Owlet Smart Sock Review
Owlet has not recalled the Smart Sock or Smart Sock 2. SafeWise has found only positive reports from parents and testers, but that is a small sample of people using the Smart Sock. We recommend that parents fully investigate any product before using it with their infant or child.
Owlets smart sock is the answer to parental paranoia about whether or not your babys doing okayespecially overnight and during nap time. This innovative baby health monitor tracks oxygen levels, heart rate, and sleep patterns. And all it takes to get that valuable data is a little sock that wraps around your babys foot.
Our safety experts fought over the chance to try the Owlet with their bambinos, and Scott was the lucky winner. He tested the Owlet Smart Sock 2 with his daughter, Isla, for several weeks to find out how easy it is to work with, if the tracking is accurate, and whether or not his girlie would keep it on her foot. See the results of his test belowand our recommendations for using the Owlet with your little one.
For me, with my first one, in the middle of the night I would be like, Okay, Im just going to go in there and make sure that hes breathing. And theyre so still. Id just put my hand on their chest to make sure, but try not to wake them up. Thats one thing that the Owlet does really, really well.
Scott, dad and product tester (his baby pictured below)
How We Evaluated the Owlet Smart Sock
After the big fight scene over who got to test the Owlet, one lucky Safewise safety expert took it home and tried it out on his daughter. While Scott and his wee one figured everything out, the rest of us got to work researching everything we could find about the Owlet Smart Sock. We looked at the history of the product (we tested the Smart Sock 2.0), the pricing, customer feedback, and expert reviews. I also conducted an interview with parents who relied on the sock for the life of their infant. You can find more details about how we review products on our methodology page.
Owlet Pricing and Specifications
How the Owlet Smart Sock Stacks Up
When my kids were babies, I hovered obsessively over their cradles looking for signs of life. It may sound morbid, but Ive never met a parent who didnt do the same thing at least once. Lets face itwhen you become a parent, those wee ones take over. And you want to do everything you can to make sure they stay in charge for a long, long time.
Enter the Owlet Smart Sock. This ingenious device does all the obsessive hovering for you. And it actually knows what to look for. If Id had the Owlet, Id have gotten a lot more (well, a bit more) sleep in those early months with my new baby. And everything about the Owlet sock is designed with your babys needs in mind, from the lullaby alert to the soft, adjustable construction of the sock itself.
Our tester, Scott, put the Owlet through its paces and came out a big fan. But because he used it with his second child, he felt it wasnt as life changing as it could have been. For parents who arent newbies, the smart sock makes the most sense if there are health concerns in playespecially with such a big price tag.
The price is high, so with me having a child that was in all regards healthy, I didnt necessarily feel a need for it. But I also tested it on my second child. If this were my first child, and if I had really understood how the Owlet works, I may have purchased it. And it likely would have been worth the price for my well-being.
Scott, dad and product tester
Price and Contract
The good news is theres no monthly subscription or long-term contract required with the Owlet Smart Sock, but the bad news is a steep up-front price. The Owlet costs around $300, which is pricey for a baby monitor that doesnt include video or audio. But thats just a one-time cost, and Owlet offers no-interest financing options if youd rather spread out the payment. Plus, you dont have to purchase any extra equipmenteverything you need comes in the box.
|Owlet Financing Options|
|Monthly Payment||Repayment Period|
The company also includes its 45-day Peace of Mind Guarantee with every Owlet Smart Sock purchase. That means if you dont love it within the first 45 days, you can return it for a full refund, no questions asked. And if youre a bargain shopper, Owlet sells refurbished smart socks for about $100 less than a brand new setup. Refurbished sensors and base stations have to pass a 13-point inspection before they can be sold. And you wont get used socksthe refurbished kit includes three brand-new socks.
- One-time purchase
- No contracts
- Financing available
- Peace of Mind guarantee
- Expensive price tag
Tech and Equipment
There is some assembly required. The Owlet sensor isnt in the sock when you unpack the system, but its easy to slip it in. It comes disassembled so you can use the right-sized sockyoure going to have to change it when the baby grows anyway, so its helpful to learn how to install it from the start.
Its apparent that Owlet spent a lot of time considering the needs of infants and new parents. The base station communicates primarily with lightyou wont find blaring sirens or piercing beeps here. It has five different status notifications that use different colors of pulsing, blinking, flashing, and static light to let you know whats going on with your baby. And when it does make noise, the Owlet base station plays a lullaby.
You can also get notifications on your smartphone with the Owlet app. The app was easy for Scott to use and understand (and this is a guy whos in a constant battle with his Spotify app).
Whats in the Box
- 3 Owlet socks (sizes 018 mos.)
- Base station
- Charging cords
- Setup instructions
- Quick reference guide
This adjustable sock holds the sensor and wraps around your babys foot to take heart and oxygen readings.
Smart Sock Sensor
This pulse oximeter tracks oxygen levels and heart rate.
The base station communicates with the sensor and app to collect data and send alerts.
You can use the Owlet app to check live readings from your baby when theyre wearing the sock. But if you want historical oxygen and heart rate information you need to download the Connected Care app. We think its worth it to have two apps, though. One of the most helpful things in the Connected Care app is the trended sleep data. You can see exactly whats going on when your babys in dreamland, which is helpful if youre in the midst of sleep training or if youre trying to decide how and when naps are most effective.
- Unpacks easily
- Keeps baby comfy
- Includes 3 sock sizes
- Provides live data
- Reports health and sleep history
- Requires some assembly
- Uses a different app to track historical health and sleep data
Features and Usability
Overall the Owlet Smart Sock is easy to use and delivers what it promises. Setup is fairly simple, and the mobile app is easy to navigate, even for a sleep-deprived parent. Best of all, Owlets notifications are gentle instead of jarring. Owlet helps both you and your infant get better sleepyou because youre not worried, and the baby because youre not disrupting their slumber to make sure theyre okay. And its nice to know that if Owlet sends an alert for something nonemergency like a low battery, it wont act like your smoke alarm.
Owlet Setup and Use
Getting the smart sock up and running was doable though not strictly easy, according to our tester, and Owlet has numerous resources to make it that way.
One thing thats nice is that I was already feeling really hesitant when I opened the box, but then they have these guides. And you immediately open up the app on your phone, and the app gives you step-by-step instructions and a video. So it was very doable I dont know if easy is the right word, but I was pleased with the instructions.
Scott, dad and tester
Like nearly all smart products, the Owlet uses your home Wi-Fi network to communicate among the sensor, the base station, and the app. Scott was pleased with how easy the Wi-Fi setup went.
When I set up a lot of Wi-Fi connected things, I assume theres going to be some errors, it usually takes a few times, but not with this. Of course I had to get the passwords for my router and my Wi-Fi network ready, but once it was connected, it worked just fine. It synced up on the first tryto my surprise.
Scott, dad and tester
The trickiest thing about using the sock is wrangling the baby. Owlet uses pulse oximetry to monitor your babys heart rate and oxygen level. Thats just a scientific way to say that the sensor is taking the babys pulse to get the information it needs. But to take the pulse, the sensor has to be placed on the back of the babys pinky toe.
Whether or not this placement will be challenging depends on you and your little one. Scott and his baby girl didnt struggle at all. In fact, he said that he was surprised by how much she didnt react, It was like she didnt even know the sock was there. But I remember my own wriggling wee ones, and Im sure that getting things lined up correctly would have been a challenge.
Because the socks come disassembled and in three different sizes, they can seem a little complicated. But with instructions both on the socks and in the app, Scott says, Its pretty hard to mess it up. While Owlet advises that most errors with the product come from the user, Scott didnt run into any issues or alerts that he had done it wrong.
Owlet Alerts and Notifications
One of the most unique things about the Owlet is that it takes a gentle approach to alerts. As we mentioned before, theres no clanging or screeching that would scare the heck out of parents and the babynot to mention how it would wake everyone up.
Scott particularly liked that alerts about a low battery or connection problem (re: wiggling baby) arent startling. Instead of getting an alarm, the base station light turns red and it plays a lullaby. But you need to make sure to keep the base station in your sightline or youll miss out. If you want freedom from the base station, use the Owlet app for notifications.
Even though our test didnt turn up any health alerts, we know a couple who relied on the Owlet when they brought their baby home from the hospital with health concerns.
As first time parents, our lives were turned upside down when we brought our little boy home on oxygen. Stress and worry continued when it was time to transition him off of supplemental oxygen and his oxygen level monitors. At this point, we quickly began looking for options to help ease the transition.
Purchasing an Owlet was easily the best decision we couldve made! We tested the Owlet against our hospital grade pulse oximeter and were greatly satisfied with its accuracy. Noninvasively and conveniently monitoring his oxygen levels while he slept gave us confidence and immense peace of mind.
Lyndsay, mom and Owlet user
- Quick, simple setup
- Gentle lullaby alert for errors
- Excellent tutorials/instructions
- Easy-to-use app
- Placing sensor can be tricky
The Bottom Line
We loved the Owlet Smart Sock and we think you will too. This smart baby health monitor is what parents have needed for generations. No more obsessively watching to make sure your baby is breathingwith the Owlet all you need to do is check the app or look at the base station for a status report. For the price, we think its a splurge for parents who already know the drill or have an infant with no apparent health issues. The Owlet is much more applicable to first-time parents or parents of a baby with health concerns.
- Easy setup
- No contracts
- Excellent instructions and online support
- Live health data
- Peace of mind
- Costs a lot
- Requires some assembly
- Uses two apps