What Are the Best Heart Rate Monitors?

Heart rate monitors can record a person’s heart rate during exercise, allowing them to determine and adjust the intensity of their workout. Many are compatible with fitness apps and equipment.

Below, we look at the best heart rate monitors of 2023.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried any of these products. All information is purely research-based.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more.

Best money-back guarantee: Scosche Rhythm+

  • Price: $99.99
  • Type: wristband
  • Battery life: 8 hours
Scosche Rhythm+

The Scosche Rhythm+ heart rate monitor can help a person manage their heart rate. It can also track calories a person has burned, distance, and pace.

It attaches to the forearm and can connect with fitness apps, such as Strava, Digifit, and Runkeeper. Also, according to reviews, users can pair it with a Peloton bike.

The device comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee and a 1-year limited warranty.

However, it has a Proposition 65 warning label. The American Cancer Society explains that these labels indicate that products may contain chemicals that cause cancer, reproductive harm, and congenital anomalies.

Best for pairing with other devices: Wahoo Tickr FIT

  • Price: around $80
  • Type: wristband
  • Battery life: up to 30 hours
Image of a Wahoo Tickr FIT heart rate monitor

This device uses optical heart rate technology that provides real-time information about the person’s heart rate and the number of calories they burn.

It comes with Bluetooth and ANT+ technology to connect with fitness apps, smartphones, GPS bike computers, and watches.

According to the manufacturer’s website, this device is suitable for those who are into running, cycling, and other forms of exercise.

It is a very lightweight option, weighing just 0.1 pounds (lb).

Best for health tracking: Fitbit Luxe

  • Price: around $130
  • Type: wristband
  • Battery life: up to 5 days
Image of a Fitbit Luxe heart rate monitor

This Fitbit device comes as a wristband and tracks the user’s heart rate, pace, and distance. It also monitors oxygen saturation and menstrual health, such as symptoms and ovulation.

It also has:

  • a color display
  • call and text notifications
  • a do-not-disturb mode
  • an optical heart rate monitor

This makes the Fitbit Luxe a versatile option for people looking to track several health metrics on one device. However, the price reflects this extra functionality, and it may not suit smaller budgets as a result.

Best armband: Peloton Heart Rate Band

  • Price: $90
  • Type: armband
  • Battery life: up to 10 hours
Peloton Heart Rate Band

The Peloton Heart Rate Band is wearable as an armband on the forearm. Peloton describes this location as being 3–4 fingers below the elbow.

It is available in small or large.

The band features five LED lights that show a person’s heart rate zone.

However, it does not feature ANT+ technology, so it may not be compatible with all third-party products, though it is compatible with Peloton’s equipment and the app.

Best for third-party app compatibility: MOOFIT Heart Rate Monitor Armband

  • Price: around $43
  • Type: armband
  • Battery life: 25 hours
MOOFIT Heart Rate Monitor Armband

This heart rate monitor from MOOFIT attaches to a person’s forearm and offers real-time readings.

It has Bluetooth and ANT+ dual mode, which allows people to connect to various other devices, including bike computers, GPS watches, cycling software, and fitness apps. It is compatible with most mainstream health and fitness apps.

Although the device is reportedly waterproof for handwashing, household chores, and wearing during rainfall, MOOFIT warns it is unsuitable for use while swimming or bathing.

MOOFIT claims the band is breathable and lightweight. It comes with a 1-year warranty.

Best for multiple wear options: MyZone MZ-Switch

  • Price: $159.99
  • Type: chest, wrist, or arm strap
  • Battery life: 3–6 months
MyZone MZ-Switch

The MyZone MZ-Switch allows a person to wear the product in multiple ways. The company supplies a chest, wrist, and arm strap so a user can choose the best option according to their activity.

The device includes the following features:

  • waterproof up to 10 meters
  • storage for up to 36 hours of exercise data
  • Bluetooth and ANT+ technology
  • rechargeable battery that MyZone estimates lasts 3–6 months

Best adjustable strap: Garmin HRM-Dual

  • Price: around $35
  • Type: Chest strap
  • Battery life: 3.5 years (using 1 hour per day)
Image of a Garmin HRM-Dual heart rate monitor

This heart rate monitor features ANT+ and Bluetooth Low Energy technology, allowing users to exercise outdoors or indoors and use online training programs. It can connect to devices within a 3-meter range.

It provides real-time readings, and Garmin shows that it suits people who enjoy cycling and running. However, it is unsuitable for swimming.

Garmin writes that its battery lasts for up to 3.5 years, according to an average usage of 1 hour a day. It is a replaceable battery, meaning people cannot recharge it.

The tracker is also detachable, so a person can wash the strap.

Best for instant tracking: Polar H10

  • Price: around $85
  • Type: chest strap
  • Battery life: up to 400 hours
Image of a Polar H9 heart rate monitor

The Polar H10 heart rate monitor features Bluetooth and ANT+ technologies and has a battery life of up to 400 hours.

It is compatible with smartphones, a range of gym equipment, and some fitness apps. This includes the Polar Flow app, which can help plan and track training, activity, and sleep.

Polar writes that people can use it while cycling, rowing, swimming, running, or training indoors, making it a very versatile option.

Other features include:

  • a firm buckle, non-slip silicone spots, and a soft textile strap
  • water-resistance up to a depth of 30 m
  • different sizes and colors

Best for lower budgets: CooSpo H808S

  • Price: around $37
  • Type: chest strap
  • Battery life: 300 hours
Image of a CooSpo H6 heart rate monitor

CooSpo’s heart rate sensor is suitable for individuals who exercise indoors and spend time rowing, cycling, and running. It also comes with Bluetooth and ANT+ technology.

The device can work with smart equipment, GPS watches, and over 200 third-party fitness apps, including Adidas Runtastic, Peloton, and Zwift.

Users can also connect their monitor with the CooSpoRide app, which provides real-time heart rate data while a person is cycling.

Other features include:

  • a battery life of up to 300 hours
  • a weight of 45 grams (g)
  • several color choices

Best memory: Suunto Smart Heart Rate Belt

  • Price: $79
  • Type: chest strap
  • Battery life: 500 hours
Suunto Smart Heart Rate Belt

This heart rate belt from Suunto is a lightweight option, weighing 40 g. If people use the belt with a Suunto watch, it can record and forward 3.5 hours of data even when out of range of the watch’s Bluetooth. The brand claims this is useful during team sports when people may not be wearing a smartwatch.

It also recommends this heart rate belt to people who enjoy cycling, martial arts, climbing, swimming, water sports, skiing, skating, and gym workouts.

It is compatible with the Suunto app, various third-party apps, and some smartwatches. The battery is not rechargeable and requires a replacement.

Suunto also provides a 1-year manufacturer warranty with this device.

Best quality materials: Hammerhead Heart Rate Monitor

  • Price: $64
  • Type: chest strap
  • Battery life: approximately 900 hours
Hammerhead Heart Rate Monitor

This Hammerhead heart rate monitor features a conductive rubber material that is reportedly able to detect a person’s heart rate in any condition. The company says it is also resistant to aging, temperature, and oxidation.

According to Hammerhead, the honeycomb pattern on the material increases skin contact surface, improves moisture drainage, and improves skin-electrode contact to keep the product in place.

It features ANT+ technology and two Bluetooth channels. It is waterproof up to 30 meters.

In this section, we answer some frequently asked questions about heart rate monitors.

Is a heart rate monitor the same as an EKG?

EKG stands for electrocardiogram. It is a test a doctor may use to test heart rhythm and electrical activity. An EKG is not the same as a heart rate monitor, although it may provide similar readings.

That said, a 2019 study found that none of the heart rate monitors the authors tested — including an Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin, and Polar device — was as accurate as an electrode-containing chest monitor, such as an EKG.

What is the best way to track heart rate?

A 2018 study found that wrist heart rate monitors and chest heart rate monitors showed similar results. This suggests that the average person may track their heart rate in either way and get acceptably accurate and effective results.

Are wrist heart rate monitors accurate?

One 2019 study states that EKGs are accurate to within 5 beats per minute. The Apple Watch Series 2 tracker and Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 the authors tested were 100% accurate, while the Fitbit Charge 2 was 94% accurate.

However, a 2020 study that assessed the accuracy of wrist heart rate monitors for individuals with atrial fibrillation found that these monitors underestimated heart rate, especially when it went above 100 beats per minute.

What is the most accurate heart rate monitor?

The authors of a 2018 study suggested that both wrist and chest heart rate monitors yield similar results.

A 2020 review found the Apple Watch and Garmin to be the most accurate devices. The authors found Fitbit devices generally underestimated heart rate.

Related Posts