Best fitness trackers of 2024 to help you stay active

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  • Battery life up to 7 days, charge time 20-80 minutes
  • Water resistant to 100 metres
  • GPS
  • Tracks sleep quality, blood oxygen (SpO2), heart rate, HRV, activity levels, training frequency, body temperature, menstrual cycle.

I’m constantly testing smartwatches, but I’ve never experienced such intense curiosity as when I’m wearing an Oura Ring. “Is that one of those rings that tracks everything?” people ask. I can’t blame them. How exactly can something so small offer all the same tracking features as a smartwatch?

When you order an Oura Ring online from the US (the only way to get it), you get to choose your ring’s design, finish, and size. I opted for the ‘horizon’ design and selected the silver finish. If you opt for a ‘stealth’, ‘gold’ or ‘rose gold’ finish, the ring is considerably more expensive ($349 for silver versus $549 for rose gold). 

The most crucial part, however, is determining the right size for your finger. Oura offer a free sizing kit, which arrived within days of ordering. This kit contained eight plastic rings in different sizes, allowing me to find the perfect fit. Oura recommends that you test the plastic sample rings on your index finger for 24 hours to ensure it’s comfortable when you sleep. If you don’t fancy wearing on your index finger, they say the middle and ring fingers are good alternatives. 

Once I found the perfect size, I downloaded the Oura app on my phone and delved into its world of tracking – and I was impressed. Not only does it keep tabs on basic metrics like heart rate and activity levels; it also digs deep into some pretty vital aspects of health that often go unnoticed. Plus, it boasts remarkable battery life, usually lasting between four to seven days on a single charge and super quick charging times – usually taking between 20-80 minutes.

The sleep tracking feature is a game-changer. The Oura ring assigns a ‘Sleep Score’ (ranging from 1 to 100), that evaluates the quality of your sleep based on various factors including sleep stages (such as how much time you spent in REM vs. deep or light sleep), body temperature and heart rate. It’s amazing to see how a glass of wine or heading to bed just an hour later than usual can mess with your sleep. I particularly liked how the Oura ring offers tips on how to improve your sleep too – with the app pinging notifications on when it’s time to start winding down for bed.

Lots of watches – including Garmin, Fitbit and Apple – offer menstrual cycle tracking for women, but I was impressed with the accuracy the Oura ring offered. For example, on day 22 of my cycle, the Oura app told me that while my ‘readiness level’ was good, my body temperature was slightly elevated – but this may just reflect normal temperature fluctuation across the menstrual cycle. I’ve found this feature really useful – it’s definitely helped me to better understand my body during different phases of my cycle.

The Oura ring also provides a ‘Readiness Score’, which looks at things like temperature and heart rate variability, to assess how ready you are for the day ahead. It can detect early signs of illness and help you prioritise rest and recovery. It’s like having a personal sleep doctor, PT and GP on your finger, nudging you to make smarter choices.

My only gripe? I found the metal can easily get scratched and can scratch other jewellery. Oura does recommend taking the ring off when strength training or lifting heavy weights, but isn’t the point of the ring to wear it 24/7 so it gets a complete overview of how you exercise?

Overall though, if you’re looking for a fitness tracker that seamlessly fits into your everyday wardrobe, the Oura Ring has accurate tracking capabilities, plus unique features like menstrual cycle tracking. It is expensive though, and for some – especially those training for specific goals like a marathon – you may prefer to have all your data visible on your wrist, rather than depend on your phone.

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