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Some days, you wake up refreshed. Others, it feels like you barely slept at all. What separates the good nights from the bad isn’t always clear, but a sleep tracker can provide valuable insight. It monitors your sleep patterns for a clearer picture of how much quality sleep you’re getting. You can use this information to help optimize your sleep experience.
While lab-based sleep tests generally track patterns directly through brain activity, sleep trackers rely on sensors to detect other physical signs, like heart rate and body movement. Wearable devices remain on the sleeper throughout the night to measure data. Other trackers may rest on the mattress, under the mattress, or next to the bed to collect information unobtrusively. Virtually all sleep trackers upload this data to a device that runs it through an algorithm to analyze and display the results.
We’ll highlight some of our favorite sleep trackers and share what makes them stand out. We’ll go on to explain what to consider while you shop and answer common questions about sleep trackers.
Watch the video below to learn more about our recommendations for the best sleep trackers.
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The Oura Ring Generation 3 is a wearable sleep tracker that monitors an impressive array of metrics to evaluate your sleep and daytime activity. The sleek, lightweight design makes it one of the most attractive wearable sleep trackers you’ll find on the market.
The ring is equipped with sensors that measure your heart rate, body temperature, and blood oxygen levels throughout the day and night. The ring translates this data into three scores – a sleep score, activity score, and readiness score – to assess the quality of your sleep, rest, and daily physical activity. The ring also serves as a fitness tracker, measuring data such as steps taken, calories expended, and periods of inactivity. Based on your data, the Oura offers recommendations for improving sleep habits. The ring also provides 50 audio sessions to guide you through activities like meditation, sleep, and better focus.
The ring is available in four colors – silver, black, stealth, and gold. The battery lasts for 4 to 7 days, which is an above-average battery life compared to other trackers. In order to fully access the Oura’s features, you must download the Oura app and purchase a monthly membership. The membership is complimentary for 6 months, after which it costs $5.99 per month.
Oura delivers rings for $15 throughout all 50 states. Customers may try out the ring for 30 days, during which they can return the ring for a full refund minus shipping charges. The ring is backed by a 1-year warranty.
Best for Active People
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The WHOOP 4.0 builds on its predecessor with a lighter, more compact design and more enhanced tracking capabilities. One of the most innovative changes is the addition of Any-Wear Technology. While the WHOOP tracker is designed with a wearable wristband, the sensor can be detached from the band and used with different garments such as sports bras, compression tops, leggings, athletic boxers, and intimates. Each of these items features a small pocket to secure the sensor while you work out or sleep.
The tracker monitors metrics such as active and resting heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen levels, and skin temperature. Users can also program a haptic alarm that produces gentle vibrations when it’s time to get up, which many sleepers prefer to loud beeps first thing in the morning. The alarm also tracks breathing patterns in order to vibrate at the tail end of your sleep cycle, so you should wake up feeling refreshed with little to no grogginess. A strong battery allows you to use the tracker for up to five days before a recharge is needed. The sensor is also water-resistant, so you won’t need to remove your tracker while you’re in the shower or doing the dishes.
WHOOP is a subscription-based tracker. To join, first choose your wristband. A total of 21 single-color and two-tone options are available, and you can add custom engraving for a small surcharge. Customers can select annual, monthly, or 18-month subscription plans. You can also opt for the WHOOP Pro plan, for which subscribers are entitled to 20% discounts when they purchase other WHOOP products.
Those who aren’t satisfied with their WHOOP 4.0 can return the device within 30 days of the delivery date for a full refund minus any applicable shipping charges. WHOOP also backs each order with a manufacturer’s warranty that covers defects in the tracker for up to one year after the activation date.
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The Biostrap EVO is one of the most advanced sleep trackers on the market today, offering a comprehensive view of overall health. The device monitors your sleep stages and nighttime biometrics such as heart and breathing rates, generating a nightly Sleep Score ranging from 1 to 100. The EVO also calculates how well or poorly your body recovers overnight by combining your Sleep Score with metrics related to sleep efficiency, nocturnal heart rate variability, and resting heart rate. The recovery store is intended to represent your ability to deal with stressors at home, at work, or wherever you spend your days.
The EVO is available in three sets based on your tracking needs. We’ve chosen the Biostrap Active Set because – in addition to sleep tracking – it offers a wide range of fitness-related functions. These include tracking arterial elasticity, which indicates how healthy your blood vessels are, as well as shoe clips and ankle straps for step counting. For the tracker itself, you can choose between wearable wristband or chest strap styles. The Active Set also includes the Activity Pod, which you can use to record workouts.
The EVO’s battery lasts up to 2.5 days, so you may not need to recharge it every night depending on your activity level. A single-slot charger and USB cable are both included with your purchase. You’ll use the Biostrap app to generate and monitor tracking results, but you don’t need your phone to record metrics. For an extra charge, you can bundle your purchase with Biostrap’s popular Sleep Lab + Meditation Plus in-app subscription programs.
Biostrap offers free shipping for all orders of at least $100 to customers in the U.S. Each Active Set purchase is backed by a 30-day trial period with no restocking fees on returns, as well as a 365-day warranty.
Best Sleep Optimization App
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The Rise Science Sleep Tracker is an app that can be used with wearable devices or on its own. Rise connects with health apps on your phone to track your sleep debt and circadian rhythm to help optimize your sleep duration.
Rise specifically tracks your hours spent asleep to provide you with a sleep debt score. The app will then recommend habits and routines to lower your score and improve your overall sleep quality. Sleepers touch their phones right before bed and after waking up, and the app pulls this data along with phone movement and steps data to provide accurate sleep and wake times. The app will send you notifications to input your energy levels and describe your sleep quality throughout the day. Adding this data helps the app better personalize your habit recommendations.
If using Rise on its own, you do not have to rest the phone on the bed like other sleep tracking apps. You can use your phone like normal and keep it beside the bed. The app is free to download on the Apple and Google Play stores. Following a free 7-day trial period, customers pay a yearly subscription fee to access all features.
Best Sleep Reports
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The Go2Sleep Tracker from Sleepon offers a wide array of data for its price-point. It provides a significant amount of valuable information for shoppers who want sleep reports to learn more about their sleep and overall health.
The tracker is a silicone ring that syncs with your phone to provide sleep data you can access on its accompanying mobile app. Before bed, you sync the ring with your phone and it monitors almost ten different health metrics while you sleep.
In addition to sleep duration and quality, the Go2Sleep Tracker measures your heart rate, blood oxygen level, and sleep stage status, along with other health metrics. It also alerts you if it senses that your blood oxygen saturation level is abnormal. The tracker’s alarm clock uses your sleep patterns to wake you up during your lightest sleep phase.
The Sleepon app is available to Apple, Android, Windows, and Mac users and syncs automatically with the iOS Health app for Apple product users. The app also allows users to keep track of habits that may be influencing their sleep duration or quality. The ring requires regular charging and all charging accessories are included. Shoppers have a 30-day window for returns and exchanges in which they can receive a full refund. Customers are responsible for shipping charges both ways. Sleepon backs its tracker with a 1-year limited warranty.
Best Oxygen Level Tracker
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While some sleep trackers record a wide array of data points, the Wellue O2Ring is specifically designed to monitor oxygen level activity. The wearable ring, which weighs only 15 grams, fits comfortably around your thumb. During the night, the device will issue a noiseless vibration if it detects abnormalities in your oxygen levels or an irregular pulse rate. You can customize the vibration for a softer or more intense setting, depending on your personal preferences.
At any point, you can tap the ring to view your current oxygen level and heartbeat frequency. The device records data every 4 seconds while in use. If you’re concerned about your oxygen levels, you may export this data and share it with your physician. All data is recorded through the Wellue smart app, which is free to download.
The O2Ring has a rechargeable battery that typically lasts 12 to 16 hours. Wellue offers free shipping on all orders of $100 or more, which applies to every O2Ring purchase. Each order includes a 7-day trial, during which the device may be returned for a full refund or exchanged for a new model. A 1-year manufacturer’s warranty is also included with your purchase.
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A slew of advanced features help the Kokoon Nightbuds stand out from other earbuds and headphones designed for sleeping. For one, the Nightbuds offer both noise-masking and noise-blocking. You can choose from an extensive library of ambient and nature programs, relaxing music, and white noise designed to mask distracting sounds outside of your sleep space. The earbuds also have a tight yet comfortable seal to block noise. This masking-blocking combination is particularly suited for people who live in loud neighborhoods or share their dwelling with others.
The Nightbuds are also equipped with sensors that track sleep data such as time spent asleep and awake, position changes, and overall sleep efficiency. You can access daily reports about your sleep using the MyKokoon app, which also features coaching programs to help you get the rest you need each night. Thanks to an automatic sleep detection feature, your audio playback will gradually become softer when you begin to nod off.
Design versatility is another key characteristic. The earbuds are connected with a lightweight, flexible cord that conforms to your head without squeezing too tightly and fits snugly over your ear. The buds shouldn’t protrude much, if at all, making them a good option for side sleepers who find bulkier earbuds and headphones uncomfortable for sleeping. The earbuds have a battery life of 10 hours.
Kokoon customers can choose to pay a one-time fee for the earbuds and receive a 2-year MyKokoon app membership, or save on the up-front price by signing up for a 1-year subscription. Both options include a 30-day trial, and the MyKokoon app is free to download.
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The low profile of the Withings Sleep allows it to unobtrusively collect data on your sleep experience from underneath your mattress. Sensors in the device detect heart rate, breathing, and movement. This data is processed to produce reports on your sleep cycle, heart rate, and breathing, with an overall sleep score.
The device also detects snoring and interruptions in breathing. It is designed to look for some of the signs of sleep apnea. Paired with the app, the Withings Sleep assesses cardiac and thoracic activity that may be indicative of the condition. This could help you identify if this is a potential issue to address with your doctor.
The device communicates with the associated app via Wi-Fi, and it automatically syncs to the app to transfer data when you get out of bed in the morning. The app produces a daily report with a quick overview of your sleep. You can also generate a PDF report to share with your doctor.
Since the Withings Sleep plugs into the wall, it does not require charging. The Withings Sleep is compatible with other smart devices. If This Then That (IFTTT) integration allows you to link it to light controls, thermostats, Amazon’s Alexa, and other devices. By connecting these smart devices, you can set up your lights and room temperature to change when you get into or out of bed.
The Withings Sleep is compatible with most common mattress types, including innerspring, foam, and latex. It has been tested with models between 4 inches and 15 inches thick. The app must be installed on a phone or tablet for use, as the system cannot be set up from a computer. It is compatible with iOS 10 and higher and Android 8.0 and higher. It comes with a 1-year warranty.
Best Wearable Watch
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Even people who enjoy wearable sleep trackers may find their devices a bit too heavy or obtrusive at times. Weighing barely an ounce with the strap attached, the AmazFit Bip U Pro is one of the lightest wearable, watch-style trackers we’ve tested. A slim profile also helps ensure the device won’t get in the way when you’re lifting, rowing, or engaged in other workout routines that require use of your hands and wrists.
As a sleep tracker, the Bip U Pro is a comprehensive device that measures many different facets of your sleep. These include REM and non-REM stages of your sleep cycle, time spent awake at night, and overall sleep efficiency. You’ll receive a daily sleep score based on metrics from the previous night. While you’re awake, the Bip U Pro monitors heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood oxygen levels. The device also tracks physical activity duration and intensity while you’re exercising. Other metrics include stress levels, which are gauged based on your breathing, and menstruation and ovulation cycles for people who are planning to get pregnant.
Three colors are available for the Bip U Pro’s strap. You can also choose from dozens of downloadable digital watch faces, or customize the display with your own photo. Crisp LED lighting makes the screen easy to read in any light level. Water-resistance of up to 50 meters also allows you to wear the device for swimming without causing permanent damage. The battery should last up to 9 hours with casual use, or up to 5 hours with heavy use. You may also program the device to receive messages, provide weather reports, and control music among other smart functions. The Zepp app – used for both Zepp and Amazfit devices – is free to download.
The Bip U Pro is relatively affordable compared to other wearable sleep trackers and you won’t need to pay a subscription fee. These qualities make the device a good option for shoppers with limited budgets. Shipping is free for orders within the contiguous U.S., and each purchase comes with a 30-day trial period and 1-year warranty.
Most sleep trackers look at heart rate and respiration rate, which are closely linked to sleep stages. Additionally, tracking respiration can help show potential breathing issues, like snoring and sleep apnea. Many trackers also use a small built-in movement-detecting device called an accelerometer to assess how much you move while sleeping, thereby analyzing sleep time and quality.
Some sleep trackers may use a microphone to pick up snoring, movement noise, and ambient noise to judge how well you’re sleeping. Others contain a thermometer to provide data on how room temperature may affect your sleep.
Wearable and non-wearable sleep trackers are available. While they’re usually similar in what sort of data they collect, they may use different methods to do so. Since a wearable device touches the body, it can monitor heart rate, respiration, and movement more directly. Many non-wearable devices rest on or under the mattress and monitor vibrations to gather data. As long as they’re well-calibrated, either device should capture valuable information.
Once collected, tracking devices typically process sleep data through an algorithm and display it in an app so that users can easily review their history, assess how well they’re sleeping, and look for areas of improvement. Some apps may also provide suggestions on how to improve sleep quality based on their findings.
Each sleep tracker has different features and potential benefits, so which option is right for you will depend on your personal needs, preferences, and intended uses. Focusing on specific criteria may make it easier to weigh your options.
We’ll break down some of the top things to look for when purchasing a sleep tracker. While all of these factors matter to a certain extent, some may not be high priorities for you. Assessing what you want in a tracker can help you hone in on the most important aspects.
Sleep Tracking: Sleep trackers capture an array of data that may include heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration, snoring, time awake, time sleeping, sleep interruptions, and body temperature. Some may also monitor room temperature, humidity, noise level, and light. Since trackers vary in what sleep-related factors they detect, shoppers should pay attention to the specific product details to find an option that collects the information that interests them most.
Sleep Analytics: Sleep analytics use the data from sleep tracking to delve more deeply into sleep quality and patterns. They may provide detailed charts to show you how your sleep has changed over time, overlay multiple sets of data to show you how different factors are linked, and provide you with a daily sleep score. Wearable trackers can also link your daily activity levels to the quality and duration of your sleep.
Value: The overall value of a sleep tracker takes into account more than the price-point. It also depends on its usability, features, comfort, and how it affects your life. For instance, an expensive sleep tracker that provides useful insight to help you sleep better may be a better value than a more affordable option that gives limited, unactionable information. When assessing the price, shoppers should also take into account whether the tracker is a one-time purchase or whether they’ll incur monthly costs. Many trackers come with free apps, making them a one-time expense. Others require a monthly subscription, which could cost more if you plan to continue using a sleep tracker in the long run.
Smart Alarm: Waking from deep sleep is typically more difficult than waking from light sleep. Smart alarms allow you to set a designated window during which you need to wake up. The tracker then analyzes your sleep data and assesses when you’re sleeping lightly to wake you at the right moment. Wearable devices can also have a silent alarm that vibrates rather than making a loud noise, which may be ideal for partners who have to wake up at different times.
Comfort: For most sleepers, comfort is paramount. This is especially relevant with wearable devices since they generally make direct contact with the skin. Most wearable trackers come in different sizes, so paying attention to fit should help you ensure your wearable is neither too tight nor too loose. Devices that rest on or under the mattress are usually quite thin, so you’re unlikely to notice them. However, if you’re prone to feeling even the slightest lump on your sleep surface, you may want to consider the device’s dimensions to find the thinnest option possible.
Battery Life: If you plan to use your sleep tracker only for sleep, battery life may not be an essential consideration since most are designed to last at least through the night. However, if you plan to wear a device around-the-clock for activity monitoring, it may be important to assess how long it can go between charges. Most fitness trackers and watches need to be charged every few days. Shoppers should also be aware that bedside trackers and those that rest on or under the mattress typically operate through an external power source, meaning they may need to be plugged in during the night.
Display & Apps: Most sleep trackers use an app to upload, analyze, and display data. Before purchasing a tracker, shoppers should ensure that the app is compatible with their phone, tablet, or other device. Since the app is an integral part of the sleep tracking experience, you may also want to look at the description and reviews in the App Store or Google Play to decide if you’ll like the interface.
Other Features: Sleep trackers often come with additional features, like fitness tracking, GPS, coaching, and integrations with other apps. These components may make your device more versatile, insightful, or convenient, but they can also increase the price-point.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a sleep tracker, and each type has potential benefits and drawbacks. The best type of sleep tracker for you will be whichever most closely meets your goals, needs, and preferences. Several styles are available:
Each sleep tracker is unique, and the accuracy varies based on the design and technology. For most consumers, sleep trackers can help promote general wellbeing and better sleep hygiene. How accurate they are is somewhat undecided within the scientific community, though more sophisticated hardware and software could provide reliable feedback. It should also be noted that a sleep tracker is not a replacement for medical evaluation, especially for older patients and those with chronic medical conditions.
Technology has come a long way in the last few years. While there is a lack of supporting evidence for the widespread accuracy of trackers, research so far is promising. For instance, some data suggests that a multi-sensor tracker can provide insight that is fairly close to that of a polysomnography (PSG) test.
To find the most accurate sleep tracker, shoppers may want to look for manufacturer information on how the device was validated. Many trackers are compared directly against lab-based sleep tests, which are the gold standard in sleep monitoring. These options may be more accurate than those that undergo less extensive testing.
Smartwatches typically track sleep by collecting information from built-in sensors and interpreting the data through an algorithm. They usually rely primarily on movement and heart rate for their assessments, so smartwatches are often more limited in their sleep tracking capabilities than devices engineered specifically for sleep. More advanced sleep trackers often collect other pertinent data, including respiration and snoring. Some also detect room temperatures, noise levels, and additional factors that could impact sleep quality.
How to clean your sleep tracker will depend on its materials and construction, so it is important to follow the manufacturer’s care instructions. Some sleep trackers have removable covers that can be washed, while others can simply be wiped down with a damp cloth or cleaned carefully with rubbing alcohol. Following the manufacturer’s instructions can help avoid damage to the sensors that could jeopardize the accuracy of the results.
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