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Owlet Smart Sock review: we put the innovative wearable baby monitor to the test

An innovative smart sock that monitors your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels as they sleep for parents’ peace of mind, sending visual and audible notifications if they drop outside of preset levels.

By Lucy Cotterill | Last updated Aug 1, 2023

Owlet Smart Sock 3

Price on writing: £289 | Buy now from Mamas & Papas

They may look like simple socks, but these intelligent smart monitors can track your baby as they sleep, allowing you to monitor your baby’s vital statistics such as heart rate and oxygen levels in real-time via the Owlet app.

Thanks to the visual green or red glow on the sock, you can quickly check your baby is safe and comfortable without waking them. You’ll also be notified if your baby’s levels fall below recommended levels, allowing you to sleep easy, reassured that your baby is safe and sound. 

Whilst not a traditional baby monitor (it doesn’t come with a camera) you can buy an Owlet camera unit separately or use the Owlet Smart Sock in addition to another visual baby monitor. 

What we like

  • Tracks heart rate, oxygen levels and sleep trends

  • Notifies parents if baby’s levels go outside of preset zones 

  • Soft and comfortable against baby’s skin

  • Allows you to learn about your child’s sleep habits to adjust routine as they grow

  • Red or green ‘glow’ visible without disturbing your baby’s sleep 

What we don't like

  • Finding the perfect placement and positioning of the Smart Sock can be tricky and could move if you have a particularly wriggly baby

  • Can’t change the pre-set parameters - something to bear in mind if you have a premature baby or child with additional needs

  • Can lose connection if you move your baby too far away from the base unit

  • Costly for relatively short-term use, although an extension pack is available for older babies. 

Key features

  • Soft. stretchy socks that monitor heart rate, oxygen levels and sleep patterns

  • Real time reporting with sound and light notifications when your baby needs you

  • 30 days of history sleep history and trends on the free Owlet app 

  • Adjustable to grow with your baby 

  • Wireless ‘drop and go’ charging

Key specs

Range: 0 - 18 months | Warranty: 1 year | Dimensions: ‎20 x 8.5 x 14 cm | RRP: £282.48  

Read next: The best baby monitors, as recommended by Mumsnetters

Owlet Smart Sock

What’s in the box? 

  • 2 Owlet socks (in sizes to fit babies aged 0–12lb and 12lb - 30lb, approx 18 months)

  • Sensor

  • Base station

  • Charging cords

  • Setup instructions

  • Quick reference guide

  • Warranty documentation

“My son is now rolling and sleeping on his front, so the real-time data from the Owlet Smart Sock was a great way of reassuring me that he was ok.”

How we tested

Our tester Catherine used the Owlet Smart Sock with her baby son over a period of four months. She tested how easy the Owlet Smart Sock was to set up, how comfortable it was for her baby and explored the product’s key features as part of her baby’s bedtime routine.

While Catherine put the Owlet through its paces with her baby, we researched wider feedback from the Mumsnet community and retailer sites and scrutinised the impartial views of consumer champion Which? to ensure our tester’s views were consistent with wider tried and tested experiences. 

How easy is the Owlet Smart Sock to set up?

The Owlet Smart Sock syncs to the base unit using Bluetooth, so you first need to download the Owlet app onto your smartphone or compatible device. Our tester Catherine used an Android phone to receive real-time data on the Owlet app, but the Owlet app is also compatible with iOS Apple devices. 

The base unit plugs into the mains and the socks (once the sensor has been added) pop onto the charging base for wireless charging. Our tester charged the sock for a couple of hours before use. 

With an experience that was mirrored by Which testers and Amazon reviews, our tester Catherine did experience a few teething problems getting her phone to connect to the base station, requiring a few attempts in order to sync her phone’s Bluetooth with the device.

Once connected however, you need to position the Owlet Smart Sock on your baby (under their babygrow so that has direct contact with your baby’s skin). Correct placement can be challenging with a wriggly baby, with our tested Catherine stating:

“I quickly realised just before nap time was not the best time as he got restless and irritated with me messing about. I put it on before bedtime so I had more time to get the adjustment right”

If you’re worried about false notifications, Mumsnet user LouiseTrees experience may help - she says: "We’ve only ever had two false alarms with the sock and it’s because she’s woken herself up and kicked the sock down her foot a little bit. In those cases it goes yellow alarm not red, because it guesses that’s what happened. I really really like the sock."

Does the Owlet Smart Sock come with a camera?

The Owlet Smart Sock 3 doesn’t come with video - so if you want a traditional video baby monitor you may prefer to buy the Owlet Monitor DUO, which also includes a HD video camera with 4x digital zoom, night vision and wide-angle view. 

The Owlet Smart Sock 3 can be used stand-alone, or in conjunction with any other video baby monitor too.

The audio from the Owlet Smart Sock is in the form of notifications only - there is no listening in or alerts of noises from your baby’s room - however if your baby cries their heart rate is likely to rise and it is at this point that Owlet would send a notification, letting you know that your baby needs your attention. 

How's the signal?

The Owlet Smart Sock uses Bluetooth to connect the sock sensor to the base station, and whilst not compulsory, a Wifi connection to sync the Smart Sock to your phone or tablet device. The latter is needed if you want to view live readings of your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels, or check on them remotely (such as when you’re out and have left your baby with a babysitter). Reassuringly, the primary connection is via Bluetooth, which means if your WiFi goes down, the base station will still be able to send notifications and alerts to the Owlet base station. 

Our tester Catherine had no issues with connection during her trial, however, some online reviewers noted that the signal could be lost if they took their baby to a different room to feed during the night (further away from the base unit). Owlet state that the connection should be steady up to 100ft away from the base unit. 

How long does the battery last?

Once fully charged (which takes around 90 minutes on the wireless base unit) the Owlet Smart Sock offers a 16 hour battery life - more than enough for a full overnight sleep. If you’re short on time, you can also get 8 hours of battery life built up in around 20 minutes - handy if you forget to pop them on charge during the day.

Our parent tester Catherine says:

"The app tells you how much battery the sock has which is really useful.”

How does the Owlet Smart Sock look?

The socks themselves have a simple design made from soft and stretchy fabric in a mint green colour. Lightweight, with a velcro strap to secure, they simply require the sensor to be secured into place before adding the Owlet Smart Sock to your baby’s foot. 

Our parent tester Catherine however did find that her baby was aware of the Owlet stating “Sometimes I wondered if the sock might be irritating him as he tried to pull it off. This wasn’t a problem when he was in a sleeping bag but may be an issue if your baby sleeps with a blanket where it’s more accessible.” 

Read next: The best baby sleeping bags Mumsnetters swear by

Owlet Smart Sock on baby

What’s the Owlet Smart Sock like to use day-to-day?

Our parent tester Catherine found the app really easy to use, showing a real-time overview of her baby’s data including heart rate, oxygen levels and sleep trends. You can also personalise the app with your baby’s photo, which is ideal if you have multiples or twins using the Smart Stock, helping you clearly track both children individually. 

The base unit makes a sound and flashes different colours to alert you as well as send real-time updates to your mobile phone via the Owlet app. Green means your baby’s readings are within the required zones and red means your baby needs your attention. 

Does the Owlet Smart Sock have any extra features?

The Owlet app records lots of information about your baby’s sleep trends, including how long they have slept, wake-up times and the quality of sleep. This information can be really helpful for parents, allowing you to understand more about your baby’s habits and make small adjustments to their bedtime routine as they grow. 

There are two socks in the set, so you can ensure a secure and comfortable fit as your baby grows, switching to the larger sock when your baby reaches 12lb or more in weight. 

If you wish to continue using the Owlet Smart Sock after 18 months, you can buy the Owlet Extension pack, with an additional sock suitable for toddlers from 18 months through to 5 years of age.

Owlet Smart Sock notification

Is the Owlet Smart Sock safe?

The Smart Sock baby monitor uses pulse-oximetry technology which has been proven safe for babies and children, with materials that are BPA free, latex free and lead free- designed not to leave marks on your baby’s skin. 

It’s worth remembering that whilst it provides insights into your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels, it is not an approved medical advice, and should not be used as such.  

When synced with the app, the app is password protected via a family account, so only those with access can view information relating to your child. 

The present levels for heart rate and oxygen levels are fixed, meaning you can’t amend these from Owlet’s pre-programmed recommendations. While this is helpful, it may not be suitable for premature babies or those with medical conditions or additional needs. 

From a parent’s point of view, it does offer an additional piece of mind, although you may find yourself anxiously checking the app in the first few weeks.

Is it easy to keep clean?

Owlet recommends that the socks themselves (minus the sensor) are washed once a week, and this can be done either by hand or on a gentle cycle in the washing machine. Due to the light colours, they could get grubby quite quickly.

Is the Owlet Smart Sock good value for money?

The Smart Sock Plus is currently available for around £280. This includes the Smart Sock sensor, Base Station and two sizes of fabric socks. Our parent tester Catherine felt this was “quite expensive, as you may also need to purchase the camera for an additional cost. It is however the only gadget of its kind, so perhaps that’s how Owlet justifies the price.”

Whilst some Mumsnet users felt the Owlet’s high price tag simply takes advantage of parent’s anxieties, Mumsnet user Maggie90 says “I’m a worrier, but the Owlet has really helped me be less anxious.” 

Our verdict

For parents who are experiencing sleepless nights from worrying or anxiously checking their child is still breathing during the night, the Owlet Smart Sock 3 can provide real-time data for peace of mind that your baby is safe and well. However, its high price tag may be off putting to many, especially given the lack of video with this particular model. 

About Mumsnet reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing – this includes recommendations from the Mumsnet Talk boards. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage. Read our how we test page to find out more.

For more information about what to look for when buying a baby monitor, check out our buyer's guide.

About the author

Lucy Cotterill is a mum of two and a Content Writer at Mumsnet, specialising in baby/child and lifestyle product reviews and round-ups. Having written product reviews on her own blog Real Mum Reviews since 2012, Lucy loves to research and explore the pros and cons of baby products, scrutinising reviews and consumer feedback to help parents make confident purchases that benefit their families.  

Lucy developed a real passion for blogging and writing when her children were young, and has used and reviewed a number of baby monitors with her daughters, testing key features to ensure quality and value for money.  

She has since gone on to write for several online publications including US parenting site Pregistry and the Evening Standard. When she’s not manically tapping the keys of her laptop, Lucy loves nothing more than to cosy up with her Kindle and enjoy the latest thriller, or compete in Nintendo Switch rallies with her daughters aged six and 10.