Most of the Eight Sleep reviewers were provided a free Eight Sleep in exchange for their review. There’s nothing wrong with promoted content (as long as it's disclosed), but I wanted to create a real review, so I bought the cover for close to $2,000.
While a bit skeptical before buying, I've owned my Eight Sleep Pod Pro Cover for more than six months, and love it.
At this point, I get annoyed when I'm away from my Eight Sleep and have to sleep on a surface that’s not automatically cooled.
But due to the Eight Sleep’s price tag, it’s not for everyone.
In this post, I’ll go over how the cover and the app work, then I’ll give you five reasons why you should buy an Eight Sleep, and a few reasons why it might not be for you.
If you get the Eight Sleep mattress, it’ll come in three separately shipped boxes. One box will have the foam mattress, one will have the Active Grid with the encasement cover, and the final box has the hub.
You can buy just the Pod Pro Cover and Hub, without the mattress if you want to use your own mattress. Either way, you’ll get an identical experience. The decision to buy Eight Sleep’s mattress or use your own comes down to how old and how much you like your current mattress.
I didn’t know what to expect from the comfort of Eight Sleep’s mattress, so I bought a $500 mattress on Amazon, which I already had experience with and saved a little bit of money instead.
The setup is straightforward and there's a step-by-step video tutorial, but it took me about an hour before I was able to set up the temperature controls.
You’ll place the encasement on the mattress, like a fitted sheet. Add the straps, then attach the active Grid to the encasement by zipping them together.
Then, you attach the hose that extends from the top of the grid to the hub. The hub is the brains of the whole system and it’s about 12” high. It will most likely need to go on the left or right side of your bed. I bought a bed frame that’s 14” off the floor, specifically because I wanted to put my hub under the bed due to my small bedroom and it worked perfectly.
The last step is to sync the hub to your phone and fill up the reservoir with water and hydrogen peroxide and prime the pump, which will cycle the water through the bed for a couple of hours.
Five Reasons to Buy
#1 - Temperature Control
The Pod Pro Cover has a grid of coils that have water pumped through them to heat or cool the surface. It can heat up to 110°F, which is the +10 temperature level in the app. Or it can get as cold as 55°F, which is a -10 temperature level in the app.
During Eight Sleep’s initial questionnaire, it asks you how you typically feel while you’re in bed. Are using a ton of blankets, routinely throwing the covers off, or somewhere in between?
Eight Sleep uses your answers and their data from other users to recommend an ideal bed temperature for each stage of your sleep.
Once your bedtime and wake time are set, the Pod Pro will automatically pre-heat or pre-cool your bed, so that it’s at the perfect temperature when you hop in. Then, it’ll turn off when you wake up.
When you open the app, there’s a temperature dial that can be used for manual control. But once I had my temperature settings optimized, I have never touched the manual control.
The best part about the heating and cooling is that there are two heating and cool zones. One for you and one for your partner. And each side of the bed gets an Eight Sleep account and gets full control of their designated side.
For me? I sleep on the hotter side. After weeks of tweaks, I've found that -4 when I get into bed, then -3 when once my body gets into deep sleep, then -2 when I'm in REM sleep is ideal.
But my wife prefers the total opposite. She’s a cold sleeper and likes her side to be hot enough to fry an egg on.
There's nothing more satisfying than coming into a nice cool bed. My testing has been during the cold winter, but once the summer and humidity hit, having the sheets not stick to my skin should be a game-changer.
I didn’t notice how much I loved my Eight Sleep until I went on a week-long vacation and slept without it. I felt hot and couldn't get comfortable for my entire trip.
#2 - Improved Sleep Quality
The Eight Sleep helps you become a more efficient sleeper, by getting you to fall asleep faster and by trading some light sleep for deep sleep. The goal is to get as much deep and REM sleep as possible during your time asleep. Ideally, with the Eight Sleep, you should feel more recovered with no change in the amount of time you spent in bed.
Eight Sleep has a bunch of data that show improvements in user’s deep sleep and getting to sleep faster. But I wouldn't lean too heavily on Eight Sleep’s studies because they’re trying to sell you something. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any third-party studies.
Instead, I tested for myself using my Oura Ring. Thirty days without my Eight Sleep enabled and thirty days with the Eight Sleep on. I rotated on and off every week for eight weeks.
Keep in mind, Oura Ring’s data isn’t nearly as accurate as a professional sleep study, and my experiment was unscientific, but I did my best to keep all the major variables, like caffeine, alcohol, and diet consistent during my testing.
According to my Oura Ring, about 28.28% of my sleep was deep sleep with the Eight Sleep enabled. With the Eight Sleep disabled, 25.37% of my sleep was deep sleep. That’s an 11% difference in deep sleep, which worked out to be an extra 14 minutes or so of deep sleep per night.
Interestingly, my REM sleep decreased by about 5% with the Eight Sleep turned on.
Overall, my testing showed that my light sleep decreased by a small, yet noticeable margin, which is a win. But forget the data. Here's all you need to know: I originally planned to do two months of testing without the Eight Sleep and two months with it, but I had to cut the testing down to just one month because I hated sleeping without it turned on.
#3 - Sleep Tracking
Eight Sleep tracks your movements, your heart rate, heart rate variability, reciprocity rate, and your sleep cycles as you sleep. The best part is that you don’t need to wear anything on your wrist or finger and tracking happens automatically each night.
Each morning, you're provided with a Sleep Fitness Score based on a 100-point scale. This comes from a combination of time slept, wake-up consistency, time to fall asleep, and time to get up.
Eight Sleep’s sleep data isn’t perfect, especially if you roll over to your partner’s side, but I found the data to match my Oura Ring closely as long as I stayed on my side the whole night. You’ll occasionally see a wake up time that got cut a little short, but you can manual edit if that happens.
HRV is one of the most important metrics for tracking how well your body recovered from the previous day and Eight Sleep does a solid job of recording it. Basic sleep trackers like Apple Watch don’t provide this data, and the devices like Oura Ring and Whoop that do, cost more than $300.
I wouldn’t buy the Eight Sleep for sleep tracking alone, but it’s a great sweetener.
#4 - Alarm
Eight Sleep has a feature called GentleRise that vibrates the bed when it's time to wake up. You can add more heat or coolness during your wake-up time too.
My wife thinks the gentle vibration alarm is one of its best features.
I haven't used an alarm clock in years. But I appreciate this feature because I often don't even hear when the vibrations go off on my wife's side. Compare that to a loud phone alarm that wakes up everyone in the room. The wake up vibrations are great if you and your partner have drastically different wake up times.
#5 - Integrations
You can import your exercise data from Apple Health, Peloton, Fitbit, and others to give Eight Sleep a better idea of your life outside of the bed to make better recommendations and understand your metrics better.
You can also export your sleep data from Eight Sleep app to the Apple Health app. I love having my weight imported from my Eufy Scale, my exercise and heart data from my Apple Watch and now my sleep from Eight Sleep in the same spot.
You can create some interesting automations with your smart devices with IFTTT. For example, you would turn on your smart lights after your Eight Sleep alarm goes off.
Three Reasons Not to Buy
#1 - Expensive
The Eight Sleep Pod Pro Cover costs between $1,500 and $1,900 depending on the size of your bed. Or between $2,700 and $3,400 if you want Eight Sleep’s foam mattress too.
Or you can finance the Pod Cover for an average of $70/month for two years, which helps to lighten the blow.
Eight Sleep has a new 8+ Pro subscription that provides an interesting temperature Autopilot feature that adjusts your bed’s temperature based on your past history, bedroom temperature, and other factors automatically. But at $15/month it feels like a cash grab. I’d skip this subscription, but even if you skip it, Eight Sleep is expensive.
How do I justify Eight Sleep’s price?
I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a full-time mattress salesman, but we spend a minimum of 25% of our lives in bed. Sleep is huge for mental and physical health. I treat devices that improve my health as an investment.
Before my purchase, I wrote that if it could improve my sleep by 10%, I'd consider the purchase a huge win. I didn’t reach my goal via provable data, but I still feel good about the purchase.
If you have the means, Eight Sleep makes sense if you want to optimize your health. With that being said, I slept without an Eight Sleep for almost 30 years without much issue, aside from a few really hot summer nights. It’s definitely a luxury purpose.
#2 - Comfort
You’ll need to sacrifice a bit of surface comfort.
The Pod Pro Cover has foam around the coils on the grid in an attempt to hide them, but you can still feel the coils and sensors throughout the bed. There’s a strap that attaches the cover to the encasement that runs across my chest too. The strap gets more tense as the person on the other side moves. I got used to the coils and the strap after a few weeks and don’t notice them anymore.
The cover adds a bit of firmness to your bed too. It’s tough to tell if this firmness is due to the Eight Sleep and my mattress not being fully broken in yet or that’s how the bed will remain. I like a mattress on the firmer side, but if you have a squishy and soft bed, the Eight Sleep might make it less than ideal.
Sacrificing a small bit of surface comfort in exchange for a huge difference in temperature level comfort is a win in my book.
Another thing to consider is the temperature zones.
The temperature zones are great. But it creates a boundary line between the two sides of the bed. If you and your partner have vastly different preferences in temperature, you might not like the experience if you accidentally roll over to their side.
Luckily, my wife and I have a king bed, making it easy to stay in our zones. But if you've got a full-size mattress or you like to sleep close to your partner, it'll likely become an issue if you have different temperature preferences.
#3 - Longevity
After a few months of use, my Eight Sleep started to get a bit noisy where the hose connects to the cover. I was worried, but I “primed the pump” in the app to circulate the water, which removed the air bubbles causing the noise after a couple of hours.
Overall, I haven’t had any issues with my bed, but let’s consider the crazy amount of tech involved with Eight Sleep between the hub, the coils, and all the sensors. If any of the components malfunction, it’ll deter your experience.
Eight Sleep comes with a two-year limited warranty, but will the tech last past two years?
And if my bed has issues after two years, how much will it cost to get fixed? Will Eight Sleep even be around after two years? They seem like a good company, but it’s just a young startup.
This is all speculative. There aren’t definitive answers to these questions, but it’s worth considering when dropping thousands. If I can get five years out of my Eight Sleep, I’ll be more than satisfied.
Who is this for?
To go along with the lack of real reviews, Eight Sleep's marketing was another red flag that made me hesitate before buying. I was spammed with about ten emails and a text message, which was some form of the same "amazing" deal that I'd be stupid to miss out on. Premium brands don't typically need to sell THIS hard.
But despite Eight Sleep's poor marketing judgment, it's an amazing product.
You should buy the Eight Sleep Pod Pro if you're often uncomfortable during the night. The Eight Sleep is ideal for those who live in a hot climate or in a room where AC isn’t a possibility. Ideally, help you to decrease your light sleep and improve your recovery in the morning. The sleep tracking and vibration alarm are awesome additions too.
I could only prove a small yet noticeable difference in my sleep quality with data. But most importantly, I hated sleeping without it.
It's expensive and there are a few downsides to its surface comfort, but it seems worth the risk if you have the funds and want to try to improve your sleep.
If you use my link, you can save $200 of your purchase. Keep in mind that I’ll earn a commission if you go on to buy an Eight Sleep. There’s nothing special with this discount either. It can be found pretty much anywhere on the internet. I won’t be offended if you don’t use it, but I appreciate it if you do.