Oura Ring Review and Fitbit Comparison
A new tracker was not even on my radar until I saw The Paleo Mom talk about the Oura Ring on Instagram in March or April of 2018. She was offering a $100 off coupon code which piqued my interest. Then I saw the company was Finnish and that sealed the deal. I love the Finns and their work ethic and I knew they would manufacture a superior product. After I ordered it I listened to a few different podcasts about sleep and heard it mentioned a few times by “sleep elites” who called it a premier sleep tracker. That excited me because I am very interested in sleep maintenance and sleep optimization. I consider sleep optimization as important as diet optimization when it comes to controlling my Multiple Sclerosis with diet and lifestyle.
Once I ordered the Oura ring I took my Fitbit off not knowing it would take six months for my Oura Ring to arrive (current lead times are more like eight weeks). Taking my Fitbit off turned out to be very liberating. I’ve compared the Fitbit in the past to a calculator watch from the 80’s. It looks just like one and you know that trackers are going to get more refined as the technology gets better, just like a calculator watch. In other words, it’s clunky. I was glad to be rid of the Fitbit for reasons aside from aesthetics. No matter how much I worked on my sleep the work did not translate to the Fitbit sleep tracker results. When I set the Fitbit sleep tracker to “more sensitive” my results were very dismal. It was starting to stress me out. So, taking it off was a relief. Not tracking for six months was so great that by August I wasn’t sure if I wanted to track at all any more. That made waiting for the ring a lot more bearable! I’m teasing a bit when I complain about the lead time. Oura did a very good job of keeping me updated about shipping estimates and I understand about supply delays.
Let me start off by reviewing the physical characteristics of the ring. I have been wearing the ring for ten days. Long enough to wear it in a lot of different conditions and long enough to get a feel for the battery life. Oura Ring does not have a display on the ring so it does not compare to the Fitbit when it comes to features like keeping time, text or call alerts, stopwatch, anything that requires a display. It is very attractive and I have gotten a few compliments on it as jewelry from people who do not know it is a tracker. I have the rose gold heritage (currently sold out) and it is quite shiny and looks like more than costume jewelry and almost like real gold. The first three days I wore it on my dominant hand pointer finger. I then switched it to the opposite hand’s ring finger. These are the two fingers I use for the ring. When I initially switched hands I noticed it caused a bruise at the inner base of my pointer finger. It was not painful but it was a bruise. There was no bruising on my ring finger and when I switched back to my pointer finger there was no more bruising after that first one. The ring fits perfectly. It has never slid off or gotten stuck. Oura has a good system in place for proper sizing, they send you a plastic tracker in different sizes and you choose which size is most comfortable after wearing the plastic ring for a few days to a week. I use heavy barbells and dumbbells with the ring at the gym with no trouble. In 10 days I have worn it horseback riding and fishing with no trouble. I have very long hair and it has not gotten caught in my hair. I charge the ring when I am in the shower. In ten days I have put it on the charger twice for about a half an hour each time. Those are the only times I have charged it.
Here is why I prefer the Oura Ring to the Fitbit mentally. The Oura Ring analyzes your sleep, heart rate variability and body temperature in order to give you a daily “readiness score” that lets you know how ready your body is to perform. The closer to 100 the better but I am happy with anything above 85. After a week of using the ring I felt remarkably less stressed about my lifestyle. My sleep is great. my activity level is great and the Oura Ring lets me know. The Fitbit always left me feeling like I should be doing more because it was only giving me somewhat accurate raw data. It was not analyzing the data for me which some people may prefer. Another thing the Oura Ring does that my Fitbit didn’t do at the time (it may have this feature now) is send me an alert when I should move. Not sprint, not exercise, just move. I love that since I get caught up in my work during the day and need reminders to take a break from my computer and walk around. One thing the ring did that really impressed me was detect a hangover despite my sleep stats and activity stats being optimal. I went to a late afternoon party where I drank alcohol. I was asleep by 8:45 P.M., slept 7.5 hours, I had gone to the gym that day and my HRV was optimal. The next morning I only had a readiness score of 72 with the message “are you feeling alright?” The ring knew I was not feeling alright because I was hungover. It said specifically that my resting body temperature was higher than normal, that’s why it was asking. That impressed me!
I give the Oura Ring high marks. It is attractive and accurate. I have absolutely no buyer’s remorse. I am very impressed with the design of the app and the battery life. I’m very happy I switched from the Fitbit and decided to continue tracking my sleep and activity. This ring contributes to controlling my MS with diet and lifestyle by letting me track important lifestyle factors like sleep and heart rate variability. I highly recommend it.