Best Heart Rate Monitors in 2021
If you like being healthy and fit, have you considered getting one of the best heart rate monitors?
This kind of fitness gear can help you enhance your workouts. You can learn how to improve your fitness routine, make sure you’re not exercising too hard, and track your fitness.
You can get them as chest straps, wrist devices, and even headphones.
Find out about the top five best heart rate monitors of 2020 below and how to pick the best one for your needs.
#2 Wahoo Tickr X
Wrap the Wahoo Tickr X \around your chest, and you’ll be able to monitor your heart rate and find out how many calories you burned. Features include:
- Bluetooth and ANT+ technology
- Compatible with Apple Watch
- Heart rate and calorie burn measurements
#3 Garmin HRM-Swim
If you’re a competitive swimmer or want to know how well you’re doing in the pool, the Garmin HRM-Swim is an excellent choice. It will track your heart rate while you perfect your stroke. Features include:
- 18-month battery life
- Non-slip strap
#5 Jabra Sport Pulse
Like to track your fitness progress and listen to music at the same time? Give Jabra Sport Pulse a try. Features include:
- Built-in heart monitor that measures from your inner ear
- Noise-canceling earbuds
- Sweat and weather resistant materials
Editors' Choice: Scosche Rhythm24
If you’re looking for a solid heart rate monitor, the Scosche Rhythm24 HR is an excellent option.
It has five training modes (running, cycling, swimming, heart-rate only and heart-rate variability). The multi-modes feature includes duathlon and triathlon options.
The Scosche Rhythm24 also aims to be a comfortable heart rate monitor. You can move the stretchable band to different parts of your arm.
You also don’t have to bring your mobile device. This monitor has separate memory, which will let you upload that data onto your app later on.
The Rhythm24 can run consistently for 24 consecutive hours. It will also alert you when you need to recharge it.
Scosche Rhythm24 Pros
- 24-hour battery life: You can wear this for a full day without needing to find a charger.
- Color options: Want to have a tracker that meets your style? Choose from black, blue, green, gray, pink, purple, or light green wristbands.
- Moveable strap: You can wear it on different parts of your arm for better heart rate readings or more comfort.
- Workout modes: The ability to change workout modes lets your heart rate monitor work more efficiently.
Scosche Rhythm24 Cons
- Buggy software: The software doesn’t always work as intended. The Android app also could use some improvements.
- Less accurate: This fitness device isn’t as accurate as a chest heart rate monitor.
Best for Running: Wahoo Tickr X
Wahoo’s Tickr X gives you the most accurate date regarding your heart rate, calories burned, and how you’ve progressed in your fitness program.
However, it isn’t for everyone. You’ll need to wear this device around your chest. It might also not be comfortable for some people.
If you’re only in the market for one that wraps around your chest, consider this wearable option. The selection of workout settings helps get you moving and make sure that you achieve your fitness goals.
It also links to several third-party apps, including Nike+ Running, Runkeeper, Strava, and MapMyFitness. This device also integrates with Apple Watches and other smartwatches.
Wahoo Tickr X Pros
- Fitness tracker: Track your heart rate and calories burned with this tool.
- Helpful technology: This device uses both ANT+ and Bluetooth technology.
- Third party apps: If you already have an app you like, you may be able to use it with your new heart rate monitor.
Wahoo Tickr X Cons
- Battery life: The battery doesn’t last as long as some other options do.
- Bluetooth connection: The connection can sometimes be challenging.
- Loose straps: Sometimes, the straps get loose.
Best for Cycling: Polar Vantage M
Some experts say that wrist-based heart rate monitors are not as reliable as chest strap ones. But some workouts, like cycling, can get the same results because the arms stay in a limited number of positions. If you want a wrist-based heart monitor and like workouts like biking, consider the Polar Vantage M.
This device has Polar Precision Prime. This technology makes it easy for the device to track heart rate regardless of the activity. It helps you set and achieve different fitness goals.
If you like having a statement piece on your wrist, the digital face will be an excellent addition to your look.
Polar Vantage M Pros
- App compatibility: You can put your training data on other apps and sports communities like Training Peaks and Strava.
- Color options: This tracker is stylish with a round face, but you can also change the wristband’s color.
- Fitness tracking options: You can track and gather data from your workouts through the training diary. See how training strains your body. Add your favorite sports profiles, enjoy the sleep tracking, and get personalized activity goals. You can even follow your swimming progress with your swimming style, distance, pace, and strokes.
- Lightweight materials: This fitness heart monitor weighs 1.7 ounces, making it super lightweight. Choose from black, white, green, or red.
Polar Vantage M Cons
- Data comparison: This tracker gathers a lot of data. However, it’s hard to compare the data from different workouts.
- Designed for men: While it may easily fit on a male’s wrist, the overall design may too big for a female’s.
- Screen brightness: Sometimes, the information is hard to see on the dark screen.
Best for Swimming: Garmin HRM-Swim
Heart rate monitors help track your fitness goals and overall heart health. However, they don’t work well for some sports — specifically water sports. Enter the Garmin HRM-Swim.
This heart rate monitor has a chest strap so that it won’t get in the way of your swimming. It also has non-slip materials to keep it in place.
Also, the design and size won’t slow you down or drag in the water.
Garmin HRM-Swim Pros
- Battery life: The battery lasts for 18 months or three hours of swimming a week.
- Strap extenders: If the tracker doesn’t fit you right, you can get a variety of strap extenders.
- Water-friendly materials: This device works in all water environments, including pools and salt water. The Garmen HRM-Swim is also pool chemical resistant to protect your tracker.
Garmin HRM-Swim Cons
- Scuba diving: This tracker doesn’t work when you’re scuba diving.
- Strap material: The material isn’t as durable as some others.
- Swimming only: This device is for swimming. You won’t get anything from it while running, biking, or doing other activities.
Best for Gym: Jabra Sport Pulse
Why put on a fitness tracker, heart monitor, and a pair of running headphones if you can have one device that takes care of all three?
You can measure your heart rate from your inner ear. Although scientists are still researching the accuracy, earbuds are a convenient way to track your fitness data while listening to some tunes. The best set we’ve found is the Jabra Sport Pulse.
The Jabra Sport Pulse earbuds are known for having an excellent sound quality and blocking out environmental noises around you. If you’re at the gym, you can tune out the annoying grunter next to you.
It also tracks your heart rate and your VO2 Max, which is the maximum rate of oxygen that your body uses during exercises. You can use the VO2 Max to help determine your endurance.
You can look at your stats through the brand’s app.
Jabra Sport Pulse Pros
- Included remote: You can control your device with the remote that comes with your purchase.
- Sound quality: This monitor is an excellent way to listen to your music.
- Water resistant: If you accidentally spill your water bottle, you don’t have to worry about your monitor getting ruined.
Jabra Sport Pulse Cons
- Battery life: This device only lasts four to five hours.
- Device syncing: You can only sync the earbuds to one device.
- Distance tracking: The monitor isn’t good at tracking distance.
Type of Heart Monitors
The fitness industry has been growing in the last few years. According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. The health and fitness industry in the U.S. alone is worth $30 billion. It is growing at least three to four percent every year.
More people are eating healthier foods and trying different workouts for health and weight loss. Products like smart scales are easier to find. Many people are also enjoying wearables to help them monitor their health.
“Wearables” is short for wearable technology. With the rise of products like fitness trackers and smartwatches like the Apple Watch, GPS running watches, and the Samsung Galaxy watch, people are more interested in how their bodies are doing.
Wearables like fitness trackers and hybrid smartwatches have made more people aware of how important their health is. Fitness wristbands get more popular every year.
Heart rate monitors are some of these helpful wearables to measure your heart and other fitness aspects.
When people think of heart rate monitors, they usually think of something like the device that attaches pads around your chest area. But with technological advancements, there are now portable heart monitors that you don’t need to stick to your chest if you’d prefer something else.
There are many types of heart rate monitors. Get to know the choices to find which type will be most comfortable for you.
Not only professional athletes and those in a lab use heart rate monitors with chest straps. The kind is a favorite for lots of people.
They are predominantly chosen by people who are into working out or training for a particular event.
Because of where they are on the body, some people think chest straps give the most accurate heart rate reading.
However, for many people, heart rate monitor chest straps aren’t the most comfortable to wear.
With the help of brands like Fitbit, wrist heart rate monitors are one of the more common versions of the device.
Anyone who wears watches or wrist accessories will find this a comfortable item.
You can also customize the strap for your lifestyle. Choose straps that are rubber, cloth, or magnetic to get what is most comfortable for you.
You can modify some wrist models to use heart rate monitoring armbands if that is more comfortable for you.
Some sports watches and fitness also offer multiple features from your wrist.
Headphones are the latest wearables that can measure your heart rate.
Although scientists don’t know yet if it is more or less accurate than other heart monitors, this type of heart monitor has advantages.
Being able to listen to music and tracking your heart rate at the same time is probably the most significant benefits of this device.
Heart Rate Monitor Buyer’s Guide
Heart rate monitors come with many features. Here are some of the most important to assess.
First, consider how well your monitor does at tracking your heart rate.
It’s good to look at how it rates on different websites. Research how other consumers have used it and what their success had been with the wearable.
Even though there are specific wearables for particular activities, it’s helpful to remember that you need to be comfortable while you’re wearing it.
If it feels tight or restricts how you move, you won’t be able to work out properly. An uncomfortable monitor defeats the purpose of the device.
When it comes to connectivity, you have two options: ANT+ and Bluetooth. Here are the differences:
- ANT+: This type of technology allows devices of different brands to become compatible and work together. That way, you don’t feel obligated to buy another phone or tablet for the heart rate monitor to work correctly.
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth is more common and is usually available on computers, tablets, and smartphones. If your heart rate monitor has this capability, you can connect to a device without worrying about having the right signal.
Choose the technology based on which one pairs best with your devices and which is easier for you to use.
Type of Workouts
Finally, consider if the heart rate monitor you want fits your favorite fitness activities.
Many wrist-based heart monitors might be suitable for all kinds of sports. Some monitors are for a specific activity like swimming or running.
Also, if you like water sports or sweat a lot, you’ll need waterproof fitness trackers.
Look at the specifics or your monitor to find out if it will work with your favorite exercises.
Why Use a Heart Monitor for Workouts
People have lots of good reasons to use a heart rate monitor.
Make Sure You’re Not Overdoing It
Heart monitors can help improve your health and workouts by monitoring heart rate. But they can also help you make sure you don’t overdo it at the gym.
Many of these devices won’t sound the alarm if you are going too hard at the gym. However, they will provide you with data that will show that you might need to ease off or have a rest day.
You will need to actively check that you’re working up a sweat without hurting yourself. Don’t forget to consult your doctor about the appropriate workout goals for you.
Plan Your Workouts
As heart rate monitors and activity trackers are evolving, the data these wearables collect can tell you how to improve.
Some trackers even suggest what kinds of exercises you should do. Some monitors also offer different workout plans and regimens that you can follow.
This heart rate training helps you workout to your best ability.
Track Your Fitness
Heart rate monitors can help you track your fitness in several ways. You can:
- Find out your resting heart rate when you’ve hit the optimum level
- See how healthy your heart is becoming
- See how you’re doing during your workouts
With all these pieces of information, you’ll be able to get a sense of how exercise has been helping you get healthier.
One of the best heart rate monitors can help you increase the effectiveness of your fitness programs and your health goals.
Use this buying guide and our top picks to help you find the best one for you.Read More