Three years on the Eight Sleep Pod

I recently received the Eight Sleep mattress I ordered a few weeks ago, and a lot of my friends have asked me about it. Online mattress reviews are notoriously bought and fake more often than they’re real, so here’s my thoughts as someone who has owned a whopping three mattresses in their life.

what is this thing?

I will let their site explain more, but basically – it’s a great foam-based mattress with a zipper at the bottom. On top of this goes the cover, which is like a topper with a bunch of tubes in it that zips on to the mattress. The tubes go into the Pod™, a black obelisk that cools (or heats) the water and connects to wifi to enable all the smart connectivity.

smart connectivity in a mattress?

Yes, and it’s actually pretty nice. I previously used a Withings under-bed sleep sensor, and the Eight has it built in (it also integrates with IFTTT, so you can program it to do whatever you want when you wake up, for example). Under bed sensors are more accurate in my experience than wrist-based sensors like (poorly-performing) Fitbit or Galaxy Watch and even the very-good Oura Ring. The bed will tell you how long it took for you to get to sleep, how you slept, in what sleep stages, and how long it took you to get out of bed after you woke up. It can also tell if you’re tossing or turning, and what your heart rate is through the night. Uniquely, it can also tell you your respiratory rate, which I haven’t seen other wearables offer. The Pod itself will also read the air temp and humidity, and adjust accordingly.

Of course, for the King size, you can program which side of the bed you sleep on, and invite your partner to the app. Each site can be heated or cooled independently, and based on your preferences, you can configure the bed temperature to change through the night and get much warmer or colder to wake you up (the bed can also vibrate as an alarm).

is it worth it?

After a night: yes. I sleep hot and the bed gets impressively cold. The recommended cold level for me of -6 (out of 10, -10 being coldest and 10 being warmest) was almost too cold for me(!) It does work as advertised in almost every way, temperature, alarms, smart connectivity and all.

almost every way?

There are a few caveats. The Pod is 2.4GHz only, which I wouldn’t quibble with because it’s a mattress, but it also can’t stay connected properly. Setup was easy except for the part where it disconnected from the wifi every couple of minutes. One of the big negatives I read of Eight Sleep before purchasing was the reliability of the Pod, and this didn’t give me confidence. After manually setting the 2.4GHz channel to the lowest utilized one in my area, it did stay connected through the night.

The Pod also requires distilled water and hydrogen peroxide to refill, a fact Eight Sleep does not seem keen to advertise.

The checkout page also included a “free” Eight Plus membership. I swear they tried to charge for this at one point, but it’s free “forever” now.

As with every negative, it’s a big We’ll See. If the Pod breaks down, or they lock features behind a membership, Eight can expect some negative feedback on the over-$4,000 sleep system, but until then, I love it.

Update 1 (10/16/2021):

Well, it leaked. Some hole in the active grid dumped two or three canisters of water in the mattress before I realized something was up (I had come back from the ER a few hours before and was not in the best mental state as I filled it up again and again). To Eight Sleep’s credit, they processed the return right away and I should have a new Active Grid and mattress in a week. Fingers crossed, but this is exactly what I was afraid of. What if this happened over a year in?

Update 2 (11/5/2021):

About a week after I reported the break to Eight Sleep, they sent me an all-new mattress, active grid, and pod (I don’t know why they sent the pod — the pod was fine. I told them that, and they seemed like they either accidentally sent it or didn’t have a way of unbundling the Pod from the Grid — they arrive attached). Now we wait to see if it happens again in six months.

Update 3 (4/21/2022):

It sprung another (smaller and less consistent, oddly) leak. Eight replaced just the cover this time. Despite the problems, it’s more comfortable than any other mattress I’ve ever been on — I just hope the warranty holds up.

Update 4 (8/2/2023):

It’s still kicking, and 8sleep has not tried to force me onto their idiotic subscription-based product, so I’m still happy.

Update 4 (8/7/2023): I should have known better than to tempt fate. Something has gone wrong with the software – I tried re-adding a partner (why is it so clunky to add someone for one night?) and the bed bugged out. Not only did it remove my preferences, it started heating both sides to +10 (the hottest setting).

After waiting 15 minutes, I got this message from chat support:

“Thank you for confirming. It looks like there is an ongoing but that is not allowing partner deletion at the time. Our team is aware of this and they are working to fix it as soon as possible.”

Weirdly, I tried deleting one more time and it worked. Hopefully, the bed doesn’t try to sous vide me tonight.

Update 5 (later that day): Well, it sprung another leak. This time it appears centered around the side panel of the active grid – not sure what that does, other than dump water into the middle of the mattress and on the floor. I only discovered this after priming the pump and then getting prompted by the app to put more water in but reader, I knew as soon as it told me it was out of water what was happening. I once again called Eight Sleep.

After a very long 20 minutes of stress, a very helpful rep picked up. He informed me not only was my system in warranty (by two weeks!) but as of yesterday, Eight Sleep had started shipping Pod 3 replacement kits to Pod 2 owners. I might be sleeping on a soggy mattress for a bit but my patience will presumably be rewarded.

Update 6 (8/15/2023): I am now the owner of a snazzy new Eight Sleep Pod 3. Not the mattress, though. The rep assured me they are sending a replacement, but I never got an email confirmation like I did for the pod. A few days later, I got the mattress, and support scheduled a pickup for me of the old one. Easy!

If you found this article helpful or have a question, drop a comment below, or reach out to me on Twitter or Bluesky.

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