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Best Heart Rate Monitor Reviews 2017

These days its not just athletes that wear heart rate monitors. They are being bought increasingly by anyone with an interest in fitness, recovering from illness or weight loss. By ensuring that your heart is working at its optimum efficiency you can train harder and prevent further injury. The great news is that today heart rate monitor watches are both more affordable and more accurate than ever. This means that far more people are using them, the down side is that the choice of which one is right for you can be confusing.

watches

We have the complete guide to not only the best Heart Rate Monitor Watches, but also which one will suit you the best! Lets start off by seeing what the top selling Heart Rate Monitor Watches are of 2017:

Comparison of the top Heart Rate Watches of 2017

Product name Rating Price
Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Black, Large Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Black, Large
$148.95
Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR Monitor Running GPS Unit, Black Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR Monitor Running GPS
$349.99
Polar M600 Smart Sports Watch black Polar M600 Smart Sports Watch black
$299.94
UP3 by Jawbone Heart Rate, Activity + Sleep Tracker, Black Twist UP3 by Jawbone
Click to see
Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor (Purple/Pink) Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor
$51.91
Polar FT60F Black Heart Monitor 90051009 Polar FT60 Heart Monitor
$143.96
Garmin 010-01225-00 Vivofit Fitness Band - Black Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band
$67.99
Polar M400 GPS Sports Watch and Activity Tracker with Heart Rate Monitor - White Polar M400 GPS Sports Watch
$189.95
Garmin Forerunner 630 - Black/White Garmin Forerunner 630 - Black/White
$269.92

What can you expect of a Heart Rate Monitor Watch

We are often recommending heart rate monitors, they are great gadgets for detecting the feint electrical signal your heart puts out every time it beats. As technology has improved it is now possible to do far more with these watches than ever before. A huge leap has been the ability to detect that small charge in the wrist, previously only chest straps worn right over the heart were sensitive enough for an accurate reading. This has lead to small activity tracking watches and chest strap free watches

It used to be quite difficult to have to pair your heart rate monitor strap with the watch or exercise bike to see the read out. Sometimes in fitness classes were loads of people have chest straps the signals can overlap leading to some erratic readings. With a watch there is no signal to transmit, and only the watch to wear. This means no time wasted paring devices, changing batteries in the chest strap or the discomfort of wearing the strap.

The biggest change has been the move to Wearable technology watches. These come in many shapes and sizes, from the simple Fitbit to the new Apple Watch. They can measure things like the amount of sleep you have each night, how many steps you take and alert you if you have been sitting at your desk to long. We will add reviews for all these devices over time! For now we will look at heart rate monitoring as that, for fitness is the most important part!

Types of Heart Rate Monitors

easy trainer timexChest Strap Monitors

The original type of heart rate monitor and still really popular, are the chest straps. Worn on a band that fits tightly around the chest. They provide great accuracy, however if there is a large number of people about – say at the start of a race or a busy fitness class the signals can interfere with each other.

They need to be combined with a receiver, this used to be via a radio signal, now they are increasingly bluetooth. Bluetooth allows them to be paired with your Android and iPhone (from iOS 8.2) to work with your favourite fitness apps.

Finger Sensors

Uncommon now are finger sensors, they used to operate along with the watch to provide a hard wired detector to the watch. This meant that the pulse was not transmitted and no chest strap was required. These were useful for swimmers and triathletes.

Wrist Strap or strapless heart rate monitor

This is becoming one of the most common sensors. A pulse measurement built into the wrist strap. There are two different ways of detecting, one is via measuring the electric charge the other is by shining a light through the wrist to allow a measurement of the movement of the veins. While more comfortable and easier to use than a chest strap only the newer generations have the accuracy to be used competitively.

The disadvantages of the wrist straps are that they have to be located accurately over the wrist to detect the pulse, and can often slip – especially if its quite a chunky watch. The other issue is that if you have a lot of fat round the wrist then it can prevent the pulse being detected.

Which is best a Wrist Strap or Chest Strap

The great thing about the wrist strap is that you can wear it all the time, this is perfect for activity tracker watches and can give 24hr monitoring. It also makes things much more simple, if you are just going for a quick run, or jog on a treadmill then its right there on your wrist.

The downsides are limited accuracy, although this is improving with each new generation. The added equipment in the watch does add weight and some people find the big watches uncomfortable. Moving the sensor to a chest strap makes the watches much lighter and smaller!

Overall we would say that if an accurate heart rate during intensive exercise is important then a chest strap is the best option. However if you are looking for an all day activity tracker, either for life style or an all day event then the wrist strap would be a better choice.

Who are Heart Rate Monitors for?

runner in calf sleevesGeneral Fitness: Weight Loss, Jogging and Walking

Everyone should be elevating their heart rate 3-4 times a week for at lest 30 minutes to keep the heart strong. Our table shows the best options for fitness. These are simple, and inexpensive watches that can help track your activity through the week and ensure that you are doing enough to maintain a healthy heart. By combining a jog with the heart rate monitor you can be sure that your heart rate goes up high enough and for long enough to increase or maintain your fitness.

Runners and Cyclists

Moving up a notch from Jogging, runners can significantly benefit from measuring the heart rate. By maintaining the heart rate in the training zone (75% – 85% of max heart rate) over time then you will be improving your cardio performance. While racing you can push up to 90% of your max hr and know you can keep it their for a few minutes – great for a quick sprint past someone.

For cyclists a frame mounted receiver might be better than a watch. Some models come with wrist mounts and frame mounts so they can be moved from the frame for triathlons and endurance events.

Competitive Runners

All professional athletes will keep a very close eye on their heart rate while training. To high for to long can lead to long term health issues, and even sudden cardiac arrest if the heart should go into fibrillation. By recording the heart rate through set exercises performed regularly (say running a 6 minute mile) if the heart rate comes down from run to run then improvements in fitness can be seen.

Heart Attack Risk Users

Of course any exercise undertaken by people at high risk of heart attack should consult medical advice. However a heart rate monitor can still be useful to ensure that even moderate walking is not over pressuring the heart. Care needs to be taken with the choice of device, as if you are overweight then the wrist strap options may not detect any pulse.

The best watch option for anyone worried about the risk of heart attack is a daily activity tracker, something like the Jawbone UP is perfect.  Of course if you are concerned about heart attack risk then you should also consult a physician.

What sets the Jawbone UP apart, particularly for Heart Rate Tracking is that its A) Always on and B) light weight enough to be constantly worn. This is one of the few Heart rate monitors that can keep up with your lifestyle. Its sensors are built into the wrist band. This means that you don't need to wear cumbersome chest straps.

Its app links in with your phone for detailed stats, it even keeps a track of your sleeping so you can check if you really are getting the right amount for you.

  • Heart health monitoring throughout the day
  • Get personalized guidance from Smart Coach, Advanced sleep tracking automatically to capture REM, Light and Deep
  • Smart AlarmTM silently wakes you at the optimal time in your sleep cycle, Syncs wirelessly plus 7 days battery life
  • Android : UP4 are compatible with most Android devices equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 and running Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) or later.
  • IOS : UP4 are compatible with iPhone 4s (or newer),iPod touch (5th generation or newer),iPad (3rd generation or newer),iPad mini (1st generation or newer),iPad Air (1st generation or newer)

Main Features of a Heart Rate Monitor Watch:

Heart Rate Zone Alerts:

The most important feature of any heart rate monitor is to feed back where your heart rate is based on a percentage of its Maximum. Everyone max heart rate is different depending on their age, if you want to work it out the most common, and simplest method is: Max Heart Rate = 220 – Age so a 40 year old has a max heart rate of 180 beats per minute. Nearly all machines will workout your maximum heart rate when you set it up by asking for your age or date of birth.

As you raise the intensity of your workout your heart rate will increase, ideally you want your heart rate not to exceed 90% of your max heart rate, so for our 40 year old 90% intensity will be 162bpm. However for maximum benefit we want to keep the heart rate above 75% of Hr(max) or 135 BPM. This is where the heart rate monitor comes in. Most have alarms that you can set to tell you if you are above your target max, or below your target min. You can then speed up or slow down to return your heart rate to the training zone.

By staying in that training band you will get the most from your workout, and lower the chance of injury.

Timer and Chronometer

You will need to know how long you are exercising for, most watches come with some form of stopwatch. These can be super simple, start stop and lap times to complex multi stage affairs. The key for me for any timing device is that it should be simple to access, a large button for example, that can easily be pressed with gloved or sometimes numb hands.

Group cycling on the Lifespan GXTelemetry

This is simply the feedback from the device. One of the most important bits of information is time in target heart rate zone. This is the information that most people need, more sophisticate watches can show graphs of heart rate over time, with speed and height overlaid so you can see where the effort really went in.

Work and Calories Burned

Most runners will be happy to know how many calories were burned during their workout, this can easily be measured by the heart rate. If you are also cycling then you might be more interested in Watts, a more accurate measurement of the power you can output to the bike. Virtually all devices will show calories burned, especially at the lower consumer end. High end multi sport devices may not display this information!

Built in Fitness Tests

Many devices will have a setting to allow you to measure your heart rate over a set distance and time, a treadmill is perfect for this! By keeping track of your heart rate over a number of tests you can see if you are improving your fitness or if its slipping.

Linking to other Devices

Most Heart Rate monitors will allow you to output your stats to another computer or phone. Most large companies have a proprietary fitness tracking system, however we would nearly always use a third party app like Myfitnesspal or Strava to keep track of our runs. Some devices can connect via bluetooth, others need to be plugged into a computer.

Size and Weight

Sometimes these monitors can become extremely bulky. If you are just looking for a simple device and a chest strap then its possible for the watches to be very compact. Activity trackers can be no bigger than a bracelet. The more features you choose then the bigger the device, and for optimum accuracy any onboard heart rate monitor needs enough space for the contacts.

Mounting Options

This really only applies to cyclists, any device designed for cyclists to use should come with a secure frame mount. Others will allow you to move the watch from the frame to the wrist with a special strap.

ABC – Altitude, Barometer, Compass

Watches for adventure races, or long distance runs can often come with the so called ABC features. This measures Height, Air Pressure and direction. If it is GPS enabled then height can be calculated from the Global Positioning Satellites quite easily. Alternatively the Barometer will determine the air pressure and you will need to calibrate this at the start of the climb at a known height. You need to watch though because if the air pressure is dropping because of a storm coming in then it can lead to inaccurate readings of the height.

Battery Life

Things like simple activity trackers might have a battery life of a year or so. As features are added in some products can see the life dropping to weeks or even days and hours. Things like GPS, bluetooth, WIFI all drain battery life. If you are just running for a few hours a week then the battery life is not really an issue. If you plan on relying on the device for long walks or multi day adventures then it is worth keeping an eye on how long the product will run for. Generally if the battery life is in days then you can re charge using a USB charger, and is quite easy. If you have to open the back to access the battery you will need to ensure that it is still waterproof when finished.

Training Features

Newer devices will combine data from the GPS and heart-rate to tailor your workout programs on the fly. If you are running the builtin coach will encourage you to go faster if it detects that you are slower than usual.

MusicTwo Girls Running

While some enjoy the tranquility of running in silence, others can only get going when listening to their favourite playlist. With devices like the miCoach you can add in a pair of bluetooth headphones and listen to the music from your watch.

Features Summary

Depending on your circumstances, (and love of gadgets!) will determine the best product for you. If you are happy to run with a phone you may find that your smart phone has all the functionality you need and a simple Bluetooth chest strap is all you need.

What is the right kind of Heart Rate Monitor for you?

With such an array of features it can be difficult to know where to start. When it comes to buying fitness equipment we always recommend starting with your goal in mind, and work back from their.

Buying Considerations

Online reviews and guides

Like this one! Should give a great starting point to what you need. We only have time to spend a few hours getting to understand each device, and no reviewer can give a long term rating. We would reccommend checking that any product you are interested gets solid feedback on places like Amazon. Don’t be put off by 4 star reviews, but alarm bells should ring for anything that is scoring three or less.

Best Heart Rate Watches by Budget and Price

Some of these devices can be as much as a small laptop! So its important that you take note of any additional features that you really need. A basic heart rate monitor can do the job for $50. As they go up you need to make sure that the feature is something you need on your wrist (or can it be done by your phone),

Buyers should always consider their own budget when purchasing one of these watches. In general, they will provide different features at different prices. More basic monitors are generally more affordable, while advanced technological products might require that potential buyers save a bit before making a purchase. When buying, it is important to stay within a prescribed budget to avoid overspending.

Best Heart Rate Monitors for Under $100:

This is the entry level for any branded, reliable heart rate monitor. You will find good accurate devices, normally with a chest strap. However these will be a basic waterproof watch, with heart rate monitoring. There won’t be any app integration bluetooth or GPS. A great place to start if you are new to running and don’t want to spend a fortune!

 


  • Measures only heart rate and not foot steps
  • Provides continuous, accurate heart rate to keep your fitness training simple
  • Smart Calorie feature uses your personal data to provide accurate calories burned
  • Includes heart rate chest strap made of soft fabric material that adapts to your body shape; Requires and includes chest strap for accurate heart rate
  • User replaceable battery and water resistant (30m)
  • Connects with compatible gym equipment using GymLink

  • Track steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes. Comes with both small and large size band
  • Ultra-thin, removable tracker hides in bands, pendants and bangles
  • Swim-proof for tracking swimming, life-proof for wear in the ocean, shower, pool and beyond
  • SmartTrack automatically recognizes select workouts and records them to your Fitbit app; Get call and text notifications on your wrist with unique vibration patterns and color-coded LED lights
  • Automatically track how long and how well you sleep, and set a silent alarm to wake with a small vibration; LED display lights up to show progress toward your daily goal

  • Accurately track all-day stats like steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, stairs climbed, and active minutes
  • See daily stats and time of day with a bright OLED display
  • Monitor how long and how well you sleep, and wake with a silent vibrating alarm Get call notifications right on your wrist
  • Access real-time run stats like time, distance, and pace to stay on track
  • Sync stats wirelessly and automatically to your computer and over 100 leading smartphones

Best Heart Rate Monitors for Under $200:

As the price starts to increase, so do the number of features. In addition to heart rate monitoring you can expect to find things like better phone integration, possibly limited GPS functionality. Fitness tracking is also common at this level. You will find that lower end brands, such as Timex offer a little more than some of the higher end brands.

We really love the new Fitbit. This watch really makes fitness fun. The updated model is packed with tons of neat features, and really is a motivator for daily movement. The fitbit is the perfect too to align fitness into a daily lifestyle routine. Light and comfortable enough to wear 24/7, even when sleeping. Its understated looks mean that it can be worn with any outfit and still look great.

  • PurePulse continuous, automatic wrist-based heart rate tracking to better measure calorie burn all day
  • Maximize your workouts using simplified heart rate zones (Fat Burn, Cardio and Peak)
  • See call, text & calendar notifications on the OLED display; Automatically track how long and how well you sleep and wake with a silent vibrating alarm
  • Get a better understanding of your fitness level and see how you can improve over time with a personalized Cardio Fitness Score; Use Connected GPS during run mode to see real-time stats like pace and distance on your wrist
  • Track all-day activity like steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes;Find moments of calm throughout your day with personalized guided breathing sessions based on your heart rate
  • US Version
Still sticking with the Polar range we did say if you were going to buy a Heart Rate monitor that the most popular are the Polars!

This is our pick of the Polar range for their standalone heart monitors, before venturing into GPS equipped lines. For about $100 you get the watch along with comfortable chest strap. The FT60 includes a number of nice little features that we will go into in our full review.

The standout features are the heart rate zone lock, I like using this to set my target heart rate that I am aiming for during a workout. Also the calorie counting is superb with this monitor.

Pros: Easy to use and quick to set up. Good battery life, and compatible with more advanced features as your needs increase. You can adding GPS and easily connect with your fitness apps on your phone.

Cons: The FT60 is somewhat bulkier than the other similar polar watches. However it is not uncomfortable, men will have no problem with wearing it. If you are a lady with a very slim wrist it may be a little to big, but most manage well with this.

  • tells you how much and how intensively to train
  • Creates a training program based on your personal goals and sets new weekly training targets
  • Gives feedback on the effect of your training
  • Black
  • Black women's heart rate monitor watch with several innovative training features
  • Displays heart rate as percentage of maximum, bpm, and within target zone indicator
  • Polar Star personalized training program delivers feedback and weekly training targets
  • Polar OwnCal mode tracks energy expenditure for single and accumulated workouts
  • Offers ZonePointer and Polar OwnZone modes; water-resistant to 30 meters; 2-year warranty
If chest straps put you off the polar range then MIO may be your best option. All the MIO range use wrist sensors to detect the heart rate. This means no chest straps are needed.

The MIO Alpha 2 is the core of the MIO range. It’s a great looking heart rate monitor with a clean clear look. MIO have designed this to be as much as a daily activity tracker as just a sports watch. So it has a nice built in motion detector that can monitor your steps as well as give your heart rate.

Pros: .Good looking, includes the full featured MIO app that keeps good track of your workout progress. Plus its strapless, great for all day use.

Cons: The big issue that all strapless watches have is they have to be worn on a specific part of the wrist, just above the wrist bone. This can feel a little unusual at the start but you get used to it!

  • Get accurate wrist-based heart rate during exercise.
  • Track workouts plus all day activity, including steps, calories and distance.
  • Store up to 25 hours of workout data.
  • Sync wirelessly via Bluetooth Smart (4.0) to popular fitness apps.
  • Water resistant up to 30m (3 ATM / 100 ft.).
  • Compatible with Mio PAI App (Personal Activity Intelligence).
  • Have questions about your Mio? Contact Mio Global at 1-877-770-1116 (Mon-Fri: 9am to 5pm PST) and kindly refer to the user manual for instructions and troubleshooting.
  • To add all day activity tracking, easily update your firmware via Mio GO app.

Best Heart Rate Monitors for between $200 – $400:

Kicking up the price once again brings us in to the territory of some really competitive gear. These watches are designed for serious athletes, triathletes and cyclists. You can also find the introduction of wearable tech here. These are watches that have phone integration and email, along with heart rate monitoring.

Perfect for use in the pool everyday, also on your bike and for running. This model is ideal if you want to track your pulse in the water and it does a great job. It has a long list of excellent features for training and the option to put your workouts on Personal trainer.com is very useful. The option to change the size of the display is handy in the pool, much easier to read. The M600 provides a good accurate reading and has many more features than the equivalent Timex Ironman. Pros: Good looking, and despite its large image it is comfortable to wear. Designed for triathletes it's fully waterproof, and the large strap will comfortably fit over a wet suit. Being able to see your heart rate while swimming is fantastic Cons: This watch provides a huge number of functions, expect to have to recharge it every couple of days.

  • Wrist heart rate monitor: accurate wrist-based heart rate monitor with personalized training guidance to reach your fitness goals
  • GPS watch: built-in GPS Technology keeps track of your pace, distance and altitude
  • Waterproof fitness tracker: customize your M600 activity tracker to fit your style with interchangeable, waterproof wristbands
  • Full Android wear ecosystem: notifications, social features, weather, calendar, maps, 3Rd Party Apps via google play. Smart coaching: running index, Sport profiles, hr zones, training benefit
  • Please refer to the iOS/Android Comparison Chart for full features.Please review user manual attached below for item troubleshooting.
If you are looking for versatility then this is the model to go for. With its built-in apps its capable of nearly every adventure you could conceive of . With built in apps you can track cross fit training, running, swims and cycles. Its look is rugged and utilitarian, which ex military people will like.

All the features are present and correct, it measures time, distance, elevation, temperature, pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate. Has a digital compass, altimeter, storm alarm, barometer and can can also accept push notifications from your phone. All the apps go through a server so information can be delivered to the likes of Strava. You can then analyse up to 30 different parameters of each workout.

Pros: The watch has now been out for a couple of years, so the price has now dipped below $400 (from $600 at launch). Also the bugs in the software have now been all ironed out.

Cons: The watch does an amazing ability to store information. However to analyse it you need to be online. This is not always possible if say cross country skiing or out back mountain biking.

  • Suunto Ambit3 peak delivers Stable and accurate altitude and weather information with full navigation in a robust casting
  • Includes built in altimeter, barometer, compass and GPS with 100 meter water resistance
  • One of the most competitive battery hours in the market, 200 hours with 1 minute accuracy
  • Connect Ambit3 peak to your smartphone for syncing your activities, customizing on the go and seeing calls and notifications on the watch
  • Add Photos in movement and create a Suunto Movie with the highlights of your Adventure to share with your friends

Top Heart Rate Monitor Watch Brands:

Polar Watches

The biggest, and possibly best Heart Rate Monitor Watch brand is Polar. If you do buy a heart rate monitor chances are it will be a polar (all mine are Polar).

Their position is mid to high end, with watches designed more for athletes rather than fitness tracking. Their biggest selling watch is the FT4 which is a great entry level device for basic heart rate tracking. If you have the budget you can go all the way upto the fully featured RS800CX which combines GPS, Heart Monitoring and a host of training plans to help you improve.
within 80 different countries around the world.

Pros

These are high quality watches that are reliable and do a great job. Most of their watches us the Polar Chest strap which is probably the most commonly used chest strap for fitness machines.

Cons
While we are big fans of the Polar range, they are possibly not the most fashionable looking products. They value function over form. The other issue is that they are not huge in the fitness tracker market.

Mio Fitness

Mio produce a small range of very popular and stylish heart rate monitors and activity trackers. While not the cheapest on the market they look great, especially the activity tracker that we would be happy to wear all day. The main feature if Mio Fitness is that their whole range is based on wrist based heart rate measurement. If you don’t like the idea wearing a chest strap then Mio may the be best brand for you.

Pros

Claim to have the most accurate range of wrist based heart rate monitors on the market. All their connections are open source and you are not forced to use a proprietary app to access your favorite fitness tracker.

Cons

The range is small, and the focus is on compact and accurate heart rate monitoring. If you are looking for GPS and other features you will need to look outside the Mio Brand.

Garmin

Best known for their high end consumer and professional GPS products , Garmin is also a big brand in fitness monitoring. Using the Garmin Forerunner brand there is a huge range of Sport Watches that mostly feature GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring.

Pros

Garmin have some great GPS features built into their watches. Including route tracking, downloadable runs from the web. The heart rate tracking is via a chest strap and is reliable.

Cons

Some of the Garmin watches for us look either a little plain, or to bulky. In the past some of the interfaces have been less than intuitive. However the newer models have started to address this.

Timex

This is the first traditional watch company to make big waves in Sports Watches. The Timex brand is entry-mid level quality. This means it is easy to pick up some great featured products for not to much money. Ironman is the brand that Timex run their heartrate monitor watches under, in direct competition to the Casio G_Shock range.

Pros

For us a great feature of all Timex Watches, besides the low price, is the Indiglo back light that does a great job of keeping the display visible when running at night.

Cons

The low prices come at a cost, sometimes the watches are often quite complicated. There can also be issues with some of their chest strap reliability. Still for an entry level range they perform well

Omron HealthCare

So we have seen GPS companies, Heart Rate tracking companies and a watch brand all coming into the Sport Watch arena. Omron is different; it is the maker of medical diagnostic equipment.

This means that their products are really designed not with the athlete in mind but more people with medical issues that need to keep a track of their heart rate.

If simplicity is something you crave then Omron could well be the best choice. The Omron watches mainly just feature basic heart rate monitoring. Even the entry price is low, starting at under $30.

Pros

Simple watches that give a low cost basic heart measurement.

Cons

There are a couple of issues, their watches are not what you would call attractive. Function trumps form. For anyone looking to race or compete they may find the lack of features difficult.

 

Our Pick of the Top Heart Rate Monitors of 2017

For a number of years now this has been the best selling heart rate monitor on the market. A stylish unisex watch, that is available for around $60-$70 including the chest strap.

At this price it really only includes the heartrate measurement, however it does include a useful calorie tracker.

Pros: Neat design that looks good. Its simple to use and very comfortable to wear even during long workouts.

Cons: There are not really any serious concerns about this heart monitor. If we were being picky then the battery life could be a smidgen longer.

For a simple and affordable heart rate monitor there really is none better. We would only look at another product if we needed more features. The next model up from the FT4, and for an extra $10 is the FT7. The main benefit of the larger model is better fitness tracking. It allows 99 workouts to be stored to allow full analysis of your training and see where you are improving.

  • Measures only heart rate and not foot steps
  • Provides continuous, accurate heart rate to keep your fitness training simple
  • Smart Calorie feature uses your personal data to provide accurate calories burned
  • Includes heart rate chest strap made of soft fabric material that adapts to your body shape; Requires and includes chest strap for accurate heart rate
  • User replaceable battery and water resistant (30m)
  • Connects with compatible gym equipment using GymLink
Still sticking with the Polar range we did say if you were going to buy a Heart Rate monitor that the most popular are the Polars!

This is our pick of the Polar range for their standalone heart monitors, before venturing into GPS equipped lines. For about $100 you get the watch along with comfortable chest strap. The FT60 includes a number of nice little features that we will go into in our full review.

The standout features are the heart rate zone lock, I like using this to set my target heart rate that I am aiming for during a workout. Also the calorie counting is superb with this monitor.

Pros: Easy to use and quick to set up. Good battery life, and compatible with more advanced features as your needs increase. You can adding GPS and easily connect with your fitness apps on your phone.

Cons: The FT60 is somewhat bulkier than the other similar polar watches. However it is not uncomfortable, men will have no problem with wearing it. If you are a lady with a very slim wrist it may be a little to big, but most manage well with this.

  • tells you how much and how intensively to train
  • Creates a training program based on your personal goals and sets new weekly training targets
  • Gives feedback on the effect of your training
  • Black
  • Black women's heart rate monitor watch with several innovative training features
  • Displays heart rate as percentage of maximum, bpm, and within target zone indicator
  • Polar Star personalized training program delivers feedback and weekly training targets
  • Polar OwnCal mode tracks energy expenditure for single and accumulated workouts
  • Offers ZonePointer and Polar OwnZone modes; water-resistant to 30 meters; 2-year warranty
If chest straps put you off the polar range then MIO may be your best option. All the MIO range use wrist sensors to detect the heart rate. This means no chest straps are needed.

The MIO Alpha 2 is the core of the MIO range. It’s a great looking heart rate monitor with a clean clear look. MIO have designed this to be as much as a daily activity tracker as just a sports watch. So it has a nice built in motion detector that can monitor your steps as well as give your heart rate.

Pros: .Good looking, includes the full featured MIO app that keeps good track of your workout progress. Plus its strapless, great for all day use.

Cons: The big issue that all strapless watches have is they have to be worn on a specific part of the wrist, just above the wrist bone. This can feel a little unusual at the start but you get used to it!

  • Get accurate wrist-based heart rate during exercise.
  • Track workouts plus all day activity, including steps, calories and distance.
  • Store up to 25 hours of workout data.
  • Sync wirelessly via Bluetooth Smart (4.0) to popular fitness apps.
  • Water resistant up to 30m (3 ATM / 100 ft.).
  • Compatible with Mio PAI App (Personal Activity Intelligence).
  • Have questions about your Mio? Contact Mio Global at 1-877-770-1116 (Mon-Fri: 9am to 5pm PST) and kindly refer to the user manual for instructions and troubleshooting.
  • To add all day activity tracking, easily update your firmware via Mio GO app.
This is a great entry-level heart rate monitor that we would love to recommend. Designed for people seeing what heart rate they are achieving when working out on a very affordable watch. It also includes a basic clock and stopwatch. Its the best selling Fitness Band in the world at the moment.

Pros: Very inexpensive the and great looking! Comfortable to wear all the time

Cons: One big issue with this heart rate monitor is that you need to wear the strap. However you can still monitor your fitness and activity without wearing it.

  • Move Bar - Motivates you to be active throughout the day by displaying a red move bar after one hour of inactivity. Additional segments light up for every 15 minutes of inactivity. Just walk for a couple of minutes to reset.
  • 24/7 Wearable - Stylish, comfortable and water resistant wristband that is always on and ready to go.
  • Long battery life - Stays on for more than a year without having to change the battery. Easy-to-read display - View the time of day and your stats right on your wrist.
  • Achieve your goals - Vivofit learns your activity level and assigns a personalized goal each morning. Count calories - Records calories burned throughout the day including base metabolic rate.
  • Monitor your sleep - Set the sleep mode when you go to bed to track the quality of your rest.
  • Physical dimensions: 21 mm wide x 10.5 mm thick (length varies based on band size; 120-175mm (small wrist circumference) and 152-210mm (large wrist circumference))
  • Display size, WxH: 1.00" x 0.39" (25.5 mm x 10 mm)
  • Note: Your mobile device must support Bluetooth Smart in order to pair with your vívofit device and synchronize data. The following phones have been tested by Garmin and deemed compatible to work with our Bluetooth Smart devices:
  • Android
  • Apple
  • Windows 10 Phone
We really love the new Fitbit. This watch really makes fitness fun. The updated model is packed with tons of neat features, and really is a motivator for daily movement. The fitbit is the perfect too to align fitness into a daily lifestyle routine. Light and comfortable enough to wear 24/7, even when sleeping. Its understated looks mean that it can be worn with any outfit and still look great.

  • PurePulse continuous, automatic wrist-based heart rate tracking to better measure calorie burn all day
  • Maximize your workouts using simplified heart rate zones (Fat Burn, Cardio and Peak)
  • See call, text & calendar notifications on the OLED display; Automatically track how long and how well you sleep and wake with a silent vibrating alarm
  • Get a better understanding of your fitness level and see how you can improve over time with a personalized Cardio Fitness Score; Use Connected GPS during run mode to see real-time stats like pace and distance on your wrist
  • Track all-day activity like steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes;Find moments of calm throughout your day with personalized guided breathing sessions based on your heart rate
  • US Version

Summary of Heart Rate Monitors for 2017

For the majority of users the Polar FT range will cover most of your heart reading needs.

However if you are a fan of tech, or want to do longer or more advanced fitness regimes then adding features GPS, Bluetooth and fitness tracking is easily available on devices between $100- $200.

The big move for 2017 is into activity tracking. May of the heart rate monitors are designed to be daily activity trackers. Depending on your budget you can get some really sophisticated devices that alert when you have done enough steps or need to get up from the desk. They can even track your sleep.