Top 10 Best Heart Rate Monitors in 2022 Reviews | Buyer’s Guide

You may have been working out for what “feels like forever”, but with barely visible results for one simple reason – a low to normal heart rate. When you see professional athletes working to beat their personal performance records, they’re simply trying to do the same thing but at a faster pace. In other words, get to their peak heart rates in as little time as possible.

Exercises that get your heart to perform at its peak rate are the ones that will have the most effect on your body. So it’s no wonder that technology, in the form of heart rate monitors, have become the norm amongst fitness gurus as these monitors help them choose the best exercises that get their heart rates to peak performance in no time.

That said, thanks to giant strides in technology over the last few years, heart rate monitors have become extremely affordable. It’s no longer a matter of “the most expensive is always the most accurate”, but more like “the most expensive has other benefits aside from heart rate monitoring”.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the features to look out for when choosing one.

How To Choose Heart Rate Monitors (HRMs)


In their early days, monitors used to be huge devices strapped to the chest. These days, the chest strap styles are less obvious.

Moreover, monitors now come in wrist, hand-held and, most recently, arm band styles. Let’s now see the specific features of each and which styles offer the most accurate measurement.

● Types

  • Chest Straps: Are both the most loved and hated monitors. They’re typically designed in a long belt-like style, and are usually elastic to fit snugly to your chest. They use electrocardiography (ECG) in the form of a very small flat electrode pad which will sit against your skin. This pad needs moisture, which you’ll generate while working out, to pick up electrical signals given off by your heartbeat, then send the signals to the viewing device, usually an app on your phone, computer or a wrist device. Because of their proximity to the heart, and the use of ECG, these are considered the most accurate. Hand-held monitors also fall into this category since they use a similar electrocardiogram technology.
  • Wrist And Arm Based HRMs: Use optical sensors, that is light usually located at the part of the device touching your skin, to measure your pulse. You can get a readout in real time if the data is displayed immediately on the HRM. Wrist and arm heart rate monitors that use infrared light to measure pulse can get interference from muscles, while those that use green light, like Apple HRM, find it harder to read heavily tattooed or really dark skinned people.

All in all, chest straps are for those who need the most accurate heart rate readings and don’t mind the inconvenience, while wrist and arm bands are for those who prefer comfort, convenience and won’t mind slightly off readings.

● Display And Ease Of Use

Some heart rate readings will just display graphs and charts. Like, how do they expect the average untrained medic to read the results? So when shopping make sure you check ease of readability. You’ll also want to know if it has a backlight for use when it gets dark, and whether it has too many features on the display so that you’ll need a manual every single time you want to check your heart rate.

If it connects to an app, you can look for features like, does it give audio updates or do you need to check your phone every time you need an update? Can it connect to other apps? Is it android or iOS compatible? Generally, things that might become pet peeves for you in the long run.

● Extra Features

These are just benefits that manufacturers use to lure buyers since there hasn’t been a lot of innovations inaccurate heart readings. So features like calories burned counters, tethering (so you can control your wrist device from a computer or phone), fitness trainer, some sport-specific features (pool lap counters, total steps taken and so forth). It’s really up to you whether this extra features matter.

Note, one cool feature for wrist-top monitors are consumer replaceable batteries, so you won’t need to pay heavily to a professional everytime the battery dies.

Having taken all these factors into consideration, let’s now look at some of the best heart monitors and see how they measure up.

List of Best Heart Rate Monitors in 2022

#10. Fitbit Alta Heart Rate Monitor

Fitbit Alta Heart Rate Monitor

View Product on Amazon

You can’t search for heart monitors without coming across Fitbit. They’ve been in the business for over a decade, and have overseen the growth of HRMs up til now. This particular alta continuous heart rate monitor model comes in a convenient super slim and sleek design so can be fashionably worn all-day, even when you’re not particularly concerned about your heart rate.

Along with heart rate monitoring, you can measure your calorie burn, and use specific zones (like fat burn) to find the right intensity for your workout. You can receive calls, text messages and even calendar notices on the wrist display, so you won’t have to miss anything important.

Specifications
  • Battery: up to 7 days life lithium ion battery
  • Optimum operating temperature: 14 to 113 F
  • Max operating altitude: 30,000 feet
  • Dimensions: 1.6″ × 0.6″ × 1.3″
  • Extra Features: tracks sleep patterns, steps taken, distance covered and calories burned

#9. Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor

Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor

View Product on Amazon

Innovative chest strap designed to work in crowded areas, so free from interferance from other devices. Will recognize and respond to only previously paired devices. The strap is made with incredibly light and soft material to prevent bulk-up and constriction during intense activities, so if you’ve always wanted a chest strap but shied away because of how it looks, this is for you.

Heart rate module is easily removable, in case you want to wash the strap. Note, this device won’t transmit data to your device when you’re swimming.

Specifications
  • Battery: CR2032 Lithium coin cell
  • Will recognize your device after first pairing
    (pairs with ANT+ sensors)
  • Won’t transmit data when you’re submerged in water
  • Temperature limits: 23F to 122F (-5C to 50C)

#8. Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor

Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor

View Product on Amazon

You can transmit real-time readings from this TICKR monitor to both bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ devices (simultaneously). It’s compatible with over 50 third-party apps on Android 4.3 upwards, iphone4s upwards, plus Apple watch. It tracks your heart rate and how much calories you’re burning. The more advanced TICKRX allows readings while swimming, but this version’s water and sweat resistance is rated only at IPX7.

It has two LED lights, a blue for affirmative device connectivity, and a red for heart rate detection. It has a durable coin cell battery which lasts up to 12 months.

Specifications
  • Connects with third-party apps, Android 4.3, iPhone 4s, Apple Watch
  • Bluetooth and ANT+ devices allowed
  • Heart rate and calorie burner monitor only
  • Battery lasts up to 12 months
  • Waterproof only IPX7, so don’t submerge

#7. Scosche RHYTHM+ Heart Rate Monitor Arm Band

Scosche RHYTHM+ Heart Rate Monitor Arm Band

View Product on Amazon

If you think chest straps look a little ridiculous, but still want more accurate heart rate readings than what you’d get from a wrist watch monitor, have a look at the features on this arm band. It’s made with breathable neoprene, so it’s very comfortable (comes with an extra band).

It has an advanced Rhythm+ optical sensor for accurate readings. It’s IP67 water and sweatproof, so can be submerged in just about 1 Meter of water.

Specifications
  • Battery life: approximately 8 hours
  • ANT+ and Bluetooth SMART (100 ft range) compatible
  • Waterproof: IP67, so won’t transmit underwater
  • Has yellow/ green optical sensors

#6. EMAY Handheld EKG Monitor

EMAY Handheld EKG Monitor

View Product on Amazon

Not your typical workout heart rate monitor, this handheld is designed to track your heart activity while you’re at home, work or on a trip. It’s especially great for high-risk cardiac patients. It records heart beats every 30 seconds and allows you to share them with your doctor. It has a minimum tresshold for 12 unique conditions, and provides sufficient warnings if this minimum limit is breached.

The more time you have to get to the hospital the better your chances.
It doesn’t require a paid subscription fee to keep track of your history, just download it to your computer and it’s yours.

Specifications
  • Doesn’t connect to smartphones, only Windows 7, Mac OS 10.12 and their later versions
  • Uses ECG to detect 12 cardiac conditions
  • Comes with USB cable for connectivity
  • Saves history for free (no subscription needed)

#5. MorePro Waterproof Health Tracker

MorePro Waterproof Health Tracker

View Product on Amazon

Buzzes every 30 mins you’re inactive (stays quiet when you’re sleeping though). You can sync to your phone’s notices so that you’ll receive them on the display screen of the monitor. It automatically records your body movements as well as heart rate and blood pressure, so that it can provide a comprehensive analysis in the form of charts, graphs and raw data.

You can select your gender, so females get a period reminder countdown. It’s mostly splashproof, so don’t expect readings when you’re in the deep end of the pool. It comes with a USB which you can connect to a laptop.

Specifications
  • Pulse, sleep and BP monitor
  • Alerts you after 30 mins if you’re inactive
  • Can sync with phone, for calls, social media, and so forth
  • Sends period reminders to registered female users
  • Can track your phone

#4. Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate & Wrist Band

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate & Wrist Band

View Product on Amazon

Very smart device, automatically recognizes certain types of exercises, like biking and weight lifting, and takes records of them in the Fitbit app as you undertake them. Tracks all your activities all day long. A single charged session can last you up to 5 days. You can connect with your friends and families on the Fitbit app and participate in some fun challenges.

Works best at temperatures between 14 and 113-degree Fahrenheit, and an altitude of 30,000 feet max. Band circumference is between 170 to 206 millimeters. All your phone’s statistics, like calls and other notifications, can be synchronized to the device.

Specifications
  • Connects to over 200 android and iOS devices
  • Battery: lithium polymer battery, lasts up to 5 days
  • Optimum operating temperature: 14F to 113F
  • Pulseplus continuous monitoring
  • Extra features: multi-sport, interchangeable bands and customizable guided breathing sessions

#3. AliveCor KardiaMobile EKG Monitor

AliveCor KardiaMobile EKG Monitor

View Product on Amazon

Designed for those with heart rhythm abnomalities. Kardiomobile ECG has been at the forefront in helping cardio patients measure their heartbeats remotely, and is one of the most recognized amongst cardiologists for its accuracy. It detects atrial fibrillation and normal sinus rhythm in an ECG.

Requires paid subscription after the first 30 days to view patient data. AliveCor is HIPAA compliant, so won’t share your sensitive data.

Specifications
  • Connects with a select few devices; Andriod 5.0 to 8.0, iOS 10.3.3 to 11.1
  • Needs subscription to view history
  • Early atrial fibrillation (AF) detection
  • Finger tips ECG device
  • HIPAA compliant

#2. LETSCOM Fitness Tracker Heart Rate Monitor

LETSCOM Fitness Tracker Heart Rate Monitor

View Product on Amazon

One of the best heart rate monitors and activity tracker in the market. Has everything you’ll expect from a modern-day HR monitor, a 0.96″ OLED screen, automatic screen lighting when you turn your wrist, waterproof rate IP67, and syncs with your phone to show incoming calls and other notices.

Takes approximately two hours to fully charge but lasts between five and ten days. Sends alerts to remind you of targets you’ve set but are yet to reach. Compatible with smartphones only.

Specifications
  • Compatible with iOS 7.1, Android 4.4 and higher
  • Battery life: 5 to 10 days
  • Waterproof: IP67, not enabled for swimming
  • Bluetooth: 4.0 and higher

#1. Polar H10 HR Monitor, Chest Strap

Polar H10 HR Monitor, Chest Strap

View Product on Amazon

Employs the most accurate heart rate monitor in the form of an ECG chest strap. Tracks blood pressure as well. Has a 5 kHz transmission device, so reads heart rate even while you’re swimming. It has a built-in memory that stores one heart training session without a receiver. Ideal for physical activities where wrist monitors won’t measure accurately.

It’s also compatible with GoPro Hero 5, so you can send your heart rate data right to the video feed. This particular polar model comes with a Pro strap, which is extra soft, with silicon dots and an improved buckle to keep the straps firmly in place. The Pro strap is also made with new and improved electrodes for a more accurate heart rate readings.

Specifications
  • Transmits to iOS 4s, Android 4.3 and later devices
  • Compatible with GoPro Hero 5 & Bluetooth 4.0 and higher
  • Optimum operating temperatures: -10C to +50C (14F to 122F)
  • Memory: in-built, one HRM session
  • Chest strap: 22 to 34″
  • Battery life: 400 hrs

 

Final Thoughts

With heart rate monitors, you’ll really need to pick what’s most convenient for you. If you need extremely accurate readings, try chest straps like the Polar H10. However, if you place a higher value on convenience, any of the wrist or arm bands, like Fitbit HRMs, will do.

The bottom line is, heart rate monitors have advanced to a point where there’s little competition amongst brands in terms of accuracy, so they up their game with extra features. Be sure to note what these extra features are, and whether they’re worth the extra cash. With that in mind, may the forces be with you as you make your choice.

Leave a Comment

7 + thirteen =