As a health-conscious tech geek, I’ve always had a weakness for stylish gadgets and health tracking. For years, I owned the Apple Watch Series 3, which was great, but wearing it while sleeping was uncomfortable, and after a few years, its tech (and battery life) was getting long in the tooth. I wanted something I didn’t have to charge daily, that was comfortable to wear to sleep, and could accurately measure my body temperature for menstrual cycle tracking.
So my spouse got me an Oura ring this past Christmas. For the last six months, I’ve been continuously using this sleek piece of technology, and I thought I would share my totally honest Oura ring review in case you’re thinking of investing in one yourself.
Disclosure for Transparency: Although I am not an affiliate of Oura, some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Full disclaimer here.
About the Brand
Oura is a Finnish health tech company founded in 2013 by Petteri Lahtela, Kari Kivela, and Markku Koskela.
The brand is dedicated to helping individuals navigate the complexities of health through personal guidance, with a strong commitment to accuracy, validation, and design. Oura believes that healthcare should be more than just sick care and that great health starts with good sleep.
Oura Ring Overview
This sleek piece of technology is not your average ring. Picture a beautifully designed ring – available in silver, rose gold, and matte black – that keeps a constant watch on your vital health metrics, and you’ve got the Oura Ring.
Whether it’s tracking your sleep patterns, your body temperature, or even your blood oxygen levels, this ring promises to be your holistic health companion. Designed to be worn on your index or middle finger, it keeps you updated about your health, all while looking stylish (at least, compared to most wearable health trackers.)
Oura Ring Price
The Oura Ring does come with a hefty price tag. The price ranges from $299 for the Heritage models to a whopping $549 for the Gen3 Horizon. While that is pretty expensive, it’s comparable to other health-tracking devices with similar features, like the FitBit Sense, which costs $399, or the Garmin Fenix 7, which (last I saw) was on sale for the low-low price of $799.
But unlike FitBit and Garmin, Oura does not offer a range of options for different budgets. So if you have your heart set on an Oura ring, you’re going to commit to at least $300.
The cost of the device is one thing, but I am not a fan of the additional monthly fee required for using the app after already paying for the ring. It’s only $6.99 USD per month, but it’s the principle of the thing. After all, AppleWatch and FitBit don’t charge for their apps!
Unboxing the Oura Ring
The moment I received my Oura Ring Generation 3, I was impressed by the high-class packaging. (Then again, for the price, it had better be high-class.)
My spouse gave me the Horizen silver model. At first, it seemed a bit chunky on my small (and somewhat scrawny) fingers, but it quickly grew on me. Now, I think it looks cool and adds a unique touch to my style.
Normally, Oura sends you a free sizing kit, but since it was a gift, my partner calculated the size based on my ring finger size. The ring fits perfectly on my right index finger but was a bit too loose on my left. (Still trying to figure out how that works.) Even though you’re supposed to wear it on your non-dominant finger to help prevent scratches and wear and tear, I chose to wear it on my right hand because of the better fit.
Comfort and Fit
One of the main reasons I was drawn to the Oura Ring was its promise of comfort, especially during sleep. I’m happy to report that it lives up to this promise. The ring is very comfortable to wear, and I barely notice it’s there. I wear it at all times, except when I need to charge it every 3-4 days or when I shower. Although it’s waterproof, I prefer not to risk it sliding off my finger or getting caught in my hair.
Thoughts After Using the Oura Ring for Six Months
It takes at least two weeks of consistent wear before the Oura ring can get a good handle on your data. But I’ve been using it much longer than that at this point, so here is a detailed – and completely honest – Oura ring review.
Six months of consistent use have helped me unlock various features of the Oura ring, especially the activity tracking function. It has been quite accurate in recording workouts, whether high-intensity ones or more passive forms of exercise like walking.
I particularly appreciate the ring’s ability to detect the type and duration of the exercise I’m doing without having to manually input any data. I also have the location settings turned on so it can track my distance and route when I go walking.
The only time it doesn’t automatically detect workouts is when it’s something low-impact or low-movement, like when I’m pedaling on my Cubii or doing yoga. But the app lets me manually add those workouts.
It also helps me get some physical activity during the day as I work from home and can often spend hours at my desk if I’m absorbed in what I’m doing. Its reminders to move have helped me break up long periods of inactivity.
The Oura also gives you an activity score to aspire to each day and will adjust itself based on how much you move every day. For example, if you start working out more often, it will adjust the calorie burn gauge higher than it was the previous week.
The calorie burn tracker appears to be as accurate as my Apple Watch was, which is to say, it’s not perfect, but accurate enough to have a good idea of your daily energy expenditure.
I only have two gripes with the Oura ring when it comes to exercises. First, its chunky design sometimes hinders my grip when I’m working out, particularly while handling dumbbells. Second, it’s not great for tracking your heart rate while exercising.
I used to rely on looking down at my Apple Watch to check my BPM so I could gauge if I needed to dial it back or kick it up a notch. But with the Oura ring, the app doesn’t show workout heart rate tracking while you’re working out. It has difficulty providing me with my current BPM if I’m moving around too much.
Body Temperature Tracking
Temperature tracking is one of my favorite features of the Oura ring and has proven to be incredibly accurate and useful when synced with my Natural Cycles app. It has made my morning routine more streamlined as I no longer need to manually take my temperature every day.
The ring’s temperature-tracking capabilities have given me a deeper understanding of my body’s rhythms, particularly in relation to my menstrual cycle. Its accuracy in predicting ovulation and period dates has been spot on!
The Sleep Tracker and Readiness Score
The app’s daily sleep score is perhaps the most significant aspect that drew me to the Oura ring in the first place. Over the past few months, the insights into my sleep stages have provided have been quite enlightening.
Every morning you’re given a robust breakdown of your sleep data and overall sleep quality, including:
How much time you spent in each of the four sleep stages (light sleep, deep sleep, REM sleep, and time spent awake)
Your sleep contributors, like total sleep time, sleep efficiency, latency, and timing
Your average oxygen saturation while asleep (which can indicate if there are any breathing disturbances)
Average BPM and HRV (heart rate variation)
respitory rate and body temperature
Although I always considered my sleep quality good, the data from the Oura ring showed me the difference between simply getting a full night’s sleep and achieving high-quality, restful sleep.
The readiness score, based on sleep score, activity, and other factors, has been a great tool in helping me understand when to take it easy and when I can push my limits.
For instance, there are days when I thought I’ve had ample sleep, but the ring’s data would reveal a restless night with a lot of tossing and turning and not enough deep sleep.
On these days, my readiness score would be lower, indicating that I shouldn’t push myself too hard. So instead of opting for an intense workout, I’d go for a walk or engage in other lower-intensity activities. This data-driven approach to health has made a significant impact on my overall wellness routine.
I also like that it shows you how closely aligned your sleep cycle is with your sleep chronotype.
The sleep algorithms seem to be pretty accurate for the most part, although once in a while it will tell me I took a nap in the middle of the day when really I was just lounging on the couch watching TikToks. But such instances are few and far between.
Oura App Interface
The Oura app’s user interface is quite intuitive. The home screen contains all the key information I need – my readiness score, activity goal, sleep score, and heart rate. Detailed insights can be accessed by navigating the tabs at the bottom for readiness, sleep, and activity.
The Explore section contains various educational audio clips and meditations, which, while not my favorite, are occasionally helpful for unwinding after a long day. Overall, I’ve found the Oura ring app easy to understand and navigate.
Build and Battery Life
The Oura ring has proven to be very durable over the past six months. It has managed to resist noticeable wear and tear, with only a few tiny scratches visible upon close inspection. And remember, that’s after wearing it on my dominant hand the entire time.
As for battery life, it has been quite impressive. It lasts for about 4 days between charges, which is a welcome change from when I was constantly charging the Apple Watch.
Oura App Integrations
The Oura app connects to Apple Health data. This has helped me keep the manual adjustments to a minimum because Apple Health connects with many of my other fitness apps.
For example, if I do an Asana Rebel yoga workout, Oura won’t record the workout automatically because there isn’t enough evidence in my movement or heart rate to signal to it that I’m exercising. But because the yoga app connects with Apple Health, the workout will still register in my Oura app because it’s pulling the data from Apple Health.
It also syncs with Natural Cycles, which I mentioned earlier, which has been great for keeping tabs on my menstrual cycle without having to fiddle around with a thermometer every morning.
My Results and Final Verdict
The Oura ring generation 3 is a convenient, if pricey, tool for health tracking that gives actionable insights into my well-being. Using it has helped me understand my body better, from determining where I am in my menstrual cycle to how well I’m prepared to face the day on a physical level.
However, there are a few minor inconveniences, such as the ring’s bulkiness during workouts, the inability to gauge heart rate in the middle of a workout, and the monthly gouging to keep using the Oura app.
But overall, this is a positive Oura ring review, and I would recommend this tracking device for those who want an easy, all-in-one approach to health tracking.
Comprehensive Health Tracking: Oura’s ability to track a variety of health metrics (including activity, sleep, and temperature) provides a holistic picture of your health.
Comfort and Design: Despite its chunkiness, the ring is quite comfortable to wear. Its minimalist design can also complement a variety of styles.
Battery: The ring’s battery life is impressive, lasting between 3-4 days on a single charge.
Integration with Other Apps: The Oura ring syncs effortlessly with other health apps, (like Natural Cycles) enhancing its utility.
Bulky: The ring may feel a bit bulky, especially if you have small/slim hands
Price: The Oura ring is priced at a premium, which might not be feasible for everyone.
Subscription fee: It kind of sucks that you have to keep paying to access the Oura app every month
Manual Input Required for Certain Exercises: For lower-intensity exercises, the user must manually input their activity, which can be time-consuming.
Best Oura Ring Alternatives
While the Oura ring stands out in many ways, there are a few other health-tracking options worth considering if you’re exploring alternatives:
Fitbit Sense 2
FitBit was my first foray into the world of fitness trackers, and I can attest they are a solid brand. The Fitbit Sense 2 is their top-of-the-line tracker with many of the same features as the Oura ring.
It tracks a wide range of metrics such as heart rate, sleep patterns, stress levels, and EDA responses. Plus, it has an integrated GPS, which Oura ring lacks. Its sleek design and ability to receive notifications from your smartphone make it a compelling alternative.
Apple Watch Series 8
For Apple enthusiasts, the Apple Watch Series 8 offers robust health and fitness tracking. It measures a wide array of metrics, including heart rate, sleep, and even blood oxygen level. With the addition of ECG capabilities, fall detection, and a comprehensive workout tracker, it is a top-notch health companion.
You will probably have to charge it more often than the Oura ring, though.
Garmin Fenix 7
The Garmin Fenix 7 is a fitness-focused smartwatch that excels in activity tracking, especially for outdoor and high-intensity workouts. It provides extensive metrics, including advanced performance stats, heart rate, and sleep tracking. It’s rugged and durable, making it suitable for adventurous users. However, it lacks the subtlety and minimalist design of the Oura ring.
It’s also quite pricey.
Each of these alternatives offers its unique strengths and could be a better fit depending on individual preferences and lifestyle requirements. As with any health tracking tool, it’s essential to choose one that aligns best with your health goals and daily routine.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Oura ring tracks several key health metrics, including sleep quality, activity levels, body temperature, heart rate variability (HRV), and respiration rate. It then uses this data to provide a readiness score for each day, indicating your body’s preparedness for physical and mental tasks.
The Oura ring is considered highly accurate for sleep tracking and heart rate measurements. While it may not replace professional medical devices, it offers a comprehensive way to understand and monitor your health on a daily basis.
Yes, the Oura ring can track the intensity and duration of your workouts, and the impact these have on your readiness and sleep. However, for specific workout tracking (like steps or distance), you may need to input this data manually.
The Oura ring has an impressive battery life and typically requires charging only once every 4-5 days, depending on usage.
Depending on your specific needs, you may consider alternatives like the Fitbit Sense, Apple Watch Series 7, or Garmin Fenix 6. These offer a variety of features, such as GPS, stress level tracking, and more sophisticated workout tracking.
The Oura ring is designed to be unobtrusive and comfortable enough for 24/7 wear. However, its comfort can depend on personal preference. I found it a little bulky at first, but now I feel naked without it. I find it very comfortable for sleeping, unlike watch trackers.
Yes, the Oura ring is water-resistant up to 100 meters, making it safe for showers, washing hands, and swimming. However, it is not recommended for scuba diving or other high-pressure water activities.
The Oura ring connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. It is compatible with both iOS and Android devices and requires the Oura app to function.
By providing detailed insights into your sleep cycles, duration, disturbances, and quality, the Oura ring can help you identify factors affecting your sleep and make changes to improve it.
The readiness score provided by the Oura ring is a measure of your body’s preparedness for the day. It takes into account factors such as sleep, recovery, activity levels, and other physiological responses. A higher score indicates better readiness.