I Tried The $499 Oura Ring In The Name Of Wellness

Photo: Courtesy of Karina Hoshikawa
In my almost 30 years on this planet, I’ve witnessed cassette tapes be replaced with CDs, which were replaced with MP3s, which were de facto replaced by streaming services, which are now…happily co-existing with 180-gram vinyl records? The point is, what’s old always finds a way to be new again, and the same holds true for wearable tech. After everyone's iPhone came with an odometer, the once-hot accessory seemed doomed to go the way of the Zune. But a new batch of updated, fashion-forward options has made them trendy again, with the current status symbol of the moment being one that doesn't look like wearable tech at all: The Oura Ring. Starting at $299, the Oura ring does way more than count your steps. The unassuming bauble tracks your sleep, monitors your heart rate, and can even map your workouts. As someone who has a soft spot for wearables, I knew I had to see what all the hype was about.
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Photo: Courtesy of Karina Hoshikawa
The first step in my Oura journey was a practical one: Finding out my Oura ring size. Available in sizes 6 through 13, the ring is meant to be worn on your pointer or middle finger, not your typical ring finger; this is apparently for accuracy reasons since the inside of the ring is lined with various sensors to track heart rate, body temperature, and respiratory rate, among other things. Since a proper fit is key to ensuring your Oura is working for you, the brand includes a free sizing kit containing plastic rings in every Oura size with every order. Once that arrives, you input your size by visiting the link on the kit’s packaging, and Oura will ship your new ring to you. (They encourage you to keep the kit to share with friends and family should they be Oura-curious in the future.)
The brand has two style options to choose from, both of which play to my minimal taste in jewelry. The original style is the Heritage, a classic, plateau design with a flat edge, and the newer design is the Horizon, a solid band that's even throughout. Both are made of titanium and are available in a variety of finishes including rose gold, silver, matte black, and gold.
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As I've said before, I'm not the kind of person who likes bulky jewelry, so the fact that the Oura ring is almost weightless is truly a game-changer for me. Also, the setup process is as easy as setting up a new iPhone; once I charged up my Oura ring (which took less than an hour to get to a full charge, which lasted about a week for me), I downloaded the Oura app and followed the instructions to pair it with my phone. It worked like a charm and within minutes, I was getting all sorts of fascinating data from my ring. (Also, another note on the app: It's beautifully designed and seamless to toggle between various reports. If you've ever tried the Calm app, it's visually very similar.)
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Oura has a membership model to access all of its nifty data and features, which feature fitness and sleep scores similar to what you get with the Amazon Halo or the Lululemon Studio — both of which also have membership models. The first month is free with your purchase but costs $5.99/month afterward. Another slept-on feature is the library of Oura content that you get with the membership, which includes guided meditations, breathwork exercises, and more.
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As a self-professed super sleeper, my favorite thing about the Oura ring is waking up to an in-depth sleep report card, which breaks down things like sleep efficiency, total hours spent snoozing, and more. You also get personalized health insights and recommendations, which I encourage folks to take with a grain of salt; obviously, these aren't intended to replace regular checkups with a medical provider, but if they motivate you to move more or develop better sleep habits, then I consider that a win.
For the price, Oura is definitely a splurge — but one that anyone who is super into wellness will definitely adore and get a lot out of. Not to mention it's a legitimately stylish piece of jewelry that I love stacking with my other rings. My two cents on this expensive wellness tracker can be summed up as such: Yes, it's bougie — but in the month that I've tested mine out, I've had some of the best sleeps of my life, and I like that it encourages me to be active in a non-shame-y way. Living my best life? Now it's only a matter of time before I upgrade to the truly incredible Gucci x Oura Ring...
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