Quality over Quantity.. We haven’t crammed a load of wearables into this list just to make up the space. Instead we’ve only included the best fitness trackers for advanced sleep monitoring, with features such as REM sleep stages and resting heart rate. As you can see they are all wrist-worn trackers. They have a decent track record in terms of accuracy, and plenty of Quantified Self and smart features such as music control and notifications.
Best Fitness Trackers For Advanced Sleep Monitoring
The Intel-owned Basis Peak is a high-end fitness tracker which stands out from the crowd because of its watch-size touchscreen. Although the Basis Peak is larger than the average fitness tracker it doesn’t lack in the comfort department. It comes with a soft silicone strap that feels almost good enough to eat, and the underside of the case has curved edges that contour your wrist.
Another winning feature about the Basis Peak is that it looks pretty damn fine – although not everybody agrees. The monochrome touchscreen display measures 1.26″ and is protected with Gorilla Glass 3.
The Basis features a pretty decent optical heart rate monitor and galvanic skin response sensors to monitor skin temperature and perspiration. It keeps track of your steps and calories burned, and recent integration with Adidas-owned Runtastic has brought previously lacking features, including: distance, speed, pace, altitude and elevation. The Basis Peak uses a proprietary technology called Body IQ that automatically detects different activities: running, walking, cycling and sleep.
The Basis Peak offers one of the most advanced sleep tracking solutions on the market. It auto detects when you nod off and provides detailed sleep reports: overall sleep score, total hours slept, interruptions, tosses and turns and time of sleeping and waking. The best thing about the Basis Sleep graphs is that they show you times and lengths of light, deep, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
The Basis Peak support is excellent. Several updates have been brought to the device since its release, including: a silent vibrating alarm that can be set from the wrist without opening the app. The most recent update means you can now share your activities along with a photo and map with family and friends on social networks including: Facebook and Twitter.
The Basis Peak goes beyond fitness and sleep tracking as it displays incoming caller ID, text messages and emails on its touchscreen display.
You can hook the Basis app up with Google Fit and Apple Health, plus stream heart rate data to third-party apps such as Strava. The Basis app is compatible with iOS and Android.
The Basis Peak has a battery life of around 4 days.
• Basis Peak
The launch of the Jawbone UP3 was a little rickety as there were several set backs apparently due to its water-resistance. In the end the UP3 launched alongside the UP2 and UP4 which seemed a bit weird. Not too long after the UP3 was released, Jawbone announced a 2nd-gen UP3 with variety of new colours and an improved clasp – still not watertight though.
The Jawbone UP3 is one of the most sensor-packed fitness trackers available. Its tri-axis accelerometer and bioimpedence sensors measure galvanic skin response – skin temperature and perspiration. It can track fatigue, respiration, resting and continuous heart rate, distance travelled, calories burned and elevation. A decent feature onboard the UP3 is its Smart Coach. Over time it learns about the user and offers advice on how to improve health.
The Jawbone Up3 is an advanced sleep monitor. It automatically detects when you nod and provides analysis on sleep duration, time of nodding and waking, light, deep, and REM sleep stages, and resting heart rate during your sleep. The app also offers advice on how to get a better night’s winkage, and there’s a vibrating alarm to wake you up in the morning.
The UP3 doesn’t have a screen, instead there are three LEDs that flash different colors: blue for activities, orange for sleep, and white when your smartphone receives a notification: calls, text, email and social.
The UP app doesn’t fall short. It has an expansive ecosystem and works with plenty of popular third-party apps, including: Runkeeper and MapMyFitness. It also works with IFTTT which opens up a door of possibilities to connect to other apps and IoT devices. The UP App is Compatible with iOS and Android.
The Jawbone UP3 has a battery life of around 7 days.
• Jawbone UP3
Misfit Shine 2
The Misfit Shine was one of the most popular fitness trackers of 2015. It’s a lightweight and elegant little wearable that can be worn as a wristband, pendant, or clipped onto clothing. There are also some trendy ways to add bling to the Shine, such as the Swarovsky collection.
The Misfit Shine 2 brings some improvements to the original. It has a slightly thinner design, and the circular LED display ubiquitous to Misfit now features multi-color with six million possible variations.
The Shine’s display which shows your daily progress and the time, is controlled by double-tapping. Misfit announced a new algorithm just before the release of the Shine 2 that makes it 50 percent more responsive to taps. The original Shine also uses the new algorithm.
A vibration motor has been added to the Shine 2, and IFTTT integration allows you connect to more apps, aswell as control your smartphone’s music playlist and camera. The Shine 2 now uses Bluetooth 4.1 with improved range and faster syncing.
The Misfit Shine 2 features automatic sleep Detection. The Misfit app displays deep, medium and light sleep stages, total sleep duration, periods when you were awake, and you can set the vibrating alarm to wake you up.
It delivers the activity tracking essentials: steps taken, distance travelled, calories burned, and rewards you with points for different activities. Obviously, different activities burn different amounts of calories. The Shine 2 allows you to “Tag” activity types, including: swimming, cycling, tennis, soccer, yoga and more – which results in greater accuracy regarding points awarded.
When you receive an incoming call or text message, the Shine 2 vill vibrate and the LED display will flash green for calls and blue for texts.
The Misfit app works with plenty of third-party apps, including: MyFitnessPal, Evernote, Lose It, RunKeeper and Apple Health. The Misfit app is compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows.
It isn’t the most feature-packed activity tracker on the market – lacking a heart rate monitor and galvanic skin-response (GSR), but it is water-resistant enough to use while swimming and the 6-month coin cell battery never needs charging.
• Misfit Shine 2
Microsoft Band 2
The first Microsoft band was a serious contender on paper, but a shorter battery life than its competitors, plus its substandard level of comfort meant it needed some improvements.
The Microsoft Band 2 brings several improvements over the original. First of all its curved design makes it far more comfortable and better looking. Other improvements include a barometer – so you can track floors climbed, V02 Max readings – a feature traditionally reserved for high-end sports wearables, automatic shot detection to help with your golf game, and the ability to access your stats via desktop/laptop.
The Microsoft Band 2 is one of a small number of fitness trackers with a built-in GPS. It also has a heart rate monitor, GSR, UV senor, 3-axis accelerometer, and more. In total it has 11 sensors – basically more than you could wave a magic wand at.
The battery life hasn’t changed much since the first band, but that’s probably something to do with the onboard GPS and the 1.26-inch 320 x 128 curved AMOLED full-color touchscreen display, which incidentally is protected by Gorilla Glass 3.
The Microsoft Band 2 features automatic sleep detection. You get some pretty detailed graphs for night’s sleep, including: sleep duration, times of waking, how long it took to fall asleep, periods of light and restful sleep, calories burned during the night, and resting heart rate while you were snoozing.
It also offers information on how well your mind and body recovered in relevance to your sleep quality. If the MS Band 2 would only tell me how many hotdogs I ate while I was sleepwalking it would be the perfect snooze monitor..
All the activity tracking essentials are onboard, including: steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed; plus heart rate monitoring, skin temperature, GPS tracking and more.
The color touchscreen displays incoming caller ID, emails, text and notifications from social apps. It also displays music control icons and song titles, allowing you to use the fitness tracker to play, pause, skip, and adjust the volume of your tracks with Spotify and other music apps.
There’s a built-in microphone (not something we find on many fitness trackers) and Microsoft’s digital voice assistant Cortana is at the ready for verbal commands, but she’s only compatible with Windows Phone 8.1 or higher. Update: Cortana is now compatible with Android.
Aswell as the Microsoft Health app, the MS Band 2 plays nicely with some big-name third-party health apps, including: Strava, MyFitnessPal, MapMyRun; and also some not so healthy apps like Subway and Starbucks.
The MS Band 2 is compatible with Windows Phone, Android and iOS.
It has a battery life of up to 2 days depending on usage.
• Microsoft Band 2
If you’re wondering why there are no Fitbit or Garmin wearables included – we have reviewed quite a few different models and don’t find that sleep monitoring is their strongest feature – although they sell more fitness trackers than anyone else.