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Don’t sweat rising electric bills: Smart bed covers keep you cool and save money

Do you sleep well at night? According to a lot of studies, roughly half of all Americans feel sleepy during the day — a firm indicator that their nightly sleep isn’t quite as restorative as it should be. Whether it be stress (due to high electric bills, maybe?) or just a lack of comfort, poor sleep quality is nearing alarming levels.

Temperature plays a large role in that. In fact, reaching a proper room temperature is one of the most important factors for achieving high-quality, restful sleep. According to SleepFoundation.org, the ideal temperature for the bedroom is around 65 degrees.

On the other hand, 65 degrees isn’t a feasible temperature to reach and maintain in the hottest parts of the summer. Utility costs rise an average of 3% to 5% for every degree lower you set your thermostat during the warmer months. If you start from the recommended summer setting of 78 degrees, that’s an increase of anywhere from 39% to 65%. No one wants to pay that much, but the good news is there’s a better solution: Smart bed covers.

How smart bed covers reduce costs and improve comfort

Smart beds like Sleep Number are pricey. A fully-featured smart bed can start at $1,500 or more for just a twin-size, much less a queen or king. A better alternative is a smart cover, a sort of pull-on mattress cover that has smart features but doesn’t cost as much as a bed.

Take the Eight Sleep Pod Pro Cover, for example. While still not budget-priced (the full size is $1,645 while the California King is $1,945), it is much more affordable than a full smart bed and has many of the same features people have come to expect. Plus, some people already love their existing mattress and may not want to switch. Why change a good thing, right?

However, its main feature is temperature adjustment. You can set your specific side of the bed as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or as high as 110 degrees. It takes roughly half an hour to reach that temperature, but you can turn the cover on before you go to bed (or schedule it to begin adjusting at a set time) and it will be ready when you turn in for the night.

If you live alone, you can control the entire cover, but if you are married you can adjust only your half of the bed. It also has other features like tracking your variable heart rate, sleep time, and other statistics that will help you measure the quality of your sleep. It summarizes all of this information in something called your Sleep Fitness score, which uses a scale from 1 to 100 percent.

So how well does it work? I used to sleep comfortably with only a fan, a sheet, and a comforter — until my cat began to sleep beside me. While cute, she is also 16 pounds and emits the same level of heat as a small star. And she refuses to sleep anywhere except on top of my chest at night.

This makes it difficult to get comfortable, and it means I feel much warmer at night than I used to. The Eight Sleep Pod Pro Cover lets me turn the temperature down by 10 degrees, enough to offset the cat’s added warmth.

Easy setup and maintenance

Smart covers have another benefit. Smart beds can be difficult to set up and install, and you also have to dispose of your previous bed frame and mattress. Smart covers fit different mattress sizes (the EightSleep Pod Pro Cover fits any mattress from 10 to 16 inches) and are simple to set up — all you do is pull them onto the bed.

While different smart covers may operate in different ways, the EightSleep Pod Pro Cover uses water to manipulate the temperature of the cover. It comes with a pump that attaches to the cover through a series of hoses and rests on the floor beside the bed.

The setup process requires you to fill the reservoir twice, adding a tablespoon or two of hydrogen peroxide each time. This sterilizes the system and prevents the buildup of bacteria. You will need to refill the water every two to three months, but that’s all the maintenance that’s required.

This ease of use and setup makes it a much better choice for someone who already has a comfortable mattress. While the cover does have ridges and bumps in it, they can’t be felt after you put the mattress sheet on the bed.

It offers a lot of comfort and specific temperature control that I couldn’t get with a traditional bed, and it means I’ve begun to sleep much better at night thanks to the lower temperatures. The benefits will only continue as Georgia settles into its standard 100-plus-degree summers.

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