Chill factor: Comfortable sleep comes at a price

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If you are the kind of sleeper who prefers to go to bed without the air-conditioner on all night or are looking for a cheaper alternative, a temperature-controlled mattress may be a tempting proposition.

Home-grown company uCoolz sells mattress pads that allow users to control the temperature of their beds.

It works by using an electric pump to either chill water or heat it up. The water is then pumped through the mattress pad.

I typically sleep without the air-conditioner on. When it gets too hot and my sleep is interrupted, I will turn on the air-conditioner for a few minutes before going back to bed.

Troublesome? A little, but I am used to it.

The mattress pad, which I tried for two nights, saved me from interrupted sleep.

I placed the cooling pad under my bedsheet and within minutes of turning on the pump, the pad cooled my bed to a comfortable 25 deg C.

Lying on it, I felt like Xiaolongnu, the female protagonist of the classic Louis Cha swordfighting novel, The Return Of The Condor Heroes, who sleeps on an ice-cold bed in the TV adaptations.

It was cool bliss. I slept soundly throughout the night on both nights and did not need to use the air- conditioner or fan.

This mattress pad, however, is not cheap.

A single-size mattress pad costs $788 while a king-size one costs $1,388, about the price of a plane ticket to London.

I would rather see Buckingham Palace in person than in my dreams.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 27, 2016, with the headline Chill factor: Comfortable sleep comes at a price. Subscribe