At one time in history, monitoring a heart rate was a task that required specialist equipment. In modern times, everyone and their mother can do it. From smartphones to wristwatches, this useful piece of analysis is available to everyone, opening up a whole new world for health professionals, athletes and the average man on the street. But what exactly are the best heart rate monitors? Read on to find out.
The very least a modern heart rate monitor can do is record the number of times your heart beats per minute, known as your pulse. However, most devices can do more than measuring your pulse. When it comes to choosing the best heart rate monitor for you, consider the additional functions your new device may also house. These tools may include, but aren’t exclusive to:
- Smartphone Connectivity
- Watch Face
- Calorie Counter
- GPS Tracker
- Activity Tracker
- Voice Assistant
- Music/Audiobook Player
- Sleep Tracker
Below are the best heart rate monitors available online. Devices range from smartwatches and wristbands to arm and chest bands. The right one for you will depend on your needs.
1. POLAR H10 Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap
If your only goal is to monitor your heart rate reliably and accurately as you run, swim, cycle or generally workout, it’s hard to beat the POLAR H10 Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap. It’s compatible with a wide range of iOS and Android smartphones as well as numerous other devices and apps, including Polar, Garmin, Apple, Suunto pieces. It’s also mounted on a soft, adjustable strap, which includes an easy-to-use buckle and silicone dots for a secure hold. Furthermore, the monitor comes in four colors and is a popular choice with many top athletes across America.
Pros: This monitor’s reading accuracy is best in class.
Cons: Monitoring a heart rate is the only task this strap can perform.
POLAR H10 Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap
2. Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch
In addition to a heart rate monitor, the Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch boasts a plethora of handy functions for you to enjoy. You’ll receive a nightly sleep score, which lets you better understand your rest, as well as Amazon’s Alexa at your beck and call. The smartwatch also offers Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone connectivity and space for storing over 300 of your favorite songs. In addition, the watch is compatible with a range of interchangeable wristbands and comes in six possible designs.
Pros: This versatile device includes memory for over 300 of your favorite songs.
Cons: The design is significantly larger than the average wristwatch.
Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch
3. Lintelek Fitness Tracker
The Lintelek Fitness Tracker is a compact wristband with the ability to monitor your heart rate and track 14 different sports, too. The IP67-rated device incorporates a sleep monitor and an alarm clock. Plus, it can deliver messages and call reminders. You’ll also find a calorie counter, GPS and the ability to function as a remote trigger for your smartphone camera. Furthermore, the tracker is available in a range of different colors and offers up to seven days of use from a single, 1.5-hour charge.
Pros: It’s available in a range of different colors.
Cons: It may not be the most accurate device available.
4. Fitbit Inspire HR Heart Rate and Fitness Tracker
When it comes to popular fitness devices, Fitbit is always close to the top of the pile. In this Fitbit Inspire HR Heart Rate and Fitness Tracker, you’ll find everything you need for monitoring your heart rate and then some. The compact yet comfortable design makes it easy to wear your device all day, delivering pulse analysis 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a more complete look at your health. The tracker includes an activity and sleep tracker. It’s also capable of offering call, text and calendar alerts. In addition, this Bluetooth-connected device is waterproof up to 50 meters and can provide up to five days of use from a single, full charge.
Pros: Its compact, lightweight design makes prolonged wearing comfortable.
Cons: The small screen size may be limiting for some users.
Fitbit Inspire HR Heart Rate and Fitness Tracker
5. Willful Smart Watch
For those wanting an everyday smartwatch that can perform the functions of a heart rate monitor at the same time, look no further than the Willful Smart Watch. In addition to pulse monitoring, the watch offers nine different sport modes, sleep monitoring and calorie, distance and step counting. Phone-wise, the watch can answer incoming calls and deliver message alerts. Plus, this popular device is compatible with Android, iPhone and Samsung devices. It’s also rated IP68 waterproof, meaning it’s ready for all kinds of adventures.
Pros: This device offers a great balance between smartwatch and health tracker.
Cons: The TPU wristband may become less comfortable after hours of sweaty exercise.
6. Garmin HRM-Dual Heart Rate Monitor
With up to 3.5 years of battery life, you’ll be able to fit in plenty of workouts before you need to worry about replacing the battery in your Garmin HRM-Dual Heart Rate Monitor. This device comes with a cotton strap which is both adjustable and washable to keep it smelling fresh. The heart rate module offers reliable, real-time heart rate data and is smartphone and other Garmin-device compatible using either Bluetooth or ANT+ connectivity.
Pros: It’s easy to remove the module and wash the adjustable strap.
Cons: While adjustable, the strap is still only available in one size.
Garmin HRM-Dual Heart Rate Monitor
7. Wahoo Fitness TICKR FIT Heart Rate Monitor Armband
With this device around your upper forearm, it’s easy to forget you’re even wearing the Wahoo Fitness TICKR FIT Heart Rate Monitor Armband, making it ideal for longer activities. The device is capable of capturing real-time heart rate data, calories burned and your training zones. It also offers smartphone or tablet connectivity through built-in Bluetooth technology and compatible apps. In addition to the Wahoo Fitness app, there are over 50 other compatible apps and other training platforms to choose from, including Strava, Zwift, Runtastic and Nike Run Club. The armband features a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 30 hours per charge and is rated IPX7 waterproof. Plus, this is the official heart rate monitor of the British professional cycling team, Team INEOS, Ironman Jan Frodeno and American Pro Mountain Biker Sonya Looney.
Pros: This device is used and backed by international and professional athletes.
Cons: It has no built-in memory or motion analytic capabilities.
Wahoo Fitness TICKR FIT Heart Rate Monitor Armband
8. Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor
The Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor is a popular device designed with running, cycling and open water swimming in mind. This M.O. makes it a solid and reliable choice for general athletes, swimmers and triathletes. The compact and lightweight monitor and accompanying chest strap feature only rounded edges and no exposed seams to ensure a comfortable fit, even throughout the longest events. When in water, the device is capable of storing up to 20 hours’ worth of data before needing to forward it to a Garmin-compatible device. It can also send real-time data when not in water. Additionally, when used with a compatible device, this advanced monitor provides feedback on your running form through cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time analysis.
Pros: It’s compact, lightweight and waterproof, which is ideal for swimmers and triathletes.
Cons: To get the most use, you’ll need another Garmin-compatible device.
Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor
9. Apple Watch Series 6
The Apple Watch Series 6 is arguably the most comprehensive and complete smartwatch available on the market. Unsurprisingly, the device’s arsenal of handy tools includes a heart rate monitor. However, beyond measuring your heart rate, you’ll also be able to measure blood oxygen levels, see your heart’s rhythm, monitor your sleep and track numerous other activities. Aside from the health and workout elements, when paired with an iPhone, this smartwatch can play music and audiobooks, make and receive calls, reply to text messages and offer directions. All in all, this is an impressive device.
Pros: Arguably the most versatile heart rate monitor available.
Cons: It may be over-complicated for anyone focused solely on pulse monitoring.