Chili Technology Chilipad Lightning Review: Air-Condition Your SheetsS

Ah, summer: Sun, BBQs, scantily-clad people gallivanting about for your viewing pleasure. Popsicles. And hot, sticky nights that transform your bed from the restful haven you love into an oppressive heat-coffin. Sleeping in the sumer sucks.

But it doesn't have to—or, at least, that's the promise of the Chilipad.

What Is It?

A dual-zone, climate-controlled mattress pad that uses circulating water to manage the temperature of your bed.

Who's It For?

Temperature-sensitive sleepers, people who hate cranking up the A/C at night. (My nose gets cold and I wake up with the sniffles.)

Design

The Chilipad fits over your mattress like a nomal mattress pad. Sorta: It has large elastic straps on either end that keep it in place. Oh, and then there are the two hoses that come out of either side, each of which leads to a control unit where water is cooled and heated before being pumped through tubes that course through the pad. That's how the Chilipad controls temperature.

Using It

When you first get the thing, you have to fill each control unit with water (which you should also periodically drain and replace) and then plug each hose in. From that point on, it works like any other temperature-control device. Dial in your number, set it, and go.

The Best Part

Slipping into a freshly chilled bed—that doesn't heat up from you lying in it.

Tragic Flaw

You get used to it, but you can feel the tubes through the mattress pad. I stopped noticing them within five minutes, but it might annoy pea-sensitive princesses.

This Is Weird...

I haven't left my bed since this heat wave started.

Test Notes

  • Comes with two remote controls, one for each control unit.
  • Cools down faaaaast. In my bed—and YMMV fo sho, depending on your sheets, climate, etc—it averaged a degree of temperature change every 21 seconds.
  • Can also heat your bed, though I didn't try it because it's been so damn hot.
  • Control units emit an audible hum, but it's barely noticeable—especially if you have the A/C running.
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  • The control units vent out quite a bit of air. It didn't seem to make much difference in the temperature of the room, but, thermodynamically, wouldn't it have to? I am not a scientist.
  • You can set a timer that will turn the pad on or off within 1 to 12 hours. There's an auto mode too, which changes the pad's temperature an hour after you turn it on—the idea being that you like to go to sleep in a cold bed and wake up in a warm bed, or vice versa. I found both of these features to be functional, but utterly useless.

Should You Buy It?

If the concept appeals to you and you can afford the $900 sticker price (yeah, I know—this is definitely a luxury item) then go for it. Products like this rarely work as advertised, but this one really does. Aside from the price, I can't really think of a knock against the Chilipad. [Chili Technology]

Chili Technology Chilipad

• Size: Queen (as tested; other sizes available)
• Temperature Range: 46 - 118 degrees F
• Price: $900 (as tested)
Gizrank: 4 stars