You need a heart rate monitor! and you know that. Whether you are a professional athlete or just an average Joe going for a fitness workout, monitoring your heart rate is very important. During exercise or other fitness activities if you monitor your heart rate you can get a lot of health and fitness information about your workouts.
If you are training for some specific sport or fitness event, then heart rate monitors can track data that will help you monitor your performance. Heart rate monitors also indicate when you are overdoing or underdoing your workout which will allow you to modify your fitness routine accordingly.
These days monitoring your heart rate has gotten very easy. There are numerous heart rate monitors available in the market that help you to do so. However, it is important to the right one and with such a huge range in the market, it can be difficult to do so. There are all kinds of heart monitors available these days, from high-end smartwatches to training accessories like the chest straps. But, fear not because this article will help you pick the right heart monitor for your fitness routine.
What to look for when buying Heart Rate Monitors?
When buying a heart rate monitor the most important aspect is to know whether are actually going to track your heart rate properly or not. While this may seem absurd, there are a lot of heart rate monitors in the market that aren’t up to the task and don’t yield correct BPM. If you want to track your heart rate with high accuracy, it is best to go for the chest strap heart rate monitors because they tend to be more accurate then the wristband kind but, wrist monitors are much more convenient and easier to wear.
Heart rate monitors track your heart rate, but they also offer many other fitness statistics and features. It is important to look for features that will benefit you the most. You can track calories burned, duration, lap time, distance and a lot more. For heart rate monitoring, the best monitors are personalized according to your gender, age, height, weight, and several other factors.Some monitors also have target zone alarms that will indicate you when you reach your target heart rate zone.
Most heart rate monitors allow you to record your data and view it at a later time. A few heart rate monitors offer training summaries which are viewable after each workout. Some monitors also let you view data of past workouts. A large memory helps long-term training so look for a watch with a large memory capacity if you want to keep track of your previous fitness data.
The best heart rate monitors can transfer your exercise data to apps on your smartphone. Through USB or Bluetooth, you can upload data each workout session. Some monitors even allow you to compare your data with friends. Most heart rate monitors are only compatible with certain apps and devices so check with the manufacturer’s device compatibility charts before you buy one.
Best Heart Rate Monitors:
First up is the Garmin Forerunner 225. The Garmin’s flagship smartwatch with inbuilt HR tracker is one of the most powerful heart rate monitors in this list. This device has every fitness tracking feature that you can think of but it also one of the most expensive watches in this list. The inbuilt HR monitor is the latest model from Mio and it is pretty accurate.
The Garmin Forerunner 225 basically has two modes that it operates in one Standby and the other Sport. When in the device is in Sports mode it will by default turn on the GPS by default unless you specify otherwise. Garmin has smooth off some of the edges of their top-end fitness feature and has improved their tech by adding a fitness tracker in order to appeal to a more midrange market of average Joes. If you are looking for a top-tier fitness tracking watch then the Garmin Forerunner 225 is a definite winner.
Robustness is vital for a good running watch and the Garmin 225 handles everyday usage with ease. It is water resistant up to 50m so you can wear it in the shower and it is robust enough to survive in the bottom of a sports bag without trouble.
The Withings Pulse Ox is the successor of the Withings Pulse, which is also an extremely capable heart rate monitor. The Withings Pulse Ox can be worn on the wrist, unlike its predecessor the Withings Plus, so it is more user-friendly and comfortable to wear. The device is capable of tracking blood oxygen levels along with monitoring the heart. It has a simplistic design and a long battery life.
Aside from that one extra feature over other fitness trackers, the heart monitor itself is actually a little more high-tech than a lot of monitors that are available in the market today. The device keeps a lot of information on the watch itself. While a lot of wrist trackers hold the information and then require you to check on the companion app to monitor your progress, the Withings Pulse O2 actually lets you access your fitness information via a handy touch screen right on the front.
The Polar H7 strap is not wrist tracker but a chest strap which pairs over Bluetooth with a free smartphone companion app, the Polar Beat. If you’re looking for the cheapest, but most accurate way to get up and running with a heart rate monitor, then this is your best bet. Chest strap heart monitors tend to be more accurate and hassle-free when actually working out than wrist-mounted heart rate monitors. However, they are slightly more troublesome to wear.
The best part about Polar H7 is that it syncs itself to your smartphone via Bluetooth and lets you check the info in real time. Using Bluetooth, the chest strap monitor sends information to your smartphone when you are working out. It even sends notifications when you have burned as many calories as you specified for the day.
Motorola’s updated Moto 360 has already wowed with its stylish design. However, the Sports version appears even more interesting, which is specifically designed for sports and fitness tracking. The Moto 360 Sport comes with a dedicated built-in optical heart monitor which is accurate enough for casual runners and for working out. The device is also able to control your tunes and track your runs with GPS via compatible Android Wear companion apps. All these features make it an optimal fitness tracker.The watch also comes with a hefty battery capacity that can last two days.
The Moto Body companion app syncs with your tracker to give you more detailed information about your workout and runs. It is a simple app that does not require any type of learning curve. A week view is displayed at the top, and for each day you can see your heart activity, steps walked and calories burned. The Moto Sport 360 come in three attractive colors: black, white and flame orange. All in all, it is a great fitness tracker. It is fast, light and has a bunch of great features.
The Mio Fuse is one of the most accurate wrist-mounted heart rate monitors in the market. Mio has gotten so good at heart monitoring that Garmin has started using Mio’s heart rate sensors in their heart rate trackers.
If you are looking for a heart rate monitor that is accurate but a chest strap heart rate monitor really isn’t for you, then this is the best, most accurate alternative. The manufacturer claims the Fuse is as accurate as an EKG, which should be more than enough for most training plans.
The only con about this device is that the Fuse itself is a chunky beast. It also doesn’t have GPS and has an LED display that is slightly limited. The best things about this monitor are that the battery life is good, it is a lightweight watch, and the price reasonable. If you’re just looking for an accurate wrist-mounted heart rate monitor but none of the other features of a running watch, then this is the one for you.
The Wahoo Tickr is a chest strap HR monitor that will track your heart rate as accurately as possible outside a lab EKG. The Wahoo’s best feature is that it transmits on both Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ bands, meaning that you can connect it to most smartphones and any training device that supports ANT+, for example, cycle computers, older fitness trackers, etc.
The most affordable model stops here, but more expensive versions include accelerometers to track running cadence and other technique-improving data and even more storage, so you can go without a smartphone to record your training sessions. If you’ve already got a favorite training app you want to keep, or regularly use another ANT + device, this is the best heart rate monitor choice.
The Microsoft Band’s optical heart sensor is one a combinations of ten sensors packed into this one little band. This band isn’t very accurate, so attempting serious heart rate zone training with the Band isn’t really advisable, but alongside the nine other sensors, it gives you a lot of information about your health and fitness.
The device can track your heart rate over the course of the day, and uses this to calculate overall fitness, and log in total calories burned. Microsoft has put a lot of time into the Health aspect of this Band and is rolling out periodic software updates to improve te accuracy and functionality of the monitor.
The Sony Smartband 2 looks and feels like it is made of Haribo but it is actually just seamless silicone.The band will track your pulse as well as your heart rate variability (HRV) constantly throughout the day, to give you a complete picture of your fitness and stress levels.
The Smartband features an accelerometer which keeps tabs on periods of activity and also alerts you when you have been stationary for too long. The Smartband 2 is super lightweight, and it can track heart rate and activity for 10 hours before needing to be charged.
TomTom has launched a six-flavoured salvo of fitness trackers based around the TomTom Spark. But, as with their current tracker range, the ‘Cardio’ moniker indicates the devices that have a built-in optical heart rate monitor. The TomTom cardio heart rate monitor is a strong contender, and the Spark adds multisport functions, an activity tracker, updated design and also an inbuilt music player that will stream your music to a pair of Bluetooth headphones. The Spark features 3GB capacity along with a preloaded ‘Running Trax’ mix.
Jabra Sport pulse are headphones with a heart rate monitor built in. If you’re usually listening to music while working out, then the Sport Pulse headphones are a good choice. Once paired via Bluetooth to your smartphone and companion app you can fire up the power ballads, set your zones and workout with confidence.
The Runtastic Bluetooth Smart Combo Heart Rate Monitor uses Smart Bluetooth technology to relay information to Runtastic companion apps on all the latest Apple and Android devices. Using 5.3 kHz signals the monitor also works with most cardio equipment in the gym, and if you buy the tracker you will get a free upgrade to the fantastic Runtastic Pro App.
Fitbit‘s Surge features an optical heart rate sensor and PurePulse technology that is capable of automatically monitor your stats every few seconds. Users can use the data to maximise their training and accurately track calorie burn.
The Fitbit Surge is capable of tracking steps, calories burned, distance travelled, floors climbed, elevation and active minutes thanks to its 3-axis accelerometer, a 3-axis gyroscope, and a digital compass. The device offers 24/7 heart rate monitoring via a built-in optical heart rate sensor. It allows you to monitor your heart rate during you workouts as well as when you are stationary.
Fitbit’s PurePulse tech uses LED lights to detect your blood volume changes as your heart beats combined with Fitbit’s algorithms, you will be able to get a more accurate calorie burn figure and keep better track of your health and fitness.
The Surge also allows you to set a target heart rate zone, which helps you make sure that you are pushing yourself enough but not overtraining. The device can also transfer all your fitness data back to the fantastic companion apps. These apps have a great trick up their sleeve also. The companion app’s feature offers the ability to plot all of your heart rate readings on a graph so that you can review all your fitness data of several weeks in one go.
These were our top picks of best heart rate monitors that are currently available in the market. Heart rate monitors are very important for exercising and other fitness activities. All the monitors listed in this article will help you keep track of your heart rate and other health data so you can alter your fitness routine accordingly.