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Running Accessories • August 6, 2018

ChiliPad Review

This isn’t our typical gear/shoe review, but I would argue sleep is more important than any sweat-wicking tech tee or light cushioned trainer (unless we’re talking about the Nike Vaporfly 4%, of course). Anyway, I first heard about the ChiliPad from reading Tim Ferriss‘ book, Tools of Titans. He swore by it for sleeping and ever since then I’ve been wanting to try it. The nice people at ChiliPad agreed to send us two single units to test out. Here’s what we thought:

The Good

MEAGHAN: For those not familiar with the ChiliPad, it’s essentially a mattress pad with a cooling and heating control system. It regulates the surface temperature of your mattress by circulating water through a network of tubes. You can set the temperature anywhere from 55 degrees up to 110.

The material of the pad itself is a 150 thread count poly-cotton blend, nice and soft. It has elastic straps at each corner to hold it in place and easily fit on our Casper mattress. When I laid directly on the topper, I couldn’t feel the tubing at all.

Once you’ve set up everything (connected the tubing, filled the cube with water) and selected your temperature, it will run continually for 10 hours before turning itself off to reach the desired temperature and maintain it. While running, it has a slight fan sound which I happen to love. We normally sleep with a white noise machine, and although this isn’t quite as loud, it provides a nice, comforting hum sound.

Since we’re in the heart of Summer here in Baltimore, we’ve only tested the lower temps; I’ve found my perfect temperature to be 64 degrees. It definitely helped me stay asleep; I’m normally taking covers on and off all night trying to stay comfortable, but not with the ChiliPad. There were several mornings that I woke up thinking it was Fall or Winter, the best sleeping weather.

THOMAS: At first I was concerned, this thing looked a little crazy. After the first night, I was sold. I run hot like a furnace all year round, after a couple cocktails I am almost guaranteed to get night sweats going. Sounds sexy, doesn’t it? The problem is, I really like to have a blanket over me. Summer sleeping setups usually leave me with having to settle for one leg out and the rest of me under a thin sheet. BUT NOT ANYMORE. Enter the Chilipad life. I set the cube to as low as it can go 55º F about 13º C. This temperature allows me to have my sheet and a down comforter over me in the middle of Summer. I love it. It is the cold side of the pillow feeling. The best part is, I am sleeping better. Cozy and cool at the same time.

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The Bad

MEAGHAN: The only concern I have with the ChiliPad is that it’s pretty awkward looking. We now have two white cubes next to our bed and it kindaaaa looks like a hospital situation. There is definitely room for improvement in the design department.

Outside of looks, I have to note the price. This guy is not cheap, ranging from $449 – $1099, depending on the size.

THOMAS: The cube and the hose that run the water to your pad are far from “cool” looking. The cube looks less tech and more hospital. It would be awesome if Chilipad could have a product specialist from Apple turn this into something sleek and futuristic and less medical supply like. We sleep with a white noise machine so the hum of the cube doesn’t bother us it just adds to the existing noise. We live in the city so white noise is essential. If you are sensitive to noise while you are sleeping the cube makes about the same amount of noise as a small fan.

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ChiliPad Conclusion

MEAGHAN: I am a big fan of the ChiliPad. I tell everyone I see about it. Yes, it looks a little ridiculous, but I will do just about anything for a good night of sleep. Everything is easier when you’re well-rested, especially running. If you struggle with sleeping or happen to have $500 lying around, I would totally invest in one.

THOMAS: I love this thing. I am sleeping better and I feel cozy in my bed. I highly recommend the Chilipad and am excited to try the heating option in the winter. For price of three to four trainers or two pairs of VaporFly 4%s, you can get the rest that you need.

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Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Jeff says:

    Had you folks actually measured the pad temps, instead of a subjective review, you’d find they don’t cool as advertised. Best surface temp I get is 73d overnight. They don’t have the btu to chill. I measure 65d to pad, and surface temp of 73, with ambient at 79

    1. Thomas Neuberger says:

      Jeff, while we didn’t measure the pad scientifically, there is no way that the pad only gets to 73º. If somehow it is only 73) it is the coldest 73º I have ever experienced.

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