Eight Sleep Pod 3 Review: I Tried It For Weeks And Am A Surprised Fan (2024)

When it comes to good sleep, managing temperature is right up there with controlling for light and sound. In other words, it can make or break your night. Enter: The Pod 3 Cover by Eight Sleep. It’s essentially a mattress cover that cools or heats your bed for better sleep. The accompanying app gives you full control over this temperature-regulating sleep system, along with comprehensive sleep tracking and data and a few other notable features.

The Pod 3 certainly is an investment piece—it’s got a premium price tag and an additional required app fee—but after sleeping on the Pod 3 Cover for the last few weeks, I can understand the product’s appeal among its many vocal celebrity fans. Sliding into a slightly warmed bed on chilly spring nights has been a downright luxury. Ahead, find my experience testing the Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover.

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Our score: 8.5/10 | Sizes: Full, queen, king, Cal king | Machine washable: No | Trial period: 30 days | Warranty: 5 years

Best for:

  • People who routinely overheat at night
  • Couples with different sleep temperature preferences
  • Fans of health-tracking technology and gathering sleep data

Skip if:

  • You’re on a budget
  • You aren’t interested in sleep data
  • Temperature regulation isn’t an issue

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The Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover Features

A Stretchy Cover With A Hidden Network Of Tubing

The Pod 3 Cover is a thicker, heavier, slightly lumpier version of a regular mattress cover. There are two options available for purchase: One sized to fit mattresses that are 10 to 11 inches deep, and one with something called PerfectFit, which, according to the brand, fits all beds and offers increased comfort. The mattress my husband and I sleep on is an excessive 17 inches tall, so we tested the PerfectFit size option. The product comes with three individual pieces, comprising the cover, the Hub (with a refillable water tank nested inside) and a power cord. The cover itself was tidily rolled into a sort of ball, and the directions for placement and unrolling were straightforward and easy to execute.

After removing the product from its packaging, we found that wrestling the cover into place was a headache, and I began to doubt Eight Sleep’s “perfect fit” promise. But after some mild cursing and a few final yanks, it did indeed fit. (In retrospect, I blame this more on our heavy, cumbersome mattress and its tight fit into our wooden bed frame than on the Pod 3 Cover.) My husband immediately pointed out the outline of the internal tubing network, which is what moves water to regulate the cover’s temperature, and we both wondered how that was going to feel come bedtime. Spoiler: It was somewhat noticeable the first night or two, but it hasn’t been an issue since then. We also detected a mild inflatable-pool-toy aroma the first few nights, but that dissipated quickly as well.

A Command Center That Doubles As The Heating/Cooling Reservoir

Step two was connecting a thick, long, fabric-encased set of tubes located at the top of the bed to the Hub, which is similar to a computer tower both in function (it has a quad-core CPU) and in size. It collects and processes sleep data from the cover’s sensors, and it also holds, heats and/or cools the water that is circulated through the cover. The Hub is sleek, with a minimalist Apple-like aesthetic, so it’s not something I was worried about hiding. Note that the processor does have a low hum (it reminds me of a fish tank), and my husband, with his bat-like hearing, noticed when it came on at night to adjust the mattress temperature.

We had to snake the tubes that connect to the Hub beneath our headboard and between the wall and bed frame, and situated the actual device on the floor on my side of the bed. Then we followed the app’s directions to prime the Hub and set up the cover, which essentially involved filling it with water a few different times and waiting roughly three hours. Easy stuff.

An Intuitive App Filled With Proprietary Algorithms

The Eight Sleep app walks you through the entire setup from start to finish, sharing estimated completion times and notifications when you need to do something with the device (like refill the water tank, which we had to do twice during the requisite “priming” process to get the system up and running). Once the Pod 3 is ready to go a few hours later, the app serves as the brains of this whole operation. It’s powered by what Eight Sleep calls Autopilot, which is essentially a bundle of algorithms that work to personalize your sleep environment and automatically adjust your temperature in every sleep stage.

This functionality (plus access to the sleep metrics detailed below) is included with the app subscription that’s required when you buy the Pod 3 Cover; there are tiered options for the standard plan at $15 per month or the enhanced plan at $24 per month (both are billed annually). The only difference between the two is that the Enhanced plan includes an extended five-year warranty. Otherwise, the warranty is two years.

The app is also where you can control the temperature on your side (and your co-sleeper’s side too, which is convenient), schedule bedtimes and set a vibration-and warming-based alarm that functions exactly as you’d imagine. It also displays the following comprehensive sleep metrics gathered from sophisticated sensors buried in the cover:

  • Sleep fitness score: This is a number between 1 and 100 that’s calculated based on your sleep quality, sleep routine and time slept. You’ll see a new score every day based on the previous night.
  • Sleep quality: This metric is broken down into sleep stages (awake, REM, light, deep), with stats detailing how much time you spent in both REM and deep sleep. There are also corresponding health metrics that factor into this measurement, including heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV) and respiratory rate.
  • Sleep routine: This number outlines schedule consistency, with average bedtimes and wake times. There are also sleep latency stats that show how long it took to fall asleep and get up.
  • Time slept: As you might expect, this breaks down your overall sleep duration.

If you’re a data junkie and you have a wearable, Eight Sleep is quick to note that your resting heart rate and HRV values may vary between the Pod 3 and your own device, due to different calculation methods and measurement times. According to the brand, the Pod is validated against “gold standard ECG readings” to ensure accuracy, making its measurements comparable to medical-grade devices. Time spent in REM and deep sleep may also vary between devices.

To be honest, I’m not particularly interested in sleep data. I don’t own any kind of wearable against which to measure these stats, but anecdotally, they seem fairly close to reality. For example, my sleep fitness scores typically range between 90 and 100, and I generally feel rested when I wake up. All this said, the available data is easy to read and the app provides helpful explanations to put these metrics into perspective. I imagine this detail might be an especially appealing feature for those who are navigating sleep issues.

Where the app shines is in its temperature dial. This feature is the way you can manually adjust all three of your nightly temperature phases: bedtime, which lasts 15 minutes after you fall asleep; deep sleep, which is the first half of the night and goes for roughly four hours; and REM sleep, which is the second half of the night.

On the first night, we made the rookie mistake of wildly guessing our ideal temperature levels for all three phases. My husband woke up at midnight, shivering, and turned his side off completely. I woke up around 3 a.m., noticeably chilled, and overcorrected my side, becoming overheated later that morning. The next night, we took a far more conservative approach to these temperature phases (as the brand recommends, actually) and it was a much better experience. And since then, the Autopilot algorithm has continued to learn about and tweak our temperature preferences so they’ve ended up just right.

Final Thoughts

My interest in testing the Eight Sleep Pod 3 was entirely related to how much I dislike climbing between icy sheets in the colder months, and equally how disruptive it is to roast in bed in the summer. I don’t like running the air conditioner at night, and where I live, the outside temperature doesn’t always cool down enough for opening the windows to make sense. That leaves the ceiling fan as our other option, which tends to dry out my husband’s sinuses to the point of nosebleeds. A mattress cover that we could actively warm or cool seemed ideal. And so far, that’s been the case.

After our disastrous first night, we’ve continued to fiddle with the temperature dial to adjust our respective sides, but Autopilot has otherwise done an excellent job of managing our preferred sleep temperatures. Now that we’re heading into warmer weather, I’m really looking forward to dialing things down to maintain this extremely comfortable new bedtime experience. That’s really my takeaway overall: Though the product’s focus on sleep metrics just isn’t that valuable to me personally, the Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover delivers satisfying results in every other way. It’s done everything it says it would.

The biggest hurdle is the price; as stated at the top of this review, this is definitely an investment. But if your sleep temperature is problematic enough to affect your rest night after night, and you can afford to spend between roughly $2,200 and $2,500, I see no reason not to spring for this system.

My Expertise

I’ve spent well over a decade researching, testing and writing about sleep products. That includes personal reviews on everything from mattresses and pillows to sheets and sleep accessories. Here at Forbes Vetted, I’ve shared my personal experience with circadian rhythm glasses and tips for setting up the bedroom for better sleep; I’ve also written about sunrise alarm clocks, weighted sleep masks and hotel mattresses for five-star sleep.

Can You Buy The Pod 3 Without The App?

No. You’ll need to buy either Eight Sleep’s Standard plan at $15 per month or the Enhanced plan at $24 per month when you purchase the Pod 3. Both plans are billed annually and are required for the first 12 months of owning the Pod 3 Cover, though you can cancel at any time. Each plan covers two separate Pod users.

Why Do I Need Autopilot?

The Autopilot model is the brains of the whole Eight Sleep operation. It’s the intelligent part of this sleep system, and it works to improve your rest by automatically adjusting the cover’s temperature based on your sleep history and habits, external factors and your personal preferences. If you’d rather manually adjust your bed’s temperature, you can do so in the app.

How Often Do You Need To Add Or Change Water In the Eight Sleep Pod Hub?

The Eight Sleep app will tell you when it’s time to refill the water tank, which is typically every two to three months. When refilling, you’ll need to complete the priming process again (something you do when you are first setting up the bed), which fills the tubes in the cover and pushes out air bubbles.

Does The Pod 3 Work Without Wi-Fi?

No. Everything is controlled via app, so you’ll need a Wi-Fi connection to use the Pod 3.

Eight Sleep Pod 3 Review: I Tried It For Weeks And Am A Surprised Fan (2024)

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