A heart rate monitor is a helpful tool for everyone, not just health buffs. It’s something that one should consider getting because it can not only help you to better understand your fitness level for future workouts but also help identify possible health issues. It’s a worthwhile investment so that you can stay in tune with your heart.
In this article, we’ll give you a rundown of the best heart rate monitors that you can purchase in the market.
What Is a Heart Rate Monitor?
As its name suggests, a heart rate monitor tracks and measures your heart rate. Every time your heart beats, the monitor picks up an electrical signal from your heart muscles and transmits it to the device to give you a reading.
Years ago, a heart rate monitor was a two-piece device that included both the watch and a chest strap. But today, you can forego the chest strap and just rely on the watch. Most smartwatches and health trackers will have a heart rate monitor feature that you can use to keep an eye on your health throughout the day without the discomfort of wearing a chest strap.
For athletes, a heart rate monitor is used to keep track of how hard they’re working out for future reference. It also helps athletes to keep an eye on their body limits during training. For the normal folk, on the other hand, a heart rate monitor is used to watch your heart rate for medical reasons or if you need to stay within a specific heart rate area.
While everyone is welcome to purchase a heart rate monitor as it can help you monitor your health – it’s not a necessity for everyone. Rather, getting heart rate monitors are more recommended for those who need it for medical reasons, and athletes who require the data for workouts. Do keep in mind that solely using a heart rate monitor for any reason is not recommended. You should still pay attention to your body and see a physician if you’re feeling under the weather.
Heart Rate Monitor Picks: 20 of the Best
Without further ado, here are 20 of the best heart rate monitors that you can purchase in the market. For this list, we’ll be including both watches and chest straps so that you can decide for yourself which one you want to get.
The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is a great fitness companion for athletes. It supports multiple sports and even curates data to help you at your best performance. Further, it has a durable and comfortable fit and will surely stay on your wrist even during rigorous workout sessions.
Apart from heart monitoring, the tracker also provides training feedback by letting you know your vertical ratio, stride length, and ground contact time balance. In all, this smartwatch is great if you’re looking for a great fitness watch for multi-sport exercises.
If you’re looking for a device where you don’t have to carry your phone with you during sessions, the Wahoo Tickr X is an option to consider. Not only will it make your runs hands-free, but it is also one of the lightest and most functional chest straps as far as heart rate monitors go.
While you can ideally use it for most workouts, the Wahoo Tickr X is best used when running. Apart from the heart rate monitor, it can also track cadence, ground contact time, and even vertical oscillation, which makes it great for tracking your running styles.
The Microtella Fitness Tracker is a cheap alternative to the expensive wearables in the market. It might come at a cheap price, but it has some of the best tracking features available. Not only does it track your heart rate but it also tracks your sleep and gives you health insights. Its basic features allow it to be used for health purposes as well if you don’t want to shell out cash on a more expensive alternative. Moreover, it supports 14 different exercise modes to help you power through your fitness activities.
While Fossil’s Gen 4 smartwatches (Explorist and Venture) might not be all the rage anymore, it’s still a well-known smartwatch for its great fitness tracking features. The watch comes with a built-in monitor that automatically measures your heart rate. Further, you can even use apps such as Google Fit and the Nike Run Club on the smartwatch during your workout sessions.
The Polar H10 is a comfortable chest strap that promises accurate data and long battery life. It can be used for up to 400 hours before the battery needs to be replaced, which means that most users will have a year or two before the device loses its power. The device also promises a great fit without sacrificing comfort, which athletes can wear for long periods during workout sessions. On top of that, it can be used for a variety of sports including running and swimming so users don’t have to worry about damaging the device.
The Garmin HRM-Pro is an option to consider if you’re a keen athlete who does heavy training. Apart from monitoring your heart rate, the chest strap also tracks extra running stats and even stores and sends data to a connected device so you can review them. Runners can even record their stats for ground contact time and vertical oscillation with this device. Further, you can use the device underwater if you’re looking to track your heart rate data during swimming.
The Huawei Watch GT2e is a sport-focused version of the Huawei GT2. While the device doesn’t have a built-in speaker, it does have more features inclined to health and fitness, which makes it a great sports companion. With the Huawei Watch GT2e, you’ll be able to monitor your heart rate, track blood oxygenation, and even your sleep patterns. Further, the watch is accurate at monitoring your steps, calorie-burning capacity, and oxygen uptake among others. While it does lack what most users look for in a smartwatch, this is an ideal watch to get if you’re leaning towards health and fitness rather than overall functionality.
The Willful Fitness Tracker is a straightforward fitness watch that promises to make your workout sessions easier. While it doesn’t have the same functionality as a smartwatch, it will aid you in your workout sessions on a level that most smartwatches don’t have. It tracks heart rate and sleeps through a sensor that translates the data to be shown. It’s a handy device to have if you’re just looking for a tracker that does its purpose well.
If you’re looking for a chest strap that emphasizes your heart rate, this tracker from MYZONE takes your training to the next level by awarding you with points that will meet your monthly goal. With the MyZone app, you can have access to heart rate-based workouts that will help you keep your sessions more fun, especially if you run out of workout ideas.
This heart rate monitor from CooSpo is one of the best budget chest straps that you can find in the market. It’s comfortable, soft, and waterproof, which makes it ideal for multiple sports including running and swimming. Make sure that you have an app or device that is compatible with the CooSpoo device; otherwise, you won’t be able to track your data properly.
The Apple Watch Series 6 is an impressive smartwatch to have for heart rate monitoring and fitness in general. The device is functional enough that you can get data for both workout sessions and readings for everyday use. It’s also capable of tapping into heart rate readings to detect heart issues that may help those with existing health conditions in the long run. Additionally, you can sync your Apple Watch with most workouts and health apps to get accurate readings that you can export for review or to show to a medical professional.
Fitbit is a well-known brand for its fitness trackers. As such, it’s no surprise that the Fitbit Charge 3 has found its way into this list. Not only does it monitor heart rate but it also gives you an around-the-clock overview of your health. The Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Tracker measures your heart rate, counts the steps that you take, and even reminds you to get on the move.
The Garmin HRM-Tri is more geared toward triathletes than general users. The chest strap is compact and light and adds a couple of features that will help triathletes make the most out of their fitness sessions. Apart from its claim to offer accurate heart rate readings, the HRM-Tri also delivers data such as cadence and vertical oscillation. Moreover, the device is comfortable and light, which guarantees that users will be able to use it for long hours without discomfort.
The Powr Labs Heart Rate Monitor is a reliable device for everyone. It works with almost every sport and even casual workout sessions. It’s waterproof, sweatproof, and most of all, it’s durable but won’t leave you with an uncomfortable fit. This chest strap works in real-time with smartphones and other devices to deliver your data as you perform your workout routine. Moreover, it’s one of the cheaper devices out there that works just as fine as its more expensive counterparts.
While it can be used for everyday wear, the Garmin Forerunner 235 is more geared towards runners. As long as you have it on, the device will track your heart rate and even how many miles you’ve gone. Additionally, it also measures your daily activities and has smartwatch features that make the device functional enough for everyday use. It’s a device that’s relatively easy to use and even beginners will easily get used to it.
The Withings Steel HR is an excellent smartwatch if you’re looking for something with a more classic look that you can use every day and during workout sessions. This hybrid smartwatch is great for tracking a lot of metrics including heart rate, distance, and calories. The Withings Steel HR is also good for everyday use and not just when you’re about to hit the gym.
The MOOFIT Heart Rate Monitor provides real-time data on your heart rate and calorie consumption. It promises to give more accurate results than most optical heart rate monitors in the market. The chest strap is also made of fabric, which makes for a more comfy fit that won’t fall or move during your workout sessions.
The Garmin HRM-Dual is a no-frills heart rate monitor that provides you with the necessary data to keep your health on track. It might not have extra features, but it’s guaranteed to provide you with accurate readings that you can rely on to keep your health in check. The HRM-Dual is a fitness companion that’s reliable and affordable, which makes it great if you intend to use it for health purposes rather than a workout.
For those who are always on the go, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is the perfect companion for you. The watch is suitable to wear to the gym and the office so that you don’t have to worry about having to change watches. The smartwatch will send you real-time heart rate alerts and even monitor your sleep patterns for irregularities. In all, it’s a great smartwatch that’s versatile enough to be used anytime and anywhere.
The CooSpo ANT+ Heart Rate Monitor allows its users to track and capture their heart rates in realtime. The device is compatible with most devices and mainstream fitness apps that you can use on your daily workouts without having to worry about connectivity issues. However, you might have to keep an eye on the device’s battery as it can easily get drained if you keep the monitor on the chest strap for too long.
The Good and the Bad of Using a Heart Rate Monitor
Just like other devices, there is a lot to consider when buying a heart rate monitor. For many users, monitoring their heart rate is crucial for workouts and health purposes; hence, it’s important to know the good and the bad of using this delicate device.
If you’re stuck on deciding whether to buy a heart rate monitor or not, here are a couple of points to consider.
- Provides real-time readings
- Allows you to adjust their fitness routines
- Comes in different varieties
- Helps to identify certain health problems
- Heart rate monitors can be inaccurate
- Placement can ruin heart rate readings
- Watch trackers can move while working out
- Chest straps can get out of alignment during training
Whether you’re looking for a chest strap or a smartwatch, a heart rate monitor is a great device to have as it will not only keep you fit but it will help you keep track of your health. It also helps to identify health problems that you might have so that they can quickly be addressed. However, keep in mind that a heart rate monitor is not a substitute for health check-ups and should not be a basis for self-diagnosis. Always remember to consult with a medical professional if you’re not feeling well or if your heart rate tracker picks up some irregularities.