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 2022
Withings Sleep Analyzer - Best Overall
- No need to wear anything
- Discreet sleep tracking
- Sleep Apnea detection
- No smart features
- One tracker per person
The Withings Sleep Analyzer is a devoted sleep tracker that's ideal for those in need of serious analysis of their sleep health or simply don't want to bring a wearable into the bedroom.
The simple grey mat slides under your mattress and tracks sleep quality and duration along with snoring, heart rate, and sleep apnea, giving you a fairly comprehensive overview of your sleeping patterns.
With nothing to wear and no battery to worry about, the Sleep Analyzer gets out of your way - but as you'll need one tracker per person, you'll need to be pretty invested in getting a good night's rest.
Read our full Withings Sleep Analyzer review
Withings ScanWatch - Best for fitness and sleep tracking
- Monitors 'breathing disturbances'
- Detailed sleep tracking
- Traditional wristwatch design
- Limited smart features
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.
Read our full Withings ScanWatch review
Fitbit Versa 3 - Best Fitbit for sleep-tracking and SpO2
- Great sleep tracking
- Excellent smartwatch features
- Monitors blood oxygen during sleep
- Limited apps
Fitbit's Versa 3 smartwatch is a fully fledged fitness tracker with built-in GPS and all the activity measurements you could desire.
Like all Fitbits, it also is a great sleep tracker and boasts an auto-sleep mode that'll automatically recognise when you're asleep - no need to set it to a 'sleep' mode like with other trackers.
It measures the duration of sleep, and splits this into the three Sleep Stages: Light sleep, Deep sleep, and REM sleep.
Alongside Restoration (which measures your sleeping heart rate vs your daytime resting heart rate), it gives you a nightly Sleep Score out of 100, and detailed data on how to improve the quality of your sleep.
As with the top-end Fitbit Sense, the Versa 3 also measures your SpO2 blood oxygen saturation. Nighttime SpO2 is usually lower than daytime SpO2 because your breathing rate is, on average, slower during sleep.
And, of course, you get all the fitness measurements (heart rate, cardio scores, and exercise modes), and smartwatch features (on-wrist phone calls, message notifications, and Alexa/Google voice assistants).
Read our full Fitbit Versa 3 review
Fitbit Inspire 2 - Best Fitbit for sleep-quality tracking
- In-depth sleep tracking
- Discreet design
- No blood oxygen monitoring
- Monochrome display
The Fitbit Inspire 2 appeals more to the casual get-fit user. Users will love the 1in monochrome display, interchangeable wristbands, updated fitness features, and the 10-day battery life.
In terms of sleep tracking, it offers stats including sleep duration, quality of sleep (including Light, Deep and REM sleep measurements) and score, just like the Fitbit Versa 3.
The Inspire 2 doesn't measure your SpO2 blood-oxygen level, but it's a great affordable activity tracker that also offers all the sleep-quality tracking you need.
Read our full Fitbit Inspire 2 review
Xiaomi Mi Band 6 - Best cheap sleep tracker
- Very affordable
- Insightful sleep tracking
- Large OLED display
- No third-party app integration
With full waterproofing, a PPG heart rate sensor, blood oxygen monitoring and detailed sleep tracking, the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 offers better value than ever. We’d like to see better integration with third-party apps, but at this price, and with two-week battery life, the Mi Band 6 is hard to fault.
If you're on the market for a cheap sleep tracker that'll track sleep quality and length, you can't go wrong with the Mi Band 6.
Read our full Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 review
Huawei Watch Fit - Best Huawei for sleep tracking
- Sleek design
- In-depth sleep tracking with useful tips
- Analyses breathing
- Companion app needs work
- No third-party app integration
Huawei's cheap-yet-stylish Watch Fit is another solid option that provides not only in-depth exercise tracking and fitness training, but insightful sleep tracking capabilities too.
The Watch Fit will automatically detect when you fall asleep and, the following morning, provides a breakdown of your light sleep, deep sleep, and REM, as well as analysis on your breathing via the SpO2 sensor. It also has a database of over 200 tips on how to improve your sleep based on your results.
It's relatively inexpensive, offers multi-day battery life and the 1.4in rectangular OLED display is a nice touch too.
Read our full Huawei Watch Fit review
Withings Steel HR Sport - A sleep tracker with a classic twist
- Classic wristwatch design
- 25-day battery life
- Detailed sleep tracking
- No third-party app support
- Limited notification support
The Withings Steel HR Sport is the perfect marriage of analogue and digital, featuring an analogue watchface with all kinds of built-in smart tech. It’s thanks to this design that the Steel HR Sport looks at home when worn in the office or at the gym, and that’s not something that can be said about most fitness-focused smartwatches.
It’s capable of tracking over 30 activities, from running to swimming and even yoga or ping pong (not to mention sleeping, of course), and the 25-day battery life means you never need to worry about charging it. Couple that with an app that provides meaningful insight into the data collected by the smartwatch, and you’ve got the perfect fitness companion.
Read our full Withings Steel HR Sport review
Kokoon Sleep Tracking Headphones - Great audio with impressive sleep tracking
- Comfortable low-profile design
- Great accompanying app
- Decent sound quality
- Not suitable for side-sleepers
There’s a lot to love about the EEG-enabled Kokoon headphones; the low-profile design is ideal for sleeping and commuting alike, and despite weighing 350g, they feel weightless when worn.
The earcups are huge, reaching beyond your ears and resting on your skull for extra comfort, and the soft inner earcups perfect the experience with a cool, soft touch. The accompanying Kokoon app for iOS and Android is well built and easy to use, and offers a suite of soundscapes to use to fall asleep – some of which are even customisable. You’ll also find CBT-inspired breathing exercises and multi-day programs to help improve the quality of your sleep, along with a breakdown of your previous night's sleep.
The issue is that it’s just not comfortable for side-sleepers – the plastic swivel joints dig into the side of your head, causing enough discomfort to distract you from the main aim; getting to sleep.
Read our full Kokoon Sleep review
It's worth noting that the Bose SleepBuds II are a viable option for listening to music in bed, but without dedicated sleep tracking functionality, they don't technically qualify for our chart.
Still, if you're looking for a way to drift off to sleep using headphones and want to go for a more recognisable brand, the SleepBuds II are a good option - although they're not without their flaws.
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…
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.
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 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.
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.
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).