High-tech wearables aren’t just for adults, teenagers, and even kids. Direct-to-consumer baby monitors, for instance, also incorporate pulse oximeter, a technology that has found its way in many of today’s fitness trackers and smartwatches. Now, Owlet is one of the leading brands of this infant smart sock technology. Their wearable for babies is fast becoming a staple in one’s baby gear, with many parents sharing how the smart sock has saved their baby’s lives.
With the release of the Owlet 3, what has changed with the popular baby monitor? Is the new generation smart sock a worthy follow-up to the Owlet 2? Below, we compare the two generations of Owlet Smart Socks to see if it’s time to upgrade.
Owlet 2 vs 3 Comparison Chart
|Model||Owlet Smart Sock 2||Owlet Smart Sock 3|
|Amazon product||Amazon product|
|Price||Amazon product||Amazon product|
|Fit||Babies 0 to 18 months, 6 lbs to 25 lbs||Babies 0 to 18 months, 5 lbs to 30 lbs|
|Socks Per size||1||2|
|Monitoring Through Motion||No||Yes|
|Battery Life||18 hours||16 hours|
|Charging Time||3-4 hours for a full charge||20 minutes quick charge for 8 hours runtime; 90 minutes for a full charge|
|Dimensions||3.50 x 3.50 x 0.70 inches||3.50 x 3.50 x 0.70 inches|
|Release Date||March 2017||July 2020|
The Owlet Smart Sock 3 comes in a new design that should fit a baby’s foot better than the Owlet Smart Sock 2.
The Owlet 2 and 3 are not like traditional socks worn over the feet. Instead, they resemble support braces like those typically wrapped around the wrist. In the case of Owlet, the socks come in different sizes so you can choose the right fit for your baby. Both can be worn either on the left or right foot, with an overlapping velcro strap to keep it in place.
While the socks are low-profile enough to be worn under a footie pajama or even sleep sack, the Owlet 3’s pulse oximetry sensor protrudes less from the fabric. This gives it a more streamlined appearance compared to the Owlet 2. In addition, the new design of the Owlet 3 makes allowances for wireless charging capability, as well as improved sock fit for more accurate oxygen readings.
The 2nd gen Owlet sock comes in three sizes—size 1 for 1-month old babies, size two for 1-4 months old, and size 3 for infants between 4 to 18 months. In contrast, the Owlet 3 features two sizes only — size 1 fits babies up to 12 lbs while size 2 is better suited for infants weighing between 12 to 30 lbs. The Owlet 2 is available in blue, pink, mint green, as well as limited edition patterns. The Owlet 3, on the other hand, is currently available only in green.
Base Station and Monitoring
While the notification system is mostly the same, the Owlet 3’s base station has an improved design and capability.
Owlet’s smart socks primarily work by sending readings to the accompanying base station. The base station then communicates this data through the use of different colored lights. For instance, blinking green lights mean that the smart sock is getting heart rate and oxygen readings. A pulsing green light, on the other hand, reassures parents that the baby’s vitals are within the normal range.
While the color status and notifications are mostly the same, the Owlet Smart Sock 3’s base station has been given a bit of a redesign. Gone is the registration button found on the Owlet 2 that’s pushed when prompted by the mobile app. A single button does all the tricks now — pausing notifications, turning off the sock, and of course, registering the device. Ambient lighting has also been added to the Owlet 3’s base station, allowing it to automatically adjust the brightness level of notifications given the time of day.
The inability to track heart rate and oxygen levels while the baby is moving was a common gripe with the Owlet 2. Now, the re-designed Owlet 3 allows monitoring through gentle motion. These socks are still primarily intended for use during sleep, but the new allowances should mean you get more consistent monitoring even as your infant tosses or turns around in his or her crib.
Performance and Mobile App
The Owlet 2 and 3 both work with the Owlet app.
The improved size flexibility, fit, and monitoring capabilities of the Owlet 3 lends to its consistent and more accurate readings, especially when compared to its predecessor. Whereas the Owlet 2 would stop readings when a baby wiggled in the middle of the night, Owlet 3’s sensor still tracks through the movement, greatly reducing false alarms. Plus, the Owlet 3 offers more insight into sleep trends: from the number of hours slept to quality of sleep.
Of course, these smart socks are compatible with the Owlet App. This allows for dual monitoring from the base station or your mobile device. Changes to the app’s interface when using a third-generation Owlet Smart Soc, however, is minimal. These include the use of hours and minutes for displaying battery level and the absence of a delay in threshold defaults for specific notifications owing largely to the improved accuracy of the Owlet 3.
Battery Life and Care
Although the Owlet 2 has a longer battery life, the Owlet 3 offers faster charging time, wireless charging, and fast charging capability.
One of the biggest improvements seen on the Owlet 3 is charging. Yes, the Owlet 2 offers up to 18 hours of runtime but does take 3 to 4 hours to fully charge. The Owlet 3, on the other hand, gives you 16 hours of battery life after just a 90-minute charge. Moreover, since you get two socks per size, you can always have one charged up as a reserve.
The Owlet 3 also supports fast and wireless charging. Simply drop the sensor to the base if you need to give it a charge. Are you in a bit of a hurry? A quick 20-minute boost gives the latest Owlet Smart Sock enough juice for 8 hours — good to cover your baby’s naps as you fully charge the other sock.
Cleaning Owlet socks is relatively easy, too. A gentle wash using cool or lukewarm water, followed by air-drying, is enough to get it ready for use. Do keep in mind that the Owlet 2’s sensor has to be removed before you clean the sock. With the Owlet 3, you can clean the sock with the sensor.
The Owlet Smart Sock 3 offers a valuable upgrade to the Owlet Smart Sock 2, making it the better option.Amazon product
Many of the changes seen on the Owlet 3 are a response to the feedback received from users of the Owlet 2. As a result, you get a wholly redesigned baby monitor that combines ergonomics and some of the best features for this type of wearable tech. The Owlet 3 simply fits better and works better. For parents, this means more peace of mind than what the Owlet 2 already afforded. So given a choice between the two, the third-generation Owlet Smart Sock is really the way to go. It builds on the best things about its predecessors while incorporating new features to make it a true companion for your baby.
The Owlet Smart Sock 2 features one sock per size. This means you get a total of three of the wearable garments. The Owlet 3, on the other hand, is only available in two sizes but does give you two socks for each size. This means you get an extra sock to use if the other one is charging or due for a cleaning.
No, the Owlet 2’s base station is not compatible with the new Owlet 3.
The Owlet Smart Sock 3 sports a new design, wireless charging capability, and improved insights on sleep trends compared to the Owlet 2.
Yes, the base station of Owlet socks can still operate without WiFi. You’ll continue to get notifications based on the data sent by the smart sock.