Sleeping in a hot room can make getting a good night’s rest nearly impossible.
But running your A/C all night can be expensive and wasteful. And sometimes that’s not even enough!
A bed cooler allows you to sleep at your ideal temperature without cranking up the air conditioning.
Devices like the 8sleep, with its $2,000+ price tag, may be out of reach for many.
In this post, we will explain how bed coolers work and share the best bang-for-buck mattress coolers available today.
Let’s get started!
Best Overall: BedJet
Best Water-Cooled: Ooler
Best Low Price: Adamson
How Bed Cooling Devices Work
Bed cooling devices use different technologies to lower the temperature around your body while you sleep.
Here are details on how the main types work:
Circulating Water Method
They consist of:
- A control unit with a water reservoir and chiller that cools the water.
- Pads or tubes filled with the chilled water. These go under your sheets and conform to your body.
- Hoses to circulate the water between the control unit and the pads/tubes.
The chilled water in the pads absorbs your body heat.
As the water warms, it gets recirculated back to the control unit, where it’s cooled again.
This creates a constant flow of chilled water to maintain your chosen temperature all night long.
Some key advantages of the circulating water method:
- Provides uniform cooling over large areas. The pads mold to your shape
- Operates quietly, only the soft hum of the chiller
- Temperature stays steady through the night
Potential disadvantages include possible leaks from the pads or hoses over time.
And keeping the water clean to prevent mold buildup.
Air Cooling Method
The forced air method uses a blower to direct air under your sheets.
Popular models like the BedJet work this way.
The main components are:
- A control unit that houses a fan/blower and air temperature control.
- A hose that attaches to a vent is placed under your sheets.
The blower forces air out of the vent into your bed.
Some units use room temperature air for gentle cooling breezes. More advanced models can actively cool the air before blowing it.
Benefits of forced air devices:
- The cooling effect starts quickly once turned on
- No water to leak or maintain
- Units tend to be more compact
Potential negatives are noise from the airflow.
And cooling may not be evenly distributed – more focused on areas closest to the vent.
So, in summary, circulating water keeps the whole bed at an even cool temp.
While forced air provides quicker, more localized cooling.
Bed Cooler Benefits
So, why go to the trouble of getting a cooling device for your bed?
Let’s take a look at the real benefits for your sleep quality and health.
Being too warm in bed can lead to tossing and turning, frequent wakeups, and lighter, disrupted sleep.
By keeping your optimal temperature of around 65°F, bed coolers allow you to fall into deeper, more restorative sleep stages.
Wake Up Refreshed
Waking up overheated and sweaty leaves you feeling groggy and tired.
Cooler sleep lets you wake up feeling recharged and ready to take on the day.
This is a small investment toward having a more productive day at work or school.
Related: Take the Brain Fog Test
Lower Sleeping Heart Rate
Studies show cooler bedroom temperatures lower your heart rate as you sleep.
A lower resting heart rate is associated with higher sleep quality.
Many people have trouble initially falling asleep or get night sweats that disrupt sleep.
The right temperature improves sleep onset and continuity.
A mattress cooler is a small investment before turning to prescription medications or OOC drugs.
Ideal for Hot Sleepers
Genetics can play a big role in how you experience temperatures at night and during the day.
If you run hot when you sleep, bed cooling provides relief without freezing your whole room.
This is also perfect for partners with different temperature preferences.
May Ease Anxiety
Some evidence shows cooler sleep environments can reduce anxiety, likely by lowering heart rate and preventing night sweats.
There is also a vicious cycle when it comes to sleep stress.
You stay up all night worrying about not getting enough sleep, which leads to poor sleep the following night and so on.
Key Features to Compare
When shopping for a bed cooler, there are several key features to evaluate:
Check the temperature range the cooling device can achieve.
Can it get down to your desired sleeping temperature and maintain that temperature throughout the night?
More powerful units have larger chillers and water reservoirs.
This is critical if you or your partner are light sleepers.
The hum of the chiller unit and water circulation pump can be distracting.
Air-blown models tend to be louder than water circulation options.
Look for decibel ratings and consumer reviews.
Bed coolers come in sizes for twin, full, queen, king, and more.
Measure your mattress and get the right fit.
Some coolers can even be configured for two control units on extra-large beds.
Preset cooling schedules or modes are convenient.
Look for models with app control and integration with smart home systems.
Features like gradual wake-up warming, temperature auto-regulation, and sleep-tracking data may be desirable.
Most bed coolers require periodic cleaning and maintenance, especially water-based models.
Check how often you need to change filters, add cleaning solutions to the water like hydrogen peroxide, and inspect for leaks.
Best Bed Coolers
Now that we know what we’re looking for, here are some of the top affordable options.
Our research is based on an extensive dataset that includes product reviews, Reddit discussions, device specifications, manufacturer information, and historical price analysis.
This water circulation model offers strong cooling power and quiet operation.
Users love the consistent temperature it maintains all night.
The product has good scheduling options and requires cleaning every 3-6 months.
The forced air BedJet provides quick, localized cooling.
Models with active temperature control work better than just room air.
While effective, it may be noisy for some.
The good news is that no maintenance is required, unlike water-based coolers.
- Individual Temperature Control
- Great Sleep Enhancement
- Wireless Remote Integration
Another water circulation choice, the ChiliPad has simple manual controls but lacks preset scheduling.
It provides steady, even cooling at a reasonable price.
This unit does require diligent cleaning to prevent mold buildup in the tubing.
Adamson Mattress Cooler
- Wake up less
- Feel more rested
- Improve your recovery
If you want to dip your toes into bed cooler world without breaking the bank, Adamson might be your best bet.
This water-cooled unit requires more upkeep in the form of filling and changing the water.
However, it offers a cooler sleeping environment at a fraction of the cost of 8sleep.
This one’s worth checking out and potentially returning if it doesn’t work out.
Used Bed Cooler
You can sometimes find used units on eBay for around $200-300 and pair them with inexpensive medical cooling pads.
With some hunting, this gives you close to high-end cooling performance at a budget price.
The downside is that you will need to set up alerts on eBay or constantly refresh the search page.
DIY Cooling Options
Before investing in a bed cooling system, some simple DIY ideas to test cooling yourself include:
Frozen Ice Packs
Freeze reusable ice packs and place them under your sheets near hot spots.
This can provide temporary cooling for a few hours before re-freezing.
However, you might run into issues with wetness from condensation.
Pet Cooling Pads
Get a basic pet cooling mat or pad and place it in the fridge/freezer before bed.
These are larger than typical cooling packs; you can pick a bigger size for better bed coverage.
Use a small fan in the bedroom focused on exposed body parts like feet.
This will provide targeted airflow and evaporative cooling.
It’s not the best solution, but certainly cost-effective.
The Bottom Line
You don’t need to spend thousands on an 8sleep to get bed cooling.
Affordable alternatives from ChiliSleep and BedJet offer similar functionality at a fraction of the price.
And DIY options can give cooling a test run.
We hope you find the right bed cooler to fit your budget and needs.
And finally, get that blissful, uninterrupted sleep. No AC required!
What are the downsides to bed coolers?
The main downsides appear to be:
- Require regular cleaning and maintenance
- Water circulation models can spring leaks
- It may not get as cold as advertised
- Some noise from the cooling unit
- Bulkier devices may not fit under all beds
So, there are some tradeoffs compared to the premium options.
How do these bed coolers compare to the 8sleep?
The 8sleep chiller starts at over $2,000 and requires a $15-24 monthly subscription for additional features.
The alternatives above offer similar cooling at a fraction of the price without any subscription.
They lack some “nice-to-have” features like automatically warming up the bed in the morning.
But overall, they provide excellent cooling according to users.