After going through hundreds of user reviews and some naps of our own, we checked every manual. We compiled our list for best wearable sleep tracker for 2019 and included how we do this so you can do it on your own as well. We cross-checked the various products and measured them according to our criteria, which you can read through at the bottom of this page.
Getting a good night sleep is one thing, to get good data is equally important. Most of these trackers to this. The best sleep tracker overall has to be the Fitbit Versa with its excellent measurements and good insights. Whether you want an all-rounder like the Versa or one that is compatible with an active lifestyle or a tiny budget, we give you the details to help you steer towards your perfect purchase.
- The top 5 best wearable sleep trackers for 2019:
- How to find you best sleep tracker
The top 5 best wearable sleep trackers for 2019:
#1 Fitbit Versa – Best overall
This elegant design by Fitbit came out in March 2018 and is a favorite for many users since. With its rounded design, customizable straps, plenty of apps and features it is a great smartwatch. Don’t forget about the battery life that’ll last for more than 4 days on end.
What makes this smartwatch so useful as sleep tracker is its gyroscope and optical heart rate sensor. After a rough night of sleep, you open up the Fitbit app and will see so much information about your nights’ rest. The Versa combines its measurements very well and this is a great option if sleep tracking is what you’re after.
The Versa detects your movement to ‘know’ if you’re asleep. Combined with heart rate detection this offers two sets of data to measure how you sleep. Your data is interpreted to give you personal insights. We’re not really excited about this feature since it feels somewhat generic at times. Still, it is a great effort. More importantly, you wake up when you want to with the alarms you can set. The Versa even helps you achieve your sleep goals, or if necessary tell you to go to bed. This way you gain control over your sleep patterns and it helps to stimulate yourself.
Fitbit has churned out quality products since its beginnings. The biggest drawback for the Fitbit Versa is that you might not want to wear a watch to bed. Then again, this goes for all wearable sleep trackers, so we don’t count this as much of a drawback. At a price of around $179.- you’ll get your money’s worth. If you might want to spend less and still own a Fitbit try the Fitbit Alta Hr or the Fitbit Charge 3. They feature the same advanced technology the Fitbit Versa profits from.
- Great data insights
- Options to set goals and sleep reminders to motivate you
- An active company providing good customer service
- Pricey to use only as a sleep tracker
- Wear a watch while you sleep
#2 Garmin Vivoactive 3 (Music) – Bang for your buck
Admittedly, it is a lot buck and yes you will get a lot of bang for it. Garmin has been around in the smartwatch business since 2003 and they know what they’re doing. The Garmin Vivoactive 3 got up to speed through an update in June 2018. It now features heart rate variability and movements as the core of your sleep data. The reason it is not our best sleep tracker? Simple, its price tag. Too much for just a sleep tracker. This is a watch you buy when you are already active.
The comfort to wear it in bed is reasonable compared to its size. You can access your dataset through the web, and it shows a very good set of results. It measures all three sleep stages. However, it does not measure the actual time you sleep, but rather the actual time you are in bed. Also, it does not show exactly when you fall asleep, something the Polar m430 is capable of doing. Not for naught, that smartwatch is still the standard. There is however little need for you to recharge the Vivoactive 3 Music since the battery life reaches up to 7 days.
To call the Garmin Vivoactive a sleep tracker would do it a disservice. It does function as one, yes. Its broad spectrum of features makes for good integration with your workouts or runs. Although the Polar M430 is better in this regard as well, the Vivoactive 3 does collect this insightful data. It lacks only analyzing you. All in all the Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music is not a smartwatch you would want to buy for the sleep monitor features. You’d buy this knowing it to be one of the excellent features as well.
- comfortable in bed
- great battery life
- insightful data
- Pricy to buy as just a sleep tracker
- would expect deeper analysis for the price
#3 Polar m430 – Great for an active lifestyle
This company has been around since 1977 and is fully immersed in the world of sports and activities. No wonder we include this gem in the list. The Polar M430 offers a full contextual view of your nightly hours. It helps you make sense of the impact changes in your workout or run-schedule on your sleep.
The Polar M430 uses Optical Heartrate Monitoring (OHR) and is based on the optical detection of blood flow in your wrist. This is detected by the sensors at the bottom of the smartwatch. This allows for actual sleep time to be visible in your stats as compared to the time spent in bed which most manufacturers display. With the M430 you will have an integrated perspective on your active and nightlife to help you get better at both. No wonder users love this sleep tracker.
- Integration with day-time activity
- Very accurate stats
- Great smartwatch for already active people
- pricey for beginners
- lacks in comfort in bed
#4 Withings Steel HR – When style is your motivation
Before we go to the capabilities of this stylish entry into our list, a bit on the company itself. You might see this marketed under Nokia steel HR as well. This has to do with a two year period the company belonged to Nokia. The founder sold it in 2016 and bought it back in 2018. An interesting story about entrepreneurship you can read more about here if you want.
Withings is founded in 2008 with the express intent to focus on health. They provide a range of products within this market. The beautiful design of the Steel HR is immediately noticeable. Something else might get your attention; at least 6-day battery life. Withings did not invent some radical new battery. If you want to feel at ease this is the smartwatch for you, because there is no barrage of notifications, updates or missed calls. You can check the time, see what percentage of your daily activity has been done, and that is it. All other data is synced with the Health Mate app.
The app features several nudges to help you along. It shows you how long it took to fall asleep. Apart from that, it monitors deep and light sleep phases and interruptions. Heart rate is measured a given amount per minute but can be changed to constant during workouts. If you do that the GPS will be turned on as well! A neat feature is the alarm. It wakes you up in the best possible moment of your sleep cycle. Reports have been that the watch itself remains at sleep, seeing that it tends to count your morning routine as deep sleep. This can be edited and might be resolved in the future.
The Withings Steel HRs’ full capabilities only reveal itself if you add the scale and other products as well. The aggregate data collected is great, but will require a bit more investments than just the watch. Pricewise this smartwatch comes at a relatively low price. Yes, the $ 159.- or so is not cheap, yet the design, as well as the functionalities that come with the Withings Steel HR, make up for a lot this. It is still less pricey than the Fitbit Versa or the Polar m430. Those watches you can’t wear on a night out, this one however you can.
- style and comfort go together
- lengthy battery life
- a company dedicated to health
- uncomfortable silicone band
- length of sleep not always accurate
#5 Letscom Fitness Tracker HR – Start on a Budget
The other end of the spectrum is the Letscom Fitness Tracker HR. The company started in 2014 and has a broader range of products than other companies on this list. Letscom offers a great product for its price. That is not to say it is a great product, although it does what it promises.
The Fitness Tracker HR tracks the hours you’re sleeping. It does have a heart rate monitor. While you sleep this should pose not much of an issue. It is during high-intensity training the tracker has been reported to have issues. Apart from this, calories burned, active minutes, and steps taken are all measured. All in all the user experience appears very positive, especially for the price-tag.
So, if you are looking to start and don’t want to spend too much or don’t have much to spend, the Letscom Fitness Tracker HR is for you. You can choose several different colors and replacement bands are easy to find. This is one of the few sleep trackers in this list to be comfortable in bed.
In closing, we can’t ignore the fact that both the tracker itself and company support appear to have been lacking in quality. Replacements have been reported to not work either, steps are not counted properly and random resets appear. This is however not the case with every item. So, if you want to spend around $30.- on a product that does what it is advertised to do, but says nothing about its quality, this budget tracker is for you.
- cheap way to start tracking
- comfortable in bed
- cheap to replace
- unreliable at times
If you are looking for a good all round smartwatch that is good at tracking sleep and providing you with good insights the Fitbit Versa is for you. Its design pales in comparison to others on this list, but don’t let that disturb you if it is the features you are after.
An active lifestyle will demand a bit more. This is where the Polar M430 comes in, although at a price. It is still the go-to watch for runners and will provide you with a great start.
If you are new to this game and want a step up from activity trackers, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music will be your pick. Its features are very broad, its GPS is sufficient and you’ll get music and options to pay with your smartwatch.
Wanting to try out what sleep tracking is all about without spending good money? The Letscom Fitness Tracker HR is your choice. This is a basic product that has its issues, yet at such a cost one can’t complain.
Those who prefer style and health together should go for the Withings Steel HR. This elegant design shows what dedication to style and health can achieve. Did we mention the extremely long battery life?
How to find you best sleep tracker
No two people are the same and neither are the criteria for people to buy their sleep tracker. We have selected a few criteria that are important for you to make up your mind. Ultimately these criteria are weighed with the price of the product to see what you get for your money. We judge your best sleep tracker by the following 5 criteria:
The most important feature. Accurate measurements mean accurate data, which in turn helps you understand better your sleep cycles and sleep patterns. There are different technologies sleep trackers use. With accuracy we mean:
1. The ability to distinguish between your sleep cycles. A sleepcycle is a period in which you move from light sleep to REM-sleep and back. This is an ongoing process while you sleep. Sleep cycles are on average 90 minutes long and they work to rejuvenate the mind as well as rest the body. If there is a disturbance here, you want to know. Your sleep tracker needs to pick up at least these cycles.
2. The methods used to measure heart rate. Some trackers use Heart Rate Variability (HRV). This is a measure of how much variation there is in your heartbeat within a given period. If your HRV is low, your heartbeat is constant. The less constant your heartbeat is, the higher the HRV will be. The most common used HRV formula is RMSSD (Root Mean Square of the Successive Differences). Ultimately HRV is a measure of your, cardiovascular, health. This is always a strictly personal measure since you and your body are unique. You cannot compare your HRV to others and draw conclusions based on that.
Of course, comfort is a close second for your sleep tracker. This does not merely mean the smartwatch is easy to wear. We look at several related issues as well.
- What kind of material is it made of?
- How noticeable is it when you wear it?
- Is it comfortable to wear at night?
#3 Statistics & Data
Of course, the best sleep tracker will provide you with statistics. There are sleep trackers that are only able to track short periods of time, e.g. two weeks. Better ones can go up to a year. This is however not all about graphs and numbers. You want to have your insights close at hand. Some sleep trackers come with an app while others require you to log in to a website. Ultimately this comes down to what you prefer and this is where we come in.
Once you buy your sleep tracker it comes in handy if you can use it. This is what we look at for usability. Are you able to use the tracker on the go? Do you need extra equipment for better tracking? What needs to be done for it to properly work? These questions are important for you to know if you want some ease of use or just want to know what’s up beforehand.
We divide this section into two parts, the tracker itself and its manufacturer. Measuring your sleep is interesting, but are your results any good? Will it continue to measure under all circumstances? What if you sleep with your partner? These are amongst the things we look at when it comes to the reliability of the measuring itself. The second part is the manufacturer. We look at what they do, how their support is perceived by customers, types of warranty. Are their products picked up by reputable sources or are they lurking a dark corner of the internet. If so, why? These two forms of reliability provide you with the last details you need.