After 8 weeks of testing, I can safely say that the Eight Sleep Pod 3 cover is a great sleep aid with some brilliant smart functionality for heating and cooling. The tracking is top notch and my sleep quality noticeably improved during my review period. The price is high (and you’ll definitely want to add a monthly Pro subscription for the Autopilot functionality), but there’s nothing else like it on the market right now.
Incredible heating and cooling
Reactive smart tracking
Two individual sleep zones
You’ll want the monthly subscription
Base unit requires floor space
Changes bed temperature if its off
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Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover: Two-minute review
The Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover feels a lot like the sci-fi future of heated mattress toppers. This smart product has a whole range of superpowers, mainly focused around cooling and tracking, and the good news is that it can be added to your existing setup – which means if you’ve taken the time to find the best mattress for your sleep style, you don’t have to give it up.
Instead of electric elements, the Pod 3 Cover uses water from a Nespresso machine-sized base unit, which means it has the power to both heat and cool. It goes several steps further than most of today’s best cooling mattresses – this isn’t just a case of switching between hot or cold depending on the season. Using the essential connected app, the Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover can be set between 12C and up to a ridiculous 43C (or from 55F to 110F, for US sleepers).
I didn’t need to go over the +4 warm option (on a dial that goes up to +10) even when it was -10C outside, so I’m not quite sure what kind of extreme situation would warrant use of the maximum temperature boost. But the choice is there, and I appreciate that. Even better is the fact the Eight Sleep cover is dual sided, so your partner doesn’t have to endure your preferences and can happily set their own.
Setting a bedtime on the Eight Sleep app means that the Pod 3 will start warming up from an hour beforehand, to make sure that your mattress is ready for you when you clamber in. Once you have set a favourite starting temperature, this feels like sinking into a warm, cosy bath every single night and can’t be underestimated as a true joy.
Like all of the best mattress toppers, the Pod 3 fits over your existing mattress, but unlike those, as well as heating and cooling, it’s also taking aim at the best sleep trackers. Thanks to swathes of sensors, the Pod 3 Cover tracks not just your heart rate and tosses and turns, but how long you spend trying to drop off, how long you’re sleeping for, and even the time it takes you to drag yourself out of bed in the morning. And it really works. There’s nothing like an app attacking you with a 25% sleep rating as you drink your morning coffee after a night at the pub and a particularly early start. «Your heart rate dropped late. Some reasons could be eating or drinking alcohol closer to bed…» Thanks, Eight Sleep. I’m aware.
But the Pod 3 doesn’t just use this information to beat you smugly over the head the next day, it also uses its biometric sensors for its Autopilot function. This is a feature that means the cover changes the temperature on the fly to actively keep you asleep.
Thanks to the base unit CPU being hooked up to Wi-Fi, the Pod 3 knows your location and real time temperature. It learns your preferences and then adjusts the temperature overnight to create your own personal microclimate. Different sleep stages require different temperatures, so the Pod 3 adjusts accordingly.
There are a few key points to make on this. Autopilot is only available with a monthly Pro subscription, which costs $19 in the US and £14 in the UK. It’s also nigh-on vital if you don’t want to wake up baking in the middle of the night after falling asleep with your bed set to ‘toasty’.
Further to that, the Pod 3 takes a full week to learn your temperature preferences. Quite honestly, this was relatively stressful period. There’s nothing relaxing about waking up in an inferno and having to scrabble around to find your phone to turn things down.
However the change now that the Pod 3 has learned is remarkable. There’s still the odd night where things get too warm, but I can see full nights with no wakeups. The app shows you on your sleep graph where changes were made and how many factors were taken into consideration for this small tweak.
It took a little work but the Pod 3 now feels like a cosy revelation, and things have only improved over my extended review period. I’ve had days where I genuinely recognize feeling much better rested.
Importantly, for all of the tech crammed in here, the Pod 3 Cover maintains the comfort of your mattress. In fact, the only problem is if you get into bed without it preheating in winter, the room temperature will have had an effect on how cool your mattress feels as it’s effectively laced with water. This was especially evident during my testing period, which has featured an especially cold winter in the UK. Given these recent temperatures I have only truly managed to appreciate the heating features of the Eight sleep, but the potential for summer cooling is evident. Temporarily switching to cold is a delightfully chilling experience that will clearly make sweltering summer nights far easier.
Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover review: Specs
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|Versions||Pod 2 Cover, Pod 3 Cover, Pod 3 Cover with PerfectFit|
|Heats to||110F / 43C|
|Cools to||55F / 12C|
|Fits||Pod 2 / 3: 10-11″ mattress; Pod 3 PerfectFit: any mattress depth|
|Trial period||30 nights|
|Subscription cost||Pro $15 / £14 per month, Plus $24 / £22 per month|
|Sizes||US full, US queen, US king, US Cal king; UK double, UK king, UK super king|
The Eight Sleep Pod 3 mattress cover was launched in July 2022. Originally, the company focused on selling it with a mattress, but all the tech was contained within the cover. You can still bundle in a mattress if you want, but I tested the cover with my own mattress and unless you’re feeling lazy, I’d probably encourage you to purchase a mattress separately, so you can focus on finding the right one for you.
Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover review: Price & value for money
- Prices from $1,895 / £2,345
- Monthly Pro subscription $19 / £14 per month
- Occasional $100 / £100 deals – sometimes $250 / £250 off for Black Friday
There’s no denying it. For a piece of sleep tech the Eight Sleep Pod 3 cover is very expensive. However, there’s nothing really like it on the market. In the US, there’s the likes of Sleep Number and Sleepme’s Chilipad doing fairly similar things, but in the UK, it’s pretty unique.
It might be far pricier than even the most luxurious of mattress toppers, and even some entire mattresses, but the active cooling / warming means you’re getting a very different experience here. Even though there are toppers that claim to have cooling powers, none of these are active. The Pod 3’s power to cool and warm at specific temperatures works exceptionally well to balance out your body temperature at any given moment. Layer in the smart tracking functionality and you can actually happily leave your Apple Watch charging on the nightstand, these biometrics have you covered.
The Pod 3 was released in July 2022. Here are the ticket prices in the US for the Pod 2 cover / Pod 3 Cover / Pod 3 Cover w/ PerfectFit:
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|Pod 2 Cover||Pod 3 Cover||Pod 3 Cover w/ PerfectFit|
|Full||$1,795 (usually sold at $1,695)||$2,095 (usually sold at $1,995)||$2,195 (usually sold at $2,095)|
|Queen||$1,895 (usually sold at $1,795)||$2,195 (usually sold at $2,095)||$2,295 (usually sold at $2,195)|
|King||$2,095 (usually sold at $1,995)||$2,395 (usually sold at $2,295)||$2,495 (usually sold at $2,395)|
|Cal King||$2,095 (usually sold at $1,995)||$2,395 (usually sold at $2,295)||$2,495 (usually sold at $2,395)|
And in the UK, for the Pod 2 cover / Pod 3 Cover / Pod 3 Cover w/ PerfectFit:
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|Pod 2 Cover||Pod 3 Cover||Pod 3 Cover w/ PerfectFit|
|Double||£1,845 (usually sold at £1,745)||£2,145 (usually sold at £2,045)||£2,245 (usually sold at £2,145)|
|King||£1,945 (usually sold at £1,845)||£2,245 (usually sold at £2,145)||£2,345 (usually sold at £2,245)|
|Super King||£2,145 (usually sold at £2,045)||£2,445 (usually sold at £2,345)||£2,545 (usually sold at £2,445)|
You can usually find $100 / £100 off, but the best time to buy is during the Black Friday mattress sales, which tend to deliver the biggest discounts of the year, typically knocking $250 / £250 off ticket price.
Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover review: Design
- Minimalist black cover you won’t notice once it’s on
- Installation is nightmarish for one person
- Base unit requires space next to the bed
Given that the Pod 3 has been specifically designed to bring Eight Sleep’s proprietary technology to as many mattresses as possible, the cover takes a little bit more work to install than your typical mattress cover. In the box are actually two different covers. One is a base layer with a zip, and then there’s the layer with the water-cooling technology which goes over the top and then zips into place. Straps then clip under the mattress itself to keep everything in position while you sleep.
This top layer has an impressive set of water pipes that looks a lot like you’ll be plugged into the Matrix while you sleep. These hoses combine into one thick pipe which has to be fed down between your mattress slats and out from under your bed to click satisfyingly into the base unit. The black base unit itself, while looking innocuous enough, is 37cm high, 38cm long, and 18cm wide so won’t fit under your bed. This means you might have to get imaginative with storage solutions if you don’t want it to look like you’ve got a gaming PC in your bedroom.
While Eight Sleep patiently talks you through the entire process step by step on the app, the installation process is very tricky for one person alone. I managed to install it solo on a King size bed but not without losing a nail or two. The layers were exceptionally tight and getting the straps underneath was frankly nightmarish. No matter how fit you are, I’d recommend roping someone else in to help if you don’t want to cry mid-installation.
Thankfully once everything is installed and water poured into the base unit, the rest is plain sailing. The unit takes a few hours to get everything ready with a process called Priming and you can just leave it to set itself up. The zip and strap design keeps the cover securely installed and it hasn’t shifted over my entire review period.
Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover review: Features
- Connected app is intuitive
- Autopilot function is essential but only comes with subscription
- Smart sensors provides ultra-detailed feedback
The Eight Sleep app, which is available on both iPhone and Android is brilliantly intuitive. Which is very good news because you’re going to be using it a lot. It’s here where you’ll set your bedtime, temperature on the fly with the easy to use dial, and catch up on the ultra-detailed sensory tracking. You can even set any holidays with a handy Away mode, so you don’t need to tell your bed you aren’t there every day.
Each night has a Sleep Fitness Score percentage. This is an aggregate of your time to fall asleep, how long you were asleep for, your wake consistency, and how long it actually took you to get up. Yes, you are going to be judged for how long you lurk in bed after the built in vibration function has gently roused you into consciousness.
A handy graph on the app each day also uses your heart rate and movement to let you know how much time you spent in REM sleep, light sleep and deep sleep, a good balance of which is required for a healthy night’s rest. But while it’s great to be able to see this data – and hopefully consider not eating before bed or consider drinking less caffeine later in the evening – the main draw of the entire affair is a mattress topper that reads your biometrics and actually keeps you asleep.
And the only way it can match your fluctuating temperature is to change the temperature of the water. As I said above, this Autopilot function is essential if you want to clamber into a warm or cool bed and actually stay asleep while it alters to suit your peak sleeping environment. It’s also behind a paywall, which perhaps isn’t any different to buying a Peloton and then paying for a membership, but feels particularly expensive after such a heavy investment in the cover itself.
Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover review: Performance
- Preheating function is incredible
- Autopilot comes with first-week teething issues
- Our sleep was significantly improved
But does the Pod 3 actually work? In short, yes. Exceptionally well. After I signed up for 8+ Pro, the first week was an uncomfortable and sweaty series of learnings for both myself and the cover, but after the Autopilot functionality kicked in properly there was a notable difference. Getting into a preheated bed on a freezing cold night just feels incredible, and knowing that you can turn it down slightly as you settle down, and then trust that the cover will do the same as you sleep feels brilliant.
I was sleeping under a thick winter duvet and I initially wondered if that would make everything far too warm, but after its learning period, the Pod 3 cover adapted accordingly, and I was able to have full uninterrupted nights of sleep.
When you look at the app the next day, you can see how many times the pod actively adjusted your temperature and by how much. You can also rate these changes if you had a particularly good night’s kip, which will affect future nights. I found that after the initial learning period, there has been a real improvement. My only problem is when I go somewhere else and realise that I sleep far better in a carefully temperature controlled bubble. Yes, it’s a first world problem.
The base unit itself isn’t noisy per se but you can hear it humming away like a very low fan, especially when it’s just turning on for the first time or changing the temperature for you. Anyone who requires complete silence to sleep might find it too much, but I quickly became used to it and it’s never noisy enough to wake you up when it adjusts temperature, which would defeat things entirely. Think the levels of a gently hot radiator and you’ll be on the right track.
There’s a real range of temperatures here too. Heat of up to 43C / 110F is available but I never found myself at over +4 (strangely it doesn’t say how much it is in Celcius / Fahrenheit) on a temperature dial that goes all the way up to 10. And there’s a real noticeable difference between each setting. Even dropping to -1 on the dial delivers an immediate cooling effect, which will be especially welcome come hotter temperatures.
Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover review: Comfort
- Mattress stays comfortable
- You’ll notice room temperature changes on other side
The next piece of good news is that you won’t physically feel the Pod 3 Cover as you sleep. There’s an awareness of the water layer, but unlike some electric blankets, there are no elements to feel so your mattress stays just as comfortable.
What is worth noting though is the temperature of the bed when you don’t have the Pod 3 Cover on. Due to the fact that it’s water-cooled, water responds to room temperature. This means that climbing into bed on a cold night, means that your bed feels significantly colder than it already would have. If you and your partner have both sides on, you won’t notice but if you’re sleeping in winter with just one side powered, you’re not going to want to roll over to the other side. It’s a small point to make but an important note if you prefer to starfish all night and don’t want two different temperatures.
Should you buy the Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover?
There’s no denying that this is an expensive piece of sleep tech and the essential monthly subscription does seem steep. With Autopilot, though, the Pod 3 Cover creates what can often be an incredible sleep experience. The range of hot and cold temperatures means you’ll always be able to find just the right one to nod off, and the suite of sleep insights in the app is impressive. The app itself is also exceptionally intuitive and I had no problems connecting to the hub at any point. The Pod 3 is a serious investment though so it’s a relief that you can trial it for 30 days to find out if it’s right for you.
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