Materials: Foam, plastic
Warranty: 10 years (mattress), 2 years (heating/cooling tech)
Trial Period: 100 nights
Price Range: $2,795–$3,495
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Materials: Foam, plastic
Warranty: 10 years (mattress), 2 years (heating/cooling tech)
Trial Period: 100 nights
Price Range: $2,795–$3,495
The Mattress Nerd’s Take: Here at Mattress Nerd, we’ve reviewed a lot of mattresses. Our office is filled with stacks of mattresses that we’ve put through the ringer during our testing process. But the Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro smart mattress includes a water-based cooling system, robust smartphone app and biometric data collection (think heart-rate monitoring and sleep tracking), making it one of the most technologically advanced beds we’ve seen.
Still, the smart features in this mattress aren’t for everyone. We’ve narrowed down a few types of people we think would really appreciate this mattress’s unique technology:
Those who sleep on their back and stomach should find an even distribution of pressure on the Eight Sleep Pod Pro, and most stomach sleepers will achieve excellent spinal alignment on the bed’s dense foams. Still, we’re not convinced about the overall value of this bed, because it’s a simple all-foam mattress underneath its hydration-based temperature control cover. After all, there are plenty of wearable fitness trackers on the market that can track heart rate, and not everyone needs Eight Sleep’s fine-tuned temperature control. Keep reading for more personalized details and to learn who’s going to flip for this high-tech bed.
|Body Type:||Back Sleepers||Stomach Sleepers||Side Sleepers|
|Lightweight (< 130 lbs):||4||5||3|
|Average weight (130 – 230 lbs):||5||4||3|
|Heavyweight (> 230 lbs):||4||3||2|
1 = Very poor, 2 = Not good, 3 = Fair, 4 = Good, 5 = Excellent
If we had to choose one sleep position that the Pod Pro is made for, we’d say “back sleepers” in just 40 winks. Because of the higher-density foam layers, the bed is perfect for average-weight, lightweight and plus-size back sleepers alike. Interestingly, the Pod Pro’s Active Grid mattress cover changes the feel of the bed and makes it especially supportive for back sleepers. The Active Grid cover is comprised of sturdy plastic in the shape of connected rings. Foregoing it would lessen the bed’s supportive qualities, defeating almost all of the purpose of the Eight Sleep Pod Pro. After all, most sleepers are chasing the the Pod Pro’s fine-tuned temperature regulation.
If you spend the majority of your night on your stomach, there’s one mattress characteristic you should look out for: support, support and more support. Stomach sleepers need a firm, supportive bed to keep the hips elevated and spine properly aligned in an “S” shape. Lightweight and average-weight stomach sleepers should feel adequate hip support on the Pod Pro, especially with the flexible Active Grid on top. Still, heavier stomach sleepers might feel their hips sinking too far into its comfort layers.
When we tested the Pod Pro in our Sleep Lab, it was simply too firm to offer enough relief for delicate pressure points in side sleepers. Both our lightweight and average-weight side sleepers experienced pressure in their shoulders, and our lightweight side sleeper felt pressure in her hips as well. Still, even firm mattresses can feel softer to heavyweight sleepers. Plus-size side sleepers might have better luck with the firmer Pod Pro than lighter sleepers.
A bed’s responsiveness is a key point of consideration for combination sleepers: those who change positions often throughout the night. Because of the Pod Pro’s dense foams and the flexible plastic in its comfort layer, combination sleepers should be able to move around easily and won’t feel bogged down or stuck in the mattress. The bed isn’t soft enough for lightweight or average-weight combination sleepers who spend a lot of time on their sides, but it’s great for plus-size combination sleepers who find themselves sleeping on their back often.
As a rule, those who change positions frequently throughout the night or hate feeling “stuck” in their bed should choose a responsive mattress. The Pod Pro’s dense polyfoam top layer means the bed responds quickly to movement and makes the sleeper feel like they’re sleeping “on” the mattress rather than “in” it.
Interestingly, removing the water-channel cover makes the bed more squishy and cradling, but most anyone who purchases this bed won’t remove the cover. That’s the main selling point, after all.
The verdict is in: This smart bed has a medium-firm feel that edges ever-so-close to firm. We’d rate the mattress around a 7/10 on the firmness scale, with 10 being the firmest mattress you can imagine. The Pod Pro is well-suited to back sleepers and many stomach sleepers, but it might be too firm for side sleepers. Side sleepers need their hips and shoulders to sink into the mattress to achieve comfortable spinal alignment, and the Pod Pro’s firm foams just don’t allow the hips enough cushion for maximum comfort.
One of the Pod Pro’s main selling points is the climate-controlled cover. The cover connects to a pump that pushes water through thin channels in the Active Grid cover, heating or cooling the bed depending on the temperature a sleeper selects using an in-app dial. It all sounds a bit like Black Mirror, but we love that the bed can reach temperatures as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, this bed is the dream for people who sleep exceptionally hot or cold, especially those with chronic conditions. Sleepers can even set a temperature-based smart alarm: The bed can gradually wake up sleepers in the morning by either cooling down or heating up.
Though the Pod Pro has an all-foam design, we think the cooling water cover will completely make up for any heat-trapping tendencies in the foam. The only issue? Because the bed is cooled with water, we felt a moisture sensation when sitting or lying on the cooled-down bed. It reminded our team of waking up on a camping trip to a bit of mist in the air. A nice thick set of sheets should keep you adequately cool, yet separated from the feeling of moisture emanating from the bed.
And if you’re one of those rare individuals who sleeps cold, we feel your pain. Sometimes a space heater or an extra pair of socks just isn’t enough to keep fingers, toes and noses warm enough throughout the night for deep sleep. That’s where the Pod Pro comes in: The bed’s coziness surprised our team when we turned the Pod Pro to its maximum heat setting. Unlike the moist feeling of the bed’s cool setting, the heated mode never gave off a dewy sensation.
Couples who share a bed should keep one factor in mind when they select a new mattress: motion isolation. Since the Pod Pro is an all-foam bed, it should “dampen” disturbances and keep movement properly isolated from one partner to another. The bottom line? Minimal nighttime disturbance when one partner gets up for a midnight snack run.
But there’s one other couple-specific consideration with the Pod Pro: The Eight Sleep app allows for partner-specific heating and cooling based on which side of the bed they sleep on. The dual zone temperature control means that one partner can select the right temperature for their side of the bed using the Eight Sleep app, while the other partner can choose a different temperature. This extra customization is great for partners with extreme sleep temperature specifications.
The edge support in the Eight Sleep Pod Pro impressed us: We could sit and lie along the edges of the bed without feeling like we’d slide off. Typically our team doesn’t see edge support this impressive in all-foam beds like the Eight Sleep Pod Pro.
After a bit of consideration, we think a lot of the edge support comes from the bed’s water-cooling cover, which is made of a flexible plastic that augments the bed’s firmness level. We’re a bit worried that this plastic cover will lose some of its rigidity over time (similar to how leather shoes get softer and “broken in”) thus offering less edge support along the edges of the bed. Still, we’re very happy with the edge support for now.
The Pod Pro’s top Active Grid is uniquely suited to keep the body cool or warm for a better night’s sleep, while the mattress’s all-foam construction offers great support for back and stomach sleepers. Together, the four foam layers underneath the bed’s smart technology layer may be a bit too firm for side sleepers to stay comfortable, but side sleepers with a higher body weight might find it perfect for cradling their joints.
Layer #1: Active Grid: The Active Grid is where the Pod Pro really shines. This thin top comfort layer, part of the bed’s smart cover, is built with channels for water flow and 1” of foam for extra softness. The water flowing through the Active Grid technology will change temperature as you adjust the in-app settings, keeping you warm or cool depending on your nightly preferences.
Layer #2: Airflow Top Layer: This 2” layer of foam lies directly underneath the Pod Pro’s Active Grid and, while it doesn’t actively cool the body, it’s not your typical memory foam that causes overheating. It feels more elastic than slow-moving foam and responds quickly to body movement, contouring to the hips for better sleep.
Layer #3: Supportive Air Technology: The 1” layer of foam directly underneath the Airflow Top Layer relieves pressure and supports the body no matter what sleep position you choose. The foam is both supportive and breathable.
Layer #4: FlexSpring Technology Core: This layer is a 4” thick, dense piece of foam that adds height to the bed and enhances its durability. This layer helps with pressure relief and helps keep the spine aligned on top of the mattress for stomach sleepers. Having so many layers of foam can lead to “off-gassing,” the release of a chemical smell when the bed is first opened. But the Eight Sleep Pod Pro was an exception: We didn’t detect any strong odors upon opening it from the box.
Layer #5: Durable Premium Base: Most all-foam beds have a thick base made of high-density foam, and the Pod Pro’s support core is no different. Thick layers of foam like the 4” support core help reduce motion transfer and enhance durability, increasing the lifespan of the bed.
Like most bed-in-a-box mattress companies, Eight Sleep offers free shipping on mattress orders to the lower 48 states. The brand doesn’t ship to Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico, nor does it ship to locations outside the U.S.
Here’s where it gets a little tricky if you don’t read the fine print properly: The actual Eight Sleep mattress—the foam layers—is covered by a 10-year warranty that protects against issues like foam deterioration and zipper defects. But the bed’s “technology layer,” the plastic grid that water flows through to heat or cool the mattress, is only protected by a two-year warranty.
We’re not too sure about this deal. After all, the Active Grid technology isn’t cheap. Eight Sleep’s “Pod Thermo Cover” alone, which is quite similar, if not identical to, the Pod Pro’s temperature-control cover, simply zips onto an existing mattress at more than $1,500 for a Queen. At any rate, the warranty will only protect Eight Sleep purchases directly from the brand, so hand-me-down Eight Sleep beds won’t be covered.
Each Eight Sleep Pod Pro purchase comes with a 100-night sleep trial, which is standard for the mattress industry. If you decide you’d rather not keep the mattress for any reason within those 100 days, you’ll be able to return the bed for a full refund. If that happens, rest assured that Eight Sleep won’t sell the same used bed to another customer: The mattress will be discarded or donated to someone in need.
In the world of mattress technology, Purple is an interesting contrast to the Eight Sleep Pod Pro. Sure, Purple isn’t cooled by a water pump system, but the top layer of the mattress is made with Purple’s proprietary Hyper-Elastic Polymer grid. The Purple grid, originally made to help wheelchair-bound folks avoid pressure buildup, is a technological marvel in its own right.
Those who tend to sleep hot might find the nighttime cooling they need in Purple’s pressure-relieving grid, especially since it’s a square open-cell design. Ultimately, we think that both beds will appeal to sleep tech enthusiasts and anyone eager to try the most unique gadgets currently on the market. Both the flagship Purple mattress and the Eight Sleep Pod Pro will also support back sleepers and most stomach sleepers.
In our view, both the Eight Sleep Pod Pro and the Bear mattress are value-adds for those with an active lifestyle, or at least shoppers who are concerned about body recovery and sleep quality. While the Pod Pro works in tandem with an app—“your digital sleep coach,” according to the brand—the flagship Bear mattress uses a Celliant blend cover that encourages muscle recovery. It also incorporates graphite in its memory foam for added heat dispersion.
Both beds also cater to similar sleep styles: lightweight and average-weight stomach and back sleepers who are more concerned with adequate support than cloud-like comfort. If you’re an athlete looking for a high-value foam mattress, the original Bear is an excellent choice.
Hot sleepers, rejoice! The GhostBed Luxe is one of the most advanced all-foam cooling beds we’ve seen so far. The cover alone includes a high-tech “Ghost Ice Layer,” an inch of gel memory foam and cooling fibers.
Though the GhostBed Luxe is one of the more advanced models from the GhostBed brand, it’s priced well below the Eight Sleep Pod Pro. Side sleepers and those who want a soft, plush surface will find what they’re looking for on the GhostBed Luxe mattress. In fact, we’re impressed to find such a soft mattress that’s also good at cooling.
Does the Eight Sleep Pod Pro make a lot of noise?
The Pod Pro made a bit of white noise during the “priming” process, when water was being pumped into the bed, but our team didn’t notice any noise afterward. (Note that it can take over an hour to “prime.”) Eight Sleep offers video demonstrations of the bed, booked through their website, and watching a video demonstration might give you a firsthand sense of how the bed sounds.
Does the Eight Sleep Pod Pro use lots of energy?
According to the Eight Sleep website, the Pod Pro uses “50% less [power] than a 5000 Btu window A/C consumes” when it’s busy heating or cooling the bed. After a bit of research and extrapolating, it seems that the Eight Sleep Pod Pro uses around 250 watts of electricity when it’s in use. That’s a little less than a crockpot, according to our findings. However, there’s no surefire way to track the Eight Sleep’s impact on your energy bill until it’s in your home.
How much water does the Eight Sleep Pod Pro use?
The Pod Pro doesn’t use too much water. We’d estimate that the Pro’s tank, which holds the water that fills the bed’s channels for heating and cooling, can fit between a half gallon to a gallon of water. We had to top off the tank when we re-primed the bed after re-downloading the app, but it was a negligible amount of water.
We’ll be honest: This is not your grandmother’s mattress. If you’re OK with filling up a tank of water by your bed and hearing it murmur during the “priming” process to achieve a cool (or warm) night’s sleep, then the Eight Sleep Pod Pro could be for you. If you like the idea of connecting to your bed via an app, then the Eight Sleep might be your mattress. And if you’d like to “invite” a partner to share their sleep preferences via the app, then definitely check out this high-tech wonder.
We can foresee beds like the Pod Pro taking the sleep industry in a cool (pardon the pun) new direction. This bed is going to make life much, much better for certain types of shoppers—especially those with disabilities and illnesses—and it’ll serve as a bragging point for tech geeks seeking to trick out their smart homes. Whether you’re ready to sleep on the bed of the future or you’d rather stick with something traditional for now, keep an eye on Eight Sleep. This advanced technology isn’t going away anytime soon.
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