Every product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.

Hiding in Plain Sight: Why the Oura Ring Gen3 Horizon Is Worth It

The new rounded Horizon ring costs more than the Oura Heritage, but this version blends in better, which makes it look less obvious than other tech wearables.

oura ring
Evan Malachosky

The wearable tech boom is upon us. From Whoop bands to the Apple Watch, there's no shortage of innocuous tech capable of reading our every move — from our heart rate to our activity levels to our menstrual cycle. But most wearables look, well, tech-y. While many assume the form of the object they're intending to replace — the Apple Watch looks a lot like a standard watch — there's a kind of uncanny valley that prevents us from seeing it so simply. Simply put, they rarely look totally interchangeable.

The semi-new Oura Ring Gen3 Horizon does, though, thanks to its rounded edge and semi-precious metal-colored finishes: Silver, Gold and Rose Gold, but sleeker tones like Black and Stealth, too.

Oura Ring Gen3 Horizon: What We Think


Oura Ring Gen3 Horizon


Oura Ring

Oura Ring Gen3 Horizon


    These may not truly be 18k gold or .925 sterling silver, but they look the part and are more durable because of it. But are they worth it then, considering they do the same job as the cheaper Stealth option? Of course, because they blend in, but also because they can make you a better sleeper, more mindful of your daily habits, and, ultimately, if you use them correctly, healthier.

    The 7-day battery helps you keep the ring on, allowing it to track metrics surrounding your sleeping habits (REM sleep, deep sleep, light sleep), activity levels, heart rate (resting, average and active) and blood oxygen level, but also offering access to guided meditations, sleep-time wind-downs and beyond. It's a personal health assistant packed into a wedding band, which the brand says you should wear on your pointer finger, if you can, or the middle finger and then the ring finger if not.

    Oura Ring Gen3 Horizon: Testing Notes

    It's comfortable.

    Despite its technological prowess, the Oura Ring Gen3 Horizon is hardly noticeable. It wears like a normal ring, thanks to its comfort-fit inside and rounded exterior edge. The sensors within jut out as three ball-like markers inside the band, but they don't pinch, apply too much pressure or even leave noticeable indents on the skin after you remove it.

    The Oura Ring quickly becomes habitual.
    Evan Malachosky

    It looks like a normal ring, albeit thicker. And it wears like one, too.

    The Oura Ring Gen3 Horizon is lighter than a normal wedding band if you're in the market for a wider band. It's 7.9 mm, which looks pretty big on larger hands but super oversized on smaller fingers. The width means this ring makes quite the statement, but it isn't thick — it's as thin as a standard wedding band, which is an impressive feat considering all of the tech inside.

    That being said, I never had anyone ask what my ring was or why I was wearing it, which implies they simply thought it was a standard gold band. I, too, see it that way now, even though there was a slight adjustment period early on.

    You unfortunately should only wear it on your pointer finger.

    The ring uses skin contact to read your metrics. As such, it should be worn on the finger that's most conducive to doing so: your index finger.

    "The Oura Ring works on all fingers and can be worn on either hand," the brand admits. But there's a kicker: "For optimal performance and accuracy, we recommend wearing your Oura Ring on your index finger."

    That means you can wear your Oura Ring like a wedding band — on your ring finger — but you risk interfering with its unique ability. As such, I sized my ring for my index finger, but that's led me — a soon-to-be-married man — to question how the ring will look alongside a more traditional, albeit gold as well, wedding band.

    I’m a deep sleeper, what can I say?
    Evan Malachosky / Oura

    It offers access to a bevy of metrics.

    Oura uses a few standard metrics (heart rate, blood oxygen level, movement detection, etc.) to calculate its own scores (Sleep Score, Activity Score, Readiness Score). But when you want to read the former, you don't need to decipher the latter. You can access both, but you're presented with the scores first, which are informed by the metrics.

    I truthfully did find that my Activity Score went up when I had a high-intensity day, and my Sleep Score and Readiness Score correlated. And I felt worse for wear when my Sleep or Readiness Score were subpar. These were easy to read, especially if you don't necessarily understand what heart rate volatility or your average resting heart rate really mean for your day-to-day life.

    You need to pay to access all of your data.

    $449 (for the gold version) is quite a bit upfront. Even worse, you'll owe $5.99 a month for the life of the product simply to be a member and access your precious data. Membership gives you access to your scores, live heart rate, personalized health insights and temperature monitoring to predict a period cycle.

    The charging dock is simple and intuitive.
    Josh Rubin

    It stays charged for 7 days.

    Unlike a phone, you don't need to be sure you plug in your ring each night before bed. In fact, that's counterintuitive. Nighttime is when the ring is reading the most data — it's how it calculates your Sleep and Readiness Scores. Instead, the ring stays charged for 7 days, which means you'll need to be mindful about charging it, but you can still travel without the charging cable.

    Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
    More From Accessories