10 best sleep trackers to buy in 2021

06 May 2021

woman lying on bed

If you’re waking up every day feeling exhausted and wondering how much sleep you’ve had, a sleep tracker could be the solution.

Stress, screen time and work can all contribute to sleep issues, with one in three of us suffering from poor sleep. Over time, this can have a serious effect on our health, putting us more at risk of conditions such as obesity and heart disease.

A sleep tracker can help you work out how much rest you’re getting and how to take steps to improve it. It can also help monitor health conditions like sleep apnoea, which is when your breathing stops and starts while you sleep.

Trackers come in a variety of forms including apps on your phone, fitness bands, smartwatches and sleep monitors that go under your mattress.

Most devices track movement and sleep duration while others provide detailed reports about your heart rate, blood oxygen saturation level (SpO2), and even the temperature and sounds in the room.

Whatever product you go for, having this kind of information can be really useful to help you feel more rested. Here are the best sleep trackers to suit all needs and budgets.

1. Best overall sleep tracker: Withings Sleep Analyzer

Price: £129.95 | Buy now from Amazon

“Withings do an excellent sleep monitor that measures sleep, apnoea, snoring etc. It's not a wearable so won't disturb and you wouldn't know it's there.”

1. Best overall sleep tracker: Withings Sleep Analyzer

A pad that goes under your mattress, the Withings Sleep Analyzer is a clinically approved sleep tracker that gives useful sleep insight to help you achieve a good night’s rest.

Along with the usual data, such as heart rate and movement, it tracks your sleep cycles, and detects snoring and signs of sleep apnoea. Connect the tracker to the Health Mate app on your phone and, in the morning, you’ll get a full report with a sleep score rating. You can also generate a PDF to show your doctor if you need to.

A great option if you don’t want to wear a sleep tracker or are concerned about more serious sleep conditions.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Detects conditions like sleep apnoea
  • Can be connected to Amazon Alexa

Cons

  • May not be compatible with all mattresses

Technical specs

  • Type: Sensor/non-wearable
  • Battery life: Mains-powered
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes
  • App: Yes – Withings Health Mate (on Android and iOS)
Buy now from Amazon

2. Best budget sleep tracker: Hauwei Honor Band 5

Price: £29.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I'd highly recommend the Honor Band 5 which both me and my partner use at the moment, or any of the Huawei ones. They're comfortable, affordable, waterproof, and monitor sleep, heart rate, oxygen levels, steps, distance, menstrual cycle and calories. Plus, you can program different workouts on them like swimming, cycling, walking and running.”

2. Best budget sleep tracker: Hauwei Honor Band 5

Sleep trackers can be pricey but most fitness bands, like the Honor Band 5, track sleep too and can be much more budget-friendly.

As the watch tracks your movements throughout the day, detecting changes in heart rate, blood oxygen levels, physical activity and calories burnt, the Honor Band 5 can help you spot any lifestyle factors that could be affecting your sleep.

Turn on the TruSleep technology and, at night, it monitors your heart rate and records sleep cycles, duration and quality – and can identify six common sleep disorders. It offers over 200 tips to help you improve your sleep and the full colour touch screen is a nice feature too.

Pros

  • Offers over 200 tips for better sleep
  • Tracks blood oxygen levels

Cons

  • TruSleep technology will lower battery life

Technical specs

  • Type: Wearable
  • Battery life: 6 days (with TruSleep and heart rate tracking turned on)
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes
  • App: Yes – Huawei Health
Buy now from Amazon

3. Best sleep tracker for sleep apnoea: Withings ScanWatch

Price: From £214.14 | Buy now from Amazon

3. Best sleep tracker for sleep apnoea: Withings ScanWatch

Another product from Withings, the ScanWatch is a fitness watch that uses a medical-grade ECG and an oximeter to monitor your heart rate and oxygen levels, and lets you know when there are any irregularities.

While it’s a more traditional-looking design, like all smartwatches the ScanWatch tracks your workouts and physical activity. At night, it can detect any breathing issues that may be associated with sleep conditions such as sleep apnoea.

It delivers a report to the Health Mate app on your phone, including data based on sleep cycles, when you go to bed and wake, and gives an overall score with advice on how to sleep better. There’s also a silent, vibrating alarm, which can wake you at the best time in your sleep cycle.

Pros

  • Can detect heart and breathing irregularities
  • Alarm can wake you at the optimal time in your sleep cycle

Cons

  • Expensive

Technical specs

  • Type: Wearable
  • Battery life: Up to 30 days (can be less depending on use)
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes
  • App: Yes – Withings Health Mate (+100 other fitness and health apps)
Buy now from Amazon

4. Best non-wearable sleep tracker: Emfit QS

Price: £324.99 | Buy now from Think Sport

4. Best non-wearable sleep tracker: Emfit QS

Similar to our best overall pick, the Withings Sleep Analyzer, the Emfit QS is a non-contact sleep tracker which also monitors stress levels.

This is done by tracking changes to your heart rate variability and breathing to help you identify any issues that might be affecting your sleep. While it can help anyone looking to get more insight into their sleep, it’s very useful for people who exercise regularly as it identifies if you have recovered properly from a training session and when the best time to exercise is.

As the sensor stays under your mattress, you simply go to bed and the Emfit QS provides detailed stats on your physical recovery, stress levels and sleep quality, which can be found on the web app.

Pros

  • Tracks heart rate and stress levels
  • Training and recovery feedback for athletes

Cons

  • Very pricey

Technical specs

  • Type: Sensor/non-wearable
  • Battery life: Mains-powered
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes
  • App: Yes (Emfit web app only)
Buy now from Think Sport

5. Best sleep and stress tracker: Fitbit Sense

Price: From £252 | Buy now from Amazon

“I’ve had Fitbit trackers for about three or four years and really enjoy their features, I’ve worn one every day in that time. I bought their newest smartwatch, Sense, as I need to lose my lockdown weight and I love it so much.”

5. Best sleep and stress tracker: Fitbit Sense

Fitbit is probably the most well known brand of fitness and health trackers. We particularly like the Fitbit Sense as it looks at your wellness as a whole.

It comes with the usual Fitbit features for tracking fitness – such as a pedometer and calories burnt – but the best thing about this watch is that it detects a rise in stress levels to help you try and manage it better, which in turn could help you sleep more soundly.

The watch comes with a heart rate and temperature sensor. The Sense also tracks your blood oxygen levels and gives a detailed report about your sleep quality, with personalised recommendations to help improve it.

This tracker isn’t cheap, but you do get a free six-month Fitbit premium trial.

Pros

  • Tracks stress levels
  • Gives detailed sleep report

Cons

  • Expensive

Technical specs

  • Type: Wearable
  • Battery life: 6 days
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes
  • App: Yes – Fitbit: Health and Fitness
Buy now from Amazon

6. Best sleep tracker app: Sleep Cycle

Price: Free | View on the App Store

6. Best sleep tracker app: Sleep Cycle

If you don’t fancy forking out for an expensive sleep monitor or watch, the Sleep Cycle app offers many of the same features and is free to download.

There’s nothing to wear or put under your bed – you simply download the app onto your phone, tablet or smartwatch (available on iPhone, Android and Huawei), put the device next to your bed at night and turn on Sleep Cycle. It uses the microphone to detect sounds, such as snoring and talking, and tracks your movements.

One of the big selling points is the app’s smart alarm, which tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you when you’re in your lightest sleep. You get a detailed sleep analysis with graphs and a score, but you can upgrade to premium (£38.99 per year) for extra features, including a heart rate monitor through the device’s camera and sound recordings.

Pros

  • Tracks sleep noises, like snoring and talking
  • Alarm wakes you when you’re in light sleep

Cons

  • Not as accurate as wearable trackers

Technical specs

  • Type: Bedside monitor
  • Battery life: N/A
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes (premium)
  • App: Yes
View now on the App Store

7. Best smartwatch with sleep tracker: Apple Watch Series 6

Price: £349 | Buy now from Amazon

7. Best smartwatch with sleep tracker: Apple Watch Series 6

The Apple Watch Series 6 comes with a host of great features for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including helping identify sleep trends for a better night’s sleep.

The watch has built-in sleep software which tracks your movements, with a heart sensor to monitor your heart rate and an ECG. You can also create bedtime schedules and an alarm will gently wake you up in the morning.

The sleep report isn’t as detailed as other trackers so if you want more in-depth information you can pair it with other sleep apps (such as the Sleep Cycle above). The battery life is short compared to other devices, but it will remind you to charge if the watch gets less than 30% before bed.

Other features include measuring blood oxygen levels, tracking 80 different types of exercise and built-in GPS.

Pros

  • Tracks blood oxygen levels and heart rate
  • Set sleep goals and alarm gently wakes you in the morning

Cons

  • Short battery life

Technical specs

  • Type: Wearable
  • Battery life: 18 hours
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes
  • App: Yes – Apple Health
Buy now from Amazon

8. Best sleep tracker headband: MUSE S

Price: £295.66 | Buy now from Amazon

8. Best sleep tracker headband: MUSE S

If getting to sleep is your problem, the MUSE S is a brain sensing headband that not only tracks your sleep but how well you focus and relax at night.

Through meditation, relaxation techniques and soothing sounds, the band helps calm your mind and guide you into sleep. The band will even tell you when you’ve become distracted to help you refocus.

The MUSE S monitors your heart rate and breathing and is made of a soft, breathable fabric to make it more comfortable to wear at night. In the morning, check your sleep insights, such as how deep you slept, positions and a sleep score. The app is free, but you can upgrade to premium from £11.99 a month and get access to over 500 meditations.

Pros

  • Tracks how well you relax before sleep
  • Feedback to help you refocus

Cons

  • Expensive

Technical specs

  • Type: Wearable
  • Battery life: 10 hours
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes
  • App: Yes – Muse: Meditation and Sleep (iOS 11, Android 5 or higher; Huawei devices not supported)
Buy now from Amazon

9. Best fitness and sleep tracker for under £100: Garmin Vivosmart 4

Price: From £82.47 | Buy now from Amazon

“I have a Garmin Vivosmart. I like it so much better than the Fitbit I used to have.”

9. Best fitness and sleep tracker for under £100: Garmin Vivosmart 4

When your blood oxygen level drops in your sleep, it could be a sign that something more serious is going on. So the Garmin Vivosmart 4 comes with a pulse oximeter to let you know if you’re not getting enough oxygen at night.

A slim fitness band, you can track your exercise throughout the day to help you get a bigger picture of your health. It monitors your heart rate, stress levels in the day and, at night, checks your blood oxygen levels, and monitors your movement and sleep cycles to give you a report of how well you slept.

Other features also include a relaxation breathing timer and GPS tracking – all for less than £100.

Pros

  • Tracks blood oxygen levels
  • Monitors heart rate and stress levels

Cons

  • Screen is quite small

Technical specs

  • Type: Wearable
  • Battery life: 7 days
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes
  • App: Yes – Garmin Connect App
Buy now from Amazon

10. Best sleep tracker for kids: Garmin Vivofit Jr 2

Price: From £44.50 | Buy now from Amazon

“Our nearly nine-year-old has the Garmin Vivofit, and he's not taken it off once since he got it for his seventh birthday. It's great for him because it doesn't need charging. We've asked him if he wants to change to a Fitbit, but he doesn't."

“The Garmin Vívofit Junior is great. Different designs are available and they collect tokens for doing chores/active minutes. It also tracks their sleep and is waterproof for swimming.”

10. Best sleep tracker for kids: Garmin Vivofit Jr 2

We all know children can play up at bedtime so, because poor sleep can affect their health and schoolwork, it may be helpful to see what’s going on at night. The Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 is an activity tracker that also helps you see how well your child is sleeping.

It’s waterproof and comes in a host of fun designs, including Spiderman, Disney Princess and Star Wars. It tracks steps and 60 minutes of daily exercise and kids can earn rewards through chores and activity, and play games on the parent-controlled app.

There’s no heart rate monitor so you won’t get the same level of sleep insight as other trackers, but the watch monitors your child’s movement to identify sleep patterns. The battery lasts for over a year and kids will love the personalised screen. Suitable from children aged four and above.

Pros

  • Kids can earn rewards for activity
  • Tracks movements at night

Cons

  • No heart rate monitor

Technical specs

  • Type: Wearable
  • Battery life: 1 year+
  • Heart rate sensor: No
  • App: Yes – Garmin Jr (parent needs Garmin Connect)
Buy now from Amazon

Are sleep trackers accurate?

Sleep trackers don’t measure your sleep directly – to do this, you’d need to take part in a clinical study which monitors brain activity. However they are pretty accurate at measuring movement patterns and heart rate.

This information can give you a good idea of when you went to sleep, how often you woke and what time you woke up. A wearable sleep tracker can help you identify any lifestyle habits that may be affecting your sleep too.

How does a sleep tracker know you’re asleep?

Most devices presume that you’re asleep when you’re inactive. This means that it’s not completely accurate at tracking how long you slept for, but it will help you spot patterns in your sleep habits to help you develop a routine that works best for you.

How to choose a sleep tracker

These are the main features to consider when choosing a sleep tracker:

Type

  • Wearable: these can be worn on your body, such as smart watches, rings, fitness bands and headbands. They can track your movement, heart rate, breathing as well as physical activity.
  • Sensors/non-wearable: This is a sleep monitor which you place under your mattress to track your movement and heart rate as you sleep. Others can also monitor sounds, temperature and light.
  • Bedside monitor: you can also get bedside monitors, including home hubs like Google Nest, which can track your sleep. You can also use sleep apps on your phone from the side of your bed.

App

Most devices use an app to report the data so make sure you have a phone or tablet that’s compatible.

Data

While all sleep trackers will give you data on your sleep length and movement, others may track your sleep cycles (when you’re in REM, lighter and deeper stages) and environmental factors such as how light, hot and humid your room is.

Trackers can also monitor your lifestyle such as physical activity, exercise and stress levels to give you a bigger picture of your health.

Features

Sleep trackers that feature a heart rate sensor are really useful, especially if it checks your pulse rate throughout the day as you get a better idea of your overall health. Trackers can also check your blood oxygen and stress levels which can help to identify what’s keeping you awake.

If you wake feeling groggy, a tracker with a smart alarm that wakes you at the optimum time in your sleep could help. Wearable trackers like smartwatches and fitness bands also tend to have pedometers to count steps and monitor exercise as well as tracking calories burnt.

While most sleep trackers give you a sleep report, an overall score can be helpful for comparing different nights. One that offers tips for a better night’s sleep is really useful too. Also check how long the battery lasts as some sleep trackers may need charging every day.

Price

You can pick up a decent sleep and fitness tracker for under £50, but smartwatches and dedicated sleep monitors can go up to around £300. Sleep tracker apps are the cheaper option as they can be downloaded for free, but you may need to pay a subscription for extra benefits.

What is the best sleep tracker?

We think the Withings Sleep Analyzer is the best sleep tracker. There’s no need to worry about wearing anything on your wrist or finger – the sensor mat goes under your mattress to track your heart rate, movement, snoring and signs of sleep apnoea, and gives you a full report every morning.

How we chose our recommendations

Most of our recommendations for sleep trackers came from Mumsnet users themselves. We searched the Mumsnet forums for posts about which sleep trackers Mumsnetters really rated. We also researched various review sites to find out which sleep trackers performed well across the board.

Why you should trust us

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