No-Bullsh*t Review of My Sleep Tracking Oura Ring

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No Ring-ing Endorsement

Here’s the short version of my Oura ring review:

It’s not great, but it’s good enough.

I forked out a few hundred bucks for it because I hoped it would help me improve my sleep.

Eleven months later, despite putting serious thought and effort into sleeping better, these are the discouraging results:

Sleep and deep scores over the 11 months since I've been wearing the Oura ring 2.

No improvement.

But I’m still using the damn thing.

Why?

Because the pros of the new Oura ring, though smaller than I’d hoped, still outweigh the cons. In this Oura ring review, I’ll explain why.

Close up of Oura ring
Don’t judge an Oura ring by its cover. It’s got a lotta goodies inside.

What Is the Oura Ring

The Basics

The new Oura ring is a regular-sized (maybe a bit thicker than most) ring you can get in one of three colors (or with a diamond on it if you absolutely love burning cash for inane reasons).

Inside the ring are a bunch of fancy sensors that collect biometric data. The ring periodically sends this data to your phone, which relays it over to the cloud to make various calculations related to your sleep, activity, and readiness.

What Oura Measures

  • Blood pulse volume in your finger, from which it calculates your respiratory rate, heart rate, and heart rate variability.
  • Body temperature.
  • Movement of the hand that’s wearing the ring.
  • Time of day.

What It Infers From Those Measurements

  • Sleep quality: Calculated based on what time you’re lying in bed, for how long, how much you move around in bed, and how your breathing, temperature, and heart rate measurements vary during that time. It also attempts to break that sleep into the different stages: light, REM, and deep sleep.
  • Activity: Calculated based on periodic (not continuous) monitoring of your heart rate and how much you move your hand.
  • Readiness: Calculated based on trends in your resting heart rate, HRV, respiratory rate, and body temperature.

What’s on the App

Why Sleep Is so Freaking Important

Before continuing with my Oura ring review, I want to emphasize why sleep is so important.

Actually, I’ll let this guy do it for me:

Matthew Walker, author of Why We Sleep
Matt Walker is the sleep diplomat. Look at all those fancy calculations on the blackboard. He must be smart!

That’s Dr. Matt Walker. He’s a sleep scientist who wrote a book, Why We Sleep. It’s one of my 15 favorite “sledgehammer books” because it scared the crap into making me want to sleep better.

Here’s why he says we should care A LOT about sleep:

“It enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and the flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious.”

Dr. Walker

But we people are dumbasses.

Instead of simply sleeping more and better to get these benefits we pay thousands of dollars for doctors, supplements, and doodads to “hack” the system.

Read Dr. Walker’s book or, at the very least, listen to his interview on the Joe Rogan podcast, and you’ll be convinced how important sleep really is.

Now back to the Oura ring review. 

The Pros and Cons of the Oura Ring

It’s a Ring

I much rather wear a ring than a tight bracelet or a watch, especially one as inconspicuous as the Oura.

✗ It’s a Ring

I’d much, much rather not wear anything at all and I can’t wear the ring when I’m playing basketball, lifting heavy barbells, or doing chin-ups. 

Also, people ask me if I’m married when I wear it.

So I stopped wearing my Oura ring during the day, mostly for the following reason:

On this day I did a 20-minute high-intensity workout, but my Oura ring only captured 10 minutes of it because it only periodically measures my activity during the day.

✗ Useless Activity Tracking

The Oura ring only tracks activity through its built-in accelerometer, so I get barely any credit for weight training and stationary exercise like yoga.

It also doesn’t properly track the high-intensity interval training I do because it only takes periodic heart-rate measurements during the day.

The only things the Oura ring is useful for during the waking hours are:

  • Counting steps
  • Reminders via the app to move every once in a while
  • The Moment function

None of those were good enough reasons for me to keep wearing my ring all day, so now I only wear it at night.

The Oura Ring has opened my eyes to the fact that a long sleep isn’t always a good sleep and motivated me to make changes.

Eye-Opening Data

Before I got my Oura ring, I assumed I was a good sleeper. I’d fall asleep immediately, stay asleep through the night, then wake up about 7-8 hours later.

I thought wrong.

The Oura ring made me aware that while I was having a good quantity of sleep, my sleep quality wasn’t ideal.

My heart rate chart was almost always a downward sloped line instead of an optimal bowl-shape, my HRV was the opposite, and I rarely got as much deep and REM sleep as I should.

This data woke me out of my complacency and got me experimenting with all sorts of things like light, temperature, eating schedule, sleep schedule, screen time, to improve my sleep habits.

This screenshot from the Oura Cloud desktop portal shows how my Oura ring captures so much data it makes my head hurt… but also that this data doesn’t make it easier to figure out how to sleep better. 

✗ Too Much Data, Not Enough Recommendations

The Oura has all the data necessary to be able to give me helpful, actionable tips.

For example, it could do a simple regression to see how much my inactivity affects my sleep and advise me accordingly.

But it doesn’t.

Aside from telling me whether or not my heart rate and sleep quality from the night before indicates I should “Up the activity” or “Take it easy”, it doesn’t do anything to help me figure out how to improve my sleep.

I’ve had to take matters into my own hands, do my own analyses, and even maintain my own spreadsheet (in which I take note of stuff like eating time, food quantity, alcohol and caffeine consumption) to try to crack the code to better sleep.

I wish I didn’t have to and that the Oura ring would make easier.

✗ Unreliable Data

Three months ago, I lost my Our ring and replaced it with another 35 days later. I got the same same size and same model…

…But different results:

My average deep sleep scores with my new ring have jumped up by 37% and my REM scores have decreased by 30%.

I didn’t make any changes that I know of to my sleeping habits, so I suspect that somehow a difference between the rings is causing these different scores.

This indicates that the deep sleep and REM scores are completely unreliable.

But at least they seem to be consistently unreliable. As long as I can roughly rely on their progression, not the absolute numbers, the scores are useful.

Close up of the new Oura ring 2 on my finger
Even though I treat my ring like crap, it only has a few faint scuff marks.

Durability

During the six months I wore my Oura ring 24/7, it held up admirably to all the punishment I put it through, including rock workouts, calisthenic training, and general negligence.

All it has to show for my rough treatment are quite a few superficial scuffs and scratches, but they just give the ring character.

Low Maintenance

I only have to charge my Oura ring once a week or so and I can go weeks without having to sync it with my phone.

✗ Questionable Customer Service

Good thing my Oura ring’s been durable and defect-free because, based on more than a handful of accounts in the comments, customer service is unresponsive, unsympathetic, and unhelpful.

✗ It Punishes Me For Reading in Bed

 When I read in bed, the Oura ring defaults to assuming I’m having a hard time falling asleep and gives me low latency and sleep efficiency scores, two of the seven measures that make up the overall sleep score.

It’s Improving

Many other Oura ring wearers reported the same issue with reading in bed, so the Oura team fixed it.

It’s not the most glamorous fix—now I can manually adjust my latency to report the time I was reading—but it’s a lot better than before.

The team’s made a couple of similar improvements, and I am confident there will be more to come.

Home screen of the Oura Ring's app
Every morning I’m eager to see how my sleep and heart rate were the night before.

Little Daily Dopamine Hits

Every morning I eagerly check my sleep score from the night before to see how I did—specifically focusing on my deep sleep and whether my heart rate graph was in the desired U-shape.

The feeling of anticipation I get from doing so is similar to the one I get when I open Instagram to see if I got any new likes, follows, or comments—just a heck of a lot healthier (I think…).

✗ It Takes a While

I naively hoped the Oura Ring would immediately help me identify things I’ve been doing wrong and fix them so I could sleep like a baby and become superhuman.

It didn’t.

It takes weeks, even months, until you can start to spot useful trends.

Clearly there isn’t anything the Oura team can do anything about this, but it is something you should keep in mind before you buy one for yourself in order to have the right expectations.

Chris and Kim living the high life at a Cape Town winery
Long-term health tracking from the Oura ring motivated me to get back in shape after a two-week South Africa road trip of wining, dining, and too much driving.

Long-Term Health Tracking

The Oura ring keeps me very aware of trends in my key health markers, like HRV and resting heart rate. This motivates me to stay healthy.

For example, for my first four months with the Oura ring, I was encouraged and motivated by my steadily decreasing resting heart rate and increasing average HRV. These were signs my exercise and diet choices were paying off.

But then on my fifth month, Kim and I went on a hectic road trip in South Africa.

For two weeks, we exercised less, ate worse, and drank more than normal and my HR and HRV gains completely vanished (…but, interestingly enough, my sleep scores improved).

Once our trip was over and life stabilized, I was more motivated than ever to turn things back around—and track my progress—thanks to the continuous long-term health trends from my Oura ring.

✗ It Costs $299

The $299 price is for the silver one (like I have) or the black.

It’s $399 if you choose the “stealth,” and $999 if you want a diamond on it. 

✗ Uncertain Delivery

If you’re in a rush to get a new Oura ring, be sure to ask how long it will take before ordering.

As of May 2019, a couple of commenters have shared that they got their rings promptly after ordering, but prior to that many complained that they had to wait three months or more.

Screenshot of a Moment session from the Oura ring app
Screenshot from a recent “Moment” showing that I’m no good at relaxing… yet.

The Promising New Moment Function

At the end of May 2019, Oura introduced a function (iOS only for now) I’d been looking forward to ever since I first got on the waiting list for my Oura ring 2 in 2017:

The ability to turn on the heart rate and HRV tracking during the day.

They call it “Moment.”

For 1 to 60 minutes, I can now try to relax my way to a lower heart rate and higher HRV and see how I do.

So far, I suck at it.

My HRV generally decreases and my HR increases during my “Moments,” which is the opposite of what I want.

But the fact that my Oura ring has motivated me to even try to relax at all is already a plus. I’m confident it’s a matter of time and tweaking with my relaxation routine before I eventually figure out how to do it effectively.

Oura Ring vs Alternatives

The Motiv ring doesn’t look much different from the Oura 2.

Oura vs. Motiv Ring

The Motiv Ring is Oura’s closest competitor.

On the outside they look about the same, but functionally they’re not. Here are the biggest differences:

Motiv Ring Advantages

  • $100 cheaper ($199 vs $299)
  • Better activity tracking: When you work out, it tracks your activity more continuously than the Oura Ring. 

Oura Ring Advantages

  • Way better sleep tracking. Oura specializes in tracking your sleep by tracking sleep phases (deep, REM, light). The Motiv only tracks “restful” and “restless.” 
  • Longer battery life (6-7 days for Oura vs 3 days for Motiv)
  • More measures. It measures HRV, body temperature, and respiratory rate. The Motiv doesn’t.

Oura vs. Motiv Conclusion

Oura wins!

Even if the Motiv ring only cost $20 instead of $200, I’d still get the Oura ring because it’s far and away the better tool for tracking my sleep, which is priority number one for me. 

Oura vs. Fitbit

Comparing the Oura Ring versus the Fitbit is like comparing slippers to running shoes.

Like slippers, the Oura Ring is designed for resting. And like running shoes, the Fitbit is designed for activity.

You can use either for the other purpose, but that’s getting away from what they’re designed for.

Either get both for the best performance or pick whichever functionality is more important to you—tracking sleep or tracking rest—and purchase accordingly.

Oura vs. Sleep Cycle App

For over seven years before I got my new Oura ring, I relied on my phone’s Sleep Cycle app to measure my sleep.

Even after I got my ring, I continued to use it for its alarm. This allowed me to compare the sleep scores between the two.

Here’s the comparison:

Sleep Cycle vs Oura Ring sleep score data

If the Sleep Cycle app were any good, the dots on this chart would roughly follow a diagonal, upwards-sloped line.

They don’t.

That means the Sleep Cycle app is pretty much useless for sleep tracking.

Oura ring while sleeping
Maybe it’s not the Oura ring’s fault and I should sleep in a darker room…

Final Verdict on the Oura Ring

To decide whether or not something was a good buy, I ask myself one question:

If I lose it, would I get another of the exact same or would I shop around for something else? 

For the Oura ring, the answer is I’d get it again. It’s one my rare few favorite things that meat that criterion.

Not just in theory, either.

I actually lost my ring somewhere in the Namibian desert and as soon as I got home I got a new one.

That’s because, while the Oura ring hasn’t fully lived up to my expectations, it has made me more focused on and conscious of my sleep quality and long term health markers.

And even though my sleep scores haven’t improved in the months I’ve had it, A) there’s a chance my sleep would’ve got worse if not for the Oura ring and B) I’m optimistic that I’m getting closer to finding the perfect sleep routine with its help.

Compared to the benefits, the cost is minimal. Just like how it’s worth spending more on a good mattress, the same applies for the Oura ring sleep tracker.

Recommendation

If you’re looking for a magic pill, don’t bother getting an Oura ring.

The data might entertain you for a while, but if you do nothing about it you’ll soon get bored, ditch it, and be $300 poorer and no better off.

But if you’re willing to be proactive about improving your health—meaning you’re willing to put some conscious effort into figuring out and fixing what’s hurting your sleep—the Oura ring is the best tool out there.

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75 thoughts on “No-Bullsh*t Review of My Sleep Tracking Oura Ring”

    • Hey Luke Flex. If that’s your real name, that’s quite the name! If not, good alias. I always get name envy because of my difficult last name.

      We published this on… lemme see… you’re right the date’s nowhere on the page… Dec 20. Ten days ago. Do you think we should figure out how to add the dates to each post?

      Reply
      • Bahahaha, yes Flex is my given last name.

        Yeah I think you should! By giving the published date for your blogs, it will allow your readers to know it’s relativity.

        Reply
  1. i just returned my oura ring today. it was just too buggy. half the time it didn’t connect to the app and i tried all the things CS suggested. i know they are still working things out but it was the last day in my return window and i was beginning to think i might have gotten a defect. figured this is the version 2 ring so shouldn’t the connectivity be perfected?? contrast that to the motiv ring which i used prior and it always connected without issue and gave up to the minute bio stats, however the oura does provide better sleep data as you stated.
    maybe i’ll revisit the ring again at a later time when they fix the issue. i really wanted it to work since it did provide a lot of bio data for wearing such a small device.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the perspective, Justin. That’s too bad you had connectivity issues. What type of phone do you have? I haven’t had the slightest issue with connectivity with my iPhone and neither has anyone I know who has the ring, so either you got unlucky to be stuck with a lemon or maybe it’s because of the phone you have? Either way, hopefully they fix the issue soon.

      Reply
    • Hi Justin, I have had a terrible time connecting my Oura ring to my phone as well. What makes it so much worse is the companies customer service is COMPLETELY USELESS. I have followed their instructions and none of the suggested fixes helped. I emailed them on 5 separate days and not once have they responded to my requests for help. If you are on the fence and reading this buy at your own peril. Hope that you don’t have issues because they do not stand behind their product, horrible company! They tell you it will be a while before they get back to you do to the volume of requests, obviously they have a half baked product and are overwhelmed by the requests for help.

      Reply
  2. I find it interesting that most of the reviews of this ring are fitness, health orientated. I thought I’d see a lot more people like me who suffer from sleep issues looking into this tech. On that note, do you think this would be a good starting place for someone who wants to figure out ways to improve their sleep. Does the data show enough of a trend to start to be able to make suggestions, or maybe at least the user could get some insights that might help.

    Also, I’ve looked around for a user manual, I often like to read through the manual before I make a purchase but I haven’t been able to find one online. Only other question I can think of is how good is the company when dealing with the warranty, I wonder just how long before the battery no longer holds charges, etc.

    Reply
    • Hey James. Interesting point you bring up on the ring being most popular with the fitness crowd. I agree. Maybe it’s because there are so many more fitness fanatics out there who are very active online?

      The ring and the app won’t make any helpful suggestions to improve your sleep, but if you’re proactive about analyzing the data yourself it can certainly help. It’s worth mentioning there is a note function you can use to keep track of different variables you tinker with to improve your sleep, too. I kept a separate spreadsheet, though, for calculations.

      As for the user manual, maybe it’s a Scandinavian thing, but the manual you get with the ring is pretty minimalist a la Ikea. Whatever info is available is online on their website / blog. And on the warranty, can’t help you there. It’s a new product and company so only time will tell I suppose.

      Hopefully that helps. If you do get the ring and make any major strides with it (or the opposite), I’d love to hear about it.

      Reply
  3. I have been really interested in improving my slow wave sleep as well. I’m waiting for acoustic stimulation to be available as it has been shown to enhance SWS. Apparently, this company will have it available some time this year and it will work with the Oura ring: https://sonicsleepcoach.com/deep-sleep-stimulation/ I don’t have any affiliation with Sonic Sleep and I have no idea whether their system will be any good. I think there should be others available soon as well that utilize acoustic stimulation.

    I bought the Oura ring but I haven’t used it yet as it won’t work with my iPhone 5c as Apple no longer supports it. Time for a new iPhone anyway, I guess.

    Reply
    • That’s annoying that it doesn’t work with the iPhone 5c. I’m starting to have similar problems with different apps (not Oura) with my 6s too.

      I hadn’t heard of accoustic stimulation, so thanks for sharing that Kathy. I’ll give it a look, though generally I prefer to try to find the causes of the problem and fix those as opposed to getting some fancy tech-y solution. I’m giving ear plugs and an eye mask a try now, and plan on getting some blue light blocking glasses from Kim’s brother who sells them to see if they help too.

      All the best with your ring. Hopefully it helps you get some of that elusive SWS, and if so please share how you did it!

      Reply
  4. Takes a damn long time to get it. I’m still waiting from end of September and they aren’t very good about updating their site with a status. I’m not a watch wearer which is why I wanted the ring. Now, I trying to decide whether to continue to wait. Conundrum.

    Reply
    • Murphy’s Law says that if you give up on waiting, you’ll probably get an email the next day saying the ring is ready just after you cancel order!

      Since it’s been 4 months already, I’d recommend waiting. Mine took 7 months, but that was as a pre-launch order, so there should be now way you’ll have to wait THAT long. Hopefully you get yours soon.

      The wait is a pain in the butt for sure, so I’ve added it to the Cons section. Thanks for sharing, Bel!

      Reply
  5. I just returned the rose gold ring because of durability (or lack thereof). Too many scratches, which do not add “character” to this $499 device. Scratched it when opening doors, which tells me Oura should stick to the basic ring without the overlays. Great data though. I loved that. Will look into other products.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your experience, CarolAnn. I guess everyone’s definition and tolerance for “character” is different, haha.

      Would you by any chance have any photos of your scuffed up ring you could send to me (chris at theunconventionalroute.com). I’d love to see them and possibly include them here.

      Either way, hopefully you find something that works better for you.

      Reply
  6. I’m also concerned about deep slerp deficit, but I’m not sure how accurate the rings are…

    I’ve had mine since Dec ’18 having orders in Feb 18, so yeah, a wait. I’m shown as averaging 32 mins deep sleep (I’m a physically active woman, 53 years old). But I can’t find the following anywhere :
    Slow wave deep sleep is made up of stage 3 & 4, do they bunch both to get deep sleep stats or is 3 bundled in with stages 1, 2&3 for light sleep? They bundle stage one ‘restful wakefulness’ and 2 together for light sleep. Where do they put stage 3. I find their CS no help on this. I asked the wu using chat on the app, no reply for over three weeks, finally a bloke pops up to say he hopes my questions are now answered. I ask them again, because…nope. And silence again. Why check in if you don’t have the time to reply?

    Note too that the indepth study they mention (Stanford I think) says the ring under estimated deep and REM, although they only bought two sizes for a relatively small cohort and that was gen 1.

    Personally I just can’t see the correlation in my heart graph with the deep sleep metric. The heart rate isn’t lower, smoother and HRV, (high rate seems to have been shown as a good marker for deep) is not as high as at other times. So what are they going on? REM shows up clearly but deep… Not so much.

    And steps regulary a quarter higher than apple watch…. Activity accurate if you use Health app to transfer info. I work out on a water rower, polar to health app and that appears directly in Oura. But that is all iOS dependent.

    So….. Dunno. Anxious sleepers out there, I bought the Bose sleepbuds (ouchy price). They seem to be helping deep sleep. That and Headspace meditation app which is wicked.

    Sorry for long post but deep sleep deficit bother me too. One thing, check how you feel before looking at the app and see if whether you feel foggy or bright matches what they say. Otherwise hard to tell if the being told youve slept badly is influencing how you actually feel. Thanks for reading this far…. If you have ; )

    Reply
    • Hey A. I very much appreciate the long comment. Thanks!

      I believe this is the study you’re referring to. As you point out, it was a small sample size, they only had two sizes of ring to test with and used the “best-fitting finger” for each participant, and it was the previous model, so I’m not sure how much stock to put in the study. And it mentions Oura “uses a proprietary algorithm, unknown to us” to determine deep sleep, so CS certainly won’t share it with us either.

      Who knows how accurate the ring is, but hopefully it’s at least consistently wrong in the same direction every time, so it can still help us see if we’re improving, which seems to be how you’re using it. I’m interested that sleepbuds and meditation helped you increase deep sleep as I’ve considered experimenting with both (and blue light blockers, too).

      I also like your last point to do a self-assessment beofore you check the score. I don’t remember where I heard it, but one other self-assessment is to try to clench your hand as tight as you can as soon as you wake up. If you can clench hard, you’re well-restored and ready for the day.

      Reply
  7. I just wanted to say thank you for the 5 month review. This is amazing and after reading this I sent emails to Oura. They said they were trying to make the ring a better fitness tracker, but I imagine you’d have to open the app and put it in full time monitoring mode and it would eat the juice of the battery. Hopefully one day we get the 02/sleep tracker/exercise tracker/heart rate hrv monitor in just 1 device.

    Cheers
    Mike

    Reply
    • Great, Mike. Way to go for emailing Oura about fitness tracking, too. The more people ask for it, the higher they’ll prioritize adding the functionality. It’ll eat at battery life, like you said, but charging the thing a couple extra times isn’t a hardship.

      Reply
    • Full time monitoring can’t be added with the current tech. the CEO explains in one podcast (sorry can’t link to it) that the current heart rate sensors are very accurate 250/sec but hte limitation is that they need to be stationary.. yeah.. basically they dont work at all if youare moving.. this is why Oura constantly state that it is a sleep tracker, not a fitness tracker.
      When I got my OUra 4 months ago, my deep sleep average was about 20 mins, not it it 60 mins. it is up to you to take the data and diagnose, an app cant do that for you. for me, I was waking a lot, so I started meditating, this instantly doubled my deep sleep on days that I did it (NOT immediately before bed). then I sorted my snoring

      Reply
        • I agree. crappy sleep = crappy day. I’m already prepared for it thanks to Oura; however, one thing that it does that is a good thing is noting the heart rate plunge almost every nigh that is consistently at the same time that begs the question: What the HELL is going on at that time? Still pleased with it

          Reply
      • Thanks J. I’ll have to find this podcast and give it a listen before I update this post in a month or two.
        Did you actually start snoring after getting into meditating, or you saying it to mean “sleeping really well”? I’d have to think snoring would negatively affect your sleep quality, not to mention that of any poor soul sleeping in your vicinity.

        Reply
  8. The whole purpose of sleep tracking is to baseline and then MAKE CHANGES…diet, exercise, supplements, lighting, etc. Just looking at the output data is meaningless in concluding “the ring isn’t useful in helping my sleep metrics”.

    I am looking at the Oura Ring, but haven’t settled on how good the sleep metrics are. Nonetheless, if it’s best wearable out there and does a good job at actually tracking important sleep parameters, then it might be worth the plunge to serve as the baseline tracking device while one makes changes to sleep outcomes.

    Reply
    • Totally agreed, Mac. The Oura ring should be used to set a baseline that you can compare against when you make changes. My two issues with the ring on this regard are: 1) It collects enough data that it could suggest changes to you, but doesn’t and 2) It doesn’t make it easy to compare two periods—pre- and post-intervention.

      As for how accurate it really is, I have the same concerns and made the same conclusion as you: there are no better alternatives, so I got it.

      Reply
  9. Does the app provide averages for specific sleep stages?

    It appears the app can only display the average sleep time and time in bed.

    I’m hoping it is able to give me for example, “Average REM sleep for week x was 1h 29m”.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hey William. Yeah, you can see averages for sleep stages on the app by going to the home screen -> taping the menu icon on the top left -> tap trends -> select the sleep stage you want an average of -> choose between daily, weekly, or monthly average.

      Reply
  10. Really interesting comments. I ordered my ring last December. The newest shipping estimate suggests I won’t get it until April (if the shipping isn’t delayed again). I have thought numerous times about cancelling my order as it’s just taking too long. I emailed their support last week about cancelling. I’m still waiting for a reply although the automated response said they’d get back in a few days. Generally I’m finding the whole Oura frustrating.

    Reply
    • I’d have thought Oura would slowly accelerate their production and shipping schedules, so that’s surprising and helpful input, Iowboy. Thanks. Let us know if and when the ring arrives.

      I wonder if by now it’s not faster (and definitely cheaper) to find and buy used rings on Craigslist or whatever. There have got to be thousands of rings that people got caught up in the hype and bought (or got as gifts), tried a few times, didn’t get any magical results from, and gave up on.

      Reply
  11. It took mine over 3 months to get. The Oura ring doesn’t inherently improve your sleep; however, I find that it does like me know just what the quality is and basically when I have a “bad night”. I find sometimes when I feel like I should have gotten a good night sleep, it really isn’t and so far Oura has been on point. Also, my work days are 10 hours and it’s nice to be reminded to get up and out! I guess it depends on you and what you want out of it

    Reply
    • I’m with you on everything you say, Ms B, except I may have found one exception: Oversleeping. Recently, I somehow had a crazy 10-hour sleep that earned me my highest readiness and sleep scores ever, but I felt like crap—groggy and lethargic—pretty much all day and had a below-average workout. Have you by any chance experienced that too?

      Reply
      • Oversleeping? What’s that? No, actually, I traveled up north and then marathon slept for 9 1/2 hours. Felt like crap but my restfulness was “pay attention”. Always amazes me how I hardly have deep sleep..

        Reply
  12. Ordered my stealth ring in Jan, got it yesterday. Everything is working for the first day. Connecting to the ring takes a bit of effort but it works on on my LG phone. I let the oura app turn on the Bluetooth and it connects better. At least from what I can tell. The product appears well made, happy as a new user. One thing that’s weird, the charging stand comes with a USB cord but not the plug for the outlet? Weird…

    Reply
  13. Hey man,

    Solid article, by far one of the best ones I came across in my quest to figuring out if I should buy the ring or not. Also the comments are very interesting.

    I like your comparative graph oura ring vs sleep cycle app. There are also other oura ring vs fitbits/other wristbands comparisons and graphs, which give better results.

    I also believe in blue light blockers + ear plugs at night + meditation + eye mask (dark room) also came across several sources saying the colder your bedroom the better (between 15 and 21 degrees Celsius – optimal for deep sleep).

    I was wondering which patterns you discovered while manually tracking and comparing your stats and graphs.

    Cheers
    T

    Reply
    • Hey T, Good question. It’s hard to say with much confidence because of so many compounding factors when it comes to sleep, but here are some semi-discoveries I’ve made:
      – Not making a difference in my sleep: Sex before bed, an alcoholic drink or two in the evening, the number of hours I sit during the day
      – Helping my sleep: No exercise during the day, cooler temperature, fasting
      – Hurting my sleep: Sharing a bed with Kim, eating a big meal late at night, reading my Kindle even on low brightness

      The reading one’s been the biggest surprise. When I’m reading a good book, my deep sleep goes down the drain cuz I spend more time before sleep reading it. I don’t want to stop reading, so have to figure out ways around this.

      Reply
      • Hi Chris, thanks for sharing your discoveries. Some of it is in line with with my personal research on this. I have some comments/questions on some of it though;

        – Alcoholic drinks, might make a difference that the oura can’t track..
        – Interesting link between sleep and exercise. Did you try various moments in the day for training? like morning/mid-day/late afternoon? The closer to bed the worse for your sleep apparently.
        – Fasting/eating big. That I have read very different things on, so can’t say.

        I have the same fears for reading before sleeping. Do you have blue light blockers? Do paper books with and external light have the same effect as a kindle?

        My other discoveries are:
        – Room should be pitch black, light from outside reduces my sleep quality.
        – having a routine before going to bed works. The body then knows it’s bed time.
        – sleeping and waking up at the roughly the same time as the night before (+-20min buffer)

        Cheers,
        Thomas

        Reply
        • Hey Thomas.
          – I haven’t tried changing around exercise times mostly because I hate exercising late in the day and much prefer it early/mid-day on an empty stomach.
          – Very anecdotally, we had a week’s worth of nights in South Africa with no electricity because of rolling blackouts. Only candles. I hoped that’d give a boost to deep sleep, but nope.
          – Experimenting with blue light blockers interests me a lot. Just gotta get my hands on a pair. Hard to find in South Africa and Spain, but we happen to be in Seattle now, so your comment is super timely. Thanks for reminding me. I’m gonna stop by Walmart and pick up a pair.

          Reply
        • @Thomas, I notice that even a small amount of alcohol affects might HRV track throughout the night consistently across a variety of recording gadgets. (I don’t drink much).

          FWIW On the occasions when I’ve looked, there is a difference picked up by Oura.

          Reply
  14. Question: At the beginning of the article you have a chart that has sleep score vs deep sleep. Is the deep sleep in minutes? That was my guess but wanted to check.

    Great article. I’ve been using the ring for a while now and can say it has helped me increase my deep sleep–though I’ve tried using various techniques.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hey JA, The deep sleep bars on the chart are Oura’s “Deep Sleep Score,” which you can see in the Oura Cloud data. I compared that score to the Deep Sleep time (in seconds), which is also in the Oura Cloud data, and it’s always between 1/55 and 1/58, so it happens to be pretty close to the number of minutes of deep sleep.

      Have any techniques in particular helped you out? I’m still struggling. The biggest hindrance for me seems to be my Kindle.

      Reply
  15. Ordered the ring on March 30th and got it April 8th! They seemed to really have improved with delivery. I was hesitant to order with 12 weeks delivery they have promised on their page. By 12 weeks i would have forgotten i bought it! Good it arrived in a week.
    Looking forward to some data tomorrow after tonight’s sleep!

    Reply
    • No way! That’s awesome. You have a Finnish email; do you live in Finland? If so, could it be that you got yours so fast because you live in the country the company’s from?

      Reply
    • Helpful references in your post, Marc! I’m going to read through them next week. And I was amused by your quote, “I think the consumer device sleep trackers are a measure of people’s willingness to believe in anything.”

      If you know anyone with an Oura Ring, ask if you could borrow it maybe for a few nights. I’d be curious to see how its data compares to your Fitbit’s.

      Reply
  16. Will it work with a tablet instead of a phone? How much deep sleep should a person get? I would like to see a comparison of Oura Ring with CorSense Heart Rate Variability Sensor by Elite HRV.

    Reply
    • Hey Loretta. It’ll work with any device you can download the Oura app to and that has Bluetooth. So your tablet for sure will work.

      You put the CorSense on your finger to measure HRV, eh? I suppose that now that Oura’s added the Moment functionality it’d be pretty straightforward to compare the two. Maybe they’ll have a demo CorSense at a Best Buy or something and we can do a comparison on the spot!

      As for the amount of deep sleep needed, I don’t know. I imagine it depends on a host of factors like age and genetics. For what VERY little it’s worth, Oura’s sleep scores seem to want me to have 1h20min of deep sleep a night or more.

      Reply
  17. As sleep is my main concern, I chose the oura. I also liked the longer battery length.
    Ordered the sizing kit to be sure. Took 4 days to arrive (Finland to Canada). Picked a size and ordered the Heritage Black Size 12. Maybe I’m just lucky and they had stock, but ordered in yesterday (Monday) and online UPS tracking has it scheduled for delivery Thursday!!

    Reply
    • That’s good to hear, David. Sounds like supply has caught up with demand then. I’ll update the post accordingly. Hopefully you make some helpful discoveries with your ring. Sleep tight!

      Reply
  18. I ordered the ring in March 2019 and had it on for two weeks and then it would not connect, well it said it was connected but there was no data. After much time spent with lagging email responses, I returned the ring. I have an iphone8. I am not so sure I’ll give it another try which is unfortunate, I probably would have if they would have replaced the ring.

    Reply
    • Sorry to hear that, Nikki. I’d like to see a closer competitor to the Oura Ring enter the market to create a bit more competition. Maybe that’d improve on the customer service issues it seems you had.

      Reply
  19. Hi Chris. Nice review. In fact I have been using it for about 6 months now and share most of your opinions on pros/cons.

    Like you, my biggest annoyance is the lack of reliable and/or useful activity data, So now I am stuck wearing my fit bit AND the ring. Also impossible to wear the “stealth” finish During the day or while working out without absolutely destroying the finish.

    I agree that the recommendations the device gives you (“take it easy today…) is pretty much useless. But the data leads you to your own conclusions. I looked at the same things as you–namely eating time, food quantity, alcohol and caffeine consumption–and the results are most evident in the RHR and HRV. Have you looked at these specifically, or are you focusing mostly on the scores?

    Lastly, about the dopamine hit–I’m not sure its a good thing. I find myself doing the same thing. But at the end of the day, do we really need a little device to tell us how we slept or is not that something we should just be able to know inherently?

    Reply
    • Hi Brendan,

      On the dopamine hit, while you might be right it’s not entirely a good thing, your comment made me realize that the oura ring has without a doubt made me more conscious of how I sleep. Every morning when I wake up, and before I look at my score, I think to myself how my sleep was and, if it was bad, think about why.

      And yeah, I too mostly focus on HRV and RHR now. A bit on restlessness now that I’m experimenting with sleeping on the floor (more to come on that). RHR and the shape of the RHR chart especially seem to tell me everything I need to know.

      All the best with your blog, https://ourhealthhabit.com/! Looks good.

      Reply
  20. Hi, many thanks for the great article. I’m looking at buying this and try many hacks to help with my sleep. One thing that concerns me is I try to make sure nothing wireless or Bluetooth is enabled in my room at night. I’m guessing the ring doesn’t need to be connected all the time to the iPhone. But I’m guessing it will be constantly checking for a Bluetooth connection which as I understand can affect your bodies cells and sleep. Not to mention it will admit EMFs but I’m guessing (or hoping) on a very small scale. Have you and knowledge of this? I do have a EMF meter but would rather try and research before having to buy one then test.
    Thanks, Thai

    Reply
    • Hi Thai. The Oura Ring has an airplane mode that you can use while wearing it. That turns off the Bluetooth. I hadn’t thought of turning it on to see if that affects my sleep. I imagine it’d be a minuscule effect, but who knows? Best of luck with your sleep hacking!

      Reply
  21. Hi Chris .A really interesting review and answers to comments. I wonder if you would you would like to try our new sleep device, the Zeez Sleep Pebble, ALONGSIDE the Oura? We are trying to improve sleep, not to track it. Our Zeez is designed to pulse out tiny electric signals of the same frequencies as those made by our brain as we relax and sleep deeply over 4 sleep cycles. Generally (c 80% people, it works). One button, no app. An early decision – I felt that exhausted people wanted sleep, not tech.. When we want tracking, there are plenty of options. We are a tiny start-up. butI think our tech is the best for deep sleep – better than sound based deep sleep enhancing devices – and I’d love to know what you think. II’m happy to tell you more – you”ll find you tube user clips, website, reviews easily.

    Like others, I don’t know whether Oura’s “deep sleep” is slow delta wave sleep or delta wave sleep + REM. Slow delta wave sleep should make up c 20% of total sleep. How do you feel in the morning? If you wake up full of energy you may are probably OK< whatever the tracker says. But if it is hard to get out of bed.. try us.

    I hope you don't mind me plugging our device- it se so new and different that I am not sure that you would find out about it any other way. And yours is the best Oura review I have read.

    Anna

    Reply
    • Hey Anna, Interesting concept. And great name, Zeez! Thanks for stopping by.

      Have you tried the Oura Ring? Like you said, they’d seem to go hand-in-hand (or, literally, one in hand, other under pillow). And if the Oura data reflected sleep improvements, that’d be a convincing testimonial for your product.

      What about possible negative effects of these waves on the brain? Some commenters have pointed out they try to avoid all WiFi, bluetooth, whatever when they sleep. I suppose Zeez is the opposite, helping instead of hindering sleep, but my first concern when hearing about your product is unintended negative effects. Do you have any data or info on that?

      I wake up feeling fresh (unless I did something stupid the night before). But I imagine, like anything, I could always sleep better. You recommend trying Zeez if it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. So would you say for people like me that the effects of Zeez might not be notable?

      All the best with your business!

      Reply
  22. For so much hype, I was incredibly disappointed with the lack of customer support. I never even got to at up my Oura Ring, because it arrived defective and would not sync up with my Bluetooth no matter what I tried, and there was nobody to help me. I have spent many sleepless nights trying to get it to connect using all of their troubleshooting methods, and more. I have written to them countless times, and there has been not one single response. I think they are either understaffed or poorly managed, or both. I am so frustrated that I have requested a return authorization from them, and I will be returning my product to them without even having it activated. What a huge disappointment! Nothing can kill a product quicker than lack of customer service.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing, GB. I’m sorry to hear the Oura Ring customer service department’s been sleeping on the job in your You’re not the first one to complain about this to me, though I’ve been lucky. Hopefully you get your refund without issue and eventually find a competing product that works for you.

      Reply
  23. Hi Chris. In one of your comments, you said that you have been sleeping on the floor. I have just recently returned to my bed from almost 4 months of sleeping on the floor. I purchased a “grounding sheet” just about 2 weeks ago. I literally could feel a deep wave of relaxation settling within myself almost immediately. After almost 3 years of progressively miserable sleep brought on by a number of related issues, but stemming from basically a degenerative jaw with subsequent treatments to mitigate its effects, I found my lack of sleep worse than the jaw problems. Recently, I discovered that candiaisis is a factor & I’m addressing that full throttle. Fatiqued adrenals, addressing that. But, the “grounding sheet” got me off the floor. I’m feeling like there’s hope for me to sleep again & I just wanted to share that with you.

    Reply
    • Hi Nancy. Thanks for sharing the idea of grounding sheets. I hadn’t heard of them before, though I did do some research on the idea of “earthing” a couple months ago and came away with the conclusion that it’s mostly woo-woo. That’s not to say I doubt the sheet worked for you and that my mind can’t be changed at some point. Why’d you give up sleeping on the floor, anyway?

      Reply
  24. I just want to share my experience with Oura. I bought four rings when they first came out with the new ring last year. The rings were great and worked well. My son is a climber and, unfortunately, due to the need to remove it frequently to climb, lost it. Oura allowed us to replace this for a discount (replacing only the ring, not charger so 50% cost). However, when he lost it a second time, Oura offered just $25 off for a replacement. If you do a sport that requires removing the ring and are at risk for losing it, you will incur a substantial cost to replace it, so beware (we are not replacing it). Also, when my husband’s ring broke, we had to take the ring to a UPS center (not a UPS store but the distribution center, which is, for most people, not in the center of town). After a month of not hearing anything, we had to contact Oura with the tracking number because they had forgotten about it. Overall, I liked the ring but as Oura has grown, their customer service and customer loyalty is far less than it used to be. At $299 a ring, this is an investment for sure. I’ll be considering other options that will allow my son to wear it during climbing and sleep.

    Reply
    • Thanks Jessica. Have you considered the option of only wearing the ring to bed? I keep it with my Kindle, which I read before bed every night, so I don’t lose it or forget. Another option would be to put it through the cord for charging your phone, so when you plug it in at night you remember to put on your ring.

      Reply
  25. Did anyone end up doing any EMF measurements on the Oura ? I know it can be set to airplane mode (and definitely should be on airplane mode at night) but have heard there is a bug so it will switch itself back on unknown to the wearer. Anyone have any new info? Updates appreciated, if available.

    Reply
  26. I used the ring for sleep tracking only. What I discovered is that I could lay perfectly still, watch the clock for long periods of time, then get the sleep results the next morning, showing I had been asleep the whole time. That was vastly inaccurate. I tried over and over, with similar results. When I asked the customer service for help I kept getting a run around and finally no communication at all. I would definitely NOT recommend the Oura ring to anyone!

    Reply
  27. Thanks Carl for sharing the results of your experiment. Interesting for us, boring for you (you know, to lay perfectly still not sleeping for long periods of time). Or were you meditating? The Oura Ring also “works” when you stay perfectly still and meditate, i.e. the Moment function, so maybe that’s one excuse for them. When I’m unable to fall asleep, the ring seems to be able to tell, but maybe I’m not as perfectly motionless as you?
    Anyway, sorry you had such a negative experience with the ring. And here’s to fewer nights lying perfectly still and awake!

    Reply
  28. Customer support is horrible! The sizing is 1.5 sizes smaller than a jewelers measurement so I got a ring that didn’t fit. My husband kept his on a smaller finger. It says you can exchange but nobody returns requests, there is no phone number or address. I got an initial response that they could not find the order they had shipped me the week prior. You cant return without an RMA. Seven attempts to find a way to exchange and no response so for a month plus I’ve tried to get a ring that fits. I love the data my husband’s produces. The battery does NOT last a week.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your unfortunate experiences with customer service on the Oura ring, Pat. I’m sorry to hear it and grateful my ring came in the right size and default free. Since so many others have commented to complain about support, I’ve added it as a con in the post.

      Reply
  29. Thanks for the Oura Ring review. I thought it was Kim, a woman. But looks like she just modeled the ring. I was looking for a woman’s perspective. But the review was helpful. I remain undecided. But I am at least set on the Balance style in silver for my middle finger, if I do splurge on the ring! Thanks for your 411!

    Reply
    • Hey Sal. Yeah, Kim looks better with the ring than me, but only I use it. She might be getting a second-hand one when we return to Vancouver. Since she’d only wear it to bed, it can be any color and just needs to fit one of her fingers. Maybe consider the same so it’s less of a splurge?

      Reply

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