Eight, a relative newcomer to the crowded mattress industry, recently reached out to us to to try out one of their memory foam mattresses with smart topper. As you may have seen in our previous post, you can currently save $100 on the Lift model of hybrid smart mattress at Costco through 10/31/17. As we’d never slept on a memory foam mattress – let alone a smart mattress – we jumped at the opportunity. The two main things we were curious about were:
- Do memory foam mattresses live up to the hype?
- Could a “smart” mattress really help improve the quality of our sleep?
After all, even Eight admits on their web site:
The world doesn’t need another mattress company but it does need to sleep better. And smarter.
So put on your favorite PJs, warm up some hot cocoa, and get comfy – the review is about to begin.
Quite frankly, we were stunned when the mattress arrived on our doorstep via FedEx. How on earth could a California King size mattress arrive in a box just shy of four feet long and about 1.25 feet tall and wide? The smart topper ships in a separate box about half the size of the mattress. Once I lugged the 100 lb mattress box upstairs into our bedroom, the real fun began. I slid the mattress out of the box like a giant burrito wrapped in plastic and placed it on our box springs (BTW, Costco does not sell foundations with the Eight mattresses, but Eight does on its web site).
As soon as I began unrolling the mattress from its plastic cocoon, it began to swell and strain against its valiant, but overmatched wrapping until the entire mattress finally burst out and began to unroll and expand on its own. Within about 5 minutes the entire mattress was fully expanded and ready for action. (Yes, I realize this is starting to read like a trashy romance novel – but I just can’t help it.)
The smart mattress topper came very nicely packaged in its separate box, with the components and instructions easy to un-pack and figure out.
Packaging rating: 4.5 out of 5
Half point taken off because the box arrived from FedEx a day later than promised, pretty crumpled in some places, and extremely dirty all over. Not really Eight’s fault, though.
With the mattress unrolled and expanded, it was time to hook up the brains of the operation. The smart topper fit perfectly and snugly over the mattress just like any other mattress topper or protector you might put on a mattress. I then hooked up the puck-shaped smart “hub” to the mattress cover, downloaded the Eight Sleep app on my Google Pixel phone, plugged the hub in, and turned it on.
It took about ten minutes total to pair the smart hub with my in-home wifi and go through the entire set-up process on the phone. To be honest, I thought I’d messed something up because towards the end of the install process, the app just sorta seemed to hang. I waited a few minutes to see if it would come back to life but it didn’t.* So I force quit the app, restarted it and, to my surprise, it came up just fine after that. Now I had access to all the bells and whistles of my new smart bed. The geek in me was excited!
*This, unfortunately, was not the first time I’ve had issues with the app. More on that later…
Set-Up rating: 4 out of 5
One point taken off because of the app flakiness during set-up
Being complete memory foam virgins, we had no idea what to expect. My fear was that it would be too cushy and hot. I’ve heard so many stories about memory foam mattresses being too warm. After a full week of sleeping on this mattress, I’m happy to report that my fear was unfounded. It’s hard to describe the feeling of laying on a memory foam mattress (but you know I’m gonna try anyway, right?): it’s both soft and slightly giving yet somewhat firm at the same time. You sink into it just a little but you’re also very well supported. I never felt like it was struggle to change sleeping position.
I would not say the comfort level is “amazing” or that it it like “sleeping on a cloud” but we do find it extremely comfortable and didn’t have any trouble whatsoever sleeping or adjusting to this new type of bed compared to our more “normal” Simmons Beautyrest coil spring mattress. The only thing that takes getting used to is sitting on the edge of the bed as you sink quite a bit deeper on the edge of memory foam mattresses than standard mattresses. Even though this Lift model had extra bolstering around the edges, it still compresses a pretty good amount. When I’m laying in bed, however, I never feel like I’m in danger of rolling off the side; the edges seems well supported in that regard.
It’s important to note here we were given their “hybrid” version of their mattress that Costco sells as the “Lift” model – also known as the Mars+ model on the Eight web site; it’s supposedly slightly more firm than their “Bliss” model sold at Costco (called Jupiter+ on the Eight web site). The Lift model contains a layer of sleeved coils that add some firmness as well as reportedly help with airflow.
Regarding the topper, I expected I would feel the cables and whatever else exists as sensors inside it, but I honestly don’t. If it hadn’t been labeled as a smart topper – or even a heated topper – I would have had no idea there was any technology or wires inside it.
Speaking of heated, the topper has the ability to heat up and it gets nice and warm – very quickly. To me it seems to heat up faster than any electric blanked I ever owned – but it’s been at least 10 years since I’ve had one, so maybe they are better these days. You can even control the left and right side temperature independently. Anyway, one of the coolest (no pun intended) things about this topper is you can use the app to warm up your bed while you’re finishing up that TV show on the couch so you never have to get into a chilly bed again. Or, for those who like to “set it and forget it”, you can just program the app to turn the heating on and off for you automatically on your side of the bed at the schedule you choose. What a time to be alive!
Comfort rating: 4 out of 5
Taking one point off because of the soft sides when sitting on the edge and because I wasn’t amazed by the comfort. To be fair, though, I’m not sure what bed I would give a 5 of 5. Not sure I’ve ever laid on one. Maybe I’m just too picky.
Technology / App
The app is the most cool thing about this bed and the most frustrating at the same time. It’s really cool that I can see my heart rate, respiration rate, how many times I toss and turn during the night, when I’m supposedly** awake or in light or deep sleep, etc. It’s very interesting to see my sleep score each day and compare it to how rested I feel. I think this will give me some good data to test how different adjustments to my sleep routine might affect the quality of my sleep. For example, does going to bed at a certain time affect sleep quality? Does a warmer or cooler bed affect sleep quality? Does getting out of bed sooner or later after I “wake up” (according to the app) affect how rested I feel? There are all sorts of neat experiments to try. So far I’ve just been sleeping “randomly” and my sleep score has varied from 51 to 73. I wonder what it will take for me to have a 90+ sleep score – and what I will feel like after it.
**A couple times the app has reported that I was awake for 15-30 minute periods during the night. Either it’s lying or, even scarier, I’m apparently awake for extended periods during the night and I have no recollection of it the next day.
The frustrating aspect of the app is that it crashes. Often. Like, almost every time I use it. Reading through the comments in the app store, seems I’m not the only one having issues. My wife’s iOS version seems a more stable but it has crashed a couple times too. And sometimes it’s not a full crash, but when the app loads, it’s like its internal style sheet gets scrambled and the interface is totally out of whack. Some things are giant, some are tiny, and a lot of the elements load on top of each other. Quitting the app and then relaunching it generally fixes the issue.
The smart alarm is a nifty feature. It supposedly picks just the right time in your sleep cycle to wake you up – within a 30 minute window prior to when you’ve set your alarm. The idea is that if your alarm goes off when you’re in a “deep sleep” cycle, you’ll be groggier than when you’re woken up in a light sleep. Sounds believable, right? In the immortal words of Thomas Dolby: SCIENCE! The one gripe I have about the smart alarm is if you hit the snooze, there seems to be no way (at least that I’ve found) to turn off the alarm until it actually goes off again after the snooze period. Many mornings I’ve come out of the shower with my phone blaring the alarm.
The one feature I didn’t try out yet was integrating the smart topper with my existing Samsung SmartThings smart home hub. The app integrates with ITTT so it can theoretically tell my coffee maker and bathroom lights to turn on as soon as I get out of bed. Given the quirkiness of the app, I’m wondering if this will work reliably. I’ll update this review once I give it a try.
Technology rating: 3.5 of 5
We took off 1.5 points because of the app. It crashes so much it almost seems like it’s in beta. The interface is pretty slick and intuitive – but it’s laggy and sometimes completely unresponsive. We really hope they can stabilize it.
Overall, we definitely recommend this mattress & smart topper if you’re looking for a memory foam type mattress – or looking to replace an existing mattress and you’d like something a little more “high tech”. I can’t compare this memory foam type mattress against others, so I don’t know how it rates within that class of mattress, but I suspect it would be very high up there with Casper or Tempur-Pedic. The comfort level is very good and the technology makes it a really attractive choice. If they can get the app working more reliably, this would be a great set-up.
Final note: We had kept our Beautyrest standard coil spring mattress just in case we didn’t like the Eight hybrid Lift mattress – but I think we’ll be putting our Beautyrest in storage and sleeping on the Lift from now on.
Overall rating: 4 out of 5
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