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The Oura Ring Has Been Tracking My Every Move For Two Months: Is It Worth $299?

The world of fitness trackers began with the humble Fitbit, graduated to oximeter-armed Apple Watches and now the crème de la crème is the 3rd Generation Oura Ring. This slim, chic ring-style health tracker that’s worn by professional athletes and health-conscious folks alike starts at a whopping $299, but is it worth that much? We were skeptical, so we spent two months testing it to see if it lived up to the hype.

Read More: SPY Apple Watch Series 8 Review

It touts being able to give you more in-depth and accurate information about your sleep, activity and recovery with a smaller device, and the stylish rings are equipped with multiple biometric sensors that are able to track everything from your body temperature to your respiratory rate, heart rate variability and resting heart rate. It’s impressive, and a product I will definitely continue to use long after this review.

Keep reading to find my full breakdown of everything this device can do, what it does well and, most importantly, what you should keep in mind before you invest. The long and short of it? If you’re going to put any money towards a fitness tracker, make it this ring. The Oura Ring Gen3 is worth every penny if you’re a health data nerd.

John Velasco | SPY
2023 HEALTH investment

Starting at $299.00

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The Oura Ring Gen3 is an upgrade beyond previous versions through the addition of two new LED sensors designed to more accurately track telling metrics including blood oxygen levels and average heart rate. It comes in two styles — Horizon, a geometric shape with edges, and Heritage which is a classic round ring. Both come with all the specs below in eight different sizes. The one that I tested, pictured above, is the Horizon style in Rose Gold.

Pros

  • Very impressive, accurate health data tracking
  • In-depth sleep tracking of all four stages of sleep and amount of time spent in each
  • Sleek, stylish design
  • User-friendly app
  • Easy to charge
  • Dependable battery life
  • Comes in two styles and up to five different colors

Cons

  • Can only log a small number of physical activities — walk, run or cycle
  • Difficult to lift weights while wearing
  • Easier to lose than a wrist-style fitness tracker
  • Very expensive price tag

Specifications
DimensionsWidth: 7.9 millimeters, Thickness: 2.55 millimeters
Weight4-6 grams, lighter than conventional ring
BluetoothBluetooth Low-Energy (Bluetooth Smart)
Water ResistanceUp to 100 meters
Battery LifeUp to 7 days, full charge in 20-80 minutes
MaterialsDurable titanium with PVD coating
Today’s DealsStarting at $299 From Oura Ring

Spy Senior Commerce Editor Taylor Galla using the Oura Ring in her home gym Taylor Galla | SPY

Oura Ring Design

The Oura Ring is designed very well and to the untrained eye looks just like any other piece of jewelry. It has a thick design, but the shiny exterior doesn’t stick out too much and it’s much lighter than I was expecting given its impressive technological capabilities. You wear it on your ring finger for most accurate results, with the sensors oriented underneath your finger rather than on top where your knuckle is.

If you look closer, however, you’ll notice what differentiates it from any other gold or silver ring you’d pick up as a Christmas gift for her. It has an extensive collection of sensors built into it, some of which you can see if you peer inside the ring itself.

The Oura Ring sensors include:

  • Green LEDs — To sense heart rate and heart rate variability
  • Red LEDs — For sensing blood oxygen levels
  • Infrared Photoplethysmography (PPG) Sensors — For gathering data on the cardiovascular system
  • Negative Temperature Coefficient Sensors — For accurately detecting skin temperature
  • Photodiodes
  • 3D Accelerometer

All of this combines to give you a pretty extensive look at your health profile on any given day, hour and even minute.


John Velasco | SPY

Using The Oura Ring

The Oura Ring is very comfortable to wear and has become a normal part of my daily getup while causing very little friction. It’s thick and can get a little snug if your fingers swell or uncomfortable if you don’t dry underneath it after washing your hands or getting them wet, but overall the design is definitely conducive to comfortable long-term use.

The Oura Ring tracks everything automatically and there’s no need to turn it on or off. The battery life lasts up to 7 days which was verified for me when I forgot my charger on a cross-country trip and didn’t charge it for a week. It was still working when I got back,but I got a notification that I should charge it before bed that evening.

The Oura Ring doesn’t vibrate or make any noise as everything you learn from it happens in the app. Occasionally at night I’ve seen lights from the green or red LED sensors, but that’s the only indication that it’s awake that I’ve noticed during use.

The Oura Ring App

The Oura Ring app is beautiful, and delivers a massive amount of health data in a user-friendly, palatable way that doesn’t feel intimidating. It breaks down your overall health picture into three larger pillars: Readiness, Sleep and Activity.

Screenshots from SPY Senior Commerce Editor Taylor Galla’s Oura Ring app Taylor Galla | SPY, Oura

Readiness

“Readiness” is the Oura Ring’s way of telling you how ready you are for the day. Each day you get a “Readiness Score” on a scale of 1-100 that informs how much activity your body is prepped for and how you should expect to perform that day. Your score is informed by how high or low your resting heart rate is, which is an indicator of recovery. A higher resting heart rate typically means your body is still working to process something from the day before — be it one too many drinks, a late-night heavy meal, an intense workout or even excessive stress.

Readiness is also informed by other metrics like your heart rate variability, body temperature fluctuations and your respiratory rate. I’ve definitely noticed that the days after a night of drinking or a very rich meal produce a much lower readiness score than my average balanced weeknight.

Another app screenshot showing Sleep data on the Oura Ring app Taylor Galla | SPY, Oura

Sleep

The Oura Ring’s sleep tracking is the element I was most excited to try out during my Oura Ring review, as I had heard it was impressive and much more accurate than other sleep trackers. Also, let’s be honest, an Apple Watch is pretty uncomfortable to sleep in, rendering it an inconvenience to use for that purpose from the get go.

I barely notice my Oura Ring when I’m in bed, making it an ideal way to gather data on what happens after you drift off.

The Oura Ring doesn’t just track how much sleep you get and how much time you spend in bed, it also tallies up how much time you spend in each sleep stage: Awake, REM, Light Sleep and Deep Sleep. It also calculates your sleep efficiency by comparing how much time you spend in bed versus how much time you spend actually asleep, as well as your resting heart rate and respiratory rate. It can detect if you experience any breathing disruptions while sleeping and calculates your “sleep latency,” or how long it takes you to fall asleep.

Taylor Galla | SPY, Oura

Activity

The Oura Ring can also track your daily activity, albeit differently than an Apple Watch or a FitBit. You don’t manually start or end a workout on an Oura Ring, it automatically detects when you workout and you label it after the fact in the app. They only have in-depth information gathering for a few workout styles: cycling, walking and running, but you can label other workouts from a long list of options in order to meet your daily goals.

The Oura Ring also gives you an “Activity Score” based on how balanced your rest and activity are, both that day and over the previous 7 days. It gives you notifications when it’s time to move and you’ve been too sedentary, and it also calculates how ideal your Training Frequency, Training Volume and Recovery Time is.

The Oura Ring also has an “Explore” tab with meditations and breathing exercises as well as instructional videos on sleep, stress and other metrics within the app.

If you’re a person who loves quantifiable data, especially pertaining to your health, you could spend hours exploring the Oura app. Note: Ring requires a $5.99/month membership, which isn’t an insignificant cost given the upfront cost of the ring itself.


SPY Senior Commerce Editor Taylor Galla wearing the Oura Ring and grasping a barbell Taylor Galla | SPY

Who The Oura Ring Is For

One of my biggest hangups with the Oura Ring actually has nothing to do with the Ring itself, but rather a slight qualm with data-driven devices like this in general. In order to get the MOST out of this device, you need to be a disciplined person whose going to log into the app every day and log workouts, note sleep quality and take the initiative to learn as much as possible. The Ring is not going to make you healthier or more recovered just by wearing it. This might seem obvious, but I think it’s worth mentioning before we get caught up in the shiny features and sleek look.

I tried to make it a habit to log onto the app every few days and track my progress, but it took effort. If you’re the kind of person who adores data, adopts new habits easily and for whom this type of information is fascinating, you’ll love the Oura. If you’re not naturally inclined to gather as much information as possible, and would rather just hear the gist (like me) then you’ll still get a lot out of it, but it’ll take more work.


A close-up shot of SPY Senior Commerce Editor Taylor Galla wearing the Oura Ring John Velasco | SPY

Sizing + Buying The Oura Ring

Buying the Oura Ring takes a few steps, as initially you have to figure out your Oura Ring size through a kit they send you. They’re not regular ring sizes, and you definitely don’t want to skip this step as you’ll be wearing it every day. The ring needs to fit snuggly, with no extra room on any side, both so the sensors work properly and you don’t lose it. I found my ring size easily and while it does fluctuate slightly based on how swollen my fingers are, I’ve never questioned whether I got the right size or not.

After that, you’ll choose your style and color between silver, black, stealth, gold and rose gold (only available in the Heritage style).

The first month of your app and Oura membership is included with your purchase and it’s $5.99/month after that.


The Oura Ring’s inner monitors as well as the “Oura Gen3” brand label on the inner ring John Velasco | SPY

Oura Ring Review Verdict: Should You Buy It?

The Oura Ring is one of the best devices I’ve tested in a long time, both in terms of its design, usability and quality. It’s a niche health data product that goes above and beyond what the average person needs to know about their health (we’ll leave that for annual doctor’s checkups). But, if you’re interested in a thorough picture of how your body and mind are doing on a daily basis, it’s far superior to any health tracker I’ve tried.

Not only is a ring much more comfortable to wear than a wrist wearable, especially at night, but the data is much more accurate. I haven’t reviewed the newest WHOOP band yet (more on that coming soon!) but the last one I reviewed gave me lackluster information I didn’t find helpful in improving daily wellbeing habits.

Read More: SPY WHOOP Band Review

If it’s within your price range and you’re a person who loves health data I can’t think of a better way to spend your money. If you struggle to sleep but hate wearing your smartwatch to bed, the Oura Ring is much more rest-friendly and gives you even better data.

I was given a sample unit to review of this expensive product, but this is 100% something I would buy for myself, a review I rarely give products I test.

Courtesy of Oura

Starting at $299.00

Buy Now

The Oura Ring in the Heritage style in black.