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Eight Sleep (nee Luna)

In March of 2015 I contributed to a project on Indiegogo for a product called Luna Sleep, which promised to be a sleep tracker built into a mattress cover. The estimated delivery was August of that year.

That was a nonsense target and the product didn’t ship anywhere near that date, which was fine because at the time I didn’t even have a King-size bed for the King-size smart mattress cover I’d just funded.

Cut to September 2015, we move into the new house and our first purchase is a King-size Casper mattress which I suppose is comfortable. I wouldn’t know – we put two inches of memory foam and another two inches of cotton topper over it. Sometimes she calls the shots; what are you gonna do?

Cut to September 2016, been in the house for a year and still no Luna sleep cover, but they’ve since changed their name to Eight and still send updates, so I’m not too worried – they’re still working on it.

Finally, now late November 2016, I have my Eight Sleep Tracker smart mattress cover. So the question is – was it worth the wait?

I mean, the answer to that is just another question – what’s the alternative? Who knows. Let’s see.

The Product

Eight is now making an entire mattress, which puts them in the company of several startups – including Casper – making affordable foam mattresses, and theirs is smart for only a minor premium over some of the competition. I got the smart mattress cover, though, which installs like a fitted sheet over the top of all the other nonsense I have piled on my poor Casper.

In that regard, installation was a breeze. The Eight smart cover has incredibly deep pockets and clearly labels the “Top left” corner of the whole business, which makes it a million times better than other King-size products that leave it to you to figure out which corner of the roughly-square thing goes where.

Those extra-deep pockets really wrap around and there’s no question this thing is staying put. A perfect fit.

Okay, okay – but why a smart mattress in the first place? Here are the four bullet points Eight uses to describe it:

  • Sleep Trends
  • Bed Warming
  • Home Integration
  • Smart Alarm

That’s why. The second thing is accomplished in millions of homes with an electric blanket, so it’s really a ride-along extra feature that really gives this thing the oomph it needs to win over skeptical spouses (spice?). At a current list price of $369 for the King-size sleep tracker, it might be the most expensive electric blanket ever.

I used to use a smartphone app to track my sleep, but it required that I put my phone in bed with me. Since it used the accelerometer to track motion, it was never very good at telling my movements from my partner’s or even one of the cats. I liked the idea of tracking the quality of my shut-eye from night to night but ultimately I stopped using the app.

It’s nice to have this data over time, so you can see trends, identify what causes bad nights of sleep, and change your behaviors. The app I used to use let you tag your condition before you went to sleep (“drank heavily”, “read a book”, “browsed politics subreddits” being the kind of actionable behaviors you might use to tag your sleep), but I don’t know if the Eight allows this kind of self-reporting.

Home Integration

They always say, “Start your coffee maker when you get up in the morning!” like it’s some kind of hands-off miracle. It’s a stupid parlor trick. You still have to fill the pot and grind the coffee and put in a new basket and rinse the carafe and do all the things the night before. If the only thing you’re saving is the time it takes to press the “on” button, are you really saving time?

Nevermind the coffee pot; the Eight is supposed to know when I go to bed and when I get up, and that’s useful in other ways:

  • Make sure the alarm is set to Night mode if it detects I go to sleep.
  • Turn off any lights I might have left on.
  • Automatically switch to Night mode on my home automation hub, whatever that may mean.
  • Adjust thermostat for sleepy-time.
  • Send a tweet letting everyone know I went to bed at a decent hour for a change.

Whatever. Point is, if my mattress knows what’s going on, then I don’t have to, and it’s got very little to do with when the coffee maker gets turned on.

Smart Alarm

Another feature of the sleep-tracking app I used to use is the smart alarm. The idea is that you tell the thing when you want to get up in the morning, and it uses its intelligence about your sleep cycle to wake you from a light sleep instead of from the depths of useful R.E.M. sleep.