By Oktay Ozadam
The bFan is the product of a successful Kickstarter campaign where more than $389,000 was raised to support it- far surpassing its original goal of $50,000.
The developer of the bFan, Tompkins, promises a wealth of benefits to every bFan user from a more restful night's sleep to the opportunity to save money.
I've decided to take a closer look at Tompkins' bFan to see if it's a worthy contender in the sleep tech market. Let's find out!
- Sturdy Design, More Complete Customer Experience
- Improving, Expanding, and Meeting Customer Expectation
- Where Can You Find The bFan?
- Alternatives Offering Sleep Temperature Regulation
- The Final Verdict on Tompkins' bFan
Sturdy Design, More Complete Customer Experience
The bFan cooling system acts as a relief for those suffering from night sweats. Extending from 19” to 37” tall, Tompkins' bFan features a sturdy base that can be set in any direction of the customer's preference, either under the bed or pointing outward.
This particular design choice offers a lot of value in customization options for its user. No matter the bed height, bed frame size, or width of foot or headboard, bFan will fit snugly.
Tompkins' bFan also features a modified Duel Wheel Squirrel Cage Blower comparable to that of which you would find in the "air-conditioning system of a luxury car", Tompkins claims. This component means that the bFan operates at a very high rate of air flow while still remaining comfortably quiet.
Similarly to other bed fan products, bFan also features a remote that can be used to control airflow from the comfort of their bed!
Tompkins promises premium functionality with these design choices, arguing that the Duel Wheel Squirrel Cage Blower component alone retails at a price of well over $150- the retail price of the bFan itself.
If customer reviews of the product are any deciding factor, it appears that these claims are true. In many of the bFan customer reviews, I was able to find, it is reported that the bFan is both extraordinarily quiet in comparison to other products and sturdy in design.
Improving, Expanding, and Meeting Customer Expectation
Tompkins' bFan started out as an altogether different product back in 2002. The original bFan, known as the Bedfan, was a best-selling item at Brookstone- a company we've discussed before in our Brookstone BedFan review.
After Tompkins' refusal to move production of their original Bedfan from Texas to China, Brookstone halted sales completely.
Shortly after that, Brookstone created and patented their own product (the Brookstone BedFan) which closely resembled Tompkins' original Bedfan.
A lawsuit ensued and while the outcome of this lawsuit is unknown, Tompkins' has seemingly bounced back with a new and improved item- the Tompkins bFan.
The bFan works by directing airflow. Moving hot air produced by our bodies at night and replacing it with the cool air it produces, bFan aims to stabilize body temperature and promote a better night's sleep.
In investigating bFan's effectiveness, I found overwhelmingly positive reviews. I believe this is mainly due in part to Tompkins' willingness to improve upon past experience.
It's pretty clear to me that Tompkins listened intently to customer complaints about their original product (and Brookstone's BedFan in turn) and made very necessary changes.
To start, the original BedFan was reported to be rather flimsy in design. Unfortunately, it was common for the older model to fall over and break. This problem has been addressed in the new and improved bFan with a larger base that Tompkins states to be 4 times sturdier than its predecessor.
With such improvements, the bFan stands as a worthy competitor in the sleep temperature regulation market.
I was especially impressed by some of the promises made by the bFan. According to the official bFan Kickstarter page, the inclusion of a bFan in every home in Dallas, Texas would conserve enough energy to power 75,000 homes each year- from air-conditioning costs alone. If there's truth to this claim, the return value on owning such a device is substantial.
Where Can You Find The bFan?
If you are a sufferer of long sleepless nights caused by night sweats, Tompkins' bFan is undoubtedly a viable option.
At a current retail price of $159.95, the bFan can be purchased directly from its official website. Tompkins also offers the option to buy the bFan in 4 installment payments of $39.99.
Tompkins is also sure to make any possible customer aware that bFan is not sold on Amazon so be wary of any listings there. I can only suspect that due to potential troubles with major retailers in the past, Tompkins has opted to handle all sales themselves. This does mean, of course, that the bFan isn't as widely available for purchase as similar products.
Alternatives Offering Sleep Temperature Regulation
If you're in the market for a sleep temperature regulation product to help you sleep more comfortably, there are a variety of options. The bFan has competitors both closely resembling it as well as those that function in dramatically different ways. To have a better picture of which bed cooling product is the most effective and cost efficient, I recommend to check out our comparison of most popular bed cooling systems in the market.
Here are some of your options:
Brookstone Bed Fan
The Brookstone Bed Fan is the product that apparently drew inspiration from Tompkins' original BedFan product.
We have reviewed this product before, and I am of the opinion that, while a functioning solution to night sweats, Brookstone's Bed Fan could be improved upon. Reportedly loud and flimsy in design, it is also not currently available through any major retailer and can be purchased only through third-party sellers at this time.
BedJet - Air-based Bed Cooling Technology
BedJet differentiates itself from the competition in both design and execution.
While products like bFan and Brookstone's Bed Fan seek to solve the problem of night sweats, BedJet acknowledges an important part of the equation.
What about those experiencing trouble sleeping because they're just always cold?
BedJet uses Dual Temperature Zones to set each side of the bed to a suitable temperature.
Unlike bFan and Brookstone's Bed Fan, a sleeper prone to being too chilly will find relief in BedJet's heating feature. This completely alleviates any chance for conflict between sleeping partners.
While there are no notable complaints of discomfort resulting from the airflow in the case of bFan or Brookstone's Bed Fan customers, it's nice to know there are products that eliminate this possibility completely!
chiliPAD Sleep System - Water-based Bed Cooler
BedJet isn't the only sleep temperature regulation device to feature heating or cooling. ChiliPad is a contender.
ChiliPad is another bed cooling&heating product that seeks to serve a wider audience- while simultaneously offering a slew of health benefits. With sizes to fit any bed, ChiliPad is a mattress pad that packs some interesting cooling technology under the hood.
ChiliPad differentiates from any of the other products we'll discuss here in that it regulates temperature through a series of microtubes. These microtubes circulate water through the mattress pad and provide ChiliPad user(s) a comforting warming or cooling sensation particular to their unique needs.
The Final Verdict on Tompkins' bFan
I'll be honest. Overall, I was unable to find much wrong with Tompkins' newest product. Improving upon their first model, Tompkins has developed a fan that seems to back up what it boasts.
With a design that is sturdy without being especially bulky, it fits snugly into your mattress, delivering a pleasing breeze.
You can also regulate the airflow by setting and position. If cooling is necessary for only one side of the bed, simply position bFan on that side, leaving your sleeping partner undisturbed.
Whether or not Tompkins' bFan is the best option for you depends on your own personal needs and preferences, but I wouldn't count out a purchase.
Let's break it down:
- Highly customizable with adjustable height and airflow settings
- Improves upon the failures of preceding products
- Features innovative technology that adds to its overall value
- Can help you save money in the long run
- Comes with a complete 30-day satisfaction guarantee
- Available only through the official website
- Lacks any form of heating features such as BedJet and ChiliPad