This post is not sponsored by Tempdrop, but if you buy through my link you will receive a discount. I also receive a small amount of money for sending you over. This has not changed my review from being 100% genuine and my own opinions. Click here for my full disclosure.
Original Review Date: 14 May 2018 (3 month review)
Review Update: 7 July 2018 (Tempdrop Care)
Review Update: 27 November 2018 (Tempdrop Pricing, Algorithm, and Style Updates)
There’s a hot, relatively new product in the Fertility Awareness world! The first product was released during the summer of 2017, and it’s been getting more and more hype as time continues. So what is it? It’s a thermometer that’s worn overnight on your arm and it will measure your sleeping temperature for you, which is a big part of any sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness. It removes the need to wake at the same time every day for a waking temperature. So for all the sleep deprived mamas and other women who just love their sleep (me!), this device protects the sleep we do get.
I personally have been using this device for over 90 days as of my original review (since February 2018), and if you have any more questions, please leave a comment at the end of the article and I’ll get to you with an answer.
Like I said above, the Tempdrop is a wearable thermometer. If you want to read all the details on the device, you can head over to their website. I’ll give you a review and a discount link further down in the article. Basically, you wear the device overnight and it collects thousands of data points, then an algorithm chooses the temperature from your most restful sleep. As you continue to feed more data into the algorithm every night, the algorithm learns your sleeping patterns better and can give you a more accurate temperature each night.
I often see a concern about the Bluetooth frequency causing damage during sleep. However, the Tempdrop only connects via Bluetooth when you long-press the button in the morning to sync it using Bluetooth Low-Energy. It does not transmit throughout the entire night.
You’ll notice above that I mentioned that the Tempdrop measures “sleeping temperature,” but sympto-thermal methods typically reference your waking temperature or basal body temperature.
Basal Body Temperature
Your basal body temperature is your core temperature as you sleep. It will basically be your lowest temperature since your body is just resting and recuperating, but there’s currently no way to truly measure this temperature. The closest we can get is your waking temperature or sleeping temperature.
If you’re familiar with a sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness and have been taking your temperature every morning, this is the temperature that you’re familiar with taking every morning. This temperature, while not your basal body temperature, does follow the same trends as basal body temperature. Because it follows the same trends, it’s enough to determine when you have your lowest basal body temperature. The issue with waking up every morning to take your temperature is that a lot of aspects of life can affect your waking temperature – restless sleeping, differing room temperatures, co-sleeping, etc. Even with those disturbances, most women can still see the overall trends in their temperatures through either oral or vaginal temping.
The Tempdrop device measures your sleeping temperature. Similar to the waking temperature, a sleeping temperature has the same patterns as your basal body temperature. This means that while the temperatures may be slightly higher or lower than waking temperatures, it will still give you the shift that you need to confirm ovulation. The Tempdrop device has sensors that can cancel out times when you’re moving around, so it can truly capture your most restful temperature from throughout the night.
Temperature Measurement: 5/5
Highlights: noise canceling and no early mornings
The most controversial part of the Tempdrop device is the algorithm it uses to choose your most restful temperature. As an algorithm, it learns more with every piece of information it gathers, so some past temperatures may change if you have rough sleeping patterns. The device should not be relied upon for temperatures for at least 30 days, but it is safer to wait at least 60 days before relying on the temperature. This is because the Tempdrop algorithm won’t kick in until it’s been worn for 30 nights, and then confirm a second shift.
Every piece of information gathered from your device teaches the Tempdrop more about your sleeping habits, which allows it to correctly interpret each full night of temperatures. After 60 days, most women have noticed that they only have significant temperatures changes after nights of alcohol consumption, sickness, restless sleep, travel, camping, and other temperatures that would be considered questionable through any other temperature measurement. The Tempdrop can actually pull the correct temperature from that night rather than just giving an inaccurate measurement, but it may take a day or two.
Update 11/27/18: The original algorithm would change any temperatures that could become more accurate at any day that you synced (i.e. I could sync after use 89 and it could potentially continue working on that weird night of sleep from sync day 64). However, in September Tempdrop rolled out a change so that the algorithm (or lack of) will affect you differently depending on how long you have been using the Tempdrop. Basically, the break down is as follows:
- Syncs 1-30: No changes will be made – this has not changed from the original implementation.
- Syncs 31-60: Any temperatures are fair game to be updated, from sync 1 up until the current temperature.
- Syncs 61+: Only temperatures within the last 3 days will be updated. So on sync 67, only temperatures from the previous 3 days would be able to change.
Tempdrop did an amazing job with this proving that they listen to their customers – the update was to help negate the problem of vanishing shifts that some users were seeing.
Highlights: reliable temps even when you have a temp that would otherwise be questionable
Note that the algorithm gets 10 points since this is the main benefit and feature of using the Tempdrop.
The Tempdrop is worn on the arm, with the device on the inside near the armpit. It is worn on the fattier portion of the arm, above the bicep. I haven’t found that it is uncomfortable personally, but I know that some women have felt like the band is too tight or too narrow. The great thing is that there are alternatives. Some cheap and easy alternative ways to wear a Tempdrop include
- fit snugly underneath a wider armband.
- in a sleeping bra under your armpit.
- nylon cut off near the ankle wide enough to have a few inches on each side of the device.
- homemade bands.
Highlights: there are alternatives
Data Storage Between Syncs
The Tempdrop will store roughly 3 nights of data on the device, so you don’t need to sync it every night. In order to sync, you do need a Bluetooth connection from the device to your phone, and then an internet connection so that your Tempdrop app can send the collected data to the servers. For regular life, three days is plenty of time to sync your Tempdrop. However, for some situations like backpacking or women with extremely long cycles (PCOS or postpartum), more storage hours would really be great for less-frequent syncing.
Highlights: You can store data for multiple days without syncing, but a week would be an excellent option
I love the simplicity of the Tempdrop design. Because of the simplicity of the firmware device itself, only the software will need an update without having to buy a whole new device.
Highlights: Software updates are all taken care of behind the scenes
The Tempdrop’s hardware is relatively simple, but it has had some issues in the past. Early batches of the frame the device sits in broke easily, but the new ones haven’t shown issues yet.
Rumor has it that they’re working on a new band that doesn’t look as dirty as quickly as the white band, and will be more comfortable, as well.
The device itself is small enough that I don’t find it uncomfortable. When software and algorithm updates are released, the device itself will still work great since the hardware is kept simple.
Update 11/27/18: Tempdrop has announced a new look, with new frames and bands! All functionality of the device and basic structure will remain the same, but they have changed plastic manufacturers for the frame and the plastic will have better integrity, so broken frames should be largely an issue of the past. New product is available for pre-order now and will begin to ship on Jan 1, 2019. I’m awaiting reviews of the new product, but it looks like this section may be updated from 4/5 to 5/5 shortly.
Highlights: the company is aware of the problem and working on solutions to the problems that have been identified.
The Tempdrop app itself only has a single function of syncing your temps and showing you the past few weeks of temperatures – about 35 days, in fact (originally posted as 2 weeks but then was informed of a recent app update that extended from 14 to 35 days in app). If you ever need to see back further than that, you can log into their website to access your full history of temperatures.
One important thing that goes along with the Tempdrop is a way to chart your temperatures. As of writing this article, there was only a single charting app available to sync directly to the Tempdrop servers, which means the user doesn’t have to change any algorithm-altered temperatures. This app is OvuView, which does work well, but is only available to Android users right now. Luckily, iPhone users can use the app through either a cheap Android phone or a Kindle device. iPhone users who would like to chart on their iPhones still will just have to manually input temperatures. In all honesty, it’s not a big deal to do this and will take less than 2 minutes every day from syncing to updating your temps, even if you have to update 3-5 temps back.
The Tempdrop company has reached out to some charting apps and hopefully more apps will start to see the great feature Tempdrop integration would be for their users. As this is not anything that the Tempdrop group has promised, the other apps, while highly beneficial, aren’t considered in this review – but they’re good to be aware of as you purchase.
Highlights: the point lost is just that other apps haven’t picked it up, not anything about the Tempdrop app; they are continuously improving and as the device is used more widely, we will see more improvements
Customer Service & Support
My favorite part of the whole Tempdrop experience is definitely their customer service. On Facebook, there is a Tempdrop support group where users and admins are able to help with any technical support, and the CEO is also available and updates users quickly if there is an issue.
I had an issue where the Tempdrop app had a bug for my device, and they quickly responded when I sent logs to the app team, and they had solved it with an app patch very soon after.
Tempdrop also has an awesome returns and customer satisfaction policy: a one-year return policy and a two-year warranty. If you aren’t satisfied with your purchase, Tempdrop will take the device back.
Customer Service/Support: 5/5
Highlights: Tempdrop support will bend over backward for their customers!
The Tempdrop is a bit of an investment at $150, but it is definitely worth the money in my opinion. When you compare the Tempdrop to other devices similar to it, it’s among the lowest priced devices. While it isn’t a $10-40 thermometer that you can buy at many stores – or on Amazon – it also has much more functionality and is smarter than those thermometers. You really do get what you pay for.
Tempdrop Care Subscription
Update 7/2/18: Tempdrop has added a new subscription called Tempdrop Care. This subscription is a yearly fee that will allow you to replace your device in case of unfortunate circumstances like pets, children, and forgetfulness for less than the full price. For 60 days starting now, current Tempdrop users can subscribe to the Tempdrop Care. It’s being offered at $39/year for the qualifying Tempdrop users (pretty much, you had to purchase it before the announcement). With this, you can get one sensor replacement, you open a claim with a $19 processing fee and get a free sensor shipped to you. Other replacement sensors will cost you $49 each, and replacement bands will cost $9. There will be new tiers introduced for $189 and $249 that will include the Tempdrop Care, returns, extended warranties, and maybe even some extra accessories.
NOTE: If you order a replacement sensor, your old sensor will be deactivated, so this isn’t a way to get a few inexpensive Tempdrops.
Tempdrop Pricing Update and Discount Details
Update 11/27/18: A few months back, shortly after Tempdrop Care went live, they introduced a new tier pricing system that I alluded to. Benefits of the higher tiers include Tempdrop Care, replacements at lower cost, and potentially choosing between more band options with the new Tempdrop look!
Discount Details & HSA/FSA: The great thing is that you can still get a $10 discount using this link if you’re purchasing the $189 or $249 price options! You can also use an HSA or FSA attached to your insurance to pay for the device. You can either use the debit card attached to your account or you can buy it yourself and file for reimbursement – it’s a thermometer, if you’re trying to find out what to request reimbursement for.
Highlights: Tempdrop is competitively priced and well worth the money (you can use an HSA or FSA to purchase it), you are also able to purchase “Tempdrop Care”
The Tempdrop is worth the money it costs! A few parts of the Tempdrop can be improved, but the CEO and team are actively improving the device as they receive feedback. Since it’s still a relatively new device (9 months old as of writing this article), some small snags and improvements are expected and reasonable, especially since they are working so hard to make sure their customers love the product.
Update 6/14/18: I just published a review on a similar thermometer, the iFertracker Bluetooth Thermometer. The Tempdrop won by a long shot (iFertracker received a 32/50), but if you’re interested in looking at the differences between the two devices, you can head over and check it out.
TOTAL SCORE: 46/50
If I were to make my decision if I should buy a Tempdrop again, I would jump at the chance to make my life easier. The points that they don’t have now they are constantly working to gain and, after all, no product is ever perfect. If you have any more questions about the Tempdrop, please let me know. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.
Don’t forget to use this link for a discount on your new FAM toy!
Have you tried the Tempdrop? If so, let me know what your experience has been!