No Ring-ing Endorsement
Here’s the short version of my Oura ring review:
It’s not great, but it’s good enough.
I forked out a few hundred bucks for it because I hoped it would help me improve my sleep.
Eleven months later, despite putting serious thought and effort into sleeping better, these are the discouraging results:
But I’m still using the darn thing.
Because the pros of the new Oura ring, though smaller than I’d hoped, still outweigh the cons. In this Oura ring review, I’ll explain why.
Oura Ring Review Outline
What Is the Oura Ring
The new Oura ring is a regular-sized (maybe a bit thicker than most) ring you can get in one of three colors (or with a diamond on it if you absolutely love burning cash for inane reasons).
Inside the ring are a bunch of fancy sensors that collect biometric data. The ring periodically sends this data to your phone, which relays it over to the cloud to make various calculations related to your sleep, activity, and readiness.
What Oura Measures
- Blood pulse volume in your finger, from which it calculates your respiratory rate, heart rate, and heart rate variability.
- Body temperature.
- Movement of the hand that’s wearing the ring.
- Time of day.
What It Infers From Those Measurements
- Sleep quality: Calculated based on what time you’re lying in bed, for how long, how much you move around in bed, and how your breathing, temperature, and heart rate measurements vary during that time. It also attempts to break that sleep into the different stages: light, REM, and deep sleep.
- Activity: Calculated based on periodic (not continuous) monitoring of your heart rate and how much you move your hand.
- Readiness: Calculated based on trends in your resting heart rate, HRV, respiratory rate, and body temperature.
Why Sleep Is so Freaking Important
Before continuing with my Oura ring review, I want to emphasize why sleep is so important.
Actually, I’ll let this guy do it for me:
Here’s why he says we should care A LOT about sleep:
“It enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and the flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious.”Dr. Walker
But we people are dumbasses.
Instead of simply sleeping more and better to get these benefits we pay thousands of dollars for doctors, supplements, and doodads to “hack” the system.
Now back to the Oura ring review.
The Pros and Cons of the Oura Ring
✓ It’s a Ring
I much rather wear a ring than a tight bracelet or a watch, especially one as inconspicuous as the Oura.
✗ It’s a Ring
I’d much, much rather not wear anything at all and I can’t wear the ring when I’m playing basketball, lifting heavy barbells, or doing chin-ups.
Also, people ask me if I’m married when I wear it.
So I stopped wearing my Oura ring during the day, mostly for the following reason:
✗ Useless Activity Tracking
The Oura ring only tracks activity through its built-in accelerometer, so I get barely any credit for weight training and stationary exercise like yoga.
It also doesn’t properly track the high-intensity interval training I do because it only takes periodic heart-rate measurements during the day.
The only things the Oura ring is useful for during the waking hours are:
- Counting steps
- Reminders via the app to move every once in a while
- The Moment function
None of those were good enough reasons for me to keep wearing my ring all day, so now I only wear it at night.
✓ Eye-Opening Data
Before I got my Oura ring, I assumed I was a good sleeper. I’d fall asleep immediately, stay asleep through the night, then wake up about 7-8 hours later.
I thought wrong.
The Oura ring made me aware that while I was having a good quantity of sleep, my sleep quality wasn’t ideal.
My heart rate chart was almost always a downward sloped line instead of an optimal bowl-shape, my HRV was the opposite, and I rarely got as much deep and REM sleep as I should.
This data woke me out of my complacency and got me experimenting with all sorts of things like light, temperature, eating schedule, sleep schedule, screen time, to improve my sleep habits.
Ultimately, the Oura ring even helped me learn to love sleeping on the floor.
✗ Too Much Data, Not Enough Recommendations
The Oura has all the data necessary to be able to give me helpful, actionable tips.
For example, it could do a simple regression to see how much my inactivity affects my sleep and advise me accordingly.
But it doesn’t.
Aside from telling me whether or not my heart rate and sleep quality from the night before indicates I should “Up the activity” or “Take it easy”, it doesn’t do anything to help me figure out how to improve my sleep.
I’ve had to take matters into my own hands, do my own analyses, and even maintain my own spreadsheet (in which I take note of stuff like eating time, food quantity, alcohol and caffeine consumption) to try to crack the code to better sleep.
I wish I didn’t have to and that the Oura ring would make easier.
✗ Unreliable Data
Three months ago, I lost my Our ring and replaced it with another 35 days later. I got the same same size and same model…
…But different results:
My average deep sleep scores with my new ring have jumped up by 37% and my REM scores have decreased by 30%.
I didn’t make any changes that I know of to my sleeping habits, so I suspect that somehow a difference between the rings is causing these different scores.
This indicates that the deep sleep and REM scores are completely unreliable.
But at least they seem to be consistently unreliable. As long as I can roughly rely on their progression, not the absolute numbers, the scores are useful.
All it has to show for my rough treatment are quite a few superficial scuffs and scratches, but they just give the ring character.
✓ Low Maintenance
I only have to charge my Oura ring once a week or so and I can go weeks without having to sync it with my phone.
✗ Questionable Customer Service
Good thing my Oura ring’s been durable and defect-free because, based on more than a handful of accounts in the comments, customer service is unresponsive, unsympathetic, and unhelpful.
✗ It Punishes Me For Reading in Bed
When I read in bed, the Oura ring defaults to assuming I’m having a hard time falling asleep and gives me low latency and sleep efficiency scores, two of the seven measures that make up the overall sleep score.
✓ It’s Improving
Many other Oura ring wearers reported the same issue with reading in bed, so the Oura team fixed it.
It’s not the most glamorous fix—now I can manually adjust my latency to report the time I was reading—but it’s a lot better than before.
The team’s made a couple of similar improvements, and I am confident there will be more to come.
✓ Little Daily Dopamine Hits
Every morning I eagerly check my sleep score from the night before to see how I did—specifically focusing on my deep sleep and whether my heart rate graph was in the desired U-shape.
The feeling of anticipation I get from doing so is similar to the one I get when I open Instagram to see if I got any new likes, follows, or comments—just a heck of a lot healthier (I think…).
✗ It Takes a While
I naively hoped the Oura Ring would immediately help me identify things I’ve been doing wrong and fix them so I could sleep like a baby and become superhuman.
It takes weeks, even months, until you can start to spot useful trends.
Clearly there isn’t anything the Oura team can do anything about this, but it is something you should keep in mind before you buy one for yourself in order to have the right expectations.
✓ Long-Term Health Tracking
The Oura ring keeps me very aware of trends in my key health markers, like HRV and resting heart rate. This motivates me to stay healthy.
For example, for my first four months with the Oura ring, I was encouraged and motivated by my steadily decreasing resting heart rate and increasing average HRV. These were signs my exercise and diet choices were paying off.
But then on my fifth month, Kim and I went on a hectic road trip in South Africa.
For two weeks, we exercised less, ate worse, and drank more than normal and my HR and HRV gains completely vanished (…but, interestingly enough, my sleep scores improved).
Once our trip was over and life stabilized, I was more motivated than ever to turn things back around—and track my progress—thanks to the continuous long-term health trends from my Oura ring.
✗ It Costs $299
The $299 price is for the silver one (like I have) or the black.
It’s $399 if you choose the “stealth,” and $999 if you want a diamond on it.
✗ Uncertain Delivery
If you’re in a rush to get a new Oura ring, be sure to ask how long it will take before ordering.
As of May 2019, a couple of commenters have shared that they got their rings promptly after ordering, but prior to that many complained that they had to wait three months or more.
✓ The Promising New Moment Function
At the end of May 2019, Oura introduced a function (iOS only for now) I’d been looking forward to ever since I first got on the waiting list for my Oura ring 2 in 2017:
The ability to turn on the heart rate and HRV tracking during the day.
They call it “Moment.”
For 1 to 60 minutes, I can now try to relax my way to a lower heart rate and higher HRV and see how I do.
So far, I suck at it.
My HRV generally decreases and my HR increases during my “Moments,” which is the opposite of what I want.
But the fact that my Oura ring has motivated me to even try to relax at all is already a plus. I’m confident it’s a matter of time and tweaking with my relaxation routine before I eventually figure out how to do it effectively.
Oura Ring vs Alternatives
✧ Oura vs. Motiv Ring
The Motiv Ring is Oura’s closest competitor.
On the outside they look about the same, but functionally they’re not. Here are the biggest differences:
Motiv Ring Advantages
- $100 cheaper ($199 vs $299)
- Better activity tracking: When you work out, it tracks your activity more continuously than the Oura Ring.
Oura Ring Advantages
- Way better sleep tracking. Oura specializes in tracking your sleep by tracking sleep phases (deep, REM, light). The Motiv only tracks “restful” and “restless.”
- Longer battery life (6-7 days for Oura vs 3 days for Motiv)
- More measures. It measures HRV, body temperature, and respiratory rate. The Motiv doesn’t.
Oura vs. Motiv Conclusion
Even if the Motiv ring only cost $20 instead of $200, I’d still get the Oura ring because it’s far and away the better tool for tracking my sleep, which is priority number one for me.
✧ Oura vs. Fitbit
Comparing the Oura Ring versus the Fitbit is like comparing slippers to running shoes.
Like slippers, the Oura Ring is designed for resting. And like running shoes, the Fitbit is designed for activity.
You can use either for the other purpose, but that’s getting away from what they’re designed for.
Either get both for the best performance or pick whichever functionality is more important to you—tracking sleep or tracking rest—and purchase accordingly.
✧ Oura vs. Sleep Cycle App
For over seven years before I got my new Oura ring, I relied on my phone’s Sleep Cycle app to measure my sleep.
Even after I got my ring, I continued to use it for its alarm. This allowed me to compare the sleep scores between the two.
Here’s the comparison:
If the Sleep Cycle app were any good, the dots on this chart would roughly follow a diagonal, upwards-sloped line.
That means the Sleep Cycle app is pretty much useless for sleep tracking.
Final Verdict on the Oura Ring
To decide whether or not something was a good buy, I ask myself one question:
If I lose it, would I get another of the exact same or would I shop around for something else?
For the Oura ring, the answer is I’d get it again. It’s one my rare few favorite things that meat that criterion.
Not just in theory, either.
I actually lost my ring somewhere in the Namibian desert and as soon as I got home I got a new one.
That’s because, while the Oura ring hasn’t fully lived up to my expectations, it has made me more focused on and conscious of my sleep quality and long term health markers.
And even though my sleep scores haven’t improved in the months I’ve had it, A) there’s a chance my sleep would’ve got worse if not for the Oura ring and B) I’m optimistic that I’m getting closer to finding the perfect sleep routine with its help.
Compared to the benefits, the cost is minimal. Just like how it’s worth spending more on a good mattress, the same applies for the Oura ring sleep tracker.
If you’re looking for a magic pill, don’t bother getting an Oura ring.
The data might entertain you for a while, but if you do nothing about it you’ll soon get bored, ditch it, and be $300 poorer and no better off.
But if you’re willing to be proactive about improving your health—meaning you’re willing to put some conscious effort into figuring out and fixing what’s hurting your sleep—the Oura ring is the best tool out there.
More Questionable Perspectives
Experimenting with the Oura ring is one not particularly significant, but still fun, way I’ve explored how to zag my way down an enjoyable, exciting, and extraordinary life on my own terms.
If you’re also into that sort of stuff and enjoyed this post, you might want to join me and about 5,000 others in my newsletter. Once a week, I share a fresh story/theory/idea/challenge.
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Or don’t. Do what’s best for you. That’s the point.
Thanks for reading!
Keep doing exciting things,
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135 responses to “No-Bullsh*t Review of My Sleep Tracking Oura Ring”
When was this blog posted? I can’t seem to find anywhere on this page, in fact I can’t find a timeline for any of your blogs
i just returned my oura ring today. it was just too buggy. half the time it didn’t connect to the app and i tried all the things CS suggested. i know they are still working things out but it was the last day in my return window and i was beginning to think i might have gotten a defect. figured this is the version 2 ring so shouldn’t the connectivity be perfected?? contrast that to the motiv ring which i used prior and it always connected without issue and gave up to the minute bio stats, however the oura does provide better sleep data as you stated.
maybe i’ll revisit the ring again at a later time when they fix the issue. i really wanted it to work since it did provide a lot of bio data for wearing such a small device.
Hi Justin, I have had a terrible time connecting my Oura ring to my phone as well. What makes it so much worse is the companies customer service is COMPLETELY USELESS. I have followed their instructions and none of the suggested fixes helped. I emailed them on 5 separate days and not once have they responded to my requests for help. If you are on the fence and reading this buy at your own peril. Hope that you don’t have issues because they do not stand behind their product, horrible company! They tell you it will be a while before they get back to you do to the volume of requests, obviously they have a half baked product and are overwhelmed by the requests for help.
We’re collecting reviews for Oura ring to help make their product better. Mind leaving a review here? Bad or Good, we’ll take your honest opinion.
Are you guys still looking for feedback? I’m also having a terrible tome with customer service. I really wish I’d seen this post and the replies before I bought one. So disappointing…
It’s now Nov 2022 and I’m having terrible experience with their customer service. Looks like things did not improve. I replaced my Oura as I lost my first one and the sleep tracking is so different!!! It hardly records and REM and the customer service insists there it’s nothing wrong with it. I loved Oura at first but I can’t trust it nor and would recommend everyone avoid!
I find it interesting that most of the reviews of this ring are fitness, health orientated. I thought I’d see a lot more people like me who suffer from sleep issues looking into this tech. On that note, do you think this would be a good starting place for someone who wants to figure out ways to improve their sleep. Does the data show enough of a trend to start to be able to make suggestions, or maybe at least the user could get some insights that might help.
Also, I’ve looked around for a user manual, I often like to read through the manual before I make a purchase but I haven’t been able to find one online. Only other question I can think of is how good is the company when dealing with the warranty, I wonder just how long before the battery no longer holds charges, etc.
I have been really interested in improving my slow wave sleep as well. I’m waiting for acoustic stimulation to be available as it has been shown to enhance SWS. Apparently, this company will have it available some time this year and it will work with the Oura ring: https://sonicsleepcoach.com/deep-sleep-stimulation/ I don’t have any affiliation with Sonic Sleep and I have no idea whether their system will be any good. I think there should be others available soon as well that utilize acoustic stimulation.
I bought the Oura ring but I haven’t used it yet as it won’t work with my iPhone 5c as Apple no longer supports it. Time for a new iPhone anyway, I guess.
Takes a damn long time to get it. I’m still waiting from end of September and they aren’t very good about updating their site with a status. I’m not a watch wearer which is why I wanted the ring. Now, I trying to decide whether to continue to wait. Conundrum.
I just returned the rose gold ring because of durability (or lack thereof). Too many scratches, which do not add “character” to this $499 device. Scratched it when opening doors, which tells me Oura should stick to the basic ring without the overlays. Great data though. I loved that. Will look into other products.
Ordered ring Nov 14 2018
Arrived Jan 22 2019.
I’m also concerned about deep slerp deficit, but I’m not sure how accurate the rings are…
I’ve had mine since Dec ’18 having orders in Feb 18, so yeah, a wait. I’m shown as averaging 32 mins deep sleep (I’m a physically active woman, 53 years old). But I can’t find the following anywhere :
Slow wave deep sleep is made up of stage 3 & 4, do they bunch both to get deep sleep stats or is 3 bundled in with stages 1, 2&3 for light sleep? They bundle stage one ‘restful wakefulness’ and 2 together for light sleep. Where do they put stage 3. I find their CS no help on this. I asked the wu using chat on the app, no reply for over three weeks, finally a bloke pops up to say he hopes my questions are now answered. I ask them again, because…nope. And silence again. Why check in if you don’t have the time to reply?
Note too that the indepth study they mention (Stanford I think) says the ring under estimated deep and REM, although they only bought two sizes for a relatively small cohort and that was gen 1.
Personally I just can’t see the correlation in my heart graph with the deep sleep metric. The heart rate isn’t lower, smoother and HRV, (high rate seems to have been shown as a good marker for deep) is not as high as at other times. So what are they going on? REM shows up clearly but deep… Not so much.
And steps regulary a quarter higher than apple watch…. Activity accurate if you use Health app to transfer info. I work out on a water rower, polar to health app and that appears directly in Oura. But that is all iOS dependent.
So….. Dunno. Anxious sleepers out there, I bought the Bose sleepbuds (ouchy price). They seem to be helping deep sleep. That and Headspace meditation app which is wicked.
Sorry for long post but deep sleep deficit bother me too. One thing, check how you feel before looking at the app and see if whether you feel foggy or bright matches what they say. Otherwise hard to tell if the being told youve slept badly is influencing how you actually feel. Thanks for reading this far…. If you have ; )
Deep slerp! My phone reverts to that. I’ve invented a new condition!
I just wanted to say thank you for the 5 month review. This is amazing and after reading this I sent emails to Oura. They said they were trying to make the ring a better fitness tracker, but I imagine you’d have to open the app and put it in full time monitoring mode and it would eat the juice of the battery. Hopefully one day we get the 02/sleep tracker/exercise tracker/heart rate hrv monitor in just 1 device.
Full time monitoring can’t be added with the current tech. the CEO explains in one podcast (sorry can’t link to it) that the current heart rate sensors are very accurate 250/sec but hte limitation is that they need to be stationary.. yeah.. basically they dont work at all if youare moving.. this is why Oura constantly state that it is a sleep tracker, not a fitness tracker.
When I got my OUra 4 months ago, my deep sleep average was about 20 mins, not it it 60 mins. it is up to you to take the data and diagnose, an app cant do that for you. for me, I was waking a lot, so I started meditating, this instantly doubled my deep sleep on days that I did it (NOT immediately before bed). then I sorted my snoring
oh, man.. so many typos.. main correction…
my deep sleep average was about 20 mins, now it is 60 mins.
I agree. crappy sleep = crappy day. I’m already prepared for it thanks to Oura; however, one thing that it does that is a good thing is noting the heart rate plunge almost every nigh that is consistently at the same time that begs the question: What the HELL is going on at that time? Still pleased with it
The whole purpose of sleep tracking is to baseline and then MAKE CHANGES…diet, exercise, supplements, lighting, etc. Just looking at the output data is meaningless in concluding “the ring isn’t useful in helping my sleep metrics”.
I am looking at the Oura Ring, but haven’t settled on how good the sleep metrics are. Nonetheless, if it’s best wearable out there and does a good job at actually tracking important sleep parameters, then it might be worth the plunge to serve as the baseline tracking device while one makes changes to sleep outcomes.
Does the app provide averages for specific sleep stages?
It appears the app can only display the average sleep time and time in bed.
I’m hoping it is able to give me for example, “Average REM sleep for week x was 1h 29m”.
Really interesting comments. I ordered my ring last December. The newest shipping estimate suggests I won’t get it until April (if the shipping isn’t delayed again). I have thought numerous times about cancelling my order as it’s just taking too long. I emailed their support last week about cancelling. I’m still waiting for a reply although the automated response said they’d get back in a few days. Generally I’m finding the whole Oura frustrating.
It took mine over 3 months to get. The Oura ring doesn’t inherently improve your sleep; however, I find that it does like me know just what the quality is and basically when I have a “bad night”. I find sometimes when I feel like I should have gotten a good night sleep, it really isn’t and so far Oura has been on point. Also, my work days are 10 hours and it’s nice to be reminded to get up and out! I guess it depends on you and what you want out of it
Ordered my stealth ring in Jan, got it yesterday. Everything is working for the first day. Connecting to the ring takes a bit of effort but it works on on my LG phone. I let the oura app turn on the Bluetooth and it connects better. At least from what I can tell. The product appears well made, happy as a new user. One thing that’s weird, the charging stand comes with a USB cord but not the plug for the outlet? Weird…
Solid article, by far one of the best ones I came across in my quest to figuring out if I should buy the ring or not. Also the comments are very interesting.
I like your comparative graph oura ring vs sleep cycle app. There are also other oura ring vs fitbits/other wristbands comparisons and graphs, which give better results.
I also believe in blue light blockers + ear plugs at night + meditation + eye mask (dark room) also came across several sources saying the colder your bedroom the better (between 15 and 21 degrees Celsius – optimal for deep sleep).
I was wondering which patterns you discovered while manually tracking and comparing your stats and graphs.
Question: At the beginning of the article you have a chart that has sleep score vs deep sleep. Is the deep sleep in minutes? That was my guess but wanted to check.
Great article. I’ve been using the ring for a while now and can say it has helped me increase my deep sleep–though I’ve tried using various techniques.
Ordered the ring on March 30th and got it April 8th! They seemed to really have improved with delivery. I was hesitant to order with 12 weeks delivery they have promised on their page. By 12 weeks i would have forgotten i bought it! Good it arrived in a week.
Looking forward to some data tomorrow after tonight’s sleep!
I wrote my own small review of sleep trackers. I hope I am not intruding. I think I’m just jealous. https://mekineer.com/doku.php?id=information_technology:2019_activity_trackers
Hesitant to take Oura ring plunge as the comparative studies show its not hat accurate if you are trying to really break down NREM/REM patterns insight.
Has anyone used the DREEM?
Will it work with a tablet instead of a phone? How much deep sleep should a person get? I would like to see a comparison of Oura Ring with CorSense Heart Rate Variability Sensor by Elite HRV.
As sleep is my main concern, I chose the oura. I also liked the longer battery length.
Ordered the sizing kit to be sure. Took 4 days to arrive (Finland to Canada). Picked a size and ordered the Heritage Black Size 12. Maybe I’m just lucky and they had stock, but ordered in yesterday (Monday) and online UPS tracking has it scheduled for delivery Thursday!!
I ordered the ring in March 2019 and had it on for two weeks and then it would not connect, well it said it was connected but there was no data. After much time spent with lagging email responses, I returned the ring. I have an iphone8. I am not so sure I’ll give it another try which is unfortunate, I probably would have if they would have replaced the ring.
Hi Chris. Nice review. In fact I have been using it for about 6 months now and share most of your opinions on pros/cons.
Like you, my biggest annoyance is the lack of reliable and/or useful activity data, So now I am stuck wearing my fit bit AND the ring. Also impossible to wear the “stealth” finish During the day or while working out without absolutely destroying the finish.
I agree that the recommendations the device gives you (“take it easy today…) is pretty much useless. But the data leads you to your own conclusions. I looked at the same things as you–namely eating time, food quantity, alcohol and caffeine consumption–and the results are most evident in the RHR and HRV. Have you looked at these specifically, or are you focusing mostly on the scores?
Lastly, about the dopamine hit–I’m not sure its a good thing. I find myself doing the same thing. But at the end of the day, do we really need a little device to tell us how we slept or is not that something we should just be able to know inherently?
Hi, many thanks for the great article. I’m looking at buying this and try many hacks to help with my sleep. One thing that concerns me is I try to make sure nothing wireless or Bluetooth is enabled in my room at night. I’m guessing the ring doesn’t need to be connected all the time to the iPhone. But I’m guessing it will be constantly checking for a Bluetooth connection which as I understand can affect your bodies cells and sleep. Not to mention it will admit EMFs but I’m guessing (or hoping) on a very small scale. Have you and knowledge of this? I do have a EMF meter but would rather try and research before having to buy one then test.
Hi Chris .A really interesting review and answers to comments. I wonder if you would you would like to try our new sleep device, the Zeez Sleep Pebble, ALONGSIDE the Oura? We are trying to improve sleep, not to track it. Our Zeez is designed to pulse out tiny electric signals of the same frequencies as those made by our brain as we relax and sleep deeply over 4 sleep cycles. Generally (c 80% people, it works). One button, no app. An early decision – I felt that exhausted people wanted sleep, not tech.. When we want tracking, there are plenty of options. We are a tiny start-up. butI think our tech is the best for deep sleep – better than sound based deep sleep enhancing devices – and I’d love to know what you think. II’m happy to tell you more – you”ll find you tube user clips, website, reviews easily.
Like others, I don’t know whether Oura’s “deep sleep” is slow delta wave sleep or delta wave sleep + REM. Slow delta wave sleep should make up c 20% of total sleep. How do you feel in the morning? If you wake up full of energy you may are probably OK< whatever the tracker says. But if it is hard to get out of bed.. try us.
I hope you don't mind me plugging our device- it se so new and different that I am not sure that you would find out about it any other way. And yours is the best Oura review I have read.
For so much hype, I was incredibly disappointed with the lack of customer support. I never even got to at up my Oura Ring, because it arrived defective and would not sync up with my Bluetooth no matter what I tried, and there was nobody to help me. I have spent many sleepless nights trying to get it to connect using all of their troubleshooting methods, and more. I have written to them countless times, and there has been not one single response. I think they are either understaffed or poorly managed, or both. I am so frustrated that I have requested a return authorization from them, and I will be returning my product to them without even having it activated. What a huge disappointment! Nothing can kill a product quicker than lack of customer service.
Hi Chris. In one of your comments, you said that you have been sleeping on the floor. I have just recently returned to my bed from almost 4 months of sleeping on the floor. I purchased a “grounding sheet” just about 2 weeks ago. I literally could feel a deep wave of relaxation settling within myself almost immediately. After almost 3 years of progressively miserable sleep brought on by a number of related issues, but stemming from basically a degenerative jaw with subsequent treatments to mitigate its effects, I found my lack of sleep worse than the jaw problems. Recently, I discovered that candiaisis is a factor & I’m addressing that full throttle. Fatiqued adrenals, addressing that. But, the “grounding sheet” got me off the floor. I’m feeling like there’s hope for me to sleep again & I just wanted to share that with you.
I just want to share my experience with Oura. I bought four rings when they first came out with the new ring last year. The rings were great and worked well. My son is a climber and, unfortunately, due to the need to remove it frequently to climb, lost it. Oura allowed us to replace this for a discount (replacing only the ring, not charger so 50% cost). However, when he lost it a second time, Oura offered just $25 off for a replacement. If you do a sport that requires removing the ring and are at risk for losing it, you will incur a substantial cost to replace it, so beware (we are not replacing it). Also, when my husband’s ring broke, we had to take the ring to a UPS center (not a UPS store but the distribution center, which is, for most people, not in the center of town). After a month of not hearing anything, we had to contact Oura with the tracking number because they had forgotten about it. Overall, I liked the ring but as Oura has grown, their customer service and customer loyalty is far less than it used to be. At $299 a ring, this is an investment for sure. I’ll be considering other options that will allow my son to wear it during climbing and sleep.
Did anyone end up doing any EMF measurements on the Oura ? I know it can be set to airplane mode (and definitely should be on airplane mode at night) but have heard there is a bug so it will switch itself back on unknown to the wearer. Anyone have any new info? Updates appreciated, if available.
I used the ring for sleep tracking only. What I discovered is that I could lay perfectly still, watch the clock for long periods of time, then get the sleep results the next morning, showing I had been asleep the whole time. That was vastly inaccurate. I tried over and over, with similar results. When I asked the customer service for help I kept getting a run around and finally no communication at all. I would definitely NOT recommend the Oura ring to anyone!
Yes, same here. All they told me to do was a hard factory reset. I mean if it cant detect that you’re actually awake but lying in bed wishing you were asleep it’s pretty useless. You cant edit the sleep cycles other than start and end times. The only thing it is good for IMO is HR / HRV tracking overnight which is still useful for knowing how your system is recovering.
Customer support is horrible! The sizing is 1.5 sizes smaller than a jewelers measurement so I got a ring that didn’t fit. My husband kept his on a smaller finger. It says you can exchange but nobody returns requests, there is no phone number or address. I got an initial response that they could not find the order they had shipped me the week prior. You cant return without an RMA. Seven attempts to find a way to exchange and no response so for a month plus I’ve tried to get a ring that fits. I love the data my husband’s produces. The battery does NOT last a week.
Thanks for the Oura Ring review. I thought it was Kim, a woman. But looks like she just modeled the ring. I was looking for a woman’s perspective. But the review was helpful. I remain undecided. But I am at least set on the Balance style in silver for my middle finger, if I do splurge on the ring! Thanks for your 411!
I’m considering buying an Oura. Found your review & thought it would be helpful & it mostly is, until it comes to the date this was written. And yes, when it comes to tech items, the date matters A LOT. I’m writing this on June 4, 2020. The date listed on your review is May 20, 2020, but when I’m reading the reader comments, I’ve gotten throughly confused b/c they go back as far as May 2019. And in the tech world, a year makes a huge difference b/c of updates. Those updates would render your review somewhat null, b/c if we can’t tell what’s the past & what’s recent, then we have no way of understanding what the current functionality is of things. I’ve seen this type of thing handled with a dated update to a review. I’d feel like I could trust your feedback a lot more if I could tell what was what. So yes, dates *really* matter with anything, but especially tech product reviews.
Ciao Chris! A returning article reader here hi!
This review was the final thing that assured me to buy Oura in May and have now been using it for almost three months. But as you said it’s an expensive toy if the data is not used I’m hoping to do that now. I’ve been collecting a ‘diary’ to excel sheet about my lunch/dinner ‘heavyness’ as well as how much sports I did on each day and I’m planning to do a correlation run with Python between those and Oura data.
I also tried to ask in FB Oura users group that what measures are they following and how they react to those, but the answers we more like have dinner earlier and mouth taping instead of what I asked. So how about you? Are you following any specific figure on Oura data and how do you react if it goes up/down?
Thanks for your help in advance!
As an owner of a great Motiv ring since 2017, I’ll miss the price and the simple functions….since I have seizures (head trauma) occasionally when I forget to take my meds, I used the Motiv primarily to track my sleep length, heart rate, and amount/type/intensity of physical behavior. I don’t need a ring that’s huge (the Motiv is slim and not clunky/thick like the Oura) and has sooo much more “busy” amounts of tracking data. Can’t anyone just design/market a simple/slender ring like the Motiv for those of us who don’t want or need more? Not to mention the price…while the Motiv’s price in 2017 –$200.oo–was a bit steep, it was a hell of a lot cheaper than going to the doctor frequently, just to be told “Yep, you’re okay” then have to pay a bazillion dollars. The Motiv was a great partner for ongoing knowledge as to when I should ratchet back on too high activity and not enough to eat ( I tend to get distracted and forget to eat for most of a day, which stresses my body, which stresses my brain, and-wham! Stoopid brain injury. ) Anyhoo, the Motiv’s simple approach helped me to stay on top of that…..now it quit even charging; I found out it had been bought, and was no longer being supported. *Commence ex-Navy sailor swearing* WTH?! Grrrrrrr. I need a SIMPLE ring.
Wow, ex-Navy guy here who has seizures from head trauma as well. Trying to find something that might give me a little info on when the episodes come on and this with the sleep tracking is interesting since I can hardly sleep so often from other injuries. Hope you find what you are seeking!
*Correction: the Oura is the sooo much more “busy ring. My bad.
Still from Cale: Sorry, brain fart.
Could you guide me this ring can wake up in REM sleep phase? Or it just collect some statistic about deep and rem cycles?
And one more question ) Do I understand correct the ring can work separately from my phone during night (because I enable the Airplane mode for sleep time) and synchronize data in morning?
I have the same problem as you with my HRV. my heart rate BPM just goes down as i sleep and it doesnt make a U shape. have you found any interesting articles to help with that?
Great review. I’ve had the ring for 6 months now and overall very happy with what I wanted it to do (score my sleep) except for 1 annoying thing! I’m a night owl and for over 15 years go to bed around 2-3am. I sleep 8 hours, have a completely blacked out bedroom like a hotel and am consistent with my timing. I know that sleep experts will say that you can’t get good sleep if you don’t follow circadian rhythm stuff, but I believe there are always exceptions that prove the rule and I’m one of them. I want to be able to toggle off the ‘timing’ as part of my sleep score, otherwise no matter how perfect I can’t get in the 90% or higher range. One big pro was the ring let me know when I was sleeping 8 hours I really wasn’t getting 8 hours of sleep, so I now give myself 9 hours with the goal of total sleep time of at least 8, that was super helpful. I just wish I could take timing out of the equation…
Is there a wake up alarm function in the app? I’m thinking it could wake me up when I got enough sleep for the night? I’m a bit worried I might sleep too much on the days I don’t have to go to work.
I preordered my ring in December 2017 and received it in August 2018. I received a replacement in August 2019 due to a battery issue. Now, in November 2020, I had one night of battery drain from 65% and emailed for support. I assumed that the 2-year warranty would apply from the replacement date, but Oura clarified that replacements have only a 90-day warranty.
I’m planning to look into other options before buying a new one. I love the ring but don’t want to replace it every other year if they’re not changing the guts as technology develops.
I’m very confused by this post. Even though there is some information, the entire premise that just wearing the Oura ring is going to improve your sleep is wrong. The ring doesn’t have some type of magical sleep properties to improve your sleep score. You have to actively do things to improve your sleep (activity modifications, de-stress techniques, changes to diet, supplements, lighting changes, etc…) and use the Oura ring to verify if the modifications in your life is improving your sleep.m
Does the app provide averages for specific sleep stages?
It appears the app can only display the average sleep time and time in bed.
This is an absolutely excellent review. Thank you. I have a sleep disorder and a few years ago read ‘Why We Sleep’ by Matthew Walker. I have tried making some quite significant changes to my lifestyle but continue to have the “bad night’s sleep”. I regularly listen to Dr Rangan Chatterjee’s podcasts and again very recently listened to his podcast 147 interviewing Matthew Walker. I was tempted to purchase an Oura ring given his strong recommendation of it that it was the most accurate sleep tracker – but was also very cognisant of Matthew Walker’s disclaimer that he is financially connected with the Oura Company. The paper by Massimiliano et al (2017) entitled: ‘The Sleep of the Ring: Comparison of the Oura Sleep Tracker Against Polysomnography’ is very relevant. Have you seen any further comment on the findings of that paper that the ring underestimates PSG N3; overestimates PSG REM; and agreement of 65%, 51%, and 61% in detecting light sleep (N1), deep sleep (N3), and REM sleep respectively ?
ive heard if you want way more accurate data – eg actually being awake and lying still thinking u have gone to sleep there is a better device called Dreem – good luck in finding one though (Well pending where u live if they ship there) i found it on this post
However, there is a consumer level device out there. I’ve used it and believe it holds great promise. It tracks sleep with using EEG, pulse plethysmography (HR/RR) and an accelerometer. It’s called Dreem. (sic) It offers better sleep tracking and throws in a kicker: Stimulations are added to augment the slow waves of deep sleep. The stimulations are bone conducted audio signals meant to build the intensity of the delta-waves without disruption. My experience has been very positive. I’m getting up to 2X my usual amount of deep sleep, and concomitantly about 1.5X more REM.
I have both. With all this hype about Oura ring and numerous ads and verdicts on how much Oura ring is better than Motiv, I still like Motiv ring more. It is more advanced. Oura is just a sleep and fitness tracker. Nothing else. Motiv is your all in tracker. 24/7. Pity that Motiv is no longer in the game.
No, if i had known what i know now i would not get the oura Ringer again. I find it too fickle and dependent on lying there quiet.
I am a very restless sleeper and that upsets the working.of the Ring. I cannot rely on its results, it leaves big gaps. Moreover i intensely dislike its unrelenting stupid remarks such as waiting FOR your sleep data even when a Day is practically over or why the gaps? They make me feel guilty of something i have no influence on.
Hi Chris, really helpful information about the Oura Ring. Do you have any updates from 2021? Are you still wearing your ring, how do you like it from when you first got it in 2019, do you still recommend it?
Also keen for an update relative to updated functionality. I’ve been a Fitbit fan for a long time and always update to the latest model BUT the convenience of a ring interests me but not if I lose a high degree of the exercise / activity data.
Buyer beware. Customer support and service are non-existent.
I’ve had a Gen 2 ring for six months and decided to upgrade.
They processed my $300. payment six weeks ago but no sign of any ring, or any response despite emailing them DAILY.
There is no # to call, only email – and THEY DO NOT RESPOND despite 30 emails I’ve sent. I’ve had to make a claim to my credit card company to get a refund. This company is a scam.
I agree 100%. Check the comments on their instagram page. The company is a huge scam. Once they get your money good luck getting any results or responses. STAY AWAY!!
I will agree with everyone else on non existent customer service. STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY.
THE STORY – Bought a Gen2 ring. It arrived in 3 weeks. i wore it for a week. OURA then contacted me and said i ‘qualified for a an upgrade to Gen3. they sent instructions on how to return my old Gen2 ring – which i promptly did thru Fed Ex. I could see that they had accepted it – thru the Fed Ex tracking. I could even see who at Oura had signed for it.
I received and email a week later ‘congratulating me on my new update’ and said my new Gen3 was on the way.
BUT then week later they I received another email saying that my Gen2 ring had NOT been returned and the offer was now closed. So they lost my Gen2 ring and reneged on they Gen3 offer.
then 45 days later… nothing. despite emailing them every day with a pictured timeline of the events, screen grabs of all the emails and receipts they refuse to return a single email.
So they lost my Gen2 ring and reneged on they Gen3 offer. What a waste of time and money. I live in Canada so this was a $550 mistake to engage with this scam of a company.
Please stay clear of this company. there are so many good companies out there do it above the law. OURA is a scam and you will lose your ring sooner or later.
This company is a complete scam. Zero customer service. I am one of many customers who spent $300 and still have no ring and have been ghosted by Oura. Stay away.
I have received my generation 3 ring but the charger does not work. I tried to reach out to support about what to do to correct this problem, I also reached out about buying another charger to use until they can rectify the issues with the original charger. It has only been 4 days so far. I do not want a product, even if it is the best thing since sliced bread, if there is no support. I plan to return the ring, charger and everything once I receive the return instructions in 7 days (because their support is so backlogged).
Contact your payment provider (credit card company or whatever you used) about disputing the payment to Oura>
I bought one back in 2019 and I can hardly get anyone from customer service to help me out. What I’m very surprised about is how come that top biohackers are praising the product. I’ve been thinking about buying Gen3 hoping that their costumer service has improved considering everyone in exercise or biohacking world knows about this Oura Ring. But based on these reviews I don’t think I’m going to spend my money on Oura.
Are you Chris Becherer?
Hey, great article. It’s been hard to find unbiased reviews for this. I feel slightly better it wasn’t actually an affiliate review.
As someone who is only interested in this for sleep analysis, do you feel the data provided would be sufficient to take to a doctor/sleep specialist? Or would they just look at me with a blank stare for spending $300 dollars for Oura specific data? If the data is relevant medically, I feel the lacking insights from Oura itself could be far more valuable.
Great, review, but it looks like this is not about the last version. The current version can track heart rate continuously. You should update that.
And the vendor has added a monthly grift to the cost of the ring, lest its results be bobbitted almost completely. If it was barely worth the $300 as a one-time, get ready for 1/2 that again over the two-year life of the unit. Just know what you’re getting into.
Oura Stealth – replaced twice because battery failing. Last replacement was October 2021. Now the same issue appeared – THIRD TIME this model fails!
So stay away at least from that model.
I got my Oura Heritage Gen 3 new in the box from a reseller on eBay. After 30 days, the charger stopped working, Oura would not replace since it was purchased from an unauthorized reseller. It looks like they just dump their defective units onto the market through these unauthorized resellers so they don’t have to warrant them, Buyer beware. PS – There seems to be a good supply out there, so I question their quality control.
Why would Oura replace an item they did not sell? I wouldn’t if I were a retailer and it wasn’t an authorized reseller. You could go to the Oura website and order a replacement charger or contact the folks who sold you the ring.
The ring looks dopey on any finger other than the ring finger. That’s why it’s called the RING finger.