Best Heart Rate Monitors of 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

If you have ever been working out and wondered if you are exercising past your limits, or maybe not exercising hard enough, there is a good solution. A heart rate monitor is a great tool to have on your side when working out because your heart rate gives you a lot of information about your current status as well as your progress. However, there is a problem. How do you choose the right heart rate monitor?

The best heart rate monitor is one that is comfortable, durable, and most important of all, one that is reliable. We’re going to talk about everything to do with heart rate monitors, plus we have a few different choices which you should consider if you are looking for one.

Summary: The Best Heart Rate Monitors

Why Buy A Heart Rate Monitor?

We aren’t here to discuss heart rate monitors in terms of your cardiovascular health or because you need one to tell you about impending heart failure. A heart rate monitor is not something that only doctors use, but it is also a great fitness tool. A heart rate monitor lets you know how much effort you are putting into your exercise routine.

These things can measure your normal resting heart rate, calculate your maximum heart rate, and also tell you your current heart rate, thus telling you how much the exercise is straining your heart. This is great because it lets you know if you are working out too hard or not hard enough, therefore making it a great tool to perfect your efficiency.

What To Look Out For When Buying A Heart Rate Monitor

Heart rate monitors are without a doubt ingenious tools that you can use to improve any workout experience and the efficiency of every step you take. However these pieces of equipment are not all that cheap, and therefore you will want to put some careful consideration into buying one. Here are the most important things to consider about a heart rate monitor before you go wasting your hard earned money on one that does not do its job.

Comfort

One of the most important things to consider before you make a purchase is how comfortable the heart rate monitor in question is. Generally speaking, there are two different choices you can go with. Some heart rate monitors strap onto your wrist or forearm like a watch and some of them strap around your chest. Some people may find a certain one more comfortable than another, but that is up to you to figure out.

Keep in mind that while a heart rate monitor that goes on your wrist may be more comfortable, they tend to be slightly less accurate than the ones that strap on directly above your heart. Whatever the case may be, you will want one that has a comfortable band that won’t irritate your skin and will also stay in place for the duration of your routine. This means either an adjustable wrist strap or an elastic and adjustable chest strap.

Accuracy

Something that you want to play close attention to before buying a heart rate monitor is how accurate it is. You don’t want a monitor that tells you that your heart is about to explode when you are resting, and you don’t want one that generally miscounts the beats of your heart. A monitor that can’t really do its primary job is completely useless.

Now, this is tricky because the only way to tell how accurate these things are is to use them and also compare the readings to an already tested method. Your best bet is to rely on customer reviews, many of them, or just pick from one of the 5 options we have listed below, all of which are reputable in terms of their functionality.

Extras

Yet another thing to look out for before buying any heart rate monitor is if it can do anything else besides monitoring your heart rate. Many newer models of these devices have the capability to measure how many calories you have burned, the distance you have gone, steps taken, the speed you are going at, and a few other parameters too. Now, a device that can do all of these things would generally be considered to be an activity tracker, but there are some heart rate monitors that come with these extras.

Connectivity

The next thing to keep in mind before you buy a heart rate monitor is if it can connect to your devices as well as how it can do that. Many heart rate monitors can wirelessly connect to your tablets or smartphones through Bluetooth or other means.

This is convenient because it allows you to view and store your data on your device for future reference. In many cases, the device may also be compatible with a multitude of fitness tracking and guidance programs, all of which can help you improve your workout routine. Not all heart rate monitors can do this, but it certainly does help.

Batteries

Something else to consider when buying one of these things is what the battery life is like. Any monitor you get should have a battery life of several days, which is the case if you get one with a rechargeable battery.

On the other hand, if you get a heart rate monitor with batteries that cannot be charged, it should be one that allows you to easily replace the batteries, plus the batteries should last for at least several months.

Durability

The final thing to keep in mind before making your purchase is how durable the heart rate monitor in question is. Once again, it is going to be hard to judge how durable any given one of these things is before you actually use it, but your best bet is to read the stats and as many reviews as you can find.

A good rule to follow is that the band should be made of rubber or durable materials, and the face of the monitor should definitely be made of high-grade materials. Perhaps one of the most important things to consider is if the heart rate monitor is waterproof or not. If you like to swim and want to monitor your heart rate, you are going to need one that is waterproof no doubt.

Heart Rate Monitor Reviews

Our Rating

This is quite an advanced heart rate monitor with several features that make it stand out from the rest. If you need a quality item at an affordable price so you can measure your heart rate and much more, all for fitness purposes, the Polar H7 Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensor & Fitness Tracker is definitely a good option to consider.


Design

One of the things that make the Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor such a good choice for keeping track of your heart rate when doing your work out is because it features a comfortable band. Simply adjust the length of the band to fit comfortably around your chest and you are good to go. The band itself is quite soft, yet also sturdy enough to ensure that it won’t fall off during your workout routine.

Something else that makes this model an ideal choice for many is that it is waterproof. You can use this thing when running in the rain and you can even use it for monitoring your heart rate while swimming too, something that is beneficial for anybody who uses swimming as their main form of exercise.

Of course, this is a heart rate monitor so it can obviously measure your current heart rate to give you an idea of how you are doing throughout your whole exercise routine. However this thing can do even more than that. The Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor also doubles as a calorie counter so you can know exactly how many calories you have burned at the end of your exercise routine.

What is even better is that this heart rate monitor has an excellent battery life that lasts for months at a time. And to make things nice and easy for you, the battery can be manually replaced whenever it runs out of juice.

Perhaps the best part about this heart rate sensor is that it can connect to any Apple and Android device. When connected to your device the Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor can upload all of your current data into a specialized program called Polar Beat. Polar Beat displays all of your data in a way that you can easily make sense of it so you can monitor your progress from one workout session to the next.

What is also really neat about the Polar H7 is that it lets you choose from over 100 different workout programs and it even gives you voice instructions as to what you need to be doing as you go. It even has GPS tracking capabilities so you can map and track your exact route that you take on your run or cycling journey.

At the end of the day, you can even upload all of your data to a community page that lets you challenge your friends and show off your progress for the world to see. Don’t forget that you can connect this thing to any compatible gym equipment too.

Value for money

You definitely get a whole lot of value for the money that you are spending. This thing costs around 60 dollars brand new. That really is not all that much money to be spending for your health, especially when you consider that it can also monitor the calories you burn, it’s waterproof, has workout programs with voice guidance, and much more.

Build quality

The build quality of this heart rate monitor is absolutely fantastic, and that goes for the band that attaches it to your chest as well. This thing is very durable and built to last, as is evidenced by the fact that it is waterproof. This is a durable, comfortable, and reliable heart rate sensor that will serve its purpose without a doubt.

Pros

  • Accurately monitors heart rate
  • Can also monitor calories burned
  • Is waterproof
  • ​Band can be adjusted to fit comfortably
  • ​Upload your data to form visually friendly displays
  • ​Voice guided workout programs
  • ​Long battery life
  • ​Can connect to compatible gym equipment
  • Connects to your device with Bluetooth

Cons

  • Bluetooth may fail after prolonged use
  • May be difficult to sync to your item

Our Rating

If you are looking for an advanced heart rate monitor, you should consider the Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband. This is a device that can do more than just monitor your heart rate, it is very durable, extremely stylish, and it can connect to your smartphone to give you more options than ever before.


Design

Perhaps the best part about the design of the Fitbit Heart Rate Monitor is that it has an advanced OLED display that is extremely high quality. There is also the fact that you can sync this monitor to your smartphone, something which gives the Fitbit the ability to display call and text alerts, as well as calendar notifications too. This is a feature that makes this heart rate monitor stand out from the rest of the pack.

This heart rate monitor’s main purpose is to monitor your heart rate, which it does very accurately, but that is not all. The Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate Wristband can also do many other things such as measuring how many calories you have burned, how many minutes you have been active for on any given day, the distance you have traveled, how many floors you have climbed, how many steps you have taken, and even more.

You can even turn on the GPS mode in order to get real-time information on things such as distance and pace while you are running. If you need a heart rate monitor that also doubles as a comprehensive fitness monitor, this is definitely an option you need to keep in mind.

Perhaps the best part about this thing is that it also doubles as a sleep tracker. The Fitbit Charge 2 can monitor how long you sleep and how well you sleep, which is based on various factors. This is ideal for many purposes, the best of which is being able to monitor your sleep patterns in order to feel well rested for your next big exercise routine.

Another thing that makes this heart rate monitoring wristband an ideal choice for anybody is that it is very comfortable. It is a lightweight and sleekly designed item that fits comfortably, is barely noticeable, and can be adjusted to various sized wrists.

There is also the fact that this thing is very stylish and can be worn with virtually any outfit, thus making it quite the versatile little tool, plus it also has interchangeable wristbands for several different purposes. Even better is how the battery life of the Fitbit Charge 2 Fitness Wristband last for up to 5 days, not to mention that it can be easily charged with the included charging cable.

The next thing that makes this particular heart rate monitor such a great find is that it can wirelessly sync to up to 200 different Windows, Android, and Apple devices. This lets you display and keep track of all of your progress over an extended time period so that you can monitor just how well each workout goes. What is also really neat about this device is that it can give you specially guided breathing sessions to give you some calm throughout your busy day.

Value for money

The Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband is definitely a valuable find. While it does cost a hefty 150 dollars, it is a pretty low price when you consider how much it can really do. This is a comfortable, durable, and stylish heart rate monitor and fitness tracker that brings a whole lot of value to the table.

Build quality

We really cannot complain about the build quality of this particular heart rate monitor. It is made out of high-quality materials that are sure to last for a really long time. There is also the fact that it is a very accurate heart rate monitor which can do a whole lot more than just keep track of how fast your heart beats, plus it can even give you call, text, and calendar alerts from your smartphone too. On a side note, while this item is water resistant, it is not waterproof, and thus cannot be used for swimming.

Pros

  • Very durable
  • Long battery life & easily charged
  • Connects to various smart devices
  • Keeps track of your heart rate
  • Doubles as an all-around fitness monitor
  • Also works as a sleep tracker
  • Very stylish
  • Comfortable adjustable wrist strap
  • Provides you with guided breathing sessions

Cons

  • Is not waterproof (only water resistant)
  • May cause skin irritation
  • Wristband could be of better quality

Our Rating

This is an extremely advanced heart rate monitor that can do so much more than just monitor your heart rate. The Scosche Rhythm+ is a comfortable, versatile, and highly reliable fitness monitoring tool that will not fail you and will help improve your workout without a doubt.


Design

This is a heart rate monitor so of course, it can monitor your heart rate, and quite accurately at that. However, that is far from its limits because the Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor also has the ability to monitor how many calories you have burned, the distance you have traveled, the speed or pace you are going at, and even more. If you need an awesome tool that can monitor your heart rate and much more in order to get a great workout every time, this is one of your best options by far.

Another thing that makes the Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor is that it is waterproof up to a depth of 1 meter. This is great because it means that you can use this thing for virtually any type of exercise, and that includes working out in the rain as well as swimming too. You also don’t need to worry about the battery either, because this thing can last for up to 8 hours at a time, then when it dies, simply use the included charging cable to get it back to full charge.

What is even better about this monitor is that it does not need to be strapped around your chest to work. It features a comfortable wrist strap that lets you wear this thing anywhere up to your elbow, and it can monitor your heart rate accurately from any of those places. The armband is breathable, lightweight, and barely noticeable.

The next thing that is quite convenient about this particular heart rate monitor and fitness tracker is that it connect to various pieces of equipment at the gym so that you can display all information on the screen of the stationary bike or treadmill that you are using. What is even better is that this thing can also connect to virtually any smartphone or smart device so you can monitor your progress on the screen of your high-quality device.

This item uses Bluetooth to connect to your devices and is actually so advanced that it can connect to multiple devices at once, not to mention that it is compatible with pretty much any fitness app that you could install on your device. This allows you to see real-time results and also store your data for accurate comparisons of previous workout routines. Something that also needs to be mentioned is that it comes in multiple different colors to suit your style.

Value for money

For around 80 dollars you really can’t go wrong with the Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor. The fact that it can monitor your heart rate, calories burned, pace, speed, distance, and so much more makes this a very valuable item without a doubt, not to mention that it is very comfortable and durable too.

Build quality

The build quality of this particular heart rate sensor and fitness monitor is very high. It is water resistant, it will not break when you drop it from a decent height, and it’s comfortable too. The fact that it can connect to various devices at once, that it can monitor so many different fitness aspects, as well as being comfortable, all make this a high-quality item.

Pros

  • Water resistant
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Can connect to various smart devices at once
  • Compatible with many fitness apps
  • Breathable, lightweight, and comfortable armband
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Accurately monitors heart rate, calories burned, distance, speed, and more

Cons

  • Does not have its own screen – requires a separate device
  • May slip off during strenuous workouts

Our Rating

If you need a reliable heart rate monitor and you already have an Apple iWatch or an iPhone, you should consider the Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor. This is an intuitive and durable device that is comfortable to wear and will without a doubt improve the knowledge that you have about every single workout routine you go through.


Design

One of the things that we really like about this particular heart rate monitor is that it is very comfortable to wear. It comes with a specialized elastic chest band that will fit virtually anybody. It can be adjusted in size to fit any size, and thanks to being elastic it will tightly hug your body. The band is also very soft and won’t irritate your skin while the monitor is in use.

Since this is a heart rate monitor it does of course monitor your heart rate in real time, but it can do a lot more than that. When you pair the Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor with your iPhone or smart device it can also keep track of your calories burned, the distance you have gone, the pace you have exercised at, and quite a bit more too. If you want a good heart rate monitor that also doubles as a fitness tracker, the Wahoo TICKR is definitely an option to keep in mind.

Something else that makes this model of heart rate monitor an ideal choice for most people is that it can connect to 50 plus different smartphone apps that feature various heart monitoring and fitness tracking tools. This thing is compatible with most recent iPhone and Android smartphone models, plus a few GPS watches too. Even better is that it can connect directly to your Apple watch as well, plus it is also compatible with several different third-party applications. Using your various devices you can keep track of your daily progress and view the information in a variety of different ways.

Another thing that makes this an ideal exercise heart rate monitor is because it is extremely durable, so much so that it is waterproof up to a depth of 5 feet, thus letting you swim with this heart rate monitor without having to worry about water damage. The final thing that makes this item such a great choice of heart rate monitor is that it uses a single coin cell battery that can be easily replaced, one of which can last for up to 1 year at a time.

Value for money

This heart rate monitor brings you a whole lot of value and it is thanks to the various neat features that it comes with. Around 60 dollars really is not very much money to spend on a device that can help improve your next workout routine so much. It’s a durable item, it’s comfortable to wear, and it can do a heck of a lot to give you the info you need to make the most of every exercise session.

Build quality

The build quality of this heart rate monitor is quite good, because after all, if it wasn’t, this thing wouldn’t be on our list. This is a very durable device with a battery life that will last for ages, a strap that is strong and comfortable, and can even function underwater. If you need a durable heart rate monitor you will want to keep this option in the back of your mind no doubt.

Pros

  • Extremely durable
  • Waterproof to 5 feet depth
  • Affordable
  • Accurate heart rate monitoring
  • Can monitor calories burned and other fitness factors when connected to a smart device
  • Compatible with various fitness apps
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Long lasting and replaceable battery

Cons

  • Only compatible with recent software

Our Rating

This is a very reliable and durable heart rate monitor that does its job without question. It has a number of features that make it an excellent choice, and things like being waterproof, monitoring calories burned, and much more, all make this an option that you need to consider.


Design

One of the things that we really like about the design of the Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor is that it is easy to put on and take off. This thing comes with a normal wrist strap so that you can wear it comfortably just like a normal watch.

However, if you want the most accurate readings possible you can also get the chest strap so you can attach it to your torso and as close to your heart as humanly possible. The chest strap is highly adjustable, durable, and built to fit comfortably to any chest, either male or female.

The Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor accurately measures your heart rate and provides you with continuous feedback so you know exactly how well you are working out. This thing can tell you what your normal heart rate is, what your maximum safe heart rate is, and what your current heart rate is. What is even better is that you can go back in time to view data from previous workout session, something that lets you compare daily results, see your progress, and make the changes you need to get back into shape.

Another thing that makes the Polar FT4 Heart Rate Sensor a great choice for everybody is that it also has the ability to monitor how many calories you burn during any given exercise routine. We really like that this particular heart rate sensor is water resistant up to a depth of 30 meters. This means that you can sweat all over it as much as you want without the risk of water damage, plus you can run in the rain with it, and of course you can also go swimming with it. The Polar FT4 is definitely a versatile heart rate sensor to go with.

Yet another aspect that makes the Polar FT4 an ideal choice for virtually everybody is that it has a user replaceable battery. This thing does have an excellent battery life, and when the battery does finally die after using it for 30 minutes per day for a whole year, all you need to do is go to the store and buy a replacement. Finally, you can also use GymLink to connect this device to any and all compatible gym equipment, which means that you can see your heart rate displayed on the screen of the machine that you are using.

Value for money

There is really nothing to complain about in terms of the value that we get for the money that we are spending. The Polar FT4 only costs around 70 dollars, which is relatively cheap for such an advanced and useful heart rate monitor. This is a durable, versatile, and comfortable item that will help you improve your workout routine from one day to the next.

Build quality

There is also nothing to complain about in terms of the build quality of the Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor. This is a very durable item that will last for a very long time to come, the battery is easily replaced, it’s very comfortable to wear, and it can even survive being up to 30 meters under water.

Pros

  • Comfortable chest and wrist strap
  • Can connect to gym equipment
  • Accurately displays heart rate and calories burned
  • Can help you track progress from one day to the next
  • Very affordable
  • Water resistant
  • User replaceable battery

Cons

  • Requires the strap to be very accurate
  • Low quality pixelated display

Conclusion

As you can see, when it comes to the best heart rate monitor, there is more than one viable choice that you can go with. All of the above options are highly recommended, but as long as you keep all of the important considerations in mind you should have no problem finding a good heart rate monitor on your own. Like we said before, the best heart rate monitor is one that is comfortable to wear and can accurately monitor your heart rate, because of course that is its primary purpose.

If you have any questions or comments about using or buying a heart rate monitor for exercise, you should leave us a comment below and we will get back to you right away!

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