Understanding our health and optimizing our wellness has never been easier. Science and technology are exploding in the wellness niche, and the FHM team is sending out all the heart-eye emojis for it.
Wearable health trackers have been around for a few years now, but the technology and level of personalized data and tracking are constantly evolving and improving. Oura Ring and Whoop are two wellness wearable brands that are right on the cutting edge of personal health tracking and optimization, which is why we decided to see how they compare to one another so that you can decide which one is right for you.
What’s a Wearable Wellness Tracker?
A wearable wellness tracker is simply a device that you wear that is designed to be used as a tool for tracking and optimizing your sleep, movement, and overall health. These devices have grown in popularity over the past few years as the world has begun making a shift to more of a focus on health and wellbeing, which encompasses so much more than exercising and calories burned.
Why Invest in One?
Wellness wearables are not cheap, however, the price does range from product to product. Investing in a wellness tracking device can provide you with helpful data and feedback that you can then use to make lifestyle changes that will help you get closer to your goals. Without the ability to track things like sleep, recovery, heart rate, temperature, blood oxygen, and more, you can’t make strategic changes to your diet, workouts, and lifestyle with precision.
Quick Table Summary of Whoop Vs. Oura Ring
Daytime HR Tracking
Adjustability made easy
Other wearing options (sleeker):
Blood Oxygen Tracking:
Training Peaks, Strava, Span Health
Google Fit, Apple Health, Span Health
Overview of Whoop
Whoop is a sleek and comfortable smart tracker that includes biometric tracking that helps you to understand your body in ways you’ve done before. With Whoop, you can track things like skin temperature, blood oxygen levels, sleep, training, recovery, and so much more. Plus, thanks to the cutting-edge technology inside the Whoop app, you will also enjoy in-app coaching features that give you step-by-step guidance on how to optimize your performance and wellness.
Key Features and Benefits
Comfortable and convenient - The Whoop strap is sleek, comfortable, and small enough to be worn around your wrist all the time with the durable SuperKnit band. Plus, Whoop recently announced the launch of their WHOOP Body apparel, which allows you the flexibility to wear your tracker right on your clothing.
Gentle Wake Up
WHOOP allows you to set a haptic alarm on your tracker that will gently wake you with a subtle vibration right at the optimal time based on your unique sleep needs and sleep cycles (as tracked in the app).
Keep track of your health
WHOOP’s robust sensor allows you to monitor all of your key vitals like blood oxygen levels, skin temperature, heart rate, and more.
Precision-level data capturing
There are 5 LEDs and 4 photodiodes that capture your data at a rate much higher than most other wearable devices. This allows for best-in-class accuracy that’s been verified in lab studies and through third-party testing as well.
No need to take WHOOP off when you are sleeping, showering or working out. You can wirelessly charge your device with a waterproof battery pack and never miss a beat, your WHOOP will continue to capture your data.
WHOOP App Features
The WHOOP app is always improving and now has some of the most intuitive and intelligent features of any wellness tracking device out there. With the Whoop app, you get real-time feedback on your sleep, training, recovery, and health. Plus, the in-app coaching feature helps you to understand and optimize your performance.
WHOOP will monitor your sleep cycles, performance, and quality of sleep to help you understand how much sleep you need every night as this varies from person to person.
When wearing your Whoop band during training, it will measure and accumulate your training activities and daily effort, giving you a strain score that you can use to understand when is a good time to push and when is a good time to rest.
Speaking of time to rest, WHOOP also clues you in to how your specific training and lifestyle behaviors affect your recovery. Using key metrics like HRV (heart rate variability) and resting heart rate, you will be given a daily recovery score to analyze.
WHOOP’s newest features include the ability to track some vital wellness metrics like blood oxygen levels, skin temperature, heart rate, and more so that you can understand and track your progress and be able to identify when something is off.
Based on your personalized insights and feedback from tracking with WHOOP, the app will then give your actionable feedback that’s based on your data, behaviors, and goals.
Using data from your recovery metrics, WHOOP will help you to take the guesswork out of your training. You will be given a daily target exertion goal that will help you to avoid over or under-training.
The app gets to know your sleep patterns and needs so that you can identify your optimal sleep goals. Once established, WHOOP can even be programmed to wake you up once your optimal recovery has been achieved.
Inside the app, there’s space for you to track your behaviors like stress levels, caffeine intake, and more so that you can measure and track which of those behaviors are playing a role in your sleep and your recovery.
WHOOP costs between $18-$30 per month depending on the subscription length you choose. There is a 6-month subscription commitment minimum. The cost of the membership comes with the latest, most advanced hardware plus access to the WHOOP app which includes all the personalized insights, built-in coaching, and weekly and monthly performance reporting.
Overview of Oura Ring
Our Ring is a wearable wellness tracking ring that allows you to gain valuable insights into your personal health and wellness, including your sleep, activity, and readiness. The goal of Oura Ring is to provide you with the critical data you need to start your day smarter and make the most out of your days and nights. Worn on your finger as a sleek, stylish ring, Oura is always collecting data for you to use to optimize your life.
Key Features and Benefits
The Oura ring provides very similar keys and benefits as Whoop, so let's take a look at those before deciding which one you want to purchase.
3 Daily Scores for Wellness Guidance
Oura Ring scores you in three key areas; sleep, activity, and readiness every day so that you can understand where your body is at on any given day and what exactly it needs.
24/7 Heart Rate Monitoring
Oura monitors your HR around the clock so that you have the data and insights you need to make the most out of your day.
7 Temperature Sensors
Precision-grade temperature sensors on Oura allow it to get to know your unique “normal” body temperature and has the ability to pick up on even the slightest of changes, which can clue you into things like your monthly cycle (for women) and whether you might be getting sick.
Completely Adaptive to You
With Oura, there’s no need to hit start on your workout or activity, Oura will automatically detect your movement and begin tracking it for you. Oura can also detect your sleeping patterns, including naps, and will let you know when you need to take a rest by reading your key body signals.
Guided Meditation Sessions
With a full curated library of meditations, you can begin to understand and interpret your body’s signals and take the necessary actions to optimize them. Oura will give you instant feedback based on how your body responds to the medications. These can help you to calm your body and fall asleep faster and easier.
Precision Sleep Analysis
Oura features 98% HRV (heart rate variability) accuracy and 99.6% heart rate accuracy and an enhanced state-of-the-art sleep staging algorithm that can accurately track the quality of your sleep based on your time spent in each of the sleep stages (light, deep, and REM). Using this feedback, Oura will then create the perfect sleep schedule for you and help you take action towards getting on track with it.
Oura Ring costs $299 for the ring plus the membership cost which is currently $5.99 per month after a 6-month free trial. The cost of the Oura Ring and membership includes the ring itself plus all of the tracking and data available inside the Oura App, which is constantly being updated and improved to add even more insights and value.
The Main Differences Between Whoop and Oura Ring (and why they’re important)
At this point, you might be leaning towards one wellness wearable over the other, but let’s take a minute to really dissect the key differences between Oura Ring and WHOOP:
Where It’s Worn: Wrist vs Finger
One of the first, and most obvious differences between the Oura Ring and the WHOOP Band is where the tracker is worn. WHOOP is a wristband that you wear around your wrist and Oura Ring is a ring that you wear on one of your fingers. One thing to consider is that the Oura Ring might be disruptive to your workouts, especially if you lift weights. I find my regular rings to be uncomfortable for lifting, and the Oura is much bulkier than those, so I wouldn't plan to wear it while working out as it would be both uncomfortable and could compromise the integrity of the ring.
Oura Ring costs $299 for the ring itself plus $5.99 per month to access the full capabilities of the app. WHOOP charges for a monthly subscription, which includes the WHOOP Strap at no additional cost.
In total, a year of Oura Ring (initial purchase + subscription) is $370.88 and a year of WHOOP (monthly subscription, 12-month term) is $288 making WHOOP the more affordable option.
What It Tracks
WHOOP tracks your recovery, strain, sleep, and health. Oura Ring tracks your sleep, activity, and readiness.
The main focus of WHOOP is more on your readiness to perform both inside and outside of the gym, whereas Oura Ring is more heavily focused on your sleep patterns and optimizing those for better performance throughout the day.
Who It’s Designed For
WHOOP feels as though it’s designed more for athletes and those looking to optimize their performance in the gym. Oura Ring, on the other hand, is designed more for those who want to understand their bodies in relation to sleep and how you’re balancing daily movement with rest and recovery.
Which Is More Accurate for Wellness Tracking: Whoop or Oura Ring?
Oura Ring claims to have 98% HRV accuracy and 99.6% heart rate accuracy thanks to the location of the sensor placed on the fingers, which is closer to your arteries than the wrist where most other wearables are located. WHOOP doesn’t make any claims regarding the accuracy of their tracking, however, there are plenty of studies that prove that wrist heart rate monitors provide accurate enough data, although chest monitors are usually more accurate.
It’s also noteworthy to mention that WHOOP takes pride in being on the cutting edge of technology and innovation, so it’s safe to say that the accuracy at which the WHOOP Band is able to track and predict your vitals is highly accurate. This study, which used two similar wearable trackers worn on the wrist, concluded that both were quite accurate when compared to the gold standard industry method, an ECG (electrocardiogram).
All in all, both Whoop and Oura are very accurate and will provide you with critical data relating to your health and fitness, so the choice will come down to which option feels more comfortable for you and which one has features that are most in alignment with your personal goals.
Wrapping Up The Comparison
Both WHOOP and Oura are delivering impactful and insightful information that we can use to our advantage as we aim to optimize our wellness across various areas of our lives. While WHOOP is targeted more towards the athletic and performance audience, Oura Ring can be used in a similar fashion, and vice versa.
Personally, I think both products are incredible and that the insights you can get from their tracking capabilities are invaluable for health tracking. Given the choice, I would choose WHOOP over Oura for the best overall tracker as it’s more comfortable and easy to wear, especially with the introduction of their training wear that has built-in space for wearing your WHOOP tracker right inside the clothing.
For those who are looking for a wearable that has a deeper focus on sleep tracking and optimization, Oura Ring might be the best option for you. Again, the one thing that I will note is that since Oura is worn on your finger, you will need to get used to having that in place during your training sessions, workouts, and while sleeping. One aspect that I love about both Oura and Whoop that I think is a little under-rated is temperature tracking, especially for women and menstrual cycle tracking as purchasing a separate tracking device will cost hundreds more.