Sleep is incredibly important and very underrated. While most of us put the effort into eating better and exercising more, it's all too easy to forget to sleep well. The best sleep trackers can give you an insight into what's going on while you snooze – and how it impacts you long-term. And while they might not be able to force you to go to bed at the same time every night, they can hold you accountable, demonstrating what a difference it can make to your energy levels the next day.
For most people, the Fitbit Inspire HR is the best sleep tracker, which also functions as a fitness tracker during the waking hours. Other sleep trackers are available though, so read on to find out the best sleep tracker for your situation, no matter what your budget is or your needs.
If you're here because you're struggling to sleep, you might also want to explore our ranking of the best mattresses, or perhaps pick up one of the best weighted blankets, which work wonders for some restless sleepers.
How to choose the best sleep tracker for you
There's no shortage of different sleep trackers out there. Catering for mostly every budget as well as lifestyle, it's important to know exactly what you want it to do for you before you make a purchase. Here's a brief overview of what to consider.
Know your budget. It's a common thing to consider with any technological purchase but it's important that you think about how much you want to spend. Sleep trackers can cost as little as £25-30 but they can also cost hundreds of pounds. Don't feel obliged to spend a lot unless you really need all the features.
Consider the features you want. Many sleep trackers do far more than just track your sleep. They also tend to track things like your steps each day, or even double up as smartwatches. It's important to know if you need these features or not as generally the more features, the more expensive the purchase.
How comfortable the tracker is. Do you want to wear a wristband all night? How about a full-on smartwatch? Either is perfectly possible but if you're a light sleeper, you may feel uncomfortable doing so which will then affect your ability to sleep. An under the mattress solution may be a better option here.
The best sleep tracker you can buy right now
The Fitbit Inspire HR is one of the best Fitbits out there right now and its sleep tracking is convenient, effective, and easy to use. Simply wear the device all day and the wearable will do all the hard work for you. It'll track your steps and calories burned, and - most importantly - it'll monitor how well you sleep through the night.
Heart rate monitoring certainly helps with monitoring your sleep but it's not 100% accurate. That's because sometimes if you're simply resting and still, the Fitbit Inspire HR can mistake that for sleep. That's a common issue with any wearable device though and this is still a great purchase for anyone looking for some guidance. It's slim enough to not feel too imposing at night too.
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If you want a smartwatch that also tracks your sleep comprehensively, the Withings Steel HR Sport is a fantastic if somewhat cumbersome option. It's a full-sized watch so it won't be the comfiest of things to wear if you lean on your wrist at night, but it tracks very accurately. That's thanks to automatic sleep monitoring that looks at your light and deep sleep cycles, detects any interruptions, and how regular they become. Each morning, you can enjoy some deep insight into how you're doing each night.
As well as that, the Withings Steel HR Sport is a powerful smartwatch for the active user. It tracks many different sports, has fantastic battery life, and estimates your ability level each step of the way. For those simply wanting to track their sleep, it's overkill, but if you want an all-in-one solution, it's great.
On a tight budget? The Xiaomi Mi Band 4 might not have the 'wow' factor but it does exactly what you need of it, and it costs significantly less than other sleep trackers here. That instantly makes it appealing if you're not sure if you'll commit to wearing a sleep tracker every night. Like the others, it works as a general fitness tracker too so you can easily monitor your daily steps, calories burned, as well as your heart rate. It's swim-proof too proving ideal for avid swimmers.
In terms of sleep tracking, it uses its heart rate monitor alongside detecting your restful moments, before formulating a chart that picks up on sleep time, sleep depth and how many times you wake up. Like the device itself, the app isn't as stylish as the Fitbit but it's a lot cheaper. Just bear in mind that it's a little chunky for the night time.
If the idea of wearing a wrist strap all night is unappealing, the Withings Sleep Analyzer is the solution for you. You slip it under your mattress and plug it in, leaving it to do all the hard work while you sleep unencumbered. Thanks to that, it offers far more advanced sleep tracking than its competitors with an in-depth analysis of your sleep cycles, durations, and any interruptions.
It also detects any snoring episodes as well as looks out for sleep apnea, an underdiagnosed issue that can be a huge problem if left untreated. As it's solely a sleep tracker, the Withings Sleep isn't any use at other points in the day but if you're only interested in tracking your sleep patterns, this is the ultimate solution. There's little else out there that's as accurate as this.
Have you got a child who's struggling to sleep? The Fitbit Ace 2 can work well as a fun motivational tool, showing your child what they're achieving each night by sleeping. Working much like older Fitbit models, it keeps an eye on any sleep disturbances and provides insight into where problems may lie. It also works well as an exercise tracker throughout the day too.
There's no heart rate monitoring which means sleep tracking may be slightly less accurate than with other models, but that's not a huge issue here as it's generally a guidance tool for parents and kids alike. It's basic but a good starting point if you simply want to rule out some issues or help your child feel more knowledgeable about sleep. Watch out for the chunky design if your child is sensitive about what they wear at night.