What’s good enough for Jennifer Aniston is good enough for us. So when word broke out that she’s obsessed with the health-tracking device Oura Ring, let’s just say we were pretty much sold right then and there. But being the wellness diehards that we are, we had to put the gadget to the test ourselves (it’s practically our wellness editor’s job to weed out the fads from the legit trends, after all). Sure, it makes a solid fashion statement, but does it deliver on all its health metric promises? Could such a small piece of jewelry disguised as wearable technology accurately measure our sleep patterns, predict our menstrual cycles, and monitor our physical activity? Read on for our honest review of the Oura Ring and whether it lives up to the hype.
available in 5 colors
What Is the Oura Ring, and How Does It Work?
From Apple Watches to Fitbits and Whoops to Oura Rings, it seems there’s a tracker for every need and type of health-curious individual out there. So what makes the Oura Ring stand out? For starters, it’s not worn around your wrists like most health-monitoring devices. Rather, it’s a ring that weighs in at just 0.1 pounds and comes in sizes 6-13 and five colors: silver, black, matte black, gold, and rose gold.
In a nutshell: it’s a fitness tracker haha but what we love about it is it tracks SO MUCH more than ‘fitness’. It tracks your overall health and wellness, sleep, workouts, stress, HR, body temperature, cycles, and more.
When you order an Oura ring, Oura will ship you a ring sizing kit so you can pick the exact size you want and decide which finger to wear it on.
Advertised as inspiring “awareness of the intimate connection between mind and body,” it tracks sleep, activity, recovery, and your cycle in real-time by measuring from the palm side of your finger (where the pulse signal is strong) and provides three daily scores: sleep, readiness, and activity. According to Oura Ring’s website, “Your scores tell you how your body feels and what your body needs, every second of every day.” In other words, the Oura Ring takes the guesswork out of when it’s time to push yourself when you need rest and recovery, and when you might be getting sick by taking into consideration 20 different body signals—think temperature, heart rate, heart rate variability, and sleep—using infrared light, body temperature, and 3D accelerometer sensors.
Oura’s Infrared Photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor sends light through LEDs into the skin and captures how much light is reflected from your arteries to determine your heart’s activity, including resting heart rate, heart rate variability (AKA the constant variation in time between your heartbeats), and respiration. Heart rate variability can indicate whether you’re in a relaxed or stressed state, and when combined with body temperature, can be used to gather information about sleep. By monitoring your nighttime skin temperature, the Oura Ring takes note of your body temperature, which provides insights into the inner workings of the body, such as how well your body is recovering, if you’re coming down with an illness, or if hormones are hard at work. So that’s the science, but does it work in practice?
Our Editors’ Honest Reviews:
As mentioned above, the Oura ring tracks so much more than your steps or your fitness. Probably our favorite feature about it is tracking your sleep, analyzing your sleep data, giving you sleep insights, and more. Oura ring uses elements like the amount of sleep you got, your resting heart rate, your body temperature, deep sleep, etc to calculate your sleep score. One AMAZING example we got from this: one night we had a margarita or two before going to bed that night. the next day we had a low sleep score and the Oura app told us “Something caused your heart rate and body temperature to stay elevated last night, so you didn’t get great sleep. Try taking it easy today since you didn’t fully recover overnight.” WILD to see actual data on how alcohol affects our sleep!
It also analyzes your sleep data and gives you sleep insights. So after analyzing our sleep, my oura ring app advised us that our bedtime is between 8:45-9:45 pm. The nights we go to bed in that window are the nights we’ve gotten amazing sleep!
The Oura ring uses data from your sleep the night before to also calculate a “readiness” score for you. Your readiness score is based on how you slept, the level of activity you did the day before, your resting heart rate, and a few other things. So sometimes our Oura app will tell us our readiness score is at an all-time high because we slept great and had a rest day the day before. Other times it will say ‘You were active yesterday and it looks like your body could use some recovery time today’. We don’t need an app to tell us those things but it is cool to see how our daily activity and sleep can affect our “readiness” for the day!
You can’t necessarily ‘start a workout’ on the Oura ring like you can on the Apple watch, but you can manually add in a workout and it will factor that into your daily activity goal! Or if we are going for a walk or a run, it automatically picks that up and at the end of the workout it will say “workout detected” and we can confirm it or cancel it. But, it won’t automatically pick up like yoga or a peloton ride. You would just manually put in “cycling”, the length of time, and the intensity (light, moderate, hard) and then it calculates the caloric burn based on that (and we have found it to be very accurate).
The Oura ring can also help track your cycles and predict ovulation! If you are going through IVF then your doctor probably regulating all of that. But, for the ones who aren’t in that boat, the Oura ring will automatically do that for you since you wear the ring overnight, and help track your cycles + predict ovulation for you!
The Oura ring also has guided meditations in the app which we LOVE. What’s cool about it is if you do one of the guided meditations in the app…your ring will track how meditating affects your body. It tracks if your heart rate and body temperature are lowered which in turn helps to lower your stress and boost your readiness score.
The ring also detects naps! So if we lay down for an hour nap after church, when I wake up and check our app it will say ‘nap detected’ and you can confirm or cancel. When you confirm, the nap will boost your readiness score for the day!
Unlike the Apple watch which just has 3 rings you need to close every day lol the Oura ring has a ‘rest mode’. It can detect when you are tired or stressed by reading the changes in your key body signals associated with stress. It then automatically adjusts your daily goals to put your rest and recovery first instead of keeping the same ‘move goal’ you have every single day.
We are sure there are tons of other features the Oura ring has that we haven’t ventured into yet haha but the ones we shared above are some of our favorites and why we love the ring.
Why We wanted the Oura Ring:
Last summer while on a hot girl walk with our best gal pal, we noticed a new, chunky gold ring sitting prettily on her middle finger. Naturally, because we are nosy and easily influenced, we waited a mere 45 seconds before asking where she got it. When we discovered it was a wellness tracker our jaw was on the floor. Before impulsively hitting Add to Cart, we did research, weighed the pros and cons, and finally got one for ourselves almost a whole year later.
Our initial attraction to the Oura Ring was the aesthetic. We loved the idea of being able to have consistent tracking, no matter the outfit, and that it didn’t look like an unsightly tracker at all. After learning more about Oura’s insights (particularly, how it tracked your sleep), we knew that was an untapped area of data that I wanted to improve, and that sold us in the end.
How it compares to other tracking we’ve tried:
We’ve had the Oura Ring for almost two weeks and we’ve been using both the Oura Ring and the Apple Watch simultaneously so that we could get a grasp on how they directly compared. While we prefer the Oura Ring by a decent amount, we will note that the biggest adjustment that we had when switching over was having to open the Oura Ring app instead of relying on a screen from the device itself. As far as actual analytics go, Oura Ring gives you so much more health data than the Apple Watch. We are talking about sleep insights, activity data, and temperature tracking (which is huge if you track your cycle). It pulls so much more data than just calories, steps, and heart rate, plus, it’s easy on the eyes which makes us much more likely to use it.
Before we picked out our Oura Ring size, we used their free ring sizing kit which we highly recommend since you’ll be wearing it nearly all day and it’s not adjustable. They note that it works best on your pointer finger, though we have seen some users wear them on their middle or ring fingers as well. The app was super easy to navigate and after a few minutes of exploring the intro resources on the app and a quick 90-minute charge for the week, we had a great handle on how it worked to take it for a spin.
What we liked:
To us, the biggest selling point of the Oura Ring is the fact that your numbered goals adjust every day depending on how much your body is recovered. So many times with the Apple Watch we would be discouraged that to feel the validation of closing our rings, we would have to hit the same goals every day despite a horrible night of sleep, feeling like trash while on our period, or being incredibly sore after a hard workout the day before. The Oura Ring adjusts your activity goal each day based on your other analytics and we’ve found that this has allowed us to work with our body, rather than against it.
The sleep data that the Oura Ring pulls has also been a game-changer for us. Every morning, we click on the app to see our sleep score. If it’s low, we skip the gym for the morning and use the extra time to snooze or we’ll schedule a nap for later. If it’s optimal, we will make the most of the morning and the activity plans for the day. The Oura Ring sleep score is based on your total sleep, time in bed, sleep efficiency (percentage of time spent awake vs. asleep in bed), your resting heart rate, and how long you were in different sleep stages—truly things we never thought about before using this wellness tracker.
We could talk about the pros of the Oura Ring all day: the user-friendly app, the ability to sync with the Natural Cycles app, how long the battery lasts in comparison to how long you have to charge it, the overall look and feel of it, and more. If we could go back and do it all over again, we 100 percent would. After two weeks of using it, we know we’ve just barely scratched the surface of all it can do like using tags to track how we felt, note what we ate/drank, monitor symptoms we experienced on certain dates, keep a record of our emotions, track when we have sex, etc.
What we didn’t like:
The reality is that no tracking device is perfect and while we love the Oura Ring, there are some things we wish we could change about it. The first is that, atop the lofty price, you do have to pay monthly for the app (after the free trial, it’s $5.99 per month). While you can take advantage of some functions without the app, to get the most out of your ring, you’ll want the subscription.
We’ve heard mixed reviews about Oura’s activity tracking and here’s our two cents on it: it’s a little clunky compared to the Apple Watch. Overall, it captures the correct amount of calories burned (compared to the numbers we see on our Apple Watch), but figuring out how to track our workouts isn’t as easy to figure out and seems to be done retroactively as opposed to in the moment. Once again, could be user error but as a pretty average person, we would assume others may have trouble here as well.
Another note: Having our Oura Ring and Apple Watch both connected to our iPhone’s Bluetooth annihilates my phone battery. On an average day, we sit at 59 percent by 10 a.m. so we pray to the tech gods hoping this will get better without us having to part ways with our Apple Watch.
Knowing we had 30 days to return what we consider to be a large investment, we were still reviewing the Oura Ring super critically and it still passed all of the tests. This tracker is more intuitive than trackers we have used in the past and has motivated our wellness journey without making us obsess over it. We love how inconspicuous it is and how much it helped us to take accountability for our health beyond our activity tracking. And for those reasons and more, we are an Oura Ring stan.
We’d recommend this ring to all wellness and fitness enthusiasts and pros looking to get more shut-eye, track their stress levels, predict their periods, and be more informed about their bodies plus it is waterproof so no need to take it off.
Editor’s note: While the Oura Ring is a great tool to use, always call your doctor or healthcare provider if you’re experiencing health concerns. The Oura Ring is a great supplemental device to use for everyday monitoring, but it shouldn’t replace visits to the doctor, nor can it diagnose illnesses.
We think we covered about everything we know so far but comment below if there’s anything else you want to know! Thanks for reading!