Marcus is an orthopedic spine surgeon who knows for sure how to ease ache in your back, neck, and shoulders, and prevent meeting him in person.
Last updated: April 10, 2021
Talk About Sleep is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
You can exercise, eat well, and read self-improvement books, but if you don’t get the right amount of sleep, all of your good routines and habits will fail to have the most beneficial effects. Sleep is almost magical; a lack of sleep impacts energy levels, mood, your skin, and even your overall health. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell whether or not you’re getting high-quality sleep every night, which is why many people look to sleep trackers. With so many options on the market, choosing a device can be a little tricky, so we’ve compiled a special guide to help you with purchasing of the best sleep tracker.
In our best sleep trackers review, we’ve looked at the key features that make an excellent device. We’ve reviewed the different types of sleep trackers and functionality issues such as battery life, pricing, apps, and other features that make a device ideal for use in a busy lifestyle. Choosing a device requires more than watching what your friends are using, as your lifestyle and habits may be completely different. So, we have aimed to highlight the features that you may find useful to help you develop healthier habits, and improve your overall wellness.
Our research team has created a list of some of the best fitness and sleep trackers on the market, looking not only at the features of each device, but also manufacturer information and user feedback. We’ve used this data to compile a comparison table, in-depth reviews for each product and a sleep tracker Buying Guide to help you to make an informed purchase decision.
The EMFIT QS was originally developed for athletes, but it makes a fantastic sleep tracker for anyone interested in improving their health and sleep patterns. Like the Beautyrest and Withings, the EMFIT QS is a contactless device; it uses a measuring strip that is placed under your mattress. This strip uses ballistocardiograph and sensitive compression sensors to take readings on your sleep data.
The EMFIT QS is more than a standard sleep tracker. It not only measures breathing, deep, REM and light sleep, heart rate, and restlessness, but also total recovery, recovery efficiency, and night heart rate variability. This device is highly effective at picking up spontaneous wakening during the night and processing the time asleep, but it does struggle to differentiate between sleeping and relaxing in bed.
While this device doesn’t offer sleep coaching, there is a great deal of data to help you to assess your sleep patterns. There are visual data representations in multiple graphs, including heart rate variability, respiration, and sleep stages. All of this data will help you to sleep better and become healthier. The device gives you detailed descriptions of your sleep quality and recovery progression to help you to make well-educated choices for workouts and other activities during the day.
There is nothing to wear, and the EMFIT QS is easy to set up. There is no need to worry about turning the device off or on, simply play the sensor under your mattress, and the QS will start measuring automatically.
What we liked:
Provides masses of data presented in graphs
Completely contactless monitoring
Does not require manual interaction
Measures all typical sleep data
What could be better:
The steep learning curve to analyze data
No sleep coaching
May be affected by sleep partners if they roll over the sensor strip
The Fitbit One is more than a sleep tracker. This device is one of the best smartwatch sleep trackers. It has been designed to help you to be more active and make wiser dietary choices. In the daytime, the Fitbit One tracks your calories burned, distance, stairs and steps climbed. At night, the device measures your sleep cycle and can even provide a discreet wake-up alert.
Your sleep and activity stats can be uploaded wirelessly to a computer or mobile device, and using this data, you can set activity, fitness and sleep goals, tracking your progress. There are even badges and friend connections to help you to stay motivated. The Fitbit One allows you to log your workouts, food, and other activity throughout the day to improve your overall health and fitness.
The Fitbit One is water-resistant, but it is important to dry the band after showering or sweating to avoid skin issues caused by wearing a wet band for prolonged periods. You should rinse and dry the device before you put it back on. However, you need to avoid using soaps, cleaning wipes, or household cleaners on the band, or you may cause skin irritation. The Fitbit One is not swim-proof, so should be taken off before watersports or swimming activities.
With just one sync, you can automatically wirelessly connect to your computer, tablet, or over 150 Android, Windows, or iOS smartphones. The device has a charge time of up to two hours, and a full charge can provide a battery life of up to 10 days.
The MorePro Fitness monitors real-time blood pressure and heart rate all day automatically, but it can also record steps, calorie consumption, distance, and sleep data. The app allows you to review your health and activity statistics, easily, and there is a reminder function that provides calls, SMS, SNS notifications, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. There are even an alarm clock, sedentary reminder, and female physiological period reminder to add further convenience and functionality.
The 0.96-inch color IPS screen provides a high definition, bright display with a clock interface in different styles and colors. Additionally, the MorePro can be used during swimming, cold showers and in the rain. However, it should not be used in hot showers as it may suffer damage.
The MorePro features a built-in USB plug, so you don’t need to worry about charging docks or cables. You can simply charge using a USB block or your computer. A full charge can last up to 7 days, but with heavy use, you can expect a minimum of 3 days.
The MorePro offers a variety of features to enhance functionality beyond a sleep tracker. The sleep monitor does automatically monitor you, displaying the data on the compatible app, including wake up times and periods of light and deep sleep. There is also a heart rate monitor, blood pressure monitor, and daily activity tracker to help you to develop healthy habits and a healthier lifestyle. There is even a sedentary reminder to help you stay energized, making this one of the best activity and sleep trackers.
The Beautyrest Sleeptracker is the best non-wearable device, sitting under your mattress. This provides a contactless tracker that you don’t need to wear. The sleep data is sent via a small data processor to the smartphone app that’s simple to set up. There are even app videos to take you through the setup. Once your Beautyrest is configured, it can be switched on, and it will automatically track your sleep when you’re in bed, providing accurate and consistent measurements.
The Beautyrest is designed to provide interpretations of sleep data and helpful advice to improve your sleep habits. This means that there are no complicated graphs or tables to try and interpret. One of the most impressive features of the Beautyrest is that it doesn’t mistake resting in bed for sleep. It can also identify significant periods of waking during the night.
The Beautyrest also excels other models in sleep coaching. While many trackers provide generic coaching tips, the Beautyrest provides recommendations based on your sleep data and results. In fact, the more information you provide, the higher the standard of coaching. So, it is well worth taking a few minutes to answer the questionnaires, as you will get more helpful advice based on how you sleep after less active or stressful days.
In essence, the Beautyrest makes your bed into a smart bed. The pad interacts with Alexa and features highly accurate sensors that monitor and analyze heart rate, respiration, and your unique sleep behaviors, including body movements.
What we liked:
Provides a sleep score motivational system
Daily tailored sleep coaching
Tracks breathing and heart rate
Easy-to-use smartphone app
What could be better:
Requires continual Wifi Connection
Annual subscription required for more detailed data interpretation
The Fitbit Alta HR offers a thinner and sleeker design than the higher-grade Charge 2 and Charge 3 models. This design is so unobtrusive that you almost do not notice he device on your wrist when you’re in bed, but this does come at the cost of fewer tracking functions. The sleep tracking algorithm and software of the Alta HR is impressively accurate; unlike many other sleep trackers, the Alta HR is not likely to mistake resting in your bed for sleep, so you can gain an accurate insight into your genuine sleep patterns and routines.
The app also offers a great sleep breakdown that helps you to breakdown your sleep with age benchmarks. There are also vibrating reminders for activity each hour and for sticking to targeted bedtimes. You can even choose a wind-down period to help you relax before bed. Since a regular sleep routine is crucial for good sleep, this feature could make a massive difference to you.
If you like wearables with big screens and a massive choice of features, you may struggle to downsize to this model. While the Alta HR is not the most accurate for intense exercise, it does work really well for sleep monitoring. The Alta HR is a subtle wearable that in addition to looking good, feels comfortable in bed at night. Although the Alta HR is not waterproof, it is sweatproof, making it our pick for the best sleep tracker wristband
What we liked:
Accurate, automatic sleep tracking
Vibrating alerts and reminders
Excellent app for sleep analysis
What could be better:
Low on features
No GPS- Requires phone sync
Lacks heart rate monitor accuracy during intense exercise
The Withings Sleep Tracking Pad is an interesting evolution in this segment. Unlike other mat trackers, the Withings is a contactless mat that is placed under the mattress. This pad then transmits sleep data to a smartphone.
The company has a focus on improving sleep patterns. After registering the sleep tracking pad, the app will prompt you to join other programs to help you to improve the consistency of your sleep routine. There is also an option to integrate your pad with your smart home devices IFTTT. This allows you to automatically adjust your thermostat or turn lights on and off when you get into bed.
The Withings Sleep Tracking Pad is the best sleep tracker device, attempting to track the stages of your sleep and collates this into a graph the following morning on the app. Unfortunately, if you like to lie in bed reading, you may find that your figures may not be completely accurate, as the device can find it harder to track sleep and rest, the more time you spend reading in bed.
The Tracking Pad can monitor your sleep, detecting snoring, and breathing disturbances that may be compromising the quality of your sleep. Although some pauses are normal during sleep, frequent breathing disturbances can be a potential sign of chronic conditions including, sleep apnea. The App will produce a daily Sleep Score, so you can see at a glance the quality of your sleep and how you can make improvements. You can also receive personalized coaching to help you to increase your sleeping time efficiency.
What we liked:
Easy to setup
Contactless and automatic
Sleep analysis presented in visual graphs with key points highlighted
Measures sleep stages
Personalized sleep coaching
Smart home integration
What could be better:
May mistake resting for sleep
May not record short bed exits
Graphs require careful screen tapping to access more data
Fitbit Flex 2 is quite similar to its predecessor from 2013, but there are some distinct improvements. The five status LEDs on the tracker provide a heads up of the remaining charge and any crucial notifications. The device will also vibrate if you need to take action, it will alert you to text messages or calls and act as an alarm clock. There is a choice of five different strap colors, and it feels comfortable to wear with secure clasps to avoid accidental falling off.
The Fitbit Flex 2 App integration is practically perfect. There is all the data you need on both the iOS and Android versions. You can wirelessly sync to your phone to transfer data and see a vertical list of data displayed. Simply tap on any entry, and you get more detail about specific stats, you can even break down your activities by hour. Despite this impressive performance, a single charge should see you through a week’s activity, but keep your eye on the charger, as it will be difficult to replace if lost.
The Fitbit Flex 2 allows you to not only monitor your sleep but also track calories burned, distance, steps, and minutes when you are active. The device is also waterproof; you can wear it in the pool, ocean, and shower. You can record workouts on your app to further enhance your healthy lifestyle and work towards your fitness goals.
The device can track automatically how long and how well you’re sleeping, set a silent alarm to emit a small vibration to wake you up.
The Motiv Ring is a wonderful combination of fit, function, and form. This device weighs less than a penny and is thinner than two nickels, making it one of the smallest trackers on the market. The ring is ultralight, waterproof titanium with a 3-day battery life that can fully recharge in 90 minutes. This brings superb functionality to surprisingly slim and discreet design. This will ensure that you will want to wear the Motiv Ring 24/7.
Despite this diminutive size, the Motiv Ring packs a punch with a wide variety of features including calories burned, resting heart rate, steps, heart rate, and sleep. The ring uses your heart rate and movement data to focus on the most appropriate metrics for you and to determine how much your activities are contributing to your health. Unlike the conventional wrist-based tracker, the Motiv Ring is both stylish and comfortable, so you won’t feel the need to take it off.
In the app, you can set your goals for sleep and physical activity, and milestones, and the Motiv Ring will automatically detect and track your body processes to help you in achieving these goals. The app will automatically adjust your goals based on a daily process, a little like having rollover minutes. You can also see your resting heart rate, activity, and sleep through the app. You simply need to tap each activity in the daily feed to get a more detailed analysis.
What we liked:
Small and discreet
Sleek, lightweight design
Automatically adjusts your goals
90 minutes of recharge time
Can be worn 24/7
What could be better:
May cause problems, if you’re prone to fingers swelling
3-day battery life
Sizing guide set only available in the U.S.
Things to Consider
Sleep tracking devices have become popular recently, particularly for those who have difficulties falling or staying asleep. These devices can measure and monitor sleep patterns, heart rate, and movement, but may also monitor snoring and other sleep disturbances. With so many different types of device, features, and systems, it can be a little overwhelming to choose the best one for you. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a buying guide to help you make your purchase decision.
Features to consider while choosing sleep tracker
Many sleep tracking systems on the market today are very highly advanced, recording sleep data and providing analytics to help you adjust your routine for better sleep. However, it is important to look for features that will fit with your lifestyle and habits. Some of the best features for most users are an alarm, heart monitor, and sleep coaching tips.
Sleep trackers generally fall into two categories; wearable and non-wearable. Wearable sleep trackers typically provide more than just sleep data; they record your physical activities throughout the day and night.
Most sleep trackers are worn on the wrist, but there are ring types like the Motiv. Most wearable sleep trackers use accelerometers to monitor your movement. This provides readings that can determine if you enjoyed a peaceful and relatively still night or slept fitfully.
Advanced wearable trackers also go a step further, evaluating your sleep quality based on the stages of different sleep cycles. This is often displayed as a graph so that you can see the times when you were most fitful or slept well.
Non-wearable sleep trackers tend to be a good option for those who don’t like wearing a device but want to monitor sleep activity. These non-contact devices tend to record sleep data using movement sensors or infrared technology. The sensors connect to a smartphone app, but some can also work with home automation systems. For example, the Withings sleep pad can integrate with your smart home systems using IFTTT. Most non-wearable sleep trackers monitor heart rate, with non-invasive measures since there is no contact with your skin.
Unlike wearable models, non-wearable trackers are designed exclusively to monitor your sleep data and will not track your daytime activities.
Wearable and non-wearable sleep trackers all tend to require an app. The data from the device is typically compiled by the app to display graphs or other visuals to help you to analyze your sleep patterns. Therefore, it is important to choose a device that has an App compatible with your smartphone. Fortunately, most sleep trackers are compatible with Android and iOS, but be sure to check whether the tracker app is compatible with your specific smartphone OS.
It is also worth bearing in mind that some sleep trackers can also display data on your PC. Although many users will appreciate the flexibility of using a smartphone, some may prefer to analyze their sleep data on their PC.
When choosing a sleep tracker, it is also important to assess comfort. Wearable trackers can often be worn throughout the day and night, so it is crucial that the device is comfortable. In fact, some manufacturers even specify that devices should be removed periodically to avoid skin irritation. Since many devices are waterproof, it can be very tempting to wear a device 24/7. When assessing sleep trackers, you need to be realistic about what you find comfortable. If you don’t tend to wear a watch, you may find a wrist design wearable uncomfortable, or it may take a little time to get used to it. Likewise, a ring wearable may be only appropriate if you are comfortable wearing rings. If you don’t like the feeling of wearing jewelry, a non-wearable sleep tracker may be more appropriate.
Night data recording
Most sleep trackers use actigraphy to measure your sleep patterns. Both wearable and non-wearable devices track your movement as you sleep, which is translated into periods of sleeping and wakefulness by the software. This provides a convenient way to study your sleep pattern without needing to visit a sleep clinic.
Wearable devices can be worn 24/7, which also allows you to track periods of inactivity and sleepiness during the day. Your movement rate may suggest times when your energy lulls that could provide insight into your sleep, rest, and dietary patterns to promote a healthier lifestyle.
Studies suggest that generally, actigraphy devices such as Fitbit are considered accurate to track sleep in a healthy adult with a “normal” sleep pattern. If you have a sleep disorder, the device may not be as accurate during periods of very disrupted sleep.
Since sleep trackers often measure movement, some less sophisticated devices may struggle to distinguish between rest and sleep stages. However, many of the devices we’ve featured here, such as the Fitbit Alta HR, are accurate at telling the difference between when you are sleeping and resting.
The price of sleep trackers can vary greatly. Generally, wearable devices tend to be more costly than non-contact trackers, but there are some reasonably priced wearable sleep trackers. For example, the MorePro Fitness is our best budget pick. This device automatically monitors heart rate and blood pressure in real time, in addition to recording your calorie consumption, steps, distance, and sleep data. The accompanying app allows you to review your stats easily, and there are reminder functions.
While the budget is an important factor, it should not be your only consideration when you make your purchase decision. It is important to look at the overall features and functions offered as you may prefer to pay a little more and get a device that has additional functionality to suit your lifestyle and habits.
To further help you to make your purchase decision, we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions.
The mattress thickness should not have an influence on the measurement of an under-mattress sleep tracker. For example, the Withings sleep mat has been tested with mattresses from 4 to 15 inches to ensure accuracy.
Generally, non-contact sleep trackers offer a more convenient solution as you don’t need to wear any devices. However, these devices tend to use sensors that may be affected by sleep partners or by frequent movement during the night. For example, some sleep mats may struggle to differentiate between lying in bed reading and sleeping.
Since sleep trackers are “wellness” devices, they are not regulated by the FDA, so claims about detecting issues like heart problems or sleep apnea cannot be substantiated. However, many sleep trackers measure heart rate, which can highlight potential issues that require further investigation.
Deep sleep is the third stage of our sleep cycle, and it occurs when the breathing, heartbeat, brain waves, and body temperature are at their lowest. In healthy adults, between 13 and 23 percent of sleep is a deep sleep. So, in a typical 8-hour night’s sleep, approximately 62 to 110 minutes would be a deep sleep. However, as we age, we tend to require less deep sleep.
If you want to track your sleep, are into fitness, and like the idea of wearing a smart device, then the Fitbit One is an excellent choice. When many people think about fitness, and sleep trackers, they immediately think about a Fitbit. The Fitbit app is excellent, and you can track your fitness, activity, and sleep, with goals and motivation. You can even log your food, workouts, and other activity to help improve your overall health. While the Fitbit does have a unique charger, there is up to a 10-day battery life.
Another wearable that we rank highly is the MorePro Fitness. This is a more budget-friendly option that still offers excellent functionality. The high definition color screen provides a bright display, and the device can be used during swimming and cold showers. You can even receive notifications, alarm alerts, and periodic reminders.
Overall, the EMFIT QS is our pick as one of the best sleep trackers. This system developed for athletes may have a steep learning curve to analyze the data, but it does provide accurate insight into your sleep patterns. The EMFIT QS measures deep, light and REM sleep, restlessness, heart rate, and recovery efficiency. The sensors are highly effective at monitoring the time spent asleep and the periods of waking during the night. This produces plenty of data that is collated into multiple graphs to help you become healthier.