I can remember training for my first marathon back in the early 90s where one of the athletes on my college athletics team was using a heart rate monitor for training. In those days they were large and bulky and only really suitable on a treadmill.
Professional athletes have been taking advantage of heart rate training for a long time because it is so effective. It also allows you to measure your progress over time so that you can see exactly how and where you’re improving.
The great thing is that you don’t have to be a professional to start heart rate training. There are many very reasonably priced options available that can simply link up to your iPhone or Android device and provide you a huge amount of information and tips based on your goals.
A heart rate monitor can help you control your pace, and target the rate that will improve your fitness so that you get the maximum benefit out of every exercise session.
With a variety of wearable monitors to choose from, you may be feeling somewhat confused as to which one to choose. It’s important to consider what you need it for, where you like to wear it, and if the one you like promises to be accurate.
To help you decide on the right fitness tracker for you, the following reviews will give you an idea of what the best products are right now, and what you should be looking for.
Our Top 10 Best Heart Rate Monitor Recommendations
We know there are a lot of options to choose from, and it can become very confusing to pick one that suits your needs. Having researched, tested and used many different types, we ultimately came up with a list of 10 different devices that cover a broad price range.
From a real time tracker to a chest strap heart rate monitor, we have found a variety for every type of individual. The great thing is that even the fully featured ones are still affordable and will give you the benefit of a personal trainer right in your pocket.
| #1 - Polar H10 Bluetooth HRM Chest Strap || Easy To Track||5.0 stars out of 5|
| #2 - Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR Running GPS Unit || Comfortable To Wear||4.5 stars out of 5|
| #3 - Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor || Lightweight And Easy To Read||4.0 stars out of 5|
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Top 10 Best Heart Rate Monitor Recommendations
- 1.1 1. Polar H10 Bluetooth HRM Chest Strap: Easy To Track
- 1.2 2. Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR Running GPS Unit: Comfortable To Wear
- 1.3 3. Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor: Lightweight And Easy To Read
- 1.4 4. Fitbit Charge 2: Great Screen And Display
- 1.5 5. Polar FT4: Versatile Features
- 1.6 6. Garmin Premium: Highly Affordable
- 1.7 7. Suunto Ambit3 Run: Highly Informative Monitor
- 1.8 8. Garmin Fenix 5 Slate Gray: Great Training Watch
- 1.9 9. Garmin Forerunner 610 Touchscreen: Great For Outdoor Use
- 1.10 10. Fitbit Alta HR: Sleek And Cheap
- 2 What Features You Need To Focus On
- 3 Introduction To Heart Rate Training
- 4 Conclusion
An option that can be worn around your chest, this rate sensor is compatible with a GoPro Hero 5, making it one of the most unique ones on the market. If you need your hands or wrists free when playing your sport or practicing a certain exercise, the Polar’s design is ideal. You can also easily overlay your data to a recorded video.
The built-in memory feature helps you to store 1 rate per a training session. With a battery that can last for up to 400 hours, you don’t need to worry about replacing it in anytime soon.
You can adjust the strap to fit any chest size that measures 22 to 34 inches. It’s also designed for optimal comfort, so you don’t have to worry about it irritating you during your workout. Used with the Polar Beat app and functional with Bluetooth, this is the chest strap that makes it easy to track your heart beat.
- The strap is comfortable to wear around your chest, so you can keep it on throughout your workout
- It provides an accurate reading, which is one of the most important features you could ask for
- It has a great battery life, so you don’t have to replace it in anytime soon
- It’s easy to set up with the app and use via Bluetooth, making it a great smart monitor
- It is to put the strap on and take it off, which isn’t always the case with chest monitors
- It doesn’t last as long as some other options, which could affect you if you hope to use it for more than a year
- It isn’t as affordable as some other options, which could affect budget shoppers
For those who don’t mind wearing something on their wrist during workouts, this is a great option. Worn as a watch, it’s comfortable and reliable. Apart from helping you track your heart rate, it also provides you with altitude and weather information, as well as a barometer, compass, and GPS.
The battery life lasts up to 200 hours and the Ambit3 app helps you to keep track of activities, notifications, and more. This Suunto watch can even capture photos in movement to share highlights of your activities, if you so wish.
Whether you want to use it to capture your rate as you swim or rely on it when mountain climbing or biking, this option is one of the most versatile ones on our list. While it is anything but cheap, if you want to stay safe, track progress, and record experiences, this should be your go-to watch.
- It can help you to share your adventures and information in an easier way than with other options
- It’s comfortable to wear on your wrist and doesn’t require continuous adjusting, so you can focus on your activity
- The GPS is very accurate, which is most certainly a positive if this is something you need to rely on
- The battery life is quite decent, making it easy to use this monitor for months to come
- It’s very easy to operate and use, so you don’t have to stress about getting it wrong
- It is pricier than some traditional heart rate monitors, so keep this in mind when shopping
- The sync up feature doesn’t always work well, which could affect its use
If you’re not looking for too many bells and whistles, but want something that can provide you with comfortable wear and accurate readings, this Polar FT7 may be the one for you. With a variety of colors to choose from, you can pick the one that suits your style best.
From helping you keep track of the time, calories burned, and more importantly, your rate, it’s the perfect companion for the athlete or outdoors person who wants to stay safe and in control.
The monitor includes 99 training files and because it’s water resistant, you can also use it in the pool. With a backlight, so you can see in the dark and a user replaceable battery, it has all the features that you need for a reliable heart rate monitor. It also shows your upper limit zone, which goes far in helping you keep within the right zone during exercise. While it isn’t cheap, it’s a reliable option that won’t weigh you down.
- It’s available in many colors, which is great for those who like to have variety
- It provides accurate readings on heart rate and more, making it a versatile and reliable option
- It’s lightweight, so it won’t get in the way of your activities or weigh you down
- It’s easy to use and set up, so you can start using it right away
- It’s helpful for those want to lose weight, thanks to the features that it has
- It isn’t as durable as some other options and could stop working after only a few months, depending on usage
- The buttons are a bit small, so it can be a bit awkward to use
With different programs for tracking, you can set it to the HR zones of Fat Burn, Cardio, or Peak, so you can always stay on top of your workouts. It also has settings that allow you to call or text, as well as calendar notifications. With an OLED display, it’s easy to read the monitor, whether during the day or night. It can even track your sleep, which is a helpful feature for some.
With a GPS feature, you can make sure to get real-time information on your pace and distance. If you want to make sure that you are getting continuous heart-rate tracking, the PurePulse feature is helpful on this Fitbit Charge 2.
It has a good battery life, where you can wear it continuously for up to around 5 days. Its sleek design allows you to move effortlessly and doesn’t get in your way. If you are ready to keep track of your rate for better workouts, this Fitbit is a good option for many.
- It has GPS, so you can always be sure to get reliable information
- It’s slim and sleek, so you don’t have to worry about it getting in your way while exercising
- The display is easy to read and bright enough for use during the day or night
- It has a decent battery, so you can use it for consecutive days without worrying about charging it
- The company provides great customer service, which is always great
- It can be challenging to set up for some, but isn’t impossible
- It isn’t as accurate as some other options, which is something you’ll want to consider
With a smart calorie feature, you can check on how many calories you burn per session. This is helpful for people who are concerned about losing weight and tracking calories. The monitor can continuously check your heart rate to aid you in your training. While some monitors track your footsteps, this one is only for tracking your heart rate.
It has a soft fabric material to be used as a chest strap, so that you can wear it comfortably during your workout or sport. The user replaceable battery makes it easy to keep on using this fitness tracker for a long time.
Because it’s water resistant to 30m, you can also use it for swimming, so that you can be sure to do your swimming routine the way that works best for you. It can also be used with gym equipment by using GymLink. Simple and effective and available in a variety of colors, this option works well for many people who want a no-fuss heart monitor.
- The monitor itself can detach from the band, making it easy to wear with other types of straps
- It includes a soft chest strap that won’t irritate you during your workout
- It can be used for swimming, making it a versatile option for the versatile athlete
- Its battery is user replaceable, so you can keep on using the monitor for months to come
- It’s relatively affordable, making it a reliable choice for many
- It doesn’t track footsteps, which is a feature some people want on their monitor
- It may restart itself every now and then, which can be a big negative if it’s during your workout
For those who don’t want to spend a couple hundred on their heart monitor, the Garmin is ideal. It can wirelessly transmit your heart rate to any compatible device, although be aware that it doesn’t work while swimming.
The soft, elastic strap is both adjustable and comfortable to wear. When you set it up once, you don’t have to worry about doing it again. This helps to make it easy to simply put it on and get it working for easy tracking every time you exercise.
It works especially well for those who do cycling and because it can accurately monitor calories burned, you can depend on this option for when you want to lose weight. The strap is easy to adjust, so you can make sure to get a good fit that stays stationary as you run or cycle. For those who swim, you may need to look elsewhere for a water-resistant option.
- It is one of the most affordable options on the market, making it ideal for those who want to spend less for their monitor
- It provides accurate readings, so you can rely on it for your workout routines
- The strap is adjustable and easy to wear, so you can keep the monitor in place
- It also allows you to keep track of your calories, making it ideal for weight loss
- The strap can be cleaned easily (without transmitter), which helps if you happen to sweat a lot
- It isn’t easy to set up or change the battery, making it a bit tricky to work with
- It cannot be used in water, which makes it a negative for those who need one for swimming
If you’re looking for an option that can help you understand your body in more ways than one, consider using the Suunto. You can track your daily run, while also comparing it with saved information on your previous runs.
You can also check your recovery status with this monitor, as well as wear it at night to check how your sleep quality is. Because fitness is more than just about your exercise, this type of monitor is for the person who wants to know as much as possible about their body.
You can connect the Ambit3 to your phone through an app, so you can easily sync activities and customize programs. Available in three different colors, you don’t have to go with the typical black monitor that most people do.
If you’re in the market for a well-rounded monitor, this is the one for you. Offered at a fair price for both its features and quality, you can’t go wrong with this beauty.
- It has an attractive appearance, so if you’re fashion conscious, you’ll appreciate it
- It can track a variety of things, such as your HR and sleep, making it highly informative
- It’s not as pricey as some other similar options, making it a good deal that you don’t want to pass up
- It has GPS that connects quickly, making it highly reliable and trustworthy
- It is effective and accurate, which are both reasons enough to want to buy it
- It isn’t that easy to set up, but with all the great features that it has, this doesn’t matter to everyone
- The instructions included are not very helpful, which doesn’t help those struggling to use it
It may be pricey, but it’s also highly fancy, making it a favorite for those who like to look good while exercising. If you are a swimmer who wants to keep track of swimming metrics and heart rate, this one could work great for you.
It can also be used with a variety of devices, making it easy to use for tracking activities over time. If you’re an athlete, such as a marathon runner or triathlete, you’ll appreciate that this has great monitor settings, so you can keep track of everything during your races.
With a GPS, you can get real time information and because it has great heart rate technology, you can trust that it’s accurate and reliable.
Made from fiber-reinforced polymer and with a stainless steel cover, you don’t to be concerned about whether it will last or not. With a strong battery life of up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode, you don’t have to continuously worry about charging it.
- It has a great GPS that works well, so you can easily track the basics
- It can be used in water, making it ideal for triathletes
- It has a durable exterior, so it will last for months and even years to come
- It’s easy to use and won’t require much to get set up, which is always a great thing for heart monitors
- It has a great battery life, which is always important
- It’s very pricey, so you may want to consider if you want to spend that much money
- There are sometimes issues with the Bluetooth connectivity, which could affect performance
If you want a monitor that won’t get ruined if you happen to like running in the rain, choose Garmin Forerunner. This beauty is weather-resistant, so it won’t give up the ghost any time soon. It has a touchscreen interface, so you can easily switch to the settings that you want to use, whether data fields or run history, etc.
The monitor includes a Virtual Partner and Virtual Racer, so you can easily plan your workouts. The training effect helps to measure your aerobic workouts. You can easily customize this monitor, so that they you get information on your heart rate, cadence, distance, calories, and time.
With a UBS stick for wireless uploading of your information to an app that helps you explore activities, this smartphone friendly monitor is priced fairly for everything it offers.
- It has decent GPS, so you can use it for real time tracking
- It has a variety of training workouts, so you can learn how to effectively train and track, if you don’t know how to already
- It’s fairly priced for the great features that it has
- It allows you to easily upload your information to your phone, so you can more easily store data
- It provides accurate information that you can trust
- It may not last more than a year, which may be an issue for some
- It may record erratic data at times, which can be annoying
If you don’t want to spend more than necessary on a reliable option, look no further than this Fitbit Alta. Its sleek design makes it easy to wear for any kind of activity. With features like a calorie counter, sleep tracking and alarms, reminders, and a PurePulse monitor, it’s full of all the good stuff.
With a battery life that lasts up to 7 days, you don’t have to worry about charging it every day. You can customize the display, as well as sync it to your phone, so you can always stay on top of your activity.
Available in multiple colors, you can choose the one that suits your style best. For those who are looking for a smooth, attractive design, this is the Fitbit for you. Because some workouts or exercises require a lot of use of your hands, you’ll want something like this option that won’t get in your way during your exercise.
- It has a slim and attractive design, which many females like and appreciate
- It can track a number of things like calories and sleep, so you can have a clear picture of your overall fitness
- It’s relatively affordable in comparison to similar options
- It’s very lightweight and won’t get in your way during exercise
- You can order replaceable bands for variety
- The wristband is a bit uncomfortable to wear as it gets itchy
- The device doesn’t stay on throughout the workout, so you have to tap it which can be annoying when you’re busy exercising
What Features You Need To Focus On
Now that you have several options to choose from, do you know which features to look for? If not, you should consider the following, so you can make the best choice on the option that is right for you and your activities.
Data tracking helps you to know how many calories you’re burning or how high your heart rate is getting. This is important for you to follow when you’re training. From tracking your sleep to tracking your footsteps, knowing how your body is operating can go far in helping you to reach goals, do what’s best for your body, and train correctly.
The more data tracking your fit tracker does, the better. Of course, in some cases you may not need to know some things and if you find you can cut down on cost, then it’s okay to eliminate some options. For example, you may not be curious about counting calories, so if a heart rate monitor has the tracking you need for your training, then don’t worry about the rest.
It’s not so easy to follow your activity on your monitor, so that’s where smartphone apps are helpful. They allow you to more easily see how you’ve been doing or improving. The only thing to pay attention to is compatibility with your phone and how well it works, through Bluetooth or with WiFi.
The easier it is to transfer data, the easier it will be for you to understand your body and its needs. Before buying your fitness tracker, pay attention to which phones it may be compatible with. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on something that won’t even work with the phone that you own. While many state that they’re compatible with just any phone, the connectivity isn’t always the best with certain kinds, so consider this before purchase.
Some people like to track their swimming exercise, but not every heart monitor watch is waterproof. If you are a triathlete or swim regularly, make sure to check if the one you want is water-resistant. If it isn’t, it’s best to keep looking, as you don’t want to spend big money on one that will just fritz out in the water. Make sure that it has been tried and proven to be a monitor that will work well for use on your daily swims.
Some options include training recommendations based on your fitness level. This is especially ideal if you are new at fitness training and need a bit of help. It can help you to do the right programs that are ideal for your condition, so you stay safe and see progress as you go.
GPS tracking helps you to better understand your body, pace, and distance. It’s ideal for when you want to understand how far and fast you’re going on a daily basis. It also eliminates the need to carry your phone with you, and just wear the strap with the monitor or a monitor watch. Typically, options with GPS tracking tend to offer more features and metrics, making them ideal for those who are training for triathlons or marathons.
Introduction To Heart Rate Training
For runners who don’t know about heart rate training, it may be time to give it a shot. Heart rate training helps you to learn how to use your body to build up slowly to more speed. Using a HRM will help you understand exactly how and when to set your pace so that you are training safely and effectively.
While some runners run hard and go all out, in the end, this kind of training could result in injury. The good thing about heart rate training is that you can essentially “listen to your body” when using a monitor.
It’s important to define goals before starting training. The way a marathon runner will train is different than how a triathlete will. There are different zone areas for you to try to stay in with your heart rate, depending on what your goals are.
For example, if you are training for a marathon, you may start out using zone 1 and zone 2, while a zone 4 could be for those who like to do quick and intense workouts. When you get the right heart monitor, you can make sure to keep track of the things that matter, so that you can reach your fitness goals. Knowing what your heart rate is when doing certain activities will help you train better and more safely than ever before.
Are you ready to change the way that you approach fitness? A chest strap or a Bluetooth heart rate monitor can help. Just pay attention to your needs, such as if it is waterproof or how accurate it is, but you should be able to find what you need on our top ten list.
There is something for everyone, from unique, lightweight designs to hardcore options that can stand up to months of use. Whether you’re a die-hard athlete or someone just starting out, you want to be in control of your body, so that you can get the most out of your workouts. Which one do you think will work best for you?