Oura Ring Review

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Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
Updated on September 09, 2020

I bought my Oura Ring in September 2019 and having used it for exactly a year now, I thought it was about time I finally wrote a review.

Product website: https://ouraring.com

If you’ve landed on this page from a search engine, then the chances are that you’re already up to speed about this impressive smart ring and what it’s designed to do.

The Oura Ring comes with a premium price tag, so it’s always a good idea to do some of your own research before committing to a product like this so you can be sure that you won’t be disappointed.

That’s (hopefully) where this review can help.

I’m going to cover all of the key things that you need to know about the Oura Ring.

Specifically, I’m going to discuss in detail:

• How long it took me to get to grips with the ring and its app
• Whether it really helped me to improve my sleep and health or not
• Would I buy the ring again and recommend it to you?

The Oura Ring was the first ‘wearable’ bit of tech I’ve ever purchased, so I was really keen to assess it and see whether it lived up to expectations or not.

The Oura Ring App home screen (Photo: Oura)

The Oura Ring App home screen (Photo: Oura)

By the end of this review, hopefully you’ll have a much better idea about whether this is the right smart ring for you, or if you money may be better spent elsewhere.

A final note before we get started. We (myself and Human Window) have no commercial relationship with Oura. I purchased the ring in September 2019 with my own hard-earned cash and we do not receive any commissions if you buy an Oura Ring through one of the links on this page.

Oura Ring – The Basics

If you’ve landed on this page, the chances are that you’re already fairly familiar with the basic points about the Oura Ring, but let’s cover some of the basics quickly anyhow.

Oura have sold more than 150,000 of their new smart rings since launching in early 2018 (the bulkier first generation Oura Ring launched on Kickstarter back in 2016), to put them at the forefront when it comes to fitness trackers for your finger.

While most fitness trackers are focused on metrics such as calories burned and heart rate, Oura has more of a focus on rest and recovery. We all know how important good sleep is for our health and wellbeing, and Oura aims to give you a helping hand in optimising your downtime, so you can perform at your best during the day.

For such a small and lightweight device, Oura really stands out from the crowd when it comes to the types of data it tracks. Oura’s primary offering is in-depth sleep data, but it also tracks Heart Rate Variability, Body Temperature and Steps (I’ll cover this in more detail below).

The Oura Ring features a minimalist, lightweight design (Photo: Oura)

The Oura Ring features a minimalist, lightweight design (Photo: Oura)

The ring connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and syncs with the smartly-designed app to provide you with the data along with helpful tips and tricks.

Oura recently updated their app so that you can import health data from other fitness apps (for example, I use the Adidas Running app), which was a welcome addition.

The ring itself is made from titanium, making it durable and lightweight (it weighs four to six grams depending on the ring size).

At present, it’s available in six different styles and colours from the official Oura website.

It’s worth nothing that you can’t buy the Oura Ring in the shops. It’s currently only available to buy directly from Oura on the official website.

If you’re worried about returns, Oura offer a full money-back guarantee within 30 days of your purchase, so long as your ring is fully functional and undamaged.

So, now that we’ve covered some of the basic things to know about the Oura Ring, it’s time to take a deeper dive into its features.

Fit, Feel And Durability

Before you buy your ring, you’ll want to ensure that you pick the right size.

The way Oura deal with this conundrum is by sending out a sizing kit, which features all of the available sizes as dummy rings, so you can work out which one is right for you.

When choosing your size, you’ll want to think about which hand and finger you’re going to be wearing it on (I wear mine on my right index finger).

You’ll then want to choose the color and design of your ring. I went for the ‘Balance’ in black.

As I mentioned above, the Oura Ring is made of titanium, and it has an outer coating made from scratch-resistant carbon.

The first thing you’ll notice when taking it out of the box is how light it is. It weighs significantly less than a traditional metal ring.

The Heritage Oura Ring in black

The Heritage Oura Ring in black (Photo: Oura)

It is noticeably thicker than a normal metal ring, which is something I’m sure the innovators at Oura will be working on improving in future versions, but overall it looks like a standard ring unless you’re looking very closely.

After having used the ring for a year, it’s in remarkably good condition, and doesn’t have any scratches on the exterior surface.

That being said, I have been careful with it. I remove it whenever I’m training with weights at the gym, and have been careful not to take it with me into situations where I know it could get damaged.

That’s actually one of the slight disadvantages of the product, that it’s not great for tracking activities such as weight lifting and yoga.

The Oura Ring can also be used during periods of exercise (Photo: Oura)

The Oura Ring can also be used during periods of exercise (Photo: Oura)

What Oura Tracks

The Oura Ring is focused around sleep and recovery more than anything else. If you’re looking for a state-of-the-art fitness tracker for your running, weight lifting or yoga, then you’re probably better off looking elsewhere.

The Oura has earned a reputation for being one of the top sleep trackers on the market. It has an impressive range of different sensors that provide a comprehensive review of your hours of shut-eye, and then it combines the data to give you recommendations in the morning for the day ahead.

Let’s take a look at the various forms of data that the Oura Ring records.

Recorded during sleep:

• Resting Heart Rate
• Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
• Respiratory Rate
• Body Temperature Deviation
• In-Depth Sleep Data

Recorded during the day:

• Activity Levels (Intensity, Timing, Duration)
• Calories
• Steps
• Inactivity Time and Alerts
• Automatic Detection of Restful Moments (such as naps)

As you can see for yourself, the range of data is pretty impressive for such a small device.

What you can probably also see for yourself is that the main bulk of the data collected is done so during sleep.

What sets Oura apart is its unrivalled sleep tracking. It’s known for being very accurate, and it uses various sets of data to provide automatic tracking of sleep stages (awake, light, deep and REM), as well as sleep timing, duration and quality.

A good night's sleep (for me, anyway)

A good night’s sleep (for me, anyway)

Every morning when you sync the ring to your app, you’ll get a detailed breakdown of your sleep from the night before, along with a ‘score’ out of 100 for how good your sleep was.

You’ll also get an overall ‘Readiness’ score, which takes into account your recent activity and sleep patterns, as well as direct body signals such as resting heart rate, heart rate variability, and body temperature.

The highest Oura Ring ‘Readiness Score’ I’ve ever recorded was 98 (proof below).

My best ever Readiness score with the Oura Ring. If you've done better, DM me!

My best ever Readiness score with the Oura Ring. If you’ve done better, DM me!

The app also contains an ‘Activity’ section, which tracks steps, calories burned and your workouts important from other fitness apps.

Battery Life And Connectivity

The ring comes with its own wireless charger, which connects to a power source via an included USB to USB-C cable.

Oura takes about one hour to charge fully. After that, you have the option to switch the ring onto ‘Airplane Mode’, which means that it will not emit any Bluetooth signals and therefore conserve battery life.

The ring will stay on airplane mode (battery permitting) for up to seven days. To bring it out of airplane mode, you simply have to place it on the charger.

The one downside of this is that if, for example, you’re on a short trip and didn’t pack your charger, you won’t be able to bring your ring out of airplane mode until you have access to it again. That said, the ring will still be recording all of your data as usual, you just won’t get to see it until you sync it.

When I’m wearing my ring, I keep it in airplane mode, and the battery life is around five to six days at the moment, which is pretty impressive.

When syncing the ring to the app via my phone, it usually takes about a minute to update and reveal the data (it can take longer if you’re syncing less frequently than once a day).

What I’ve Learnt From Using The Oura Ring For A Year

Overall, I’d say that my experience with the Oura Ring has been a very positive one.

I’ve always been something of a light sleeper, so I’m always keen to explore various ways to try and improve my sleep and overall recovery.

One of the main lessons that my Oura Ring taught me fairly early on was that I tend to wake several times a night. This is reflected in a ‘Restlessness’ dataset in the Sleep section of the app. Most nights, the Oura app tells me to ‘pay attention’ in this area.

One thing I don’t seem to struggle with is getting enough deep sleep (well, at least if the Oura’s sleep stage tracking is as accurate as they claim).

I usually get more than two hours of deep sleep per night, even if my total amount of sleep is not very much.

What’s great about using an accurate sleep tracker like the Oura Ring is that it allows you to keep track of the effects any changes to your environment or routine may having on your sleep.

For example, soon after getting the Oura, I started using blue light blocking glasses before bed, and I was able to see that doing this improved my overall sleep quality.

Using the Oura for a few months also taught me more about the effect that alcohol and late meals at night have on my body. As you can probably guess, neither of those things helped my sleep!

The different trends in my resting heart rate during sleep after drinking alcohol (left) and a normal night (right). The white dot indicates the lowest HR reading of the night.

The different trends in my resting heart rate during sleep after drinking alcohol (left) and a normal night (right). The white dot indicates the lowest HR reading of the night.

The body temperature reading in the ‘Readiness’ section has also proved to be incredibly useful for me. Sometimes, it will warn me that I may be coming down with something before I have even noticed myself.

For example, I had a pretty bad flu-like infection in April of this year (it may have been Covid-19, but I wasn’t tested at the time) and it was really fascinating to see impact this had on my Oura scores.

My Oura Ring accurately tracked my temperature when I was ill

My Oura Ring accurately tracked my temperature when I was ill

Overall, I’ve got to say that I really love my Oura Ring.

It does take a few weeks to get used to the data, and I think it needs time to learn about you (for example, it takes a week or two to understand what your usual body temperature is, so it can start showing accurate deviations in its data).

But all in all, I now see my Oura Ring as an indispensable companion who’s always there to provide some helpful tips about the day ahead based on what my body has been saying to it.

Pros and Cons

Let me know weigh up some of the main pros and cons when it comes to the Oura Ring from my point of view.

Pros:
• Stylish, lightweight design
• Durable
• Long battery life (up to seven days)
• Unrivalled sleep tracking for such a small device
• Provides helpful and valuable data such as Body Temperature and HRV
• App is constantly being improved

Cons:
• Premium price tag
• Only available from the official website
• Daytime / workout tracking is limited
• Every now and then, the data from the night before does not show up in the app

Is This The Best Sleep Tracker For Me?

If you haven’t already guessed, I’ve been pretty impressed by the Oura Ring.

Using it every day for the last year has really helped me to keep track of my sleep and see what helps and harms my periods of shuteye.

I love the way it looks and feels (although it could be a little bit thinner) and it’s probably the most comprehensive sleep tracker out there for a device so small.

If you’re looking for a quality sleep tracker with a minimalist design, then the Oura Ring may well be the perfect choice for you.

However, if you’re after a more comprehensive fitness tracker based on exercise and workouts, then there are definitely better options out there.

Anything Else To Consider?

The Oura Ring is not a medical device, so it should not be used as one. Rather, it’s a tool that can help you to optimise your rest and recovery for top performance.

If you suspect you may have a medical condition related to your sleep, it’s always best to speak to your doctor to get some personalised advice.

Another thing worth noting is that the Oura Ring is only really going to be useful to you if you take action as a result of the data it provides.

Simply viewing the data each morning and not doing anything about it is not really going to be very useful in the long term.

It’s about reading the data and understanding more about how your body rests and recovers, so that you can optimise things moving forwards.

Conclusion – Final Thoughts

So, that brings us to the end of my Oura Ring review. I hope you’re found it to be useful.

I’m a big fan of the Oura Ring and will continue to recommend it to people who are looking to track and improve their sleep.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Oura Ring, check out the official website.