Best Heart Monitors Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Everyone agrees that having a healthy heart is critical to living a long and healthy life. This is one of the most important muscles in the body since it beats every single day of your life. Nevertheless, heart disease is a major cause of death for many people and it often goes undiagnosed because you don’t normally show symptoms until it is too late. This is why it’s important to check on your heart and monitor important functions such as beats per minute (BPM), blood pressure (BP), and oxygen saturation.
- Zacurate 430-DL Oximeter
- Designed for Sports
- Garmin HRM-Run
- Adjustable Strap
- AccuMed CMS-50DL
- Power Saver
No single reading on its own will be enough to tell you if your heart is working properly. Instead, you need to take multiple readings and look at changes over time. The good news is that modern technology makes this easy to do. There are lots of in-home heart monitoring tools and kits that are available so that you can watch your heart rate function over time. The sooner you know about an issue, the sooner you can go see a doctor and get the condition treated before it turns into a major and serious health problem. You will be thankful that you kept an eye on your heart functions if you catch a problem early.
10 Best Heart Monitors
1. Zacurate 430-DL Oximeter
The product has been specifically designed for sporting activities in high altitude. It's small and compact which makes it easy for you to watch your oxygen saturation when you are in high altitudes.
You can adjust the brightness on the display. This will help you read the meter in the event that you are in low light conditions where it would be hard to see.
Cost and Value
You will be able to purchase the Zacurate at a price that is lower than the average price. It's small and compact size makes it a great piece of sporting equipment to have on your person.
It's been designed for bikers, skiers, or anyone who enjoys high altitudes.
You can watch your oxygen saturation using this monitor.
It tracks your heart rate so that you don't over exert yourself.
It exceeds the Food and Drug Administration requirements for accuracy.
You can adjust the brightness of the display as needed.
The batteries tend to slip out of place and need to be readjusted.
Users have reported that it has questionable accuracy.
2. Garmin HRM-Run
The device is secured to your chest by an adjustable strap. The strap is highly breathable and holds the monitor to your chest so that you won't even notice that it's there.
It's able to track six different metrics that are important to runners. This would include metrics such as heart rate, stride length, vertical oscillation, cadence, vertical ratio, and finally ground contact time.
Cost and Value
You will need to plan on spending an amount that is higher than the average price. This is because the Garmin HRM is a premium product that tracks excellent metrics.
It's able to track six different metrics that are important to runners.
You can see the collected data in real time.
It has a chest strap that is easily adjustable.
You can use it to improve your form while you are running.
It's small and lightweight so you will hardly notice it.
Users have reported that it doesn't even last a year.
You can't remove the monitor from the strap so it's hard to wash.
3. AccuMed CMS-50DL
It takes readings off of your fingertip so you only need to insert your finger into it for about 8 to 10 seconds and wait for a reading to check your vitals.
Another reason why this is device is good for outdoors is that it doesn't consume a lot of power. It works with AAA batteries and it will turn off when it isn't being used.
Cost and Value
You will be able to purchase the AccuMed at a price that is lower than the average price. The lower price is due to it being a small device that is inexpensive to make.
It takes SpO2 and BPM readings in about 8 to 10 seconds.
Its powered by a pair of AAA batteries and turns off automatically.
The device only weighs 50 grams so it's easy to carry.
It's sold with a protective carrying case and lanyard.
You can use it for traveling, at the home, or during exercise.
It doesn't have the proper amount of tension on your finger.
The silicone protective case tends to fall off of it.
4. Omron 10 Series
The Omron 10 has a connects to your phone using Bluetooth and has a companion application that will help you spot trends in your blood pressure so that you can stay healthy.
The cuff has been designed to fit around your entire arm. This will help reduce inaccurate readings that are caused by the cuff not being properly positioned on your arm.
Cost and Value
You can purchase the Omron 10 at a price that is considered to be average. This makes it into a great way to get a quality device without having a pay a premium for it.
It takes three readings at the same time and shows an average.
You can use it with Amazon's Alexa (TM).
It has a companion application that stores your readings.
You can email readings to family members or your doctor.
The cuff has been designed to reduce inaccurate readings.
Users have reported that the readings are not always accurate.
Other people keep getting an E01 error on it.
5. Polar FT4
The FT4 supports GymLink, which is an interface that allows it to work with equipment that is found at the gym. This means that equipment such as treadmill can use the FT4 to track heart rate functions.
The FT4 can be removed from the wristband and attached to a chest strap. This will provide you with readings that are more accurate and makes it great for training.
Cost and Value
You will need to plan on spending an amount that is higher than the average price on the FT4. This is because it's a premium product that can be used at the gym.
It will provide you with real-time data on your heart rate.
There is a calorie feature that tells you how many calories you have burned.
You can replace the battery when it's worn out.
It can be worn on your wrist like a watch.
There is also a chest strap that you can use.
Users have reported that it needs to be reset during your workout.
The chest strap fails to hold it tightly to your chest.
6. Willful Fitness Tracker
You can track your steps, calories, heart rate, and the amount of time you have slept. The device also collects other metrics as well so that you get a complete picture of how your body is doing.
It can work with your phone and display notifications from SMS or applications such as Facebook Messager. This will help make sure that you never miss a message while you are wearing it.
Cost and Value
You will find this item sold at a price that is well below the average price. This turns it into an excellent value since you get lots of tracking without spending a premium on it.
The Willful tracks important metrics such as heart rate, sleep, and calories.
It's compatible with both Apple and Android devices.
You can use it to view notifications from your smartphone.
It's worn on your wrist like a watch so it's easy to use.
The battery is rechargeable so you won't have to replace it.
It can be hard to connect it to your phone.
Some people have had problems with it falling off of the band.
7. Fitbit Charge 2
You can use the Fitbit to track important stats such as your heart rate and calories burned. It will send the collected data to your smartphone so that you can view it.
It will use a GPS monitor to track your run or jog. This will help you see your pace and how far you ran so that you can continuously improve.
Cost and Value
This is a premium device so you will need to plan on paying an amount that is higher than the average price. It's loaded with features that turn it into an excellent value.
It will continuously track your pulse all day long.
You can view your calendar, messages, and other notifications on it.
It can track the amount of time that you have slept.
The GPS will track the distance and your pace of runs and jogs.
You can wear it on your wrist like a regular watch.
Users have reported that the screen can crack on it.
Other people have reported that it stops working after a year.
8. Polar FT7
The FT7 collects data from your body and then displays reports that will help you improve. This will help you lose weight or stay in shape more quickly than you can on your own.
The FT7 tracks your heart rate all day long. This will help you see how your heart is doing while you are sitting and also when you are working out.
Cost and Value
You will need to plan on spending an amount that is higher than the average price. This is because the FT7 has premium features that aren't found in devices that cost less.
It has a heart sensor and a chest strap for it.
You can wear it on your wrist and collect live data.
There is a Smart Calorie feature that shows you the number of calories you have burned.
It can connect to fitness equipment that is found at many gyms.
There is a Smart Coaching feature that advises you on how to improve.
Users have reported that it stops working in as little as six months.
Other people have found the device controls to be confusing.
The battery can be fully charged in just one to two hours of time. It will stay charged from up to seven days at a time while it's on standby power.
It's able to use the heart rate tracking in order to analyze your sleep. This will help you know how much sleep you are getting each night and the quality of the sleep.
Cost and Value
You will be able to purchase the Linktelek at a price that is lower than the average price. This turns it into a great value since you can save on a fitness tracker.
You can purchase it in any one of the six color options.
It can display notifications from your smartphone device.
The device tracks your heart rate continuously.
It charges quickly and stays charged for long periods at a time.
It waterproof so you can wash your hands while wearing it.
Users have reported that the heart rate monitor is not accurate.
The smartphone application drains the battery quickly while paired.
10. Letsfit Fitness Tracker
It has a total of fourteen different modes that can be used for exercise. This will let you get the most accurate and specific reporting for your chosen activity so that you can perform at your best.
It's charged with USB charging. This means that it can use just about any regular USB charger so that you can charge it whenever the battery gets low on it.
Cost and Value
You can purchase the Letsfit at a price that is lower than the average price. The lower price turns it into an excellent value since you get a total fitness tracker without having to pay a premium for it.
You can charge it with any standard USB charger.
It's sold in six different color options that you can choose from.
It pairs with your smartphone device so that you can see notifications.
You can wear it on your wrist like a regular watch.
It tracks your heart rate and measures your sleeping activity.
The battery on the device drains quickly and needs frequent charging.
Users have reported that the measurements are not very accurate.
There are a lot of options when it comes to monitoring your heart. This means that it’s easy for you to track how well your heart is functioning so that you can manage or even prevent significant heart problems. Heart disease is no joke and many people die annually as a result of heart disease. Since many heart diseases do not present any symptoms, it’s important that you get a high-quality heart monitor so that you can see what is going on with your heart.
Many of them are easy to use and are low cost. This means that you can get a heart monitor that fits with your lifestyle and your budget. There are plenty of them that will monitor important functions such as beats per minute (BPM), blood pressure (BP), and oxygen saturation. You can use this data for exercising, general fitness, or even managing a specific condition. Many of the heart monitors work with a smartphone device so that you can read and track the data easily. As the old saying goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure so it’s important that you take your heart health in a serious fashion so that you stay healthy.
Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Heart Monitors
As you may expect, heart monitors come in different types. For example, you find that there are three different common kinds of heart rate monitors. There are also heart monitors that clip on your finger, and finally, there are blood pressure monitors. You are going to need to start by figuring out what kind of heart monitor you need. Sometimes, different heart monitors can record the same readings as different kinds of heart monitors so this will also be an important consideration.
Heart rate monitors are usually sold in a chest strap or a wristwatch variety. As you may expect, their primary function is to measure your heart rate in terms of beats per minute (BPM). Of course, there are other things that they are capable of measuring as well so you will want to check the list of measurements that the device is taking.
Blood pressure monitors are heart monitors that measure blood pressure. Most of the time, they have a cuff that wraps around your arm but sometimes they can take a reading from your wrist. Most people monitor blood pressure in order to prevent or manage an illness but there are other reasons to take this reading.
The final kind of heart monitor is the type that measures oxygen saturation. The typical use case for this type of monitor is when you are going to be in high altitudes where the air is thin. They work by clipping on your finger and usually take a reading within seconds. You can use this kind of monitor to check when you need to take oxygen or to train at high altitudes. They are also useful for when you are recovering from lung-related illnesses.
The goal of a heart monitor is to measure what your heart is doing. This is important because in most cases, you can’t tell if there is something wrong with your heart. Heart disease generally does present any symptoms that would indicate that you are getting sick. The only way to know is to measure on a regular basis. When you are picking a heart monitor, you are going to need to decide which measurements are important for you to take. It’s also worth noting that many devices can take several readings at the same time which provides you with some flexibility. Here are some of the more common readings that people tend to take with their heart monitor.
Heart rate is the number of times that your heart beats in a minute. Just about every heart monitor on the market can take this measurement which means that if this is the only metric that you are interested in then you have lots of options. Blood pressure refers to the amount of pressure that is applied to the walls of your blood vessels. When you need to take this measurement, you will need a special blood pressure monitor. Next, there is oxygen saturation which measures how much oxygen there is in your blood. This reading is usually taken by devices that clip on your finger.
There are other readings that can be taken by heart monitors besides the above three. For example, many heart monitors will measure the number of calories that you are burning and how long you have slept. You can also use many of them to track your steps or how fast you ran or jogged during a run. Due to the wide variety of different metrics that are available, you are going to need to pick a device that captures the measurements that you are looking to record.
Newer heart monitors tend to be compatible with different devices. This will help to enhance the usefulness of the product and it can provide you with important information or ways that you can spot trends. Compatibility can also help you improve your fitness. For example, there is a lot of cardio equipment that can adjust the workout on its own so that you stray in your target heart rate zone. You are going to want to look at the devices that your heart monitor is compatible with in order to make sure that the device is a good fit for your needs.
Of course, you should start by deciding if you want your device to be compatible with other devices. This is because adding compatibility will likely increase the cost of your heart monitor. If you have no need for compatibility with other devices, then you can save a few bucks by purchasing a device that works on its own.
However, most people prefer to own heart monitors that can interface with other devices. The most common devices are Android or iPhones. You can usually tell if the device is compatible by seeing if there is a companion application that you can download to your phone that works with the device. Using the application will allow you to look at changes over time and backup your readings in case something happens. Many applications allow you to email reports to family members or your doctor in the event that you are managing an illness. You can also be alerted if the data records something that needs your attention. Adding compatibility with different devices adds a lot of value to your heart monitors, so it’s a worthwhile thing to have.
Heart monitors require electricity to operate which is why you should think about the required power source. A heart monitor that needs to be connected to an outlet will mean that you will have to be near an outlet to use the heart monitor and may restrict the areas that you can bring it with you. Many heart monitors are powered by batteries which offer more freedom but also means that you need to think about the life of the batteries.
If you purchase a heart monitor that uses batteries, the first thing that you are going to want to think about is what sort of battery is used by the device. Many of them use watch batteries or small batteries such as AA or AAA. In this case, you are going to want to make sure that you have backup batteries that are available for when you need to use the device. Otherwise, you are going to have to wait until you purchase new batteries for the device. Some people even get rechargeable batteries so that they can reuse the batteries rather than having to get new ones.
Other devices have an internal battery that you charge. This tends to be more convenient than devices that have replaceable batteries because you can plug your device into the charger when it needs a charge. It’s recommended that you look for a device that uses a regular USB charging as most people have these for their phones and will make it easier for you to have a charger that is accessible. It’s also important to note that your device may require several hours of charging before it is ready to use.
Quality is important because well-made devices tend to have more value than poorly made ones. You should always try and research the product ahead of your purchase in order to make sure that it’s well made. This will help you avoid wasting money on something that you are not going to be happy with once you have purchased it. Also, quality may be a matter of life and death for people who are using a heart monitor to manage a condition which is another reason why you should expect quality in your purchase.
When it comes to heart monitors, accuracy is one of the most common quality products. There isn’t much point in owning a device that does not provide you with accurate information. As the old saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out”. In other words, if you are making decisions that are based on bad data, then your decisions are going to be bad as well. You should always read reviews ahead of time to make sure that your monitor takes accurate measurements. It may also be helpful to look for one that allows you to calibrate it as well.
Power consumption tends to be the other common quality problem. As devices add features, they require more power. The issue is that eventually some of these devices drain their batteries quickly which means that you have to keep replacing batteries or you have to continuously charge the device. You should be on the lookout for a device that only has what it needs since unneeded features will waste power. Alternatively, you should turn off features that you are not using. However, a poorly made device will still consume power quickly no matter what you do.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does Bluetooth connectivity mean?
A: Bluetooth is an interface that allows two or more devices to connect wirelessly. In terms of heart monitors, this generally means that your heart monitor can connect and transmit data to another device such as a smartphone that is able to consume the data. Fitness equipment may also use Bluetooth to adjust the intensity of your workout based on readings from your heart monitor as well. Bluetooth is a feature that many people seek in a heart monitor.
Q: How can a heart monitor be used for fitness?
A: People tend to get their best results when they train inside their target heart rate zone. This is a range between the slowest pace your heart should be beating in terms of BPM and the fastest it should beat. If you are below the minimum number of BPM, then you will not train as hard as you should. Exceeding the recommended BPM will mean that you are training too hard and the workout will be too difficult.
Q: How can I prevent altitude sickness?
A: Altitude sickness is caused by a lowered amount of oxygen in your blood stream. This is why many people carry a heart monitor that measures the amount of oxygen in your blood when they are in high altitudes. If you see your O2 levels dropping, you can try using an oxygen tank to help get them back up. The only other alternative is to de-elevate where the air is thicker and contains a higher saturation of oxygen.
Q: How can a heart monitor track sleep?
A: The basic answer is that the monitor compares your heart rate during the day and the heart rate during the night. Your heart rate slows down when you fall asleep so when it’s below your daytime heart rate, the monitor will detect that you are sleeping. You can use this feature to measure how much sleep you are getting in the night which can help you manage sleeping disorders and improve your quality of sleep.
Q: Why do I need to look at trends rather than a single reading?
A: Your heart doesn’t always operate the same and there are a lot of variables that will go into your readings. For example, you should expect that your blood pressure will be lower when you are well hydrated and getting plenty of exercises and higher when you have drunk heavily the night before and are detoxing. Day to day activity is going to affect your readings which is why it’s important to look at trends. One bad reading isn’t a cause for concern, but continuous bad readings are.
- Fitbit, Your Heart Rate Is The Key To Smarter Sleep Stages
- Wikipedia, Oxygen Saturation
- Wikipedia, Blood Pressure