There are many great combinations in life: bread and butter, peanut butter and jelly, and jewelry and data.
Yes, you read that right.
Thanks to advances in technology, you can purchase jewelry that offers valuable information about your health, such as your sleep habits and activity levels.
Appearing as a fashionable ring, the Oura Ring is actually a sophisticated data-collecting device.
While it isn’t cheap, the ring is one of the most compact sleep and activity trackers on the market.
This article discusses the pros, cons, and cost of the Oura Ring to help you decide if it’s worth the investment.
- can be worn on any finger on either hand
- available in several colors and styles
- waterproof up to 330 feet (100 meters)
- long battery life
- not available in half sizes or standard U.S. sizes
- higher cost than some competitors
- shipping and handling not covered on returns
- no smart alarm features, such as lights and sounds
Founded in Finland in 2013, Oura is a health technology company that’s best known for the Oura Ring.
The device is a smart ring that uses sensors to track a variety of health metrics, which are available to view on the company’s Oura app.
Unlike other fitness trackers that simply display your data, Oura generates daily scores for sleep, activity, and readiness to provide a quick glimpse into your health habits.
For example, the activity score measures how active you’ve been over the past week and includes factors such as:
- workouts logged
- calories burned
It also takes into account how many times you’ve achieved your daily activity goals.
The sleep score is where Oura Ring stands out from other trackers on the market, as it uses the following data to measure the quality of your sleep:
- time spent in light, deep, and REM sleep
- resting heart rate
- heart rate variability
- number of breaths per minute (respiratory rate)
- body temperature
- nighttime movement
Currently, the Oura Ring is one of the few sleep trackers that measures both your body temperature and heart rate variability.
While more research is needed on heart rate variability — the variation measured in milliseconds between each heartbeat — it is a good indicator of sleep quality (
Curious about the readiness score? This number indicates how ready you are to take on the day’s stressors using factors like your recent resting heart rate, body temperature, and physical activity level.
Furthermore, you can click on each metric to view daily, weekly, and monthly graphs of how your scores have been trending over time.
Keep in mind that the Oura Ring is not a medical device designed to cure, treat, monitor, or prevent diseases. Instead, it aims to identify areas of improvement and highlight patterns in your health, which may indicate the need to seek advice from a healthcare professional.
The look of the Oura Ring has stayed the same from generation to generation. The price and battery life have also stayed consistent. The abilities of the Oura have changed considerably though.
Prior generations of the Oura Ring have only 0.5 megabytes (MB) of memory, but Oura Ring 3 has 16 MB.
One of the biggest differences in the Oura Ring 3 is the number of sensors.
Earlier Oura Rings had 3 temperature sensors, while the Oura Ring 3 has 7 temperature sensors that allow for predicting menstrual periods and greater attempted illness detection. Additional sensors also mean that the Oura Ring 3 can track daytime heart rate and workout heart rate, something unavailable in prior generations.
A wellness content library is also a new addition to the Oura Ring with the third generation.
While this means users can now take advantage of all kinds of health-related audio tracks, it also means that Oura is starting a monthly membership subscription fee of $5.99 for content on their previously completely free app.
While prior generations of the Oura Ring and the Oura Ring 3 all offer sleep, readiness, and activity scores to help guide users in their health decisions, the Oura Ring 3’s additional sensors mean more accurate information can be used to better inform these scores.
While no generation of the Oura Ring will tell you the exact best times to wake up or eat, the new Moment feature available with the Oura Ring 3 means that users can compare how specific activities, songs, and audio tracks positively impact their health.
The Oura Ring 3 is made of durable titanium and is available in four colors, including silver, black, stealth, and gold.
Depending on the size, the ring weighs 0.1–0.2 ounces (4–6 grams) — lighter than the average wedding band — and measures 0.31 inches (7.9 mm).
It’s also nonallergenic and nonmetallic, and it has a seamless inner molding.
What’s more, the Oura Ring is waterproof up to 330 feet (100 meters), which means you can bathe, wash dishes, and even swim with it on.
The Oura Ring features advanced sensor technology that’s dependent on a snug fit for accuracy. Therefore, it’s essential that your ring fits correctly.
As Oura Ring sizes are different than standard U.S. ones, you’ll want to take advantage of Oura’s free ring sizing kit, which includes 8 plastic sample rings ranging in size from 6–13.
However, as long as the device fits snuggly, there’s no right or wrong finger to wear the Oura ring on.
According to Oura, the ring has a battery life of 4–7 days, with a full charge taking anywhere from 20–80 minutes.
While the app will remind you when the battery level is getting low, the company suggests that you charge the ring for short amounts throughout the day, such as when you’re brushing your teeth or showering.
Another way to extend the battery life is by occasionally placing the ring in airplane mode, during which the ring can continue to collect data for many weeks. However, you’ll need to take it out of airplane mode in order to sync your data with the app.
The Oura Ring ranges in price from $299–$399, depending on the color and style.
While the basic silver or black ring starts at $299, the cost increases to $399 for the stealth and gold models.
There’s also an additional $15 fee for shipping.
If you’re unhappy with your purchase, you can return or exchange it within the first 30 days as long as it’s fully functional and undamaged. However, shipping and handling are nonrefundable.
Keep in mind that there are some caveats to the return policy. Specifically, you can only return your ring for a refund or exchange your order for a different size, style, or color once.
After placing your order, you should receive your sizing kit within 14 days. Your ring will then be delivered about 2-3 weeks after submitting your desired ring size.
Oura Rings are covered under a limited warranty for 1 year from the date of original shipment. If you need to replace your ring for any reason, the replacement ring will be covered for the remainder of the original 1-year warranty, or for 90 days, whichever is longer.
The Oura Ring 3 has 15 advanced sensors.
- LEDS. The Oura Ring 3 has green and red LEDs in addition to infrared (IR) LEDs. These are used to measure daytime and workout heart rate.
- Temperature sensors. The Oura Ring 3 includes extra negative temperature coefficient (NTC) sensors and an advanced calibrated sensor to measure differences in skin temperature. The ring’s seven temperature sensors also help predict your period each month and visualize your menstrual cycle. They may even help you discover you are getting sick before symptoms appear.
- Finger detection sensor. An extra IR sensor in the Oura Ring 3 allows it to detect when the ring is not optimally aligned and compensate for more accurate results.
Coming in 2022, a blood oxygen measurement feature (SpO2) will also allow for viewing nighttime blood oxygen levels.
Oura’s Moment feature allows you to check in with your body. Simple to use, just tap the plus (+) button on the home tab of the Oura app and choose whether it is a guided or unguided rest, meditation, or a mindful breathing session. Then, set the time of your session (1-60 minutes or open-ended) and be still.
During the session, the Oura Ring will monitor important health data like your resting heart rate (RHR) and heart rate variability (HRV). This data can then be compared over time to figure out what methods are most successful and beneficial for improving your health.
Because rates can vary depending on the time of day, it’s generally best to compare data from similar times and when taken in similar circumstances.
The Oura app includes a library of over 50 audio sessions. These cover meditation, sleep, focus, and energy boosts.
Using the instant feedback from the Oura Ring’s Moment feature, you can monitor how your body responds to particular sessions. If a particular session brings calm or helps you fall asleep faster, it can then be added to your daily routine.
While it’s far from being the only sleep and activity tracker on the market, the Oura Ring stands out as being one of the only ring-shaped devices.
It is made of high quality materials, has a long battery life, and is waterproof. Plus, as long as it fits snugly, the ring can be worn on any finger on either hand with minimal data disruption.
There is also a variety of ring colors to choose from making the ring both fashionable and functional.
There are some things to consider before purchasing an Oura Ring.
For starters, it can be difficult to find the perfect fit, as the company doesn’t offer half sizes. Additionally, the wait to get your device takes longer since you’ll need to use the ring sizing kit before finalizing your order.
Cost is another potential drawback, as the device isn’t the most budget-friendly tracker on the market, especially when you factor in the delivery fee. Additionally, the company is beginning to charge a $5.99/month membership fee for full access to the Oura app.
The ring is missing some features that you can find in other trackers. Most notably, the ring doesn’t currently offer a smart alarm feature, which is available with other sleep trackers.
While the Oura Ring is the most popular ring-shaped sleep and activity tracker, it isn’t the first to come on the market.
The Motive Ring was originally Oura’s strongest competitor. However, the company is no longer selling the product to new customers given that the brand switched its focus after being acquired.
Similarly, the Echo Loop from Amazon is no longer being produced.
One ring that has gotten a lot of attention recently is the Circular Ring. While it has gained a significant amount of money through crowdfunding, it’s not on the market just yet. If preordered now, it’s expected to be delivered in the summer of 2022.
The closest competitor is the Go2Sleep Ring, which offers sleep tracking and Bluetooth capabilities. However, Go2Sleep does not provide activity monitoring. Yet, at under $130, the Go2Sleep Ring is less expensive and worth considering if you’re only interested in learning more about your sleep habits.
If you’re willing to consider other fitness jewelry, the Apple Watch offers additional features that the Oura Ring lacks.
For example, the Apple Watch plays music, offers GPS tracking, and allows you to make and receive texts and phone calls.
Yet, when it comes to sleep habits, the Oura Ring has an edge over the Apple Watch, as it tracks trends in body temperature.
Another popular wrist tracker is the Fitbit, which offers devices with built-in display screens. Additionally, some Fitbit models include GPS and are less expensive than the Oura Ring.
However, unlike the Oura Ring, Fitbit is not compatible with Google Fit. Plus, it simply displays your data, whereas the Oura Ring calculates scores to help you more easily identify trends in your health over time.
If you’re looking for a sleep and activity tracker that’s both easy to use and fashionable, you’ll want to check out the Oura Ring.
With raw data as well as daily sleep, activity, and readiness scores, learning more about your general health has never been easier.
Still, as the device isn’t cheap, it’s worth shopping around to find a tracker that best fits your health needs and budget.