If you have trouble sleeping due to temperature issues, the Perfectly Snug Smart Topper may be exactly what you need. The Smart Topper is ideal for sleepers who get either too cold or too hot during the course of a night’s sleep. Starting at just $999 for a twin-sized mattress, the Smart Topper with built-in cooling fans and heaters for temperature control, will keep you at your ideal sleeping temperature for all night. In our tests, the Smart Topper was effective at reducing nocturnal perspiration, often known as “night sweats.” And as you drift off to sleep, you’ll likely be happy with the Smart Topper fans’ white noise and the device’s easy setup.
Cooling for Your Bed
Perfectly Snug sells eight different Smart Topper models, priced from $999 for a twin-sized mattress to $1,799 for a California king-sized one. For this review, we tried a $1,599 queen-sized Smart Topper from Perfectly Snug for six months.
All of the king-sized and queen-sized Smart Topper models have separate temperature controls for each side of the bed; the twin-sized and full-sized models have just one temperature zone.
The Smart Topper’s cushioning is pleasant and comforting. It’s thin and flexible so as to maintain the comfort characteristics of the underlying mattress. However, on very firm mattresses, it may make it feel somewhat softer, while on very soft mattresses, it will make it feel somewhat firmer.
Perfectly Snug co-founder, Jason Elliott, says the Smart Topper works like a soft and squishy air hockey table to circulate air under and against your body. The Topper cleverly conceals cooling fans, heaters, vents, and temperature sensors. Dual-zone variants of the Smart Topper have four fans, while the single-zone models have two. In each case, the fan units are located in the corners of each zone at the foot of the bed. The fans have a flexible cover, so you won’t mind your foot touching this unit. If you’re short, this is unlikely to happen at all, while tall people whose feet hang over the bed might notice it more.
The Smart Topper airflow vents are deliberately designed to cool your body’s core according to your temperature preference, which can be set using an included app or by using manual buttons on the side of the Topper. In the same way, low-voltage heaters are designed to keep you at a uniformly warm temperature.
The Smart Topper automatically takes into account your body’s temperature using sensors beneath your body and adjusts itself accordingly. The Topper’s fans will increase or decrease in power depending on the Topper’s sensor temperature measurements. Once scheduling is set in the app, the Topper will turn on at bed time and off at wake time automatically. After that, you’ll hardly use the app, but you can still make adjustments using the buttons on the side of the Topper. Since theTopper’s sensors are located in the ‘sleep zone’ of each side of king- or queen-sized beds, center sleepers in these bed sizes may not benefit as much from the automated temperature changes.
To care for the Smart Topper, simply wash and dry the outer mesh layer. The inner layers can be wiped clean, but cannot be washed by immersion.
Ideal Temperatures and Air Versus Water Cooling
The key thing to remember about the Smart Topper is that it cools your body using room-temperature air; the amount of cooling depends on how fast the fans are running. Therefore, cooling with the Smart Topper works best in rooms kept at a habitable temperature.
Conversely, the Smart Topper can make your bed warm — but not instantly. It takes 15 minutes to start feeling the warmth and 30 minutes to warm the bed up before you get in, but this can be automatically done to a schedule. If you’re using the Smart Topper to pre-warm your bed, you should cover your bed with a warm blanket or duvet to keep the heat in
Sleepers who live in homes without air conditioning may be tempted to use water-based systems that chill the water below room temperature. We found that the water-based systems did a good job at pre-cooling the bed but in a hot room these systems struggled to keep the bed cool after we were in bed. The bed temperature rose with our body heat and the room heated up with the heat from the floor-mounted box. The air-based Smart Topper seemed more effective since the air blows directly on you while the water cooling has insulation (foam, cover, etc.) between you and the cold water.
The water-based systems, without air-flow, may leave the sleeper feeling sweaty or clammy. Realize that such water-based and can leak or produce condensation causing mold. Unlike such water-based systems, the air-based Smart Topper exhausts excess moisture from the sleep environment..
More expensive, water-based systems have a bulky floor-mounted external pump unit requiring regular water replacement and sanitation, whereas the Smart Topper is self-contained and effectively maintenance-free. Setup is considerably easier with the Smart Topper.
A wall outlet adapter is included with the Topper (similar to a laptop power supply). Dual-zone (king and queen sizes) Smart Toppers include a splitter accessory to use two power adapters with one outlet. If necessary, extension cords can be used instead of a splitter.
The Smart Topper’s box, app, and online videos provide setup instructions. You can also call the company’s helpline if you have any questions.
After unpacking and placing the Smart Topper on a bed, the device’s side power switches can be activated. You can finish making the bed with a fitted sheet over the Smart Topper and mattress.
Since the Smart Topper adds two inches to the thickness of your mattress, coverings may need to be deeper than usual. The Smart Topper works optimally with breathable, low-thread-count bedsheets; note that it isn’t designed to work with mattress protectors.
The Smart Topper connects to the iOS or Android Perfectly Snug Controller app via Wi-Fi. The Topper’s quick-start instructions include a personal QR code, which the app will prompt you to scan. After scanning the code to link your Topper with the app, follow the on-screen instructions to connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi network. After identifying and naming both sides of a dual-zone bed, you should be all set up; connecting the Topper to the Perfectly Snug Controller app and testing it out should take no longer than 10 minutes.
How to Control the Smart Topper
The Smart Topper has increments of 20 temperature setting levels. The device’s small side speakers emit voice feedback to report the setting during adjustment and starting and stopping sounds when the Topper turns on and off. Note that the Topper’s built-in side buttons provide fewer controls than the app.
The built-in buttons let you change the temperature, and activate a “Burst Mode” for a five-minute burst of cold air or warmth. Perfectly Snug claims this Burst Mode can give relief for menopause-related hot flashes. Although they only control basic functionality, users will likely mostly use the built-in button controls instead of the app (except for changes to scheduling, etc.).
The Perfectly Snug Controller app allows you to switch the Topper on and off; change the temperature; establish a weekday or weekend on/off schedule; define heating and cooling preferences for the Start, Sleep, and Wake phases; and activate the foot warmer. App-based limiters can enable automatic management of fan speeds for users who are sensitive to noise. The software also controls Burst Mode timing and speaker volume.
Each individual sharing a bed can use the Perfectly Snug Controller app to independently manage their side’s temperature settings. In fact, up to 10 smartphones can be connected to each side of a dual-zone Topper.
The app’s user interface could stand some improvement; it can be a bit confusing to first-time users. That said, it functions well. During our tests, the app never lost its server connection or timed out. The app’s temperature controls respond immediately to your settings. “Everything about the product is designed to help you sleep better,” says Perfectly Snug co-founder Elliott. “You set-it and forget-it so you don’t have to use the app constantly.”
If you have a dual-zone Topper, the app’s primary page lets you set temperatures for either side of the bed. The app’s scheduler lets you change the length of the Start and Wake phases (the default time is 30 minutes); your sleep time fills the rest of the schedule.
The app slider’s hottest position is 10, and the coldest position is -10; zero is a neutral temperature.
Turning Up the Heat or Cold
For normal use, you might set your Smart Topper to be on weeknights from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and on weekends from, say, 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. Depending on how you feel before bed, you might adjust the Start phase’s temperature slider. When your room temperature rises, the Smart Topper’s fans automatically increase cooling, keeping you relaxed and cozy all night.
The Perfectly Snug Smart Topper is also capable of keeping you warm and dry. The heating mode takes 15 minutes to warm up and around 30 minutes to fully preheat the bed, unlike the cooling mode, which you can feel right away beneath your torso.
Perfectly Snug claims to “eliminate or reduce nighttime sweats.” After testing, we found this claim to be true. If you do wake up hot, the Topper’s Burst Mode can quickly cool you to comfort.
The Smart Topper’s cooling fans work effectively. The white noise sound of the fan can actually help you to sleep. Most of the time the topper’s fans make very little noise and can barely be heard. When set to full cooling it is the same loudness as a floor fan.
An Excellent Nightly Sleep Solution
To conclude, the Perfectly Snug Smart Topper will help you sleep better. This is especially true if you are a hot sleeper or disagree with your partner about what temperature is comfortable. This high-tech mattress pad’s active airflow will definitely keep you comfy and dry all night.
The Topper is both comfy and easy to set up, and it can be managed through your smartphone. It works ideally in an airconditioned room but on a hot summer night it will still provide relief from an overheated bed. The Perfectly Snug Smart Topper is a bed-cooling product that really works.