Is Eight Sleep’s Mattress Worth The Splurge? We Review (2023)
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GOOD GEAR RATING — 8/10 STARS
Summary: After three months of testing, we highly recommend the Eight Sleep Pod Cover for thermoregulation and top-of-line biotracking. It’s the best sleep we’ve had in years. The main drawback is the cost of the cover and monthly subscription fees. It’s worth noting that the setup takes a couple of hours, even with helping hands.
- Cooling benefits: If you have trouble falling asleep or falling back to sleep or if you sleep or wake hot or have night sweats even somewhat regularly, this mattress will change your sleep and your life
- Sleep tracking benefits: It’s one of the best sleep trackers on the market and you do not have to wear a device to sleep
- Heating benefits: Being able to heat your bed for relaxation, relief, muscle recovery, or sex is undeniably luxurious
- Customizable: Both partners can adjust settings to their own preferences
- The mattress cover is very expensive and requires a monthly data subscription
- Setup sucks! It is possible to do with one person but it’s a multi-hour commitment
In 2021 my husband and I welcomed a baby girl. Alongside an incomparable love arrived the exhausting reality of parenthood and the fearful question — will I ever sleep again?
Middle of the night wakes, postpartum night sweats, postpartum depression, sleep “training” (as in: she was training us to adapt to her schedule), layered onto the daily life demands of working, caregiving, cooking, cleaning — we were surviving!
Like most of us, our sleep had already suffered deeply from nearly a year of constant anxiety, disrupted routines, and social isolation caused by the pandemic. Adding a newborn shredded whatever rest we had been hanging onto.
“Sleep is the foundation of our wellbeing and nature’s near cure-all.”
If you are a parent, a caregiver, a shift worker, if you’ve suffered from depression, or for any reason experienced an extended period of disrupted sleep, you know how quickly every aspect of your health begins to unravel. Sleep is the foundation of our wellbeing and nature’s near cure-all.
Two years postpartum, my daughter was settling into a routine but my sleep had not returned to its pre-baby, pre-pandemic rhythms. I sought out every resource I could find on supporting myself for better rest. I read the so-called “sleep bible,” Why We Sleep by Dr. Matthew Walker, and checklisted everything from Dr. Andrew Huberman’s comprehensive sleep toolkit. But the high-quality sleep I needed still eluded me. I doubled down on my research.
I quickly learned the science is clear — our bodies need to drop in temperature by one to three degrees to fall and stay asleep effectively. Conversely, our body temperature should rise when we wake. Proper temperature regulation has an enormous positive impact on our sleep and overall health including our daytime functioning, hormones, and immune systems.
Traditional mattresses retain heat and radiate it back to your body. Traditional mattress construction is why sleeping hot is one of the top issues people report with their sleep. Some may opt to cooling sheets or cooling mattresses, but figuring out which options are effective can require some research. After hearing a few of the experts I trusted casually mention (in un-sponsored, anecdotal references) that the temperature-regulating Eight Sleep mattress was the best sleep they ever had, I was intrigued.
Enter Eight Sleep
Eight Sleep engineers smart mattresses that allow you to control the temperature of your bed from sleep to wake, track your sleep cycles and trends, and set gentle wake-up alarms. The company was founded nearly 10 years ago by Co-Founder/CEO, Matteo Franceschetti, a cleantech entrepreneur, along with three additional co-founders. These founders believe that among the three pillars of health: nutrition, fitness, and sleep — sleep is the foundational pillar. They set out to create a product that allows for deeper, more restful sleep and better, quicker recovery.
The company sells two main products: a mattress and a mattress cover called The Pod and The Pod Cover respectively. Both products allow you to customize each side of the bed through embedded tubing that carries cool or warm water to your side. The mattress prices start around $3,200 for a queen, while the covers start around $2,200 and can be placed over your existing mattress. You’ll need a monthly membership of $18 for full access to features and analytics, including auto temperature regulation, separate sleep profiles for you and your partner, and the vibration alarm. There’s really no way around the membership — it’s essential.
Arrival and setup
The Eight Sleep mattress Pod Cover arrived at my doorstep for review in the spring of 2023. (I loved the firmness of our existing mattress so opted only for the cover.) Life is busy so the heavy boxes sat in my ground-level office for days. Knowing what I know now, I would have found a way to get those boxes up my stairs without delay!
The setup instructions are clear, but it’s a two-person job and not a quick one. Setup will require 2 gallons of distilled water and 48oz of hydrogen peroxide. The app will notify you if you need to refill the water tank, but in three months of use, we’ve not yet gotten an alert.
“If you’re not DIY-intuitive, you’ll definitely need customer service.”
It took my husband and me an entire Saturday afternoon to wrangle the cover onto the bed and go through the setup steps (to be fair, I was mostly entertaining our toddler). If you’re not DIY-intuitive (hi 👋), you’ll definitely need customer service. Thankfully, comparing the customer service of Eight Sleep to, say, the Oura Ring, is like comparing the Four Seasons to the DMV. They have a text and call line so you can access someone immediately, and they are helpful, pleasant, and to the point.
Looking back it may have been worth calling a TaskRabbit or white glove service to handle setup if it meant getting it on our bed ASAP.
When I began setup, I was disappointed to discover I would no longer be sleeping on my 3” mattress topper from heaven; it’s like a cloud and I loved the sensation of sinking deeply into it each night. Eight Sleep’s Pod Cover is only slightly pillowy, and I did not initially love the sensation, which has been compared to a thin foam egg crate pad. But I quickly acclimated.
I also noticed a soft audible sound to the pump when the cover first turns on every evening but this is autoset 30 minutes prior to bedtime and would not be loud enough to wake us anyway.
Sleep tracking benefits
From the first night, the sleep tracking was a game changer. It is more comfortable than my Oura Ring and provides more real-time data than the Whoop (why the delay Whoop, why?!). It has a better app interface than both of those trackers and was far easier to use — no wearables or charging needed.
“Having reliable data was a huge key I had been missing to establishing a healthy sleep routine post-baby.”
Having reliable data was a huge key I had been missing to establishing a healthy sleep routine post-baby. The insights actually allowed me to understand my optimal bedtimes and wake times, note how often I was actually waking and why, and how alcohol or late-night snacks were impacting my deep sleep and REM. My sleep quality skyrocketed when I dropped from 5x drinks per week to 1-2x and quit snacking past 9 p.m., relatively easy changes with huge impacts on my overall energy and mood. Hello to feeling like myself again!
Another sleep tracking benefit? The Eight Sleep told me I had COVID before my PCR test did. Well not directly, but my HRV (heart rate variability) and heart rate elevations were enough to indicate that I may be getting sick and I knew it was time to mask up and test. I caught it quickly and my daughter never got COVID (do I have a mattress cover to thank for this?!). There is nothing more empowering than your own biodata.
Sweeter sleep, better sex, cramps relief, and more
Upon setup, there’s a quick little quiz the app gives you to determine how to set your temperature schedule. From there it learns your preferences, and after a week you can set it to Autopilot where the cover changes the temperature on the fly to actively keep you asleep. After a week of the app learning from my manual adjustments, both my husband and I settled into the best sleep we have had in years.
We found a few other ways we loved using the thermal regulation. Who likes to strip naked into a cold bed? I do not. Heating the bed before sex makes it more sensual and inviting. Then there’s always the option to cool immediately if preferred.
I’ve also found the heating feature useful for muscle recovery, menstrual cramp relief, headaches, and other aches and pains. I’ll turn the bed up to its warmest setting while reading or relaxing for some pre-bedtime relief. The sheer pleasure of getting into a warmed bed is an undeniable luxury.
As an added bonus, the meditation and breathwork exercises in the app are quite supportive and I love that they have visual options (this just works better for me than auditory cues).
If you can afford the technology (there are payment plans and membership options available to soften the blow — but it’s still a steep investment), Eight Sleep’s products will support you in the rest you deserve.
Of course, nothing beats getting back to the basics, and here’s what we know will support a restful night’s sleep from the science:
- Daily breathwork or meditation
- Going to sleep and waking on a consistent schedule
- Sleeping in a dark, cool room
- Reducing alcohol intake to 1-2 drinks per week or less
- Limiting meals or snacking 2 hours before bedtime
Do what you can, and happy Zzzzs, friends.
This review is not sponsored and includes the authors personal experience. Good Gear editors were gifted this product. Read more about our review process here.