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WinkBed with coolControl review: A comfortable bed with a frustrating app

When the app did work, it could tackle most of the remote control's functions. Setting a flow of cool or warm air over either side of the bed wasn't a problem. Controlling both sides in unison was simple to do as well. Surprisingly, I could not power up the WinkBed through the app. The CoolControl base had to be already running for the app to access or control it.      

Air flow tubes channel air from the coolConnect base, and up into the mattress above.

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Comfy but not quiet

I can't deny that the WinkBed is comfortable, but I wouldn't say that I slept incredibly well in it. So much of bed preferences boils down to individual tastes. I enjoyed the firm feel of WinkBed, and it definitely felt better for my back than my current all-foam mattress. It's comparably softer, so my extremities and hips sank further below its surface.

The particular WinkBed version I used for my trial was the "luxury firm" mattress. According to the WinkBed website, this model supposedly "exceeds the performance" of the mattresses you'll find in luxury hotels. It's a pillow-top hybrid mattress made from both foam and coil springs. 

All of WinkBed mattresses, like this queen-size Luxury Firm, have pillow tops.

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That said, I'm not a fan of pillow-top mattresses. It's more of a pet peeve than a true grievance. I find their squishy, dimpled contours off-putting. And yes, I can feel that surface through the sheets. Regardless, it's a minor issue. Overall I slept well on the WinkBed, and was only aware of its pillow top before I drifted off.

It's not my cup of tea, but you can command the WinkBed's heating system with the remote.

Chris Monroe/CNET

As a hot sleeper who also loves a thick comforter, I appreciated the WinkBed's cool flow of air, but there were times when the drone from the fans was too much to endure. The same goes for the soft buzz and vibration from the platform below.

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The WinkBed's fans actually inflate the sheets when they run.

Chris Monroe/CNET

No smart bed buy

Mattresses and bed components are expensive, especially ones with connected features. And with a sticker price of $3,499 (as reviewed), the WinkBed is far from cheap. Sure, its mattress is comfortable, but it's also bulky and tall. That's also a ton of money for a bed that only blows hot and cold air. The price climbs higher if you decide to buy one of the company's bed frames. It sells two, both compatible with the CoolControl heating and cooling system. There's a $2,200 flat base (queen) and a motorized, adjustable base (queen) for $3,700. Controlling the system through its mobile app barely works as well.

Those looking for loads of connected home features or sleep tracking won't find it in the WinkBed either. If that's what you're after, I suggest the $1,798 Eight Sleep Mars+. For a lot less cash, this bed logs and analyzes your sleep. It also supports multiple smart home products thanks to IFTTT integration, plus works with Alexa and Google Nest. Well-heeled shoppers should also consider the $7,600 Sleep Number 360. The version we reviewed is astronomically expensive, but for $4,100 you can configure a comparable bed that's more capable than the WinkBed.   

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