If you’re reading this, you’re either pretty stressed out, or you can’t sleep and you’ve reached the end of the internet scrolling through your phone. Either way, welcome.
I’m about to give you the most genuine, unbiased, and unprofessional review of Cove – a little device created by FeelCove.com that claims to make you stress less and sleep better.
Table of Contents
🤔 What is Cove?
Cove is a device that you wear behind your ears (like some of those bluetooth headphones you see) that emits super subtle vibrations behind your ear, activating the part of your brain that regulates stress and sleep. While you only wear it for 20 minutes a day, the effects supposedly last throughout the entire day and night.
Sounds crazy, I know. I was also a skeptic. Just bare with me. Bear? Bare?
🧪 The science behind Cove
Alright there’s actually a lot we could unpack here, but I’ve done my best to keep it concise and dumb it down (for me, not you) 😉
There’s a pathway in your brain that’s involved in both stress and sleep – the interoceptive pathway. Interoception helps us realize things, like when we’re hungry or if our hearts are beating too fast. Our organs, skin, stomachs, lungs, extremities, and other parts of our bodies send signals through this pathway to the insular cortex. Basically, it tells us what we need to know about the physical and emotional states of our bodies.
By emitting very slight vibrations at a specific signal and rate, the Cove device is able to activate this pathway and signal a calming, comforting feeling to the brain.
Specifically, it’s tapping into what’s known as affective touch. Kinda sounds like affectionate + touch, yeah? Well that makes sense because this is something we’ve had since birth, and it’s the exact feeling our brains respond to when a mother cradles her baby to comfort him/her.
Think about that for a second: by “mimicking” this feeling that our brain gets, Cove is basically giving a hug to your brain. Yeah, the very same brain that regulates your mood and sleep, and decides when you’ll get a hit of dopamine or cortisol.
Humans instinctively try to comfort each other and show love through touch. Or if you’re like me, you might absolutely crave it to the point of being a golden retriever puppy. But regardless, there are evolutionary reasons why babies would feel comfort from a delicate touch around their temples and ears. A baby can’t tell his mother what he or she needs, yet a mother still knows that by holding her baby close to her, it feels comfort. The baby feels safe, its anxieties and stressors are mitigated, and it can relax and sleep knowing that its mother is close and responsive. Being touched by other humans (when it’s welcome…) makes us feel connected and relieves stress and tension.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the basis behind Cove’s technology and efficacy.
How does the Cove device work?
Like I mentioned before, Cove emits a super subtle series of vibrations behind your ear, activating that interoceptive baby pathway. You feel it, but interestingly, the goal is to lower the intensity until you can just barely feel it (apparently that’s more effective).
And no, it doesn’t transmit electricity, magnetic waves, or 5G into you. Just very gentle, very patented vibrations straight to the dome.
Cove is the product of 4+ years of research by neuroscience experts, sleep experts, and a bunch of other people who are way smarter than me. Feelmore Labs (cool name!) used this research to develop Cove, which was then validated by independent, clinical studies conducted by Brown University and some researcher at Harvard Medical School. Of over 3,500 people who participated in the studies, 90% were less stressed and sleeping better.
Cove claims to lower stress levels by 41% and improve sleep by 50%, without any harmful or negative side effects. I’ve never measured my stress levels for a meaningful period of time, so I can’t attribute an actual figure to how less stressed I feel, but it’s gotta be in that ballpark.
👋 My Experience using Cove
Ok, I’m loving Cove. But let me preface this with a few things about myself, before I get into why.
- I work ~60 hour weeks. Building Zenmaster Wellness is just a passion project of mine, but that doesn’t stop it from taking a ton of time and adding a lot of stress to my life.
- I’m a diehard fan of Whoop, because it allows me to optimize my lifestyle to get better sleep, work out more effectively, and track how lifestyle habits affect my body. So believe me when I say I notice any change in either stress or sleep – but especially sleep.
- I’m a HUGE skeptic, by nature. Like literally, watching TV with me can be a pain because I always notice when something doesn’t feel right. And that’s doubley true for products that make claims even half as bold as Cove.
- I have something called Aphantasia, which basically means I lack the ability to visualize things in my head. Weird, I know. But this is closely related to the inability to dream, which I cannot do. I’ll explain why I mentioned this in a sec.
- I don’t meditate. I used to, but since it only rarely benefitted me, it never stuck in my routine because it was so hard to take time out of my day for it.
The first time I used Cove, I didn’t feel much. And honestly since I’m a skeptic, I hadn’t expected much. Buuut it felt comfortable enough and I was looking forward to trying it more. Went ahead with my Friday night, blah blah blah…
UNTIL: I woke up the next morning feeling like I’d gotten my best sleep in months, even though I only slept ~75% as many hours as my body needed. My Whoop confirmed it with an awesome sleep score.
Not only that, but I also had vivid memories of my dreams. THIS NEVER HAPPENS. Now here’s the thing, and it’s the reason why I mentioned my inability to have/dreams. In that EEG sleep study that Brown University did to test all this, some respondents reported more frequent and vivid dreams. THIS IS ME!
I know I’m just one person, but I am 100% telling you that Cove is affecting my sleep (positively) in ways that I never imagined it would.
Does Cove work for stress relief?
Holy shit, yes it does. This effect wasn’t all too noticeable until I’d used it for a week or so, but I definitely feel it in two ways:
- Overall, I’m just calmer – plain and simple. I’m an anxious person, so this effect has been quite noticeable. Even after a triple espresso (yikes), I can still have this feeling of zen. Like even though I’m typing 120 wpm, I’m still just… calm.
- When I do get stressed (because I still do), I feel as though I’m more capable of noting it and pushing it back down. I don’t eliminate it completely, but at least I’m not overwhelmed by it.
Okay, another story. A couple weeks back, I had one particularly awesome session where I literally felt as though I’d just meditated for 20+ minutes. And I’d been working the entire time. Until then, I had the impressions that Cove’s benefits were felt long-term, but it wasn’t meant to provide short-term effects like a pill or a joint would. So in my excitement, I literally emailed the Cove team to share.
They responded back and happily told me that, “the brain profile seen after wearing Cove is most similar to having meditated (without taking the time out to meditate).”
Nowadays, the mere routine of putting the Cove on puts me in a state of calm — so much so, in fact, that I like listening to ambient music afterwards. (Here’s a great Spotify playlist, if you’re interested). Normally, I’d never listen to this stuff; it’s weird.
💸 At $500, is Cove worth it?
Look, everyone’s financial circumstances are unique to them. But I will say this: I am not a rich man, I still have student loans, and yet I will absolutely be gifting a Cove or two to my family this holiday season. The quality of life improvement that Cove has given me, imo, far exceeds its price. If I can give the gift of happier, healthier days to my loved ones, even if they only feel half the benefit out of it as me, I’ll be stoked.
I genuinely put Cove in a tier of its own. In my own, personal life, I haven’t come across a product (or even a medication) that has worked as well and as cleanly as this. I’ll admit that I do still take ZZZquil at night when I really need to sleep well, but something tells me that I’ll be able to kick that tendency in the near future. Before Cove, I was literally taking it nightly.
- IT WORKS. This is, by far, the most important Pro. The rest are icing on top.
- It’s coated in this rubberized finish that just feels premium. And more importantly, it makes for a very comfortable wear. I don’t feel restricted in my motions while wearing it.
- The carrying case that it comes with is durable and nice to the touch. I didn’t expect to even use the carrying case, but now that I have it, I’m very grateful for it. I want to take this thing on my commute without having to worry about damaging the Cove.
- Fits great whether I’m wearing over-the-ear headphones, or Airpods. I personally like combining the Cove with music.
- Cove is FSA/HSA eligible with a Letter of Medical Necessity from your physician, since it’s currently classified as a wellness device.
- Battery life. I’m someone who doesn’t like having “yet another thing” to charge. And since I like to wear it twice daily, it feels like I’m better off erring on the side of always having it plugged in. (FWIW, a full charge lasts me about 5-6 uses).
- Finding the proper fit can be a little tricky. This is only an issue when you adjust it, like you have to do to fit it back into its carrying case. I probably should’ve marked my settings off with a Sharpie, but I am used to do it by now.
For me, personally, the pros far outweigh the cons. But still – $500. That ain’t chump change. It looks like they do offer a financing program that’ll break things down to monthly $45 increments (but who doesn’t, nowadays?!), which does make Cove more accessible for those who are tight on cash.
Also, let’s not forget that Cove offers a risk-free 45-day trial. Honestly, considering that I fell in love within a week, and that all their scientific findings run off a 30-day timeframe, 45 days is more than enough time for you to decide if Cove’s going to help you out.
⭐️ Feel Cove Reviews: What are other users saying?
Normally when I run through this type of customer research, I turn to places like Trustpilot and Google Reviews first, since they tend to be the most critical. But unfortunately, Cove doesn’t have a page on those sites quite yet.
Oh well, no worries! We’re gonna work with what we’ve got: Reddit and Instagram.
Here’s the only negative review I was able to find of Cove; and it seems to be from someone who hasn’t even tried the device. Lol.
🎬 The bottom line: Does Cove actually reduce stress and improve sleep?
Look, Cove has worked wonders for me. And the clinical studies and research say the same. Obviously it’s not fair to say that it’ll 100% work for everyone, nor is it reasonable to say that $500 is chump change.
But I will say that the stress reduction that I’ve experienced and the improvement in my sleep are, for ME, absolutely worth $500. And I’d also be willing to say that with Cove’s 45-day trial in mind, I wish every one of my close friends and loved ones would at least give it a shot. It’s not often that I can recommend a product as highly as I can Cove.
I’m sorry if this was anti-climatic, or if you wanted me to talk you out of buying it, but Cove has literally made me a happier, healthier person. If my family is reading this, don’t buy one — because you’re getting one this holiday season.