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A convenient feature of many smartwatches is a heart rate monitor.

You may want to check your heart rate regularly for a variety of reasons, from improving your athletic performance to managing your stress levels to tracking your heart health.

It’s important to note that watch-style heart rate monitors aren’t medical devices and may not always be accurate, especially during exercise or if they don’t fit well (1).

Regardless, the sheer number of smartwatches — all with different features and price points — can be confounding.

Healthline assembled this list based on the following criteria:

  • Functionality. We included watches that measure heart rate while offering other valuable features, such as sleep or fitness tracking.
  • Reviews. The watches on this list have mostly positive customer reviews.
  • Suitability for specific needs. We considered watches that are specifically designed for certain populations, such as athletes or people with heart problems.
  • Price. We included watches at a variety of price points to suit different budgets.
  • Vetting. The watches 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.

Here are the 10 best heart rate monitor watches of 2022.

A note on price

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

Generally, list prices range from $37.99–$499.95, though this may vary depending on various discounts and where you shop.

Pricing guide

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

Best overall

Fitbit Versa 3

  • Price: $$$
  • Battery life: up to 6 days

The Fitbit Versa 3 tops this list due to its overwhelmingly positive reviews and variety of features, including 24/7 heart rate tracking that’s displayed directly on its home screen.

Additionally, you can use the Fitbit app to view historical reports and your trends over time.

Keep in mind that the premium version of the Fibit app costs $9.99 per month.

The Versa 3 also uses music apps like Pandora and Spotify, syncs with your phone, and tracks your calories burned, steps, and sleep metrics.

What’s more, the watch is waterproof up to 164 feet (ft.) (50 meters), and the battery lasts up to 6 days, though it will drain faster if you’re using GPS or enable the “always on” display.

Pros

  • equipped with built-in GPS
  • 24/7, always visible heart rate tracking
  • multiple bands and watch face options available

Cons

  • subscription required for music storage
  • some reviewers note issues with responsiveness of touch screen
  • several customers report problems with long-term functionality

Best under $100

Willful Waterproof Smart Watch IP68

  • Price: $
  • Battery life: up to 30 days

Hundreds of budget fitness watches cost under $50, but this one stands out due to its quality, sleek design, and numerous positive reviews.

In addition to 24/7 heart rate monitoring, the Willful Smart Watch offers sleep and activity tracking, phone notifications, menstrual cycle tracking, and reminders to move regularly.

The device is also waterproof, although it doesn’t track swimming metrics.

Many reviewers comment on the excellent battery life, with one customer noting that after approximately 2 days of regular use, the battery charge was still at 60%.

Pros

  • affordable
  • includes nine sport modes
  • features extra-long battery life

Cons

  • not compatible with tablets or PC
  • offers fewer features than other smartwatches
  • doesn’t track swimming metrics

Best splurge

Apple Watch Series 7

  • Price: $$$
  • Battery life: up to 18 hours

Though it is pricier than other smartwatches on the market, the Apple Watch Series 7 is packed with useful features and may be well worth the investment for some.

In addition to offering continuous heart rate monitoring, the Apple Watch also includes sleep tracking, blood oxygen readings, guided meditations, music control, fall detection, and fitness tracking.

It’s also capable of taking an electrocardiogram (ECG), which may help detect early signs of a health condition known as atrial fibrillation (AFib).

It can connect with your iPhone and sync to a variety of apps, including many popular health and fitness apps.

The Series 7 has a larger touch screen than previous versions and an always-on retina display, making it easy to check the time without touching the screen or raising your wrist.

Plus, it’s water-resistant up to 164 ft. (50 meters) and boasts a battery life of up to 18 hours on a single charge.

According to Apple, the battery can reach an 80 percent charge in just 45 minutes thanks to its fast charge feature.

Pros

  • charges very quickly
  • available with cellular connectivity and GPS
  • equipped with long list of features and functions

Cons

  • requires an iPhone to use
  • same battery life as previous versions
  • expensive

Best for people with heart problems

Garmin Vivosmart 4

  • Price: $$
  • Battery life: up to 5 days

The Garmin Vivosmart 4 is a good choice for people with heart issues, as it not only estimates your heart rate but also your oxygen saturation levels, or how much oxygen is getting to your tissues (2).

For people with heart or lung ailments, measuring oxygen saturation regularly serves as an early warning system. If your levels are dropping, you can take steps to correct the situation or seek medical attention before it becomes too severe (2).

This measurement may also help you assess whether your current medical treatments are working.

Additionally, the device tracks your heart rate continuously throughout the day, as well as heart rate variability (HRV), which can be an indicator of stress.

The Garmin Vivosmart 4 likewise features a stress monitor and offers guided breathing exercises for high stress moments.

Like other options on this list, the watch can be used to keep tabs on your sleep and activity levels, as well as pair with your smartphone to receive notifications.

The Vivosmart 4 has a battery life of up to 5 days, and it’s water-resistant up to 164 ft. (50 meters).

Pros

  • equipped with stress monitor and guided breathing exercises
  • sleek, slim, and lightweight design

Cons

  • some may prefer larger touch screen
  • band isn’t replaceable
  • many reviewers note that the band can irritate sensitive skin

Best for working out

Amazfit GTR3

  • Price: $$
  • Battery life: up to 21 days

Featuring over 150 sport modes and a built-in GPS, the Amazfit GTR3 is a great option for athletes and gym-goers alike.

The sports included range from running, cycling, and swimming to hiking, dancing, and basketball, and the GTR3 can even automatically recognize eight sports on its own without you having to select one first.

Like many other smartwatches, it’s water-resistant up to 164 ft. (50 meters), meaning that it can be worn in the shower or pool and used to track swims.

It also includes one-tap measuring for four health metrics: your heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, stress levels, and breathing rate. These measurements can be taken in just 45 seconds, so you can quickly check your levels and move on to your next workout.

Equipped with both Alexa and an offline voice assistant, it’s also incredibly convenient.

Additionally, it includes an extra-long battery life of up to 21 days after a full charge.

Pros

  • long battery life
  • includes over 150 sport modes
  • equipped with Alexa and offline voice assistant

Cons

  • unable to reply to text messages
  • some customers report negative experiences with customer service
  • syncs with Zepp app, which many customers note is difficult to use

Best for runners

Garmin Forerunner 45S

  • Price: $$
  • Battery life: up to 7 days

The Garmin Forerunner 45S is geared toward runners, boasting GPS capabilities, coaching plans, an activity tracker, and even safety features if you get into an accident — all in addition to continuous heart rate tracking on your wrist.

It also alerts you if your heart rate appears to be too low or too high while at rest.

As a bonus, it’s a smaller, lightweight watch that’s designed to feel comfortable during long runs.

The Forerunner 45S connects to your phone, allowing you to receive notifications and control your music. It also has a waterproof rating of up to 164 ft. (50 meters), so you can even swim in it.

According to the company, the watch has a battery life of up to 7 days with regular use. However, if you use the Forerunner 45 S with continuous GPS, you’ll likely have to charge the device after 10.5 hours.

Pros

  • provides built-in GPS
  • includes safety features, such as incident detection
  • offers several activity modes, including running

Cons

  • relatively short battery life with continuous GPS use
  • reviewers note that certain displays can be hard to read
  • doesn’t include touch screen, which some people may prefer

Best for cyclists

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

  • Price: $$$
  • Battery life: up to 40 hours

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 integrates seamlessly with Strava — a popular tracking app for cyclists — making it a good choice if you prefer to stay active on a bike.

The Galaxy Watch 4 continuously displays your heart rate and will notify you if it detects a heart rate that’s too low or too high.

One distinguishing feature is that it offers Bluetooth, WiFi, and LTE connectivity, meaning it can function as a smartphone if you have an Android device.

The watch is also lightweight and water-resistant up to 164 ft. (50 meters), making it a good option if you train for triathlons.

The battery life lasts about 40 hours, though it will be less with continuous workout monitoring or “always on” display enabled.

Pros

  • equipped with highly responsive touchscreen
  • offers Bluetooth, WiFi, and LTE connectivity
  • sleek and durable design

Cons

  • shorter battery life than some other smartwatches
  • not compatible with iPhone
  • limited watch faces available

Best with a chest strap

Polar Vantage V2

  • Price: $$$
  • Battery life: up to 100 hours

The accuracy of heart rate monitoring watches has improved with time, but chest straps are still considered the gold standard in research (3, 4).

Fortunately, Polar makes both of these devices, and you have the option to purchase the Vantage V2 with the Polar H10 chest strap for even more precise heart rate readings plus personalized feedback and suggestions to support post-workout recovery.

Plus, the Vantage V2 is equipped with over 130 sport modes, including running, swimming, cycling, and more.

Not only does it track your heart rate, but it also estimates your cardio and muscle loads while you train to help you optimize your workout.

It also features guided breathing exercises, sleep tracking, music control, and push notifications from your smartphone.

Additionally, it’s waterproof up to 328 ft. (100 meters), includes built-in GPS, and syncs with a variety of fitness and health apps.

Pros

  • provides personalized training recommendations
  • lightweight and comfortable
  • can be paired with chest strap for precise heart rate readings

Cons

  • expensive
  • some customers note that strap may irritate sensitive skin
  • lacks some features of other smartwatches, including contactless payments and music storage

Best for older adults

Omron HeartGuide

  • Price: $$$
  • Battery life: 2–3 days

The Omron HeartGuide is one of the few smartwatches on the market to track blood pressure. In fact, it’s one of the first to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a blood-pressure-tracking tool.

Plus, the watch tracks your heart rate and displays your data in easy-to-read graphs on the accompanying app, making it a great option for older adults or people concerned with their overall heart health.

In addition to continuous heart rate monitoring, the Omron HeartGuide includes sleep and activity trackers.

While it’s designed for people with heart concerns, the Omron HeartGuide is easy to use, making it a great choice if you’re seeking a heart rate watch that’s simple to use and features a more classic design.

The battery life lasts 2–3 days with regular use. Just keep in mind that the Omron HeartGuide isn’t water-resistant and shouldn’t be worn in the pool, shower, or while washing dishes.

Pros

  • monitors blood pressure
  • easy to use
  • FDA approved

Cons

  • not water-resistant
  • some customers report issues with accuracy
  • may be too bulky for daily use

Best for general health

Fitbit Sense

  • Price: $$$
  • Battery life: up to 6 days

The Fitbit Sense is one of the latest models from FitBit, offering plenty of high tech features, including continuous, real-time heart rate tracking throughout the day and an ECG scanner.

By holding opposite corners of the watch, the Sense can take a quick ECG scan, which doctors frequently use to assess heart health.

In addition to heart rate monitoring, the watch boasts an impressive lineup of tracking metrics, including distance, calories burned, pace, body temperature during sleep, sleep quality, menstrual cycle, food and water intake, and more.

Unlike other Fitbit models, the Sense also has a built-in electrodermal activity (EDA) scan, which may be another way of measuring your stress levels.

The watch pairs with the Fitbit app on your phone to provide detailed health information. You can also subscribe to the company’s premium version of the app, which makes it easy to track your health stats over time.

Note that Fitbit Premium costs $9.99 per month.

The Sense’s battery lasts up to 6 days (or 12 hours using GPS), and it has a waterproof rating of up to 164 ft. (50 meters).

Pros

  • equipped with ECG and EDA scan
  • includes built-in GPS
  • band can be easily replaced

Cons

  • some reviewers experience issues with responsiveness of touch screen
  • detailed health information requires premium subscription
  • some dislike default silicone band

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

Heart rate monitor watchesPriceBattery lifeWaterproof ratingPrimary metrics Other features
Fitbit Versa 3$$$up to 6 daysup to 164 ft. (50 m)• heart rate
• sleep
• steps
• space
• distance
• calories
• GPS
• voice assistant
• phone notifications
• connects with Spotify/Pandora
Willful Waterproof Smart Watch IP68$up to 30 dayswater resistant up to 3 ft. (1 m)• heart rate
• blood oxygen
• activity
• distance
• sleep
• calories
• steps
• menstrual cycle
• music control
• phone notifications
• deep breathing guide
Apple Watch Series 7$$$up to 18 hoursup to 164 ft. (50 m)• heart rate
• blood oxygen
• activity
• distance
• sleep
• calories
• steps
• phone notifications
• music control
• guided meditations
• fall detection
• ECG
• cellular capabilities
• GPS
• voice assistant
Garmin Vivosmart 4$$up to 5 daysup to 164 ft. (50 m)• heart rate
• oxygen saturation
• steps
• calories
• distance
• stress monitoring
• phone notifications
• relaxation breathing timer
Amazfit GTR3$$up to 21 daysup to 164 ft. (50 m)• heart rate
• blood oxygen
• activity
• distance
• sleep
• calories
• steps
• temperature
• phone notifications
• stress monitoring
• GPS
• voice assistant
• music control
Garmin Forerunner 45S$$up to 7 daysup to 164 ft. (50 m)• heart rate
• pace
• distance
• intervals
• calories
• GPS
• incident detection
• music control
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4$$$up to 40 hoursup to 164 ft. (50 m)• heart rate
• pace
• distance
• calories
• sleep
• activity
• LTE capabilities
• phone notifications
• voice assistant
• music control
Polar Vantage V2$$$up to 100 hoursup to 328 ft. (100 m)• heart rate
• pace
• distance
• calories
• sleep
• activity
• GPS
• phone notifications
• music control
• guided breathing exercises
• recovery tests
• training feedback
Omron HeartGuide$$$2–3 daysnot water-resistant• heart rate
• blood pressure
• sleep
• activity
• phone notifications
Fitbit Sense$$$up to 6 daysup to 164 ft. (50 m)• heart rate
• heart rate variability
• stress
• sleep
• calories
• menstrual cycle
• activity
• EDA scan
• ECG
• phone notification
• music control
• GPS

With so many options available, it can be daunting to choose a reliable heart rate monitor watch.

The Fitbit Versa is our top pick, as it features 24/7 heart rate monitoring, which tracks your heart health over time and always displays your current heart rate, whether you’re resting or exercising.

Furthermore, it shows your metrics on the main screen so that you don’t have to navigate elsewhere.

Still, you may want to consider other factors like cost, customer reviews, and features.

Note that very few smartwatches only measure your heart rate. Most connect to your phone, and many offer features for athletes, such as GPS and activity tracking, or people with heart or lung problems, such as blood pressure and oxygen saturation monitoring.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for the most accurate heart rate readings possible — for example, to help manage your heart condition — consider a chest monitor. This device straps around your chest and is much more precise than a smartwatch (1, 3).

Though many factors can affect your heart rate, your resting heart rate can be a good indicator of your overall health and physical fitness level.

In fact, some research has found that having a low resting heart rate is associated with health and longevity, while having a higher heart rate at rest may be linked to an increased risk of chronic disease (5, 6).

In particular, an elevated heart rate can also be a risk factor for future health issues, including heart disease and stroke (7).

Benefits of monitoring your heart rate

Not only can keeping tabs on your resting heart rate tell you how your body is responding to your exercise routine, but it can also help you detect heart issues early to ensure the best possible outcomes.

Dr. Dia Smiley, a cardiologist, notes that “monitoring your heart rate can detect issues, such as irregular heart rhythm, and fast and slow heart rates, even if symptoms are not obvious or present yet.”

Smiley also states that if you do have a history of heart issues, like atrial fibrillation, checking your heart rate can help identify an arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat.

Using a heart rate monitor can also be beneficial during exercise, as keeping track of your heart rate can help you monitor your exercise intensity (8, 9).

Plus, knowing how often and for what length of time you’re exercising at a heart rate that’s close to your maximum heart rate can help you avoid overtraining (8, 9).

When to talk with a doctor

There are several instances when you should talk with a doctor about your heart rate, especially if it’s too low or high.

According to Smiley, “Anytime you have a low heart rate (less than 60), and feel dizzy, tired, or pass out, you should definitely see a doctor. If the heart rate is 50 beats or lower, even without symptoms, you should seek medical help.”

She also notes that you should talk with a doctor if your heart rate is over 100 beats per minute when you’re at rest or if it’s over 100 beats per minute and you’re experiencing symptoms like dizziness, anxiety, or heart palpitations.

Are heart rate monitoring watches accurate?

Several factors can affect the accuracy of heart rate monitoring watches, including the specific brand, your activity level, and the position of the sensors on your skin (10).

Though heart rate monitoring watches aren’t as precise as medical devices, such as electrode-containing chest monitors, they’re generally accurate and can be a useful tool to help track your heart rate (1, 10).

Can a smartwatch detect heart issues?

Smartwatches can be beneficial for identifying certain heart issues.

Dr. Nick West, chief medical officer and divisional vice president at Abbott’s vascular business, notes that heart rate monitoring watches may help detect abnormally fast or irregular heart rhythms, including atrial fibrillation.

According to West, “There are early reports of smartwatches picking up early signs of heart attack from analyzed changes in electrical activity.” However, he also states that this technology is still being developed.

What is a normal heart rate?

According to the American Heart Association, a normal resting heart rate typically ranges from 60–100 beats per minute in healthy adults (11).

However, your resting heart rate can vary based on many factors, including age, sex, physical fitness level, and health status (12).

There are heart rate monitor watches on the market to fit every budget and need.

In addition to price, you’ll want to factor in the available features, battery life, and customer reviews.

While the options in this article are an excellent place to start, if your main priority is the accuracy of your heart rate reading, you may want to consider a chest strap monitor instead.

Regardless of which device you choose, always make sure to alert your healthcare professional to any concerns you may have about your heart rate data.