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The best sleep trackers you can buy in 2021
Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important factors in being healthy and happy. If you’re feeling tired lately or feel like you’re not getting enough shut-eye, a sleep tracker might be exactly what you need. We’ve rounded up the best sleep trackers to help you out.
Buying the right sleep tracker for your needs
Sleep trackers come in all different shapes and sizes — from familiar wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers to nightstand gadgets and pads you put under your mattress. Wearables usually track movement and heart rate, in addition to sleep stages (light, deep, REM) and time spent awake. Some bedside sleep trackers use echolocation to detect movement and breathing.
Over time, the collected data should give you an insight into how much you sleep, how long you spend in sleep stages, and if your breathing and heart rate are normal.
The best sleep trackers
- The Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 are the best sleep trackers for most people, thanks to their accurate sleep stage tracking and useful insights in the Fitbit app.
- The Withings ScanWatch is the best for sleep apnea detection. It’s one of the only wearables that can monitor for signs of sleep apnea, in fact.
- The Garmin Venu 2 is the best sleep tracker from Garmin. It’s the first Garmin device to come with sleep score functionality, powered by Garmin-owned Firstbeat.
- The Oura Ring 2 is a fantastic alternative wearable sleep tracker that provides accurate sleep tracking data.
- The Withings Sleep is the best non-wearable sleep tracker out there. Place it under your mattress, and forget about it!
- The Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) is the best bedside sleep tracker. While many other bedside sleep trackers are available, the Nest Hub doubles as a smart display with the Google Assistant.
Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3: The best sleep trackers
Recent Fitbit devices nail sleep tracking. The Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 are two of the best sleep trackers you can currently buy. They both track your total time asleep and awake, as well as your sleep stages. They also provide a sleep score from 1-100, which usually lines up well with what I’ve experienced.
Sleep data is displayed clearly and concisely in the Fitbit app. You can view separate graphs on your time asleep and awake, sleep stages, and restoration. The latter graph will give you details on your sleeping heart rate and estimated oxygen variation, too.
The hardware is good, and so is the software. What more could you want?
- High-end, premium design
- Improved quick-release straps
- Mostly accurate GPS and heart rate sensors
- Skin temp sensor provides useful data (Sense)
- Detailed sleep tracking
- ~6-day battery life
- Google Assistant and Alexa support
- Speaker with phone call support
- Bad inductive button
- EDA and ECG sensors need refining (Sense)
- Very small app library
- Onboard music limited to two services
- Proprietary charging cable
Withings ScanWatch: The best sleep tracker for sleep apnea detection
Now available in the US, the Withings ScanWatch is the most detailed and accurate sleep tracker we’ve used. On top of recording your sleep duration, depth, regularity, and interruptions, it uses its medical-grade SpO2 monitor to detect breathing disturbances overnight. Breathing disturbances are detected when the ScanWatch performs a Respiratory Scan, which measures your heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation levels.
One downside to the ScanWatch’s sleep tracking is that it does not monitor your REM sleep stage. Withings said it’s keeping that functionality exclusive to its sleep mat (below).
- Fantastic sleep tracking
- Premium, classy design
- Long-lasting battery
- Health Mate app is well-designed and easy to use
- Potentially lifesaving and easy-to-use ECG monitor
- Clinically validated AFib and breathing disturbance notifications
- Small display limits smart features
- Few advanced fitness features or insights
Check out our full review to learn more about the Withings ScanWatch.
Garmin Venu 2: Garmin’s best sleep tracker
The Venu 2 can measure your sleep duration, stages, and total time awake. Blood oxygen levels, respiration rates, and overnight movements are tracked, too. It’s quite accurate at detecting your sleep quality compared to other devices, though we will note it failed to pick up on irregular sleep schedules on a few nights.
Garmin’s sleep score, coupled with the company’s Body Battery feature, will allow you to really dig into your energy levels to determine how well-rested you actually are and what type of activity you should plan for the day.
- Now comes in two sizes
- Crisp AMOLED display
- Accurate fitness, sleep, and health tracking
- Excellent GPS accuracy
- Health Snapshot is useful
- More music storage
- Battery life can be finicky
- Uneven heart rate sensor data
- High price tag
Check out our full review to learn more about the Garmin Venu 2.
Oura Ring 2: The best sleep tacking ring
If a fitness tracker is too uncomfortable for you, a ring might be a better choice. The Oura Ring 2 is a small, comfortable tracker and offers a multitude of sensors without looking any different from a regular piece of jewelry.
It has an infrared heart rate monitor, a gyroscope, an accelerometer, and not one but three temperature sensors. That allows the Oura Ring 2 to measure changes in your skin color, detect when you fall asleep, and how much time you spend in each sleep stage. It is one of the most accurate sleep trackers out there, but even the Oura Ring 2 sometimes struggles with daytime naps.
The information you get on the companion app is plentiful. You not only see how much you’ve slept, but how restorative your rest was, what your resting heart rate was throughout the night, how many times you’ve woken up, and more.
The inclusion of a temperature sensor is particularly useful since it tracks your body temperature during the night. This can help you see if you rest better at lower or higher temperatures and adjust your AC accordingly.
Notably, Oura recently announced the Ring 3, but it’s yet unclear if the new iteration trumps the Ring 2’s excellent reliability.
- In-depth sleep tracking
- Body temperature and heart rate variability data
- Great design and attention to detail
- Non-invasive form factor sinks into the background
- Actionable ‘readiness score’ and advice actually helps you to feel better
- The app can be a struggle to navigate at times
Check out our full review to learn more about the Oura Ring 2.
Withings Sleep: The best non-wearable sleep tracker
Not all sleep trackers come in the form of smart bands or rings. If you want a specialized sleep tracking device that you don’t have to put on your wrist or finger, look no further than Withings Sleep (formerly Nokia Sleep). This smart pad can be placed under your mattress to track your sleeping patterns without sacrificing comfort.
It collects data throughout the night and displays it on the companion app for you in the morning. The pad tracks all the basics: sleep duration in each phase, interruptions, and heart rate. It also offers some extras you won’t find on a wearable sleep tracker. The Withings Sleep has a built-in microphone that can help detect breathing disturbances and identify signs of chronic conditions such as sleep apnea. The app gives a lot of detailed information, including a sleep score and tips on how to improve your sleeping habits.
However, one of the best things about Withings Sleep is that it’s a smart home gadget. It’s compatible with Alexa, allowing you to set up routines such as turning the lights off or adjusting the thermostat when you go to bed.
Google Nest Hub (2nd gen): The best bedside sleep tracker
Unlike the Withings Sleep, the Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) cannot track your sleep stages. But using its built-in Soli sensor — combined with its temperature sensor and ambient sound and light sensors — it can track a variety of other things, such as your total time asleep, total time in bed, sleep efficiency (%), and respiratory rate. It can also keep track of sleep disturbances like snoring, coughing, and changes in your room’s light.
We found the Nest Hub’s sleep tracking accurate compared to wrist-worn devices like the Oura Ring 2 and Fitbit Sense.
There’s a big caveat with the Nest Hub’s Sleep Sensing feature, though: it’s only free through 2022. In 2023, you’ll need to sign up for a Fitbit Premium subscription to access the Nest Hub’s sleep tracking features.
- Improved sound with strong bass
- Intuitive software with regular updates
- Unique, hands-off way to track sleep
- Affordable price
- Unknown sleep tracking subscription fee in 2022
- Missing sleep tracking metrics compared to wearables
- Google Fit is simple to a fault
Check out our full review to learn more about the Google Nest Hub (2nd gen).
That’s it for our list of the best sleep trackers you can buy, but it’s only a fraction of what’s out there. We also want to give an honorable mention to the following products:
- Xiaomi Mi Band 6: Xiaomi’s budget fitness trackers usually track sleep well, but the Mi Band 6 struggled to keep up with competing products during our review period. We’re hoping Xiaomi updates the Mi Band 6’s software to improve its sleep tracking capabilities sometime soon.
- Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite: Funnily enough, the Mi Watch Lite was able to track my sleep stages quite well during the testing period, but there are a few limitations. It doesn’t track naps or daytime sleeping, so this is a bad option if you have an irregular sleep schedule.
- Sleep tracker apps: Aren’t interested in wearing a watch to bed to track your sleep? There are lots of sleep tracking apps available from the Google Play Store.