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Polar snags three spots on our list of best heart rate monitors. See what this and other brands are offering for workout metrics tech.

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.

While some heart rate monitors only track your heart rate, others provide additional workout metrics like speed, distance, and breathing rate.

Keep reading for 8 of the best heart rate monitors available and tips on how to choose the best one for you.

A note on price

Devices with more features often have a higher retail cost. And 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 ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is considered rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

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

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $100–$200
  • $$$ = over $200
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Here’s a quick look at how our picks compare:

FormBattery lifeMetrics tracked
Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor,
chest strap400 hours • heart rate
Polar Verity Sense Optical Heart Rate Sensor,
armband20 hours• heart rate
• swimming distance and pace
Garmin HRM-Pro Heart Rate Monitor,
chest strap12 months• cadence
• calories burned
• heart rate
• running dynamics
• steps
• stride
Suunto Smart Heart Rate Belt,
chest strap500 hours• heart rate
Fitbit Versa 4,
watch 144 hours (12 hours with continuous GPS use)• heart rate
• breathing rate
• steps
• distance
• calories burned
• skin temperature
• sleep and stress levels
Wahoo TICKR X Heart Rate Monitor,
chest strap500 hours• heart rate
• indoor cycling cadence
• treadmill distance and pace
• vertical oscillation
• ground contact time
Polar H9 Heart Rate Sensor,
chest strap400 hours• heart rate
• calorie tracker
Coospo H6 Heart Rate Monitor,
chest strap300 hours• heart rate
• calorie tracker

When rounding up the best heart rate monitors, we considered the following factors:

  • Functionality: Heart rate monitors can be worn as chest bands, armbands, or watches. We’ve included various options to help you find what works best for your needs.
  • Features: We included options for people looking for a basic heart rate monitor and for athletes with specific needs. Plus, all these monitors have Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Price: We know that budgets can vary, which is why we included heart rate monitors at a variety of price points.
  • Customer reviews: We looked for options with high ratings and positive feedback.
  • Vetting: The heart rate monitors on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.

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 which metrics you’re interested in and what type of monitor you need.

For example, some monitors only keep an eye on heart rate, while others offer additional fitness metrics, such as:

While some heart rate monitors are in the form of a chest band, armband, or watch, other options include hats and earbuds.

In general, chest straps tend to be the most accurate, as they use electrode sensors that ideally should be 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.

You’ll also want to think about any additional features you might need. For example, some of the monitors on our list offer features designed for swimmers or cyclists like:

  • GPS navigation
  • internal memory for offline workouts
  • water resistance vs. waterproof

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

When considering your budget, make sure to factor in any additional costs, such as subscription fees.

Determining the most precise heart rate monitor relies on several factors, including your personal preferences and intended purpose. Generally, chest strap monitors are renowned for their high accuracy in tracking heart rate during physical activity.

The following devices are highly regarded for their accuracy:

  • Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor

  • Garmin HRM-Pro Heart Rate Monitor

  • Suunto Smart Heart Rate Belt

Keep in mind that the accuracy of these monitors can depend on various factors such as proper fit, usage conditions, and individual physiological differences.

The accuracy of wrist heart rate monitors can vary, but they generally offer fairly accurate measurements for daily activities and moderate exercise. Although they might not be as precise as chest strap monitors, they can still give you a good idea of your heart rate.

Different types of movement can affect the optical sensors used in wrist-worn heart rate monitors, so the accuracy of your heart rate readings may depend on what kind of exercise you’re doing.

If you need highly accurate heart rate data to help with your training, a chest strap may be a better option.

Several heart rate monitors are comparable to or may even surpass the Polar H10 in terms of features and accuracy.

The Garmin HRM-Pro stands out with its advanced metrics, including running dynamics and swim interval heart rate stats.

The Wahoo Tickr X offers similar accuracy and functionality, including internal memory, a movement sensor, and workout data tracking.

Choosing between chest and wrist heart rate monitors depends on your needs and preferences. Chest strap monitors are generally more accurate during intense workouts.

Wrist monitors offer convenience and provide comfortable continuous monitoring throughout the day. While they may be less accurate during intense exercises, they are reliable for general fitness tracking and monitoring health metrics.

Ant+ (Advanced and Adaptive Network Technology Plus) is a wireless technology that allows your monitoring devices to communicate and work together.

ANT+ uses the same frequencies as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (about 2.4 GHz), but it works in smaller networks or short distances, such as those within 5 feet. Thus, it uses less battery power.

In short, ANT+ is better suited for fitness gadgets like heart rate monitors and power meters because of its:

  • longer battery life

  • shorter working distance

  • processing rates

An EKG app records the beats in your upper and lower heart chambers to make sure they’re in rhythm. If they’re not in rhythm, it could mean you have atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of irregular heart rhythm that’s a major risk factor for stroke.

If you’ve experienced prolonged periods of palpitations, or a racing heart, or if you’ve already been diagnosed with AFib, it might be a good idea to use an ECG app during workouts.

Heart rate monitors use electrodes or optical sensors to calculate heart rate and can provide valuable insight 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
  • 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.