Eight Sleep Pod 3 review: Get ready to sleep your best

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The Eight Sleep Pod 3 is the latest version of their thermoregulatory sleep technology. I spent over a year using the Eight Sleep Pod 2 and Pod 3, as well as the Eight Sleep Mattress and Cover versions. So, in this review, I will share both my experience with Eight Sleep and the differences between each product.

Eight Sleep Pod 3 Video Review

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A quick overview of the Eight Sleep Pod 3

Eight Sleep Pod 3 is the latest version of the company’s temperature-controlled mattress cover, also available as a full mattress. Eight Sleep allows you to have separate settings for each side of the bed, if needed, plus it offers a vibration alarm and various health and metric tracking. The newly upgraded Pod 3 promises improved sensor technology, a higher-powered quad-core CPU to enable real-time data, and smaller sensors for more comfortable sleep.

Specifications of Eight Sleep Pod 3

  • Dual zone heating and cooling
  • Tracking: sleep, health, HRV
  • GentleRise™ Alarm
  • Autopilot temperature (with 8+ membership)
  • Quad core CPU hub
  • 5GHz Wi-Fi support
  • iOS/Android App
  • MaxChill™ for maximum heat dissipation (with Pod 3 mattress)
  • Medium Firm with Spinal Support (with Pod 3 Mattress)

How Eight Sleep Pod 3 works

Eight Sleep Pod 3, whether you opt for just the cover or the full mattress, both use the Active Grid cover. This is what is connected to the smart hub, the water that passes between the network and the hub to regulate the temperature.

temperature settings

The temperature of Eight Sleep Pod can range from 55 degrees to 110 degrees. If you sleep as a couple, the temperature can be adjusted separately on each side of the bed. Two users connect to the same bed and adjust each side independently, which is great.

The Pod’s temperature can be manually adjusted via the app, but more importantly, you can create an automatic sleep schedule. By doing so, your Eight Sleep Pod will adjust between four set temperatures while you sleep.

temperature at bedtime

When you set a bedtime temperature to help you fall asleep, the Pod will start trying to reach that temperature an hour before your set bedtime. There is a lot of benefit here. Many people live in environments where the room temperature is still warm at bedtime, so they can set the Pod to cool down.

deep sleep temperature

After bedtime, he sets a temperature for a period of time that Eight Sleep considers his “Deep Sleep”. This is not entirely accurate, this period is only the first half of the night, and this is when you generally sleep the deepest.

REM sleep temperature

Your REM sleep temperature is for the second half of your sleep. Again, not entirely accurate, but the second half of your sleep is when you usually get most of your REM sleep.

wake temperature

The fourth optional temperature setting is your wake temperature. This is an opportunity to set it to something that will gradually help it wake up. Which I really love to wear. Instead of having to hear an alarm or feel a vibration (more on that later), I set it to get very hot, which helps me wake up more naturally.

Here you can set your night temperature schedule.

vibration alarm

There is also an optional vibration alarm. It is a vibration at chest level that can be set to different intensities. While this also works on each side of the bed separately, I’ve found that even on the lowest setting, the buzz from the vibration is loud enough to wake your partner on the other side of the bed.

The vibration will continue until a user opens the app and selects to stop it. That, along with sitting on the other side of the bed, makes using the temperature alarm much better for me. It could just be personal preference, but I prefer how much better I feel when I wake up that way.

Eight sleep alarm settings

Tracing

Eight Sleep Pod has tons of sensors that not only track your sleep, but also your snoring, tossing and turning, heart rate, breathing rate, and most importantly, heart rate variability (HRV).

After testing with various devices like Whoop, the Apple Watch, and several other devices, I find heart rate tracking to be pretty spot on, but respiration rate and HRV don’t seem to be as accurate.

HRV

HRV (Heart Rate Variability) is the best metric we have for determining your recovery status and how your body is adapting to stress and training.

The Eight Sleep HRV tracker seemed to always provide lower numbers than other devices. However, the HRV numbers did tend to go up and down in line with my other HRV readings. So it could still be useful.

respiratory rate

The respiratory rate, for me, was especially low in Eight Sleep. At first I thought this might have to do with the mattress protector that was on the cover (something I suggest you do since you can’t wash the Eight Sleep mattress cover), but even with the protector removed, my respiratory records went down they remained.

Overall, I don’t really pay much attention to Eight Sleep’s metrics, as I have other devices that I feel do better. People who find it difficult to sleep comfortably using devices, such as a WHOOP or a watch, may feel differently.

Eight Sleep “8+ Pro Membership”

Eight Sleep offers an optional 8+ membership that adds custom intelligence to the Pod’s capabilities through temperature autopilot.

The temperature autopilot analyzes the quality of your sleep, the ideal thermal environment and the environmental conditions to automatically adjust the Pod’s temperature to optimize your sleep.

The 8+ membership also includes more detailed metrics and sleep tracking. There is a library of various content to help you improve your bedtime routine, such as yoga, meditation, guided breathing.

At $19 per month ($15 per month with the purchase of a Pod 3), it might be worth it if you don’t have any other devices for tracking and metrics, but if you already have one, I’m not sure the autopilot only be worth that amount. I usually just keep the temperature setting the same and make minor adjustments as needed.

Eight Sleep ‘8+ Pro’ Membership

Eight Sleep Pod 2 vs. Pod 3

Ok, now let’s talk about the difference between Pod 2 and the new Pod 3.

To be honest, there is not much difference here. There is new 5GHz Wi-Fi support for the kernel and what they call “invisible detection”. Invisible detection basically means that the sensors have been made smaller to make the mattress cover more comfortable. Honestly, I couldn’t tell much of a difference.

There is a higher powered quad-core CPU and 4000x sensor tracking resolution. This appears to have made HRV tracking significantly better with Pod 3 than Pod 2.

As far as sleep tracking goes, it’s hard to say if it’s been improved or not, as there really isn’t a great standard by which to judge Eight Sleep. But the accuracy and information it provides in that field seems to have at least been maintained.

I’m not sure I’d suggest an update for someone currently sleeping in a Pod 2, unless you rely on Eight Sleep as your HRV tracking tool, or if you really want to use Autopilot and want more accurate data.

Mattress Eight Sleep vs. Sheath

The biggest comparison I want to talk about is the difference between using the Pod Pro cover and the full Eight Sleep mattress.

The mattress I’ve been using for the past month is the Pod 3 Max, a six-layer mattress with what Eight Sleep calls a MaxChill layer. That specific layer is infused with silver, copper, and graphite for better heat dissipation.

After using this mattress compared to just the Pod 2 cover, I can tell you one thing: temperature changes are significantly better.

The Pod Pro Cover isn’t bad at what it does, but where I might be comfortable on the coldest setting with the cover on, that’s now too cold for me on the mattress. The same goes for higher temperatures, the higher one feels much hotter with the mattress.

Whether you or not need the best temperature settings are up to you, but the difference is noticeable.

In terms of how the mattress feels to sleep on, it actually feels great. I heard that all eight sleeping mattresses were pretty firm, but after trying one, I disagree. This bed is significantly softer than the firmer mattress (medium support rated memory foam) I was using previously.

In general, if you exercise a lot and lift weights, softer mattresses tend to be a little better. The Eight Sleep mattress has enough elasticity to meet this need. I am 200lbs and my wife is just over 100lbs, we are both very pleased with the feel of the mattress.

If you need a new mattress and are considering an Eight Sleep, I highly recommend the Eight Sleep Pod 3 mattress.

final thoughts

It’s the various temperature settings you can set during the night that are the true value of Eight Sleep. And it’s something, after using it for over a year, I would hate to live without it. The Eight Sleep technology has made a huge difference in the quality and recovery of my sleep.

Also, when it’s hot, there’s no better feeling than getting into a nice, cold bed. Or being able to share a bed with someone who has completely different temperature preferences, and both of you being comfortable.

At the end of the day, while I don’t think the Pod 3 improvements are significant enough for a current customer to upgrade, I highly recommend Eight Sleep, period.

This remains one of my favorite recovery tech products. No way would I want to go back to sleep without something like this.

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