Our sleep tracking picks: apps.

Our sleep tracking picks: apps.

March 30, 2021

Author: Lauren Baer

There are many, many ways to track your sleep these days (nights?) and with all the sleep aficionados at T&N, of course, we’ve tried them all.

Sleep tracking comes in many formats with apps, wearables, and smart beds being the most common. Because they each have their own benefits, and cater to different preferences, lifestyles, and price points, we’ll be taking a look at all three over the next couple of months. First up: apps.

Sleep Cycle logo

Sleep Cycle

Free features:

  • Sleep analysis with Sleep Cycle patented sound technology or accelerometer
  • Detailed sleep statistics and daily sleep graphs
  • Fully integrated with Apple Health, exchanging sleep analysis and heart rate
  • Carefully selected alarm melodies
  • Snooze by shaking or double-tapping the phone lightly

We’ll begin with this one because it’s the Editors Choice in the App Store, and it has over 270k ratings at time of publication. We tried it out, and really, it’s great. The free features work seamlessly, and it gives you great insight into your sleep patterns after just a few days. It’s compatible with iPhone, iPad, and most Android devices and has an Apple Watch app, if that’s your jam.

Many of the premium features in the Sleep Cycle app are included free on SleepScore, but at only $39.99 a year, it’s not a giant price to pay for the upgrades.

SleepScore logo


Free features:

  • Sleep Tracker – non-contact, accurate sleep tracker provides a detailed analysis of your sleep cycle
  • Sleep Sounds – soothing sleep sounds to help you fall asleep faster
  • Smart Alarm – smart alarm designed to gently wake you in the morning at the ideal time in your sleep cycle
  • Sleep Goals – set goals like fall asleep easier, wake up less, sleep longer, and more
  • Sleep Sanctuary – measure and optimize the light, temperature, and sound levels in your bedroom
  • Daily SleepScore – easy to understand score based on the quality of your sleep
  • SleepScore CheckUp – continuous sleep monitoring, plus access to screeners if they detect signs of a more serious sleep disorder
  • Bedtime Reminder – reminds you to relax and unwind
  • Sleep History – 7 rolling nights of sleep history

SleepScore gives a much more in-depth analysis of your sleep and more guidance on meeting sleep ‘goals’ if you have any. The downside: limited compatibility. If you do have a device that’s compatible with SleepScore it’s certainly worth trying. It’s packed with features, and the main limit to the free version is the 7-night sleep history. That’s not a lot to look back on, and many people want to see a longer period of time. If you want to upgrade to premium, it’s $10 more than Sleep Cycle per year, but you’ll get personalized insights, gamification, and a comprehensive 30 day sleep report.

It’s not often there’s a clear winner in any particular app space, but depending on your needs, these two are leading the pack. Sleep Cycle is popular. It’s functional. There’s a free option that works great across (almost) all devices. SleepScore has more peripheral features, like the sleep sounds, and more detailed analysis, but less historic data. Both are great options, and hopefully, you can learn something about your sleep while you figure out which one is right for you.

Read more about the Sleep Cycle app.

Read more about the SleepScore app.

Featured Posts