After eating too much and sleeping too little for far too long, a year ago today, I decided to take steps to make subtle improvements to my lifestyle.
So, I went out and I bought an Oura ring. I already wore an Apple Watch, and then around six months later, I bought a Whoop strap for reasons I’ll get to in a moment.
But today I wanted to help you work out which of these devices is best. So let's find out!
So what exactly is an Oura Ring?
I’ll start with the Oura ring because that’s the purchase that kicked off my desire to be better from a health perspective.
And with Oura, at least, to begin with, it was all about fixing my lack of sleep.
I’ve always been a night owl when it comes to my productivity and how awake I am, but having kids that don’t understand what sleeping past 6 am means is... challenging.
So the Oura was $299, and for all intents and purposes, it just looks like any other ring. Most people I’ve shown haven't even noticed what it is until I’ve taken it off and shown them what it looks like on the inside.
With the Oura ring, I’ve been tracking my sleep for the last year - and it’s been pretty good but I don’t think it’s been that accurate in some cases. For example, it tells me that when I get into bed, I fall into a very deep sleep after about 3 minutes, when I know that some nights I’m laying there in bed, not moving, TRYING to fall asleep for way more than 3 minutes.
But, it did show me that most of my sleep was Deep Sleep, which my wife agreed with straight away - because apparently, once I’m asleep, I’m nearly impossible to wake. So at least that part seems to be fairly accurate.
Since then, I’ve been using the Oura ring to try and guide me to make better decisions, even though I haven’t adjusted my behaviour a huge amount...yet.
I suppose that’s one thing I’ve learned from all of these health trackers - none of them will be 100% accurate, but you use the data they collect to guide you.
Some days it will say to take it easy, but you feel like you could run a marathon. Some days it will say you’re ready for anything and you just want to sleep all day. I still stay up until around 11.30 playing Fortnite with my friends, and by the time I actually drag myself to bed after watching YouTube and scrolling TikTok for about an hour or two, it’s around 1 am by the time I actually climb into bed.
I still want to improve on that, but I’m more aware of what late nights do to my overall health and sleep score the next morning.
The one thing that the Oura has been very good for, though, has been when I’ve been sick.
I’ve had tonsillitis a couple of times this year, and one time was at a really bad moment when I was travelling for work and staying in a hotel - I ended up calling for help to get some emergency medication, and I was able to use the Oura ring to tell those advising me, exactly how elevated my temperature was, and what my heart rate was doing.
And so now, every time I start feeling a little under the weather, I’ll check my Oura App to see what my body’s doing, and if I can see that my temperature or heart rate is spiking, then I know there’s something else going on in my body, and so I take it easy and don’t try and push through assuming it’s just nothing.
Because of this, I love wearing an Oura ring all the time. You can wear it whilst sleeping because it’s just a really light ring and it’s not uncomfortable to wear like a bulky watch - the only thing I wish is that it didn’t scratch as easily as mine has.
I ended up getting the Stealth Black version in the Heritage style; I think it looks really cool - and I guess it has survived a year's worth of use and still looks pretty good despite those scratches!
So as far as the Oura ring goes, I do constantly wear the ring because when I think something’s not right - I can look at the App to see if it confirms what my suspicions are, such as when I’m feeling under the weather or didn’t get enough sleep. I don’t open up the Oura app every day, and I’m not constantly checking it, but when I need to, to find out what's happening with my health and sleep, I do, and for that. it's been great.
What's So Great About the Apple Watch?
So, how does the Oura Ring compare to something like an Apple Watch?
Well, something Oura isn’t as good at is fitness, and I think an Apple Watch is one of the best you can get for that. It’s pretty accurate when it comes to tracking your workouts with things like GPS - but the thing that always stopped me from using it to track my sleep was the battery life.
I just couldn’t fit in a time when I could charge my watch whilst getting ready in the morning, because I’d end up forgetting it and leaving it on charge for the whole day.
That was until the Apple Watch Ultra came out, which genuinely lasts me a few days on a single charge.
But it lacks a temperature sensor, there’s nowhere in the App that tells me what my body temperature is, and for me - that’s been so useful to have on the Oura which means, I still need both of them.
It does track your heart rate, and when I knew from my Oura ring that I was starting to come down with something over the Christmas holidays, I found myself reaching over to put on my Apple Watch in the middle of the night because my heart was racing.
And just as I expected, my watch beeped at me a few minutes later to tell me that my heart rate was extremely high when it hadn’t detected any movement that should cause such a high rate.
I didn’t know what I could do about it - but it just confirmed what I thought I already knew.
The one thing I have come to absolutely love with the Apple Watch though is when it wakes me up. The Oura can’t wake you up, it can’t vibrate or anything, but the Apple Watch has a subtle vibration that doesn’t shock you awake - it gently taps you on your wrist and if you’ve ever used an iPhone Alarm to wake you up, it’s very similar to that where it gets louder and louder, or with the watch, the taps get more intense the longer you leave it.
So when I need to wake up at a certain time, like it takes the kids to school - I’ll be wearing my Apple Watch most nights so it can gracefully wake me up.
The Apple Watch is also one of the best devices to wear for workouts at any time. I’ve amassed a small collection of smartwatches over the last year, and the Apple Watch Ultra is the most responsive, has the widest selection of workouts, and with one of the best battery lives out of all of them, compared to say the Pixel Watch which will only show you the time on a Swimming Workout; the Apple Watch will give you your heart rate, number of laps and so much more.
So for pure fitness, Apple Watch Ultra every day for me!
It’s still a question of whether this is a waste of money compared to a regular Apple Watch, but the battery life on this thing is crazy good.
So for me, between the Oura Ring and the Apple Watch - they’ve got me covered.
Now, What Exactly is a Whoop?
So what about the Whoop strap?
For the past six months, I’ve been wearing one of these straps - day and night, and actually barely taking it off my wrist since it comes with a wireless charger that you clip on, which means you don’t even need to take it off.
The Whoop costs around £250 for a year - and they give you a ‘free’ basic black whoop strap as I have, and then you pay a monthly fee to use it, access the app, and all the good stuff.
The Whoop does a lot of similar things to both the Apple Watch and the Oura. But there are a few good reasons why I like this fitness tracker.
Firstly, when I go to the Gym, I generally take all of my rings off. If you’re lifting weights or doing anything where you need to grip onto bars, wearing a ring can be uncomfortable, particularly with the Oura ring, as it can easily get scratched.
The Whoop doesn’t have that problem, because it’s around my wrist. So I can comfortably wear this during a gym session. I haven’t used it in any other way, but you can also wear this device in countless other ways - there’s a bicep strap, and they make clothes with a pocket to tuck the whoop sensor into.
There are boxer shorts and swimming shorts, and for girls, there are bras, crop tops, and all sorts of different clothes that make wearing your Whoop sensor easy whilst working out.
For workouts, the Whoop gives you a strain sensor, where Whoop will track how much strain you’re putting on your body, and you can use it to guide you when enough is enough. I’ve found that helpful.
The biggest thing that I love about the Whoop, and probably one of the main reasons that I would recommend it, is the daily journal.
Every morning when you open the App, it asks you questions about yesterday. Did you eat meat or fish, or did you take any vitamins? Did you drink enough water? Did you eat a late meal? Using all of this data, combined with monitoring your sleep and activity levels, it produces this insanely long report that tells you how each thing affects your body.
So whether there’s a positive or negative correlation between me eating meat and having energy the next day, or if my body actually sees any benefit from having a multivitamin every day, the fitness journal is going to tell me.
For example - one thing that has become crystal clear with all of these fitness trackers has been the effect alcohol has on my body. Honestly, if I have one beer or glass of wine, I can see through all of these fitness trackers that it ruins my sleep as my body spends hours trying to process the alcohol until my heart rate goes back down again. It’s fascinating!
But whilst having a Whoop strap is great, for me, it’s also yet another thing I have to stay on top of each day - and some days I just don’t remember. In fact, in the last week, I’ve either forgotten to check in my vitals each day, or honestly, I’ve opened the App where it’s prompted me to check in, and I’ve just scrolled to the bottom and hit OK and used the same answers I used last time.
Because one thing I’ve definitely been a sucker for this year is routine.
I take the same vitamins every day, I eat the same kind of food, and I still go to bed at the same late time each night - and so after a while, for me at least, I’m feeling fatigued at having to tell it what’s happened every day.
But if that’s something you’re into - honestly, the report and insights you can get out of the Whoop are fascinating.
I’m going to continue wearing all 3 of them for now though, as they each provide some unique insights that the other can’t do. I hope you enjoyed this review, let me know in the comments how you get on with each of these fitness trackers.
🛒 Get the OURA Ring: https://geni.us/8dS2uYlgYKo-1
🛒 Get the Whoop 4.0: https://geni.us/8dS2uYlgYKo-2
🛒 Get the Apple Watch Ultra: https://geni.us/8dS2uYlgYKo-3