Everything to Know About the Eight Sleep Pod 3 System, Tested by Editors (2024)

We tested the over-$2,000 sleep system—these are our thoughts.

By Ellen McAlpine
Everything to Know About the Eight Sleep Pod 3 System, Tested by Editors (1)

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Getting a good night’s rest makes all the difference in your day-to-day routine, but traditional sleep trackers require you to wear some sort of gadget throughout the night that can often be uncomfortable. That’s where the new Eight Sleep Pod 3 system comes in: In addition to tracking your stats, the techie mattress cover features heating and cooling technology to regulate your body temperature, promising to improve your sleep quality.

Full disclosure: The system is pricey, with a Queen-size cover coming in at $2,145. This is then paired with an annual subscription that starts at $180 per year. But for an overall upgrade to your sleep setup that’s particularly beneficial for those who share a bed, it might just be worth it.

For March, Sienna Livermore, Deputy Editor for Enthusiast and Wellness and I have been testing out the Eight Sleep Pod 3. I’m sharing our thoughts below as well as everything you need to know about how the sleep system can elevate your nighttime routine.

  • Everything to Know About the Eight Sleep Pod 3 System, Tested by Editors (3)Easy, breezy set up
  • Everything to Know About the Eight Sleep Pod 3 System, Tested by Editors (4)Intuitive app to access sleep stats
  • Everything to Know About the Eight Sleep Pod 3 System, Tested by Editors (5)Doesn't require a wearable device
  • Everything to Know About the Eight Sleep Pod 3 System, Tested by Editors (6)Autopilot feature makes establishing a sleep routine easy
  • Everything to Know About the Eight Sleep Pod 3 System, Tested by Editors (7)Expensive
  • Everything to Know About the Eight Sleep Pod 3 System, Tested by Editors (8)Not as comfortable as a traditional mattress pad


Overall, the system was easy to set up and use. It took about two-and-a-half hours for the Pod 3 to be fully functional, including stripping and remaking the bed. You’ll need to remove any mattress toppers or pads before getting started—having a clean slate (or bed, in this case) ensures you can get the most out of the sleep system.

The mattress cover has stickers to let you know how to line up your corners, making the process seamless; getting the cover on only took about 10 minutes. Once you’ve connected the Pod itself, you’ll have to refill the smaller-than-expected water tank twice. This part took up most of the setup time but was ultimately pretty hands-off. The app lets you know when you need to refill the Pod, so you can go about other activities while it finishes.

Everything to Know About the Eight Sleep Pod 3 System, Tested by Editors (9)

Fill the water tank in the hub that sits next to your bed.

Setup was honestly a breeze, which added to the product’s value (If you’re going to spend over $2k, it better be easy.). The app explains each step clearly, leaving little up for questioning. Plus, being able to walk away and go about your day while it’s doing its thing was a huge pro for us. If you’re using the system for two people, whoever kicks off the startup process will be able to send an invite to their sleep partner, giving you both control over the cover.


While both Sienna and I felt our respective mattress pads and toppers were more comfortable than the Eight Sleep cover, it’s still a cozy setup. The latter doesn’t have any noticeable cushioning or memory foam properties to it, but so long as you like your mattress, you’ll enjoy a comfortable night in bed. I was nervous it would feel like a water bed, but was pleasantly surprised when it didn't. In fact, I never noticed the water circulating throughout the cover and have only felt the temperatures adjust (which happens relatively quickly) in real time when getting ready to sleep.

Everything to Know About the Eight Sleep Pod 3 System, Tested by Editors (10)

Remove any mattress toppers you have, and align the pod cover to the corners of your mattress.

I have found throughout my testing period that I’ve slept better and woken up more peacefully since using Eight Sleep. I don’t wake up much throughout the night (though I never have), but the temperature adjustments aren’t causing me to wake up, either. I’ve learned I prefer to wake up in a colder bed than a warmer one and have adjusted my Autopilot to reflect that (we’ll break down that feature in a bit).

Sienna noted that while each side of her bed had different sleep preferences set, she never felt the other side’s temperatures leaking to her side or disrupting her schedule. She did note, however, that the temperature changing occasionally caused her to wake up a bit before her alarm.

On that note, the cover also features an alarm, which gently vibrates the mattress to alert you it’s time to wake up. The vibrations are gentle, calming, and a nice alternative to the blaring sounds my iPhone tends to put out.

Depending on how loud your neighborhood is, you might hear the pod circulating water throughout the night. I live in a city with a steady stream of outside noise and I usually fall asleep to rain sounds, so I only noticed it a bit while getting ready for bed and in the morning. Sienna noted that living in a quieter area, the Pod sounds were noticeable, but not a deal breaker.


The Eight Sleep is completely customizable—set daily or weekly schedules and the system automatically starts running your routine. For example, I set my bedtime as 10:30 PM and my wakeup as 6 AM. At 10:30, the Pod 3 will start cooling my bed to my desired temperature without me having to touch a thing. Throughout the night, the system works to adjust temperatures based on the optimal level for your sleep cycle.

The app uses local weather, sleep stages, your health, bedroom conditions, and a few other metrics to decide the ideal temperature for you to sleep in. As someone who runs warm, after a few nights of trying the suggested settings, I adjusted to cooler so I could sleep a bit more comfortably. When you change the temperature ranges (which are on a scale of -10 to +10), the app lets you know if the setting is optimal for waking up or for falling asleep, which helps you understand what works for you and what doesn’t.

Autopilot is an included feature of the subscription, which starts at $180 per year. It made using the sleep system that much easier, and if you’re the type to be in bed and up in the morning on a consistent schedule, it’s nice to have everything running without having to think about it. It’s also as simple as toggling your sleep schedule on or off if you’re going to be away.

App Use

The Eight Sleep app is incredibly intuitive and easy to navigate. It leaves little up to question and breaks down information in a way that's easy to understand. There’s also helpful content in the app; you can access meditations, breathing exercises, sleep sounds, and wellness movement routines to help you wind down before bed or warm up in the morning.

If you’re sleeping with a partner, you’ll each choose your preferred side of the bed to control. You can control the other person’s side and mark if one person is “away” on the app to keep Autopilot from running on their side.

The app is a major selling point, in my opinion. If it was complicated to use or difficult to understand, I’d knock it for not being worth the cost of the sleep system. But since it continues to impress me with its simple, easy, and intelligent function, I’ll tack it on as another reason to invest in Eight Sleep.

Sleep Tracking

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During testing, the system showed similar, if not identical, stats to my Apple Watch. You can access your sleep stages, heart rate variability (HRV), breath rate, and heart rate. With continued use, it establishes your normal range for each metric and you’ll get an overall sleep fitness score (0-100) to determine how well you rested.

The system picks up on your stats through sensors built into the mattress cover. I was hesitant to trust it, but after comparing the results to my Apple Watch (which sits directly on my wrist), I was sold. iPhone users can also connect the sleep scores to their Health app, so if you are integrated into the Apple ecosystem, you won’t miss out. I can’t speak to the Android experience, but based on the simplicity of use for the app in general, I’d trust Eight Sleep to have gotten it right.

In her testing, Sienna noted you can check your bed partner’s sleep score from your own app, and that the two sleep scores were always different.

Eight Sleep, Tested and Reviewed

If you share a bed, Eight Sleep can be a game changer in helping you both stay comfortable throughout the night. As someone sleeping solo, it probably isn’t worth the high price tag, but I am interested to see if being able to regulate my bed temperature will help reduce my air conditioning bill come the summer.

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Overall, the Eight Sleep Pod 3 gives you helpful, thorough insights into your sleep habits and quality, provides personalized comfort for couples, and is a fairly non-disruptive sleep tracker if you’re hoping to avoid a wearable device. If you’ve been waiting to upgrade your sleep setup, the Eight Sleep is an investment that might make all the difference.

Shop the Eight Sleep Pod 3

Everything to Know About the Eight Sleep Pod 3 System, Tested by Editors (15)

Ellen McAlpine

Commerce Editor

Ellen McAlpine is a commerce editor and writer at Hearst Magazines, covering tech, fitness, lifestyle, and beyond. In her time as a writer, she’s covered everything from top tech items like running watches and ring lights to phone cases and beauty tools.

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Everything to Know About the Eight Sleep Pod 3 System, Tested by Editors (2024)


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