Oura Ring Review: Is It Worth It?

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Jun 12, 2020

The Oura ring is a wellness device that claims to track critical signals that your body sends out so that you can make the right decisions for better health.

This sleek ring is embedded with tracking devices that monitor your heart rate overnight and during restful parts of the day to give you insight into your autonomic nervous system activity.

Each morning, the ring summarizes this data into three numbers that are displayed in the accompanying app, which should help you make decisions during the day for better health.

Pros
  • Classy, discrete ring designs at a variety of price points
  • Simple app, but lots of data
  • Battery should last a week
  • Value of insight increases the longer you wear it
Cons
  • The ring might be easily scratched
  • Not recommended for use at the gym
  • Some customer complaints that it stopped working after a few months
  • Your daily report might negatively impact your mood and stop you from performing your best

Features

The Oura ring works to measure your resting heart rate while you sleep and during quiet parts of the day. It does so by detecting changes in your Blood Pulse Volume (PPG) through two infrared LEDs that monitor the arteries on the finger.

It also contains NTC temperature sensors, a gyroscope, and an accelerometer that capture continuous measurements like your heart rate, step count, temperature, and more.

The ring works with mobile devices that run iOS 11.0 or later or Android 6.0 or later (see if your device is compatible here). Pairing it with the accompanying app is essential, as there isn’t any other way to monitor your health data.

It’s best to wear the ring while sleeping, at which point it will register your body temperature reading every minute. It tracks your body temperature changes over time to give you a sense of your personal baseline and when you’re deviating from it.

The Oura ring connects to your phone through Bluetooth, though you only need to have it connect when you want a data update. The ring can store data for up to six weeks without syncing with the app.

It is made from lightweight titanium and is water-resistant to 100 meters. You can expect it to last up to a week per charge.

Though the ring’s material is designed for durability, some users noted that it developed light, hairline scratches after a few weeks of use. The sensors should stay safe, as your finger protects them while you wear it.

Even so, Oura recommends against wearing the ring while weight lifting or during other activities that put it in contact with metal that could scratch it.

We talked to Monisha Bhanote, a triple board-certified physician, who had been wearing the Oura ring for about six weeks. She shared with us that she loved the ring’s design and how unobtrusive it was to wear while working, but what sold her on it was the extensive valuable information she received while wearing it.

Specifically, she appreciated how the app’s readiness rating gave her information about how her body was handling stress. It helped her know whether she was putting herself at risk of cardiovascular disease or anxiety and depression and whether she needed to take time to practice mindfulness techniques like meditation.

“I would recommend OURA for personal tracking as it gives you very insightful information,” she shared. “It is a little bit more on the pricier end of trackers, but it also has a very easy to use app, requires no plugging in, and is very simple to use, with lots of data points.”

Understanding Your Daily Scores

Every day, the Oura ring will give you three scores related to your sleep, readiness, and activity. The readiness score will be displayed when you first open the app, and you can swipe to see the other score right after.

Sleep

The Oura ring gives you insight into your sleep quality by sharing data about your deep, REM, and light sleep percentages, as well as how quickly you fell asleep and what your heart rate did over time. These are factored together to give you a sleep score out of 100.

Along with this number, the app will share your total sleep time, the percentage of time you spent asleep after going to bed, whether you were peaceful or restless while sleeping, and how long it took you to fall asleep initially. It will also suggest optimal times for going to bed to improve your rating going forward.

Readiness

The Oura ring will access your sleep, activity, and recovery information to give you a number calculated out of 100 that indicates how hard you can push yourself that day.

It looks at your resting heart rate throughout the night to see if you’re getting in enough recovery, measures your heart rate variability to monitor your stress levels, and assesses how your activity levels over several days have affected your current energy level.

A high number means that it’s a great day to put in a killer workout, while a lower number is an indication that you might want to take it easy.

Activity

Your daily activity ranking looks at your short and long term trends to give you insight on your movement levels.

By monitoring your step account, recovery time, and training frequency, it can provide you with feedback on whether you’re ready to kick things up a notch or if it’s time to take things slower.

Pricing and Return Policy

Oura currently sells two styles of ring, both of which have the same technological capabilities. You can choose between the Balance style, which is a smooth ring with a slight crest at the top, or the Heritage design, which is a smooth ring with a flat top.

Both come in a variety of color options and price points, ranging from $299 for standard models to $999 for a Balance ring inlaid with diamonds.

To ensure you get the right ring fit, Oura suggests that you request a free ring sizing kit. This kit includes eight ring sizers (size 6-13), and you are meant to wear your preferred size for at least 24 hours to ensure it works. It’s your choice which finger you want to use.

Once you know your size, you can order the appropriate ring. Expect to pay about $15 for shipping.

Oura allows you to return any fully functional Oura product within 30 days of receiving it for any reason, though shipping fees won’t be refunded.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

18 customers have left reviews for the Oura Ring on our site, for the average rating of 2.3 stars. The app fairs better on Google Play, where it averages 4.1 stars after close to 1,500 reviews. Below are the main takeaways.

Common Compliments:

  • Detailed daily records
  • An excellent way to track energy levels
  • Customer service was quick to address issues
  • Accurate sleep tracking
  • Sizing kit made it easy to order the right ring size
  • Accurately predicted when some users were getting sick, told them to make it easy a few days beforehand

Common Complaints:

  • Some customers never received their orders
  • Cheap quality, only worked when paired with a phone
  • Some users got locked out of their accounts with password difficulties
  • Rings worked okay for six months before breaking
  • Some users found the readiness scores discouraging (if they felt great but got a low score, then they felt less motivated to exercise as planned)

Oura Ring vs. Fitbit

If you’re interested in the Oura ring, odds are you’ve considered Fitbit, the most popular wellness tracker on the market.

Fitbit is worn as a watch rather than a ring. The brand offers a variety of designs, but all include a screen that will display basic information at a minimum about your health stats.

Many people like this because it means they don’t need to check the app for data continuously, but it also means that it’s more obvious to everyone else you’re wearing a fitness tracker. And while it’s normal to wear multiple rings, expect to get some strange looks if you wear two watches.

Second, these devices serve slightly different functions. Fitbit emphasizes activity tracking, as most models include multiple activity modes and include GPSs. Oura, in contrast, is focusing on your sleep quality and the way it relates to your overall wellbeing.

While the Oura ring contains more sensors than Fitbit, it’s not as versatile for activity tracking for the simple reason that you shouldn’t wear it for most gym activities like lifting or contact sports. However, the ring can track your body temperature, which is a valuable indicator of your overall wellness level.

Fitbit watches range from $70 to $200. That’s a savings compared to Oura, which starts at $300.

Overall, your decision between these two may come down to data accessibility vs unobtrusiveness. If you want a device you can wear all day or night without thinking about it, Oura will quietly monitor your stats in the background.

If you prefer a device you can interact with in real-time, then a Fitbit will give you all the data you desire right on your wrist.

The Bottom Line

The Oura ring offers a novel approach to wellness tracking with a discrete design, relatively long battery life, and feature-rich app. It can give you lots of insight into your sleep levels and should help you know when it’s time to slow down for your physical and mental health.

However, it’s not without limitations. The ring is more expensive than competitor Fitbit, and it’s comparatively limited in functionality because you can’t use it for all workouts. There are also some user complaints about cheap material and short lifespan.

It’s also important not to read too much into the data you get from wellness trackers. They’re giving you only their best guess on your health and are clearly missing cues that you or your doctor are likely to notice.

If you feel great and want to go hard at the gym, but the ring tells you to take it easy, we suggest going with your gut over this algorithm,

Overall, the Oura ring makes sense for anyone who wants a relatively fashionable way to collect more data about their habits.


Customer Reviews

Start your review of Oura Ring:
  • 18 Customer Reviews
  • 28% Recommend This Product
2.3 out of 5
5 star: 22% 4 star: 5% 3 star: 5% 2 star: 16% 1 star: 50%

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  • Ring showed very thin crack, damaged the skin on my finger!

    • By Wendy,
    • California,
    • Apr 22, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Sorry, I don't have another way to inform this company that my Oura Ring seriously damaged the skin on my finger. It's been healing since the end of March and still isn't completely healed. Others should be warned about this. I hope I will get an email from Oura to discuss this issue. It's troubling not to have a way to contact the company.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Basic sleep tracking not accurate

    Overall Experience:

    I've been wearing my Ring for a little over a week and have found the data to be very questionable. The sleep tracking is obviously not accurate since it seems to log all prone time as asleep. This morning I woke at 4:15 am and went to the bathroom and never went back to sleep, but the Ring indicates I slept again before getting out of bed for good. This is pretty common, so I don't have any trust in the measurements the Ring is reporting.

    I also find the activity tracking suspect and sometimes the Ring doesn't even transfer data to the phone. This device is definitely not ready for prime time. It's a shame because I really like the idea of self-quantification and how it can help.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Pathetic customer service

    • By Robert M.,
    • Dallas, TX,
    • Jun 25, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Buyer beware. Customer service is atrocious and non-responsive. I placed an order for a black ring and later wanted to change it to silver. Not a hard request. I sent notes per the email order confirmation to both their order and service email addresses. Numerous attempts - NOT ONE SINGLE response. Yes, I checked my junk mail. They just go radio silent. IF this is customer service for someone trying to buy the ring, buyer beware of afterward, if you need support.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Paid in full on 8/4/2018, still no ring on 12/20/18.

    • By Patricia H.,
    • North Carolina,
    • Jan 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    When I bought the ring through PayPal on 8/4/18, my anticipated shipping date was 9/30/18. Halfway through September, the date was revised to 10/30/18, and halfway through October, it was revised to 11/30/18. On December 1st, I got an email announcing that my anticipated shipping date was yesterday, and 13% of the units in my group had already been shipped, which made no sense. When I contacted Oura on December 1st, they told me that a "realistic" shipping date was 1/4/19.

    At that point, I filed a complaint through PayPal, because my option to receive a refund through PayPal expires at six months. Pekka replied to my email and said that my PayPal complaint had put my order on hold. He asked me to cancel my dispute. On reading PayPal's dispute terms, I discovered that if I canceled my dispute, I could not later file another dispute for not receiving the item. So naturally, I asked him to address my PayPal dispute through PayPal. He did not respond that email, nor did he respond through PayPal to my dispute.

    Two weeks later, on 12/20/18, PayPal refunded my $264. At that point, Pekka sent me an email stating, "Unfortunately, PayPal decided in your favor."

    So in short, I gave Oura an interest-free loan of $264 for 4 and 1/2 months.

    I believe this is the sort of behavior one might expect from a company that is either (a) shady, or (b) foundering.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Ring kaput, company MIA

    • By Lia K.,
    • Victor, ID,
    • Feb 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I ordered the ring in September, arrived in December (I was patient with this).

    It would not charge. I reached tech support a few days later. Charged, worked for one week, stopped working. Would not connect to the app.

    No response from tech support for 3 WEEKS.

    Then, reconnecting and working for four days until failing again. All data lost.

    No response from the company, still several more weeks later.

    Patience gone; contesting fee through credit card. I really wanted this to work.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Not ready for market

    • By Anthony W.,
    • Albuquerque, NM,
    • Apr 27, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Have now had two rings and had numerous issues with both. The concept and design of the ring are fantastic, too bad the end result is so frustrating. The first ring seemed to work OK for about 6 months. I did have a few days of problems setting it up to sync at first. The data recovered was somewhat adequate (I am also using a Samsung watch, and a Fitbit for comparison). The OURA Bluetooth failed at about the 6-month mark. OURA service had me go through a month of trying different fixes, including banging it on the counter. OURA didn't seem to get it when I explained that seven different Bluetooth devices didn't detect the ring. OURA finally sent me a replacement ring, but it won't transfer data and is only detectable randomly. I really feel this product isn't ready for market.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Do not buy

    • By D W.,
    • United Kingdom,
    • Jun 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Bought the silver ring, but when it arrived, it looked nothing like the picture. It looks like a tin foil plastic toy ring. You also have to have location on your phone all of the time to use it.

    I have tried sending it back but they are ignoring my emails.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Trash product

    • By Peter M.,
    • Home,
    • Jul 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Ring arrived today.

    Have downloaded the app to my phone, however, Google will not allow you to use the app without first signing up with them. I have no intention of signing up to anything by this corrupt organization.

    Unfortunately, Oura does not provide the app on their website. Without the app, this product is completely useless as there is no way to retrieve the data.

    It is not possible to contact Oura as they do not provide telephone support. I have e-mailed them but from what I have read there is little chance that they will reply.

    £350 wasted on a useless piece of plastic junk!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Scam

    • By Kelly C.,
    • Portland, OR,
    • Nov 18, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    My husband ordered this ring over a month ago and DHL delivery service said it was delivered, but my husband never received his ring! You would think that Oura would deliver another one...but no! 300 dollars down the drain. If you order this ring, you may not get it and the company will do nothing!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Activity and sleep data issues

    • By Bob Rudell,
    • Minnesota,
    • May 7, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I was a Kickstarter backer of Oura and had high hopes for it. Now that Oura has shut down their forums, there is no place to provide feedback directly to them. The biggest issue with Oura is that the activity intensity is NOT captured accurately; consequently, the Activity and Readiness scores suffer from "garbage in/garbage out."

    After a recent firmware update, I pulled my Oura out of the box to see if it had improved its activity monitoring. My data over this two week period with ten intense workouts (averaging one hour on an elliptical with average heart rate of 134 and average max heart rate of 161. I'm a 68-year-old male with a calculated max heart rate of 152) were all recorded as "medium" by Oura.

    Walking my dog for 20 minutes was actually rated higher on Oura's activity scale than my elliptical workouts! The Activity and Readiness percent do not appear to bear any correlation to the activities I actually engage in. The Activity percent was actually HIGHER on the four days I did not do my intense workout, and the Readiness percent was unchanged. Go figure. I cannot recommend Oura for anyone whose active workouts are not captured by Oura's accelerometer. It won't capture static activities like bike riding, ellipticals or even yoga. Dog walking it does capture!

    Oura fares better on the sleep measures which I compared to the recent sleep data added to Fitbit. Over the same two week period, Oura averaged five hours 35 minutes of sleep and Fitbit averaged 5:42 (I don't need much sleep).

    The breakdowns by Deep, REM, Light, and Awake time were another matter. Awake time was pretty equal, averaging 47 minutes with Oura to 45 with Fitbit, and Deep sleep time was not too far off at 26 with Oura, and 46 with Fitbit. The REM and Light sleep times were quite disparate; Oura REM at one hour, 55 minutes average, Fitbit at 1:17, Light sleep time was 3:13 with Oura and 3:39 with Fitbit. So the total REM/Light was pretty close between the two devices at 5:08 Oura and 4:57 with Fitbit. So there is clearly a difference in the algorithms used to track the different sleep categories.

    For me, Oura is going back in the box as it simply is a LOUSY activity tracker that gives bad data in its Activity and Readiness measures. And as a Sleep tracker (which was one of the touted features of Oura), it's data is directionally accurate but hard to trust since they don't provide any idea how it is calculated. I will rely on my Fitbit Blaze. It is a cheaper, better activity tracker with sleep data that is similarly directionally accurate.

    It's too bad. Oura is a great concept that simply can't deliver due to its inability to track the most important input to its data; the intensity of your activities.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Doesn't last long

    Overall Experience:

    I've had my Ring for four weeks, and it's already cracked. It worked for a few days after I cracked it, then became sporadic and finally quit working within 24 hours. I cracked the Ring doing burpees. I read several in depth reviews online indicating it was the best tracker for fitness training, including CrossFit. I would strongly discourage using this Ring while doing any such activities.

    It is waterproof, which is why I bought it, now I wished I'd have waited and saved more money for the Apple Watch Series 2 and the Beddit sleep monitor. I will say I do prefer the inactivity monitor over the Stand rings on the Apple Watch but found the stats on the Readiness Screen of the Oura Ring to be useless. There is no way to delete and download the data, and they supposedly work into the algorithm to calculate your readiness for activity, but I was under the impression I'd be able to monitor body temperature better not just of an average. The labels are so small, and the increments are so close together you can't really decipher any details on the data.

    Anyhow, that's my two cents, but you'd have to decide what you really want to use it for. I'm active and use my hands a lot. I don't recommend it for people like me.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


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