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137 nights on the Ooler sleep system

I woke up a few nights ago cursing a cricket I couldn’t find. It’d stopped after I got up and turned on the lights and I thought that was the last of it.

Two nights ago at a little before three am I heard the sound again. I noticed this time it wasn’t really a cricket but more like the sound of a fan hitting a wire at speed, or a squeaky pump. I turned off the air conditioner (which involves it finishing up whatever cycle it’s on,) and by the time it shut off the squeak was gone.

But you know where this is going… it’s the Ooler. It’s become a randomly squeaking nightmare machine and I swear the app has decided to play fast and loose with reality.

It took several days to track this down because despite being pretty sure it was the Ooler I had to determine which Ooler it was and I was going to do that by shutting them off via the app whenever that happened. Oh, I shut them both off, but the app didn’t shut them off. Or at least not reliably.

Finally narrowed it down to mine by unplugging Kim’s Ooler and letting her suffer a night of an uncooled side of the bed. Mine started chirping, I broke out the phone to grab a video of it, and no, stops the instant I look at it sideways.

I’ve contacted customer support on both my Jiminy Cricket Ooler, and the sludge factory replacement (the sludge is brown, I think this one is killing bacteria but guessing the chillpad insides had a decent amount and the sludge is still coming out months later).

Love the cool bed, but man… if a reviewer two units and RMAs 3 there are issues.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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5 thoughts on “137 nights on the Ooler sleep system

  • Avatar of warmonk

    Any updated thoughts over the past year?

    Reply
    • Yup, think I’ve had a couple follow ups… here’s a quick rundown though

      The dual setup I have with the individual pieces for left and right is not a good option… just leads to bunching up.
      The 3rd replacement I got and filling it with cleaner they sent cleared the sludge from the first one.

      With two Ooler units for some reason one always fails a schedule. Works fine, but I don’t know what’s going on with that.

      It doesn’t get cool enough in a warmer environment. Your room is hot, your bed is only going to be a little cooler. I’ve offered Ooler a royalty free solution that would help existing models cool quicker and probably make their customers happy for a couple of bucks, I have heard nothing back from them. Not sure if their PR just doesn’t want to pass it on or they’re not interested.

      The units are not effective in silent mode except for heat (for me at least) – they’re loud enough they need to be as far away as possible. As they move heat you also want them somewhere where the heat is not blowing back on you. The fans don’t do much other than push the heat about 8 inches away. This make a fairly warm area somewhere and it’s not great.

      The tubes are long, but I’d like the option for longer so I can place the Ooler base units like in front of an air conditioner or something.

      As you can’t really have a well functioning ooler on a nightstand unless the noise is your thing, this means you’re using the app. The app is terrible. Two phones and a tablet I’ve tried it on and it’s bad everywhere… you’re cold at 3am? OK you can get up and walk over to the ooler, or you can unlock the phone, open the ooler app, wait for it to connect, then turn the unit off. The lack of Assistant functionality or an IR remote was bad.

      More in a minute

      Reply
    • Yikes, it’s 2am going to rush through this…

      Insulation connector (like a pool noodle) appears to have decided to detach, or at least slide back. Not a huge issue but noted it.

      Water keeps disappearing. Appears to be a closed system and it’s getting out of both of the units. Not a huge deal as it’s not fast and I have no clue where it’s going, but due to the app or sensors being garbage I used to get fake alerts that it was low and now I get no alerts and just have to check when I don’t feel it’s working as well any more.

      The ooler fans … really, if you can supplement by getting them in a moving airflow it’s great, Oolers move a lot of heat… the internal ones just don’t do it well though. I don’t see any way to clean or service the fans either and one of mine got loud enough to note (not bad, just louder than the other)

      Really need assistant/alexa/siri integration or at least something that doesn’t require you to deal with the unit.

      OK, all that said I am sleeping these days most of the time. When it’s warm, my bed is cool. The only thing that annoys the hell out of me is the app controls, that I have to have the base unit far away or it’s like I’m sleeping next to a loud breathing heat lamp.

      Lot of things could be improved. I start feeling also that with a water pump, an ice bucket, and the mattress cover they’ve designed I could probably make something similar. It seems like it’s a reasonably straightforward design and the price is way on up there. The Peltier cooling is nice, but in the summer just let me put a heat dispensing plate in front of my air conditioner.

      Do not think I can go back to uncooled sleep, but might try that when it’s warmer.

      Reply
  • Avatar of Nathanael Davenport

    I’ve had a set of Oolers for a Cal King and I’ve had a few problems with mine as well over the past two years. Bacteria growth is a problem that their “UV Light” won’t solve, the only thing I found that works is to empty the water out of the Oolers every week and dilute a splash of hydrogen peroxide in the tank. (Their cleaning solution, at $8 per packet, is probably the same stuff and is grossly overpriced.)

    But that didn’t help with my most recent problem, where both units had cooling fans with seized bearings, within a few days of each other, just weeks after the warranty expired. Oddly, running them at max temp seemed to help one snap out of it, but the other can’t seem to stay unstuck once it returns to cooling mode.

    I popped off the front cover of both to examine what was going on when I first heard that awful sound of a seized bearing. It became obvious what the problem was once I saw it. These are just standard 3-wire 120mm fans like those used in tower computer cases, except at 24V, and could be easily replaced by the user. But no… I was astonished to see that they had removed the screw heads that fasten the heat exchanger fan to the exchanger fins, making an easy fan swap nearly impossible. (They were clearly cut off with something like a Dremel tool. The fan can only be fastened from one side of the heat exchanger.) An inexpensive part that is probably the most likely failure point, and they have locked out the ability for the user to fix it.

    I called them on it via support request, and it was nothing but silence from them for more than a week, then someone got back to me with the usual fake and disconnected pleasantness of 21st century customer support, without acknowledging my problem or what I had reported – at all.

    I may get around to trying to replace the fan, but I felt so burned I ended up just draining the things and the pad and putting them into storage. I had slept on my bed without them for eight years. I figure I can learn how to live without them again.

    Reply
    • I ended up putting some of the cleaner they sell into the thing and never emptying it out. This is the only thing that stopped the sludge.

      Their UV lights were ineffective, the software I’m still having problems with 2 years later (I have two Oolers, one never will start cooling on schedule, but will shut off on schedule), and after a critical review I’m either persona non grata, or their PR firm changed.

      The units are starting to get loud at 2.5 years or so. I’m going to hit them with an air cleaner, but I’m thinking I’m about to have one of them fail on the fan.

      It is a shame though, it’s a great idea, plagued by the attempt to make a whole lot of money on a sleep product that the markup is way too high.

      Side note, I’ve offered them an after-market fix for one of their issues (initial cooldown) that would cost them next to nothing and could never reach a human after my reviews. I am a tad miffed.

      Reply

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