NYLON Tried It

An Honest Review of Oura Smart Ring, Hollywood’s Favorite Sleep Tracker

Don’t sleep on this one.

I woke up this morning 71% ready for the day, having a 79% satisfactory night of sleep after a 78% day of activity. If this sounds like alien speak to you, you are not a user of the Oura Smart Ring — and that needs to change.

In full disclosure: I first heard of the Oura ring from Kim Kardashian’s Instagram. Back in August 2021, Kardashian posted a screenshot of what looked like a futuristic pie chart, boasting about her 94% readiness score (what?) and “optimal” 95% sleep score after 9.5 solid hours of sleep (jealous). Immediately Gwyneth Paltrow entered the chat (her wellness bat signal must have been activated), suggesting the two start a challenge of who could get better scores. Other known users who could potentially join in: Jimmy Kimmel, who then gifted a ring to Jennifer Aniston; Miranda Kerr, who included it on her holiday gift guide last year; even Prince Harry has been spotted wearing one. So, yes, celebrities are wearing them. But what exactly does one do?

Founded in 2013, Oura boasts itself as the “the world’s best sleep tracker.” Looking at the plain gold band — also available in silver, black, “stealth,” a matte gray-black, and rose gold — you might be wary that this delivers precise, routine-tracking updates to improve both your sleep and daily energy levels. And yet, it totally does. In the simplest terms, the ring uses sensors to track a variety of health metrics related to sleep: your body temperature, resting heart rate, activity levels, etc. It then provides you with daily scores each morning in three categories. First, there is sleep, based on how long you spent in each sleep stage, and your body signals like temperature and heart rate. Readiness, which takes into consideration over 20 different body signals — including temperature, heart rate, HRV, and sleep — to tell you how ready you are for the day ahead. Finally, there is an activity score that tracks your heart rate and activity levels to make sure you’re giving your body enough recovery time.

For the past five months, the first thing my weary eyes see each morning are those three things. I’ve come to wake up excited to see how I did the night before, how much REM vs. deep sleep I got, what factors may have affected it — wine, as it turns out, is not great for sleep quality. During the day, I practically forget it exists, save for the sporadic notification suggesting it might be time to stretch my legs, and as someone still working mostly from home, I welcome the reminder. Unlike other wearable wellness devices, this one is a chameleon, hiding perfectly amongst my other daily rings. The only callout I’ve ever gotten was by my friend’s very smart five year old, who on multiple occasions has noticed it and asked in panic if I’ve gotten married and didn’t tell her (she’s afraid of being passed over for flower girl duties).

Beyond the actual physical ring, I love how effortless the interface is, allowing me to go as surface level or deep as I want. You simply download the app, which connects to your ring wirelessly, and it’s all there. Each morning is like a concise book report of my sleep. The app also has additional offerings, such as guided meditations and quick videos on how various factors, such as caffeine or room temperature, can affect your score. Over the course of my time using the app, it continues to add in new features regularly, including the Oura Circles feature, announced on Thursday, which allows you to share your daily stats with other friends using the app.

Is the app perfect? Of course not. For some reason, it seems to think my ideal bedtime is 7 p.m. — but maybe it knows something I don’t? The price is also on the higher end, with the most basic model going for $299 and a required $5.99 monthly membership fee after the first month. But when you consider that this doubles as a piece of jewelry, the sticker shock goes down a bit. And as for the membership fees — what’s $5.99 for a little treat every morning when you wake up? Cut out one fancy coffee each month and call it even. Your sleep score will thank you for it.

The Oura ring is available for purchase on Ouraring.com.