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Oura Ring 3 review: Still the best smart ring in 2024 (for now)

The smart ring offers a wider range of health-tracking features than ever and remains a distraction-free alternative to smartwatches.
Written by Sherin Shibu, Contributor
Reviewed by Kerry Wan

Oura Ring (3rd Gen)

4 / 5
Very good

pros and cons

  • Insightful metrics that foster healthier living
  • Lightweight design even with all the built-in sensors
  • Waterproofing gives peace of mind
  • Could be more durable
  • Fit isn't perfect, even with the sizing kit
  • Please give us a better web interface, Oura

On the surface, the Oura Ring 3 looks like an ordinary accessory. But it's the subtlety that makes it one of the more technological gadgets available today, packing in sensors for heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring and more into a familiar, tiny form factor. The ring is so light and inconspicuous that it's hard to imagine how many things it's tracking. 

Smart rings are finally catching onto the mainstream market, and the past two years saw an influx of new products from Movano's Evie Ring, RingConn's Smart Ring, and the Amazfit Helio Ring. All are solid products in their own rights, but the Oura Ring 3 still holds its spot at the top.

When you go to sleep, the Oura Ring works its hardest, tracking your blood oxygen levels, heart rate, temperature, and other metrics throughout the night. When you wake up in the morning, you just open the app to see all of that data presented with insightful charts. If you follow fitness, health, or tech trends in general, then you may already be aware of everything mentioned above.

Also: The best smart rings we saw at CES 2024

That's why, this review is different. It's not sponsored by Oura, nor did the company provide me with a tester unit. Instead, I'll be focusing on the Oura Ring 3 experience as an actual customer, someone who remains invested in the product years after its release. (Better late than never, right?) If you're considering the wearable in 2024, and wondering if it would be a good investment, this testimonial is for you.



Titanium with PVD coating


4-6 grams depending on materials



Sensors3-axis accelerometer, heart rate monitor, relative Sp02 sensor, ECG sensor, EDA sensor


Water-resistant up to 100 meters (more than 328 ft)


Starting at $299

Package includes

Size-specific charger and USB-C cable

What are the Oura Ring 3's most notable features?

Whether you're cross-shopping between the Oura and other smart rings or with other wearables, these are the key new features that you should be considering -- along with my experience with each one.

1. Blood oxygen (Sp02) and workout heart rate monitoring

The Oura Ring 3 charging.

The Oura Ring 3 comes with a size-specific charger.

Sherin Shibu/ZDNET

Oura first released blood oxygen monitoring and heart rate tracking capabilities back in May and July of 2022, respectively, and they have been quintessential to the Oura Ring 3 experience since then. With the updated sensors, the ring can detect overall blood oxygen saturation and variation in saturation levels while you sleep, allowing it to give you more accurate metrics the mornings after. It can also tell if there are any possible disturbances or variations in your breathing at night thanks to the blood oxygen sensing. 

Also: Oura Ring users can now sync data with Strava - here's how to turn it on

The Oura Ring 3's Workout heart rate (WHR) leverages its new green LEDs to record your heart rate while you exercise, contributing to a complete 24-hour heart rate graph that pieces together Live Heart Rate and Resting Heart Rate with the WHR. You should keep in mind that the location services on your phone must be on for WHR to kick in, and your phone should be with you throughout the workout in order to record route and distance, say, for a run. 

Still, I love the flexibility of the Oura Ring for those who don't want to be attached to a screen all the time, or to a wearable that buzzes with constant notifications and distractions. 

2. Meet Sleep Staging Beta


Here's a comparison between a pro-grade polysomnography (top) and the Oura Ring's Sleep Staging (bottom). Pretty accurate, right?


I don't know about you, but I can't sleep with a watch or any device made of heavier materials on my wrist. That's why I appreciate the Oura Ring's titanium finish, which is both lightweight and breathable. More importantly, the sleep score I get on the app every morning is a surprisingly detailed indicator of how well I've slept, and that's thanks in large part to the ring's latest update feature: Sleep Staging. 

For a while now, Oura's sleep tracking has been precise enough to track both your time in bed and how long you actually spend asleep. Late last year, the company added to its functionality with Sleep Staging. The feature is technically still in beta but is essentially an improved tracking algorithm to give more precise metrics on how long an Oura user is asleep or awake. There's nothing more that needs to be done on your end; just keep the ring on at night and let it run the numbers.

Also: Another major phone maker is officially joining the smart ring race, and it's not Apple

What's most exciting about Sleep Staging is the "sleep lab accuracy" that Oura touts. Just look at the chart above to see how Sleep Staging is nearly as accurate as professional polysomnography. This is a step in the right direction, as the Oura is by far the easiest wearable to put on for a good night's sleep. That's why anything that Oura does to heighten the sensitivity of its sleep tracking makes its biggest draw even more enticing.  

3. Living with a subscription model


No, the Oura Ring is not only worn during sleep.

Sherin Shibu/ZDNET

The $5.99/month subscription fee is a contentious feature that Oura rolled out with its 3rd-gen rings. No one likes to pay more than what they initially did for hardware, so I try to view the subscription as positively as possible. For example, the $6 fee costs less than my streaming service and gym memberships, yet I use the insights from the ring more than I use either one of those two. The ring has a discernible impact, too. I check my sleep score every morning, and my activity and recovery scores have changed the way I eat, sleep, and interact with my surroundings. 

Review: Sorry, Oura and Samsung: Apple Ring reportedly 'imminent'

The Oura app also comes with a library of guided meditations that are tailored to specific goals, like sleep and relaxation. A membership to a meditation app can cost more per month than a subscription to Oura, and that's not including the tracking benefits, of course. From my experience, Oura's meditations are helpful and I like that they come in varying lengths. Since everything is in one place, a user is more likely to see the connection between meditating and their overall sense of well-being.

What I'd like to see in the next model 

Before you put an Oura ring on it, you should know that the ring has its drawbacks. Here are a few pointers that detract from the overall experience of the ring, and that you should consider when shopping for one.

1. The fit can be more consistent


The free sizing kit is a must, but using it did not result in a perfect fit.

Sherin Shibu/ZDNET

Oura includes a free sizing kit before it sends you the actual ring, which is great. However, after wearing the tester ring in the best-fitting size for a day or two, submitting that exact size online, and receiving the final product days later, I noticed right away that the official one didn't fit the same way that the tester did.

Maybe it was because I purchased the Heritage model instead of the Horizon -- the tester rings all looked like the Horizon; the Heritage ring I chose had a flat top -- but perhaps Oura should have a set of testers molded to other models too then. 

Also: The best smartwatches you can buy: Expert tested

The ring that arrived didn't fall off of my finger or anything, but when I gripped the handlebars of a bike in spin class, for example, there was a clear gap between my finger and the ring. That made me question the accuracy of the tracking at times, though I didn't notice any hiccups in the app's data reporting.

On the bright side, I'm glad the ring wasn't too tight. I jokingly refer to this small gap as my sweat ventilation gap. Perhaps if Oura introduced half sizes, this problem would disappear?

2. A better web interface for analytics

Oura on the web

Oura's web interface could be improved.

Sherin Shibu/ZDNET

Oura's mobile app is comprehensive. The interface is a pleasant, dark blue, and it displays your sleep, activity, and overall readiness score along with the factors that went into compiling those scores. You get meditations on the app, too. The same breadth of features is not visible on Oura's web interface, however. The screenshot above is a sample of what the website looks like displaying the same metrics that you can access on the app. Don't let the numbers fool you; it's not as detailed as the mobile version.

Also: The best Android smartwatches you can buy: Expert tested

In the future, I'd like to see the web version allow users to expand and isolate specific metrics. For example, being able to isolate your heart rate or blood oxygen saturation night after night and export it for your own analysis. Students or professionals who wish to explore the links between sleep and quality of life or sleep and mental illness could also better aggregate data for research. I'm not saying the web interface is bad. It could just be better.

3. Durability should not be forgotten

Sherin Shibu/ZDNET

Like lifting weights or cooking? You may want to take off your Oura while you're doing either of the two. Oura says that you can wash the ring if it gets dirty, and I'm sure it'll be fine if I keep it on and repot plants with gloves on, but I'm still protective of my ring this early on, and I don't want to scratch it. For how small the piece of tech is, durability is naturally one of my primary concerns. 

It would be helpful if the ring had an anti-scratch coating or if Oura experiments with different materials to ensure maximum durability. That way, I wouldn't have to purposefully remove it every time I'm doing something that can potentially damage it, and risk losing it by forgetting that I set the small thing down in the first place.

ZDNET's buying advice  

So, is the Oura Ring 3 still worth it in 2023? Absolutely. The app user experience is intuitive, the ring is lightweight and pleasant to wear, and it efficiently compartmentalized my sleep and wellness data for actionable insights. 

The ring shines where other wearables falter. For example, my dad has an Apple Watch and it is constantly buzzing with notifications. He also can't wear it to sleep; the watch band isn't that breathable and it's uncomfortable to have it on throughout the night. With the Oura Ring, you can go about your day without wearing something that will distract you, and you can open up the app at any time to see how you're progressing toward your wellness goals. 

Alternatives to consider 

View at Eviering
View at AmazonView at Amazon
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