The Best Sleep Tracking Devices

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If you’ve decided make a real effort to improve your health, it makes sense to start by dieting and exercising. Being conscious of what you’re eating, and staying active while you’re awake is important, but it’s easy to overlook the importance of sleep. One thing that can help is to get a sleep tracker, which keeps track of how long you’ve slept, and keeps a record of it that you can review in the morning.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends adults between 18 and 60 years old get at least seven hours of sleep per night. While there are superficial benefits to getting good rest (I.e. the ever-popular notion of “beauty sleep”), the organization says getting less sleep than that can increase your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, poor mental health and lifespan.

While the long-term effects of shorting yourself on sleep can catch up to you over time, missing just one night can have immediate consequences too. The CDC cites a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that said driving drowsy (defined as a “dangerous combination of driving and sleepiness or fatigue“) caused more than 72,000 crashes in 2013.

Following basic advice like limiting your screen time before bed and reducing the amount of coffee you consume may help you get to sleep, but the best fitness trackers below can help determine whether you’re getting enough.

In This Article

What Are the Best Sleep Trackers?

How Do Sleep Trackers Work?

How We Chose the Best Sleep Trackers

What Is the Best Sleep Tracker?

We’ve rounded up some of the best sleep trackers that you can buy online right now. Here are the ones we like based on biometric tracking features, user-friendliness and design.

BEST OVERALL: Garmin Vivosmart 5

BEST DESIGN: Oura Ring Gen 3

BEST SMARTWATCH: Apple Watch Series 8

MOST COMFORTABLE: Withings Sleep Tracking Pad

BEST FOR ANDROID: Google Pixel Watch

1. Garmin Vivosmart 5



Garmin’s Vivosmart 5 is a fitness band that also has sophisticated sleep tracking features. It fits around your wrist, and has advanced sensors that can track your motion accurately enough to determine how long you were in light, deep, or REM (Rapid Eye Motion) sleep. The Vivosmart 5 also has a Pulse Oxygen sensor, which Vivosmart says can gauge the rate at which your body is absorbing oxygen.

All of this data is collected in the Garmin Connect app (iOS and Android), which you can easily check when you wake up. The total amount of sleep you got, along with a breakdown of how long you spent in each stage of sleep, is shown on a pie chart. A bar graph shows when you were in each cycle, and whether your sleep was interrupted. Garmin says the Vivosmart 5’s battery can last up to seven days without sleep or blood oxygen tracking, so you should expect to plug it in every few days.

Although its sleep tracking is very sophisticated, the Vivosmart 5 can track several other pieces of data, including how many calories you’ve burned, how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed, and your heart rate. It can automatically determine which type of exercise you’re doing (even if it’s on certain workout equipment) to accurately record your calorie burn rate.

If you’d like to track all aspects of your health along with your sleep, and don’t need a ton of other bells and whistles, the Garmin’s Vivofit 5 is health tracking at its most streamlined.

Buy Garmin Vivosmart 5 $149.99

2. Oura Ring Gen 3



For anyone who’s health conscious, but isn’t a fan of bulky fitness watches, the Oura Ring Gen 3 is a sleek, stylish way to keep track of your sleep biometrics. 

You can monitor your sleep, activity, recovery, temperature, heart rate, stress, and more — all from your finger. Through the smartphone app, you can even get personalized health insights and recommendations on everything from your sleep to stress levels. The Gen 3 version also features an improved sleep staging algorithm, and in our testing we found that it was the best tracker at detecting whether I was actually in the “twilight zone” of light sleep, or deep actual REM sleep.

With the SpO2 sensor (along with seven temperature sensors), the Oura app will be able to figure out your sleep baseline after a couple nights of tracking and show you what outside factors might be affecting you, from an oncoming illness, to stress, or even the beginning of your menstrual cycle. Small but mighty, we also found that the Oura Ring really balances promoting daily movement goals while giving you the sleep insights you need to let you fully recover from your workouts.  

It’s perfect for everyday wear, since its lighter than a conventional ring, and even water resistant up to 100 meters. What’s not so small is its price — it’s one of the more expensive sleep trackers, and it requires a monthly subscription fee to unlock more detailed insights.

But for someone who wants to better understand their body all-around, the Oura Ring Gen 3 is a great pick. 

Buy Oura Ring Gen 3 $299

2. Apple Watch Series 8



One of Apple’s biggest additions to the latest Apple Watch was with the release of the Sleep app, pushing it over the edge to make it one of the best smartwatches for sleep tracking.

Now you can track the different stages of sleep to see just how much REM sleep or deep sleep you’re getting every night. I suffer from ‘middle-of-the-night insomnia’ a common condition where one wakes up and has trouble going back to sleep, so it’s great that I can track just how much time I was awake and how much REM sleep I was able to get after.

Like Garmin’s Vivofit, the Apple Watch can track your sleep by monitoring your motion along with data from its heart rate sensor. You can check your sleep comparison chart through the Health app on your iPhone to see your respiratory rate, heart rate and wrist temp as you sleep.

See how long you’ve slept, how much restful sleep you’ve gotten, and how much restless sleep you’ve gotten. The app will also tell you when you got your “best sleep” for the night (longest streak of restful sleep). Once you’ve used it for a while, the Sleep app can give you deeper insights into your sleep habits, including how long you sleep on average (six and a half hours for me), and your average sleep for every day of the week. You’ll also get a breakdown of your typical sleep and wake times for each day of the week.

Beyond sleep tracking, the Apple Watch can monitor how many calories you’ve burned, how many minutes you’ve been active (based on your movement and heart rate), and whether you’ve stood for at least once per hour. These three data points are presented as rings, which you can fill every day. If you fill them in enough times, you’ll earn a streak, which may encourage you to be active for longer periods of time. The Apple Watch can also detect when you’ve fallen, and send an alert to a specified contact if you don’t respond within 30 seconds.

There are plenty of non-health related features that make the Apple Watch a great pick: the ability to access Siri, receive and send messages, and download third-party apps to expand its functionality are three of the big ones. But, if you want all of those features and would like to track your sleep and general health, the Apple Watch Series 8 is the right choice.

Buy Apple Watch Series 8 $459.00

4. Withings Sleep Tracking Pad



If you’d like to track your sleep, but feel uncomfortable having to wear something to bed every night, Withing’s Sleep Tracking Pad is a great option.

I was able to test this gadget out a couple of years ago, and found it really easy to set up and use. To get an accurate reading, you need to slide the Sleep Tracking Pad under your side of the mattress, and plug it into the wall. The rest of the setup process, which includes connecting it to your WiFi network, takes place in the Withings Health app on iOS and Android.

Once it’s set up, Withing’s Sleep Tracking Pad is basically invisible. When you go to sleep, sensors in the pad can detect your heart rate and movement, which it uses to determine whether you’re asleep, and the state of sleep you’re in (light, deep, or REM). When you wake up, the data is synced to Withing’s severs over WiFi, and accessible on your phone.

You’ll be able to see a bar graph on top of the app that shows you when you went to sleep, woke up, how long you’ve slept, and which stages of sleep you were in throughout the night. You’ll earn a “sleep score” based on how long you slept, how long it took you to fall asleep, how long it took you to get out of bed, and how many times you were interrupted. Keeping track of a single score every single day is a way to determine the quality of your sleep at a glance, but the more granular data is worth digging into when you have the time.

In addition to sleep tracking, Withing’s Sleep Tracking Pad can be a trigger in the smart-home service IFTTT (If This Than That). If you have other compatible devices, like the Nest Thermostat or Philips Hue bulbs, you can trigger them to turn off or on when you get into bed, go to sleep, wake up, or get out of bed. These advanced features are not necessary for the Sleep Tracking Pad to track your sleep, but they’re fun to mess around with if you have the time.

Withing’s Sleep Tracking Pad can give you an accurate impression of your sleep without giving away that you’re tracking it. If you want a subtle, automatic sleep tracking gadget that doesn’t have batteries, and won’t need to live on your wrist, this is it.

Buy Withings Sleep Tracking Pad $129.95

5. Google Pixel Watch



Google has been taking steps lately to beef up the sleep tracking capabilities on their new Google Pixel Watch, and with the watch’s new Fitbit’s Sleep Profile feature, these improvements have made it a serious must-have for Android users.

We love the daily readiness score feature, where the watch takes into account your sleep score, exercise levels throughout the week, and heart rate data to let you know just how active you should be on a certain day. Since I was recovering from Long Covid while I was testing this watch, it was great to see when my body was ready for a moderate workout, or when it needed a rest. It definitely gave me peace of mind on days I was feeling particularly tired and my readiness score was low.

Advanced sleep tracking works similarly to the Apple Watch, with the Pixel Watch listing out how much REM sleep, deep sleep or light sleep you achieved. At the end of the night, you’d be given a sleep score, depending on how much rest you got. Some of these features are available to non-premium users but if you want sleep patterns over time as well as a dedicated sleep profile (and an animal that matches your sleep style) you’ll want to go premium.


The good part though is that with every purchase of the Pixel Watch, users are automatically given six months free of Fitbit Premium, which will let you access sleep profiles and gain insight into your long-term health trends for free. The only downside to health and fitness tracking? The Pixel Watch comes enabled with Blood Oxygen sensors but this feature has yet to be activated by Google.

While it may not be have the most detailed biometric data tracking out there, for design and Android user-friendlieness alone, the Pixel Watch is a great pick.

Buy Google Pixel Watch $349.99

How Do Sleep Trackers Work?

The bottom line is that sleep is important, but if you haven’t taken it seriously until now, it can be frustrating to know where to start. Tracking your sleep used to require staying overnight for observation (still the best way to get hyper accurate data, and to check for diseases like sleep apnea), or estimating when you went to sleep.

In many cases, sleep tracking technology has been built into popular fitness trackers and smartwatches, which you can use to monitor other aspects of your health. These trackers must be worn all night long, but are pretty thin and light, so they shouldn’t cause you much discomfort. If you don’t like the idea of wearing something to bed, there are sleep tracking mats, which fit underneath your mattress.

All sleep tracking tech uses information like your heartbeat and body movement to determine not only when you go to sleep and wake up, but the quality of your sleep. If you wake up tired after a “full night of sleep,” you’ll be able to tell if you were restless all night. If you discover that you move around a lot during certain hours of the night, and can’t figure out why, you can take that information to a doctor. Sleep tracking can also help you discover whether it’s time to get a new mattress or bedding to improve your comfort.

How We Chose the Best Sleep Trackers

We chose our list of the best sleep trackers based on comfort, biometric tracking features and design. All of these trackers can stand up to weeks of being used every night, with settings that were easy to adjust and customize. We also chose trackers that display information about your sleep habits in a way that’s easy to understand (bonus points for trackers that provide tips on how to improve sleep habits). All of these sleep trackers also received top marks in our book for outstanding design, that feel both unnoticeable while asleep, and sleek enough to wear as a regular smartwatch during the day.

Finally, we also took user reviews into consideration, and all of the top sleep trackers on our list boast solid reviews from other customers online.