14 Oct., 2020

I got myself a Moona. It’s a pillow radiator: it keeps your pillow cool, and unlike silicon pads, which are just kinda sorta cooler than the ambient temperature, or gel packs that you put in the freezer, which stay cool for 20 to 40 minutes, this is an electric appliance that actually keeps your pillow at a set temperature all night. It is controlled by a phone app, so I can have the temperature vary during the night, if I want.

This is what the face of the moona looks like. In person, that display is much brighter and clearer.

For example, if it is fairly warm outside when I go to bed, but it is going to get colder, I may want to start out with the pillow at 76°F, go up to 80°F as it gets colder out, and the ambient temperature gets a little colder (at this time of year, when I would not have the heat on), and then rise to 86°F about 30 minutes before I expect to get up. If those temperatures sound warm, bear in mind that they are much cooler than the 98.6°F that my face is. For that matter, though, if I should have a headache at bedtime, and want the pillow colder, it goes as low as 64°F. I tried that temp out just to see, and it is really chilly.

Here it is in place on the windowsill by the loft. The blue speaker is connected to the white noise machine. The buttons on top allow for programming time and temp without the app. You see three plugs on the back: the water hose, power cord, and mini-USB for the electronics.

If the internet happens to be out, though, it does have a dumb setting, where it will cool the pillow pad to a single temperature (I’m not sure what it is) all night. I have not figured this mode out, though.

It works pretty much like a car radiator. It runs water through a unit that sits on the floor, a table, or a shelf by the bed, where it is cooled, and then through water jackets in a pad that sits on the pillow. The pillow feels textured because of the water jackets in the pad, but I got used to the feel quickly.

Here’s the hose coming out the side of my pillow case. It’s a coincidence they are the same color. FWIW, there are no color choices with moona, It’s gray, or nothing.

Having a cool pillow all night has been on my list of fantasies for years.

This is the pillow case unzipped, so you see the pad with the water jackets in place. They’re deflated right now, because it’s shut off. It was easy to get used to the feel of the texture, but if it hadn’t been, it is possible to place memory foam, or batting, on top of the pad.

It was expensive, though. I have no regrets, and am sleeping better with it, but if you sleep fine without a cool pillow it’s money you don’t need to spend. However, if you have sleep problems like I do, here’s the rundown:

Positives:

REALLY WORKS! (Honestly, I was skeptical.)

Works fast. Pillow is cool in less than a minute.

Works pretty much as advertised. Your pillow always feels like you just turned it over to the cool side.

Does not make noise. (Actually, has a “white noise” setting, but I have not used it.)

Uses distilled water you can buy for about $.90 a gallon at any grocery or megamart. (Don’t use the kind with “minerals added for taste”; the idea is to keep minerals OUT of the Moona—and DO NOT use tap water.)

Solidly built. Looks like it could take a fall and survive, albeit, I have not tested this. But its contours are smooth, and the pieces fit together seamlessly. Nothing wiggles or wobbles. It really looks good. And it’s hefty. I had a friend who repaired small appliances who said that the “weight test” was a fair gauge of how well-made an appliance was.

Vents only out the top, so the chance of it heating something else up are pretty much zero, unless you have a brain cramp, and lay something down on top of it.

Unit stays cool to the touch even when working.

The app it uses is free, and quick to upload.

Turns off when you have set it to turn off.

Stays plugged it; in other words, all connections are tight. It’s not one of those appliances that frequently quits working, and when you trouble-shoot, discover for the third or fourth time, that is has come unplugged.

Appears to be well-grounded. This is an important feature for an appliance that uses water.

The water hose is long. You can set the unit on the floor by your bed, or in my case, the windowsill by your loft, and there’s still plenty of spare hose. If you had to set it a few feet away from the bed, for some reason, you’d have plenty of hose—I haven’t measured it, but it looks like it’s over a meter.

Negatives:

It’s manufactured by a small start-up, which manufactures (or, assembles, probably) on demand, then ships when several units are ready, so it takes a while to arrive. Mine took about 3 & ½ weeks.

Runs off a phone app that requires Bluetooth. You must have a Smart phone to use it, and must Bluetooth enable it. If you cannot do one of these things, this is not for you. It is supposed to have a “dumb” mode where you can run it without using the app, and just can’t vary the temperature, or set a time for it to shut off, but I have not figured this out.

Goes off-line a lot. I frequently have to restart the Bluetooth. When that doesn’t work, I have to restart my whole phone, and turn the unit off and on. Eventually something works, but instead of just easily coming on at bedtime, I spend several minutes fussing with it.

When not in use, the pad makes the pillow warmer, so pretty much any time I lie down, I need to engage the Moona. I probably would anyway, though, so don’t take this one too seriously.

Uses a lot of water. Mine does not leak. I checked it, and as I said, it seems pretty solidly built, but it does require a lot of water, so if it did spring a leak, you could have a mess. People with water beds know what I’m talking about. You don’t give up on them; you repair the leak and persevere, but it’s just one more thing.

With shipping, it is a little over $400. I sold something from my coin collection to be able to afford, so it was sort of “free” money.

Conclusion:

Worth it. For me, anyway.

If you do not have a spare $400, it’s an indulgence you don’t need. Buy food, insulin, shoes, or schoolbooks before you buy this. However, if you are an inveterate insomniac like me, have exhausted all other approaches, AND have $400 you’d just spend on lattes and bagels, lottery tickets, real Birkenstocks instead of knock-offs, or paying someone else to bathe your dog, absolutely buy a Moona. You are not going to win the lottery; knockoffs are fine; bathe your own dog. I’ll give you my bagel recipe, and you can make your own. It’s a very good recipe—they taste like they came straight from Brooklyn; I swear– and I even have a gluten-free version.

My sleep has improved. It’s just more pebbles to dam the river, but every little bit helps. I would get a block of sleep slightly longer than an hour before the Moona, even with the weighted blanket. The weighted blanket led to more of the blocks of sleep, but not longer ones. The Moona has lengthened the blocks. I’m now sleeping 90 minutes – 2 hours at a time, and occasionally 3. I feel better in the mornings as well, no matter how much sleep I have had.

So, the Moona is recommended, with the caveat that, it needs to fit your budget. I am not suggesting anyone go without necessities to afford one. It helps, but if you increase your worries about money to get one, that would be counter-productive.

Published by Chava Freya

Insomnia is a brain-based disorder I’ve had since I was at least 16 years old. Anti-anxiety medicine doesn’t help, except when there’s external anxiety exacerbating the problem. Sleep hygiene is irrelevant, because it’s not the problem, although I have submitted to it five different times, including having sleep specialists actually come to my home and advise me on rearranging furniture, buying special pillows, forbidding TVs in the bedroom, telling me the bed was for nothing but sleep, sex and reading, and when that didn’t work, then nothing but sleep. Period. That was the biggest failure of all.

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