Sharing my thoughts and full review of the Oura Ring. Pros, cons, sleep tracking, fit, and is it worth it?
If you see me out and about right now (jk, we don’t go anywhere) you’ll see me sporting some intense bling: my new Oura ring.
(Ok not really *bling* but it’s a giant ring!)
After hearing so many rave reviews about the Oura ring, I finally decided to give it a try. I’ve been listening to Superhuman on Audible, and Dave Asprey is a huge fan (and now investor) of the company, and Dr. Minkoff also said he loves his Oura ring when I interviewed him for the podcast. I decided to go for it and was so pumped when it arrived last week!
What is the Oura ring and how does it work?
The Oura ring measures blood volume and uses this info to calculate respiratory rate, heart rate, and heart rate variability
Time of day
From here, it also collects data regarding sleep, including your heart rate variability, time in bed, time asleep, and the stages of sleep (deep sleep, light sleep, etc.).
The things that really convinced me to order the ring is that it can be an excellent tool for improving sleep and performance. It gives you a “readiness score” each morning depending on your sleep and how you recovered from the previous day’s activity. You can use this information to notice habits that affect how you recover and how you feel, and also know when it’s a good day to push yourself and when it’s a good time to scale back.
Here’s what the ordering process is like:
You order and pay for the ring, but before you receive the actual ring, you receive a sizing kit in the mail. The sizing kit recommends picking a sample plastic ring and wearing it for 24 hours before determining your size, since our fingers can swell during the day.
This part was a little tricky for me because my fingers are small. I wear a size 4.5 on my ring finger and the smallest size they offer is a 6. This one works even though it is a bit loose. Heads up: the Oura is large and in charge.
At the same time, it’s truly incredible that they packed this technology into a ring.
Here’s a full review of the Oura ring and what to expect:
Set-up: Setup was fairly easy. After selecting my size online, the actual ring arrived about 5 days later. Once you get the ring plugged in and the app set up on your phone, it’s very straightforward from here. I received the ring late afternoon and was excited to wear it to sleep and view my sleep stats.
App use: The app is incredible. It’s so easy to navigate and I was in nerd heaven with all of the data they provide. It’s really cool to see your heart rate variability while you’re sleeping. The app provides helpful tips based on your score (like why a certain number may be higher or lower than usual) and encourages you to alternate your workout intensities. (<— vs my apple watch which tells me to stop being lazy when I really need an off day.) For example, if my readiness score is low, it automatically sets a lower activity goal for that day, encouraging me to rest and recover.
– Readiness score (0-100). The readiness score is based on how well you slept, how well you’ve been sleeping in general, your body temperature, resting heart rate, previous day activity, activity balance, and recovery index (how your heart rate stabilizes throughout the night). When you click the readiness score, you can get detailed information on each component plus applicable tips. I can already tell that this will significantly help with my personal workouts. On a day that I had a 94 readiness score, I was feeling awesome and hopped on the Peloton bike. I got my first 30-minute PR in a LONG time!! (When you’ve had the bike for 2+ years, it gets harder and harder to set new records.)
– Sleep tracking. When you click your sleep score for the day (0-100), you get detailed info on total sleep, efficiency, restfulness, REM sleep, deep sleep, latency and timing. Just like the readiness score, you can click to get more information on sleep stages and resting heart rate throughout the night. This has been insightful for me and also proved what I already knew to be true: I sleep like a rockstar when Tom is home and sleep like trash when he’s traveling.
– The app syncs with your Apple Watch health app. For example, if do a barre workout but am not wearing the ring, my watch will send the data to my Oura app and I still get credit. I think this is amazing because I don’t think I’ll wear my ring for super heavy lifting workouts.
– Battery life and charging. The battery lasts about a week and charges extremely fast.
– Temperature tracking. This is an interesting component that can play a part in detecting sickness. Also, for women, it can be helpful for those who are tracking their temperature for their menstrual cycles. I’ve been tracking my cycle for about 10 years now so I know the second I ovulate lol but still an interesting addition to the ring.
– Size. TBH, I was disappointed when I pulled the ring out of the box because it’s so giant. I thought it would drive me bonkers, but after a day or so, I’m used to it. Also, the nice thing is that you don’t have to wear it all the time. They can collect more data if you do, but if you’re going out or dressed up, you can skip it. For now, it hasn’t been a problem to wear it 24/7.
– Step counter is off. I don’t find the step counter to be as accurate as my Apple watch, but that’s not really my purpose for owning an Oura ring.
– Price. At $299, it’s not a cheap fitness gadget. Do I think it’s worth the cost? It depends on your goals and budget. If you’re looking for a step counter and basic exercise tracker, I would go with a Fitbit or something similar. If you want to deep dive into your sleep and activity habits and make some changes, I highly recommend it.
– Data, but not as many recommendations. The data is only helpful if you know what to do with it. For example, if I have two giant glasses of wine before bed and my sleep rating is lower, I know that I need to stick to one glass and have it earlier in the evening. A heavy meal, too much screen time, and caffeine can all affect my sleep score, which in turn, affects my readiness score. You definitely have to pay attention to your day’s structure and see how it affects sleep, performance, and how you feel. The ring is there for guidance and information.
All in all, I’ve been extremely happy and in nerd heaven with the ring and all of the data. I feel like I’ve been smarter about my sleep and workouts, which was the goal. 🙂
Are you into wearable fitness gadgets? What’s your fave?
Note: this post is not sponsored and the ring wasn’t gifted. Just wanted to share my thoughts and review if anyone is considering adding it to their collection.