Best heart rate monitorsShare on Pinterest

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Heart rate monitors measure your heart rate while working out, which may help you reach your target rate safely and efficiently without exceeding your maximum heart rate.

You can use heart rate data to adjust your intensity, maintain an appropriate pace, and boost your cardiorespiratory endurance. Over time, you may be able to sustain higher intensities for longer durations with a lower heart rate.

Some heart rate monitors only track heart rate, while others provide additional workout metrics such as speed, distance, and breathing rate.

Keep reading for our picks of the 8 best heart rate monitors, plus tips on how to choose the best monitor for you.

A note on price

Devices with more features often have a higher retail cost. Furthermore, sensor quality and accuracy tend to be better on higher priced heart rate monitors.

When calculating cost, keep in mind that some devices also require a monthly or yearly app subscription.

Cost calculations

General price ranges with dollar signs ($ to $$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is considered rather affordable, whereas four dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, prices range from $79–$230, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $100–$200
  • $$$ = over $200

There are several factors to consider when purchasing a heart rate monitor, such as functionality, features, price, and brand reputation. When rounding up the best heart rate monitors, we considered the following factors.

Functionality

There are many great heart rate monitors on the market. However, to find one that’s right for you, it’s important to think about what metrics you’re interested in, as well as the type of monitor you need.

For example, some monitors only keep an eye on heart rate, while others offer additional fitness metrics, such as stride length, cadence, or blood pressure.

Most heart rate monitors are chest bands, armbands, or watches. Other options include hats and earbuds.

You’ll also want to decide on the type of monitor you want.

In general, chest straps tend to be the most accurate, as they use electrode sensors and are tightly pressed against your body.

In contrast, armbands and watches use optical sensors, which may be less precise but offer greater convenience and are more comfortable for all-day wear.

Features

We included options for people looking for a basic heart rate monitor, as well as athletes with specific needs.

For example, some of the monitors on our list offer features designed for swimmers or cyclists, such as water resistance, GPS navigation, and internal memory for offline workouts.

If you want to pair your data with your smartphone, you’ll also want to look for a monitor with Bluetooth or ANT+ capabilities.

Price

We know that budgets can vary, which is why we included heart rate monitors at a variety of price points. When considering your budget, make sure to consider any costs, such as subscription fees.

Vetting

As with any wearable product, it’s important to choose a heart rate monitor that’s made from high quality materials from a reputable brand.

All the products included have been vetted to ensure that they meet Healthline’s medical and business standards.

Best overall heart rate monitor

Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor

  • Price: $$
  • Form: chest strap

The Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor uses electrode sensors to accurately track heart rate, making it an excellent option for serious athletes who want precise and reliable readings.

It’s also Healthline’s pick of the best heart rate monitor for the Peloton Bike.

The comfortable chest strap comes with enough memory to store data from a single workout, which you can transfer to Polar Beat, the compatible app, and the battery lasts up to 400 hours per charge.

Just keep in mind that while it’s waterproof, some reviewers note that the Polar H10 sensor isn’t as accurate when used in the pool.

Pros

  • accurate, reliable heart rate tracking
  • offers training options based on fitness level and goals
  • machine-washable strap

Cons

  • some complaints of connectivity issues
  • battery may die early
  • may be inaccurate when used underwater

Best wrist heart rate monitor

Fitbit Luxe

  • Price: $$
  • Form: wrist fitness tracker

With its sleek, minimal design, the Fitbit Luxe is a great option if you want the features of a fitness tracker but prefer a less sporty style.

The device uses optical sensors to track heart rate and provides metrics such as breathing rate, calories burned, and steps.

It also measures sleep and stress levels and even lets you know if you’re better off swapping a workout for a recovery day.

Plus, the water-resistant feature is great for swimmers.

The watch comes with a free 6-month subscription to Fitbit Premium. After the trial, a membership costs $9.99 per month.

Pros

  • rechargeable battery lasts 5 days
  • lightweight, stylish design
  • provides stress management tools

Cons

  • no built-in GPS
  • small display screen
  • monthly Fitbit Premium membership fee

Best armband heart rate monitor

Scosche Rhythm24 Waterproof Armband Heart Rate Monitor

  • Price: $$
  • Form: armband

The Scosche Rhythm24 uses patented optical sensor technology to provide accurate heart rate data as well as running and cycling cadence.

The comfortable, waterproof armband features a minimal one-button design and a 24-hour rechargeable battery.

It also stands out for its LED lights that indicate your heart rate zone, allowing you to easily see your metrics without having to look at your phone.

Heart rate training zones are helpful because they let you know if you need to kick the intensity up a notch or tone it down if you’re pushing yourself too hard.

The armband is also equipped with internal memory that stores up to 13 hours of training time. You can upload your data to the RhythmSync app plus hundreds of other platforms, such as Strava, RunKeeper, and MapMyFitness.

Pros

  • 24-hour battery life
  • LED indicator lights
  • five customizable heart rate zones

Cons

  • some people experience connectivity issues
  • handwash only
  • some reviewers complain that the design breaks easily

Best heart rate monitor for swimmers

Polar Verity Sense Optical Heart Rate Sensor

  • Price: $
  • Form: armband

The Polar Verity Sense Optical Heart Rate Sensor comes with an innovative clip that allows you to attach the monitor to your goggles while swimming.

It also offers a swim mode that tracks heart rate, pace, and distance.

The lightweight device features an optical sensor and a rechargeable battery that lasts 30 hours.

You also have the option to record your data even if you’re offline. In fact, the device is equipped with 16MB of internal memory, which allows you to save up to 600 hours of workouts.

Pros

  • comfortable, nonirritating design
  • 20-hour rechargeable battery
  • 16MB internal storage
  • good for swimmers

Cons

  • battery percentage isn’t displayed
  • difficult to use under long sleeves

Best heart rate monitor for runners

Garmin HRM-Pro Heart Rate Monitor

  • Price: $$
  • Form: chest strap

The Garmin HRM-Pro uses an electrode pad sensor to track heart rate and provides detailed running metrics, including stride length, vertical ratio, and ground contact time.

The lightweight chest strap sends heart rate data to connected devices, exercise equipment, and fitness platforms.

If you’re offline, the monitor saves up to 18 hours of data until you’re ready to transfer it. This feature is useful during certain types of activities, such as swim, boxing, or kettlebell workouts.

Just keep in mind, the monitor requires a compatible Garmin watch or handheld GPS to access all of the metrics.

Pros

  • provides advanced running metrics
  • connects to multiple devices
  • saves offline workouts

Cons

  • requires a compatible Garmin device
  • handwash only
  • uses replaceable battery

Best multisport heart rate monitor

Suunto Smart Heart Rate Belt

  • Price: $
  • Form: chest strap

The Suunto Smart Heart Rate Belt is a lightweight, comfortable monitor that uses electrode sensors to provide precise heart rate measurements.

The device features a recording feature and internal memory function that saves up to 3.5 hours of fitness data, which syncs to compatible Suunto watches.

The belt also records data even if you’re not wearing a watch, making it a great choice for people who participate in activities where watches aren’t allowed or comfortable to wear, such as some winter, team, or water sports.

As a bonus, the battery lasts 500 hours — just shy of 21 days.

Pros

  • water resistant
  • small, lightweight design
  • machine-washable

Cons

  • internal memory feature requires compatible Suunto watch
  • poor customer service

Best smartwatch for heart rate monitoring

Fitbit Versa 3

  • Price: $$$
  • Form: wrist smartwatch

The Fitbit Versa 3 monitors your heart rate and notifies you if you go above or below your heart rate target zones.

It also tracks daily steps, stress levels, and sleep data, and you have the option to set up reminders so you can stay on schedule and meet your goals.

Plus, you can view your workout metrics over time to check your progress.

The smartwatch has built-in GPS and offers short guided breathing sessions suited to your heart level. What’s more, the device connects to Alexa and Assistant and allows you to answer calls and receive texts.

As with the Fitbit Luxe, the Versa 3 comes with a free 6-month subscription to Fitbit Premium, with the option to subscribe for $9.99 per month after the trial ends.

Pros

  • tracks workout, sleep, and stress metrics
  • offers GPS tracking
  • battery lasts 6 days

Cons

  • some customers complain of syncing issues
  • some report the side button doesn’t work well
  • monthly Fitbit Premium membership fee

Most comfortable heart rate monitor

Wahoo TICKR X Heart Rate Monitor

  • Price: $
  • Form: chest strap

The Wahoo TICKR X uses integrated electrode sensors to track heart rate, indoor cycling cadence, treadmill distance, and pace.

You can also use running data, such as vertical oscillation, cadence, and ground contact time to improve your form and technique.

The internal memory records up to 50 hours of training data, which you can upload to fitness apps such as Wahoo Fitness, Strava, or Zwift.

The monitor syncs to multiple devices and has a battery life of 500 hours (about 21 days).

Several customers report that the extra-wide chest strap is extremely comfortable. A few reviewers say they often forget they’re even wearing it.

Pros

  • excellent customer service
  • records workout data when offline
  • lightweight, adjustable band

Cons

  • some complaints of inaccurate or erratic readings
  • some reviewers experience connectivity issues

Here’s a quick look at how our picks compare:

Polar H10Fitbit LuxeScosche Rhythm24Polar Verity SenseGarmin HRM-ProSuunto Smart Heart Rate BeltFitbit Versa 3Wahoo TICKR X
Price (MSRP)$89.95$149.95$89.99$89.95$129.99$79$229.95$79.99
Formchest strapfitness trackerarmbandarmbandchest strapchest strapwatchchest strap
Battery life400 hours 120 hours24 hours 30 hours12 months500 hours144 hours500 hours
Bluetoothyesyesyesyes yesyesyes yes
Metrics tracked•heart rate •heart rate
•breathing rate
•steps
•calories burned
•sleep and stress levels
•skin temperature
•heart rate
•running cadence and distance
•cycling cadence


•heart rate
•swimming distance and pace
•cadence
•calories burned
•heart rate
•running dynamics
•steps
•stride
•heart rate •heart rate
•pace
•distance
•skin temperature
•sleep and stress levels
•heart rate
•indoor cycling cadence
•treadmill distance and pace
•vertical oscillation
•ground contact time

Heart rate monitors use electrodes or optical sensors to calculate heart rate and can provide valuable insights into your workouts, helping you improve your fitness level and reach your goals.

While some products simply offer heart rate tracking, others provide detailed metrics and insights into other aspects of your health, such as mood, stress, and sleep.

As there are several devices to choose from, be sure to consider factors such as your budget and intended use to find the heart rate monitor that’s right for you.