If temperature control is one of your biggest bedtime woes, the Eight Sleep Pod mattress might be the bed for you. Built with an Active Grid technology that thermoregulates on both sides of the mattress, this bed is literally designed to help sleepers hone in on the perfect temperature for their specific needs.
While that sounds pretty impressive, the question remains: Does the tech actually work? To find out, I tested it myself, and was pretty darn surprised by what I discovered.
Curious for my thoughts? Then you better keep on reading for my full Eight Sleep Pod review! Or, if you’re short on time, you can skip right to my review summary.
Eight Sleep launched in 2014 on a mission to optimize the way folks sleep. While this aim isn’t so different from other brands on the market, what sets Eight apart is its focus on using smart technology to improve slumber.
In addition to the Eight Sleep Pod we’re looking at here, the company also sells a Smart Bed, Smart Sleep Tracker (which we’ve previously reviewed), blue wave glasses, weighted blankets, and much more. But since we won’t be getting into those products in this review, let’s turn our attention back to the Eight Sleep Pod!
Despite the fact that the Pod is a smart mattress, its design is actually quite straightforward. Things kick off with the Active Grid (which, again, regulates temps across the bed) and are followed by four layers of foam. It’s an intriguing mix of complex technology with relatively simple materials, so I’m interested to see how it all comes together.
That being said, let’s peel back the cover and take a looksie!
What is the Eight Sleep Pod Made of?
Cover – The cover of the Pod mattress functions mostly as a sleeve for the Active Grid we’ve been discussing thus far. It’s made from a knit polyester blend, which, while soft on its own, loses some of its coziness when combined with the gird. For me, I could feel the grid moving within the cover, which made for a sort of crinkly, tarp-like vibe. This may not work for some sleepers, which is why I’m making note of it here.
Active Grid – Speaking of the Active Grid, not only can this device thermoregulate both sides of the mattress, but it also uses sensors to track sleep phases as well as heart and respiratory rates. In the morning, the grid synthesizes all these different data points to provide you with a sleep score on the app, which signifies whether or not you achieved optimized slumber. And don’t sweat it if your results are less than ideal — the app will share tips to help you improve your score!
Comfort – Underneath the cover, you’ll land on a comfort layer of poly foam. It’s a fairly soft foam, which allows for a bit of sinkage and give. I wouldn’t necessarily equate it to a contouring feel, but you should experience some nice comfort as soon as you plop on the mattress.
Bounce – Beneath the top layer, you’ll find yet another layer of poly foam. This one has a much quicker response to pressure than the one above it, which helps bring some lift to the structure. In my opinion, this bed isn’t very bouncy, but this layer at least helps to curb some of the sinkage of the top section.
Contour – Nestled near the bottom of the bed is a thin layer of memory foam. This material has a slow response to pressure, and helps to bring some body-contouring comfort to the structure. Given that it’s buried under two much firmer layers, I can’t say I really felt its effects.
Foundation – The Pod wraps things up with a thick layer of high-density poly foam, which helps to imbue the structure with its stability and shape.
Eight Sleep Pod Setup
Before we get into the construction, I want to take a moment to talk set up. Every Pod mattress comes with an accompanying device that sits right by your bed. It’s shaped kind of like a computer modem and connects to the grid via a cord. It has a chamber for water, which you’ll need to fill in order to power the Active Grid. If this sounds confusing, don’t worry — Eight provides step-by-step instructions that make set up a breeze!
Once you’ve got the gadgets assembled, it’s time to download the Eight Sleep app. This is where you’ll be able to access all your sleep tracking data as well as where you can control the different temperatures across the bed. According to the brand, this baby can achieve a range between 55° and 115°F.
How Does the Eight Sleep Pod Mattress Feel?
Now that we’ve chatted about the design specs, let’s see how these materials affect the bed’s feel, starting with firmness.
As with any feel factor, firmness is a subjective measure that can change a lot depending on one’s body size, shape, and weight. Therefore, my response to the mattress could very well differ from your own. For reference, I’m 5’10”, 190 lbs. and sleep primarily on my stomach.
After rolling around on the Eight Sleep Pod, I decided to give it a firmness rating of 7/10. When compared to the industry standard of 6.5 for medium firmness, it seems this bed is a touch on the firmer side.
When I was first testing out the bed sans cover, I found it to be quite soft, so it’s interesting to see that the Active Grid is really what gives this bed its firmness (I should note that the mattress is not meant to be used without the cover, I was just doing so for curiosity’s sake). Though the vibe isn’t ultra-sturdy or anything like that, I’d still recommend it primarily for combo sleepers who move between positions in the night. In my opinion, this bed is too soft for strict stomach sleepers and too firm for either back or side sleepers (but I’ll explore that in more detail below).
Keep in mind that the big selling point of this mattress is the tech, so if you’re just on the market for a comfortable bed, this may not be the one for you. However, I will say that I was genuinely surprised by just how effective the Active Grid was at establishing different temperatures across the mattress. While I can’t speak to the exact temperatures reached by the grid, I was impressed by the range and quickness with which they changed. So, if you do want a mattress for its temperature-controlling capabilities, I think you could be well-satisfied with the Pod.
Testing the Eight Sleep Pod Mattress
Though important, firmness isn’t the only factor to consider when buying a new mattress! So, I thought it might be useful to run tests for two of my other favorite variables: Pressure Relief and Motion Transfer.
If firmness is one side of the comfort coin, pressure relief is surely the other. In case you haven’t heard the term before, it basically refers to how well (or not well!) a bed is able to alleviate tension at sensitive spots along the body, such as the shoulders, hips, and lower back. To assess this feel factor, I like to use a handy dandy pressure map!
Though it sounds complicated, it’s actually quite simple: I roll this gizmo out, hop aboard, and let the map do the rest! As I move around the structure, the gadget records the force my body’s exerting on the structure, and makes a colored “map” of the pressure. Blue indicates areas of low pressure and red indicates areas of high pressure.
Back – Lying on my back, I felt as though my weight was pretty evenly distributed across the structure. Though I could feel the top foam layers filling in the space at my lumbar region for some pressure relief, the crinkly cover did make me feel a little uncomfortable. However, I would say that the firmness of the bed made it very easy to move around and change positions.
Side – As I mentioned above, this is quite a firm bed, so I definitely felt some jamming at my shoulders as I turned onto my side. Strict side sleepers tend to prefer softer structures that provide a bit more cushioning at the shoulders and hips, so these sleepers may want to look for a gentler mattress.
Stomach – Turning onto my stomach, I felt okay. Though the firmness of the bed did support a fairly neutral spinal alignment, I could still feel my hips sinking slightly out of line with my shoulders. This is not an ideal feel for strict stomach sleepers, who need a taut structure for even alignment across the back.
And now let’s get into a little motion transfer! This factor refers to the amount of movement that’s detectable from one side of the mattress to the other, and could be a crucial variable for sleepers to consider if they share a bed with a child, partner, or rowdy pet.
To illustrate this motion transfer, I dropped a 10 lb. steel ball from heights of 4 inches, Eight inches and 12 inches and measured the disturbance it caused: the bigger the lines, the bigger the disturbance.
These are pretty average motion transfer results. While the foam layers did an okay job of absorbing movement across the structure, you’re still likely to feel your partner moving in the night. If you sleep with a restless bed mate, this might pose a problem for you!
Eight Sleep App
And let’s not forget the Eight Sleep App! In my opinion, it’s a well-designed application with a user-friendly interface and easy-to-follow instructions. Everything felt pretty intuitive, so I was never lost as I navigated its many features, which include:
- A temperature control panel, for setting up temps on either side of the bed.
- A heating/cooling temperature alarm feature in which sleepers can set a specific temperature to accompany their morning alarm.
- A white noise function.
- A sleep tracker portal, which provides tips and tricks for improving bedtime habits.
- And a sleep score window in which sleepers can access their nightly sleep score (as derived from the sleep data picked up from the Active Grid.)
All reviews must come to an end, and here we are at ours. After examining every inch of the Eight Sleep Pod’s construction and feel, it’s time to answer the question you came here asking: Should you buy this mattress? I can’t make that decision for you, but I can leave you with a few final thoughts to help you get there on your own.
Eight Sleep Pod Recommendations
- If you’re into the idea of sleep tracking, this mattress could be a great fit for you! The Active Grid measures sleep and provides you with new data every morning.
- I also found it super easy to move around and change positions, marking this bed as a good option for combo sleepers.
- Additionally, I’d say this could be a nice choice for folks who overheat in the night, as the Active Grid is incredibly effective at setting and changing temperatures.
Eight Sleep Pod Complaints
- This isn’t a very bouncy mattress, so may not be the best pick for those in need of optimized mobility.
- I’d also say that the cover has a very unique feel; in my opinion, it felt a bit like a crinkly tarp, which didn’t jive with my specific sleep preferences.
- Trial – 100 Day
- Shipping – Free
- Warranty – 10 Years
How Much Does the Eight Sleep Pod Cost?
|Full||52.5" x 74.5" x 11"||$1,995|
|Queen||58.5" x 79.5" x 11"||$2,195|
|King||74.5" x 79.5" x 11"||$2,495|
|Cali King||70.5" x 83.5" x 11"||$2,495|
Frequently Asked Questions
Voila! That’s it for my Eight Sleep Pod review. If you want to know more, leave a comment on the video above. Or, send me a message on the Sleepopolis Facebook or Twitter page!