There’s no shortage of options today in the world of fitness trackers, yet one specific brand claims to be especially sensitive, in tune with different functions such as sleep and fitness benchmarks, and particularly useful for women.
This brand is the Oura Ring, the health monitor that some researchers tried using in 2020 to predict Covid-19 cases developing among health care workers (although it’s not touted as being a credible “disease tracker”).
Based on tons of Oura Ring reviews, this trendy fitness tracker has lots to offer users — including help with improving fitness training via tracking heart rate variability, assisting in exercise recovery, and even tracking menstrual cycle and hormonal changes.
What Is An Oura Ring?
The Oura Ring is a type of health tracker that monitors vital signs such as heart rate, steps and body temperature. It’s different from other trackers because it’s worn on your finger like a ring rather than on your wrist. It’s often described as being “small, sleek and convenient” to use.
Does the Oura Ring really work? It does work to measure certain vital signs and to help spot deviations from your “norm.”
Unlike some other trackers, it needs to be worn on your finger for at least two weeks to help establish baseline metrics, such as your normal sleep patterns and resting heart rate.
It works via two infrared LED sensors that can detect your basal body temperature, pulse and movements. The ring picks up information from the capillaries in your fingers, which connect to the bigger arteries in your wrist.
It also has a 3D accelerometer and a gyroscope (a device used for measuring or maintaining orientation and angular velocity), allowing it to be highly accurate considering its small size.
Features and Benefits
What is the main benefit of the Oura Ring? It’s all about measuring different aspects related to your health, establishing a “baseline” that’s normal to you, and then tracking deviations from this baseline.
By measuring how your vital signs change over the course of days or weeks, the Oura Ring can help you pinpoint whether you’re moving towards or away your health and fitness goals. And while it hasn’t been shown to actually detect Covid-19 in all users, it might be able to alert you when you’re getting sick or even getting your period if you’re a woman, such as by noticing changes in your body temperature.
Like other fitness trackers, this smart ring keeps track of your daily activity no matter what you’re doing. There’s no need to hit a start timer or turn it on and off manually after activity, since it continuously knows how much you’re moving or resting.
Some of the vital signs that the ring measure include:
- Resting heart rate
- Respiratory rate
- Activity levels (steps, calories burned, etc.)
- Inactive periods and naps
- Body temperature
- Sleep quality and quantity (including information about sleep stages and duration)
The Oura Ring works with an app on your phone, which is where all your information is stored. When you use the app, three separate metrics are shown: activity goal progress, “readiness” and sleep score.
It always takes into account your past history and measurements to help you form patterns/trends and identify areas that can use improvement. It can also help you determine if it’s a good day to exercise hard or moderately based on metrics like your heart rate, or if it’s wiser to rest if you’re potentially overtraining.
Some of the benefits of this particular fitness tracker include:
- High accuracy
- Can help track sleep, fitness progress, body temp, menstrual cycle changes and more
- May help you benefit from exercise more by tracking your progress and boosting motivation. One review of 26 studies that examined pedometer use of U.S. adults found that those who used a pedometer increased their daily activity by 2,419 steps, or over a mile!
- Discreet (worn as a small ring of any finger, on either hand)
- Has a long-lasting battery (can be worn up to 5 days without needing to be recharged)
- Unisex design
- Waterproof (up to 100 meters or 330 feet, which means you can swim and shower with it on)
- Made of durable, nonallergenic and nonmetallic titanium and comes in 5 colors
- Comes with a free phone app and doesn’t charge you extra for a monthly subscription
How It Helps With Sleep:
Some users find that this ring is one of the best smart devices for helping with sleep tracking. It can keep track of weekly sleep data including: time spent in light, deep and REM sleep, heart rate variability, respiratory rate while sleeping, temperature, movement while sleeping, and naps taken.
Can Oura Ring detect sleep problems like sleep apnea? Most likely, yes, since it detects changes in breathing, body temperature and heart rate variability while you’re sleeping.
Potential drawbacks of the Oura ring, especially compared to competitors such as Apple Watch, Fitbit or Jawbone, include:
- High cost
- Only a health tracker/not a smart watch
- Doesn’t have a built-in display screen (you must use the app)
- Worn as a ring
- Doesn’t track your workouts in real time; you need to manually add your workouts in later
One of the biggest complaints about the Oura Ring is its big price tag: it costs just about $300 for the basic model and up to $1,000 for the “diamond” model, which is significantly more than some other fitness trackers that have similar features.
Another drawback is that it’s only a health/fitness monitor as opposed to a “smart watch,” such as the Apple Watch, which is also useful for functions like making calls, texting and setting reminders. Of course, it’s a ring, not a watch.
Something else about the ring that can be both a pro and con is that it’s worn on your finger and not your wrist; some people find it to be uncomfortable to wear since it’s made out of hard material, while others prefer that their wrists are freed up for other watches.
Cost and Where to Buy
In terms of where to buy the aura Oura Ring, your best bet is probably online through the Oura Ring website.
You’ll complete a sizing quiz while on the website that helps determine which size and model to purchase. You can then use the ring at home for 1–2 weeks to make sure it’s a good fit.
The ring comes with a limited warranty for two years, so rest assure you’ll be covered if something goes wrong within this time frame.
Is there a monthly fee for the Oura Ring? No, the app that it works with is free each month. You can use the ring with either Apple or Android smart phones to keep track of your data.
- The Oura Ring is a type of fitness tracker, also called a smart ring, that uses sensors to track health metrics such as heart rate variability, body temperature, sleep cycles and more.
- Based on many Oura Ring reviews, it offers benefits including accuracy, sensitivity, help with fitness goals and sleep, and tracking menstrual cycle and hormonal changes.
- Downsides of this device include the higher cost and limited features compared to some other smart devices.
- In terms of where to buy it, refer to the official Oura Ring website for help.
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