Home » Sleep Trackers » What to Expect from the Oura Ring in 2021: Full Product Review

What to Expect from the Oura Ring in 2021: Full Product Review

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Oura ring is one of the smallest trackers out there. It can track your heart rate, breathing rate, temperature, and movement – all while resting on your finger. 

It comes with an app which shows you important information about your health and your health trends – that is, where you’re heading regarding your sleep quality and physical activity. Oura can tell you how rested you are and whether or not you are ready to take on difficult challenges of the day. We think it works great when paired with Apollo Neuro stress-relieving bracelet.

Even so, the Oura ring gained its popularity mainly because it makes for a decent sleep tracker. Read on to see if we liked this product.


Oura Ring Pros and Cons

ProsCons
– Tracks sleep quite well
– Can aid in teaching you how to improve your sleep habits
– Useful for athletes
– Can tell if you’re about to get ill
– Can nudge you into increasing your physical activity
– Expensive
– Looks too big on small hands
– The company uses customer data for public studies without informing users about the studies

Oura Sensors

There are three sensors in the Oura ring – the body temperature sensor, a heart rate monitor, and an accelerometer.

These sensors gather data which then gets translated into your heart rate variability (HRV), sleep quality, and movement. You can see this data in the Oura app.



Feedback You Get from Oura

Oura uses the data from the three sensors to determine your sleep, readiness, and activity.

Sleep Score

Your Sleep score is a number calculated by the Oura app to help illustrate how well you slept the previous night. It can go from 0 to 100. The Sleep score is calculated with the help of seven sleep contributors. Those seven factors show how well you slept and how much rest you actually had. Here they are:

  • Total sleep. Oura measures how long you slept. Healthy adults typically sleep 7-9 hours per night.
  • Efficiency. This shows your overall sleep quality – that is, the percentage of time you actually spent sleeping out of the total time spent in bed.
  • Restfulness. If you had many wake-ups or excessive movement throughout the night, chances are your restfulness in the morning will be low. Long intervals of uninterrupted sleep are more restorative.
  • REM sleep. The REM stage is important to track because our memory and emotions consolidate during this time. When we sleep for a short time, we won’t get enough REM sleep. This sleep stage comes in the second half of our sleep time, or more precisely – in the early morning.
  • Deep sleep. Deep sleep is the most restorative sleep stage and it’s essential for the feeling of restfulness. However, it’s easy to “skip” deep sleep if you wake up frequently or are under stress, for example. 
  • Latency. Sleep latency is the time it takes you to fall asleep. The average sleep latency is about 20 minutes, with men typically falling asleep faster than women. 
  • Timing. Science has shown that when we sleep is an important factor in our sleep quality. The more you’re in tune with the natural day/night rhythm, the better. Oura accepts your sleep timing as ideal as long as the middle of your sleep is somewhere between midnight and 3am. 

Bedtime guidance is a bedtime that the app recommends for you based on your sleep schedule and quality. This recommendation also depends on how well-rested you are, so if you had a few days of shorter sleep, Oura may recommend an earlier sleep time so that you can catch up on lost sleep.

Oura Ring app sleep score

Every morning you’ll see how well (or poorly) you slept the night before. A score higher than 70 is considered good and 85 is what Oura sees as the golden score. If you see that your score often falls below 70, you should take some action to improve your sleep. Try to follow the rules of good sleep hygiene to the best of your abilities in order to improve your restfulness and sleep score.


Readiness Score

The Readiness score shows how prepared you are for challenging days (whether we’re talking about mental stress or physical activity). The numbers are the same as for the Sleep score: if your Readiness score is above 70, you’re doing good, but if it’s over 85, you’re doing great.

The Oura app uses your lowest overnight heart rate as a baseline, your body temperature, previous-day physical activity, HRV, sleep, and activity balance (how much physical strain you’ve been under vs how much physical strain you’re used to).

Oura app readiness score

Since there are many fluctuations within a single day, the Readiness score takes the average values over the past 14 days and compares them to your long-term averages over the past two months. 

If your Readiness score drops to below 70, you should avoid challenging tasks and make sure you get enough sleep in the coming days. Also, avoid long periods of inactivity and make room for some exercise.


Activity Score

The Activity score is calculated using the accelerometer which detects hand movement. It uses this movement to estimate the movement of the whole body and count the steps. If you had the best activity-rest ratio in a day, Oura will give you a score over 85. Scoring below 70 means you should increase your daily activity and movement. 

Oura app activity score

Oura is very precise with tracking physical activity. It won’t mistake doing your chores for walking because it distinguishes between the regular movement like walking/running and irregular movement. It knows that the irregular movement belongs to other activities.


Where Oura Falls Short

Oura doesn’t let you track your workouts in real time like some other trackers, such as the WHOOP Strap. It also doesn’t take the measurements continuously while you’re sleeping, so you won’t get a completely accurate picture of what your sleep looks like. However, you will be able to see what trends there are and this can be useful information.


Can Oura Detect Covid-19?

No, it can’t really tell if you have Covid or not, but it can notice a change in your biometrics which would suggest you’re sick. Let’s say you have a slightly elevated temperature. Oura can detect it early on and warn you about it.

Even if you have no other symptoms of illness whatsoever, you can take action and test yourself or start your treatment very early. This is because our bodies start fighting off a virus one or more days before any symptoms actually develop, and Oura can detect this fight right when it starts.


Privacy Concerns and Issues With the Oura Ring

Oura Health Ltd. collects your data and uploads it to the cloud (that is, to their servers). This information is linked to your account so you can easily switch devices (get a new ring or a new phone) without losing all your information.

This is quite convenient for an average user, but if you’re interested in keeping your health information completely private, there are some things to consider.

Oura stores and uses your health information to run their own studies. This can go without your consent because once you agreed to their privacy policy, you basically agreed that they can use your data for any future studies – whether you like what they are researching or not.

For example, on their blog, Oura published a post called Can’t Sleep During Election Night? You’re Not Alone. In this post, they state just how many hours of sleep in total was lost on election night, how much heart rates increased, and how much more stressed US citizens were on that night. 

Thousands of Oura users had no idea that while they were stressing out over politics, their data was collected and analyzed to be published online for everyone to see. 

The study from above didn’t include any names, but if you have an account with Oura, the company can easily link your health data to your name and email address. 

Oura is compliant with CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). The CCPA allows California Residents extra protection, such as to request that the company tells them which exact information was used and they can also request deletion of their information. The GDPR basically means that when you clicked “Agree” on the app, you allowed Oura to use and process your data.


Oura Styles, Sizes, and Prices

Oura offers two ring styles: Balance and Heritage. The Balance has a slightly pointed design on the ring’s face whereas Heritage has a flat surface on top. 

Oura Ring Heritage design
Oura Ring balance design

Balance vs Heritage Style of the Oura Ring

Right now they are offering four different colors – silver, black, stealth, and gold.

The silver and black options cost $299, but if you want a somewhat fancier look, you should cash out $399 for the stealth or gold ring.

When you choose the style and color, you can also pick the size which fits you. No worries if you don’t get the right size straight away, you can exchange it for a bigger size as long as you pay for the shipping.

A charger is included with every purchase of the ring. If you don’t trust yourself with cables, you can order an additional charger set for $59, but you can’t do the opposite, and that is to order only a ring without a charger.


Conclusion

Although the Oura ring can be used as a workout tracker, it definitely works better as a sleep tracker. You can use Oura to improve your sleep habits but bear in mind that your data is being processed by the company and used in public studies.


About Oura

Oura Health Ltd. was founded in 2013 in Finland by Kari Kivela, Markku Koskela, and Petteri Lahtela. Oura Ring and app collect and analyze user data and provide feedback for improving health. It helps users understand their bodies better and take the right actions towards reaching their goals.

In 2018, Oura received the Red Dot Awards for communications design and product design. Oura is based in Oulu and Helsinki, Finland, and San Francisco, California.

HQ address:
Oura Health Oy
Elektroniikkatie 10
90590 Oulu Finland


Returns

After receiving the ring, you have a window of 30 days to return your Oura ring for a full refund or an exchange (you can exchange it for another size, color, or model). The product must be fully functional and undamaged.


Physical Stores

The only physical store where you can purchase Oura is located in Helsinki, Finland. There are no stores in the US. The only way to get an Oura ring in the US is to purchase it through the Oura website.


Contact Oura

To contact someone at customer support, you can submit a request on the Oura website here

For quick help, check out their support page as it offers answers to numerous FAQs and information about your account, app, and much more.

Social Media: Twitter ǀ Facebook ǀ Instagram

Oura Ring Compared to Other Sleep Trackers

Sleep TrackerAccuracyBattery LifeData AccessibilityOur ReviewBuy Now
Oura RingBest AvailableExcellentYes via App - iOS and AndroidRead Full ReviewCheck Price
Garmin Vivosmart 4Best AvailableVery GoodYes via App - iOS and AndroidRead Full ReviewCheck Price
Withings Sleep Tracking MatGoodBattery Not NeededYes via App - iOS and AndroidRead Full ReviewCheck Price
Fitbit Charge 3GoodGoodYes via App - iOS and AndroidRead Full ReviewCheck Price
SleepScore MaxGoodBattery Not NeededYes via App - iOS and AndroidRead Full ReviewCheck Price
Emfit QS HRV Sleep MonitorGoodBattery Not NeededYes via App - iOS and AndroidRead Full ReviewCheck Price

How We Rate Sleep Trackers

Sleep trackers are judged by 8 standards: 

  1. Accuracy
  2. Ease of Use
  3. Functionality
  4. Reliability
  5. Data Accessibility
  6. Aesthetic Design (wearable only)
  7. Comfort (wearable only)
  8. Battery Life (wearable only)

Read about our rating process for sleep trackers.

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