The Eight Sleep Pod Pro 3 is the latest version of the company's flagship offering. In essence, this is a temperature-controlled mattress topper that uses tiny tubes of water to warm or cool the bed to the optimum sleep temperature. But it's more than that. It also provides state-of-the-art sleep tracking to help you analyse how you slept and uses that data to offer improvements on its temperature settings to optimise them.
I reviewed the previous Eight Sleep Pod Pro last year and found it one of the best beds I've ever slept on. For the US market, this came complete with Eight Sleep's own premium foam mattress or just as a mattress cover, allowing you to fit it over your existing mattress. In the UK, it was only available as the cover, not with the mattress.
The new Eight Sleep Pod Pro 3 promises many improvements over the former model but importantly for buyers outside of the US, it will be available with and without the mattress. For this review, I was sent the mattress cover version, so although this won't be in contention for best mattress, it is set to replace the Pod Pro in the best mattress cooling pads guide, and is equally suited to the best electric blanket guide for the winter months.
As I've mentioned though, the Eight Sleep products are designed to do more than simply heat and cool. As its marketing materials state, this is about sleep fitness. Providing you with a better night's sleep through the very latest technology.
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Eight Sleep Pod Pro 3 cover review: price and availability
The Eight Sleep Pro Pro 3 cover was launched on 27 July 2022. Available in the US, UK, Europe and Australia from the Eight Sleep website (opens in new tab), prices start at $2,095 (roughly £1740 / AU$3020) for the full size, $2,195 (£1820 / AU$3160) for the queen-size and $2,395 (£1990 / AU$3450) for king / California king. This is around $400 more per size than the previous Pod Pro. The Pod Pro 3 will also be available with the perfect fit cover (for deeper mattresses) and complete with the Eight Sleep mattress.
The unit I tested was the queen-sized cover with perfect fit and I put this over a Nectar Hybrid mattress.
Eight Sleep Pod Pro 3 cover review: design and features
The Pod Pro 3 comes in three main parts. First there's the encasement, which is like an undersheet for the Pod Pro cover that fits over your mattress and locks it into position. There's the active grid cover itself, which contains all of the sensors as well as the small pipes through which either heated or cooled water is pumped. Then there's the hub, the heart of the system that holds the water, cools/heats and pumps it into the cover.
At first inspection, not much appears to have changed in the look and feel of the product, compared to the previous Pod Pro. That's no bad thing though, as (like the former) it appears very stylish and well made. The cover and encasement are a mix of high-quality grey and black material, both featuring the simple 8 logo. The hub is a little on the large size – like an old desktop PC tower – but has a rounded front and rear and a minimalist look.
The new stuff is mostly inside the active grid cover and the hub. The active grid cover now has double the number of sensors to improve the accuracy of the sensor readings, such as heart rate and respiration. The sensors cover a great area of the mattress but at the same time, have been further recessed into the cover so that you can't feel them when you lie on it. As Eight Sleep's VP of R&D, David He told me, "we've actually made our job harder by moving things away from the user, with what we call invisible sensing, but we've made it more comfortable."
The hub features a more powerful quad-core processor and a new dual-band Wi-Fi chip. This allows it to connect to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks, including mesh support for more stable connectivity.
According to Mr He, it's not just what the Pod Pro can do now that's important. The sensor design has made the platform future-proof and we should expect more functionality to be released over time. Much like how Tesla built hardware into its cars and released features over time, it seems Eight Sleep has a similar idea with the Pod Pro 3.
Eight Sleep Pod Pro 3 cover review: set up and app
The setup procedure for the Pro Pro 3 is very clear. When you remove the kit from the separate boxes there are both written instructions and a link to download the app. Once you download the app, it also walks you through the installation process, complete with short videos for extra clarity.
As I was testing the Pod Pro 3 before its launch, I was using a Beta version of the app. Once this was installed on my iPhone (also available for Android) the process was much like that for the previous model.
The encasement first fits over the mattress and tucks underneath it, like a fitted sheet. Then the cover is placed over the top and zipped into the encasement. Straps are then attached to all sides and passed underneath the bed before being tightened. This is a much more effective system than I've seen on other temperature-controlled covers and keeps it firmly in place.
From the back or top of the cover comes a thick pipe that then attaches to the hub unit, which is placed next to the bed. With most beds, you can pass this pipe under the bed and gives you lots of room to spare. Once attached to the hub, the hub can be switched on and paired with your phone.
Thanks to the new dual Wi-Fi chip, pairing the hub is much quicker and is all done from within the app – rather than having to pick it from your network options first. Once paired you can then start the priming process. The water container holds just over a litre of water and should be mixed with a couple of teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide (to keep the pipes clean). After the first prime, which takes about 15 minutes, you will need to refill the water container with another litre or so of water. The app will warn you if the water is running low after that but I haven't needed to top it up since.
It then takes two further priming sessions of around 90 minutes each before the bed is completely ready. However, you can start to use the functions at this stage if needed (the system will just be a little louder than normal).
Eight Sleep Pod Pro 3 cover review: in use
Eight Sleep describes the Pod Pro 3 as being about sleep fitness, and in many ways it is. For me though, the experience is best divided into two main parts. First, there's the sleep experience; it's the feeling of getting into your bed and it feeling the perfect temperature (nice and cool in the summer or toasty warm in the winter) and then staying at the perfect temperature all night. This should mean you don't need to kick off the covers at night because you're too hot or wake up freezing cold.
The second part is the data that the Pod Pro offers on how you slept. Though you use the app to set the temperature of the cover in advance, its main use is to review the data afterwards. Your sleep report gives you a simple score out of 100 for how you slept but then also breaks that down into your time slept, your wake-up consistency, time to fall asleep, the time it took you to get out of bed, as well as a timeline and a graph of your sleep stages.
I personally find the sleep stages graph really interesting, as you can see when you moved between deep sleep, light sleep and REM sleep. You can also view your sleeping heart rate in a graph here, and see the number of times you tossed and turn in the night – I tend to move very little once I'm asleep it seems.
In addition to the sleep report, the app also provides you with a health report and this is where you really get to see how advanced those sensors are. The health report covers your heart rate variability (HRV), your sleeping heart rate and your sleeping respiratory rate. All this is designed to give you feedback on the quality of the sleep you had and identify recovery. A low HRV, for instance, can signal illness, while a high HRV shows recovery. Equally a lower sleeping heart rate is a sign of good rest, while a high number could be a sign of stress.
All of this data can plug directly into your regular fitness tracking apps, like Apple Health, Peloton and Fitbit. That means that you don't need to wear your watch or fitness trackers to bed – the Pod Pro is one big fitness tracker. Eight Sleep's David He hinted that this health tracking is an area where the Pod Pro is likely to expand in future months and years, as the sensors and processing power have lots more potential. There's no limit here on battery usage or size, so in theory, it could provide much more than a wearable ever could.
Some of the Eight Sleep features are only available as part of the 8+ Pro membership that costs $15/£14 per month. These include the temperature autopilot, which adjusts the nighttime temperatures for you, a collection of sleep tools, such as guided meditations, breathing exercises, and relaxing audio tracks. This does feel a little steep considering the price for the main product but is a well-established model among other fitness products, so doesn't feel particularly out of place.
Eight Sleep Pod Pro 3 cover review: verdict
While the Pod Pro 3 doesn't current feel like a huge step up from the previous version, the potential is huge. If you currently have the Pod Pro, there's probably not enough reason to upgrade just yet.
However, if you are considering buying one for the first time, I would absolutely go for this version. The experience sleeping on this temperature controlled cover is incredible. So much so that you'll never want to be with out it. This new model is more comfortable, connects much easier to Wi-Fi (and is far more stable) and offers greater accuracy in its readings. While that last part is difficult to prove either way, the sheer number of extra sensors make me believe it.
One big benefit Eight Sleep has over its competitors, is how well the cover fits over a mattress, and stays in place. Others can feel like badly fitting electric blankets while the Pod Pro 3 just feels like part of your mattress – and just as comfy.
The one thing i'd love to see is a shorter hub unit – even if it's slightly wider – so that it is able to fit under your bed. As right now, the unit does take up quite a bit of room, and while it's not unattractive, not everyone will want it on display.
Eight Sleep Pod Pro 3 cover review: also consider
While the new model is great, you can save yourself around $400/£400 right now by picking up the former Pod Pro. It's still an excellent product and provided you have a strong Wi-Fi signal in your bedroom, you can't go wrong.
There is an option with the former Pod Pro to buy with the mattress in the US and I've been reliably informed that the new Pod Pro 3 will have this option globally. The advantage of buying the option with the mattress included is that the cover simply zips on in seconds – no need for straps or encasement covers. The downside is that the foam mattress is a little on the softer side, so won't suit everyone.
There are of course other options in the temperature-controlled cover space. The Sleepme dock Pro by Chilisleep (opens in new tab) has a couple of benefits to it. One is that the controller units fit under the bed, keeping them out the way. And the second is that you can buy it for just one side of the bed, if it's just you, or your partner doesn't want the heating/cooling, which keeps the cost down.