Staying Cool: Eight Sleep Pod Review for Hot Sleepers in 2024

16 March 2024 2079
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I proudly admit that I've been labeled as a "space heater" and a "nuclear reactor" by all those who have been lucky enough to share a bed with me. I have attempted almost every possible solution to maintain my cool overnight: luxurious silk pajamas, a strategic placement of fan, and even a brief banishment of my dog to her own bedding (this was short-lived).

My sister and a friend continuously recommended that I should try the Eight Sleep Pod Cover during my quests for a sweat-free night. As per their claim, it offered them the best sleep possible. So, when Eight Sleep contacted me to test out their new Pod 3 cover, I instantly agreed. This is a comprehensive review of Eight Sleep after a full month of sampling and numerous sleep cycles.

The Eight Sleep Pod Cover is arguably the most technically superior mattress pad available in the market. It can be used on full, queen, king, or California king sizes and fits over your existing mattress beneath the fitted sheet, just like any normal mattress pad. The Pod Cover facilitates connection to a water tank at the head of your bed through a hose. Throughout the night, the water is pumped via this mattress cover, which is then heated or cooled according to your requirements for an optimal sleeping environment.

Sleep’s Autopilot feature, accessible through its mobile application, offers unique adjustments of temperature. This proprietary algorithm perceives your sleeping patterns and changes the bed temperature as per the body requirements for a sound sleep.

However, like all great features, Eight Sleep also comes with a membership requirement. For the initial 12 months, there's an obligatory payment for the membership which commences from $15 per month. In my point of view, the Eight Sleep pod might not be useful without the membership, so you should consider including the app costs in your initial budget.

My biggest concern while testing the Eight Sleep pod was the installation process. I absolutely dislike changing sheets, hence I anticipated the worst for setting up the pod. Fortunately, the whole process was time-consuming but not overly complicated. The compact packaging in a single box (which is solid and slightly heavy) assists in installation. The box contains the Pod in one area, and the Pod cover in another.

The setup of the Pod Cover was relatively simple, and I only had to make, unmake, and then remake my bed, ensuring the hose connections were at the head of the bed. After attaching the hoses, I ran them behind my headboard and nightstand, discreetly positioning the Pod tank in a corner of the room. The setup process was manageable even for someone like me with zero interest in DIY tasks.

The longest part of the whole setup process is waiting for the Pod and Pod Cover to fill with water. This requires the tank to be filled a few times and waiting for the water to cycle through the Pod Cover. During the setup, I was able to complete other tasks, as the Eight Sleep app notifies when it's time to again fill the pod. Nevertheless, it's advisable to start this process a few hours before bedtime.

Once the complete setup was done, I was able to set my temperature preferences for the night quite easily using the app. As I usually feel cold before going to bed, I set the Pod Cover to warm the bed to +3 on a scale ranging from -10 (cool) to +10 (warm). The app informed me an hour before my bedtime that the bed would soon be ready and warm. This functioned brilliantly and I experienced instant relaxation as I slipped under the warm sheets — no socks required.

The initial few nights with Eight Sleep system are basically about adjusting. Each morning, you can examine your sleep statistics and use them to make necessary adjustments for the upcoming night (you may also depend on the AI algorithm for temperature recommendations). With time, the AI learns your personal sleep behaviours and the most suitable temperatures for you. For example, the time when I usually wake up during the night or fail to reach deep sleep were quickly detected and incorporated into the temperature changes suggested by the Autopilot app for different sleep stages. 

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.