Health

Best heart rate monitors in 2024.

Heart rate monitor display

Heart rate monitors are a personal monitoring device you wear to monitor your heart rate continuously.

Heart rate monitors (HRMs) are mostly used to determine your exercise, training session or race. 

They can be very beneficial, if you know how to use the information they collect. Exercises have different effects on the body, depending on how high you push your heart rate and for how long. 

If you want to get the best out of your training session, you should make use of a heart rate data to guide your workouts. Although, it depends on your goals. 

Sometimes, you might want to keep your heart rate relatively low to burn fat or keep yourself going for a longer workout, while other times your goal might be to push higher to build stamina. 




Where To Wear A Heart Rate Monitor 

Why do you want a heart rate monitor? What kind of information do you want to see? ,When and How will you wear the device? 

When you ask these questions, they will help you get a heart rate monitor that would not only deliver wearability, accuracy, and value, but fit right for your lifestyle and fitness goals. 

The part of your body you choose to wear it is a very important factor. If you wear it on your wrist as a part of a smart watch, it may be the most convenient way to track your heart rate. Also, if you decide to wear it as a strap, typically on the chest, and more recently the upper arm, it can generate a more accurate date for activities like workouts.

However, if you want to track your heart rate during sleep, keep it in mind to opt for the ones that won’t be an inconvenience to you.


Medspurs Best Pick For Heart rate monitors 

  • Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor 
  • Garmin Forerunner 265
  • Polar Verity Sense 
  • Fitbit Versa 3 
  • Fitbit Charge 5 
  • Apple Watch Series 8
  • Wahoo Tickr X
  • Garmin HRM Pro Plus
  • Peloton Heart Rate Band 


Polar H10 Heart rate monitor 

This one takes the lead in the top best. It uses electrode senseless to accurately track your heart rate, which makes it a great option for serious athletes who want a precise and trustable reading. 

One of the selling points of polar, is it’s comfortability. It has replaced the usual loop-van – hook corrector found on most monitors witha buckle- style connector to reduce irritation. But Polar consists of silicone dots to make sure the strap stays put during hiit (high intensity) activities, so the HR date stays good.


Characteristics  

  • 400 hours battery life 
  • Waterproof 
  • Good storage space 
  • App connectivity : Polar Beat, Polar Flow


Pros and Cons

Pros 

It is accurate and reliable to track heart rate

It offers training options based on your fitness level and goals

It’s strap is wash friendly 

Cons 

It may be inaccurate when used underwater 

Some reviews report short battery life

There are some complaints of connectivity issues


Where to buy it?

Amazon (88$) 

Heart Rate Monitors USA (85$)

At Polar (90$)

 

Garmin Forerunner 265 Heart rate monitor

If you’re not interested in a chest wrap that requires you to take intermittent glances at them during the day to see your metrics in real time, then you got to check the forerunner 265. It is a multi-sport watch that can deliver reliable your heart rate metrics during workouts, and even when you go to sleep.

The recent changes from the previous 255 is the introduction of a vibrant AMOLED touch screen display inside a 42- mm or 46 mm case, to hold Garmin’s Elevate optical heart rate sensor. It delivers a consistent data by the second and does so reliably.

Also, during runs and indoor workouts, the sensor was the capacity to hold up well at high intensity, with the support to hold well at high intensity, with the support to pair with external heart rate monitors, if you intense going pro.

In addition, the optical sensor also brings other useful measurement, like heart rate variability , which can fuel useful features like training readiness. 


Characteristics  

  • Water resistant 
  • Button and touchscreen 
  • Bluetooth connectivity (android and iPhone app) 
  • Wifi and USB cable connectivity (to a computer)
  • Thick case (12.9mm) 


Pros and Cons 

Pros 

It has an offline music ability

Multisport 

Crisp oled 

It has a seven- day battery life 

Heart rate calculation is accurate

It is highly customizable 

It has real buttons 


Cons 

Pricey 

No offline maps 

It doesn’t have a voice assistant

Shorter battery life than LCD- siblings 


Where to buy it 

At Amazon for (450$)

Heart Rate Monitors USA (450$)

At Beat Buy (450 $)


NOTE: keep in mind that the prices displayed in this article may vary due to several factors. 


Polar Verity Sense Heart rate monitor

If chest straps are a no no for you, you may want to check out polar verity sense. Although, chest straps might be the standard for tracking heart rate during intense except use , many people find it uncomfortable. 

Polar has its optical sensor tech placed in a small sensor that sits in a cradle with a strap that is washable and you can hear on your upper arm . It prompted accuracy on par with a chest strap. Although, it’s not spotless, it still delivers a better heart rate data for hiit workouts that most wrist bands sensors.

Polar has the ability to transfer heart rate data to watches and lets you store 600 hours of workouts. It also allows you to clip the sense you googles to track your heart during a swim session.  

Characteristics 

Water resistant (up to 50 m) 

App connectivity 

Battery life up to 30 hours 


Pros and Cons 

Pros 

Can store up to 600 hours of exercise data 20- hour has a rechargeable battery. 

It has a comfortable and non- irritating design. 

Delivers reliable data. 

Easy to switch between modes 


Cons 

It’s quite difficult to use under long sleeves 

It doesn’t show battery percentage (yet)

Charging cradle can easily get lost 


Where to buy it 

At Heart Rate Minitors USA (90$)

Walmart (90$)

Amazon (90$)


Fitbit versa 3 

The Fitbit versa 3 is a smartwatch that checks your heart rate and alerts you if you go higher or lower than your target zone. 

It can also help you track your daily steps, sleep data and stress levels. You also have the option to set up reminder to stay on scheduled meet your goals. 

In addition, you can view your workout metrics over time to track your progress. 

The smartwatch comes with an in-built GPS and offers short guided breathing sessions best suited for your heart rate. What’s more, it also connects to  Alexa and Google Assistant and allow you to answer calls and receive texts .


Characteristics  

  • Smartwatch 
  • App connectivity: (fitbit, Android, IOS)
  • Built in GPS
  • Music control
  • Mobile control
  • Mobile payments 
  • Water resistant (up to 164 ft)
  • Battery life (up to 6 days)
  • AMOLED touch screen 

Pros and cons 

Pros 

6 days battery life

Offers GPS tracking 

Comfortable to wear 

Bright display 

Track sleep, workout& stress metric


Cons 

Some complaints on heart rate tracking 

There are some claims that the side button doesn’t properly function 

Syncing issues 

Where to buy

Amazon (145$)

At eBay (76$) 


Fitbit Charge 5 

All fitbit smartwatches and fitness trackers have the ability to track yo ur heart in some way, but the charge has some improved to last a week after a single charge. The charge 5 is easy to use, provides plenty of data, and for a fitness tracker, it looks pretty nice. Furthermore, if you’re a fitness lover, you will enjoy this tracker to get more information about your health. 


Characteristics

  • Built in GPS 
  • 20 exercises modes (6 of which you can add as shortcuts and start straight from the device)
  • Sleep tracking 
  • Contactless payments 
  • Touch screen display (access notifications, exercise shortcuts, alarms, timers.


Pros and cons 

Pros 

Offers water lock (in smart settings) to lock the screen while showering or swimming to avoid activating any features due to splashes.

Sleep and do not disturb modes 

Easy to record workouts 

Heart rate alerts help monitor interest

Supports mobile payment.


Cons

No music control 

Screen feels too small 

No physical buttons 

No customizable clock faces 

More expensive than charge 4 


Where to buy 

At Target (180$)

At Amazon (150$) 

Best Buy (150$)


Apple Watch Series 8 

A lot of people love the Apple Watch for its day to day smartwatch features. Apart from that, it also has morphed into a fantastic health and fitness companion. The big reason for this is the work Apple has done, by finessing it’s heart rate sensor technology, which continues with the series 8. If you’re coming forma series 3 or older, or you don’t already own an Apple Watch you’re going to love the series 8. However, upgrading to the series 8 isn’t for every Apple Watch owner. Although, if you own the series 5 or newer, you may find the series 8  very similar. It’s not radically different in terms of operation and use, especially if you update your Apple Watch, time and again. 

Characteristics 

  • Water resistant (50m)
  • Crash detection
  • Temperature sensor 
  • LTE and GPS- only options 
  • Dust resistant 

Pros and cons 

Pros 

Same great design and display 

Crash detection 

Skin temperature reader for cycle and sleep tracking 

Longer battery life worth low power mode

Extensive collection of sports and heart apps 


Cons 

Not much of an upgrade from series 5 or newer 

Temperature sensing doesn’t benefits all users 

Low power mode reduces utility


Where to buy 

Amazon (329$)

Apple (399$)

At Target (329$)



Wahoo Tickr X 

Many indoor cyclist are gonna love this one. Three Wahoo Tickr X uses integrated electrode sensors to track your heart rate, indoor cycling rhythm and pace. 

You would also be able to use running data to improve your form and techniques. Some of these data include, ground contact time cadence and vertical oscillation. 

The latest Tickr X has an internal memory that records up to 50 hours data and also uses an EKG sensor. It’s even better now that it integrates that sensor into a strap that’s slimmer than the one used in the last iteration. Also, it uses a LED light indicator you can glance at during your workout go tell if it’s reading your heart rate, plus the LED lights can help you know if it has successfully connected to another peice of a smart indoor bike equipment over ANT Bluetooth. 

In addition, the monitor syncs to multiple devices and has a battery life of 500 hours (about 21 days) . 

Several customers applaud, it’s comfortability which makes it one of the best heart rate monitor out there. 


Characteristics

  • Battery life of 500 hours 
  • App connectivity: zwift, system, peloton, MapMy Run, Run keeper. 
  • Water proof 
  • Shows running efficiency metrics in app
  • Measures indoor cycling data
  • Measures treadmill pace/ distance
  • GPS 


Pros and cons 

Pros 

Lighter and thinner 

Great battery life 

Can pair three Bluetooth devices at once 

Offers ANT+ and Bluetooth support 

Records three advanced running metrics 


Cons 

Some reports claim it could have more engaging programs.

It doesn’t record heart rate during swims 


Where to buy 

At Wahoo (80$)

Walmart ( 111$)

Amazon (79 $)


Garmin HRM Pro Plus 

Whether you’re training indoors or outdoors, the HRM plus heart rate strap offers accurate data, you can rely on to push your limit and reach goals.  If you already have a Garmin watch on your wrist or a Garmin bike computer mounted to your handlebar, the HRM pro plus gives a seamless route to achieve a more accurate heart rate data. So that you can gauge your fitness levels and recovery needs. 

The HRM pro plus captures running dynamics such as ground contact time, stride length, vertical oscillation, vertical ratio to help improve your form and enable running power on your compatibility Garmin watch. 

Also, if you’re offline, the monitor can save up to 18 hours of data until you’re ready to transfer it. It’s very useful for activities such, boxing, kettlebell workouts, swimming and triathlons. 


Characteristics  

  • Water proof 
  • App connectivity: Garmin connect 
  • Great battery life (up to 12 months) 
  • Armband 


Pros and cons 

Pros 

Store and forward data 

Connects to multiple devices 

It provides advanced running metrics 

Activity tracking such as, calories burned, intensity by minute, and all-day heart rate

Great for Indoor training 


Cons 

Can only wash via hands (it is not wash-machine friendly) 

Uses replaceable battery 

On the pricey side 


Where to buy it 

At Target (135$)

At Walmart (135$) 

Amazon (135$) 


Peloton Heart Rate Band 

The top specialty of the peloton heart rate band is to help optimized your intensity levels while using it. It is unavailable in two sizes, has a sketchy knit material to increase comfort, and, I’d packed with five multicolored LED lights to show your heart rate zone while working out. The band’s battery is rechargeable, however, the battery life is dependent on how much you use it. 

In addition, you can use the band with other third-party apps that allows Bluetooth-compatible heart rate monitors. 


Characteristics 

  • Chest strap 
  • Track heart rate
  • App connectivity 
  • Water resistant
  • Battery life of up to 400 hours 


Pros and cons 

Pros 

Quite comfortable 

Allows third party apps 

Rechargeable battery 

Intuitive setup 

Connects instantly with the peloton bike and app 


Cons 

It is not ANT+ compatible 

The battery life is quite lower than similar products 

It’s straps are bulkier than other wristbands 


Where to buy it 

At Peloton (90$)

Amazon (90$)


Frequently Asked Questions 

How do i measure my heart rate at home?

You can measure your heart rate at home by using various methods. Here are a few common techniques:

  • Manual pulse measurement
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Smartphone apps
  • Fitness trackers


Measure pulse manually

Firstly find your pulse by lightly pressing your index and middle fingers on the radial artery on your wrist or carotid artery on the side of your neck. Then count the number of beats you feel within a 60-second period (or count for 15 seconds and multiply the count by four).    

Heart rate monitors

You can use a heart rate monitor device (either in a chest strap or a wristwatch style). You would able  to detect your heart rate and have it displayed on the screen. Some monitors can connect to your smartphone for more detailed tracking and analysis.


Smartphone apps

Several smartphone apps are available that can use your phone’s camera and flash to measure your heart rate. These apps work by analyzing changes in skin coloration or tracking blood flow. Just make sure to follow the instructions provided by the app to ensure accurate measurement.


Fitness trackers

Many fitness trackers, smartwatches, and wearable devices have  built-in heart rate sensors. These devices use optical sensors to detect your pulse from your wrist or other body parts. You can check the user manual of your specific device to understand how to measure and view your heart rate.


Blood pressure monitors

Some blood pressure monitor also have the capability to measure your pulse rate. These devices typically use a cuff that inflates around your upper arm. Follow the instructions provided with the monitor to measure your heart rate along with your blood pressure.

Remember that while measuring your heart rate at home can provide useful information, it’s important to interpret the results in context.

If you have concerns about your heart rate or cardiovascular health, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional for a thorough and accurate evaluation. 


What is a good  heart rate by age?

A person’s heart rate can vary depending on various factors, such as age, activity level, overall health, and individual differences. However, here are some general guidelines for resting heart rate (RHR) by age:

  1. Newborns (0-1 month): 70-190 beats per minute (bpm)
  2. Infants (1-11 months): 80-160 bpm
  3. Toddlers (1-2 years): 80-130 bpm
  4. Preschoolers (3-5 years): 80-120 bpm
  5. Children (6-12 years): 70-110 bpm
  6. Adolescents (13-19 years): 60-100 bpm
  7. Adults (20 years and older): 60-100 bpm

Keep in mind that these ranges represent resting heart rates. During physical activity, heart rates will naturally increase. Additionally, individual variations exist, and certain factors such as fitness level and overall health can influence heart rate. 

Always consult with a healthcare professional if you have concerns about your heart rate or general health.


What is a resting heart rate?

Resting heart rate (RHR) is the number of times your heart beats per minute while you’re resting. It is mostly measured when you are calm and relaxed. It’s an indicator of your cardiovascular health and can provide insights into your overall fitness level.

It can vary from person to person, and several factors such as age, fitness level, and overall health can influence it. Generally, a lower resting heart rate is considered a sign of good cardiovascular health, while a higher resting heart rate may indicate a poor cardiovascular health.

However, regular physical activity, particularly cardiovascular exercises, can help lower resting heart rate over time. Athletes and individuals who engage in regular aerobic exercise tend to have lower resting heart rates due to their improved cardiovascular health. 

In addition, it’s important to measure your resting heart rate when you are truly at rest, preferably in the morning before getting out of bed.

If you have concerns about your resting heart rate or any aspect of your cardiovascular health, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional who can povide personalized advice and guidance.


Take away 

Heart rate monitors use electrodes or optical sensors to calculate your heat beat and can provide you useful insight into your workouts, which will help you improve your fitness level and reach your goals. 

There are some products that simply offer heart rate tracking, while others provide a more detailed metrics and insights concernin other aspects of your health like:

  • Sleep 
  • Mood 
  • Stress 

Since there are several devices to choose from, be sure to consider some factors like your budget and needs. This will guide you to pick the heart rate monitor that’s right for you

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