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Apple Watch Sleep Tracker Review

Written by - Brad Nehring.
Apple Watch Sleep Tracker Review

The Bottom Line.

  • Unveiled in 2019, the Apple Watch Series 5 is an innovative smartwatch that tracks physical activities and health-related data.
  • Sleep-tracking available through third-party apps.
  • The Apple Watch Series 3 is an older model that shares many of its newer counterpart’s capabilities.

Interested in an Apple Watch?

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4,207 Verified Customer Experiences

92 Unique Review Sources

35 Hours of Lab Testing

4 Sleep Experts Consulted

Meet Our Testing Team
Bill
Bill
Brad
Brad
Jackson
Jackson
Keith
Keith

General Overview

  • Comprehensive health and fitness tracking
  • Wide design selection
  • Automatic, easy-to-read display
  • Military and veteran discounts
  • Free two-day delivery for in-stock items

Cons

  • No sleep-tracking function; third-party app required
  • Expensive price-points
  • Short trial period

Quick Summary

Introduced in 2015, the Apple Watch helped usher in a new era of smart, data-tracking accessories. Much more than just a timepiece, the wearable watch monitors a wide range of metrics related to health and fitness. Of the five Apple Watch models released since 2015, two remain in production and available for purchase through Apple:

  • The Apple Watch Series 3 was unveiled in September 2017. This third-generation model is designed with a dual-core processor, and can store 16 gigabytes (GB) of LTE storage and 768 megabytes (MB) of random access memory. It also features a Retina display touch-screen with ambient light sensor. Other functions include an optical heart sensor and a gyroscope.
  • The Apple Watch Series 5 first appeared in September 2019. Apple’s most advanced smartwatch to date, the device is powered with a 64-bit dual-core processor. It stores 32 GB of LTE storage and 1 GB of random access memory, and also includes an Always-On Retina Display touch-screen with an ambient light sensor. Other features include electrical and optical heart sensors, fall detection, and an accelerometer of up to 32 g-forces.

Please note: The Series 1, Series 2, and Series 4 watches have all been discontinued as of October 2019. These models may still be sold through other third-party retailers, but cannot be purchased directly from Apple. This review will exclusively look at the two Apple Watch models that are still in production.

Although neither the Series 3 nor Series 5 includes a built-in sleep tracker, both are compatible with third-party sleep-tracking apps that enable owners to monitor this data. For information about third-party app options, please visit our Best Sleep Apps guide.

The Series 5 also has a built-in Health app that consolidates various data from the device and third-party apps, including sleep-tracking programs. This allows owners to use the Series 5 as a sleep-tracker, even though it does not come equipped with this capability. The Series 3 does not include this feature.

The Series 3 and Series 5 each come with built-in GPS, as well as the ability to send/receive texts, get smartphone notifications, and answer calls when the watch is connected to the owner’s phone via Bluetooth and WiFi. Customers can upgrade to GPS + Cellular models, which offers the same texting, calling, and notification features without connecting the watch to the phone via Bluetooth and WiFi.

Additionally, customers can choose from three specialized models for the Series 5. These include a designer model produced in collaboration with Hermès, an advanced sports watch co-created with Nike, and the lightweight Watch Edition that mimics the look and feel of a traditional wristwatch. A specialized Nike design is also available for the Series 3, but the Hermès and Watch Edition models are exclusive to the Series 5.

Prices vary by design for both Apple Watch models. The Series 3 starts at $199, while the Series 5 starts at $399. This makes both models relatively expensive compared to other sleep-trackers, but price-points reflect the devices’ additional features and capabilities. Apple offers free two-day shipping for all in-stock items. Both watches are backed by a 14-day trial and a one-year warranty.

Read on to learn more about Apple Watch models in terms of pricing, functionality, and performance. This review also looks at some similar sleep-tracking devices, along with Apple’s shipping, return, and warranty policies.

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Although the Series 3 and Series 5 watches do not come with built-in sleep-tracking technology, both devices can be used to track sleep data using third-party apps. Ratings for these watches are listed below. These ratings are based on verified owner and customer experiences, along with our own product research and analysis.

  • Apple Watch Series 3
  • Apple Watch Series 5

Full Sleep Rating

Criteria
Rating
Ease of Use
Sleep Tracking Accuracy
Sleep Tracker Reporting
Additional Features
Value
Battery Life

Full Sleep Rating

Criteria
Rating
Ease of Use
Sleep Tracking Accuracy
Sleep Tracker Reporting
Additional Features
Value
Battery Life
  • Apple Watch Series 3
  • Apple Watch Series 5
Ease of Use
Sleep Tracking Accuracy
Sleep Tracker Reporting
Additional Features
Value
Battery Life
Ease of Use
Sleep Tracking Accuracy
Sleep Tracker Reporting
Additional Features
Value
Battery Life
#

Ease of Use

The Apple Watch Series 3 is very user-friendly and can be worn to bed. It tracks sleep data using third-party apps, which require additional downloading.

#

Ease of Use

The Apple Watch Series 3 is very user-friendly and can be worn to bed. It tracks sleep data using third-party apps, which require additional downloading.

#

Sleep Tracking Accuracy

Like other wearable trackers, the Apple Series 3 is fairly consistent but not 100-percent accurate. Sleep data-tracking accuracy varies by app used.

#

Sleep Tracking Accuracy

Like other wearable trackers, the Apple Series 3 is fairly consistent but not 100-percent accurate. Sleep data-tracking accuracy varies by app used.

hand

Sleep Tracker Reporting

Because it does not come with a built-in sleep tracker, customer support primarily depends on which third-party sleep-tracking app is used.

hand

Sleep Tracker Reporting

Because it does not come with a built-in sleep tracker, customer support primarily depends on which third-party sleep-tracking app is used.

#

Additional Features

The Series 3 is not the most recent Apple Watch model, meaning it does not include all of the features as its fifth-generation counterpart. However, the watch is still highly advanced. Its features include a heart monitor, fitness and workout tracking, and text/call syncing. The watch also has a sophisticated Retina Display touch-screen with an ambient light sensor to conserve battery life.

#

Additional Features

The Series 3 is not the most recent Apple Watch model, meaning it does not include all of the features as its fifth-generation counterpart. However, the watch is still highly advanced. Its features include a heart monitor, fitness and workout tracking, and text/call syncing. The watch also has a sophisticated Retina Display touch-screen with an ambient light sensor to conserve battery life.

#

Value

Prices for the Apple Watch Series 3 start at $199. Although this is somewhat expensive compared to traditional sleep trackers, the watch provides a wide range of functions.

#

Value

Prices for the Apple Watch Series 3 start at $199. Although this is somewhat expensive compared to traditional sleep trackers, the watch provides a wide range of functions.

#

Battery Life

The Series 3 has a rechargeable lithium battery with a life of up to 18 hours when fully charged. The watch comes with a magnetic charging cable, and some versions also include a USB power adapter.

#

Battery Life

The Series 3 has a rechargeable lithium battery with a life of up to 18 hours when fully charged. The watch comes with a magnetic charging cable, and some versions also include a USB power adapter.

#

Ease of Use

The Apple Watch Series 5 does not come preloaded with a sleep tracker, but owners can download third-party apps to perform this function. The watch can be worn to bed, making it very easy to use.

#

Ease of Use

The Apple Watch Series 5 does not come preloaded with a sleep tracker, but owners can download third-party apps to perform this function. The watch can be worn to bed, making it very easy to use.

#

Sleep Tracking Accuracy

The Series 5 is Apple's most accurate and consistent tracker to date, but – like many other wearable models – it is not completely accurate. Sleep data also depends on the app used, since the watch does not come with its own built-in sleep tracker.

#

Sleep Tracking Accuracy

The Series 5 is Apple's most accurate and consistent tracker to date, but – like many other wearable models – it is not completely accurate. Sleep data also depends on the app used, since the watch does not come with its own built-in sleep tracker.

hand

Sleep Tracker Reporting

The Series 5 does not come with a built-in sleep tracker. As a result, support mostly depends on which sleep-tracking third-party app the owner uses.

hand

Sleep Tracker Reporting

The Series 5 does not come with a built-in sleep tracker. As a result, support mostly depends on which sleep-tracking third-party app the owner uses.

#

Additional Features

The Series 5 is the most advanced Apple Watch to date. Its features include electrical and optical heart sensors, fall detection, a compass, and an accelerometer up to 32 g-forces. The watch also comes with a built-in Health app, which consolidates data from the watch and third-party apps (including sleep trackers) to provide comprehensive user data.

#

Additional Features

The Series 5 is the most advanced Apple Watch to date. Its features include electrical and optical heart sensors, fall detection, a compass, and an accelerometer up to 32 g-forces. The watch also comes with a built-in Health app, which consolidates data from the watch and third-party apps (including sleep trackers) to provide comprehensive user data.

#

Value

Prices for the Apple Watch Series 5 start at $399, and some designs exceed $1,000 in price. This makes the watch relatively expensive, though the price-point is reflective of its cutting-edge design and advanced features.

#

Value

Prices for the Apple Watch Series 5 start at $399, and some designs exceed $1,000 in price. This makes the watch relatively expensive, though the price-point is reflective of its cutting-edge design and advanced features.

#

Battery Life

Like the Series 3, the Series 5 has a battery life of up to 18 hours when fully charged. The device comes with a magnetic charging cable and USB power adapter for convenient charging.

#

Battery Life

Like the Series 3, the Series 5 has a battery life of up to 18 hours when fully charged. The device comes with a magnetic charging cable and USB power adapter for convenient charging.

Apple Watch Recommendations

  • You enjoy tracking data related to fitness, sleep, and overall health.
  • You prefer sleep trackers that are wearable.
  • You don’t mind purchasing a device with sleep-tracking capabilities at an above-average price-point.

Compare Sleep Trackers

How Do Apple Watches Compare to Other Sleep Trackers?

As any consumer does with a product they’re considering, our sleep-tracker assessments naturally involve comparing them with other similar products. Be it composition, firmness, or price, we think it’s important to see how the Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 5 stack up to other sleep-tracking devices.

The Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 5 are not traditional sleep-trackers. Rather than monitoring sleep data using built-in technology, these devices rely on third-party apps. As a result, their performance as sleep-trackers primarily depends on the selected third-party app.

However, both Apple Watch models are innovative and impressive in many other ways. Both include heart monitors, built-in GPS, fitness and workout trackers, and sophisticated touch-screens. The Series 5 is notably more advanced than the Series 3 in terms of storage, Bluetooth compatibility, and display. These upgrades are reflected in the Series 5’s higher price-point.

Check out our selections below if you’d like to see a few comparable tracking devices.

Versa

Motiv Ring

Oura Ring

Tracker Style wearable - watchwearable - ringwearable - ring
Data Tracked sleep, fitness, heart ratesleep, fitness, heart ratesleep, fitness, heart rate
Tap here to see more mattress stats

Apple Watch Technical Details

technicals

What You Need to Know About the Apple Watch

Pricing

Below you’ll find current prices for each available version of the Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 5. A plus sign (+) at the end of a price indicates more expensive watch bands and/or technology upgrades are available for that model.

Apple Watch Model Series 3/Series 3 Nike (GPS) Series 3/Series 3 Nike (GPS + Cellular) Series 5 (GPS) Series 5 (GPS + Cellular) Apple Watch Hermès Apple Watch Nike Apple Watch Edition
Price $199 (38mm)
$229 (42mm)
$299 (38mm)
$329 (42mm)
$399+ (40mm)
$429+ (44mm)
$499+ (40mm)
$529+ (44mm)
$399+ (40mm)
$429+ (44mm)
$1,249+ (40mm)
$1,299+ (44mm)
$799+ (40mm)
$849+ (44mm)
Return Period 14 days 14 days 14 days 14 days 14 days 14 days 14 days
Warranty 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year
Protection Plan Options AppleCare+ extends coverage and includes 2 accidental damage incidents every 24 months
Each incident will incur a $69 charge, plus tax
AppleCare+ extends coverage and includes 2 accidental damage incidents every 24 months
Each incident will incur a $69 charge, plus tax
AppleCare+ extends coverage and includes 2 accidental damage incidents every 24 months
Each incident will incur a $69 charge, plus tax
AppleCare+ extends coverage and includes 2 accidental damage incidents every 24 months
Each incident will incur a $69 charge, plus tax
AppleCare+ extends coverage and includes 2 accidental damage incidents every 36 months
Each incident will incur a $79 charge, plus tax
AppleCare+ extends coverage and includes 2 accidental damage incidents every 24 months
Each incident will incur a $69 charge, plus tax
AppleCare+ extends coverage and includes 2 accidental damage incidents every 36 months
Each incident will incur a $79 charge, plus tax

Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Features

The Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 5 do not come with traditional sleep-tracking technology. Instead, owners must download third-party sleep-tracking apps that are compatible with the watches.

The Series 5 comes equipped with the Health app. This program consolidates various fitness, activity, sleep, and health data from the watch and all relevant third-party apps, including sleep trackers, to provide comprehensive metrics related to all aspects of personal health. For this reason, the Series 5 can be used as a sleep-tracker, even though this function is not included in its standard design.

Apart from sleep-tracking, both the Series 3 and Series 5 offer a wide range of features. In addition to GPS, the Series 3’s built-in features include a barometric altimeter, optical heart sensor, emergency SOS, accelerometer up to 16 g-forces, gyroscope, speaker, and microphone. The device tracks workouts, swimming, and menstrual cycles.

The Series 5 includes many of the same features as the Series 3, as well as a few improvements. New additions include an accelerometer up to 32 g-forces, optical and electrical (ECG/EKG) heart monitors, and fall detection. Like the Series 3, the Series 5 includes built-in GPS and also tracks workouts, swimming, and menstrual cycles.

Both devices include a touch-screen with Retina Display technology, making it easier on the eyes. They also feature a digital crown located on the side bezel, which can be pressed to return the display to its home screen.

Both models offer a battery life of up to 18 hours when fully charged, can store and play music, and offer debit/credit payment syncing via Apple Pay.

The next table lists some notable features of the Series 3 and Series 5. Please note that the Nike, Hermès, and Watch Edition models are essentially aesthetic upgrades; apart from GPS vs. GPS + Cellular technologies, these models offer the same features as the standard Series 3 and Series 5 watches.

Apple Watch Model Series 3 (GPS) Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) Series 5 (GPS) Series 5 (GPS + Cellular)
Personalized Sleep Tracking? No
Owners must download third-party apps
No
Owners must download third-party apps
No
Owners must download third-party apps, but built-in Health app consolidates data from other sources to provide a sleep-tracking interface on the watch
No
Owners must download third-party apps, but built-in Health app consolidates data from other sources to provide a sleep-tracking interface on the watch
Water-Resistant Swim Tracking? Up to 50 meters Up to 50 meters Up to 50 meters Up to 50 meters
Heart Rate Monitor? Optical only Optical only Optical and electrical (ECG/EKG) monitors Optical and electrical (ECG/EKG) monitors
Smartphone Notifications? Yes, but the watch must be connected to the owner’s phone via Bluetooth and WiFi Yes; the watch does not need to be connected to the owner’s phone to receive smartphone notifications Yes, but the watch must be connected to the owner’s phone via Bluetooth and WiFi Yes; the watch does not need to be connected to the owner’s phone to receive smartphone notifications
Wireless Syncing? The watch syncs to the owner’s smartphone if connected via Bluetooth and WiFi The watch syncs to the owner’s smartphone, even when a Bluetooth/WiFi connection to the phone is not available The watch syncs to the owner’s smartphone if connected via Bluetooth and WiFi The watch syncs to the owner’s smartphone, even when a Bluetooth/WiFi connection to the phone is not available

Availability

The Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 5 are available for direct purchase through Apple. These devices are also sold through a wide range of online and brick-and-mortar retailers, including Amazon.com and most electronics suppliers.

However, availability for the Series 5 varies from seller to seller to the device’s recent launch date and sustained demand for the product. The Series 3 is more widely available for purchase.

Apple Coupons and Discounts

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  • Trial 14 days

  • Shipping Free to contiguous U.S.

  • Warranty 1 year non-prorated

  • Made In China

  • Is an Apple Watch Compatible with My Phone or Tablet?

    Yes. The GPS-only versions of the Series 3 and Series 5 can be connected to the owner’s smartphone via Bluetooth and WiFi. The GPS + Cellular models include calling, texting, and phone notification capabilities, even if the owner is not carrying their phone.

  • Apple Watch Care and Maintenance Tips

    Apple Watches should be cleaned periodically in order to preserve their functionality. To clean the watch, turn it off, then remove it from the charger and band. Wipe the surface with a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth.

    Lightly moisten the cloth if necessary, but avoid excessive water exposure. Alternatively, run the watch under warm water for 10 to 15 seconds. Do not use soap, cleaning products, compressed air, or external heat sources.

    If the digital crown will not move properly, check for debris or substances (such as hand lotion) lodged in the gaps between the crown and the watch face. Then clean the watch with running water using the steps listed above, testing the crown as moisture clears out the gaps.

    The band should also be cleaned periodically to prevent skin irritation. Clean the band with a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth. Do not soak in water, but light water should not cause any damage.

  • Full Shipping Details

    How Much Does Shipping Cost? Standard shipping is free. Expedited options are also available in some areas.

    Apple offers standard free, two-day shipping on in-stock items, including Apple Watches. Expedited same-day shipping is also available for $9 in select metro areas. Customers may forgo delivery and pick up their Apple Watch at the nearest Apple store, as well.

    Standard orders in the contiguous U.S. placed before 5pm will be delivered in two business days, while those placed after 5pm will usually arrive within three business days. Orders to Alaska, Hawaii, and international destinations may not qualify for two-day shipping.

    Customers may confirm their delivery date during checkout and monitor their watch delivery using a tracking number after the product ships.

  • Trial Period and Warranty Details

    Apple offers a 14-day trial period for the Apple Watch. The watch must be returned in 14 calendar days to qualify for a full refund. This offer is exclusively available to customers who purchase their watch directly from Apple or at an Apple retail location. Those who buy their watch elsewhere should defer to the seller’s return policy.

    The watch must be returned in its original packaging with all cords, adapters, and documents included with the initial purchase. Items purchased with Apple gift cards are non-refundable.

    Apple backs the Series 3 and Series 5 watches with a one-year warranty. This warranty is completely non-prorated.

Company Information

  • Customer Service

    9 out of 10 customers have had a positive experience with Apple.

  • BBB Rating

    Apple currently holds an ‘A+’ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

  • Company History

    Apple was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. The company is headquartered in Cupertino, CA.

    The first Apple Watch appeared in 2015. The Series 3 debuted in September 2017, and the Series 5 launched in September 2019.

  • Physical Stores

    As of 2019, Apple maintains more than 500 brick-and-mortar locations worldwide. Of these, 272 are located in the U.S.

  • Contact Apple

    Online contact form | 800-692-7753 (800-MY-APPLE) | Apple.com/watch/

  • Find Apple on Social

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