If you want better insight into the quality of sleep you’re getting, using one of the best sleep trackers can help. And depending on your preferences, they come in a wide variety of wearables from smartwatches to rings and even non-wearables you place under your mattress or bedding.
When deciding between the two, consider this: Wearable trackers usually offer more than just sleep monitoring. They can also tracking activity during the day, and some even calculate your oxygen levels. However, those who'd prefer not to be wearing a tracker on their wrist or fingers at night also have the option of non-wearable sleep trackers to monitor your sleep patterns. These non-wearables won't be able to double as an activity tracker during the day but if you don't mind the sleep-focused functionality, they're a great alternative.
“Most sleep tracking devices make some guesstimate as to how much you’re actually sleeping,” said Alan Schwartz, M.D., director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, in an interview published on HopkinsMedicine.org. However, they do “give you something to reflect on,” according to Schwartz, as long as you keep in mind that sleep trackers don’t measure your sleep precisely, and are best used to estimate how much you’re sleeping and help you recognize patterns. When it comes to poor quality sleep, though, it’s best to talk to a doctor.
To make the selection process easier, here’s my roundup of the best sleep trackers that you can be a great step to a better night's sleep.
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1. The Best Fitbit For Sleep Tracking
The Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch is one of the best wearable sleep trackers. This smartwatch can be worn 24/7 to track your activity during the day and sleep patterns at night. It monitors your heart rate, oxygen levels, time asleep, and restlessness. It'll even give you a ‘sleep score’ the next morning to better understand the quality of sleep you’re getting each night. There are also handy sleep tracking features like the time spent in light, deep, and REM sleep. There's even a feature that will figure out when in a 30-minute window, it'll be best for you to wake up. Plus, the watch has a six-day battery life between charges.
This tracker has built-in Amazon Alexa so you can get weather updates, set timers and alarms, and even control your other smart home devices with the sound of your voice. However, it doesn’t have the feature to talk back. With a sleep mode, though, you can set it so it won't send you notifications while you're in bed.
What fans say: “I felt the sleep scoring system was pretty accurate. I tested it for almost a week and the graph displaying for my sleep fit my experience. [...] The alarm feature is very useful. When the Versa 2 is tracking your sleep, it will find the best time to wake you up before you “actually” have to wake up.”
4. The Best Budget Sleep Tracker Watch
The Lintelek fitness tracker is a great budget-friendly option for sleep tracking. This smartwatch costs less than $30 bucks and can monitor your sleep and let you know when you have deep sleep, shallow sleep, and when you wake up. However, it can't provide oxygen level tracking. During the day, the watch keeps tabs on things like steps and heart rate. It also has a battery life of up to seven days, so you won't have to charge it too often. Many fans noted how comfortable it was to wear, but if you want tons of in-depth data, this might not be the best choice.
What fans say: “It counts steps, tracks runs/walks, monitors heartrate (though not continuously) [...] One press to loop through the menu, long press to stop/start an activity. It's also light enough for me to sleep with and track my sleep (although it's not very detailed).”
3. The Best Ring Sleep Tracker
The Wellue O2Ring oxygen tracker is a sleep-specific tracker that monitors oxygen levels, heart rate, and movement, and it has won raves from those with sleep apnea about the data they get from this wearable. Most impressively, if your oxygen level or heart rate ever fall outside of a range you set, this lightweight ring vibrates to wake you up. This ring also collects sleep pattern data and presents it to you in the form of a graphic sleep report, so it's easy for you to figure out the trends. However, the ring only lasts up to 14 hours between charges so you'll likely want to charge it every day.
What fans say: “I have moderate sleep apnea, and I’m using CPAP as a treatment. But the CPAP itself can’t monitor either the Oxygen level or the heart rate. Therefore, I decided to buy this O2Ring for that purpose. It’s easy to use, small and comfortable to wear while sleeping. It could also be easily connected to my iPhone to generate the graphic sleep report and trends of blood oxygen level condition, heart rate and motion, which is very helpful for me.”
4. The Best Non-Wearable Sleep Tracker
If you don’t want to wear anything to bed, the Beautyrest Sleeptracker Monitor is a great option. Simply place it under your mattress, and its sensors will monitor your heart rate, quality of sleep, REM sleep, and body movement. Plus, it monitors up to two sleepers separately and includes sleep coaching tips. This device can also be connected to Alexa devices. You won't have to worry about recharging this unit, since it always stays plugged in. However, it won't monitor oxygen levels.
What fans say: “I was skeptical that a sleep tracker sensor located 12-14 inches below my head under a pillow and multi-layer mattress could possibly work well, but this thing is impressive. It measures heart rate, breathing rate, and knows when you get off the bed. It breaks your sleep into three flavors: light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep. It's really cool to see from night to night how much of each you are getting. And the daily emails contain coaching tips.”
Also Great: An Apple Watch With A Sleep App
Although the Apple Watch Series 5 doesn’t come with a built-in sleep tracker, there are tons of sleep tracking apps that you can download to use with your Apple Watch to monitor your sleep patterns including the best-selling AutoSleep Tracker and the free Sleep Watch by Bodymatter.
Beyond sleep, this Apple Watch is feature-rich with a retina display, heart rate tracking, noise alerts, and more. Plus, you can stream your favorite songs, audiobooks, and podcast. It has a battery life of up to 18 hours.
What fans say: “Everything about this watch is wonderful. I went from the series one to this one (series five). There’s a major difference in speed as there should be. Very comfortable.”