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Oura Ring Vs. Apple Watch: Which One is Safer?

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In the ever-evolving landscape of health tech, the Oura Ring Vs Apple Watch debate takes on a new dimension: safety.

As leaders in the health tracking market, both gadgets offer innovative features to enhance your wellness journey. Yet, the question arises: which one is safer for long-term wear?

Let’s find out.

Oura Ring vs. Apple Watch: Overview

Both the Oura Ring and Apple Watch offer unique health and fitness tracking capabilities.

The Oura Ring excels in sleep tracking and providing detailed insights into sleep quality, heart rate variability, and recovery. It emphasizes its strengths in monitoring overall wellness with accuracy, particularly in calorie tracking and sleep analysis.

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Prized for its discreet and comfortable design, it’s ideal for 24/7 wear.

Meanwhile, the Apple Watch shines with its versatility and comprehensive health monitoring features.

It boasts an extensive app ecosystem, advanced health monitoring tools like FDA-cleared ECG, AFib History for insights into atrial fibrillation, and sensors for heart rate and blood oxygen level monitoring.

It also features fall detection, automatically calling emergency services if the user does not respond after a fall​​​​.

Integration with health platforms, such as compatibility with Apple Health, enhances both devices’ utility by consolidating health data for a complete wellness overview.

Let’s have a deeper look.

Oura Ring vs. Apple Watch: Head-to-Head Comparison

FeaturesOura RingApple Watch
Sleep TrackingExcelling in sleep monitoring, the Oura Ring uses advanced sensors to provide detailed insights into sleep stages, heart rate variability, and overall sleep quality.Offers comprehensive sleep tracking capabilities, including REM sleep monitoring, using motion and heart rate data to provide insights into sleep quality and patterns.​
Calories AccuracyKnown for its precise health and activity tracking, though specific details on calorie tracking accuracy are part of the broader health insights it offers.Tracks calories burned through a wide range of activities, leveraging its sensors and health app integration for accuracy.
Exercise TrackingProvides activity tracking and workout heart rate monitoring, emphasizing the balance between activity and rest.Features extensive exercise tracking options, including various workouts with Fitness+, and uses algorithms to measure workout data accurately​.
Overall AccuracyPrioritizes accuracy with its powerful sensor technology, measuring directly from the arteries in your fingers and including features like temperature monitoring for comprehensive health insights.Offers a suite of health monitoring tools validated by clinical research, including heart rate monitoring and ECG, ensuring reliable health insights​.
Pricing Range (Latest Versions)$299 – $449 (+ Advanced Tracking Membership at $5.99/month)$269–$799 (Cellular plans for the Apple Watch cost around $10 per month. However, if you connect it to your iPhone and make calls that way, you don’t have to pay the additional $10/month.)

Do These Gadgets Factor in EMF Safety?

As we can see, both of these gadgets boast powerful features. And Apple Watch even takes it a step further because of its display.

But there’s a big question we haven’t answered yet: What about EMF safety?

What is EMF?

If you’re new to this space and unfamiliar with EMF, here’s a quick overview.

EMF stands for electromagnetic fields. These are invisible areas of energy, often referred to as radiation, that come from anything electrical or that uses electricity.

EMF Visualized oura ring vs apple watch

There are two main types of EMF:

Non-ionizing EMFs: These come from everyday things like Wi-Fi, cell phones, and household appliances like microwave ovens. They aren’t strong enough to remove electrons from atoms.

Ionizing EMFs: This is the stronger version that consists of radiations like ultraviolet rays, X-rays, and gamma rays. This type of radiation has enough energy to remove tightly bound electrons from atoms, thus creating ions, and can cause immediate DNA damage in high doses.

Fun fact: You’re constantly exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation when you’re traveling in an airplane.

But even though non-ionizing radiation isn’t strong enough to cause immediate damage to your cells and tissues, research studies say that prolonged exposure to it can cause a ton of health problems ranging from minor sleep disorders to chronic diseases like cancer.

You can learn more about this in my “EMF Health Effects” page.

Greater Risk with Wearables?

See, both Oura Ring and Apple Watch use EMF for connectivity. One in the form of Bluetooth, and other even packs a cellular data feature.

And even though most fitness trackers emit EMF in insignificant amounts, if you wear them long enough, the accumulated dose of EMF your body receives becomes large enough to trigger biological effects.

This, however, does not apply to the ones with cellular connectivity. That’s because, for the cellular feature to work, they’ll have to emit EMFs as powerful as a cellphone to connect with the nearest tower.

Let’s look at the numbers.

SAR Value: Oura Ring vs. Apple Watch

SAR, or Specific Absorption Rate, measures how much EMF radiation your body absorbs from electronic gadgets.

It’s a safety standard set by organizations like the FCC and other international bodies.

Every gadget has to go through this test. And it’s only when they publish their SAR values that they’re allowed to be sold in the market.

Specific Absorption Rate Test

While SAR sounds great on paper as a safety standard, many experts disagree with it. They believe it’s not the best way to ensure our gadgets are safe. This is because of a few reasons.

  1. SAR focuses exclusively on thermal effects, overlooking non-thermal biological impacts.
  2. It assesses exposure based on short-term interactions, not accounting for cumulative, long-term effects.
  3. Testing protocols may not accurately represent diverse user demographics, especially children.
  4. Laboratory conditions used for SAR evaluations do not always mirror actual device usage scenarios.
  5. SAR values are self-reported by manufacturers, leading to potential conflicts of interest and variability in reporting standards.

You can learn more about SAR on my post, “What is SAR and How is Cell Phone Radiation (Not) Regulated?

Although SAR isn’t the perfect metric to ensure EMF safety, for now, that’s all we’ve got. And it gives us a rough idea of how safe an electronic device is.

In the United States, the FCC-set SAR limit for devices used near or against the body, operating at or below 6 GHz, is 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg), averaged over one gram of tissue.

Upon testing, Oura Ring measured 0.0003 W/kg (measured over 1 gram of tissue). You can read the full report here.

And the Apple Watch Series 9 GPS + Cellular measured 1.15 W/kg (measured over 1 gram of tissue).

Airplane Mode

Both the Oura Ring and the Apple Watch let you turn on Airplane mode, which reduces their EMF emissions to none – making them much safer to use.

And even with Airplane mode on, they continue to track your health data, which you can sync to your phone later.

oura ring vs apple watch

But, Airplane mode is simpler to use on the Oura Ring than on the Apple Watch.

The Oura Ring is just for tracking health and doesn’t need the internet for apps or calls, so Airplane mode doesn’t change how it works.

On the other hand, using Airplane mode on the Apple Watch turns off many of its features, making it less useful.

Why is The Oura Ring Better?

In this battle of Oura Ring vs. Apple Watch, the Oura Ring takes the lead as the safer health tracker.

Oura ring takes the lead as the safer health tracker

It has a significantly lower SAR value, which means it exposes you to significantly less radiation than the Apple Watch.

Even though SAR isn’t a perfect metric, we can clearly see the difference. The Apple Watch’s SAR value is identical to that of the iPhone 14.

And unlike an iPhone, the Apple watch is designed to sit tightly pressed against your skin. So, if you care about your health even remotely, it makes zero sense to buy the Apple Watch.

Additionally, the fact that the Oura Ring maintains full functionality in Airplane mode scores another point in its favor.

Besides EMF: House of Bacteria

A 2023 research study from Florida found that “95% of 20 different smartwatch wristbands tested were contaminated with bacteria capable of causing disease.”

They analyzed different wristband materials and found that plastic and rubber bands had the most bacteria on them, while metal bands like gold and silver were virtually bacteria-free.

While testing the rubber and plastic bands, the researchers found different disease-causing bacteria, like Staphylococcus, Enterobacteria (like E. coli), and Pseudomonas. These bacteria can cause a variety of infections, including pneumonia, abscesses, and salmonella.

The researchers believe that bacteria end up on the wristbands because of contact with the skin, sweat, and the general environment.

Interestingly, they found that the kinds of activities people do can affect how much bacteria you’ll find on the wristband. For example, those who hit the gym often tended to have the highest levels of staphylococcal bacteria on their wristbands.

Since the Oura Ring is a titanium-infused fitness tracking ring, it’s extremely resistant to bacterial and germ growth.

This feature alone could tip the scales in favor of the Oura Ring if you’re currently in the market for a health tracker.

And add to that it’s low EMF emissions – the choice is frankly a no-brainer.

However, if you’ve already invested in an Apple Watch and are concerned about spending more on another device, here’s what you can do.

The SYB Wrist Band

The SYB Wrist Band shields your body from the various types of EMFs emitted by smartwatches and fitness trackers.

Here’s why the SYB Wrist Band is the best on the market:

Superior EMF Protection: Engineered with precision, the SYB Wrist Band has undergone rigorous laboratory testing to confirm its effectiveness in blocking up to 99% of EMF radiation. This includes the latest 5G frequencies, ensuring protection up to 40 GHz.

Designed for Comfort and Elegance: Prioritizing both wellness and aesthetics, this wristband is crafted from a luxurious blend of 90% pure silver thread and 10% spandex. This composition not only offers exceptional EMF shielding but also provides a lightweight, comfortable feel on your skin. The band’s sleek, unisex design makes it a fashionable addition to any outfit, supporting both your health and style.

Everyday Practicality: The SYB Wrist Band is built for daily use without compromising the functionality of your devices. It’s durable, washable, and designed not to affect the reception or battery life of your wireless technology, blending seamlessly with your everyday life.

Inclusive Sizing: To accommodate diverse needs, the SYB Wrist Band is available in two sizes. The regular size measures 17cm (6.7″) in circumference, and the small size is 16cm (6.3″), with both options being 5cm (2″) wide. This ensures a snug and comfortable fit for a wide range of users.

In an era where technology is omnipresent, the SYB Wrist Band offers a powerful solution for those concerned about the health implications of EMF radiation. Its blend of scientific validation, comfort, style, and practicality makes it an essential accessory for health-conscious individuals.

Final Thoughts

In the evolving world of health technology, choosing between the Oura Ring and the Apple Watch is more than just picking between gadgets.

It’s about making a smart choice in a world where our health is invisibly impacted by the devices we wear.

The debate on Oura Ring vs. Apple Watch not only highlights the big differences between these gadgets but also shows why it’s important to be informed.

Visit my EMF Healthy Living Tips page to equip yourself with the knowledge needed to navigate this tech-saturated world in a safer, healthier way.

Where do you carry your phone?

Want to Slash Your EMF Health Risks?

Good! Learn the one small change you should make right now.

Want to learn more about EMF?

Try these related articles...

About the Author

R Blank is the CEO of Shield Your Body, which he founded in 2012. With hundreds of thousands of customers in over 30 countries, and having been interviewed on platforms including Dr. Phil, ABC news television and ElectricSense, R is an internationally followed expert on issues of EMF, health and safety. He also hosts “The Healthier Tech Podcast”, available Apple, Spotify and all major podcasting platforms. In the past, he served on the faculty at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering as well as the University of California, Santa Cruz. Previously, R ran a software engineering firm in Los Angeles, producing enterprise-level solutions for blue chip clients including Medtronic, Apple, NBC, Toyota, Disney, Microsoft, the NFL, Ford, IKEA and Mattel. He has spoken at conferences around the world, including in the US, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands, and he is the co-author, along with his father Dr. Martin Blank, of ‘Overpowered‘ from Seven Stories Press about the science of health effects of EMF radiation. He has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and received his bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Columbia University. He has also studied at Cambridge University in the UK; the University of Salamanca in Spain; and the Institute of Foreign Languages in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Read more about R and SYB or connect with R on LinkedIn.

Have a Question?

I take pride in designing great, effective products, based on real, measurable science – AND taking the time to ensure that each and every one of you has the information you need to understand EMF and make informed decisions.

So if you have a question, just email me and ask.

R Blank

R Blank