I’m a Notoriously Hot Sleeper, But This High-Tech Sleep System Totally Eliminated My Night Sweats (2024)

Not to brag, but I’ve been called both a “space heater” and a “nuclear reactor” by anyone who’s had the good fortune of sharing a bed with me. And trust me when I say I’ve tried almost everything to keep my cool overnight: high-end silk pajamas, a fan aimed right at me, even temporarily banishing my dog to her own bed (that one didn’t last long).

Amid the night sweats and damp sheets, my sister and a girlfriend kept telling me I had to check out the Eight Sleep Pod Cover, which they swore up and down gave them the best sleep they’d ever had. So when Eight Sleep reached out with an offer to test the new Pod 3 cover, I said yes immediately. After a full month of testing and hundreds of REM cycles, here’s my full Eight Sleep review.

I’m a Notoriously Hot Sleeper, But This High-Tech Sleep System Totally Eliminated My Night Sweats (1)

How I Tested

  • I set up the Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover solo, timing myself and taking notes on the set-up process throughout
  • I slept on the Pod 3 Cover for 30 days, testing a variety of temperatures and timing options to see how they affected my sleep
  • I used the Eight Sleep app to track my temperature adjustments and my nightly sleep stats, comparing them to my wearable stats for accuracy.

What Is the Eight Sleep Pod Cover?

The Eight Sleep Pod Cover is the most tech-ed out mattress pad you’ve ever seen. Available in full, queen, king, or California king sizes, the pod cover fits over your existing mattress and underneath your fitted sheet like any other mattress pad. At the head of your bed, the Pod Cover connects via hose to the Pod, aka a water tank. Throughout the night, water is pumped through the mattress cover. As it circulates, it’s heated or cooled according to your preferences and what the Pod Cover senses will enhance your sleep.

Eight Sleep’s biggest differentiator is the Autopilot feature on the Eight Sleep app, which drives the temperature adjustments mentioned above. Autopilot is a proprietary algorithm that senses your sleep cycles, then cools and warms your bed according to what your body needs for better sleep.

Heads up: All these awesome features come with a membership (don’t they always?). You’re locked into paying for the membership for the first 12 months of owning the Pod, and membership starts at $15 per month. To be honest, I don’t see the point of owning the Eight Sleep pod without having the membership as well, so build the app costs into your initial budget.

Eight Sleep Pod Key Features

  • Set your preferred temperature at bedtime and at wake-up
  • Gentle vibrating wake-up alarm
  • Sleep tracking stats via app, including detailed breakdown of sleep stages, time spent asleep, heart rate, heart rate variability, and more
  • Separate sleep zones and temperature control if you share a bed
  • Set Pod Cover to “Away” mode during vacations
  • Membership required for first 12 months (starts at $15/month)
  • Not recommended if you sleep with a pet, since claws can damage the pad

Setting Up the Eight Sleep Pod Cover

By far my biggest concern about testing the Eight Sleep pod was the set-up process. Changing the sheets is my least favorite chore, so I expected the worst for setting up the Eight Sleep pod. Luckily, the process was more time-consuming than actually difficult. Everything you need comes packed very compactly in a single box, albeit a heavy one (I could lift it, but barely—you’d do better to have someone around to help lift, or a dolly of some sort). One half of the box holds the Pod, while the other holds the Pod cover.

Eight Sleep recommends allowing two hours for set-up, but most of that time isn’t hands-on. Setting up the Pod Cover was as easy as unmaking and remaking my bed, making sure the hose attachments were at the head of the bed. After I attached the hoses, I threaded them behind my headboard and nightstand to where I’d discreetly placed the Pod tank in the corner of the bedroom. As someone who has absolutely no interest in DIY anything, I felt this was super manageable and easy to do solo.

From there, the longest part of the Eight Sleep pod set-up process is waiting for the Pod and Pod Cover to fill with water. You’ll need to fill the tank a couple of times and wait for the water to cycle through the Pod Cover in between fills. I was able to work and do a load of laundry during set-up; the Eight Sleep app notifies you when it’s time to fill the Pod again. That said, you’ll want to do this a few hours before you actually pop a melatonin and go to bed.

I’m a Notoriously Hot Sleeper, But This High-Tech Sleep System Totally Eliminated My Night Sweats (2)

Eight Sleep Pod Cover Review

Once I set up my Pod Cover completely, I used the app to set my temperature preferences for that evening. I usually run cold before bed, so I set the Pod Cover to warm up the bed to +3 on its scale of -10 (cool) to +10 (warm). About an hour before my set bedtime, the app notified me that the bed was warming up and would soon be ready for me to get cozy. It worked like a dream, and I instantly relaxed upon pulling back my covers and wriggling under the sheets — no socks necessary.

The first few nights of using the Eight Sleep system are trial and error. Each morning, you’ll see your sleep stats, and the next evening, you can make your adjustments (you can also trust the algorithm and accept its temperature suggestions, which I did). Over time, the AI learns your sleep habits and the temperatures that work best for you. For example, I could quickly see where I’d woken up throughout the night or failed to reach deep sleep; the Autopilot app then suggests temp changes for when you’re going to bed, the early stages of sleep, and the late stages of sleep before you wake up.

The sleep stats on the app are easy to view and understand without feeling like you’re drowning in data. In addition to the usual sleep stages and time slept, you can also see your schedule consistency, aka how close you’re sticking to your ideal bedtime and wake-up times. The app also tracks how long it takes you to fall asleep, and even on nights when I read before going to bed, the Pod somehow differentiated between my winding down-time and my actual sleep time.

If you sleep with someone else, you can invite them to the app so that they can customize their own dreamy sleep set-up. The Pod is neatly divided in half (but don’t worry, you can’t feel an awkward gap down the middle) so each individual has total control over their temperature preferences. The Pod 3 Cover also has a vibrating alarm, which gently rumbles your mattress until you wake up for the day (I promise, it’s more subtle and smooth than it sounds).

My one complaint about the Pod 3 Cover is that you have to use the phpone app for everything. We talk about sleep hygiene all the time: Scrolling on your phone right before bed can hurt your sleep, and blue light can disrupt your circadian rhythm. It feels counterintuitive to good sleep to have to use my phone to adjust temperature settings during the time when I’m trying to wind down. I also hated having to use my phone to turn the vibrating alarm off first thing in the morning. I usually avoid checking my phone for the first hour I’m awake, and turning my alarm off broke the seal, so to speak. In the end, it bothered me so much I ditched the vibrating alarm for my sunrise alarm clock instead. A tiny remote control would be a much better user experience to give us the best sleep possible.

Despite my irritation at relying on the app, after 30 nights of sleeping, I can confidently say that I’ve never slept better — and best of all, my night sweats have totally disappeared. If I do ever wake up and need a temperature adjustment, I can quickly raise or lower the temp myself, and the changes are nearly instantaneous. I actually find myself going to bed earlier and earlier, knowing the mattress is preheated for max coziness. The Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover is definitely an investment (one you may want to sleep on — pun intended), but it outperforms all the other sleep hacks and gimmicks you’d find on TikTok with actual, data-driven recommendations that are unique to you. Your dreams of cool, uninterrupted sleep just may come true.

I’m a Notoriously Hot Sleeper, But This High-Tech Sleep System Totally Eliminated My Night Sweats (2024)


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