Best Heart Rate Monitor

Best Heart Rate Monitor

Heart rate monitors are a tool for exercisers who need to stay in a specific heart rate to be safe due to a medical condition and professional athletes who need to use the data for efficient training. A heart rate monitor may not be necessary for those of us who are simply exercising for fun and for better health, but it can be a great tool for all kinds of exercisers.

Even if you only use it in the beginning, it can be of great help in learning how your body feels at any given heart rate. This will let you be able to become a better judge of your body’s tolerance when it comes to high-intensity activities. A heart rate monitor helps new exercisers to set their limits from the beginning, and to monitor progress.

For competitive athletes, heart rate monitors can be helpful for gauging hydration levels, glycogen stores, recovery, race pace, fatigue, and training goals over time, using their heart rate information.

A heart rate monitor consists of two parts: a transmitter, which is usually attached to a belt worn around the chest, and a receiver, worn on the wrist like a watch.

An electrical signal is transmitted through the heart muscle as the heart beats, which makes it contract. This signal is picked up by the transmitter of the heart rate monitor through the skin. Then, the transmitter sends an electromagnetic signal to the receiver, which then displays the heart rate data.

While most heart rate monitors only show the heart rate at any given time, a lot of heart rate monitors nowadays not only show the heart rate, but can also be set to record time, calculate average heart rate and maximum heart rate, and sound an alarm when you reach a certain heart rate zone.

How to Choose a Heart Rate Monitor

It’s easy to think that getting a heart rate monitor is as simple as shopping for any other gadget, but heart rate monitors can get complicated.

There are a whole lot of options on the market, with special features offering convenience, accuracy, comfort, and compatibility. Cost also varies. And while these may make it a little bit difficult to choose the best heart rate monitor, in this article, we are going to go over a few tips on how to choose the best one just for you.

How much should you spend?

Heart rate monitors can cost anywhere from $40 to $600. The inexpensive ones can be a basic chest strap that can be paired with smartphone apps, and the more high end ones are usually featured with GPS and built-in optical heart rate sensors. How much you spend depends on the features that you want, and how serious you are in monitoring your heart rate levels.

What type should you get?

Just like any other purchase you ever made and are going to make, you should take into account your personal preferences when looking for the specific type of heart rate monitor you should get.

Do you want something that will be compatible with your smartphone or an app? Do you want something that is going to give you high levels of convenience, comfort, or accuracy? Do you need or want to see your heart rate in real time? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself before anything else.

Which method is the most accurate?

There are three main methods for heart rate tracking. The chest strap, the optical heart rate monitor, and headphones that track your pulse from your ears. Look into each type of heart tracking method to be able to choose the best one.

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Product

Price

Rating

   Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband  $  4.4/5
   Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor  $  4.3/5
   Fitbit Blaze Special Edition  $$  4.1/5
   Scosche RHYTHM+ Heart Rate Monitor with Armband  $  4.3/5
   Garmin Forerunner 235  $$$  4.2/5
   Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor Workout Watch  $  4.2/5
   Garmin Forerunner 910XT with Heart Rate Monitor  $$  4.3/5
   TomTom Adventurer GPS Outdoor Watch + Heart Rate Monitor  $$$  4.1/5
   Garmin vívoactive Black  $$  4.1/5
   Polar RCX5 G5 Heart Rate Monitor  $$  4.3/5

5 Best Heart Rate Monitors

There are a lot of heart rate monitors available in the market, and even if you know what you want, it can still get difficult. So in this article, we will give you the top five heart rate monitors to make it easier for you.

FitBit Charge 2 Heart Rate

With FitBit Charge 2 Heart Rate, you can track your heart rate continuously on your wrist to maximize workouts and better track calorie burn. You don’t just track your heart rate, but you also get a clearer picture of your health. You also get personalized breathing sessions based on your heart rate at a given time.

Features

  • PurePulse continuous, automatic wrist-based heart rate tracking to better measure calorie burn all day
  • Maximize your workouts using simplified heart rate zones (Fat Burn, Cardio, and Peak)
  • See call, text, and calendar notification on the OLED display
  • Automatically track how long and how well you sleep and wake with a silent vibrating alarm
  • Get a better understanding of your fitness level and see how you can improve over time with a personalized Cardio Fitness Score
  • Use Connected GPS during run mode to see real-time stats like pace and distance on your wrist
  • Track all-day activity like steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes
  • Find moments of calm throughout your day with personalized guided breathing sessions based on your heart rate

Pros

  • Bright display – The display is bright and clearly visible, and you won’t have a hard time seeing the display even while running in the dark outdoors.
  • Comfortable wear – The band of this heart rate monitor is made of silicone, allowing for comfortable wear for a long time on the wrist.
  • Simple and organized – FitBit is very easy to use, with everything streamlined for fitness and the menu optimized to display everything you need to see. Navigation is very easy.
  • Text and call notifications – The monitor is a great help because of its call and text notifications. You will be able to see if you have an important call or text even when you are not around your phone at the moment.
  • Impressively accurate – This heart rate monitor is very accurate with resting and active heart rate, and in tracking your steps and your sleep.
  • Breathing and relaxation function – It also monitors as you inhale and exhale to help you with relaxation.

Cons

  • Doesn’t look like much – The Fitbit Charge 2 doesn’t look like much when it comes to its design,so if that is something that is important to you, you can check out other heart rate monitors.

Verdict

If you want a simple-looking yet performing heart rate monitor, Fitbit Charge 2 is for you. It has all the basic features and a little more extra to help you track your workouts and offers special features for convenience.

Polar Ft4 Heart Rate Monitor

If you want basic heart rate-based features, Polar FT4 is the perfect heart rate monitor for you. It is designed for fitness enthusiasts, helping you train smarter than ever. It lets you know if you are improving based on your heart rate, and how many calories you burned after every workout.

Features

  • Measures only heart rate and not foot steps
  • Provides continuous, accurate heart rate to keep your fitness training simple
  • Smart Calorie feature uses your personal data to provide accurate calories burned
  • Includes heart rate chest strap made of soft fabric material that adapts to your body shape
  • Requires and includes chest strap for accurate heart rate
  • User replaceable battery and water resistant
  • Connects with compatible gym equipment using GymLink

Pros

  • Easy to use – This heart rate monitor is incredibly easy to use. You just have to go through the setup by inputting your personal information so that it is tailored to your preferences, and then you are set to work out.
  • Alarm – The watch sounds off a small alarm to let you know when you are not working hard enough or if you are working too hard.
  • Lightweight and comfortable – The watch is lightweight on your wrist. You won’t even feel like you have anything on when you are exercising, so you are comfortable and at ease.
  • Accurate – It is incredibly accurate in tracking calories burned.

Cons

  • Strap is not too durable – The strap on this watch is not too durable, as some users have commented on it breaking off easily.
  • The heart rate monitor stops suddenly – There are times when the heart rate monitor will stop while working out, and some users have had to restart their workout to be able to track their heart rate and calories burned accurately.
  • You have to wet the sensor – For the sensor to work, you will still have to wet it first before wearing the heart rate monitor.

Verdict

The Polar Ft4 is a decent heart rate monitor that will do its job, and is perfect for those who only need something basic. This does its job, although it comes with some issues for some people.

Fitbit Blaze Special Edition

With PurePulse Heart Rate feature, you can maximize your workouts with continuous heart rate and simplified zones without an uncomfortable strap. It uses SmartTrack to automatically record your exercises for you, so you don’t have to log it yourself. Be stylish while losing weight!

Features

  • Fitbit Blaze syncs automatically and wirelessly to 200+ leading iOS, Android, and Windows devices using Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology.
  • Water Resistance: Fitbit Blaze is sweat, rain, and splash proof, but is not swim proof.
  • Battery life lasts to 5 days
  • Workout Goals + Summaries: You can set weekly exercise goals in the Fitbit app, then check your workout summaries n Blaze to see how your effort is adding up
  • Choose from different sport modes like running, biking and cardio to see real time stats on display.

Pros

  • Large screen – Its large screen allows for an easy to read display
  • Gorilla glass screen – In addition to its size, the screen is made of gorilla glass to makes for a screen that doesn’t easily get scratched
  • Accurate – The heart rate monitor is accurate in tracking heart rate, steps, sleep, and workouts without the need for a chest strap.
  • Good battery life – The battery life lasts up to 5-6 days
  • Smart notifications – This device not only tracks your heart rate but also lets you know if you have a new text, call, or calendar appointments.
  • Auto Track – You don’t need to manually input that you are going to start an activity. It detects activity on its own so it starts tracking without you having to do anything.

Cons

  • No built-in GPS to track your runs in a map
  • Not waterproof – The device is water resistant but is not waterproof
  • No option to keep the screen on at all times
  • The watch needs to be removed from the frame every time you have to charge it

Verdict

Fitbit Blaze is a great tool for tracking your heart rate, steps, sleep, and other activities. However, it is not very convenient. It makes up with extra features that make life more convenient.

Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor Armband

The Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor is a workout tool for managing heart rate, calories burned, distance, pace, and more. It will accurately monitor your intensity level, and works with the most popular health and fitness apps on your smartphone.

Features

  • Workout tool for managing heart rate, calories burned, distance, pace, and more
  • RHYTHM+ works with most popular apps, including Digifit, Run Keeper, MapMyFitness, Strava, and more
  • Works with all Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ enabled devices and equipment: watches, fitness equipment, smartphones, and tablets
  • Breathable lightweight armband – no need for bulky chest strap
  • Heart rate monitor armband
  • Ip67 waterproof construction can be submerged up to 1 meter

Pros

  • Recognized by a lot of devices
  • Comes with four bands so there is something that will fit you whatever your arm’s size is
  • Comfortable – This heart rate monitor ia lightweight and comfortable so you won’t feel like anything is attached to you while working out
  • Stays in place – This is perfect for running and working outdoors in high intensity because it will not move.
  • Elastic band – The band is made of elastic material so it can fit any size
  • Accurate – It is accurate in tracking heart rate and steps

Cons

  • Not waterproof – This is water-resistant, but is not waterproof.
  • The band takes a long time to dry

Verdict

The Scosche Rhythm+ is a great heart rate tracker. It is accurate when doing its job, is comfortable when worn, compatible with a lot of devices and apps, and will not move even during high-intensity exercises. However, it is not waterproof but is just water-resistant.

Garmin Forerunner 235

Stay fit with the Garmin Forerunner 235. It is  GPS running watch that will track your heart rate ad display it while you are on the move. Stay connected while you are working out with smart notifications and audio prompts.

Features

  • Wrist based heart rate – Forerunner 235 utilizes Garmin’s very own wrist based heart rate sensor that tracks 24/7 – Activity Tracking Accuracy
  • Larger screen – A 44% larger screen than the 225 but the same physical size
  • Battery life – 12 weeks in watch mode and 12 hours in training mode
  • Audio prompts – Receive audio prompts from your connected smartphone that include laps and lap times
  • Smart notifications – See incoming email, text messages, call alerts, calendar reminders and more from your compatible smartphone – When paired with a compatible smartphone

Pros

  • Lightweight – This heart rate monitor is extremely lightweight and comfortable to wear.
  • Interchangeable strap for varying fit.
  • The charging cable has a clamp design that has a USB end. Very convenient.
  • Great design – The FR235 looks good that you can wear it even when not working out.
  • The band features holes for ventilation.
  • It tracks your steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep 24/7
  • Vibration feature for smart notifications, alarms, and other alerts.
  • You can pick up phone calls for this tracker.
  • It is customizable.

Cons

  • It can be hard to navigate and takes some getting used to.

Verdict

Garmin Forerunner 235 is an amazing heart rate tracker. It is a great tool if you are serious in your training and if you want something that will make everything easier for you. However, you will have to get used to its navigation in the beginning as it is a little different from others.

Final Verdict

Out of the five heart rate monitors that we have featured, the best one that we can recommend is the Garmin Forerunner 235. It is accurate, is comfortable to wear, and is very convenient. It even has holes throughout its band to allow for ventilation, which most heart rate trackers do not have. This watch offers convenience and comfort all around.