Why We Like Them
Ōura is a wearable device (specifically a ring) that tracks resting heart rate and body temperature. Unlike most wearable tech on the market, it doesn’t track your activity — only your resting health.
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Oura Company Overview
This wearable tech is already widely recognized in Europe as one of the best devices to offer insight into your resting heart rate.
It provides three scores throughout the day (and night) that provide valuable data regarding your health: heart rate variability (HRV), sleep, and readiness scores.
HRV is calculated through rMSSD that can also offer data on your autonomic nervous system. It also offers resting heart rates and heart rate variability tracking through biofeedback breathing exercises through Oura’s app.
It detects changes in blood pulse volume (PPG) when you sleep through infrared LEDs placed on the sides of your fingers. This can offer insights regarding light, REM, and deep sleep cycles and the amount of quality sleep you get each night.
The Ōura ring may not be a physical activity tracker for workouts, it can offer insights into how your body balances activity and recovery times. It works with other apps, such as Google Fit and Apple Health, to provide a holistic view of your active and resting trends.
In addition to tracking your heart rate, it also takes your temperature while you sleep and offers information about variability over time.
The ring weighs less than .25 oz and is made of titanium. It’s water-resistant, and its charge can last up to one week. When you need to charge the Oura, it’s charged in under an hour.
Is Oura Right For You?
Oura has cornered a niche in the health app and wearable technology market: users who are more worried about resting heart rate and heart rate variability than active heart rate and variability.
Yet, this tech can also offer insights into the best times to exercise and perform the best exercises on any given day.
Oura is for anyone that wants to:
- Sleep better
- Get a better understanding of their sleep cycles
- Understand how heart rate and body temperature affect REM cycles
- Better balance sleep, activity, and recovery
- Maximize energy by participating in activities that support the body’s system each day
- Track body temperature trends over time
- Monitor general wellness and overall health through body temperature readings
- Access COVID-19 monitoring technology
- Track their steps
Is Oura Credible?
Oura was developed by sleep and health experts to optimize health through lifestyle changes. It’s known for its ultra-accurate sleep tracker (many fitness bands and smartphone health apps are often criticized for their inaccurate sleep trackers). That being said, it isn’t the same as getting hooked up to a polysomnography test at a lab.
According to Wired:
“A study by research institute SRI International that compared the ring to polysomnography (PSG), a diagnostic tool used in sleep labs, found that it could detect when the wearer was asleep with an accuracy of 96% but could only detect the different sleep stages with an average of around 60% accuracy.”
While the results aren’t considered as accurate as those of the PSG, it has one main benefit over the PSG: you won’t need to sleep in a lab or get hooked up to several machines to test your sleep cycles — one of the biggest complaints about heading to a lab for testing.
Other companies have tested out the Oura ring and reported:
“Oura — the only expert-vetted, ring-shaped tracker on the market — represents one of the most impressive, least-intrusive health trackers in terms of its design.” - New York Times.
“The Oura ring senses temperature, and it could be the beginning of a new wave of wearable health awareness in a time of the pandemic.” - CNET.
“If you want to get onto the bleeding edge of COVID-19 science — or just feel like geeking out on your body's data — the Oura might be a good place to start.” - GQ
Healthcare Conditions Treated by Oura
Oura specializes in monitoring your heart rate, HRV, and sleep cycles. Since it also tracks your body temperature trends, it can sometimes predict when you’re getting sick.
The most common types of conditions Oura treats include:
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Overconsumption of alcohol
Oura NOT Treat Some Conditions
Oura is currently filling a hole in the tech wearables market. Most devices available track active heart rates and exercises — not resting heart rates, heart rate variability, and temperature.
That being said, Oura is not a:
- Fitness band
- Band to be worn on the chest, arms, wrist, or ankle
- Device meant to be worn at the gym
Oura does not currently track:
- Active heart rates
While this device can track temperature variations in the body that may predict the likelihood of developing symptoms of diseases, viruses (such as COVID-19), it does not replace a doctor’s visit or a general practitioner.
If you believe you have symptoms of COVID-19 (or another condition), we recommend contacting an online doctor to discuss diagnosis and treatment options.
If you’re experiencing an emergency, call 911 immediately.
Pricing: How Much Does Oura Cost?
Currently, all Oura rings cost the same: $299. The company offers rings in a variety of colors and styles, including onyx, silver, matte, and crystal. Each ring can also be sized to fit practically any finger.
The current ring styles and costs are:
Heritage/plateau top detailing: $299
Balance/peak top detailing: $299
Each Oura ring order includes a:
- Oura ring
- Wireless ring charger
- USB charging cable
- Quick-start guide
Oura stands by its product and is so sure you’ll be happy with your purchase that all rings come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Simply return your undamaged Oura ring within 30 days for a full refund (minus shipping and handling fees).
What Do We Think About Oura?
We love how Oura has honed in on a hole in the wearable tech market by choosing to focus on overall health and resting heart rate — rather than active heart rate. We also love how the company has pivoted to detecting and preventing the spread of potential viruses and illnesses, such as COVID-19. The app’s newest feature, biofeedback breath training, completes the HRV cycle by showing users how to manage their heart rates through lifestyle changes.
If you want to get a better picture of your overall health, heart rate, sleep cycles, and HRV, we recommend checking out the Oura ring.