The Best Heart Rate Monitors (2021 Reviews)

Roman Herrick
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Are you in the market for a heart rate monitor (HRM)?

If you own a Garmin, Polar, or Suunto sports watch, you may be interested in getting one. But there are a ton of choices out there, and some are definitely better than others. How do you know which one to choose?

I’ve tested and researched dozens and compiled a detailed buyer’s guide to help you find the best heart rate monitor. So, if you’re a runner, cyclist, crossfitter, tennis player, or just want to monitor your heart health, then you need this guide.

NameCategoryProduct
POLAR FT4 Heart Rate MonitorBest OverallPOLAR FT4 Heart Rate Monitor
Zacurate 500BL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter Blood Oxygen Saturation MonitorBudget PickZacurate 500BL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor
POLAR Ft1 Heart Rate MonitorUpgrade PickPOLAR Ft1 Heart Rate Monitor

1. POLAR FT4 Heart Rate Monitor

Our rating: 9 / 10

POLAR FT4 Heart Rate Monitor

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Pros:

  • Color changing screen makes it easy to read
  • Heartbeat function warns when you fall below your target rate once you've gotten out of your target zone
  • Average heart rate function
  • You can modify it to calculate calories burned and training time
  • Basic training and basic cardio modes
  • Easy to use and easy to read
  • It has a running feature as well

Cons:

  • Monitor is general purpose
  • Doesn't feature a monitor for your running cadence

This is a very basic heart rate monitor that can be used for both your training and your simple health related measurements. It has a nice big and easy to read screen that features a color changing backlight so you can see it clearly in darker environments. There’s a backlight to make it easy to read the numbers.

The unit features a one button operation for simple monitoring and also comes with a chest strap that easily attaches to your shirt to give you a clean non-obtrusive look.

This heart rate monitor is not focused on running like other monitors. It is focused more on general heart rate measurements and other program features. The features on this monitor include simple heart rate measurements, time, date, calories burned, pace, average speed, distance, training time and training response.

2. Zacurate 500BL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor

Our rating: 8 / 10

Zacurate 500BL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor

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Pros:

  • Clear, colorful readings
  • Sleek design
  • Comes with 2 replaceable AAA batteries
  • Easy and convenient to use
  • Very affordable
  • Affordable spare batteries included
  • Works on any finger
  • Comes with a lanyard that also fits the finger tip sensor
  • You can use it to monitor the oxygen percentage for overall health

Cons:

  • Does not monitor the pulse rate of your baby
  • Cannot be used as a pulse oximeter for the feet.

If you are looking for the best heart rate monitor that is affordable, you should consider the Zacurate 500BL. This small device lets you monitor your heart rate in seconds.

A great thing about this monitor is that it can be attached to your finger. So you can conveniently monitor your heart rate anytime and anywhere.

This device comes with a lanyard and a finger tip sensor. All you have to do is put the finger tip sensor on your finger and touch the device. The device will then display your heart rate. It is not just for adults, but is also great for kids.

3. Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor

Our rating: 8 / 10

Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor

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Pros:

  • Heart rate and pulse information are displayed in large, easy-to-see digits on the monitor
  • Heart rate and pulse information can be transmitted continuously
  • It offers choices of chest strap or wrist monitoring
  • Has a battery life indicator to let you know when it needs to be charged
  • Soft, water-resistant strap is comfortable and can be worn while in the water
  • There is a cumulative running time display for your total workout time
  • You can track other performance parameters such as calories burned, steps taken, and watts
  • Switchable timer can be set for intervals from 1-99 minutes
  • The automatic memory-recall function helps you track all previous workouts
  • It has a stopwatch function that can be used with the timer

4. Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband

Our rating: 8 / 10

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband

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Pros:

  • Perfect for tracking your heart rate
  • One of the best features is its fitness feature
  • Great for those who want to stay healthy

5. Willful Fitness Tracker IP68 Swimming Waterproof

Our rating: 8 / 10

Willful Fitness Tracker IP68 Swimming Waterproof

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(Black)

This is a waterproof fitness tracker that has been proven and tested. It is claimed that it can be used for swimming and this is confirmed by the waterproof rating. This means that you will not have to worry about taking it when you go for a dip. Willful Fitness Tracker claims to be the ideal gift for your workout before the summer starts.

This smart watch has a number of features that have been designed for fitness tracking. This includes a sleep tracker that can monitor the sleep quality you get at night. This feature can also work together with the smart alarm that is incorporated to wake you up at the best time.

6. Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor

Our rating: 8 / 10

Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor

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Pros:

  • Gives you results quickly, you can get your reading in a few seconds
  • Large display unit with a backlight
  • Measures blood pressure with a manual inflation
  • Shuts off automatically after eight and a half minutes
  • Ergonomic design for a comfortable fit, placement is easy
  • Features a maximum and minimum memory

Cons:

  • Unit is not very accurate
  • Does not take a digital reading
  • Does not come with a booklet on how to use product
  • Not recommended for those weighing over 300 pounds.
  • Takes only one battery that malfunctions without warning during use

7. CooSpo Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap

Our rating: 8 / 10

CooSpo Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap

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Pros:

  • Special Features
  • Durable
  • Ease of Use

Cons:

  • The strap is often uncomfortable
  • Strap is too loose
  • A little expensive

Heart rate monitors, or HRM, are a great way to get a readout of how effective your cardio workout is. There are many different types of monitor out there, but when it comes to muscle fatigue, I would suggest that the most accurate is the chest strap.

8. Garmin Heart Rate Monitor

Our rating: 7 / 10

Garmin Heart Rate Monitor

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Pros:

  • Best heart rate monitor on the fitness market
  • Reliable technology
  • Features that any runner would love

Garmin Heart rate monitor is one of the best heart rate monitors that you can purchase. It is the best heart rate monitor for runners because it is the most consistent and accurate heart rate monitor on the market.

One of the features that really makes this heart rate monitor is that it will estimate your calorie burn. This will help give you a better idea of how many calories you burn while running or working out. It will keep you motivated to exercise and be more active.

Garmin also has a wide range of compatible accessories. There are compatible GPS watches as well as compatible chest straps. When looking for a heart rate monitor that syncs with a GPS watch, this is a must.

9. Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor Armband

Our rating: 7 / 10

Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor Armband

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Pros:

  • The armband transmitter is comfortable and fits almost all arm sizes. You can wear it throughout your exercises or when you sleep
  • It utilizes Bluetooth smart health technology
  • Lightweight design
  • Allows wireless connection to your smart phone, which enables you to receive excellent workout recovery and training apps
  • Has a built-in rechargeable battery, and can be recharged quickly
  • You can monitor your heart rate even when you are going through periods of low activity, such as during sleep
  • Features a comfortable design that enables you to wear the armband for extended periods
  • Has a screen that is also comfortable and can be customized to your heart rate needs
  • Has an excellent customer support team, who is always willing to offer excellent customer care and assistance
  • Has a very reasonable price

Cons:

  • Some users don't find the app that comes pre-loaded on the device very user friendly
  • Also, the app seems to quit unexpectedly

Armband Mount, and Wrist/Wristlet Strap.

10. POLAR Ft1 Heart Rate Monitor

Our rating: 7 / 10

POLAR Ft1 Heart Rate Monitor

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Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Stronger chest strap
  • Compact design
  • Automatic feature shows when heart rate was measured
  • Automatic interval training feature
  • Small and compact
  • Great for walking and any exercise
  • Classic Polar user interface
  • Extremely accurate
  • Performance timing

Cons:

  • Some times by mistake show as a solid red
  • Sometimes not connect to the computer

Polar Ft1 Heart Rate Monitor has been used by users a lot. It is the best companion for anyone. You cab have more accurate monitoring with Polar Ft1. This can be used during walking or any other exercise.

11. LETSCOM Fitness Tracker HR

Our rating: 7 / 10

LETSCOM Fitness Tracker HR

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IOS and Android Phones for Kids and Adults.

The LEOS tracker is a standard fitness tracker with heart rate monitor with a trendy TPU band and a touchscreen OLED display of 0.96 inches.

It has accurate heart rate, step counter, distance monitoring, calorie calculator, reminders and sleep monitoring. You can set the goals for calories burned, distance moved and daily activity and achieve them! The band is compatible with iOS and android systems.

12. Santamedical Generation 2 OLED Fingertip Pulse Oximeter Oximetry Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor

Our rating: 7 / 10

Santamedical Generation 2 OLED Fingertip Pulse Oximeter Oximetry Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor

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Pros:

  • Attractive and high quality case
  • Ease of use
  • Cell phone app integration works well
  • Accuracy is great

This is a quality pulse oximeter that will not burn a hole in your pocket. It’s a good for home use or to travel.

You can use it for your wrist or attach it to your finger! This will help you locate your pulse points easily. It’s just like a watch. With an easy-to-use interface, it’s simple to switch between modes.

The manufacturer has included a lanyard to make it easy to move about while still ensuring that the pulse oximeter monitor stays on your wrist, your finger or whatever placement you prefer. The cover is sleek and high quality and is resistant to scratches and visible fingerprint marks.

13. POLAR H10 Heart Rate Monitor

Our rating: 7 / 10

POLAR H10 Heart Rate Monitor

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Pros:

  • Very accurate and sturdy
  • Works for multiple types of exercise

This is one of the most accurate chest heart rate sensors that you can get, and it is made by one of the most prominent manufacturers of personal fitness instruments. It has a water resistant rating of up to 20 meters, and its battery also lasts for a long time at 12 days with normal use.

14. Greater Goods Bluetooth Blood Pressure Monitor Cuff

Our rating: 6 / 10

Greater Goods Bluetooth Blood Pressure Monitor Cuff

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Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Automatically syncs with the app on your smartphone
  • Cuff can fit arm circumference of 8 to 12 inches
  • Sends notifications to your smartphone
  • Review your BP readings
  • Send your readings to your doctor or monitor your readings over time
  • Readings are stored in the app for your convenience
  • Long battery life
  • Updated with new smartphone technology
  • Helps you avoid those readings when you aren’t in a good situation to take a reading

Cons:

  • One size doesn’t fit all
  • Poor instructions
  • Cuff doesn’t hold arm tight enough
  • Unable to determine if the user is moving or getting a reading
  • App doesn’t sync with HealthKit

Large Cuff Sizes Fits Boys & Girls, Adults (Includes a free app).

This FDA approved blood pressure monitor has an app that syncs with your smartphone. It will make sure to give you accurate readings if you are moving or getting readings at the right moment.

It uses WHO guidelines and has a memory that stores 100 of your most recent readings. The monitor can fit a large number of arm sizes and has the ability to take 10 readings per minute.

15. OXPROVO Portable EKG/ECG Heart Monitoring Devices

Our rating: 6 / 10

OXPROVO Portable EKG/ECG Heart Monitoring Devices

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Pros:

  • Accurate and reliable heart rate sensor
  • Portable
  • Automatically detects irregular heart rates

Cons:

  • No chest strap included
  • Doesn't monitor heart rate
  • Does not automatically detect irregular heart rates

The OXProvo portable heart rate monitoring device is a new way to determine your heart rate and rhythm. The heart rate sensor is connected to your finger with a connection designed to ensure only your skin touches the sensor. A small, adhesive electrode cord sticks to your finger.

To use the OProvo heart rate monitor, simply follow these steps:

16. PARAMED Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor: Blood-Pressure Kit of Bp Cuff + 2AAA and Carrying case

Our rating: 6 / 10

PARAMED Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor: Blood-Pressure Kit of Bp Cuff + 2AAA and Carrying case

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The PARAMED Talking Automatic Arm Blood Pressure Monitor is a great choice if you’re looking for an automatic blood pressure cuff for home use. It also offers everything you need in a blood pressure kit including a carrying case, two AAA batteries for the monitor, two AAA batteries for the transmitter, carrying case, and an instruction manual.

The monitor has an extra-large LCD display so you have an easy time reading your blood pressure readings. It’ll even tell you your heart rate!

This unit has its own memory that will keep track of your last 90 readings, so you can see how your blood pressure is trending.

17. Clinical Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor FDA Approved by Generation Guard

Our rating: 6 / 10

Clinical Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor FDA Approved by Generation Guard

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(Gray)

Pros*:

  • Affordable pricing
  • Completely automatic
  • Comes with a case for easy transportation
  • Includes a variety of functions
  • Has large screens to make it easy to read

18. Blood Pressure Monitor Wrist PGa25v1.1 Made in China

Our rating: 5 / 10

Blood Pressure Monitor Wrist PGa25v1.1 Made in China

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Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive
  • Accurate results
  • Portable
  • Measure pulse, blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation
  • 3D measurement of blood pressure
  • Multi-function
  • Double security, can be deactivated through the wrist pulse quitting signal
  • Quietly

Band Color: As Shown in the Pictures 18, White Color, Large Screen, Detects Pulses:Foot Stroke Pulses, Arm Blood Circulation Waves; the Blood Pressure Monitor can Detect Pulse and Synchronous Vital Signs, Easy to Set, the Heart Rate Monitor is Accurate Without Any Error, Applied To Outdoor Physical Exercises, Home Life, Bicycle Riding, Running Playing Sports, Quick and Easy Blood Pressure Monitor is a Necessary Fitness Tracker

Timex is known for creating durable, fashionable products aimed toward fitness enthusiasts. This water-resistant pocket watch is a great choice for the budget fitness enthusiast.

This is a great gift for runners because it features an ultra-bright LED backlight that is easy to see whether you are running outside in daylight or inside the gym. The timepiece can also monitor time, count the number of steps you have taken, and it has a stopwatch function.

19. Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor

Our rating: 5 / 10

Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor

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Wahoo is a company that makes heart rate monitors for professional cyclists and the general public making an attempt to live a healthier lifestyle. The Wahoo TICKR is super reliable for cyclists who want to monitor their heart rate while performing heart rate workouts or training.

This monitor is closest to you chest and it ideally should be placed directly above your heart. Wahoo also makes a health band for fitness enthusiasts who do not feel comfortable wearing a heart rate monitor strapped over their chest, you can find the link for the health band below bottom of the description. Wahoo TICKR is not a replacement for a smartwatch or a wearable band.

This heart rate monitor does a very good job of connecting to your fitness apps but the device has reported to not connect to some smartwatches to display your heart rate.

20. Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor

Our rating: 5 / 10

Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor

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Pros:

  • Simple operation
  • “All day” heart rate monitoring
  • This monitor is small and light
  • Functions just like a “proper” watch
  • Stopwatch feature is very handy
  • Takes only seconds to set up
  • You can link it to your computer for detailed insights into your performance

The Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor (Soft Strap) is a great choice as a first monitor for athletes that are just starting out with their training. It is absolutely brilliant at keeping track of whether you are staying within your given target heart rate.

The Garmin Forerunner 25 is particularly uncomplicated and user-friendly. Fully programmable, you can set your target heart rate zone and set up intervals that are very easy to create. If you exceed the target heart rate at any time, you will get a prompt, and if you are looking for a more in-depth understanding of your performance, you can connect the Garmin Heart Rate Monitor to Garmin Connect for an extra level of detail.

21. Mgaolo Fitness Tracker,Smart Watch Activity Tracker Health Bracelet Waterproof Wristband

Our rating: 4 / 10

Mgaolo Fitness Tracker,Smart Watch Activity Tracker Health Bracelet Waterproof Wristband

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Pros:

  • Lightweight and very low profile, can’t feel it when you are wearing it
  • Decent battery life, almost a whole day
  • Not expensive and good value
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Easy to use, just plug it into your PC or Mac with the USB in the package and you can download the app to your mobile phone.

Cons:

  • The screen is very small, it will have to be pretty close to your face to see anything.
  • Its heart rate monitor is not accurate

This above is a fantastic product and it has the looks and form to prove it. The best thing about this tracker is it does not weigh you down like the Surge does. It is a comfortable watch like band that will impress your friends and family.

It comes with a clear OLED screen that is easy to read and navigate. It is comfortable to wear and you can wear it to any function with a suit. The best thing about the Mgaolo Fitness Tracker is the price. It is an excellent budget fitness tracker.

It tracks your heart rate, steps, sleep, monitors your blood pressure and calorie burning. It makes it a great choice when it comes to choosing a fitness watch. It is durable and lightweight.

22. goopow Fitness Tracker

Our rating: 4 / 10

goopow Fitness Tracker

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the most accurate heart rate monitor?

Getting accurate heart rate readings is crucial for people who wear heart rate monitors while working out. The size of your wrist might make a difference. Wrist-based devices tend to be more accurate for small wrists as they can offer a more snug fit. While chest straps tend to be more accurate in general, you can get wrist-based devices that are just as accurate.

Are heart rate monitor watches accurate?

Heart rate monitor watches are quite accurate, in fact, they are probably one of the best electronic devices for measuring your heart rate. The latest brand of heart rate monitors use finger and wrist sensors to precisely monitor your pulse.

The only thing to keep in mind is that your heart rate changes when you change your arm position. For example, if you lay down and raise your arm over your chest, your heart rate will go down. The same thing happens when you sit upright in a chair. This is normal, but it’s something you should be aware of.

It doesn’t affect heart rate monitor accuracy that much because the watch will most likely still record a lower heart rate than your actual heart rate in both situations (i.e. ‘resting heart rate’). The general rule is that your heart rate should be between 60%-100% when you are working out.

How accurate is Fitbit's heart rate monitor?

Fitbit's monitor is indeed very accurate, but not always consistent. Customers who are getting a spike or drop in heart rate readings are likely holding the band on a different part of their body. Be sure to wear the band snugly on your wrist close to your heart and not on your hand or your bicep.

Fitbit's heart rate accuracy is also affected by your physical exertion and your body mass index (BMI). Don't forget to properly calibrate your machine.

Conclusion

If you are reading this, you are undoubtedly curious about the best heart rate monitor you can get, and it’s very likely you are thinking of getting one to improve your health and fitness levels. There are so many different types of monitors and so many different features available on these devices, that picking the best one can be quite daunting. We hope the brief reviews and recommendations we’ve included in this article can be of some help to you in figuring out your heart rate monitor needs.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
POLAR FT4 Heart Rate MonitorBest OverallPOLAR FT4 Heart Rate Monitor
Zacurate 500BL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter Blood Oxygen Saturation MonitorBudget PickZacurate 500BL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor
POLAR Ft1 Heart Rate MonitorUpgrade PickPOLAR Ft1 Heart Rate Monitor