Oura Ring has been called the world’s best sleep tracker by some, but is that the real story? Though the product focuses on tracking sleep, the company has made it a point to sell it as a health and fitness wearable and smart ring. This caught our researcher team’s attention — that’s when the deep dive into the wellness ring kicked into high gear.
The team dug through the company’s history, how Oura Ring works, and the science behind the technology. Let’s take a look at what they found.
Oura Ring can be purchased through their Official Site.
What is Oura Ring?
Simply put, Oura Ring is an activity tracker that measures sleep. Sleep is critical to every body function, mood, energy, appetite, and more. We’re thrilled to see that men and women are looking to sleep health to understand better the changes they need to make to improve overall health and wellness. However, is the ring any different from other sleep trackers like Fitbit or Motiv Ring?
The activity tracker has been utilized in research that’s shown just how effective advanced body and sleep tracking can actually be.
- BMC Women’s Health – Women who wish to track their menstrual cycle can use then Oura Ring. Research reveals, “Nocturnal skin temperature based on wearable ring showed potential for menstrual cycle monitoring in real life conditions.”
- UBICOMP – The sleep tracker has also been used in research. According to study results, “Oura users sleep approximately 7 hours per night and that following a consistent sleep schedule is associated with more efficient sleep.”
- Theseus – The ring is also being used by athletes to track training, stress and recovery. However, it may not be the best option as authors found “Oura ring could provide useful information for some individuals about overall recovery, but it should be combined with subjective measures.”
Products Similar to Oura Ring
Claimed Oura Ring Benefits
The Oura Ring is brand new, so there’s not much data in terms of effectiveness, but we know what the company claims the sleep tracker will do. These claims include insights into:
- Respiration rate
- Trends in body temperature
- HRV (heart rate variability)
- Resting heart rate
- Recovery optimization
- Measurement of sleep quality
- Sleep stage tracking
- Trends in sleep
- Measures steps and calories
- Alerts the wearer when inactive
Compared to other smart rings and trackers, the claims are nearly identical — just worded differently. One new claim is that it records heart rate variability. You could do the same thing by writing down your heart rate from time to time during the day, but that’s not convenient, and products like Oura Ring are all about convenience meeting functionality.
Can the Oura Ring meet these claims? Yes, it will likely store and present all the information it claims it tracks. Users do need to consider that the data gives the user a ballpark answer. We see no way any product that’s not medically tested and used in a clinical setting can accurately measure sleep, heart rate, activity level, and others with the same degree of accuracy. Users should not take the results as anything other than a source of information to guide your life toward healthier sleep.
So, what does the science have to say about sleep trackers in general?
According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and Expert Review of Medical Devices, sleep trackers have become a popular trend, and Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise and ISRN Neurology noted that these kinds of devices can help evaluate the level of health in other bodily systems.
However, Studies in Health Technology and Information found that sleep trackers needed more research to determine if they were effective. Additionally, Chronobiology International found that these trackers may need more detailed information to accurately predict health.
Scroll below for one of the best products we’ve seen over the last year.
Common Questions About Oura Ring
Is Oura Ring waterproof?
The new ring is not waterproof, but it is water-resistant up to 328 feet or 100 meters. If you have the first model, it is water-resistant up to 164 feet or 50 meters.
What is the ideal duration of sleep?
The ideal duration of sleep is not a single number you can put the finger on. It is variable with likely hundreds of variables going into an estimate for a single person. However, for the sake of giving the duration a number, the National Sleep Foundation says the ideal length of sleep for young adults 18-25 and adults 26-64 is seven to nine hours per night. Users 65+ should get between seven and eight hours of sleep nightly.
Similar Products and Upgrades
There’s only one major competitor for the Oura Ring at this time, and that’s the Motiv Ring. Other smart products like the Garmin fitness tracker and the Apple Watch are in different leagues and aren’t comparable.
Old vs. New
The first model of an electronic device is a testing version if you will. This is the model that the company gets the best feedback from, and it paves the way through upgrades and changes that make the second model “better” than the first. With the new Oura Ring, you get a series of updates based on real-life use.
Oura Ring vs. Motiv Ring
The Motiv Ring is also a smart tracker, but this one talks about fitness tracking. Oura Ring focuses on sleep tracking and the effect of good sleep on fitness. Each offers a unique set of features and some features that overlap.
Oura Ring vs. Apple Watch
The Oura Ring and Apple Watch aren’t even in the same category. Smartwatches are larger and have more room internally for advanced calculations and features. People who wear the Apple Watch are looking for all the features of the Oura Ring and Motiv Ring along with cell phone connectivity and two-way communication.
How Much Does Oura Ring Cost?
The Oura Ring costs between $299 and $999. These prices will depend on the shape, color, and style. Shapes include Heritage and Balance, while colors include Silver, Black, Stealth, and Silver Diamond. These prices include:
- Heritage Silver: $299
- Heritage Black: $299
- Heritage Stealth: $399
- Balance Silver: $299
- Balance Black: $299
- Balance Silver Diamond: $999
Details on the Oura Ring App
According to the official website, the app is available for iOS devices (Apple). There’s no mention of Android devices (for the latest update), and the device pictured looks like an Apple product. We know there’s an Android application launched before the newest version. The design is beautiful, and the user experience is fluid.
There’s no mention of cost. We figure the company includes the value of the app in the Oura Ring price. It is unique that the information collected by the sleep tracker is on the Oura Cloud, which brings up security questions.
According to AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings Archive, tracking your health is proven to aid in reaching health goals.
The Oura Ring and Prince Harry
In celebrity news, Prince Harry was seen wearing a black ring that some news outlets, like The Sun, called “bizarre.”
“So far I am enjoying this ring very much. The readiness, sleep, and activity numbers are pretty much spot on, and there is no way to cheat your numbers, especially on your steps, lol. I wear the ring in place of my wedding band, and you can wear it 24/7 (I do), just make sure to wipe the sensors. It charges very quickly, and is fairly comfortable, like wearing any other ring. It’s better than wearing a watch, and is much more accurate.”
“Before you get this ring, consider the following: Oura recommends that you “upsize” when purchasing. The ring is very chunky (aesthetically not bad) but as fingers may swell during the night or contract outside during the winter months, the ring becomes something to constantly think about: “Either did I lose it or how on earth will i get it off?” It doesn’t track much info during the day, has no sleep-synced alarm (shout out to the Sleep cycle app- my best subscription), and just becomes a “is this $300 still on my finger” hazard. Try not to loose it. And good luck finding it if your Bluetooth actually connects to the ring or if your ring battery has died. Waste of money.”
“Decent fitness activity tracking. Had no idea about my increased heart rate before the ring. Doctor confirmed. Now I’m non-caffeine coffee lover. Tastes bad.”
Bottom Line on the Oura Ring
The Oura Ring jumps straight into the wearables market with style and grace. If Prince Harry wears one, it must be something special. Well, the features are useful and the app is nearly flawless, so there’s nothing negative to say about the ring. If you’re looking to keep track of your lifestyle and health choices and factors that affect you daily, this product isn’t a bad choice.
Along with tracking, which we believe can be a significant factor in self-accountability, there are programs that science has shown can help support general health and body functions that affect metabolic rate and weight.
Among the best of those we’ve researched in the last year is Noom. You get your standard tracking, but the team goes much further with personalized meal plans, one-on-one human coaching, expert health articles and a food database managed by nutritionists.
Noom is now available as a free trial offer to Dietspotlight readers.
Learn More About Noom »