Eight Sleep Pod Review: Can You Really Sleep Smarter?

By Oktay Ozadam

Eight Sleep Pod

The Eight Sleep Pod is on the cutting edge of sleep technology. From the temperature-controlled mattress to the sleep tracking data on the companion app, the Pod by Eight Sleep is truly a smart mattress. You can improve your quality of sleep and sleep comfortably at your preferred temperature each night.

While this mattress system is costly, it provides a wealth of information and support to help you sleep better. Keep reading for a full review of the Eight Sleep Pod.

The Eight Sleep Pod Design

The smart cooling mattress bed is a unique sleep set that includes a mattress and water-powered thermal technology. The Hub houses the thermal engine where water flows to fill the Active Grid layer of the mattress.

The mattress has a total of five layers to form the bed. Four layers are made of a premium foam blend and one layer that incorporates the Active Grid technology.

The foam mattress also houses a series of sensors that track various metrics related to your sleep quality. All materials for the foam layers are designed to integrate with the technology of the mattress.

The fabrics are made from durable materials and a 100% fiber blend. The sleep mattress is designed to be used with a standard box spring that is breathable or a slatted base. The layers of the mattress are not compatible with adjustable bases.

The mattress layer that includes the technology and Active Grid is designed to provide dual-zone heating and cooling. Each layer of foam is made from a different material. They are all hand-sewn and selected to release moisture. The layers are fire retardant and flexible and free of mercury and lead. The layers include:

  • Luracor Foam
  • Visco Elastic Memory Foam
  • Transitional Polyfoam
  • High-Density Support Polyfoam

The Hub (the smart engine with a water tank) and Eight Sleep Pod mattress pair together to create the ideal sleep temperature for every sleeper. The technology is designed to allow the mattress to heat or cool as needed, based on the preference of each user. A fluid-based thermoelectric system maintains active cooling and heating and powers the Thermo Alarm feature.

How Comfortable is the Eight Sleep Pod?

The Pod is designed with a medium firmness level. The adaptive foam used to create the mattress give the bed some bounce while maintaining a stable level of firmness and pressure relief.

This medium firm level is likely targeted for the average sleeper. Sleeping on your back is considered to be the best sleep position for your spinal health. For back sleepers, a medium firmness mattress will provide the support and positioning you need for a good night's sleep.

Side sleepers typically require a softer mattress to support their spine throughout the night, and this provides enough pressure relief on their sides. The medium firm level of the Eight Sleep Pod may not cradle your hips while you sleep. The incorrect firmness level can put stress on your shoulders and spine.

For stomach sleepers, a firm mattress is usually recommended. The Eight Sleep Pod mattress likely delivers enough firmness for stomach sleepers.

The foam layers of the Pod mattress are extremely soft, and it is very effective at reducing motion transfer. While the firmness level remains at a medium, the materials themselves are comfortable and moisture-wicking. Because the memory foam is high density and responsive, movement transfer is reduced to a minimum. The 10-inch-thick foam means that there is less bounce with the mattress, and these materials will hug your body while you sleep.

Like the firmness level, the edge support on the Eight Sleep Pod mattress is fairly average. Edge support helps you lay to near the edge of your mattress while feeling secure and stable. This feature is also a must-have for couples who sleep closer to the sides of the mattress instead of an individual sleeping in the center of a mattress. Overall, the edge support on the Pod is adequate, provides a consistent pain/pressure relief and will keep you feeling secure while you sleep.

The Active Grid layer controls the temperature of your foam mattress, and it can affect your comfort level throughout the night. The Active Grid system is smooth in general while it makes changes and adjustments to regulate temperature. However, very light sleepers or those who are more sensitive sleepers may be bothered by the motion transfer while the Active Grid system works.

Temperature Regulation and Control Features

The most significant selling point of the Eight Sleep Pod is the temperature regulation. Sleepers can manage the temperature of their beds' thanks to the fluid-based thermoelectric system. The Hub device allows water to flow to the Active Grid technology in the mattress. This flow of water is what heats up or cools down the mattress, so you can sleep at your preferred temperature.

The Pod pairs with the Eight Sleep app. Through the app, you can set your temperature by choosing from 10 warming levels and 10 cooling levels. There are simple plus and minus controls to select your preferred temperature. Users can also set up a schedule, including a bedtime, to warm or cool your mattress before you lay down to sleep.

How long does it take to heat or cool the mattress?

The warming and cooling functions can take between 30 minutes and an hour to fully warm or cool. If you are using temperature controls for both sides of your bed, it can take twice as long for the mattress to reach your desired temperature. In some cases, it can take up to two and a half hours to reach your warm or cold setting for both sides of the mattress. Larger mattresses, like a King of California King, will take even longer to warm up or cool.

You can tell that the mattress is warming because the Hub light will turn pink. When the mattress is cooling, the Hub light will turn blue.

It is recommended to leave a blanket or comforter on top of your bed to keep the cool or warm temperatures in the bed. If you do not set your bed temperature at least an hour before bedtime or use the Smart Temp feature, you could be waiting a considerable amount of time for your mattress to reach your preferred temperature.

How does the Smart Temperature feature work?

The Smart Temp feature is available with an 8PLUS membership for an additional monthly fee. For the first year of ownership for the Pod, you receive a prepaid membership for 8PLUS. After one year, you are responsible for paying a monthly fee if you want to continue using the 8PLUS features such as Smart Temp. I see this as a downside to the Eight Sleep Mattresses. In addition to paying for the expensive cost of the mattress, you cannot access the cool attributes without spending even more.

Smart Temp turns on the warming or cooling feature of the smart Pod an hour or so before your scheduled bedtime. This feature ensures that your mattress is set to your desired temperature before you lay down. You can then set your preferred temperatures for your Deep Sleep phase and your Complete Sleep phase. The mattress temperature can adjust throughout the night to keep you comfortable and sleep soundly.

What is the Thermo Alarm feature?

Thermo Alarm is another feature that is only available with an 8PLUS paid membership. The Thermo Alarm function is designed to help users wake up feeling rested and more alert without the help of an annoying or loud alarm. With the Thermo Alarm feature activated, the Pod will adjust the surface temperature of your mattress gradually to help you awaken.

You can set your wake up time through the app and choose whether you want to wake up to a warm or cool temperature. You can also choose to have no temperature change, though that does not seem to accomplish the goal of the Thermo Alarm feature. You can also select additional sounds or vibration options if you want more control instead of just a temperature change.

Sleep Tracking with the Eight Sleep Pod

The next primary function of the Eight Sleep Mattress is the sleep tracking ability available with the mattress. There are a variety of sensors built into the mattress to track many different metrics while you sleep and provide a Sleep Fitness Score. All data collected by Eight Sleep is used to analyze your sleep patterns.

The data is stored on your device as well as Eight Sleep's secure data warehouse. This information is also anonymized and encrypted to protect the personal information of users.

Eight Sleep Pod tracks several different metrics to provide data on your sleep patterns and overall sleep characteristics. The following data points are available when you use the Pod.

Sleep Stages: The graph related to Sleep Stages shows how you cycle through the stages of light, deep, and REM sleep during the night.

Bed Surface Temperature: The temperature of your bed throughout the night is tracked while you sleep.

Respiratory Rate: Your average respiratory rate is the number of breaths you take per minute.

Heart Rate: Your average resting heart rate is the number of beats per minute you have throughout the night.

Tosses and Turns: If you move while you are sleeping, these are noted as Tosses and Turns. This is one data point that may be affected if you sleep with a partner. Your partner's Tosses and Turns may be logged in your data.

Time to Leave Bed: This metric analyzes how long it takes you to leave your bed after you awaken.

Time to Fall Asleep: This metric analyzes how long it takes you to fall asleep from the time you lay down in bed.

Time Slept: Time Slept measures how much time you sleep in a 24-hour period.

Wake Up Consistency: This data point measures how long it takes you to wake up each day compared to your average wake up time for the previous week.

Your Sleep Fitness Score is measured on a scale of 0 to 100. This score factors in your Time Slept, Wake Up Consistency, Time to Fall Asleep, and Time to Leave Bed metrics to provide information on your overall sleep status. Your Tosses and Turns can also impact your score. The smart technology uses your specific data and sleep patterns to fine-tune your Sleep Fitness Score over time and provide more accurate measurements.

Companion App for the Sleep Pod

The Eight app is necessary to regulate the temperature and controls of your sleep mattress. To access the Eight Sleep Tracker and all of the data points collected while you sleep, you must have the app downloaded on your iOS or Android device. You cannot adjust the temperature of your mattress on the Hub itself.

A WiFi connection is also necessary to use the temperature regulation and controls for the Eight Sleep Pod. This can be a sticking point for some users if a WiFi connection that is supported by the mattress is not readily available.

Connect with Your Smart Home System

The Eight Sleep Pod system is compatible with a variety of smart home systems and devices. You can pair your smart mattress with your Amazon Echo, Google Home, Nest, and Philips Hue systems to adjust the temperature of your bedding using voice commands. Again, a WiFi connection is necessary to use these functions and pair your Pod with your smart home device.

Is the Smart Sleep Pod Worth the Price?

If you are looking for a bed with heating and cooling and the latest in sleep technology, the Eight Sleep Pod is a top choice. The Pod mattress and Hub are not inexpensive. At more than $2,000 for a queen-sized mattress, this system is a financial commitment. The sleep technology and tracking features are undoubtedly impressive, and this data can help improve your deep sleep and rem sleep over a period of time.

However, the need to connect to WiFi in order to use the temperature control settings is potentially frustrating. There could be times when you are unable to change the temperature of your mattress or set up your routine due to a lack of internet connection. Also, the additional monthly cost of an 8PLUS membership adds even more fees to your total. If you want to use the Smart Temp or Thermo Alarm, you will be paying more for your service in addition to the cost of the Smart Sleep Pod.

The Pod vs Smart Mattress Price Comparison
Size The Pod Smart Mattress
Full $2,095 $995
Queen $2,295 $1,095
King $2,595 $1,295
California King $2,595 $1,295

The Eight Sleep Pod vs. the Eight Smart Mattress

Eight Sleep offers a couple of products that vary in what each provide. The Eight Sleep Pod is the most expensive model they sell, and the Eight Smart Bed provides a less expensive option. The Eight Smart Bed has three levels of foam instead of five, and it also incorporates a Smart Cover. Like the Pod, the Eight Smart Bed can track your sleep and pairs with the Eight app to provide metrics on how good is your sleep in a night.

The Eight Smart Bed offers a heating mattress like the Pod, but it does not provide the same cooling features. Both products can integrate with your smart home devices and offer a smart alarm feature to wake you up naturally. The Eight Sleep Pod is far more advanced and builds on the smart technology of the Eight Smart Bed, but it also has a higher price tag.

The Pod vs Smart Mattress
The Pod Smart Mattress
Firmness Medium Firm Medium Firm
Thickness 11 inch 10 inch
Number of Layers 5 4
Sleep Monitoring Yes Yes
Android and IOS app Support Yes Yes
IFTTT Integration with Smart Home Devices Yes Yes
Dynamic Cooling and Heating Temperature Control Yes Only Heating
Thermo Alarm Yes No
Active Grid Layer Yes No
How much weight it can hold 500 lbs (226 kg) 500 lbs (226 kg)
Compare Sizes - The Pod vs Smart Mattress
Size The Pod Smart Mattress
Full 52.5" x 74.5" x 11" (133 cm x 189 cm x 28 cm) 54" x 75" x 10" (137 cm x 191 cm x 25cm)
Queen 58.5" x 79.5" x 11" (149 cm x 202 cm x 28 cm) 60" x 80" x 10" (152 cm x 203 cm x 25 cm)
King 74.5" x 79.5" x 11" (189 cm x 202 cm x 28 cm) 76" x 80" x 10" (193 cm x 203 cm x 25 cm)
California King 70.5" x 83.5" x 11" (179 cm x 212 cm x 28 cm) 72" x 84" x 10" (183 cm x 213 cm x 25 cm)

Frequently Asked Questions about the Pod

At times the Pod technology can seem confusing or vague. There are some common user questions about the system that may affect your decision to purchase the mattress or not. Some of these questions are addressed below.

Will this mattress work if I sleep with a dog or cat?

No, sleeping on the Pod with a pet can significantly impact your sleep data. Having a dog or cat in your bed can reduce the accuracy of your sleep data and affect your Sleep Fitness Score. Also, the Active Grid comfort layer of the mattress is very close to the surface, so your pet's claws could potentially damage the cover. This type of damage is not covered by the Sleep Pod's warranty.

Will this mattress work for couples?

If you sleep with a partner, the Eight Sleep Pod can dynamically adjust the temperature for each side of the bed. The controls and sleep tracking are independent for both sides, so you and your partner can set your own preferred temperature and track your own data. However, your partner's movements and sleep patterns may impact your data. Metrics can get mixed up between partners. In these cases, your Sleep Fitness Score will not be completely accurate.

Can I buy the Active Grid cover separately?

No, the Active Grid is only available as part of the Pod bundle. This layer is a feature of the mattress and can only be purchased with the mattress and Hub set. If you want to return your Eight Sleep Pod or get a replacement, you have to send all of the items, and the Active Grid comfort layer cannot be separated from the bundle.

Is the Pod noisy?

The Pod is very quiet, and it is typically the same sound level as a fan on a low setting. When you first set up your Eight Sleep Pod, it will go through a Priming process to fill the system with clean water and fill the Active Grid. For the first few hours of use, the Pod may be slightly louder. However, this noise level will drop off within a day of use.

  • Premium size bed
  • IOS/Android App
  • Sleep Monitoring(8Plus)
  • Dynamic Temperature Regulation(8Plus)
  • Gravity Throw Blanket(Free bonus for a limited time)
  • Free 1-year 8PLUS membership ($240/year afterwards)

The Pod comes with a 100 night free trial.

The foam mattress has 10 years warranty and tech tools comes with a 2 years warranty.

Product is only shipped within the US. Both trial and warranty is only valid in the US. Therefore, if you take the product outside of US, trial program and warranty periods are voided.

Alternatives for the Pod

If you are ready to invest in a new mattress, the Eight Sleep Pod is a great choice. For some, it may be an expensive option, even if you appreciate the smart attributes like sleep tracking and temperature controls. There are more affordable options available to improve your existing mattress with these features.

Unless you need a new mattress, you can purchase add-ons to improve your current mattress, track data, and adjust your mattress surface temperature. Some alternatives to the Eight Sleep Pod are below.

I only want to track and improve my sleep

Many different sleep tracker options can be added to your current mattress. These options range from pads that go underneath your mattress to wearable smartwatches or smart rings and monitoring headbands. The prices of these items typically range from $100 to $200-$300. Sleep trackers can collect most of the same data as the Eight Sleep Pod and provide recommendations to improve the quality of sleep. If you are interested in sleep trackers, I have a comprehensive article on several options.

I want to cool or heat my bed

There is a couple of bed cooling systems available to upgrade your existing mattress. You can choose from the air or liquid-based cooling systems. Some top options include Bedjet, chiliPAD, and the Ooler Sleep System. You can view a detailed comparison of these three cooling and heating systems in this post. If you want a comprehensive buying guide and review of bed cooling options, there is another post that provides all of this information.

Are there any other smart beds with bed cooling technology?

If you are looking for a complete smart bed with a cooling system and sleep tracking ability, the SleepNumber 10 is an alternative to check out. The cooling and heating technology for the SleepNumber 10 is not as precise as the technology of the Eight Sleep Pod.

Another option is the DualTemp. This is not a mattress but an individual layer that can be added to any bed. It uses active air technology to heat or cool your mattress by 35%.

Final Words

The Eight Sleep Pod is an impressive mattress that does far more than provide a place to sleep. With the temperature-controlled mattress, you can set your preferred temperature to improve your sleep comfort and quality throughout the night. Adjusting the temperature of your bed is easy with the Eight app and a reliable WiFi connection. If you are willing to pay the additional monthly fee, you can use the 8PLUS membership features such as Smart Temp and Thermo Alarm to set up routines for bedtime and waking up. It is a costly option, but one that can boost your sleep habits with considerable metrics and tracking features.

  • Medium firmness that is comfortable for most sleepers
  • Good edge support
  • Soft and durable foam layers
  • Bed with heating and cooling to set your preferred temperature
  • Sleep tracking metrics to improve your sleep quality
  • 100 Night Trial Period
  • Expensive system
  • WiFi connection is necessary to collect data
  • Temperature can only be changed through the Eight app
  • Sleeping with a pet or partner can impact your Sleep Fitness Score
  • Paid monthly membership required to access 8PLUS