The results are in. To compete with the best, you’ll need the best wrist heart rate monitor as your training companion. Choosing one seems simple enough, but is it accurate, comfortable, and easy to operate?  While those factors are key, the best wrist heart rate monitors on the market today offer so many other options for runners and triathletes of all levels, making this decision not quite so cut and dry.

As you know, success begins in training. Managing intensity comes from training within target heart rate and recovery zones. Monitoring calories and maintaining an accurate record of distances covered not only make workouts efficient, but reproducible. If you’re seriously interested in taking your athletic game to the next level and uncovering those tweakable areas that can make all the difference, fasten your seatbelt as we dissect the top 10 best wrist heart rate monitors available today!

Here’s our easy guide to help you make the right choice, quickly.

Product FAQ


1. What Is a Heart Rate Monitor?

This device measures your pulse during activity.


2. What Does a Heart Rate Monitor do?

This device monitors your activity and offers many features that allow you to train within your target zone to achieve your optimal performance.


3. How Does a Heart Rate Monitor Work?

It uses electrodes to measure your pulse, notifying you when to increase or decrease your pace.  Most devices work through Bluetooth capability to track and record your performance.


4. Where Can You Buy One?

These devices can be purchased on Amazon.com.


How We Reviewed

In creating the best wrist heart rate monitor list, we examined products ranging from price points under $20 and up to $500. Justification for the steep price differences are evidenced in the product features and functionality. The identified wrist heart rate monitors were reviewed based on the following parameters: features, pros & cons, price, where to buy, and warranty. The list was developed based on positive customer reviews and top-selling items as listed on Amazon.  Extensive time and effort were dedicated to researching each of the different models to provide an unbiased “best wrist heart rate monitor” list.


Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)

A wrist heart rate monitor can be purchased for as little as $16 to over $500, depending on your desired features and athletic goals. On the lower end, you can expect a simple design with limited functionality. As the price point increases, device features can include internal data storage, heart rate notifications if drastic changes are detected, underwater compatibility, dual-band connectivity, as well as improved accuracy and reliable connections.


Best Wrist Heart Rate Monitors We Reviewed

  • Wahoo TICKR X
  • Fitbit Charge 2
  • Polar M430 GPS
  • Garmin HRM-Run
  • Letsfit Fitness Tracker HR
  • Garmin Forerunner 935
  • Polar H10
  • Bowflex EZ Pro
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Scosche RHYTHM+

 

Wahoo TICKR X


FEATURES

Key Features of this product include an accurate heart rate reading and detection of calories burned. It also offers Dual Band Bluetooth 4.0 / ANT+ Connectivity with internal memory. This device uses color indicators to notify you of a visible connection when the product is ready for use.  It is both waterproof and sweatproof, which enables triathletes to use it during swimming exercises. It also tracks running analytics and offer special features such as Treadmill Mode.

PROS

  • Internal memory allows the device to operate independently of a phone allowing freedom to train without carrying bulky items
  • Easily connect to other devices (i.e. most smartphones, GPS watches, and bike computers)
  • Compatible with running apps (i.e. Wahoo's RunFit or 7 Minute Workout apps and PEAR+ Sports)
  • This product boasts an extensive list of features for the user to explore (Indoor cycling cadence, Running analytics, Rep counting)
  • Easy to get started right out of the box
  • Strap is soft and comfortable

CONS

  • Issues with use when device is exposed to water or moisture
  • Slow to download data
  • Slow and spotty connection to apps and devices

Price $$

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.


Warranty

Wahoo warrants this product to be free from defects in material and workmanship, under normal use, foe one year from the date of original purchase.


Fitbit Charge 2


FEATURES

Key Features of this product allow you to maximize your fat burn, cardio, and peak heart rate using PurePulse continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate tracking. The OLED displays notifications of calls, texts & calendar messages. It even tracks your sleep and wakes you with a silent vibrating alarm.
It creates your personalized Cardio Fitness Score based on activity. Also, by connecting to GPS with automatic wireless syncing, you can monitor real-time stats on your wrist while running, to include pace and distance.

PROS

  • Consistent with previous Fitbit product, but more features at the same price
  • Monitors sleeping patterns
  • Easy to use

CONS

  • Not recommended for use in the shower or swimming
  • Drains battery life with app use
  • Issues with band fit and durability

Price $$

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.


Warranty

Fitbit, Inc. ("Fitbit") warrants to the original purchaser that your Fitbit electronic device (the "Product") shall be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use for a period of one (1) year from the date of purchase.


Polar M430 GPS


FEATURES

Key Features of this product include a wrist-based heart monitor which allows you to easily track your heart rate using Polar’s optical heart rate solution. The GPS function registers your pace, distance, altitude and activity route. Its built-in accelerometer tracks your pace and distance indoors on the track or the treadmill. It also offers a personalized, adaptable running plan feature.

PROS

  • Accurate on-wrist performance and tracking
  • Waterproof for so the swimming activities
  • Vibration alerts

CONS

  • Initial setup delays
  • Software limitations and spotty wireless syncing
  • Large size and outdated design

Price $$

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.


Warranty

Polar Electro Inc. guarantees the original consumer/purchaser of this device that the product will be free from defects in material or workmanship for two (2) years from the date of purchase with the original receipt.


Garmin HRM-Run


FEATURES

Key Features of this product include its six different running dynamics metrics. This monitor tracks cadence, vertical oscillation, ground contact time, ground contact time balance, stride length, and vertical ratio. The real-time data monitoring truly helps by showing athletes where they can improve their running form and performance.

PROS

  • Comfortable and easily adjustable strap
  • Quick and reliable connectivity
  • Ultra-small and lite

CONS

  • Short battery life
  • Cannot remove the heart rate module from the strap for replacement
  • Strap durability issues

Price $$

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.


Warranty

Non-aviation products are warranted to be free from defects in materials or workmanship for one year from the date of purchase.


Letsfit Fitness Tracker HR


FEATURES

Key Features of this product include its ability to monitor your real-time heart rate automatically. It is waterproof, but not compatible with swimming or showering. Unique features such as SMS and SNS notification allow you to easily receive and manage incoming calls. Resting heart rate encourages you to improve your heart health, and heart rate monitoring during exercise helps you adjust your intensity for better results. It is app supported and can be paired with your smartphone or the VeryFitPro app.

PROS

  • Low price point
  • Simple set up and easy to use
  • Sleek appearance

CONS

  • App syncing issues
  • Not accurate - reading requires arm swinging
  • Quality issues - band and device

Price $

This product can be found on Amazon for around $.


Warranty

12-Month warranty


Garmin Forerunner 935


FEATURES

Key Features of this product include advanced functions that allow you to monitor and analyze your performance during training and recovery. Using biomechanical measurements such as cadence, stride length, ground contact time and balance, vertical oscillation and vertical ratio, you can identify critical areas in your form and make appropriate adjustments during any number of sports and physical activities. You have access to automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, audio prompts, music controls, and apps like Uber.

PROS

  • Many advanced options for the serious triathlete
  • Lightweight and comfortable enough to wear while sleeping
  • Long battery life

CONS

  • High price point
  • Issues with Asian Market product (versus Wester version) being sold with limited updates
  • Quality issues with complaints of the coating flaking

Price $$$

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$.


Warranty

Non-aviation products are warranted to be free from defects in materials or workmanship for one year from the date of purchase.


Polar H10

FEATURES

Key Features of this product include its built-in memory. As one of the mid-level priced devices, you can benefit from GoPro compatibility and its resistance under extreme temperatures. This device can store 1 heart rate training session. Its enhanced battery life makes it perfect for sports and activities where a wrist unit would be difficult to use. Noted for its comfortable fit, anyone with a chest measuring 22 to 34 inches can enjoy the Polar H10.

PROS

  • Comfortable adjustable strap
  • Fast connectivity
  • Accurate readings

CONS

  • Challenges with strap after washing
  • Short battery life
  • Issues syncing with Polar Beat app

Price $$

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.


Warranty

1-Year Limited Warranty


Bowflex EZ Pro


FEATURES

Key Features of this product include its Quick Touch Technology Strapless CHR Display. As one of the lower priced devices, it offers such features as time of day, a calendar, an alarm, a 24-countdown Timer, and a 100-Hour Stopwatch. This device is water resistant.

PROS

  • Simple design
  • Low price point
  • Easy to use

CONS

  • Difficulty getting a reading
  • Inaccurate heart rate monitor
  • Short lifespan

Price $

This product can be found on Amazon for around $.


Warranty

1-Year Limited Warranty


Apple Watch Series 4


FEATURES

Key Features of this product include Apple’s largest watch display screen yet. It monitors low and high heart rate status and provides notifications if there is a concern. This device offers many advanced features, including automatic workout detection, and has many add-on features for a fee. It is compatible with the iPhone 5s and above and has a storage capacity of 16GB.

PROS

  • larger, crisp display
  • Sleek design
  • Durability

CONS

  • Short battery life
  • High price point
  • Limited watch face options

Price $$$

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$.

 

Warranty

1-year Limited Warranty


Scosche RHYTHM+


FEATURES

Key Features of this product include the built-in Bluetooth SMART and ANT+ which allows you to seamlessly stream your fitness-data in real time to any one of the hundreds of compatible iPhone and Android apps, and other fitness equipment. With a 100ft Bluetooth SMART range, you have the freedom to work away from your Smartphone.  This device is waterproof and has an 8-hour battery life.

PROS

  • Compatible with many devices via Bluetooth
  • Interchangeable and adjustable bands
  • Records reliable data

CONS

  • Water resistant but not waterproof (i.e. no swimming)
  • Challenges with band fit
  • Sync issues with Android app

Price $$

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.


Warranty

1-year Limited Warranty


The Verdict

Now you have an important decision to make. Without a doubt, choosing the best wrist heart rate monitor from these options can satisfy the most discriminating consumer at every price point. The choice simply comes down to purpose and experience level. For less experienced athletes, our research points to the moderately priced Fit Bit Charge 2 as your best wrist heart rate monitor option, based on the positive reviews and the array of features.  For the seasoned athlete, it is worth investing in a product that can give superior data, which would be the Garmin 935. This device boasts an extensive list of features you can enjoy as you progress into tracking more detailed data analysis during workouts and competitions. As the overall best wrist heart rate monitor reviewed, its promise outweighs the price.

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