Sleep is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. Getting enough quality sleep makes you more productive at work, and gives you the energy to exercise; studies have even linked poor sleep with overeating.
Unfortunately, while you can force yourself to go for a run or eat a salad, you can’t force yourself to sleep soundly. But there are steps you can take to improve your sleep, and buying a best sleep tracker is one of them. These devices may not directly send you off to the land of Nod, but they’ll help you work out what makes you sleep better – whether that’s ditching the afternoon coffee or going to bed at the same time every night.
Top 10 best sleep tracker in UK
Here come our 10 best sleep tracker. Every product has specific features to serve multiple purposes. Find out which one pleases you most!
1. Honor Band 5
This budget fitness tracker from Huawei sub-brand Honor offers an astonishing array of features for just £30, including heart rate monitoring, sports tracking and an attractive 0.95in OLED screen. It also provides plenty of insight when it comes to your sleep. However, you need to enable the TruSleep feature to get the most out of the Honor Band 5 on this front as by default it’s set to basic sleep tracking, which saves the battery by not using the heart rate monitor.
Once you turn on TruSleep you’ll get info on the time you spent in light, deep and REM sleep, and an overall sleep score out of 100. If you’re logging low scores the app will offer advice on how you might go about improving your sleep. You can also rest assured that enabling the more advanced sleep tracking isn’t going to kill the battery life on the Band 5, which will still last around six days between charges when using all the advanced features it has on offer.
2. Withings ScanWatch
The Withings ScanWatch is a great alternative to the Withings Sleep Analyzer for those that want all-day tracking and in-depth sleep data.
The watch includes an SpO2 sensor that’s used for sleep tracking, with a particular focus on the detection of breathing disturbances known as sleep apnea. Unlike the Sleep Analyzer, full sleep apnea tracking isn’t available right now – it’s pending certification – but in the meantime, there’s a more vague ‘breathing disturbances’ measure to give you a rough indicator.
Beyond apnea, the ScanWatch measures everything you’d expect, including sleep duration, depth, interruptions, regularity, and sleeping heart rate, giving you an overall sleep score out of 100 for every night, and it’ll track your movement and exercise all day long too.
3. Polar Vantage V2
The Polar Vantage V2 is a multi-sports GPS watch built for keen runners, cyclists and swimmers, and as anyone who’s engaged in tough training knows, recovery is one of the most important parts of improving your performance, and the Vantage V2 has two tools to help you optimize it: Recovery Pro and Nightly Recharge.
Recovery Pro takes into account sleep quality, as well as your long term training load, mental stress levels, and the results of subjective questions, and suggests ways to tweak your training plan to get the right balance between training and recovery.
Nightly Recharge uses a combination of ANS (autonomic nervous system) and sleep quality data, ANS charge looks at how well your nervous system calmed down during the first hour of sleep, based on heart rate, heart rate variability, and breathing rate. These two scores are compared to your baseline, and the Polar Vantage V2 will use the resulting information to give you personalized recommendations on exercise, sleep, and regulating your energy levels.
If you’re serious about your performance, it’s a fantastic sleep tracker for helping you achieve the right balance of work and rest.
4. Withings Steel HR
Our final pick, though, sees us returning to Withings, where we started. It also makes a number of really nice smartwatch hybrids that are minimal when it comes to displays but have loads of tracking on board. You’ll get an analogue watch face, but in the case of the Steel HR Sport a tiny display lets you see key info or select a tracking type manually. It’ll let you surreptitiously keep track of your wellbeing, and its sleep tracking is also present and correct as a result of heart rate sensing on board. It’s not as accurate as the dedicated sleep system, but the fact that you can wear it overnight and forget about it, while still getting data back, makes it valuable.
5. Fitbit Versa 3
Some days, you wake up refreshed. Others, it feels like you barely slept at all. What separates the good nights from the bad isn’t always clear, but a sleep tracker can provide valuable insight. It monitors your sleep patterns for a clearer picture of how much quality sleep you’re getting. You can use this information to help optimize your sleep experience.
While lab-based sleep tests generally track patterns directly through brain activity, sleep trackers rely on sensors to detect other physical signs, like heart rate and body movement. Wearable devices remain on the sleeper throughout the night to measure data. Other trackers may rest on the mattress, under the mattress, or next to the bed to collect information unobtrusively. Virtually all sleep trackers upload this data to a device that runs it through an algorithm to analyze and display the results.
We’ll highlight some of our favorite sleep trackers and share what makes them stand out. We’ll go on to explain what to consider while you shop and answer common questions about sleep trackers.
Fitbit is one of the most well-known fitness tracker companies on the market. The Fitbit Versa combines the brand’s popular health tracking with smartwatch capabilities for convenient everyday use.
Crafted for constant activity tracking, the Fitbit Versa monitors your heart rate, which may be useful for analyzing your sleep. Additionally, the device detects when you’re sleeping based on movements. The Fitbit Versa then tracks your sleep pattern to estimate how much time you’ve spent asleep, awake, and restless. You can also look at your average hours slept, sleep score, sleep schedule, and sleep stages to see how these change over time.
6. Fitbit Sense
When it comes to tech, the Fitbit Sense is the best wearable sleep tracker on the market right now, and we’ve tested it extensively. It’s light on the wrist and won’t get in your way, thanks to that 40mm case size. Even better, it uses the same sleep tracking technology as the rest of the Fitbit line. Fitbit Sleep Stages mean you can get a daily look at your light, deep, REM and awake times, and you can still check in on how your night compares to the last month and other people your age.
7. Garmin Vívosmart 4
As with the majority of the fitness trackers on this list, the Garmin Vívosmart 4 is a fitness multi-tool, offering a smorgasbord of metrics about your daily activity. The idea is that you keep it on at all times; you can then check your step count, the number of floors you’ve climbed, your heart rate, and total active minutes at a glance. When you go to sleep, it’ll also monitor your quality of sleep. You can even keep it on when you go swimming. All that is pretty par for the course with these devices – but this particular one excels because of the quality of its all-round package. Let’s start with its looks. The design of the Vívosmart 4 is really smart. It’s more a bracelet than a watch, just over half an inch wide, and the strap is flexible but feels tough. It’s all very ergonomic and sleek; you quickly forget you’re wearing it, which is important, because to get the most out of the Vivosmart, it pretty much needs to be on your wrist 24/7. And the battery life is great, lasting me well over a week of continuous usage.
8. Garmin Venu Sq
The Venu Sq packs in a lot of functions with only two buttons and a touch screen to navigate. It’s not a watch for sausage fingers, but it is a brilliantly reliable all rounder that ticks several important boxes. Sleep tracking is done in the background and must be viewed on the free Garmin Connect app, which could be seen as a downside but since the sleep data is so detailed, we preferred looking at it on an app. The app reviews sleep stages with a clear graph and stats, which we found accurate, alongside pulse ox analysis and respiration (the latter on-point, the former hard to verify). There’s a one-day and seven-day sleep review but note the sleep tracking doesn’t work for naps.
9. Polar Ignite
The Ignite is a fully-fledged multisport GPS watch that can track pretty much any sport you can think of, but what really sets it apart is its unique ability to shape your training routine. The Ignite will rate how well you’ve recovered overnight and tailor a range of guided workouts for you to choose from, based on how ready your body is to train. It also has a bright touchscreen and a stylish design that you can wear everywhere to track your daily activity.
10. Withings Activité Steel
With a face just 36.3mm in diameter and a weight of just 1.3 ounces, the Steel is a lot smaller and lighter than other watch-style fitness trackers, such as the Runtastic Moment Elite (46mm and 8.5 ounces). While some people may prefer a chunkier watch, however the smaller size of the Withings made user much more comfortable to wear at night, when it was tracking my sleep. In addition, the Activité Steel has automatic sleep tracking, meaning you don’t need to press a button when going to bed. But its algorithms needed a day to figure out user habits.
How to choose the best sleep tracker for you
Ask yourself first of all what sort of tracker you’re looking for. If you’re comfortable sleeping with something on your wrist then you can get an excellent watch-style wearable that also doubles as an everyday activity and sports tracker. Alternatively, you can opt for a tracker that goes next to your bed, or sits under the mattress. Naturally, these devices will only monitor your sleep, but you can expect them to do a terrific job at that. There are also plenty of sleep-tracking smartphone apps to consider. These aren’t quite as accurate as dedicated devices, but they might be more convenient, and are almost always cheaper.
What key features should I look for?
The most basic sleep trackers just record how long you’ve been asleep for, which is frankly not enough information to be useful. As a minimum, you want to see your sleep broken down into periods of light and deep sleep, along with any times when you were awake. Some trackers can also provide a graph of your movement overnight, and give information on conditions in your bedroom, such as how hot, humid or noisy it is. If your tracker awards sleep-quality scores, that can make it easy to compare one night with another, and to see how your sleep patterns match up to those of other people in a similar demographic. The goal, of course, is to find what helps you sleep: for example, if you sleep better after exercise, or worse after drinking alcohol, the data from your tracker can help you spot that, and take steps to improve your habits. Another worthwhile feature is a smart morning alarm that wakes you up at the right point in your sleep cycle so you don’t feel groggy. A long battery life is very desirable too: having to charge a tracker every day is a pain.
What else do I want it to track?
Many sleep trackers come built into general-purpose sports watches, which also track everyday activity statistics such as steps and calories burned. Some even feature outdoor sports tracking via GPS. If you’re the active type, such designs are well worth a look. All-day heart-rate tracking is worth considering too, as this can help you keep tabs on your resting pulse rate – a great indicator of your cardiovascular fitness. And if you use one tracker for both sleep and sports, the partner app can pull all that information together to build up a revealing picture of your overall health.
How much do I need to spend?
A smartphone app is a good starting point for sleep-tracking, as it should set you back no more than a few pounds. If you’re looking for dedicated hardware, you can get a basic fitness watch with sleep tracking for £25-£50. For a premium model with a heart-rate monitor, you’re looking at around £100, and if you’re tempted by an all-singing, all-dancing sleep tracker with GPS sports tracking, prices are more likely to be in the £150-300 range. When it comes to dedicated freestanding and under-mattress sleep trackers prices vary greatly, but you can expect to pay £100-250 for the best options.
I’m hoping this guide was helpful. Choosing the best sleep tracker doesn’t have to be hard, but you need to know what you want in terms of features and what you have to take into account given your room and listening limitations.