WHOOP vs. Oura vs. Biostrap - User Friendliness and Value
Some of the main questions to ask when assessing the value of any device are the following:
● Is it user-friendly?
● How do the user interface and functionality compare to the competitors?
● How do the price and value compare to competitive devices?
Here we explore the user-friendliness and value of WHOOP vs. Oura vs. Biostrap.
Delivery and Cost of WHOOP, Oura, and Biostrap
The first experience you will have with a supplier after ordering is the delivery of the device. In this regard, there are some clear differences between WHOOP, Oura, and Biostrap.
WHOOP states on its website that it would take a week to fulfill the order, and that it only ships by USPS. Despite this, it was delivered in 2 days, the same as the Biostrap.
Biostrap offers next-day delivery for an extra fee. It took two days to arrive, and it arrived on the same day as the free delivery option from WHOOP.
Oura requires an extra step for ordering a sizing kit, and then for ordering the ring. In addition, Oura comes with sizable duties and taxes upon delivery to Canada, as well as for consumers from the USA, as it ships from Europe and there is no North American fulfillment yet. The device arrived within a few days.
Oura: $299, or $399 for the “premium finish.”
Biostrap: $350, including next-day air shipping. However, Biostrap failed to file proper documents for shipping to Canada, and as such, I was hit with duties and taxes, similar to those I had to pay for Oura.
WHOOP: $15 for the strap and $30 a month for a 6-month commitment, with price reduced for longer commitment. For anyone intending to wear the strap for an extended period of time, the total cost is significantly much higher compared to Oura or Biostrap.
As a positive, WHOOP filed the proper North American Free Trade paperwork, and there was no fee for duties/ taxes or clearance.
BATTERY LIFE, CHARGING CONVENIENCE
WHOOP: ~5 days (120 hours)
Time to charge: 1 hour
The WHOOP device came fully charged; however, the charging cable is only a few inches long. As such, wall outlets cannot be used to charge the WHOOP, and only USB outlets at surface level can be used.
Oura: 4–5 day battery life (96-120 hours)
Time to charge: less than 1 hour
I found the Oura Ring charging dock to be easy and convenient.
Biostrap: ~2-day battery life (48–60 hours)
Time to charge: 1.5 hour
My Biostrap arrived dead on delivery and was missing the charging cable! Luckily, the cable from WHOOP fit the Biostrap charging dock. The Biostrap charging dock is tedious to use, and any slight disturbance to the surface disrupts the charge. It is, by far, the least user-friendly device to charge I have ever encountered.
Comfort and AestheticsOura: Personally, I don’t mind the look of the Oura ring – I find it unassuming. As for comfort, I don’t like rings. Oura is no different, and for anyone who has arthritic fingers, such as I do (thanks to breaking every finger in both hands multiple times), I recommend sizing it slightly larger than intended. I tend to move the ring from my right to left hand, as my fingers swell and shrink in diameter throughout the day. However, all things considered, I find the Oura ring to be the best of the three options.
My wife, on the other hand, hates her Oura ring. She finds the bulky ring to be gaudy and to detract attention away from her other rings. She has been wearing her Oura ring for ~5 months to conduct a pair of n=2 trials we are doing, and then will likely be switching over to a FitBit to collect sleep data. Moreover, she would switch devices now if it didn’t corrupt our data. If you wear rings and like how they look, this is something to consider. For people who do not wear a lot of jewelry, like myself, this isn’t an issue.
Biostrap: Not only is the Biostrap quite unattractive-looking, a rubber band with a basic pattern to it, I barely made it through wearing this heap of crap for the 30 days. It caused significantly more chafing than any watch or wearable tech I have ever tried out. See below:
WHOOP: WHOOP has a fabric band that ends up stinking very fast. I tried to hand wash it with soap every few days, which did not completely work. After 30 days of wearing the WHOOP, it accumulated a strong smell, similar to the inside of my boxing gloves, or my wraps when they haven’t been washed after multiple uses. The WHOOP is also not particularly aesthetically pleasing, and subjectively, I believe it looks cheap. On the plus side, I have absolutely no chafing from wearing the WHOOP for 30 days, so there appears to be at least one strong positive for the fabric band. If the band were more easily washable, I would say that WHOOP is onto something. In fact, I do think WHOOP is onto something but needs to address the issue of washing the band more easily. I am unsure of how “waterproof” the device is, and as such, have tried to carefully wash just the strap and avoid direct water and soap contact with the device.
Benefits not Covered in Sleep or Activity
Biostrap and WHOOP both give some real-time data, while Oura does not.
I collected data three times on day 1 within a few minutes.
61 heart rate (HR), 97 (HRV), 96% saturation (1-minute data collect)
1 minute later
74 HR 36 HRV, 97% saturation (30-second data collect)
1 minute later
74 HR, 39 HRV, 97% saturation (2-minute data collect)
*Data collected at 910m elevation on day 1, with data from the remainder of the month collected at below
Because Biostrap reports such a wide variability within a 10-minute period, I question if this data is even slightly useful.
Biostrap: Biostrap measures SpO 2, which is your blood oxygen saturation. Blood oxygen saturation can be a useful tool for certain disease models; however, in healthy individuals, it does not fluctuate to a great degree. In fact, for the 30 days I wore the Biostrap, the highest reading was 97% and the lowest was 95%, the night of my birthday when I happened to get black-out drunk. If you are worried about your blood oxygen saturation levels, a pulse oximeter on Amazon runs between $20–$30, and newer Fitbits and Garmins also
include SpO 2 measurements. As the standalone benefit for Biostrap over Oura and WHOOP, it is incredibly underwhelming.
WHOOP: WHOOP is the only one of the three devices that has a constant heart rate monitor, so you can watch your heart rate in real-time. Oura previously had this feature, and removed it, citing it may increase anxiety.
In addition, WHOOP has the most extensive daily questionnaire, which asked every day whether I had fasted intermittently, more accurately described as time-restricted eating, but did not give the option for fasting and not eating for the entire day. What is the point of this function/question? It also asked whether I had consumed caffeine, magnesium, etc. But as of yet, I have not been able to assess any usefulness of this daily questionnaire.
Oura: Oura has no additional functions that are not mentioned in the sleep evaluation section.
Processing Speed of WHOOP, Oura, and Biostrap
As for processing speed, Oura wins by a landslide — it updates data in moments. WHOOP typically takes up to 30 seconds, and often takes numerous refreshes to get “up-to-the-minute” data. Biostrap sometimes takes up to 5 minutes to process your sleep data.
Whoop and Biostrap take significantly longer than Oura to update data, especially sleep and workout data.
Oura and WHOOP calculate sleep almost immediately upon a refresh. Biostrap takes 5+ minutes for far less data.
All in all, for value, appearance, and user experience my vote goes to the Oura Ring.
Despite WHOOP’s cost in the long term, the fact that it is functional in many regards, where the Biostrap does not seem to be, gives it better value.
I cannot recommend the Biostrap for any purpose, and as such, it has no value.
So, the order of my recommendations are as follows: