When you are trying to determine what heart rate monitor you should get, it can be hard to determine which top rated heart rate monitor is right for you. There are so many options that you have that it can seem almost impossible to get it down to just one or two that you should look at. Determining which one to buy is a lot easier than you think, but first let’s took a look at who can benefit from the use of a heart rate monitor.
Who Would Find Value in Using a Heart Rate Monitor?
Anyone that does physical activity can benefit from using a heart rate monitor, but a top rated heart rate monitor will provide superior information whether you are trying to lose weight or just increase your personal level of fitness. Some people that generally use heart rate monitors are runners, people who are trying to lose weight, cyclist, casual walkers, and fitness enthusiasts. Anyone that could benefit from knowing, how many calories they are burning, what heart rate zone they are in, and that want to see real results from the exercise that they are doing can get a lot from heart rate monitor information and the feedback that it provides.
What Do I Need?
Heart rate monitor information can be everything from simply telling you to what your current heart rate is, to giving you a complete breakdown of your entire workout. You have to look for something that is going to meet your needs, if you are looking to lose weight or change your fitness level; you want a monitor that is going to tell you what heart rate zone you are in and tracks the progress that you are making. Someone that runs may just need to know what zone they are in so that they don’t push themselves past a safe limit, what you need is based on your goals and what you do.
Types of heart rate monitors
There are numerous types of heart rate monitors in the market and when looking to buy, it’s best for you to go with the type which answers to your needs.
- Chest strap monitors are like their name suggests worn on the chest with a strap. With their close proximity being to the chest, they can transmit information to connected mobile apps on Smartphone making it easy for one to get the data about their heart rates. Most people find these ones a bit uncomfortable but effective.
- Armband or watch heart rate monitors use sensors on straps around the wrist and can be worn as watches or independently. They get your pulse rate through the skin, helping you monitor your heart functions.
- Finger sensor monitors on the other hand measure on-demand heart rate reading at basic level- not continuous. They are generally cheaper compared to either armband heart rate monitors or chest strap monitors; but with less features.
Consider the features
Features play a very important role in the effectiveness of your heart rate monitors. The more features the heart rate monitor has the more functions, benefits and cost you can expect. Some of the most popular features on heart rate monitors include stopwatch, GPS, altitude measurements, alarm, calorie counters, waterproofing technology and pre-programmed workouts you can do.
As a general rule, when buying a heart rate monitor, ensure that it has all the desired features for your workouts. However, also note that the type of workouts you take part in might render some features useless hence need to make your choice based on your workout needs as well. A good example is a jogging on flat ground; you might not require so many features.
Features: Straps vs. Strapless
The heart rate monitor information comes from an actual piece that makes contact with your skin. You need to determine if you want a watch style monitor, or if you want one that has a strap that wraps around your chest. Generally the ones that wrap around your chest provide a little bit more information, meaning more top rated heart rate monitors have straps, but the watch ones can be just as useful, it’s all about personal preference. Most people go with the straps because they want all the information, not just a basic heart rate read out.
Shop by Brand
With many things people say that you don’t have to shop name brand, but with electronics like a heart rate monitor you are going to want to go with a good brand. Generally some of the better known ones are Polar, Garmin, Fitbit, Suunto and some others.
Check out the 8 Best Heart Rate Monitors on the market right now:
1. Garmin fenix 3, Silver bundle with Heart Rate Monitor
fenix 3 is available in 3 bold models: gray with high-strength, scratch resistant, crystal and black band; silver with red band; and the premium sapphire model with a stainless steel band and sapphire lens. Each watch features a protective stainless steel bezel and buttons, and reinforced housing for extra durability. A sunlight-visible high-resolution color Chroma display with LED backlight lets you access your data in any light. fēnix 3 is water rated 100 meters and has a battery life of up to 50 hours in UltraTrac mode, 16 hours in GPS mode and up to 3 months in watch mode (all depending on settings).
fenix 3 is packed with training features to tell you about your form and fitness. The first is the VO2 max estimator. When used with a heart-rate-monitor, fenix 3 crunches data, including your running speed, beats per minute and heart rate variability to estimate the maximum volume of oxygen you can consume per minute. Track changes to your VO2 max to see your fitness gains and to compare with your peers. Other fitness metrics include recovery advisor with a recovery timer and recovery check, plus a Race Predictor, which estimates your ideal finish time based on your current VO2 max number.
Heart-rate-monitors and HRM-run, sold separately.
When paired with your iPhone 4S or later, Bluetooth or Bluetooth Smart Ready phones.
2. Garmin Forerunner 920XT EU Version with HR Monitor
This multisport GPS watch is qualified to guide the training of elite and amateur athletes alike. It records detailed metrics for swimming, biking and running. Swim capabilities include drill logging, rest timer and recording distance, pace, stroke type and more. The high-resolution color display makes it easy to see your stats at a glance. Advanced features include running dynamics1, VO2 max estimate2, live tracking and smart notifications3. Wear it as a watch all day and use activity tracking to monitor your steps and calories. It also offers automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, our free online community where you can save, plan and share your efforts.
3. Suunto Ambit2 GPS Heart Rate Monitor
For the serious mountain-sports enthusiast, the Suunto Ambit2 GPS Heart-Rate-Monitor is the ultimate tool for measuring performance and navigating remote landscapes. Complete GPS functionality combines with the barometer to track elevation, provide route navigation, and alert you to impending storms. This Ambit2 includes a chest strap for real-time heart rate graphs and target zones, and multi-sport functionality allows you to quickly swap between running, cycling, swimming, and training modes.
4. Fitbit Blaze Special Edition, Gun Metal, Large
Get fit in style with Fitbit Blaze—a smart fitness watch that helps you maximize every workout and every day. With advanced technology in a versatile design, this revolutionary device is built to track your workouts, monitor your performance stats, and gauge your progress. PurePulse continuous heart rate and multi-sport modes enhance every exercise, while next-generation features like Connected GPS and FitStar workouts on your wrist help you take your fitness to the next level. All-day activity and sleep tracking and call, text & calendar notifications help you track your day with ease. And interchangeable band and frames and customizable clock faces on the hi-res color touchscreen let you personalize your style for every occasion. With all this and more, Fitbit Blaze has everything you need to reach your goals, packed into one sleek time piece. Fitbit Blaze syncs automatically and wirelessly to 200+ leading iOS, Android and Windows devices using Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology. Syncing to computers requires Internet connection and USB port. Syncing to mobile devices requires Bluetooth and Internet connection. Syncing range: 20 feet. Water Resistance: Fitbit Blaze is sweat, rain and splash proof, but is not swim proof. We recommend taking it off before showering, as it’s best for your skin if the band stays dry and clean. Battery life: lasts up to 5 days. Radio transceiver: Bluetooth 4.0.
5. Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Special Edition, Gunmetal, Large
Make every beat count with Fitbit Charge 2-the all-new heart rate and fitness wristband built for all-day, workouts and beyond. PurePulse continuous heart rate makes it easy to maximize workouts, better track calorie burn and get a snapshot of your cardio fitness level, while all-day activity and auto sleep tracking, lets you see how your whole routine adds up. Record your workouts with multi-sport modes to see real-time workout stats on screen, or rely on SmartTrack to automatically record select exercises for you. The large OLED display helps you stay connected with call, text and calendar alerts, stay active with Reminders to Move, and find moments of calm with personalized guided breathing sessions. Plus, you can find a look that fits your style with customizable clock faces and interchangeable bands. With more advanced features in a sleeker package, it’s the motivation you need to push yourself further-every step, every beat, every day.
6. Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor
Polar FT4 is designed for fitness and cross-training enthusiasts who want basic heart rate-based features to keep their training simple. Polar FT4 shows when you’re improving fitness based on your heart rate, and it also lets you know exactly how many calories you’ve burned. Training smarter has never been this easy. Train to your own beat with Polar FT4 heart-rate-monitor and make sure your every move is counted for. Heart rate in beats per minute or % of maximum. Manual or age-based heart rate target zone with indicator during training. Heart rate analysis after training (average and maximum heart rate). Smart Calories. Heart rate also in water with included H1 heart rate sensor. Totals for long-term follow-up. 12 months battery life (30 minutes of training a day).
7. Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor Armband
Heart-Rate-Monitor Armband Featuring a Large and Small Orange Strap. Train Smart, get fit, the Scosche RHYTHM plus Heart-rate-monitor is an all new workout tool for managing heart rate, calories burned, distance, pace and more, accurately monitor your intensity level. RHYTHM plus works with most popular health and fitness apps, including: DigiFit Run keeper MapMyFitness Strava and more. RHYTHM+ heart-rate-monitor is a direct chest strap replacement and easily attaches to your forearm for full wireless communication with your device. This app powered heart-rate-monitor works with hundreds of Fitness Apps to manage your workout metrics. RHYTHM+ works with most popular health and fitness apps, including: DigiFit, Runkeeper, MapMyFitness, Strava, S-Health, Wahoo Fitness, and more. With its dual-mode processor you can simultaneously transmit your heart rate to multiple ANT+ displays and your favorite Bluetooth Smart(TM) enabled watch or smartphone app. The Scosche Rhythm + Has a 8 Hour Battery Life – Workout continuously for up to 8 hours (charging cable included).
8. Wahoo TICKR Run Heart Rate Monitor For iPhone and Android
TICKR Run is the ideal workout tracker for runners. It monitors your running form in three dimensions, helping you identify how to make your stride as smooth as can be. The TICKR Run measures other key running indicators, such as cadence, vertical oscillation, ground contact time, and captures your indoor treadmill workouts. Pair with the Wahoo RunFit app and take a simple, guided heart rate test to personalize your training zones and maximize your run by adding one of the HIIT strength workouts at the end. It is compatible with most popular running apps and is the perfect running tracker to help you meet your goals.