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Date: 2021-10-11 15:00:15
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The Beurer SE 80 SleepExpert is a contact-free sleep tracker that slips under your mattress, much like the Withings Sleep Analyzer. Unfortunately, in our tests it proved unreliable, and often failed to record our sleep accurately.
The SleepExpert includes a heart rate monitor, plus sensors to track your respiratory rate and movement during sleep. It uses this data to calculate your REM sleep, deep sleep, and time spent awake.
The app is easy to use, but is a little time-consuming to set up. Although you can choose to only supply your name, email address, and a password to log into your account, the device works best when you enter your gender, height and weight as well, plus the number of people who sleep in your bed. Once that's done, however, you can simple leave the SleepExpert plugged in and receive a detailed analysis of your sleep in the morning.
That's the theory, at least. Unlike the Withings Sleep Analyzer, which is a wide mat, the SleepExpert is a small, round device. Beurer advises you to lie near where it's placed, but if you're a restless sleeper then you're unlikely to receive accurate measurements.
In our tests, we sometimes woke to find no information displayed, despite the device being set up correctly, and on other occasions a lot of the results were inaccurate. We tend to get up in the night at least once, and it didn’t pick up on that at all. All in all, the SleepExpert is a good concept, but there are many better sleep trackers out there.
The Beurer SE 80 SleepExpert launched in April 2016, and is available from various third-party retailers, including Amazon. It varies greatly in price, and starts at around £44.99 (about $60 / AU$80).
That makes it one of the most affordable non-contact sleep trackers around. For comparison, the Withings Sleep Analyzer starts at around twice the price. However, in our experience a cheap fitness tracker like the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 will give more accurate and consistent results for even less money.
The Beurer SE 80 SleepExpert is a small, flat disc. It measures 6in diameter, and is 0.4in thick, allowing it to slip easily under your mattress. It has a Micro-USB port on the edge, and is supplied with a power cable. This is quite long, but you'll still need a power outlet close to your bed as the SleepExpert doesn't have a rechargeable battery.
Its only other features are two lights: a green one that illuminates when the device is powered on, and a blue one that shows whether the SleepExpert is connected to your phone via Bluetooth.
To prepare the Beurer SE 80 SleepExpert, you must first download and install the appropriate app (which is available for Android and iOS), then register by entering your name, email address, and (for more accurate results) extra details such as weight, height, and whether you sleep alone or with a partner.
Plug the device into the mains via the included USB cable, then follow the instructions in the app to connect it to your phone. Position the round sensor under your mattress, approximately where one of your shoulders will be during sleep, and that's it; the sensor should start tracking your sleep automatically next time you settle down for the night – as accurately as a sleep lab, if Beurer's claims are to be believed.
It's interesting that the SleepExpert doesn't require any extra configuration, unlike the Withings Sleep Analyzer, which takes a while to run through some tests to ensure it's compensating correctly for your mattress.
That might be one of the reasons why its performance leaves so much to be desired. On some mornings we would discover the app had recorded no data overnight, and on others there would be numerous numbers that looked pretty believable until we looked more closely.
The sleep duration looked accurate (most nights we got the seven hours sleep it displayed) but the wake-up frequency information was wrong. We know this for a fact as we always wake up in the night either to the dog barking or partner snoring, and find it difficult to go back to sleep, so the wake-up frequency figure should have been much higher.
When it worked, the SleepExpert also recorded figures for our heart rate, respiration rate and interruptions in breathing (a sign of sleep apnea, which should be investigated by a doctor), but we found that data difficult to trust.
It's possible that some of these discrepancies could have been due to us turning over during the night, which would cause us to move away from the small sensor under our mattress. The Withings Sleep Analyzer is a thin mat that lies horizontally across the whole width of your side of the mattress, which avoids that particular problem.
What did work was the Sleep Expert's alarm, which can be configured in the mobile app, and will wake you during a particular time window when it detects that you're sleeping lightly - very similar to the Smart Wake feature you'll find on the best Fitbits.
You're looking for a cheap sleep tracker
The Beurer SE 80 SleepExpert is one of the most affordable sleep trackers you can buy if you shop around for the best deal, though if you don't mind wearing something around your wrist, you're likely to get more consistent results from a cheap fitness tracker.
You hate wearing a watch
The Beurer SE 80 SleepExpert doesn't require any wearables, though neither does the Withings Sleep Analyzer, which we found gave more accurate results.
You own a fitness tracker
You're likely to get more reliable sleep data from your watch, if you don't mind wearing it overnight.
You're a restless sleeper
The SleepExpert is small, and you can easily roll away from it during the night if you have a tendency to toss and turn.