Oura Ring vs. Ultrahuman Ring Air — which is the best smart ring?

a photo of the Ultrahuman Ring Air and the Oura ring
(Image credit: Future)

Smart rings are the fitness trackers of the future — unobtrusive, screen-less devices that keep an eye on all of your important data, helping you make healthier decisions. Whether you want to get more in-depth health information to support your training, or you’d prefer to track without wearing one of the best fitness trackers around your wrist, we’ve tested most of the best smart rings on the market, and in this article, we’ll put two of the best head-to-head. 

Below, we’ll be comparing the Ultrahuman Ring Air and the Oura Ring Generation 3, to help you choose which is best for you. Both rings are comfortable enough to wear 24/7 and will give you a greater insight into your health, however, there are some key differences worth considering before you invest. If you’d rather start by reading our full reviews of both, check out the Ultrahuman Ring Air review and our Oura Ring review here on Tom’s Guide. 

Ultrahuman Ring Air vs. Oura Ring: Price and availability

Both the Ultrahuman and the Oura ring sit around a similar price point — neither is as cheap as some of the best cheap fitness trackers, but they’re cheaper than some of the high-tech sports watches on the market. The Ultrahuman Ring Air costs $349 and is available from Ultrahuman directly, as well as via Amazon. At the time of testing, it was only available in matte black, but since then it has launched in three other color options — Aster Black, Bionic Gold, and Space Silver. Ultrahuman is currently allowing you to trade in another fitness tracking ring, including an Oura, and get $100 off — a ballsy move.

The Oura Ring Generation 3 starts at $299 for the Heritage version, which isn’t perfectly circular and comes in four finishes: Silver, Black, Stealth, and Gold. It’s also available in a Horizon design, which looks more like a ring and starts at $349, available in Silver, Black, Stealth, Gold, and Rose Gold.

Oura Ring

(Image credit: Future)

There’s one key difference from a price perspective — the Oura ring requires you to pay a monthly subscription fee to use the ring and see your data, whereas the Ultrahuman doesn’t. The Oura Membership costs $5.99/month and is needed for most of the Oura Ring’s features, insights, and personalized recommendations.

Winner: Ultrahuman Ring Air — if you’re on a budget, the Ultrahuman is the cheaper of the two smart rings, as you don’t need to pay monthly to view your data. 

Ultrahuman Ring Air vs. Oura Ring: Design and fit  

Unlike choosing a Fitbit or an Apple Watch, buying a smart ring is a two-step process. Firstly, you need to order the sizing kit or try the e-sizing experience on Ultrahuman if you’re keen to get going faster. The sizing kit allows you to try on plastic sizing rings to establish which size fits your finger best. It’s recommended that you wear the sizing ring for 24 hours, as your fingers swell during the day, especially after exercise. Obviously, the plastic dummy rings feel a lot cheaper than the actual ring, but it’s a good way to establish your correct size, despite feeling pretty wasteful. 

Ultrahuman Ring Air shown in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Once you’ve decided on your ring size, you can then choose your color and order your ring. There is one key difference here — Oura has partnered with Best Buy, so if you want to speed up the process, you can go and try before you buy in-store. 

Design-wise, both rings have sensors that lie on the inside of the ring, designed to sit on the bottom of your finger. The sensors measure heart rate, skin temperature, movement, and sleep. Both rings can be worn on any finger, although both Oura and Ultrahuman advise wearing the ring on your index finger for the most accurate readings. 

One noticeable difference between the two rings is that the Ultrahuman is lighter than the Oura ring, weighing 2.4-3.6g, compared to Oura’s 4-6g (depending on your ring size). At the time of testing, the Ultrahuman was only available in one, matte black colorway, but since this review, they have released the ring in an Aster Black, Bionic Gold, and Space Silver.

Oura Ring Generation 3 review

(Image credit: Future)

It is worth mentioning that, by the nature of being a ring, both the Oura and the Ultrahuman rings got pretty scratched on the underside. Unlike a fitness tracker strapped around your wrist, every time you pick up a dumbbell or hold onto the handles of an exercise machine the ring will come into contact with another surface, and over time, can scratch slightly. I’ve worn my Oura ring for over a year in gold and can notice some scratching. In the three months I tested the Ultrahuman in matte black, the ring also got pretty scratched up, so I’d say if you’re bothered by this, avoid the matte colorway.

Winner: Ultrahuman Ring Air — the two rings are pretty similar in design, and it’s tricky to choose between the two. That said, the one benefit of the Ultrahuman Ring Air is that it is slightly lighter than the Oura. 

Ultrahuman Ring Air vs. Oura Ring: Health and fitness tracking 

Of course, the main reason you buy a smart ring is to gain a deeper understanding of all aspects of your health. Both rings track your sleep, your heart rate, and your skin temperature. Without stating the obvious, neither ring has a screen, so you’ll need to sync the ring to its corresponding app daily to see all your data. More on the apps below.

Neither ring is particularly useful during a workout, but afterward, you’ll be able to see your movement data. On the Ultrahuman, when you tap into the movement screen, you can see how many steps you’ve taken, your active minutes, active hours, and total calories burned. On Oura, you are able to tag each activity as a workout, and the app will remind you if it’s recorded an unidentified one — for example, if you walk the dog for an hour, and then do a 30-minute HIIT class, on Oura you can divide the two activities, whereas on Ultrahuman, you can’t. 

Ultrahuman Ring Air shown in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Oura definitely has a focus on rest and recovery — when you log into the app you’ll see your activity goal, your readiness score, and your sleep score all laid out simply. If your sleep score is low, the ring will adjust your suggested bedtime, and give you tips on what you should be doing. It’s all very user-friendly, and the app is divided into Readiness, Sleep, and Activity. 

On the other hand, the Ultrahuman has more of a focus on sleep and stimulants. When logging into the app, at a glance you can see your Stimulant Permissible Window — this breaks down the caffeine levels of certain, well-known stimulants into a window of when you should, and shouldn’t be taking them to boost productivity and impact sleep. Ultrahuman shows you your key stats as part of your personal range, which is handy when understanding how the facts and figures compare to your baseline. 

screenshots from sleep tracking on the Ultrahuman ring

(Image credit: Future)

One big difference, from a female health perspective, is the ability to track your periods. On the Oura app, you can use your skin temperature data to see Oura’s period prediction, helping you gain a better understanding into how your temperature changes during your cycle. You can also integrate the data from your ring with Natural Cycles, to see your most fertile days, helping you to plan a pregnancy. There isn’t the option to look at your period data on the Ultrahuman, and at the time of writing, it doesn’t sync with any fertility apps. Neither ring has a pregnancy tracking option. Read more about period tracking on the Oura ring here. 

It’s also worth noting that you cannot download data from the Ultrahuman app, whereas you can on the Oura ring — there’s no option to download the last month’s data in a PDF format, or even the last few days. This won’t be something everyone needs, but if you have a health concern you want to discuss with your doctor, or you’re working with a coach, it’s a handy option to have.

Winner: Oura ring — While both rings track similar things, the Oura ring has period tracking, and the opportunity to download your data.

Ultrahuman Ring Air vs. Oura Ring: Sleep tracking 

Another huge benefit of wearing a smart ring is sleep tracking — compared to my Garmin Fenix 7 or my Apple Watch 8, both the Ultrahuman Ring Air and the Oura ring are far comfier to wear when sleeping. In the morning, the Ultrahuman ring will give you a sleep index and recovery score, both out of 100, so you can see at a glance how restful your night’s sleep actually was. The Oura ring will also give you a sleep score out of 100, but the information is shown on a graph of your sleep throughout the night. 

Oura Ring Generation 3 review

(Image credit: Future)

When digging into the sleep data, the ring will tell you your time in bed, time spent asleep, your sleep efficiency, average heart rate and average heart rate variability. It also breaks down your sleep into stages, so you can see a graph of your night. When wearing the Ultrahuman Ring Air, the Oura ring and the Apple Watch 8, the readings were pretty similar, although my Oura and Ultrahuman tended to disagree slightly on which stage I was in. The Ultrahuman Ring Air and Apple Watch 8 were pretty much identical. 

Of course, there’s no way to decipher which ring is the most accurate without undergoing a lab test. Therefore, the main difference between the two is how easy it is to understand what you’re looking at when you wake up in the morning. I preferred the simplified view on the Oura ring, but if you’re really keen on delving into the data, there’s plenty of it on the Ultrahuman. 

Winner: Oura ring — another tough one, as both had similar sleep readings during testing, however, I preferred the way the sleep data was presented on the Oura. 

Ultrahuman Ring Air vs. Oura Ring: Apps

With both smart rings, you are heavily reliant on the app to view and, more importantly, understand your data. I used both apps with my iPhone 14 and didn’t experience any issues with the apps glitching. The Ultrahuman sent me more reminders throughout the day, but this can be tailored in the settings. Both also reminded me when my ring was getting low on battery, and when I needed to charge it before heading to bed.

The Ultrahuman app has a number of workout suggestions, videos teaching you more about your metabolism and blood sugar, and links to the Ultrahuman podcast. You can also connect Ultrahuman’s glucose monitor, the Ultrahuman M1. The Oura app also has an Explore tab, allowing you to find meditations, breathing exercises, sleep meditations and stories, and the opportunity to read more about sleep strategies, readiness, and bedtime tips. 

screenshots from the Ultrahuman app

(Image credit: Future)

As someone who has tested endless fitness trackers, one thing I noted is that the language and phrasing used on the Ultrahuman app is a little…different. At times I wasn’t really sure what I was looking at, and found the language a little muddled. For example, when syncing your ring, you’ll see your Phases Response Curve, which breaks down when you should be taking stimulants, exercising, sleeping or avoiding light. The ring has a real focus on stimulants and exposure to light, but it took me a good few weeks of testing to really get to grips with what I was looking at. 

Oura Ring Generation 3 review

(Image credit: Future)

It’s a very different experience to the Oura ring, which is almost reassuring in it’s approach to presenting your data, and I was able to get to grips with it from night one. That said, Ultrahuman is also a much, much newer brand, and you’re not paying monthly to use the app, which is great. Oura, on the other hand, has been around since 2015, so has had a lot longer to tweak things and perfect the experience. 

Winner: Oura — I much preferred the Oura app, which was easy to understand from my first day of using the ring. 

Ultrahuman Ring Air vs. Oura Ring: Battery life 

Ultrahuman says the battery life of its Ring Air is up to six days, but during testing, I found it lasted around four days before it needed a recharge. To charge the ring, you simply place it on this little puck-like charger, that can sit neatly on your bedside table. In my experience, it took one to two hours to fully charge the ring. 

Ultrahuman Ring Air shown in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Oura Ring Generation 3 battery life is estimated for 4-7 days. I never could go a full week without changing, though. I found my ring needs juice about every 5-6 days, which is just long enough to not get annoying. Again, when it’s time to charge, the Oura Ring sits on a dedicated wireless charging base. The base’s indicator light turns white to let you know it’s charging. You’ll get a notification on your phone when your Ring reaches 100% battery life, which took a little over an hour during testing.

Oura Ring Generation 3 review

(Image credit: Future)

Winner: Oura — during our testing, the Oura ring lasted longer than the Ultrahuman ring. That said, you won’t need to charge either ring anywhere near as often as your Apple Watch, and could easily go away for a weekend without worrying about packing your charger.

Ultrahuman Ring Air vs. Oura Ring: Verdict 

So, which ring should you choose? Both the Ultrahuman Ring Air and the Oura ring are extremely comfortable fitness trackers, which look more like jewelry. They are both suited to individuals who want to learn more about their body, and how they could be sleeping, recovering, and moving better. Both give you a wealth of information and how far you dig into it is up to you. 

If you’re looking for a well-established brand, or you’re interested in tracking your menstrual cycle using a smart ring, Oura is the better choice. As well as its integration with Natural Cycles, during testing, we found its period prediction to be pretty spot on — in fact, it’s one of the best wearables we’ve tested when it comes to tracking your period. We also found that the Oura app was easier to navigate and more user-friendly when it comes to understanding your data, however, you do need to pay an additional subscription cost.

If you’re new to smart rings, and you want a lightweight ring without having to pay more every single month, the Ultrahuman Ring Air is the better choice. The data you get is extensive, and you can read as much or as little as you like to help make positive changes to your lifestyle. As Ultrahuman is a much newer brand, there’s nothing to say it won’t be able to track more in future updates, and you won’t need to worry about paying more if changes are made.  

More from Tom's Guide

Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.