The Sleepme Dock Pro System was announced at this year’s CES and provides a clever way to regulate your body temperature to provide a better night’s sleep. The system is designed to fit over the top of your existing mattress and can heat or cool your bed using water pumped through the cover layer.
The system is branded as a collaboration with Chilisleep, and is also available on the Chilisleep website. That’s perhaps because both brands are owned by Kryo Inc, a US-based sleep technology company. Chilisleep has produced a range of temperature-controlled sleep systems and blankets in the past but this is a brand new product for both brands.
The Dock Pro System is made up of two parts: a Dock Pro control unit and a Chilipad Pro mattress pad. The system not only comes in three sizes, for queen, king and California king beds, but you can also choose to cover all or half of the bed. So, if only one of you wants the temperature control, you can choose the Me option which comes with a pad to cover half the mattress. If you want temperature control for two, the We option includes a full-width pad and two control units.
I got to try out the Dock Pro system for a couple of weeks before its official launch. Having tried out some of the best mattresses and other temperature control systems, like the Eight Sleep Pod Pro, I was looking forward to seeing how the Sleepme system performed.
Sleepme Dock Pro sleep system review (early verdict): price and availability
Prices for the system start from $999 (roughly £760/AU$1360) for the half queen to $1899 (£1450/AU$2560) for the full Cal king. It’s only available in the US at this time from the Sleepme website. However, as Chilisleep products are widely available on Amazon and other stores, I expect this model will follow suit.
Sleepme Dock Pro sleep system review (early verdict): installation
Having chosen the We queen kit, my box contained two of the Dock Pro controllers and one queen-sized mattress pad. The kit is nicely packaged and comes with easy-to-follow instructions. Two sets of pipes are attached to the mattress pad that connect to the controllers, so the first decision is which end of the bed to put the controllers and therefore the pipes. I opted to have them at the head of the bed, as it was closer to the power supply.
What is nice about the Dock Pro controllers is that they are short enough to slide underneath the bed, rather than take up space beside it. The downside of having two units is that you will need to take up two power sockets and have them under either side of the bed.
The pad attaches to your mattress just like a fitted sheet, using an elasticated skirt that tucks right around the sides of the bottom of the mattress. The lined soft side of the pad is designed to be against the mattress, while the cool mesh is on top. On a comfort level, this seemed counterintuitive, as it was lumpier, but it allows the cooling tubes to be closer to your body.
Once the tubes are connected to the controllers and the power is turned on you need to fill the reservoirs with water. This should be distilled water with the supplied system cleaner solution also added. As you fill the reservoirs, the water starts to pump into the mattress pad, so while the reservoirs are small, you need around two liters of water per unit to fill it.
The final part of the installation is to connect the units to your Wi-Fi. This is done from the Sleepme app, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play store. The app uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone and each controller can be identified by the corresponding Mac ID on the back. During the installation process, you can rename it to identify which is your side and which is your partner’s.
Even with the controllers hidden underneath the bed, I had no problem connecting them to my home Wi-Fi and the whole process took a matter of minutes.
Sleepme Dock Pro sleep system review (early verdict): Sleepme app
While each controller does have a mini-LED screen that displays the temperature and +/- controls to change the temperature, they are designed to be controlled via the app. The Sleepme app is divided into four main sections. The main screen shows the current temperature of your bed (if you are setting up two controllers you need to give access to your partner’s Sleepme app and have them claim the device). You can turn the unit on and off and change the temperature manually from here.
The My Planner screen allows you to set times for the Dock Pro to turn on and off and at what temperature. You can also add temperature adjustments through the night, so if you like to start off warm and cool off as you enter deep sleep or REM sleep you can put in additional times and temperatures. Settings can be added for different days or for collections of days – I set one for weeknights and another for weekends. You can also choose the Warm Awake setting that super heats the bed to wake you up.
The My Devices screen allows you to control all of your Dock Pro controllers, so if you need to change the settings on your partner’s side, or change access to it, you can do that here.
The final screen is the My Sleep section which provides sleep tracking and insights to improve your sleep experience. This is also designed to give you recommendations on changes to your settings. Unfortunately, this section is not yet available and is due for launch in May. It felt unfair to fully judge the system without this, as the sleep tracking and recommendations are such a key part to the experience, so once I’ve used this I will update the review.
The downside with the Sleepme app is that you need to know quite a lot of information to input the right settings. Giving the temperature values in degrees (either celsius or fahrenheit) shows accuracy but I had no idea what values were right for me. And rather than just telling the system to change the temperature when you enter a REM state or a deep sleep, you need to guess what time that will happen, and that will depend on when you fall asleep. The Eight Sleep app in this regard is easier in that the temperature is simply listed on the dial in terms of cool and warm and the adjustments are based on your sleep state. I’m sure the My Sleep section will help with this when launched but right now it feels like guess work.
Sleepme Dock Pro sleep system review (early verdict): the experience
Getting into a warm bed in the midst of winter – or an ice cool bed in summer – is an experience that can’t be beaten. It’s like that moment you get when you first lie on fresh sheets, or slip into a perfectly folded hotel bed, only better. The Sleepme Dock Pro isn’t the first to do this. Temperature controlled mattress toppers have existed for some time and Chilisleep (from which the Sleepme topper comes) has been a leading name in its development. However, that doesn’t take away from its appeal.
The Sleepme Dock Pro can heat up to around 115ºF (46ºC) and down to 55ºF (13ºC). This I tested with a surface thermometer and the readout was around 10 degrees cooler at the top end and 5 degrees warmer at the bottom, which considering the sheets in between, wasn’t too bad. It does take around 10-20 minutes to reach the desired temperature, so it’s worth setting your bedtime a little earlier than you need.
The heat feels nice when you get into bed, though it took me a few goes to work out the right temperature settings. My first attempt was too cool, and it was a few nights before I got something that worked for my deep sleep and REM stages.
I did have to turn off the warm wake function though, as the maximum heat was just too much, even when it was single figures outside. I felt like I was being cooked, rather than warmed awake. It would be nice to be able to control how warm the warm awake is.
Unfortunately, the topper itself isn’t overly comfortable to sleep on. You can feel the bumps of the tubing through the sheets and though it didn’t stop me falling asleep, it’s not a particularly luxury sensation. The other problem is that the Sleepme heated topper wasn’t a perfect fit over my mattress, which meant that it gets lumps and folds in it. At 11 inches, my mattress isn’t the deepest, but the elastic on the topper was securely wrapped around when I made the bed and needed adjusting each morning. The advantage of Eight Sleep’s system is that it zips all the way round the mattress or provides straps, which is more secure.
The one thing i’ve noticed is how quickly the Sleepme dock Pro goes through water. In the space of two weeks, I’ve had to top up each controller two or three times due to low water warnings (when this happens it won’t heat or cool properly). It’s enough to make me worried about where all that water is going. I only had to top the Eight Sleep system up two or three times in a year.
Is the Sleepme Dock Pro system worth it? (early verdict)
Having a mattress topper that can heat and cool your bed to the exact temperature you want it is a game-changer for me. It means you’re nice and warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and it has definitely helped me to sleep better.
However, for the Sleepme Dock Pro to be truely useful, you need the input of sleep tracking, with insights and recommendations. Without this, you essentially have a very fancy electric blanket. That’s why I can’t give this a definitive score based on the system at present.
As I’ve mentioned, the Sleepme Dock Pro isn’t the only water cooled system on the market. There’s the Chilisleep products (made by the same company) and also Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro, which comes with or without a mattress.
There are definitely some things that the Sleepme does better than the Eight Sleep. I like the fact that the units fit under the bed rather than needing to stand next to it, and they connect to the Wi-Fi much easier. The app as it stands at the moment isn’t as useful though, the water needs topping up more regularly and the experience is less comfortable, due to the noticeable pipes underneath you and the less than perfect fit over the mattress.
If you are only looking to heat/cool one half of your bed, the single ‘Me’ versions of the Sleepme dock Pro are going to be better value. However, for the full ‘We’ package, the price feels a little high.