The Oura Ring is one of the newest wearable health tech inventions. This smart ring can measure the quality of a person’s sleep, its stages, and the duration. Additionally, it can also track several other health variables, which include heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), and body temperature.
With the rise of wearable health trackers, what makes the Oura ring stand out from the rest of the crowd? In this article, we take a closer look at this wellness ring and how it can help you improve your health and well-being.
What is an Oura Ring?
Released in 2015, the first version of the Oura smart ring didn’t quite get much traction compared to other fitness and sleep trackers. However, it was in 2020 when the brand’s name started making rounds across platforms. This was after news that the National Basketball Association (NBA) gave all of its players the option to use it inside the NBA Bubble. This smart fitness ring can monitor a person’s biometric data, such as body temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate. It does this to provide users a more insightful look into their overall health and wellness.
Moreover, one of the key features of the Oura smart ring is how it monitors a person’s sleep cycle and activities. It should go without saying that a good night’s sleep is essential. As a society, it’s clear that we tend to overlook the importance of sleep and how it can affect our daily performance. The Oura ring accurately measures one’s sleep time data in order for you to better understand your sleeping habits. After all, there’s no better way to start your day by waking up refreshed and rested.
Besides the aforementioned metrics, when sleeping, the Oura health ring also tracks several sleep activities. This includes a person’s sleep cycle, nighttime movement, duration, and even the quality of your sleep.
The Oura ring price tag is not cheap; it rests on the premium cost of $300. However, what exactly does this high-value smart fitness ring do? How does it actually work? Furthermore, how can this help us be a better and healthier version of ourselves?
Technology Behind Oura
In order for the Oura ring to give people insights about their health, it utilizes three advanced sensors. On the inside of the smart ring, there are three nodes that are used to track a person’s body signals. One node is for measuring heart rate and respiration, and another is for body temperature and a 3D accelerometer.
Infrared PPG Sensors
Despite its complicated name, the infrared photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor does the simple task of monitoring a person’s heart rate. Similar to devices used in hospitals, the PGG sensors in the Oura ring capture a person’s pulse through their arteries. However, unlike other fitness trackers, Oura’s PGG sensors use infrared light. This is to penetrate through a person’s skin deeper and acquire their pulse rate. By doing so, they get a more accurate measure of one’s heart’s activity.
Additionally, unlike other wearable health trackers, these sensors are placed on both sides of the inside of the ring. This allows the sensors to better gauge a user’s heart rate.
The use of infrared light is a remarkable technique to gain a more precise heart rate reading. However, take note that by default, the Oura ring only reads a person’s heart rate when they are sleeping. Compared to the standard green light found in other wearable health devices, the infrared light is much more sensitive. This means that even the simplest change in movement can already influence the readings of the ring. Users can always activate this through the Moment feature on the Oura app. This is in case they still want to use this feature while on the go.
Body Temperature Sensor
Our body’s temperature is a prime indicator of our overall condition. Just like our heart rate, our temperature adapts to shifts within our body and the surrounding environment. The ideal body temperature ranges between 36.1 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Fahrenheit) to 37.2 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit). A temperature higher than these can be a sign of an illness, such as an infection or fever. Meanwhile, if your temperature is significantly lower than your regular temperature, this could also be a sign of a disease.
The Oura ring temperature tracker can easily check the changes in your night time body temperature by the minute. With the use of its Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) sensor, it can detect the slightest change in our skin’s temperature. Oura directly uses the skin of your finger to evaluate your temperature. This is opposed to other wearable health devices that only estimate a person’s temperature based on their external environment. By doing so, it takes a clearer image of what our internal temperature is.
As mentioned, this smart health ring monitors your body’s temperature at night. This is because when you are sleeping, your skin temperature is closest to your internal temperature. Thus, this results in a more accurate reading of your overall health.
The Oura ring can estimate a person’s movement and activity with the use of its 3D accelerometer sensor. This allows Oura to track a person’s daily activity, as well as if they are experiencing nighttime restlessness. Additionally, it can even pinpoint a person’s sleep stages.
During the daytime, this smart ring can take a snapshot of the majority of a person’s day-to-day activities and workouts. The 3D accelerometer sensor detects a person’s low, medium, and high-intensity movement. This means when you’re burning off sweat at the gym or doing simple at-home workouts, Oura keeps records of it. It can also indicate the amount of steps you take when walking and the number of calories you burn. Furthermore, it can also provide reminders when it notices if a person has been idle for an extended period of time.
Moreover, when worn at nighttime, it can capture the stages of our sleep cycle, as well. Thus, this contributes to a better insight of a person’s sleep quality.
Oura Ring Battery
The Oura Ring battery life can last up to seven days, depending on the user. This is surprising, considering how small the device is. The Oura companion app will notify users when it’s time to charge the smart ring. Charging the device will take up to an hour and 20 minutes. If you want to conserve battery or find yourself without your Oura ring charger, you can always set the device on airplane mode. However, this will limit some features of the ring, such as the Moments feature on the app.
Why Use the Oura Ring
By tracking and recording your body’s fundamental indicators, the Oura smart ring delivers crucial insights that help you better understand your body. As such, this will eventually lead you to building better habits and improving your daily performance.
However, the most vital factor when considering a person’s overall health is their slumber habits. After all, how are you supposed to seize the day, if you’re running only on a few hours of sleep? The long-term effects of sleep deprivation can lead to major risk in our mental and physical health. Therefore, keeping track of one’s sleep duration and habits is immensely beneficial to our lives. Oura thus provides resources to help its users improve their sleeping habits in the long-run.
Improves Sleep Habits
Most people experience sleepless nights due to a number of different reasons. This could be from working overtime, late night study sessions, or maybe you’re just playing the best gacha games on your smartphone for hours. Regardless, sleep can sometimes seem like a trivial matter when we’re presented with tasks and activities that seem more exciting. Thus, this can lead us to performing poorly during the day, having a sour attitude, and even difficulty focusing.
However, with this smart ring that tracks sleep, we can better optimize our nighttime habits. The in-depth sleeping data that Oura monitors include sleep stages, sleep duration and quality, and restless movement detection. Additionally, it also provides a guidance system to pinpoint the perfect bedtime.
Helps Reduce Stress
Due to our current social climate, it’s no surprise that the majority of us are often anxiety-ridden. We know how it feels when both your mind and body are stressed. Everyone has something they often stress over, however, the long-term effects of stress on ourselves tend to be overlooked. After all, who has time to worry about stress when we have submissions and work deadlines to beat?
While stress is a natural reaction of your body to your surroundings, there is a way for you to better manage it. This is so that it does not lead you to a chaotic state of stress or anxiety. The Oura ring app Moments feature reminds you to take a minute to pause and just breathe. As mentioned above, the Oura smart ring can detect changes in your temperature and heart rate. As such, these elevations are one of the telltale signs of your body becoming overly stressed. By alerting you when our bodies feel stress, over time, you can observe the factors that contribute to it. Furthermore, you can also learn how to manage stress and even prioritize your own self care.
Build a Better Workout Regimen
Admittedly, Oura’s ability to track exercise routines and progress isn’t the best out of all other fitness trackers. This is mostly because it cannot track workout progress in real-time by itself. You will have to sync it with other fitness applications such as Google Fit or Apple Health to do so. Additionally, the company does not recommend you to wear the ring when hitting the gym. Oura says that you can wear the ring 24 hours a day since it’s designed for all-day and all-night comfort. However, because of the titanium it’s built with, wearing it while strength training or lifting heavy equipment can lead to scratches and other damages. Thus, this limits the amount of activities that Oura measures and reads.
Nevertheless, this smart ring can still help us better plan our exercise routines and its intensity. With the Oura Readiness Score, we can readily gauge our body’s condition. The Readiness Score analyzes direct body signals such as heart rate, HRV, and body temperature. By doing so, it examines and alerts you if your body is ready for you to push it to your limit. Whether it be with big butt exercises or high-intensity workouts, the Oura ring informs you how ready your body is to take on even the hardest exercise regimens.
Oura Ring Against COVID-19
2020 was arguably one of the toughest years in modern history. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw our daily lives come to a screeching halt. A new normal way of living came along with it as well. Now, in 2021, we see the rise of commercial-grade health trackers that claim to detect the early onset signs of COVID-19. This, of course, includes the Oura ring. However, how accurate can this supposed smart ring COVID detector be?
To clear the air, the Oura ring is not a medical device. As such, it cannot diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. However, what it can do is track any irregularities in your body’s temperature. One key indicator to determine if a person is coming down with a disease is their temperature. A sudden spike in one’s body temperature can be a symptom for an impending illness.
As mentioned several times, this smart ring can track your respiration rate. With that, it can also inform you when there’s an abrupt abnormality with it. The increase in respiratory rate can be signs of an oncoming sickness, as well. Additionally, the increase in your resting heart rate and decrease in your HRV can also be symptoms. A change in these two rates reflect the activation of your nervous system’s fight-or-flight response.
However, with all this said, it has not stopped several heavyweight sports leagues from teaming up with Oura Health. These include the likes of the NBA, UFC Performance Institute, and NASCAR. Their joint goal is to utilize the technology behind Oura to track the health status of their members.
Other notable names who are fans of the Oura health ring include Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, and British royalty, Prince Harry.
Oura Ring Alternatives
There’s no doubt that using the best fitness tracker can elevate you on your fitness journey. It can also give extra incentives to keep you motivated, as well as provide statistics on your general health. In this Oura Ring review, we discussed the benefits of using the smart fitness ring. However, since the Oura ring costs $300, it is not the cheapest device out there. Unfortunately, the company does not provide Oura Ring discount codes for daily purchases. If you’re intimidated by the premium price tag, you will need to look out for Oura Ring sale promos.
With that said, the market is still saturated with wearable health trackers from different brands and companies. So, if you can’t commit to the $300 price tag attached on the Oura Ring, don’t worry. Here are our picks for the best fitness devices that are worth checking out.
Oura vs Motiv
Another leading brand when it comes to smart rings is the Motiv Ring. Arguably, it is the closest competitor of the Oura Ring. There are a few noticeable differences between the two wearable health trackers, though. For starters, the Motiv ring is $100 cheaper than the Oura health ring. Generally speaking, both devices keep track of a person’s metrics, such as heart rate, nighttime activities, and overall activeness. However, Oura has more advanced sleep tracking features. The Motiv ring only records a person’s sleep duration, while Oura can detect even the sleep phases of its users. Additionally, unlike Oura, the Motiv does not measure HRV, body temperature, and respiratory rate.
However, what gives Motiv a bit more edge over Oura is its activity tracker. If you want to track your workout progress, you will need to sync the Oura ring with a fitness app. With the Motiv ring, though, you needn’t use a third-party app. This is because the Motiv app already comes equipped with fitness tracking features. Additionally, the onboard memory of the ring syncs to the Motiv app. As such, you needn’t bring your phone with you when you’re going out for a run or hitting the gym.
Moreover, for the more security conscious individual, the Motiv ring may just suit you more. Besides being a fitness tracker, the Motiv ring app also serves as a smart password-device for your online accounts. In this age of online transactions, cybersecurity threats are abundant. That’s why adding an extra layer of security is always recommended. So why not combine fitness and online security in one stylish and functional smart ring?
The Motiv ring fitness tracker sits as a $199 price point. It’s a noticeably cheaper option compared to the Oura smart ring.
Oura Ring vs Whoop
The Whoop Strap is a sleek fabric band equipped with two advanced sensors. These sensors collect heart rate and active movement data of its user. Focused mainly on athletic performance, Whoop provides insights to a person’s daily strain and recovery rate. Additionally, it also provides detailed data on a person’s sleep performance. It also gathers data through surveys on user behavior asked on the Whoop app. The user will need to input details such as alcohol consumption, food timing, and exercise quality and regularity. The Whoop app will then analyze the provided data to give better insights on how these factors affect your performance.
Moreover, when you purchase a Whoop Strap, you’re not only buying a health band. You are also becoming a member of the Whoop Community. In this ever-growing community, fitness buffs can find like-minded individuals who share their enthusiasm for health and fitness. Members can even collaborate in order to reach their fitness goals.
In terms of pricing, you won’t be necessarily paying for the Whoop fitness band itself. Instead, you will need to purchase a membership, with the strap included. The least costly plan is $30 per month with a six month minimum requirement. In total, that will set you back $180 for half a year’s worth of membership. While there is a lifetime membership plan, this is only available for founding members of the brand. Take note that users cannot use the Whoop strap and its companion app if you’re not a premium member.
Overall, this witness tracker is a great choice for those dedicated fitness enthusiasts. That is if you don’t mind shelling out $180 every six months, though.
Oura Ring Vs Apple Watch
The Apple Watch is without a doubt one of the most recognizable fitness companion devices out there. The latest Apple fitness tracker has advanced features which include the ability to track and measure a person’s oxygen saturation level. Recently, Apple even introduced an electrocardiogram (ECG) app available on the Apple Watch Series 4 and higher. With the ECG app, users can now track for any irregularities in their heartbeat.
Additionally, with the new watchOS7, users can now track their sleeping habit on the Apple Watch. Furthermore, they can even set up the watch as their alarm in the morning. It can schedule reminders when it’s time for them to go to sleep at night as well.
This smart watch can also detect how long you’ve been washing your hands. This is notable, as the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends people to wash their hands for around 20 to 30 seconds. With the Apple Watch, you get an automatic timer for 20 seconds when you begin washing your hands.
Moreover, while this smartwatch has a strong focus on health, it can also serve different purposes. It can be a music player and a GPS navigation system, as well. This is perfect for people who prefer to leave their phone when they go out for their daily jog. Users can also check their notifications and messages on this Apple fitness watch.
Users can integrate the Apple fitness app with this smart fitness watch. Moreover, they can still download and install their own favorite health and wellness apps on the Apple Watch through the App Store.
The Apple Watch retails for almost $400. This is a noticeably higher price tag than the Oura ring. However since it comes with more health tracking features, this higher price tag is easily justifiable..
Oura Ring Vs Fitbit
Most fitness enthusiasts are most likely already well-acquainted with the Fitbit. When it comes to fitness tracking, the Fitbit is hard to beat. A pioneer in the industry, the Fitbit covers all the basics that a good wearable health tracker should have. The availability of certain features will depend on the version you have, though. Nevertheless, all devices can track a person’s active movement, sleep duration and activity, and heart rate as well.
Additionally, the Fitbit provides more insights to your daily activity progress. These include the number of steps, the distance you ran during a jog, and even the amount of calories burned. In terms of sleep tracking, the Fitbit also provides sleep tools which you can use to set up sleep goals. Just like the Oura Ring, the Fitbit can track a person’s sleep stages. The Fitbit can also provide a sleep score that’s based on your heart rate, sleep duration, and restlessness when sleeping. These factors provide users a better understanding of their sleeping habits and the quality of their sleep.
Similar to the Apple Watch, the Fitbit can also serve as your alarm in the morning. It can alert you when it’s time for bed as well.
The Fitbit also comes with a companion app that provides more health and wellness features to its users. With the Fitbit app, users can track their workout performance, as well as find motivation. The Fitbit app provides notifications that serve as a gentle push in the right direction to one’s fitness goal.
Depending on which version you buy, the Fitbit price will range between $100 to over $300.
The Final Verdict: Is It Worth Getting?
At first glance, the Oura ring is a $300 sleep tracker. You might end up scoffing at the ridiculous price tag, and that’s understandable. However, once you look at what’s under the hood of this smart ring, the price becomes understandable. The company behind Oura has condensed such sophisticated technology into such a small device for your finger. Compared to other bulkier and obvious fitness trackers, the Oura health ring’s compact design is more discreet and lightweight.
While its primary focus is helping its user feel refreshed and ready to take on the day, it can also give insights to your body’s health and status. With that, people can greatly improve their understanding of their body. Additionally, it can also promote users to be more aware about their lifestyle choices.
It’s clear to see that the Oura smart ring is an investment. If you ever want to buy it, you might need to wait for it to go on sale or watch out for an Oura Ring coupon code. However, as we grow more conscious about our health, the Oura Ring can easily be a worthwhile investment leading up to a healthy lifestyle.