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Amazon Halo Rise

May 18, 2023

Editors' Note: Amazon in April 2023 shuttered its Halo divisionshuttered its Halo division. If you have purchased a Halo product in the past 12 months from Amazon, you can expect to receive a full refund. This includes the Halo Band Halo Band and Halo View Halo View fitness trackers, the Halo Rise Halo Rise alarm clock, Halo accessories, and subscription fees. For suggested replacements, see our roundup of the best sleep techbest sleep tech.

As of Aug. 1, 2023, all Halo products will stop functioning and customer data will be purged. Before then, you can download or delete your Halo health data via the Settings page in the app.

Our original review from December 5, 2022 is below.

There's no shortage of sleep-tracking wearables, but if a bulky wristband hinders your slumber, you might prefer a contactless solution like the Amazon Halo Rise ($139.99). Designed for the nightstand, the Halo Rise uses an imperceptible radar sensor and machine learning to automatically track your sleep duration and stages without requiring you to wear a tracker. Its companion app makes it easy to understand your sleep data, and offers tips to help you get a better night's rest. In the morning, the Halo Rise combines audible alarms with a highly effective light that gradually brightens like the sun to wake you up. It doesn't have a microphone, so you also need a compatible Amazon Echo device (sold separately) to control it with Alexa voice commands. The $99.99 Google Nest Hub tracks more overnight metrics including snoring and coughing, has a built-in voice assistant, and costs less, but the Halo Rise is a solid alternative for Alexa fans in search of better sleep and brighter mornings.

The Rise is part of Amazon's health-focused Halo product line, which also includes two wearable fitness trackers: the screen-free Halo Band and the touch-screen Halo View. All three work with the same excellent Amazon Halo mobile app (available for Android and iOS) that makes it easy to interpret your sleep data for the previous night, week, or month, and offers helpful tips to improve your shut-eye.

Simply designed, the Rise features a white plastic circular disc sitting atop a stainless steel stand. On the front, it features a small digital clock display, plus a semicircle of 300-lux LEDs that function as a wake-up and wind-down light. The Rise has a small piezo speaker for audible alarms, but it cannot play music. Measuring 6.7 by 5.2 by 1.45 inches (HWD), it doesn't occupy too much space on your nightstand, but it needs to be placed in the correct position—on the side of your bed, at the same height or up to 8 inches above your mattress, facing toward your upper body—to accurately track your sleep.

Using a radar sensor and machine learning, the Rise automatically tracks how long it takes you to fall asleep, your total sleep duration, your time spent in each sleep stage (awake, light, REM, and deep), and how often you wake up throughout the night. Based on these metrics, the Halo app gives you a daily sleep score from 0 to 100 to help you easily gauge the duration and quality of your rest. Each morning, the app also displays a personalized hypnogram of your sleep stages the previous night.

On the inside, the Rise features radar temperature, humidity, and light sensors to track your sleeping environment. Each morning, the app also shows the light level, humidity, and temperature of your bedroom the previous night, as well as a graph of any light disruptions. You can click on each environmental metric for more information and helpful guidance on how to optimize your room for rest.

With a Halo membership ($3.99 a month after an included six-month free trial), the app also offers access to a library of on-demand workout videos, meditations, and healthy recipes, plus a suite of AI-powered wellness features to measure your body fat, assess your movement health, and evaluate your tone of voice. I described these features in my reviews of the Halo Band and Halo View, so I won't reiterate those details here, but the Halo membership offers a lot for its low price.

After the free trial, Amazon will start automatically charging you for the Halo membership unless you cancel. To manage your account, visit Your Account > Memberships & Subscriptions in the Amazon app. If you cancel your Halo membership, you'll retain access to all core Rise features with the exception of the Smart Alarm option, which, when possible, rings the alarm in your light sleep stage within a 30-minute window prior to the time you set to help you wake up feeling more refreshed.

Without a membership, you can still set audio and light alarms, and the Rise will continue to track your sleep and room environment, and give you a daily sleep score. You'll still have access to some workouts, recipes, and other health-focused programs, but most of this content is behind the paywall.

The Rise features similar sleep-tracking technology to the Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) released last year, which also monitors your slumber from a bedside table. Both use low-power radar to measure micromovements like your chest rising and falling as you breathe, and machine learning to translate that data into sleep stages. Like the Nest Hub, the Rise will only track the sleep of the person closest to the device.

"The technology at the core of Halo Rise is a built-in radar sensor that safely emits and receives an ultralow-power radio signal," an Amazon Science blog post explains. "The sensor uses phase differences between reflected signals at different antennas to measure movement and distance."

Amazon says it extensively tested and validated the technology in many different settings—with various types of bedding, single and dual sleepers, pets in the bed, people young and old, and a range of body types. The company has only trained its algorithms to analyze breathing patterns and sleep stages, not other activities that might be going on in the room.

For peace of mind, the Rise has no camera or microphone, meaning it "cannot detect noise or visual identifiers associated with an individual user, such as body images," Amazon says. This also means that the Halo Rise doesn't support voice control out of the box.

To control it via Alexa voice commands, you need to pair the Rise with a compatible Amazon Echo device that has a microphone (sold separately), like the Echo Show 5 or Echo Show 15. For this review, Amazon sent me the Halo Rise and an Echo Show 5.

The Nest Hub also tracks coughing, snoring, and respiration, data you don't get from the Rise at this time. Considering it tracks more sleeping metrics, has a screen, a speaker for music, built-in Google Assistant support, and costs $30 less, the Nest Hub is far more value-rich than the Rise overall.

Amazon's head of new products Cody Gordh tells me that the Rise development team debated integrating its sleep-tracking technology into an existing product like the Echo Show 5 versus creating a dedicated device, but opted for the latter to keep the focus on health and wellness. He says respiration tracking is "solidly on the roadmap" for the Rise, but couldn't share any details as to when this feature will arrive.

In testing, I had no problem setting up the Rise and connecting it with its companion app. After plugging the Rise into a power outlet for the first time, the LEDs should circle yellow and the clock display should read "pair."

From there, download the Amazon Halo app and follow the on-screen instructions to create your profile (if you don't already have one). Next, tap Settings > Add or Change a Device > Halo Rise, and it will begin searching for your device. The Rise uses Wi-Fi to connect to the Halo app, so you need to select your home network and enter your password.

During the setup process, the app asks which side of the bed you sleep on and offers clear instructions on how to correctly position the Rise so it can track your sleep.

On top, the Rise has two buttons, both of which have multiple functions. The larger one, in the middle, is a snooze/reading light button. To its right is a smaller standby mode/sunset simulation button.

To illuminate the LEDs, tap the big button once. To start a 30-minute sunset simulation to help you wind down before bed, press the small button once.

To turn on standby mode, which disables sleep tracking, press and hold the small button for four to six seconds, then release it. In standby mode, the display will switch between LoPr and the time until you press either button to turn it off.

When an alarm is ringing, press the large button to snooze it for nine minutes, or the small button to turn it off. Snoozing the alarm will turn off the wake-up light, which will begin illuminating again one minute prior to your audible alarm.

If you already have the Alexa app installed on your phone, the Rise should automatically connect to the virtual assistant when you pair it with the Halo app.

At the time of this writing, I had been using the Rise for a week and testing its sleep measurements against several other devices including the Nest Hub, the Oura Ring (Gen 3), and the Apple Watch SE (2022).

Overall, the Rise reliably tracks sleep and offers results that are in line with these other devices. For two nights during the testing period, I was away visiting family for Thanksgiving, and predictably didn't get any sleep data from the Rise during this time. On the nights I slept in my bed, it always automatically tracked my slumber.

After tracking my sleep one night, the Rise said I got a solid 8 hours and gave me a sleep score of 73, or "good" on its rating scale.

"A score of 85 or higher typically means that you slept really well," the Halo app explains. "Anything below 70 might be a signal to change up your sleep routine. Increasing total sleep time is the best way to boost your score."

The Oura, a sleep tracker I have tested extensively over the past year and trust, offered a similar result for that night, reporting that I slept for 8 hours, 1 minute, earning a sleep score of 83, or "good." Meanwhile, the Nest Hub said I slept for 9 hours, 7 minutes that night, while the Apple Watch SE reported my total sleep duration at 8 hours, 43 minutes.

On another night, when I didn't sleep as well, the Rise and Oura again offered similar results. The Rise said I slept for 4 hours, 59 minutes and gave me a sleep score of 67, or "fair," while the Oura said I slept for 4 hours, 50 minutes and gave me a sleep score of 64, warning me to "pay attention" to this metric.

Sleep duration measurements from the Rise were occasionally in disagreement with other tracking devices, but not to an alarming degree. One night, for instance, three other tracking devices—the Oura, the Apple Watch SE, and the Nest Hub—reported that I got more than 8 hours of sleep while the Rise said I only got 6 hours and 56 minutes.

Remember to keep in mind that variations in health data from one product to the next are expected, so it's a good idea to stick with one device to track your changes over time.

The main differentiator of the Rise compared with the Nest Hub and other sleep-tracking devices is its excellent wake-up light, which I found really helped me get moving in the morning. I've tried sunrise-simulating smart bulbs in the past, but they can be a bit intense. The Rise wake-up light has a warm tone. It shines only on your face without brightening the whole room so it doesn't feel jarring, and it did wake me up more effectively than an audible alarm alone.

I generally try to wake up by 6 a.m. on weekdays, but often snooze my alarm until 6:30 a.m. or 7 a.m. Since I've been using the Rise, I rarely snooze my alarms. The first time the Rise woke me up with an audible alarm and gradual sunrise simulation, I groaned like usual and was about to hit the snooze button, but quickly realized I was actually fully awake and instead got up and started my day. I was, and continue to be, surprised by how much the wake-up light helps. I can't promise it will work for you, but if you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, it's worth trying a wake-up light.

On the other hand, it's hard to say whether the premium Smart Alarm feature, which rings in your light sleep stage before the time you set, makes much of a difference for me.

"If you set an alarm for 7:00 a.m., Smart Alarm will begin monitoring your sleep cycles at 6:30 a.m. with the goal to wake you at the last possible light sleep stage prior to 7 a.m.," the app explains. If it does not detect a light sleep stage during that 30-minute window, the alarm will ring at the time you set.

Even without the Smart Alarm feature enabled, the Rise effectively wakes me up with its buzzer sound and sunrise simulation. I don't think I'll miss the Smart Alarm feature when the 6-month Halo membership expires. That said, if you need some guidance on your health journey, some of the other premium Halo membership features, like the library of sleep-focused meditations and workout videos, are worth the money.

The Rise itself only offers five different buzzer tones for audible alarms, but you can link it to a nearby Echo device to wake up to a different tone or your favorite song. To do that, open the Alexa app, tap More > Alarms & Timers > Add Alarm, then select the Echo device you want the alarm to ring on, choose a sound, and toggle on the wake-up lighting option to enable the Rise sunrise simulation.

In testing, I had no problem controlling the Rise using Alexa voice commands through a paired Echo Show 5. When paired with a compatible Echo device, you can use Alexa to set, stop, and snooze alarms on the Halo Rise, and turn the light on/off. The virtual assistant can also read your sleep summary from the previous night (and display your data on the screen if you have an Echo Show).

At $139, the Rise is a bit pricey as is, so expecting customers to shell out another $50-plus for a separate device to control it with voice commands is frustrating. For me, the ability to control alarms by voice is a must-have feature, so unless you already have another Echo device in your bedroom, I hesitate to recommend the Rise.

The Amazon Halo Rise is a three-part product: alarm clock, wake-up light, and contactless sleep tracker. In testing, it offered similar sleep measurements as the competing Google Nest Hub as well as several wearable devices. Its sunrise-simulating light is a joy to wake up to. Plus, it comes with a six-month Halo app membership (normally $3.99 a month), giving you access to a large library of workout videos, meditations, recipes, and other wellness features. My main gripe is that you also need a nearby Alexa-enabled device like the Echo Show 5 to control it with voice commands. The more affordable Nest Hub, which features similar sensor-based sleep tracking, plus a display, built-in voice controls, and a speaker for music, is still our Editors' Choice bedside companion. But if you're a sleep-troubled Alexa user, the Halo Rise does make for better mornings.