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

Keep reading for our picks of the 9 best heart rate monitors, plus tips on how to choose the best monitor for you.

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. Heart rate monitors can be worn as chest bands, armbands, or watches. We’ve included a range of options to help you find what works best for your needs.
  • Features. We included options for people looking for a basic heart rate monitor as well as 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.

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

Generally, list prices range from $79–$229.95, though this may vary depending on available discounts and where you shop.

Pricing guide

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

Best overall heart rate monitor

Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor

  • Price: $
  • Form: chest strap
  • Battery life: 400 hours

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. The battery lasts up to 400 hours per charge.

Just keep in mind that while it is 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
  • some reviews noting short battery life
  • may be inaccurate when used underwater

Best wrist heart rate monitor

Fitbit Luxe

  • Price: $$
  • Form: wrist fitness tracker
  • Battery life: 120 hours

With a 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.

Its small size and light weight make it easy to wear all day long if you tend to find smartwatches a little too bulky and don’t want to wear a chest strap monitor. And its water resistance makes it a great option for swimmers.

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.

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 that 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
  • Battery life: 24 hours (continuous)

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 and hundreds of other platforms, such as Strava, RunKeeper, and MapMyFitness.

Pros

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

Cons

  • some reports of connectivity issues
  • handwash only
  • some complaints that the device breaks easily

Best heart rate monitor for swimming

Polar Verity Sense Optical Heart Rate Sensor

  • Price: $
  • Form: armband
  • Battery life: 20 hours

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 20 hours.

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

Pros

  • comfortable, nonirritating design
  • 20-hour rechargeable battery
  • can store up to 600 hours of workout data

Cons

  • doesn’t display battery percentage
  • difficult to use under long sleeves

Best heart rate monitor for running

Garmin HRM-Pro Heart Rate Monitor

  • Price: $$
  • Form: chest strap
  • Battery life: 12 months

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 swimming, boxing, and kettlebell workouts.

The HRM-Pro can connect to third-party fitness apps and equipment and easily transfers workout stats to the Garmin app.

Pros

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

Cons

  • handwash only
  • uses replaceable battery

Best heart rate monitor for cycling

CooSpo H808S Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitor

  • Price: $
  • Form: chest strap
  • Battery life: 300 hours

The CooSpo H808S Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitor has an LED light that indicates when the Bluetooth is on and beeps when it detects your heart rate, providing you with real-time data while you work out.

It’s compatible with ANT+ and Bluetooth and easily connects to fitness apps, stationary bikes, and GPS bike computers. The monitor can also be used with the CooSpoRide app, which records data from your rides and can automatically sync to the Strava running and cycling app.

The lightweight strap is a cinch to adjust and comfortable enough for long rides.

Pros

  • good value
  • lightweight and comfortable
  • accurate readings

Cons

  • some reports that battery dies quickly
  • some complaints that the device stopped working after a few months
  • not waterproof, although CooSpo expects to add this feature soon

Best multisport heart rate monitor

Suunto Smart Heart Rate Belt

  • Price: $
  • Form: chest strap
  • Battery life: 500 hours

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

The device has a recording feature and an internal memory function that saves up to 3.5 hours of fitness data, which syncs to compatible Suunto watches. It can also connect to third-party fitness apps and smartwatches like the Apple Watch.

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • compatible Suunto watch required to use internal memory feature
  • reports of poor customer service

Best smartwatch for heart rate monitoring

Fitbit Versa 3

  • Price: $$$
  • Form: wrist smartwatch
  • Battery life: 144 hours (12 hours with continuous GPS use)

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

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 Google Assistant and allows you to answer calls and receive texts.

Like 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
  • 6 days of battery life

Cons

  • some complaints of syncing issues
  • some reports that 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
  • Battery life: 500 hours

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, and 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 reviews mentioning connectivity issues

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 stride length, cadence, or blood pressure.

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 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.

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, such as water resistance, GPS navigation, and internal memory for offline workouts.

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.

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

Price FormBattery lifeMetrics tracked
Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor$chest strap400 hours • heart rate
Fitbit Luxe$$wrist fitness tracker120 hours• heart rate
• breathing rate
• steps
• calories burned
• sleep and stress levels
• skin temperature
Scosche Rhythm24 Waterproof Armband Heart Rate Monitor$armband24 hours (continuous) • heart rate
• running cadence and distance
• cycling cadence
Polar Verity Sense Optical Heart Rate Sensor$armband20 hours• heart rate
• swimming distance and pace
Garmin HRM-Pro Heart Rate Monitor$$chest strap12 months• cadence
• calories burned
• heart rate
• running dynamics
• steps
• stride
CooSpo H808S Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitor$chest strap300 hours • heart rate
Suunto Smart Heart Rate Belt$chest strap500 hours• heart rate
Fitbit Versa 3$$$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

What is the best way to track heart rate?

The best way to track your heart rate is with a chest strap heart rate monitor, because this type of monitor provides the most accurate results (1).

You can also use a wearable device such as an armband, smartwatch, or wrist fitness tracker. Other options include earphones, exercise machines, and blood pressure machines.

While you can manually measure your heart rate by taking your pulse, a wearable device will provide more accurate results and allow you to track your heart rate over a set period or during an activity.

Some devices provide additional metrics that give you valuable insight into your heart health, fitness level, and overall health.

Are wrist heart rate monitors accurate?

Wrist heart rate monitors are not quite as accurate as chest strap heart rate monitors, but they can still give you a good idea of your heart rate.

The optical sensors used in wrist-worn heart rate monitors can be affected by different types of movement, so the accuracy of your heart rate readings may depend on what kind of exercise you’re doing (1, 2).

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

That said, wrist heart rate monitors may be more comfortable to wear throughout the day and often have additional features such as visible LED lights or a screen that displays the time, your heart rate, steps, and more.

What is a good resting heart rate?

According to the American Heart Association, a typical resting heart rate for adults is between 60 and 100 beats per minute (3).

Your resting heart rate is your heart rate when you are seated or lying down and are in a calm, relaxed state. A low resting heart rate is ideal and often associated with low blood pressure, a low body weight, and good physical fitness (3).

Older adults may have a higher resting heart rate, while children and people who are active or physically fit may have a lower resting heart rate. This is because their heart can keep a steady beat with less effort.

Other factors, such as medications, medical conditions, body size, and temperature, can also influence your resting heart rate.

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.