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Best Sleep Tracker 2020 – Tech Advisor

Sleep trackers have become a popular way for interested users to gain insight into their sleeping pattern, and access metrics previously unavailable to them, but there’s a lot to think about. Some fitness wearables from the likes of Misfit and Fitbit will track sleep from your wrist, but you can also buy dedicated sleep tech including high-end sleep trackers that fit under your mattress.

Here’s everything you need to know about both kinds – and the other sleep tech on the market – along with our recommendations after testing the tech with as many lie-ins as we could. It’s a rough job, but someone’s got to do it.

And while we’re on the topic of quality sleep, don’t forget to check out our ultimate guide to choosing a mattress.

Best sleep trackers of 2020

1. Withings Sleep Analyzer – Best Overall

2. Withings ScanWatch – Best for fitness and sleep tracking

3. Misfit Ray – A simple tracker

Misfit Ray

4. Amazfit ZenBuds – Best sleep-tracking earbuds

Amazfit ZenBuds

5. Fitbit Charge 4 – Best Fitbit for sleep tracking

Fitbit Charge 4

6. Dreem 2 – Best sleep tracking headband

Dreem 2

7. Xiaomi Mi Band 4 – Best cheap sleep tracker

Xiaomi Mi Band 4

8. Misfit Shine 2 – An understated tracker

Misfit Shine 2

9. Withings Steel HR Sport – A sleep tracker with a classic twist

Withings Steel HR Sport

10. Moov Now – Basic sleep tracking, advanced fitness coaching

Moov Now

11. Fitbit Flex 2 – A sleep-tracking hybrid

Fitbit Flex 2

12. Kokoon Sleep Tracking Headphones – Great audio with impressive sleep tracking

Kokoon Sleep

Sleep tracker buying advice

Before we go any further and explain the kind of things to consider when buying a sleep tracker, it’s first noting the different kinds available. Most sleep trackers double up as fitness trackers, as the two functions require a similar set of sensors – although not all do. These sleep trackers will more than likely have to be worn when asleep, which may be an issue for some people.

For that portion of the market, there are other options available; the Withings Sleep Analyzer is essentially a strip of sensors that are laid on your bed under your mattress, and tracks your sleep as you lay on it.

So, what do you need to consider when buying a sleep tracker? Well…

Design

The first, and possibly the most important element to consider when buying a sleep tracker is design. The sleep tracker has to be comfortable to wear over long periods, as well as when asleep, although what classes as comfortable changes from person to person so only you know what feels good to you.

Most sleep trackers are fairly understated in design and are covered in a soft material as to not cause skin irritation over long periods, although it may be worth reading user reviews of the tracker you want before buying in case of any comfort issues.

As mentioned above, you don’t have to wear all sleep trackers, although you’ll more than likely have to pay more money for a bed monitor when compared to its wearable counterpart. If you do opt for a wearable, be conscious of displays – while having a display is helpful for operation, screens can get snagged when moving your arms during your sleep, which can wake you up. Not ideal.

Battery life

Another element to consider when looking to buy a sleep tracker is battery life. It’s worth investing in a tracker that lasts more than 2 days on a charge, as there will more than likely be situations where you’re either away from your charger, or you forget to charge it, and the battery of the tracker will run out during the night.

There’s also a choice between types of battery as rechargeable batteries are more convenient but don’t last as long, while some sleep trackers like the Misfit Ray boast a six-month battery life due to the use of a traditional watch battery. Of course, it’s worth noting that once it runs out, you’ll have to hunt down a replacement watch battery yourself.

Advanced tracking

Depending on the price and design of the sleep tracker, it may be able to offer more advanced tracking capabilities than its counterparts. While most will offer bog-standard sleep and wake times along with the various stages of sleep you were at during the night, others can track much more.

You can find trackers that’ll track your resting heart rate throughout the night, some that’ll track the quality of the air and ambient noise, and some that’ll even notify you if you’ve been snoring during the night. This will help you determine if there’s an environmental factor affecting your sleep.

What you need to ask yourself is whether you really need the advanced functionality, as there’s a direct relationship between the number of tracking features offered and the price tag.

App design

Of course, the hardware is only half of the product – without a decent app to back it up and delve into your recorded stats, there’s not much point in tracking your sleep. Always try to look at previews of the sleep tracker’s accompanying app before purchasing one if possible, and as recommended above, it’s worth taking a look at user reviews.

It’s also worth mentioning that it’s usually cheaper trackers that have bad quality apps, as it’s likely that the company has skimped on the development of the app and focused on making the hardware as cheap as possible. If you’re an iOS user, look out for trackers that integrate with Apple’s Health app for a better overall look at your personal health (when combined with fitness tracking, eating habits, etc).  

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