Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover Review: OMG This is So Good.
Three years ago I decided to get more serious about my sleep health.
I ended up investing in the Ooler Sleep System by Sleep.Me, and I’ve used it every night I’ve been at home since.
Overall, it’s been a good experience.
Sure it never quite got as cold as I wanted it to, there’s been some reliability issues, and it’s a little louder than I’d prefer – but it did a pretty good job of helping aid my sleep.
Over the last few months, I’ve seen more and more people talking about the Eight Sleep Pod 3 system.
I’ve been considering upgrading my Ooler for a while to their Dock Pro system, but the more I heard about Eight Sleep the more curious I became.
My Pod 3 Cover arrived about 3 weeks ago, and well…
I feel like this is where I should add a little bit of mystery to keep you engaged, but honestly, I can’t.
This product is SO good.
SO SO good.
It legitimately blows away my Sleepme product in nearly every category.
BUT, it’s not perfect.
If you’ve been in the market for a temperature-regulated sleep system, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know in this Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover review.
I’m going to tell you what I love about it, what I don’t, and I’ll make some direct comparisons to the Ooler and other Sleepme products which are among the biggest competitors to Eight Sleep.
Ready to get going? Me too, I’m excited for this one.
What is the Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover?
The Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover is essentially a super high-tech mattress pad with two main functions.
The first is it regulates temperature using water. The pad has tiny tubes built into it that will send water throughout the entire pad. This can be set to as hot as 110 degrees, as cold as 55, and anywhere in between.
There’s a single dock that controls this, and each Eight Sleep Pod 3 has dual side controls. Meaning, you and your significant other can each have totally different temperatures on your own sides of the bed.
The second major feature of the Pod 3 is non-wearable sleep tracking.
For the last couple months, I’ve been wearing my Garmin Approach S70 to bed, because the sleep tracking is so impressive on the watch.
The Eight Sleep has sensors built in throughout the entire pad to garner all of the same information as my watch, without having to wear anything.
Data like wakeup times, sleep cycles, HRV, breathing rate, and more, are all calculated while you sleep.
If you’re trying to optimize your recovery, get deeper sleep, or simply be more comfortable in bed? There’s a very good chance the Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover was made for you.
Choosing the Right Eight Sleep Product for You
Similar to the Sleepme Ooler I had before, you have a few options when purchasing an Eight Sleep product.
First off, there’s the Eight Sleep Mattress. This essentially has all of the same functions and features as the cover we’re talking about today, but is an entire mattress.
I’m perfectly happy with my mattress, so I didn’t feel the need to go through the extra hassle or expense of buying this.
There are currently 3 different cover options:
- Pod 2 Cover – The last generation cover and dock
- Pod 3 Cover – The latest in Eight Sleep Technology
- Pod 3 Cover with PerfectFit – The latest Eight Sleep technology plus a cover that is much easier to install and fit over any existing mattress.
Depending on your bed size, you can save around $400 if you go with the Pod 2, and save $100 if you don’t want PerfectFit. But I’m looking at this as a product that I’m going to use for years to come, and given how fast technology changes, I wanted the best product available.
I’ve also heard about some struggles getting the cover to fit for some people, so the PerfectFit option was particularly appealing.
First Impressions of the Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover
My Eight Sleep Pod 3 arrived very quickly, just a few days after ordering it. It showed up in two separate boxes, one for the dock, and one for the cover itself.
I never really thought my Ooler felt cheap, but I think this was partly because I’d never used any other similar product.
As soon as I took out both the dock and the mattress pad, I was legitimately surprised by how high quality it is.
Especially the cover itself. It is night and day better than the Sleepme system I had previously.
The Sleepme pad goes over the top of your existing mattress pad and uses elastic straps to attach around the corners of the bed. One of those broke immediately upon installing it.
The Pod 3 cover with PerfectFit is a full cover that fits over the entirety of your mattress. It’s softer and the dark grey color feels much classier than with my Ooler.
The hoses that attach to the dock are way more robust than I expected them to be as well.
The Pod 3 is an expensive product at over $2,000. But my first impression of it was that it truly looks and feels the part.
My Ooler was close to $1500 when I bought it, so not that much cheaper. And the Pod 3 blows it out of the water in terms of fit and finish.
If you’re on a budget, then check out our BedJet 3 review.
Setting Up the Eight Sleep Pod 3: Easier than Expected
I’d read a few other reviews of the Eight Sleep before I received mine, and a number of them talked about having a pretty nightmarish setup process.
So I was prepared for the worst, and made sure I gave myself ample time to do it.
Honestly? The hardest part was getting the boxes open! They packaged those things really well…
The first thing you’ll do is download the Eight Sleep app and sign up for your account.
The app walks you through every single step of the process, and doing it is very intuitive and easy to follow.
Getting the cover on my bed was super easy. You put the hoses behind your headboard, and then place it on the bed just as you would any other mattress pad. It fits very snug and was easy to get all the wrinkles out and get it totally flat. This is necessary both for comfort as well as to ensure proper sleep and biometric tracking.
From there, everything was pretty obvious: Plug in the power to the dock, attach the hoses, connect to WiFi, and fill the tank up with water.
From the time I entered my room to the time it was setup probably took about half an hour.
It does take a few hours to properly prime the Pod 3 with water to be ready for sleep, so for optimal results do it earlier in the day.
When you set up your account, you can add the email of your significant other, and it will allow them to setup an account so they can control their side of the Eight Sleep and get tracking info.
Using the Eight Sleep Pod 3
Overall I’ve been really impressed with the app experience of the Eight Sleep system.
As with any app, it can take a little bit of time to understand where everything is and how it works, but the learning curve is minimal.
One thing I love about the Pod 3 vs. the Ooler is the fact it’s WiFi rather than just Bluetooth.
There were so many times I wanted to turn on my Ooler to get it ready to go, but I was out of Bluetooth range and couldn’t.
With the Eight Sleep, I can turn it on and set the temperature from anywhere I want.
Eight Sleep Pod 3 AutoPilot
That said, to get the most out of the system you can set it up with timers and alarms.
This will set your bed to your perfect temperature an hour before your regular bedtime.
The scheduling works very well, and is easy to use. You can even set the Pod 3 to switch temperatures throughout the night to encourage the best sleep possible.
For instance, I like getting in a cool bed during the Summer. But I know sleeping in a cold bed will promote deep sleep. So I can set my schedule to go from say 62 degrees at bedtime, down to 55 degrees an hour later.
Then as I get closer to my desired wakeup time, I can have it warm up the bed to gently wake me up.
There’s also a subtle alarm vibration function built into the mattress as well which is far less jarring than waking up to an alarm clock.
But where the magic really lies is in the ‘AutoPilot” system.
After 7 days, the system begins to understand your body and sleep routines.
When you turn on AutoPilot, it will automatically adjust the temperature throughout the night to help you sleep deeper, and stay asleep.
You can do schedules with the Ooler, but I found the system cumbersome to use, and mostly just did everything manually.
The Eight Sleep scheduling and AutoPilot systems work extremely well, makes the system truly enjoyable to use, and has made a noticeable difference for both me and my wife when it comes to sleep quality.
How Well Does the Eight Sleep Pod 3 Work?
Ok now to answer the biggest question: how well does the Eight Sleep Pod 3 work?
This is the part that caused me to wake up the next morning and say “OMG, this thing is so good.”
The Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover works so well when it comes to heating and cooling your bed.
For some context, I started testing this in July in Portland. We’ve had some days consistently get up above 90 and stay there for a few days. I don’t have AC in my house.
With the Ooler on really hot days, it would struggle. It would certainly keep you cooler, but even at its coldest setting it never felt cold when the ambient temperature was hot.
Even when it isn’t hot, it’ll get very cool, but not extremely cold.
With the Eight Sleep System? It gets cold.
With the Eight Sleep you can have it use actual temperatures, but by default it’s a scale from -10, which is 55 degrees, to +10 which is 110 degrees.
Setting it at -9 for the night, I’d wake up in the morning and the entire side of my body that I’d slept on would be legitimately cold.
It heats and cools LIGHTYEARS better than my Ooler ever did.
And it’s the first sleep system that has made me ok with not having air conditioning.
My wife is notorious for not caring or noticing whenever I get a new toy or gadget at the house.
Sonos surround system?
“Why’d you spend so much money on that? It’s gonna wake up the baby.”
“Does it really need to be that big?”
But with the Eight Sleep, at least 3 times she has said “I love this thing, it’s so much better than the Ooler!”
So for all of the cool features, sleep tracking, ease of setup etc. if there’s one thing you take from this, it’s that the heating and cooling of the Eight Sleep Pod 3 is truly best in class and has exceeded all of my (our) expectations.
Sleep Tracking with the Eight Sleep Pod 3
But the heating and cooling is just one of the features of the Pod 3 cover.
The other side of it is the sleep tracking.
The idea of getting accurate sleep tracking without a wearable device seems, well, not possible.
So I didn’t exactly have super high expectations for it.
But after a few weeks of sleeping on the Pod 3, I’ve been shocked at how well the sleep tracking works.
Without any wearable, the Pod 3 can track:
- Which sleep stages you’re in and for what duration
- When you fell asleep and when you woke up
- Heart rate
- Heart rate variability,
- Breathing rate
It then takes all of that data and gives you easy-to-understand scores for all of this, as well as your overall night of sleep.
The data has been very close to the same as what I get with my Garmin. The company will tell you some of these differences come down to a wearable being on one extremity vs. the sensors in the Pod 3 which span the entirety of your bed.
Regardless, they’ve been close enough that I trust it all.
You can add tags to the app each day for things like “watching TV late”,”exercise”, “alcohol” and a few dozen more.
It’s been eye-opening to both see (and feel) how much better my sleep is on nights where I don’t drink.
One thing I do wish I could do is tell it if I’m in bed reading. So if I go to bed an hour early and read, it has me as being “awake” which can throw off all of the data for “routine” because it’s thinking it takes me over an hour to fall asleep.
But aside from that one minor issue, the Pod 3 sleep tracking is a game changer. It truly takes the Pod 3 from nice to have, to something I can’t sleep without.
Other Eight Sleep App Features
Aside from temperature regulation and sleep-tracking features, the app goes a step further.
You’ll also find an entire section for Sleep Tools that feature:
- Breathwork exercises
- Sounds and music to aid sleep
- Stretching and workout exercises for before bed and after waking up
The Ooler felt mostly just like a fancy way to heat and cool your bed.
The Eight Sleep Pod 3 system feels like a sleep health ecosystem, that provides you with all of the tools you need to truly improve the quality of your sleep and routines.
Downsides of the Eight Sleep Pod 3
By now, you can tell I am a huge fan of this system.
But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. There are a few drawbacks that I’d be remiss not to talk about.
Let’s go in order from minor to major.
Occasional Water Sounds Coming from Dock
One of the things I’ve appreciated about the Eight Sleep Pod 3 vs the Sleepme Ooler is just how quiet it is. Even on the “silent” setting, the Ooler made a fair amount of noise. On top of that, the fans were constantly going, which caused the room to heat up even more.
The Pod 3 is generally very quiet.
BUT, occasionally I’ll hear what sound like dripping noises as I’m trying to fall asleep.
It doesn’t happen all the time, and I haven’t noticed it as much this past week. But it kind of sounds like water dripping into a puddle. I think it happens more when the Pod 3 is actively heating or cooling, but every time I hear it, it makes me think there’s been a leak or something (there never is.)
While the Ooler fans were basically just white noise, this is a little more acute, so when it happens I tend to notice it more.
The Pod 3 is Expensive
The Pod 3 Cover with PerfectFit in size Queen currently costs just shy of $2,300.
I don’t care who you are, that’s a lot of money for something that no one really needs.
The build quality, performance, and features all make that price much more justifiable than I expected it to be.
But, being so expensive will definitely push it out of the realm of affordability for a lot of people.
I do suppose it’s about perspective though. The bid to get AC at our home was $23,500. That’s not happening. So for 10% of the price to have something that makes the Summer heat much more bearable makes it seem like a downright bargain.
That said if you’re really interested in a temperature-controlled sleep system and can’t justify this price. You might take a look at the original ChiliPad. It won’t have any of the fancy features of the Eight or Dock Pro, and won’t get as cold, but for around $500 you can get a lot of the same benefits.
The Subscription Fee Feels Like a Gut Punch
Finally, the biggest downside of the Eight Sleep is that in order to truly take advantage of everything mentioned here, you have to pay for the $180/year “Pro” subscription.
You can also pay $288/year for the “Plus” subscription which just adds an extended warranty.
If you want access to any of the sleep tracking, scheduling, autopilot, vibration/thermal alarm, and sleep health reports – you’ve gotta pony up.
I get it. This is the way of the world.
It’s getting out of hand, and this is where these companies make the bulk of their money.
But this one really hurts. To drop over $2k and have to pay the extra each year feels a little over the top.
Is it worth it? In my experience, yes, it absolutely is. And if you’re planning to buy an Eight Sleep, I’d build the subscription into your budget. Otherwise, you’re missing out on the bulk of what makes this product so great.
Unless all you care about having something that will make your bed stay really cold all night. That is truly the best feature of the Pod 3, and you can do that without the subscription fee.
Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover vs. SleepMe: Which Product is Better?
First the easy answer.
However, this information most likely won’t be super useful for you considering for some reason SleepMe is no longer selling the Ooler.
The most direct competitor to the Pod 3 is the SleepMe Dock Pro. I haven’t used this personally, so I can’t definitively say which is better.
But I’ll comment on a few things I do know.
Instead of one dock, the Dock Pro has two – one for each side of the bed. This is how it was with our Ooler.
Generally, it’s nice just to have one main hub.
That said, the Eight Sleep Dock is much taller, so it doesn’t fit underneath the bed, which is a bit of a bummer.
The Dock Pro will slide under most beds, and it also has a manual control on the device itself – which I wish the Eight Sleep had.
Sometimes you just want to quickly change the temperature of the bed and not have to deal with getting your phone out. The fact the Dock Pro allows you to do this is nice, and it’s a feature I do miss on the Eight Sleep.
The Eight Sleep app is a huge upgrade from the last SleepMe app I used. I assume the Dock Pro will get colder than my Ooler did, but with the design of the PerfectFit cover which goes all the way over your mattress, it’s a nice upgrade over the topper the Dock Pro has.
As far as customer service, I’ve reached out twice over the last few months to the team at Sleepme regarding my Ooler – and have yet to receive a response. I’ve heard from other readers that they’ve had a similar experience.
Compare this to Eight Sleep which had immediate live chat support within the app while I was setting up my unit.
So if you’re concerned about customer support moving forward, in my experience, it seems as though Eight Sleep is the clear winner here.
One final thing that we’ve gotta touch is the price. Depending on which version you get, you can get into a Dock Pro for around half the price of the Eight Sleep. So despite the fact that my experience with Eight Sleep has been better in every way compared to my SleepMe experience – you’re paying for the privilege.
So again, if budget is a concern, then the Dock Pro is definitely worth considering.
Final Impressions of the Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover
I’m not even trying to hide how much I love this product.
If you’re looking for a system to aid your fitness recovery, track your sleep, and sleep deeper and more comfortably? I’m not sure there’s a better product on the market than the Eight Sleep Pod 3 Cover.
If it weren’t for using a Sleepme system for 3 years, I might not be quite as impressed.
But since I have used one of these sleep systems for so long, the fact that the Pod 3 is so much better caught me off guard.
Yes, it’s very expensive.
Even more so when you throw the subscription on top of it.
But considering you spend 30% of your life in bed, and the quality of that time directly relates to the quality of your life outside of your bed – this is an investment that is well worth it…if you can afford it.
Have any questions about the Eight Sleep Pod 3, SleepMe Ooler or anything else? Drop a comment and I’ll do my very best to answer every single one!
This page contains affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and buy one of the products on this page, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you!) This doesn’t affect our opinions or our reviews. Everything we do is to benefit you as the reader, so all of our reviews are as honest and unbiased as possible.
- Extremely well built, and pad itself is more comfortable than competitors
- Sleep tracking works as well as advertised
- Gets cold and STAYS cold.
- Occasional water noises
- It's expensive.
- The subscription fee feels excessive.