The best sleep tracking app for Apple Watch

We've tested the top sleep monitoring apps so you don't have to
Wareable Best Apple Watch sleep trackers
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The Apple Watch will track sleep natively, but if you want the most interesting insights about your rest, then third-party apps are still the way forward.

But the beauty of the Apple Watch is that there's a rich ecosystem of third-party apps, which expand the feature set beyond the standard watchOS experience.

I've been re-testing a series of sleep-tracking apps for Apple Watch. And despite Google's love of huge listicles, I've slimmed our selection down to the four key apps you need to consider. Each focuses on a different type of user, and I've also selected my overall favorite.

Best overall: Rise Sleep Tracker
Best free sleep app: Apple Watch Sleep app
Best for data: Autosleep
Best data presentation: Pillow

And you can even see my own sleep data presented below, both on the watch and within the iPhone app. I ran these alongside the Whoop 4.0, which is widely considered to be one of the best sleep trackers out there.

Here's what you need to know.

Top pick: Rise Sleep tracker

$59.99/£59.99 per year for Premium | Download RISE

WareableRISE app on watch

A relative newcomer to the Apple Watch sleep tracking space, Rise is a unique experience that offers more than your standard sleep app.

Rise is possibly the closest app I've seen to the Oura or Whoop experience on Apple Watch.

First up, its sleep tracking is excellent, and I didn't see any huge diversions between Rise and my Whoop 4.0 band. 

You're presented with a huge array of choice, and you can have Rise take data from your iPhone if you don't wear your Apple Watch, which means no missed nights should you forget to charge your smartwatch.

But Rise does way more than just tell you how much sleep you got.

It will plot your circadian rhythm for peaks and lows in your energy levels, which are eerily accurate. I found myself slumping at my desk just as the low-energy notification popped up on several occasions. It will also show how long you can expect to be groggy in the morning, and when you should wind down in the evening.

WareableRISE app

What's more, it will also advise you when to take sleep supplements such as melatonin, should you opt into that information. And naturally, there's also advice on when you should head to bed to minimize sleep debt.

It's easily the smartest and most actionable sleep app I've tried, and in many ways, superior even to the best wearables. But you pay for it. At $69.99/£59.99 for a year, it's a significant outlay.

Apple Watch Sleep app

WareableApple Watch sleep app

The built-in Apple Watch sleep tracking feature is often dismissed, but it's one of the more accurate options.

It tracks your hours of sleep, and presents them on the watch as a morning summary. I found it a  little slow to process in the morning, but it's an insightful way to start the day. You can also see sleep data in the on-watch Sleep app.

I've tested it extensively against a host of wearables over the years, including Whoop and Oura, and found the native Apple Watch tracking to be largely in-line with those top-of-the-range devices.

The Apple Watch also tracks bedtime consistency. Getting a constant bedtime and wake-ups, which can build better sleep habits. This is smarter than simply demanding a solid 8 hours – which can be hard to achieve for those with busy lives. You'll be told whether your consistency has increased, decreased, or remained consistent over the past 14 days.

It also syncs nicely with your iPhone to wind down notifications in the evening, if you set a sleep schedule. The silent alarm is also excellent – so these are tangible benefits you don't get with third parties.

Apple has moved to include data on sleep cycles, such as time spent in deep, REM, and light stages. That's good news for those who love data, although not exactly useful information.

You'll also see a handy chart in Apple Health, showing your sleep duration across the past two weeks, which is a good visual indicator of how long you're sleeping.

WareableApple Health sleep tracking feedback

You can also see a breakdown of heart rate and blood oxygen during sleep as well.

This is some of the most important and fascinating data – but it's a shame that it's buried in Apple Health, which is data-heavy and lacks practical insights.

However, being completely free, if you're simply looking to keep tabs on your hours of sleep, it does the job without the need for third-party apps.


$3.99/£2.99 - one off payment | Download AutoSleep


AutoSleep was my top pick for Apple Watch apps before Rise, and this is a data-rich app full of interesting charts and reference points. What's more, it's a one-off payment, so no ongoing subscription. That means you get way more data than rivals, without committing to $50/£50 a year.

As the name suggests, AutoSleep's key feature is that it works automatically, unlike some sleep tracker apps that require you to tell them when you're getting into bed.

AutoSleep takes the thinking out of the process, but I did see a mixed bag in terms of accuracy in this most recent testing round – and it does seem to be more susceptible to big over-estimations. It was regularly 30-60 minutes more than Whoop.

Users of the Apple Watch will feel immediately at home, and Autosleep apes the Activity Rings you'll find on your smartwatch. 

It also does more than sleep, and will generate Readiness scores, just like an Oura or Whoop. These are based on heart rate variability, and this is something you don't get on rival Apple Watch sleep trackers.

You can also see breathing rates, SpO2 levels, HRV and efficiency trends too. So it's something like an Oura or Whoop experience for a one off fee.

WareableAutosleep data

I did find that deep sleep recorded far higher than Fitbit or Withings – and then Autosleep was a little generous with our sleep quality.

It's better suited to those looking to get that 8 hours a night and create good habits than get granular. 

I also liked the Sleep Bank, which keeps tabs on your week's sleep, and tells you whether your accumulated rest is above or below your goal – much like Whoop/Rise.

Autosleep is probably the best app considering the insights and cost, but the sleep durations are a little generous. 


Free (in-app purchase for premium) | Download Pillow

WareablePillow app

The first thing that struck me about Pillow was the vibrant and engaging design – and it makes for an engaging sleep-tracking experience.

To get the most out of the app you'll want an annual premium subscription (or $4.99/£4.99 per month). Without it, Pillow is quite basic with just sleep duration and stages shown.

Pillow uses movement, sounds, and heart rate to follow your patterns, and presents the data in clear, easy-to-read charts.

The graphs are detailed and engaging, with more of a focus on sleep stages than Autosleep. 

Pillow tracks deep, REM, and light sleep, time in bed, and crucially, the time slept – which many trackers overlook. It then will deliver a sleep quality score and track your heart rate through the night.

WareablePillow Sleep data

It automatically tracks your sleep, letting you see your sleep reports and analysis when you wake up, including sleep breakdown and stats - like time spent in bed.

Premium users also get access to the Sleep Lab, which offers all kinds of insights into your sleep profile. That also lets you pick from melodies to wake up to and see additional analysis on sleeping heart rate.

It's a much more feature-packed experience than Apple's own, but you will have to pay extra for those richer insights if you want them. Without paying for premium it's not worth looking past the options above – even though the presentation of data is top-notch.

How we test

James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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