The 7 Best Sleep Trackers of 2021, According to Experts

Data you won't want to sleep on

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Withings Sleep Tracking Pad at Amazon

"Simply place the pad under the mattress, and find out data like your sleep cycles, breathing disturbances, and heart rate."

Best Wearable: Fitbit Sense Smartwatch at Amazon

"In addition to its wide range of wellness functions, it offers personalized insights and tips to improve your sleep quality."

Best Splurge: Oura Ring at ouraring.com

"Ideal if you appreciate a more compact accessory than a watch, this smart ring uses an infrared LED sensor to track your sleep."

Best Budget Wearable: Sleepon Go2Sleep Wearable Sleeping Monitor at Amazon

"Especially helpful for those with respiratory conditions, it measures blood oxygen levels, sleep debt, and sleep quality."

Best for Couples: Tempur-Pedic Sleeptracker at tempurpedic.com

"Compatible with any kind of mattress, it connects to an app to provide users with an AI sleep coach that offers feedback."

Best Battery Life: Amazfit GTS 2 Mini Smartwatch at Amazon

"If you appreciate versatility, the smartwatch tracks both daytime naps and daily sleep while also offering over 70 sports modes."

Best for Heavy Sleepers: Beautyrest Sleeptracker Monitor at Amazon

"Complete with Alexa to help you round out your smart home, it uses an app to offer personalized tips on improving sleep."

If you’re someone who reliably gets restful nights of sleep, then you may not fully realize how detrimental insomnia or disrupted sleep can be for your physical and mental health. And it’s not just a lack of sleep: poor sleep hygiene—including not sticking to a sleep schedule—can also make us feel worse.

There are also situations where a person might think they’re sleeping well, but, following observation, find out that their sleep is disturbed regularly by everything from nightmares, temperature fluctuations, or conditions like sleep apnea. Whatever the cause, it can be helpful to be able to track your sleep to see what you get up to at night and what adjustments you can make to improve your overall sleep quality and potentially even your mental health.

Fortunately, you no longer have to spend the night in a sleep lab to get data like that because there are a variety of sleep trackers available, either as wearables or other forms of technology. But if you’re new to these products, it can be difficult to know which one to choose.

To help make that task easier, we spoke with the experts to find the best sleep trackers on the market.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Withings Sleep Tracking Pad

What We Like
  • Snore detection

  • Can detect breathing disturbances

What We Don't Like
  • Can take a few hours for sleep data to show up on the app

  • Lacks actionable advice

If you appreciate data and lots of it, you’ll be fascinated by what you learn after a few nights on the Withings Sleep Analyzer. As a bonus, you can easily share a PDF of that data produced by the app. It doesn’t matter whether you sleep on your back, stomach, or side—this pad placed under your mattress will get the information it needs.

Expert Insight

“The Withings Sleep Analyzer is one that I have recommended in the past. It is a thin mat that slips under the mattress, where it records changes in pressure and noise during the night. Calibration is a one-and-done process, and once it’s set up and connected to the phone and Wi-Fi network, it will record sleep patterns each night with no further input. Results are easy to review for healthcare professionals and similar to those from wrist-based sleep trackers.”

— Dr. Jason Doescher, a physician, and chief medical officer at MOBE, an online wellness platform for individuals living with chronic conditions.

Type: Under-the-mattress pad | Battery Life: Plug In | Displays/ Apps: Withings Health Mate | Other Features: Works with Alexa, Sensors sleep to control the lights/thermostat to optimize conditions for sleeping with IFTTT integration

Best Wearable: Fitbit Sense Smartwatch

What We Like
  • Includes a pedometer and other features standard with Fitbit products

  • Provides personalized recommendations to improve sleep quality

What We Don't Like
  • Some may be overwhelmed by all the features

  • Screen of the watch can be sensitive and may break easily

In addition to a wide range of non-sleep-related functions, this smartwatch provides personalized insights and tips to improve your sleep quality—as well as reminders when it’s time to go to bed. The Sense, Fitbit's latest smartwatch entry, features the same top-performing sleep technology in the brand's previous Ionic model, plus a "Smart Wake" alarm that will wake you up during the optimal stage of sleep.

Expert Insight

“Look for a sleep tracker that integrates, measures, and contributes to the whole person's health—meaning, it also supports or contributes to not only tracking sleep but syncing that data with tracking of activity, weight, and mood. This helps monitor the big picture and can help you learn factors that make a difference. What you eat, how much you move, and how you feel all impact your sleep.”

—Dr. Doescher

Type: Smart watch | Battery Life: 4 days | Displays/ Apps: Fitbit Health & Fitness App; watch face display | Other Features: Fitness tracker, stores and plays 300 songs, heart rate sensor, guided coaching, connect with other Fitbit users

Best Splurge: Oura Ring

Oura Ring

Courtesy of Oura Ring

What We Like
  • Company sends you a free sizing kit when you place your order

  • Offers around-the-clock monitoring

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Ring is bulky for people with smaller fingers

Using an infrared LED sensor, the Oura Smart Ring tracks your sleep quality, duration, and other factors and produces a personalized sleep score. The ring was also one of the top performers in the same 2020 study, when it came to accurately determining wakefulness and being asleep—though it, too, wasn’t very accurate at estimating deep sleep. 

Type: Smart Ring | Battery Life: 7 days | Displays/ Apps: Oura App; connects to Google Fit and Apple Health | Other Features: Measures heart rate, body temperature, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, activity levels, calories, steps

Best Budget Wearable: Sleepon Go2Sleep Wearable Sleeping Monitor

What We Like
  • Measuring blood oxygen levels may be helpful for those with respiratory conditions

  • Good value

What We Don't Like
  • Awkward shape and design

  • Not the most accurate when it comes to determining sleep stages

This isn’t a ring in the traditional sense: more like a silicon device that you wear on your finger as you sleep that weighs only 6 grams. If you can get over that, it provides reports on your heart rate, blood oxygen, AHI, sleep debt, and sleep quality through their app. It’s also waterproof and dust-proof.

Expert Insight

“I advise individuals to purchase a sleep tracker which is the most comfortable for them, as any discomfort could further exacerbate sleep quality. Some of my patients prefer bed sensors, while others provide bedside devices or wearables.”

—Dr. Leela R. Magavi, M.D., a psychiatrist and the regional medical director for Community Psychiatry in California

Type: Ring | Battery Life: 3 nights | Displays/ Apps: SLEEPON app | Other Features: Heart Rate and Blood Oxygen Sensor

Best for Couples: Tempur-Pedic Sleeptracker

Tempur-Pedic Sleeptracker

Courtesy of Tempur-Pedic

Pros
  • Contains two sensors to track the sleep of two people

  • Also monitors air quality, temperature, and humidity in the bedroom

  • AI sleep coach provides personalized feedback

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Devices cannot be returned

Don’t worry about compatibility: the Tempur-Pedic Sleeptracker works with mattresses of any brand. And while it comes with a hefty price tag, the fact that it has the ability to track the sleep of two people makes the costs easier to justify. Using the accompanying app, each user is provided with an AI sleep coach that provides them with feedback based on their sleep data.

Type: Under the mattress pad | Battery Life: Plug in | Displays/Apps: Sleeptracker | Other Features: Works with Google Assistant and Alexa; comes with two sensors for both sides of the bed

Best Battery Life: Amazfit GTS 2 Mini Smartwatch

Pros
  • 14-day battery life

  • Includes stress monitoring

Cons
  • Not compatible with any third-party apps

  • Heart rate monitor isn’t always consistent

This is another smart watch that comes with a variety of features, including a sleep tracker. It’s also lightweight and comes in a wide selection of band types and colors. While the wearer is sleeping, the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini assesses their sleep breathing quality through the different sleep stages, and can identify daytime naps to record more complete sleep information.

Type: Smart Watch | Battery Life: 14 days | Displays/Apps: Amazfit; watch face display | Other Features: Connects with Alexa, Blood Oxygen measurement, heart rate monitoring, PAI health assessment system, menstrual cycle tracking

Best for Heavy Sleepers: Beautyrest Sleeptracker Monitor

Pros
  • Provides data for two people

  • Data reports are easy to read and understand

Cons
  • Some may find the user interface difficult to read

  • May mistake being awake in bed for light sleep

Like the sleep tracker from Tempur-Pedic, the one from Beautyrest also works with any kind or brand of mattress. Alexa is enabled on the device, allowing you to integrate it into your smart home. It also comes with an alarm that wakes you up at the optimal time. Additionally, it uses the data collected via the Sleeptracker app to provide personalized tips to improve sleep quality.

Type: Under the mattress | Battery Life: Plug In | Displays/Apps: Beautyrest Sleeptracker app | Other Features: Can track 2 people; Sleep coach to give tips on better sleep; Alexa enabled

Final Verdict

Really, it depends on whether or not you prefer a wearable tracker while sleeping. If you prefer an under-the-mattress option, you may want to invest in the Tempur-Pedic Sleeptracker (view on Tempurpedic)—especially if you share the bed with another person. In addition to all the usual features, the Tempur-Pedic tracker also monitors the air quality, humidity, and temperature in the bedroom.

If you’d prefer a wearable, the Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch (view on Amazon) has a particularly accurate sleep tracker—not to mention all the other health functions and the ability to store music.

What to Look for in a Sleep Tracker

Type

Wearable sleep trackers typically come in the form of watches or rings. Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson, a physician and expert in functional medicine, recommends a sleep tracker that "will interfere with your actual sleep the least." And that can mean different things for different people. Before investing, think about whether you’d be comfortable wearing something on your wrist or finger all night, every night. If not, you may want to opt for the kind placed under the mattress.

Number of people

Some under-the-mattress sleep trackers come with two sensors, recording data for two people sleeping in the same bed.

Data collected

While all sleep trackers will provide you with the same basic information on sleep length and movement, others take other factors into account, including sound and temperature.

Other features

Do you want a device that is designed specifically to be a sleep tracker, or are you looking for something that can perform other health-related functions? Other features can include a pedometer, a pulse oximeter, and/or menstrual cycle tracking.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do sleep trackers work?

    While there are many types of sleep trackers, in general, they work by sensing some combination of your movement, heart rate, respiration rate, and body temperature. Then they use the data collected to determine when you are asleep or awake, according to Dr. Stephenson. The data the sleep tracker collects is then analyzed to examine sleep latency, duration, phases, and quality, Dr. Leela R. Magavi, M.D., a psychiatrist and the regional medical director for Community Psychiatry in California explains.

  • How accurate are sleep trackers?

    Sleep trackers measure our movement patterns and heart rate quite accurately but still rely on prediction models to build assessments, so they aren't 100 percent accurate. For example, Dr. Doescher says that you can fool a tracker by lying quietly while awake. “Think of your sleep tracker as if it's a person, asking you: ‘It seems like you sleep well and with normal proportions, does this seem accurate?'” he advises. 

    It’s important to keep in mind that these commercially available sleep trackers aren’t tested or regulated for accuracy, Dr. Magavi explains, noting that they’re not as accurate as sleep studies. “For individuals with chronic insomnia or parasomnias, I recommend they schedule a sleep study to learn whether they have sleep apnea or any other sleep disorder,” she says.

What Experts Say 

“While sleep trackers are not diagnostic, their monitoring capabilities can detect snoring and demonstrate patterns of restless sleep cycles. Those measurements alone won’t solve the problem—but, importantly, they can raise awareness and suggest important conversations with our doctors to screen for sleep apnea and other sleep-related concerns, or even added stress, anxiety, or other mental health concerns, that could be indicative of larger health problems.”

—Dr. Doescher

Why Trust Verywell Mind? 

As a seasoned health writer and editor with a special focus on mental health and well-being, Elizabeth Yuko understands how powerful stress-relieving activities can be for many people—as well as the fact that they’re not one-size-fits-all. With decades of first-hand experience dealing with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, she’s always on the lookout for new (and research-backed) products, techniques, and services that can help people cope with stress and other mental health challenges.

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  1. Stone JD, Rentz LE, Forsey J, Ramadan J, Markwald RR, Finomore Jnr VS, Galster SM, Rezai A, Hagen JA. Evaluations of Commercial Sleep Technologies for Objective Monitoring During Routine Sleeping ConditionsNat Sci Sleep. 2020;12:821-842

  2. Stone JD, Rentz LE, Forsey J, Ramadan J, Markwald RR, Finomore Jnr VS, Galster SM, Rezai A, Hagen JA. Evaluations of Commercial Sleep Technologies for Objective Monitoring During Routine Sleeping ConditionsNat Sci Sleep. 2020;12:821-842

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