If so, you’re not alone.
Poor sleep and insomnia can be hazardous to your health! [R]Research from Harvard has shown that, for the average worker, insomnia results in the loss of 11.3 days of productivity each year, or the equivalent of $2,280. As a nation, that represents a total loss of $63.2 billion Click To Tweet
I’m constantly seeking out the latest sleep biohacking technologies, tools, and supplements. I used Sleep.Me’s OOLER mattress temperature control system for several years. It worked okay but had glitches. Then in 2023, I upgraded to the Eight Sleep Pod Pro.
Is this the future of perfect sleep?
In this Eight Sleep Pod Pro 3 review, I’ll share my experience, and everything you should know to help you decide if it’s right for you (or a waste of money).
What is the Eight Sleep Pod Pro Cover?
Eight Sleep is a newer health technology company focused on providing innovative solutions to help people sleep deeper, longer, and better. In 2014, Matteo Franceschetti, Massimo Andreasi Bassi, Andrea Ballarini, and Alexandra Zatarain co-founded the company. This New York City-based startup has a mission of leveraging technology, innovation, and data to enhance and optimize sleep. Their Scientific Advisory Board features some of the world’s top sleep scientists.
They offer two primary products: an all-in-one mattress, and a special temperature-controlled mattress cover.
Their Sleep Pod Pro Cover 3 is a high-tech system designed to complement your mattress with the most powerful heating and cooling technology available. This water-powered thermal mattress pad helps:
- Moderate body temperature as you sleep
- Gently wake you up with a vibration and temperature alarm
Not only do their products enhance comfort but they also provide valuable insights about sleep patterns and health. Sleep technologies that learn from our habits and adapt to support the best possible sleep. This focus on personalization and the use of advanced technology has helped Eight Sleep carve out a unique niche in the “holistic sleep fitness” tech market.
Many of the world’s top doctors, athletes, businesspeople, and health professionals endorse Eight Sleep, including:
- Dr. Andrew Huberman
- Tim Ferriss
- Louisa Nicola
- Red Gerard (Olympic Snowboarder)
- Elon Musk
- Mark Zuckerberg
- Paul Graham
And thousands of others.
Their products speak for themselves, helping them raise $150M from top-tier investors like Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund, SoftBank, General Catalyst, and Valor Equity Partners.
Here’s an overview of the specs.
|Full: 12 lbs
Queen: 14 lbs
King: 16 lbs
Cali King: 17 lbs
L x W x H
|Full: 75 x 53 x 11 in
Queen: 80 x 60 x 11 in
King: 80 x 76 x 11 in
Cali King: 84 x 72 x 11 in
|55 – 110 ° F
|Standard warranty: 2-Year Limited Warranty (Pro Plan), Extended warranty: 5-Year Warranty (Plus Plan)
|Active Grid 1-inch foam topper with embedded tubing efficiently transports hot and cold water
|Heart rate, respiratory rate, sleep stages, movement, and temperature
|Supports 2.4 & 5 Ghz
|Free plan: lacks most features and does not capture data
Pro plan: $15/month, includes automatic temperature adjustments, vibration & thermal alarm, sleep & health reports
Plus plan: $24/month, includes everything in the Pro plan plus an extended warranty
|iOS & Android support
How the Pod Pro Cover Works
The Pod Pro Cover bundle consists of a compact water temperature regulating device, a water-cooled mattress cover, tubing to connect the two, and an app to control the entire system.
Simply place the cover between your mattress and sheets, select a temperature, and relax. Both the Eight Sleep Mattress and Pod Pro Cover use the same patented cooling and heating technology.
Now, when I first came across this technology, I wondered…
How is Eight Sleep any better than my air conditioner/heater?
The discovery: Water regulates temperature far better than air.
It’s the same principle that explains why a 104-degree hot tub overheats you faster than a sunny 104-degree day.
By selectively cooling only your bed, you don’t need to cool ALL the air inside your home. Reducing your electricity bill.
Plus, it also avoids the health hazard of dust from fans and/or being shocked by electric blankets.
The effects speak for themselves.
Health Benefits of Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro
Improving your sleep duration and quality benefits every aspect of your health.
Better sleep improves:
- Athletic & cognitive performance
- Aches and pains
- Workout recovery
In this section, we’ll focus on what the research has shown regarding the effects of the Pod Pro on human health and performance.
Then in the next section, I’ll share my own data and personal experience.
Insomnia has become rampant in modern society.
I struggle to fall and stay asleep in a hot—or even moderately warm—room
We worry about having trouble sleeping, and that worry keeps us up.
An optimized sleep environment plays a huge role in getting the best sleep. To get the best sleep possible biohacking resources can be a game changer too.
Now let’s see what the research says about what the Eight Pod can do for better sleep.
According to their mid-2023 study, the Pod helps Eight Sleep users fall asleep 44% faster.
After one month of using the pod, members went from an average of 28 minutes to fall asleep to just 16 minutes.
At the same time, they averaged 23% fewer sleep disturbances throughout the night. Resulting in significantly longer and higher-quality sleep [R].
Participants from other studies report that their sleep is significantly calmer and more comfortable, thus being higher quality sleep [R].
Sleep Architecture (Deep, Light, & REM)
Eight Sleep does a great job of capturing highly accurate biometric data. Rivaling the top wearables.
Several studies have investigated how this platform impacts sleep architecture—the composition of our sleep cycles.
People generally focus on two phases of sleep:
- Deep sleep — natural detox, muscle and tissue growth, DNA repair
- REM sleep — dreaming, emotional regulation, idea generation, memory consolidation
Learning and memory also take place during another phase called light sleep.
Eight Sleep measured 300 Oura ring users for one month before and after sleeping on the Pod. On average, deep sleep duration increased by 10%.
Another study of 54 subjects over multiple nights compared sleeping with and without the Pod. Men saw a 22% boost in deep sleep during the first half of the night, and a 19% increase in light sleep in the second half. Women showed an average REM sleep bump of 25% [R].
Sleep scientists have long considered temperature among the chief determinants of sleep quality, so it is certain that optimizing your body temp while sleeping improves your sleep architecture.
Heart Rate Variability
Heart rate variability (HRV) is the gold-standard measure of nervous system balance. This metric reflects the time variation between heartbeats.
HRV is correlated with long-term performance and resilience against disease. The higher your score, the greater your recovery status.
These days, virtually every study of sleep quality also measures HRV.
The Eight Sleep’s mid-2023 study of 300 Oura ring users found that one month of Pod usage led to an average sleeping HRV increase of 6%. Although this bump may sound insignificant, few things reliably elevate HRV across the population.
A short-term follow-up study (awaiting peer review prior to acceptance into a medical journal) found that the Pod increased average HRV by 7%. Some lucky folks experienced a dramatic boost of up to 17% increased HRV [R].
Unlike laborious practices of breathwork to improve your HRV, the Pod is completely passive. There are also some incredible tools like the Apollo Neuroscience wearable I reviewed, and other HRV training practices that will also contribute to optimal HRV without too much effort.
Sleeping Resting Heart Rate
One biomarker that is telling to our overall health is our resting heart rate or RHR.
Sleeping RHR informs us about how hard we can train and recover. A good understanding of our RHR is a key factor in our health status.
Generally, the lower your RHR the better (up to about 40 beats per minute). The active way to decrease resting heart rate is to increase aerobic training frequency and duration and then fully optimize recovery. But if you don’t get in all the cardio you should with proper recovery, there are other passive options like the sleep pod to help get your RHR at a safe low level.
In the study of Oura ring users, those sleeping with the Pod experienced a highly significant 1-2 bpm decrease in their resting heart rate. The other study awaiting peer review found a similar 1.2% average resting heart rate decrease, with a max reduction of 13.2%. All done passively in the calm of the night.
The gravity of this metric is important to understand. A mere reduction of just one beat per minute correlates to a 1.6% lesser chance of dying from any cause [R].
So now you know how Eight Pod can lower RHR, let’s see what else can it do.
Special Features of the Eight Sleep Pod Pro Cover
Having tested other bed-temperature regulating systems, I quickly noticed how the design and features set the Pod apart from others.
I’ll now share the key differences.
Personalized Temperature Control: The Pod Pro’s most remarkable feature lies in its ability to adjust the temperature of your bed, offering a personalized sleep climate tailored to your preferences. The system allows me to choose any temperature between 55 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dual-Zone Temperature Control: If you share your bed with a partner, the dual-zone temperature control feature is a true blessing. You can each customize your side of the bed to your preferred temperature, creating a harmonious sleep environment for both of you.
I prefer about 65 degrees, while my partner prefers 80. For years, one of us wouldn’t sleep well. We no longer fight over the AC remote and both wake up refreshed. When I’m out of town, her settings automatically apply to both sides of the bed.
Autopilot Temperature Regulation: With previous systems, I had to manually change the settings when the weather fluctuated significantly. Based on your unique preferences, previous manual adjustments, user feedback, and room temp, Autopilot automatically adjusts your Pod.
This automatic adaptation provides comfort and uninterrupted sleep, regardless of outdoor weather conditions. No more fiddling with my phone in the middle of the night to adjust settings.
Sleep Tracking: Whether you don’t use a sleep-tracking wearable, the battery died, or you just want a second data opinion, the Pod Pro offers valuable insights into your sleep patterns. It helps you better understand your sleep quality and make informed decisions to improve it. Almost like having a sleep coach at your fingertips.
GentleRise Wake-Up Smart Alarm: Instead of setting a jarring audio alarm, Eight Sleep lets you choose between a gradual temperature or vibration alarm. With the temperature setting, it wakes you up at the best time within your 30-minute window selected. Either option results in a graceful and less stressful awakening, so you begin your day right.
Seamless Integration: The Pod Pro effortlessly integrates with your smart home system, allowing you to control it with ease through voice commands or a user-friendly app. It’s a technology that adapts to your lifestyle. I personally don’t have a smart home, but it sounds like a great feature.
Advanced Materials and Construction: Upon unboxing (details below) the build quality immediately stood out. Crafted with high-quality materials, the Pod Pro is built to last. Compared to previous systems, this one better distributes heat. Far better. Ultimately, that’s the entire purpose of this technology.
The Pod Cover features an integrated 1-inch foam topper, proprietary Active Grid technology, and their patented Comfort Blend. Plus an “Invisible Sensing Design” for added comfort. Sleeping optimally all night long is easier without bulky parts protruding into your body!
Click the button below to automatically unlock the best price.
Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover Review: My Experience
After extensive back and forth, Eight Sleep sent me the Pod Pro 3 to test and review.
As a previous ChiliSleep/OOLER user, I didn’t expect to notice much difference.
Well, from the initial unboxing down to reviewing my self-quantification data, I have a new perspective.
About three days after receiving a shipping confirmation email, a huge black box arrived on my doorstep. To my astonishment, it weighed about 50 pounds.
The entire unboxing experience had the same Apple-esque premium device feel to it. I quickly figured out which (of the few pieces) went where.
The system consists of several parts:
- Pod Cover (Active Grid) is the core component where all the magic happens. This “super bed sheet” transfers the water and contains built-in sensors.
- Pod Hub is the machine that regulates temperature. It sits near your bed and circulates water to and from the Grid.
- Power cable is self-explanatory. Simply plug your pod cover into your normal, everyday power outlet.
I downloaded the app, created an account, answered a few questions, and began installing. I had to contact support since I had already discarded the box and lost my membership number.
The actual installation was a cinch.
Basically, I just stripped my mattress, added the cover, added the sheets, connected the Pod hoses to the “Pod Hub” temperature-regulating machine, and plugged it into the outlet.
The entire system required “priming.” AKA, Eight Sleep’s fancy term for the process of gradually adding water into the Hub. The process took longer than expected. I added water three times. Each time took 45-90 minutes (completely passive) before the Pod asked for more.
Within the app, I set my preferred sleep and temperature schedules. Three (mostly passive) hours after opening the box, I was all set up and ready to sleep.
Immediately after ripping apart the box, I knew Eight Sleep built this system to last.
The brains of the tech called the Pod Hub, reminded me of a desktop computer (design and size-wise). It just barely fit under the table in the corner of my room.
The other thing that immediately stood out is the noise—or the lack thereof. The Pod is nearly silent. My neighbors speaking in the adjacent apartment make more noise. I often forget it’s running.
All the components feel superior to my previous devices. The hoses connecting the Hub to the Cover feel sturdy and indestructible.
The Pod Cover itself is comfortable and unique. They combined responsive foam layers with breathable fabric. The top layer of the Cover itself consists of a 1-inch foam topper equipped with Active Grid technology. Active Grid helps continuously absorb and remove heat from the bed, all while tracking sleep with built-in sensors.
I can’t feel the sensors at all.
If you have a separate mattress cover, it will not work with the Pod Cover. I also don’t see any reason to use one.
Overall, the team clearly put significant time and effort into perfecting the design. Not just the physical components, but the software too.
The Eight Sleep app both looks sleek and contains powerful features.
They’ve built versions for iOS and Android (but no web app yet). Plus, the Pod Hub system can connect to both 2.4 Ghz & 5 Ghz Wifi networks.
I’ve found that navigating through it takes some getting used to. As soon as you open it, you’re greeted with three primary tabs:
- Home dashboard
- Sleep data & trends
- Sleep tools & resources
On the homepage, there’s a toggle to access (and control) the sleep temp, schedule, and on/off switch. You can view most settings by clicking your profile initials in the top-left corner.
The Sleep Fitness & Data tab nicely lays out all the relevant scores and visualizations.
My favorite part of the Eight Sleep iOS app is the intelligent AI that sends push notifications whenever it needs my intervention.
Needs new water? Check. Major weather changes? Check. Schedule changes? Check.
When I travel, it automatically recognizes that I’m not in my half of the bed and applies my partner’s preferences to the entire thing.
The Pod is a truly smart system. The data and health reports reflect that.
Health Reports & Data
I’ve used my Oura ring daily since about 2017. Before that, I had other systems. Collectively, I’ve logged thousands of nights of quantified sleep.
Most wearables are either big and bulky, insanely expensive, or quite inaccurate. Often, all of the above.
Imagine if your mattress could accurately log your most important biomarkers, automatically. No forgetting to charge the device. No downloading additional apps. No hassle.
Eight Sleep claims to measure heart rate with 99% accuracy, and heart rate variability with ~93% accuracy. Rivaling clinical gold-standard systems.
Since I got my Pod Pro, I’ve compared both the scores it reports, my Oura scores, and my subjective experience. All three report similar benefits when I use my Pod:
- Increased deep sleep
- More REM sleep
- Faster sleep onset
- Fewer sleep disturbances throughout the night
- Lower resting heart rate
- Higher HRV
- Longer total sleep duration
Subjectively, I sleep deeper and longer (I’m a very light sleeper and previously struggled to get more than six hours).
I’ve actually found the Pod’s data to match my subjective experience better than the Oura ring.
Eight Sleep provides a composite overall Sleep Fitness Score at the time. This is the primary score to compare between nights.
Then they divide the scoring into three main sub-sections:
- Time Slept
“Quality” stores the sleep stage info and health metrics.
The “Routine” includes average sleep and wake time along with time to fall asleep and time to get up.
As the name implies, “Time Slept” logs hours spent asleep.
Pod Pro Review: Price & Warranty
As with most state-of-the-art technologies, Eight Sleep products are pricey.
Depending on your bed size, the Eight Sleep Pod Cover costs between $2,145 for a double and $2,445 for a King.
If that’s out of your budget, you can finance the purchase through Affirm.
To unlock the full power of the Pod, you’ll also need the Eight Sleep membership subscription. Both the Pro and Plus plans give you full access to all the features for two users:
- Automatic temperature adjustments
- Scheduled temperature routines
- Haptic and thermal alarm
- Sleep and health report insights
- Discounts on upgrades and accessories
The difference between the two plans comes down to warranty and price. The Pro plan comes with a 2-year warranty, and Plus gets you a 5-year extended warranty. Pro costs $15 per month, and Plus is $24.
You can still use the Pod Pro without a membership, the system just lacks a number of the key features that make it best-in-class.
The total cost certainly adds up fast, which is why I recommend people start optimizing sleep with the lower-cost tips & tricks first. Or try these powerful nootropic sleep aid supplements. For many users, myself included, the Pod is a complete game-changer.
I now sleep better, without requiring any supplements, and wake up with enough energy that I’m able to skip my coffee. So if I quit the two, perhaps over the long-term, the cost savings would make the Pod cheaper. But I won’t.
Eight Sleep Pod Review: The Drawbacks & Cons
After using the Pod for a number of nights, and comparing it to other systems, I’ve uncovered some of the quirks.
So far, my concerns and dislikes of the Pod Pro include the following.
Price: The Pod Pro Cover is certainly positioned for the luxury market. I don’t love the hardware and subscription costs. There are tons of cheap sleep hacks that collectively make a bigger difference than temperature regulation.
Membership required: The Pod doesn’t technically require a paid membership to work. You get the very basic features. But almost all of the essentials that make the Pod stand out require a minimum of an extra $15 per month as a subscription fee.
Complexity: Although they did a great job pairing abstracting the inner workings of the system, the high-tech nature of the Pod will overwhelm some prospective users. The installation consists of multiple steps. Including downloading the app and creating an account. Then linking it via WiFi/BlueTooth, Plus, all the features take some time to understand.
Maintenance & Durability: Since Eight Sleep uses water cooling, and pathogens thrive in warm water, they suggest frequent water changing/cleaning. With so many intricate parts, some folks worry that the unit may break down shortly after the warranty period. I haven’t had my unit for 2+ years yet, but so far it is holding up well.
Connectivity Issues: As with any smart device, there’s a potential for bugs and connectivity issues. So far, I’ve had a fairly seamless experience. I’ve come across several small bugs that software updates later resolved. I’d also like to see integrations with automation services and other smart home systems.
Eight Sleep has put significant effort into addressing these drawbacks.
They offer financing options to ease the cost burden, provide extensive support to help with setup and maintenance, and continually work to enhance the user experience and compatibility of their products.
Eight Sleep Pod Pro Alternatives
Of all the best-cooling mattress covers, the Pod has two main competitors.
Here’s how they stack up.
Eight Sleep vs BedJet
BedJet is another popular cooling sleep technology, with one key difference that makes it less effective. BedJet regulates temperature using air rather than water. Instead of circulating water through the mattress cover, it blows cool air. Since air is less conductive, it takes longer to change your temperature and has less effect.
Multiple ancient medical systems also warned against sleeping with air blowing directly onto the skin. I think of BedJet more as a targeted air conditioner. Due to the motor and system placement, it also emits more non-native EMF (which interferes with sleep quality).
BedJet, on the other hand, is far cheaper than Eight Sleep products. Making it a budget-friendly sleep fitness tech.
Eight Sleep vs SleepMe’s OOLER
Sleep.Me’s OOLER system was the first cooling mattress cover I owned. It worked well, and at the time, I didn’t have much to compare it to. My OOLER did not require a membership. And the original price was about 40% less than the Pod.
The OOLER system had all kinds of bugs. It would randomly turn on and off. Support couldn’t do anything about it nor did they offer to help me (it began about four months after I set up the system). Compared to the Pod, Sleep.Me systems make tons of noise. About the volume of a shower or air filter on max speed. Plus, the cooling didn’t work well.
Personally, I wouldn’t repurchase the OOLER.
Pod 3 Cover Review Final Verdict: Is It Worth It?
Think of those restless nights, tossing and turning.
Too hot. Too cold.
Imagine ending your day, retreating into a world crafted for your comfort. A place that understands your preferences better than you do. An environment that adapts to your needs in real time.
Each side of your bed is set to individual preferences, ensuring both you and/or your partner sleep perfectly. No more searching for that elusive ‘cool side’ of the pillow.
Your bed isn’t just a bed anymore; it’s your personal sanctuary. Where your comfort isn’t just a luxury, it’s a certainty.
I’ve used several smart mattress cooling technologies. Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro wins by a landslide. Without it, I sleep very hot, and the heat disrupts my sleep. Using the Pod, I saw my sleep and recovery biomarkers improve from my very first night.
Highly accurate sleep & health reports give you actionable insights into living better. GentleAwake technology makes jolting awake to morning alarms a thing of the past.
But is it right for you?
Who the Pod is for:
- Insomniacs and those struggling with sleep
- High-performers that demand the best
- Anyone that sleeps very hot or cold
- Couples that like different temperatures
Who it’s not for:
- Perfect sleepers
- People earlier in their journey may benefit more from improving low-hanging (cheap) health optimization pillars
- Folks adhering to a strict budget
I’m currently traveling, and haven’t had my Pod in weeks. My sleep quality just isn’t the same.
And it’s not just sleep…
When I wake up energized, mentally sharp, and fully refreshed, I see the Pod as an investment in productive days and higher quality of life.
You can experience this too. Click the button below to automatically unlock the best price.
Have you used any of the Eight Sleep technologies? Let me know your experience, questions, or thoughts in the comments below!
Eight Sleep Pod Pro 3 Cover
Will the Eight Sleep Pod Pro 3 Cover create your perfect sleep environment? Helping you recovery deeper and faster? We've taken the time to thoroughly test and review it, so that you'll know if this expensive system is worth buying.
- Comfortable material
- Sleep fitness tracker
- Temperature adjustments for 2 persons in one bed
- High quality material & construction
- Smart home integration
- Easy to use app
- Fast customer support
- Full features require membership
- Complex setup
- Requires maintenance
- No web app
- Connectivity issues