperature.
Throughout the night, your environment’s temperature should fluctuate approximately as follows:
- 60-68 degrees at bedtime
- -2 degrees after an hour or two
- -1 degree near the middle of the night
- +1 degree after that
- +2 degrees towards the end of the night
Everyone differs, so I recommend you do some experimentation. But overall, most people do best with a gradually decreased temperature throughout the night, before increasing it towards the morning or end of the sleep cycle.
This variable schedule is one of the main OOLER advantages over the ChiliPad and also air conditioning.
Some people, on the other hand, care more about noise control and how fast it’ll change temperature.
My OOLER automatically starts cooling down 30 minutes before bedtime.
Using the app, you also have more granular control over the device, with three fan speeds:
I only use Boost mode when I accidentally turn off my sleep schedule, or the room is so hot that it needs extra assistance. Boost is significantly louder than the other two settings.
Most of the time, I leave it on Regular mode. This balances both modes: maximum cooling speed of Boost, and the quiet operation of Silent.
If you sleep light or can’t stand white noise, you’ll rely on Silent mode.
I personally don’t mind white noise. Sudden sharp sounds (think motorcycles speeding by, barking dogs, etc) jolt you awake. This is accompanied by a surge of stress hormones which shut down your production of melatonin and other sleep hormones. Leading to waking up unrefreshed and biologically drained.
White noise buffers against these acute sounds, by increasing the ambient noise with something unthreatening and melodic. Many studies confirm that white noise improves sleep quality and other parameters of high-quality sleep.
How the OOLER Works
Both the ChiliPad and OOLER come with all the instructions needed to get started.
I used YouTube videos to answer any residual questions.
Unboxing & Setup
Everything arrived in one large box. The mattress pad took up most of the space. It’s made of a nice, high-quality mesh material.
In the OOLER box, I received the following:
- Control module
- Mattress pad
- Connector hoses
- Bag to hold pad
Under the pad, I found the control unit… a bit smaller than I expected. The entire unboxing and app setup process took only a few minutes. There aren’t many pieces, so I didn’t really need instructions.
I did have to consult the manual to learn that the reservoir holds about 30 ounces of water. I used reverse osmosis water to keep everything clean and prevent mineral buildups.
Per the instructions, I made sure to leave at least six inches around all sides of the control unit. This allows it to vent properly, but unfortunately, it also prevents me from storing it neatly in the corner of the room.
I immediately wondered if I’d feel the plastic connection between the hoses and the pad underneath my sheets. Now, I don’t exactly notice an erroneous pea under my mattress, but I am sensitive to the material I sleep on.
Though I could feel the pad and its connecting point, it doesn’t feel like much. Sometimes I don’t even notice when I sleep on the other half of the bed isn’t covered by my half OOLER (more on this later).
The OOLER App
The app isn’t cluttered with widgets, gauges, and dials.
Upon logging in, you’ll notice three main tabs:
Using the OOLER is easy. You’ll need to enable BlueTooth to flip the system on or off. Then you just hit the Device tab and toggle the OOLER on or off. Once it’s on, you can see the current temperature and adjust the temperature setpoint with a click of a button.
To speed up the cooling or heating, or to change the noise level, you change the fan speed. You can set both the ChiliPad and OOLER anywhere between 55 and 115 degrees.
From the Schedule tab, you can also make your own custom sleep schedules.
For example, I have a weekday schedule that automatically turns on my OOLER at 10 PM, and starts waking me at 6 AM. In the middle of the night, the temperature drops down 2 degrees to 62, before starting to increase back up to 64 again at 2:30 AM. According to my wearables, this optimizes both my Deep Sleep as well as my REM Sleep.
I have a separate schedule for Saturdays and Sundays when I sleep in and want different timings.
You can also create custom schedules for napping, for your spouse, or any other occasion. Then toggle them on or off with a switch.
The app also has a feature called “Warm Awake” which starts gradually increasing the temperature 30 minutes before your programmed wake-up time. Reducing the need for an alarm clock and gently waking you up. In my experience, however, the feature doesn’t work all that well. Instead, I add these timings into my own schedule.
I start increasing the temperature by 3 degrees 30 minutes before waking. Then another 2 degrees 20 minutes before. Then a final 2 degrees 10 minutes prior to my desired wake time.
Sleeping with the OOLER
So how has my actual experience been?
I’ve always liked sleeping with something on top of me, but I burn up. Even when I use paper-thin blankets.
I can have my window open in snowy New York City winters, and somehow I’ll still wake up hot. Finally, my entire bed gives me that cold-side-of-the-pillow feeling all night long.
I can sleep with a sheet and not overheat. In fact, ChiliSleep recommends it to get a better thermal effect. Basically, a layer on top of you traps the coolness (or heat).
At first, I thought I’d accidentally break some component of the OOLER…
Is it made for my weight? Did I assemble it properly? Are the hoses fully connected?
But I haven’t.
No damage, and no leaking water in my bed.
The ChiliSleep products pair perfectly with my other sleep biohacks. Between optimizing my light exposure, taking the right supplements, and engineering the ideal sleep sanctuary, I’m now sleeping peacefully. Longer than before and also with better sleep quality.
I get the relaxing benefits of sleeping with a semi-weighted blanket. At the same time, I stay cool. Maybe not “Chili”, but cool.
Thanks to the second law of thermodynamics, note that ChiliSleep products do slightly heat up the room. I recommend placing the control unit away from the bed. I’ve found that sleeping with my bedroom door open really helps keep the room cold.
Now, I’m sure that I’ll also need the AC for 100-degree summer days. But I can use it less, and still sleep better.
ChiliSleep Compared to the Alternatives
Since introducing the concept of thermoregulating sleep technologies, many alternatives have cropped up.
So how do they stack up?
ChiliPad vs OOLER
The OOLER and ChiliPad are both products made by ChiliSleep. The OOLER is the newest generation with improved heating & cooling technologies, multiple fan speeds (noise and temperature control speeds), an app, custom sleep schedules, UV sanitization of the water, and a sleeker look. ChiliPad is considerably cheaper, and a better no-frills model for those that don’t mind some extra maintenance and don’t need granular control over their sleeping temperature.
ChiliPad vs BedJet
BedJet is another popular alternative to the OOLER and ChiliPad, with one key difference that makes it less effective. BedJet regulates temperature using air rather than water. Since air is less conductive, it takes longer to change your temperature and has less effect. I think of it more as a targeted air conditioner. Due to the motor and system placement, it also emits more non-native EMF.
For a similar price, I’d rather get a ChiliPad.
Pirce & where to buy the OOLER or ChiliPad
The OOLER is an extra $100 over the original ChiliPad model.
Four factors determine the price of your ideal ChiliSleep product:
- Model (ChiliPad or OOLER)
- Me or We
- Size of your bed
- New or refurbished
“Me” or “We” refers to the number of users. If you sleep with a partner and want separate temperatures or schedules, you’ll need the We model. You get one pad, double the Me size, but with two separate controllers. Therefore it costs nearly double.
The size of your bed, however, also impacts cost. The smallest size is a Half Queen, and a Half King costs an extra $100.
Of course, you can also upgrade with additional add-ons. I didn’t and don’t think it’s necessary.
If cost is an issue, I suggest you pick up a Certified Renewed OOLER or ChiliPad. Even the OOLER is under $500 if you go this route.
Get your OOLER at a special Outliyr discount.
Use the exclusive ChiliSleep code URBAN for 20% off the OOLER and ChiliPad
Best Temps for Your Sleep Schedule
You know best how you respond to temperatures.
I used to think that everyone slept best between 60-68 degrees as most of the literature suggests.
When I used AC in our bedroom, I noticed something different.
My partner struggles with anything under 70 degrees. She shivers, gets congested, and her sleep quality (subjectively and objectively through her Oura Ring score) suffers.
So is it better to sleep cold or warm?
ChiliSleep has this useful guide to optimize your sleep zones:
- Deep Sleep (15-30 minutes after bedtime, 60-68 degrees): trigger deep sleep by cooling your bed by 3-5 degrees below ambient room temperature
- REM Zone (3-4 hours prior to waketime, ambient): boost REM sleep by increasing the temperature of your bed to nearly ambient room temperature
A good schedule will vary your temperature to improve Deep and REM sleep.
Your ideal sleeping temperature, however, is individual. It takes some N=1 trial and error to dial in your optimal temperatures.
OOLER Questions & Answers
Is the OOLER sleep system loud?
The OOLER system allows you to set the fan speed which determines the noise of the unit. In Silent mode, you can barely tell that the unit is on. With Regular mode, it’s noticeable, but not loud. I can still hear conversations occurring outside. Boost mode drowns out other noises in my environment.
How well does the OOLER app work?
OOLER’s app is simple and straightforward, performing everything you’d want the device to do and nothing more. You can turn the system on or off, see the current temperature or change it, add, modify, or remove sleep schedules, perform a deep clean, or adjust settings.
Does the OOLER work?
I’ve found that my OOLER does exactly what it claims. It effectively cools my bed and improves my sleep. However, I’ve noticed that it can struggle on extremely hot days (90-degrees or more), and on these days I must run AC in order to get below 64 degrees.
OOLER Review Verdict: is OOLER Worth it?
Whether you’re looking for maximum brain function, peak athletic performance, or just to live healthily and thrive, sleep is possibly THE single most important pillar.
As Dr. Matt Walker pointed out in his seminal book Why We Sleep [Amazon], just a few nights of sub-optimal deprived sleep leads us to perform as well as someone legally intoxicated — and we don’t even realize it!
Thus, sub-optimal sleep costs you dearly. You simply cannot afford to sacrifice sleep.
One of the most important factors of quality sleep is effective temperature regulation. Deep Sleep and REM Sleep require certain temperatures and fluctuations throughout the night.
Unless you sleep in a climate-controlled room, perfected to your unique biological needs, you’re leaving happiness, money, and performance on the table.
Air conditioning is better than nothing. But AC cools down the entire room and barely changes your core body temperature. Water, on the other hand, conducts temperature change fantastically.
I’ve tried hundreds of different sleep hacks. Ranging from expensive supplements to strange practices like taping my mouth shut while I sleep.
I got an OOLER, and my wearables show consistently better sleep and recovery scores. Now I rely less on nootropics, I’m stronger, and perform better. All from this one simple tweak.
Learn what hundreds of satisfied Amazon purchasers (and even more directly from ChiliSleep) have discovered themselves. Before I went with ChiliSleep, I did my own research. I’m always curious about real user criticism. I discovered that the three-star reviews mostly resulted from user error.
Pick up your own OOLER or ChiliPad here:
Use the exclusive OOLER coupon code URBAN for 20% off site-wide
Have you tried any of the ChiliSleep products? Do you use something else? Let me know your experience in the comments below!