The Best Heart Rate Monitor for 2023

Keep track of your health and fitness goals with the best chest straps.

Heart Rate Monitor

The perfect workout partner is a heart monitor with a chest strap. Using a heart-rate monitor, you can keep track of your workout intensity. Even if you aren’t particularly active, being aware of your heart rate variability can help you keep in touch with your cardiovascular system, which controls your heart rate. Traditionally, the only way to check your heart rate was to strap a large monitor to your chest, but fortunately, technological advancements have made it possible to do so using different wearables like bands, watches, and even rings.

Here are our top picks for the best heart rate monitors now on the market, regardless of whether you’re looking for a device with a long battery life, multisport features, or just a functional, affordable design.

How We Picked

  • Accuracy

    All our picks come with chest straps as they tend to get more accurate heart-rate data readings than wrist monitors, armbands, or conventional fitness trackers.

  • Monitor Type and Features

    All of our picks are ideal for regular users and athletes with specific needs. Moreover, Bluetooth connectivity is available on every display.

  • Easy to Read Display

    Our picks have additional features such as a clear screen that displays the time, your heart rate, strides, and more.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    Heart rate monitors at various price points were included because we are aware that budgets can differ.

Our Top Picks

Our Top Pick

Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor

Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor

With a built-in memory, accurate readings, an extra-long 400-hour battery life, and bluetooth and ANT+ compatibility, this option is your best bet.

If you want the most precise heart rate measurement possible, the Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor is your best bet. It features everything you need, including built-in memory, accurate readings, an extra-long 400-hour battery life, and Bluetooth and ANT+ compatibility with applications, watches, and cardio equipment. Additionally, it's ideal for swimmers, bikers, and other exercise enthusiasts.

Buy Now for $87.95

Its EKG sensor technology turns your heart's electrical activity into real-time heart rate readings

Our Runner-Up

Garmin HRM-Pro Heart Rate Monitor

Garmin HRM-Pro Heart Rate Monitor

Delivering thorough running information, such as stride length, vertical ratio, and ground contact duration, this is our next best pick.

With an electrode pad sensor to monitor heart rate, this heart rate motor from Garmin also delivers thorough running information, such as stride length, vertical ratio, and ground contact duration. It retains heart rate information when you're swimming or engaging in other activities beyond the range of your Garmin watch, and when the activity is over, it transfers data to the watch automatically. It can also link to any Bluetooth smart technology and is compact and lightweight.

Buy Now for $106.60

This solid option is perfect for triathletes and offers features you won’t find on other models.

Most Cost-Effective

Wahoo Tickr X Heart Rate Monitor

Wahoo Tickr X Heart Rate Monitor

This versatile and affordable device accurately transmits heart rates and is compatible with more than 50 fitness applications.

In addition to being quite versatile, this Wahoo heart rate monitor is also affordable. It has tested technology that accurately transmits heart rates and calories to Wahoo Fitness and other popular exercise apps. More than 50 fitness applications, including MapMyRun, Zwift, and Peloton, are compatible with it. You can readily check your heart rate and connectivity with this chest strap's top-mounted LED lights.

Buy Now for $79.95

This inexpensive pick offers connectivity of up to three Bluetooth devices simultaneously.

Everything We Recommend

Our Top Pick

Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor

Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor

With a built-in memory, accurate readings, an extra-long 400-hour battery life, and bluetooth and ANT+ compatibility, this option is your best bet.

$87.95

Buy Now

Our Runner-Up

Garmin HRM-Pro Heart Rate Monitor

Garmin HRM-Pro Heart Rate Monitor

Delivering thorough running information, such as stride length, vertical ratio, and ground contact duration, this is our next best pick.

$106.60

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

Wahoo Tickr X Heart Rate Monitor

Wahoo Tickr X Heart Rate Monitor

This versatile and affordable device accurately transmits heart rates and is compatible with more than 50 fitness applications.

$79.95

Buy Now

Who This Is For

The products being promoted here are intended for both competitive athletes who use the data for efficient training and exercisers who need to stay in a specified heart rate zone for safety reasons owing to a medical condition.

Can you measure your heart rate at home?

It’s easy to check your pulse with just your fingers using either your wrist or the side of your neck, according to the Harvard Medical School Special Health Report Diseases of the Heart. To check your heart rate, you can also use a variety of heart rate monitors. A digital fitness tracker is one choice. The most credible ones have a strap that you wrap over your chest with a wireless sensor attached. The sensor electronically detects your heartbeat and transmits the information to a wristwatch-style receiver that shows your heart rate. Others have sensors built right into the wristwatch. These slightly less accurate sensors assess your heart rate by observing blood flow through the skin.

There are also numerous smartphone apps that can measure your heart rate. You place your finger on the phone’s camera lens for the majority of these, and the phone analyzes color changes in your finger while your heart beats.

Handgrip heart rate monitors are commonly found on treadmills, elliptical machines, and other exercise machines available in gyms and certain home exercise rooms. These use the metal on the grips and minute amounts of sweat from your hands to detect the electric signal of your heartbeat. However, due to its obvious accuracy issues, doctors do not advise using devices to check your heart rate.

Average heart rate (for each age range)

A healthy heart rate varies from person to person and is influenced by age, medications, medical conditions, body size, temperature and physical activity. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that an adult’s heart rate be between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Equally, your heart rate should be between 70 and 100 beats per minute if you are between the ages of six and 15. The table below shows typical heart rates by age:

New born: 100-160
0-5 months: 90-150
6-12 months: 80-140
1-3 years: 80-130
3-5 years: 80-120
6-10 years: 70-110
11-14 years: 60-105
15 & older: 60-100

Do I need a heart rate monitor at home?

Heart rate monitors continuously track your heart rate, enabling you to evaluate the intensity of your workouts (particularly if you perform them at home), track your stress levels throughout the day, evaluate the quality of your sleep, and keep an eye on your vital signs. As an illustration, consider your resting heart rate, or how many times per minute your heart beats when you’re at rest (such as first thing in the morning). While a higher resting heart rate has been linked to a higher risk of cardiac events, a low resting heart rate is a sign of cardiovascular health and efficiency.

A rapid increase in your resting heart rate, whether it’s due to stress at work, alcohol consumption, or a cold, could be an indication of stress. An effective strategy to manage your health is to track your heart rate and learn what is normal for you.

Why You Should Trust Us

Our expert reviewers evaluate and compare products and services for hours so you can pick the best option. We also asked reputable cardiologists for their top picks and talked to online reviewers who shared some of their own observations.

How We Picked

Accuracy

Contrary to wrist- and arm-worn devices, chest straps are the heart rate-measuring equipment that has been found to be the most accurate. Our top pick effortlessly provides this capability.

Monitor Types

You can switch between heart rate modes on some monitor types by pressing just one button. Additionally, you can transmit data to other linked fitness devices that are compatible with it, and even track heart rate while swimming with a swimming goggle attachment.

Features

When working out, think about what you want your monitor to track. To assist you attain your fitness goal, higher-end models collect real-time data on a variety of factors, including blood pressure, calorie burn, and heart-rate variability, while more affordable models may merely monitor your heart rate.

Easy-to-Read Display

Added features like visible LED lights or a touchscreen AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diodes) display that shows the time, your heart rate, steps, and more are often found on decent heart rate monitors.
Price vs Quality: Retail prices for devices with better functionality are usually pricier. Furthermore, more expensive heart rate monitors typically have superior sensor quality and accuracy.

Easy to Use

It should have a display that is simple to read; older users might prefer a larger interface. The data should also be comprehensible for the user’s education level; it won’t be of much use if it’s confusing.

Battery Life

Different types of power sources can be used with chest strap monitors. Although some batteries are user-replaceable and rechargeable, others may have extraordinarily extended battery lives. No one wants their monitor to die in the middle of a run, so longer battery life is always useful.

Power

While some chest strap heart-rate monitor batteries can last over a year, others only have a 500-hour lifespan. How frequently you use the device will determine its longevity.

Our Picks For You

Our Top Pick - Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor

Our Top Pick

Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor

Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor

With a built-in memory, accurate readings, an extra-long 400-hour battery life, and bluetooth and ANT+ compatibility, this option is your best bet.

If you want the most precise heart rate measurement possible, the Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor is your best bet. It features everything you need, including built-in memory, accurate readings, an extra-long 400-hour battery life, and Bluetooth and ANT+ compatibility with applications, watches, and cardio equipment. Additionally, it's ideal for swimmers, bikers, and other exercise enthusiasts.

Buy Now for $87.95

Who It's For

For athletes who detest working out with their phone in hand, the H10 maintains that accuracy while enhancing battery life and introducing inbuilt memory.

Why It's Great

Thanks to a third electrode and silicone grippers to keep it in place, the Polar H10 is the most accurate product on the market, accurate to +/- one millisecond. The incredibly easy adjustability and incredibly comfortable fit are two key advantages in its favor. In addition to being comfortable, the H10 records your heart rate variability and is completely waterproof.

Potential Flaws

The GymLink connection periodically glitches, and the app charges for basic features. It could also be considered as being overpriced and inaccurate when used underwater.

Other Features

In terms of design, the H10 is quite similar to the Polar H7, albeit with a few significant upgrades. The strap has a redesigned buckle that is simpler to put on and adjust, and the inside contains electrodes and silicone dots to prevent slippage. The snap-on sensor is smaller and thinner. The H10 boasts a 400-hour battery life and supports wireless software updates. Additionally, you never need to charge it because it runs on a standard coin cell battery. An revised design on the sensor's rear makes it simpler to change the battery. The Wahoo Tickr X does not allow you to use it while swimming, however, the H10 does. The H10 can store one training session before syncing thanks to its internal memory.

The H10 doesn't have a screen, so unless you use it with suitable gym equipment via Polar's exclusive GymLink connection, you won't get real-time feedback until your phone is nearby. The H10 is compatible with both Polar's own Beat and Flow apps as well as other fitness apps of your choosing. The readout was accurate to within two to three beats per minute each time we tried it. For comparison, the majority of trackers typically fluctuate between five and ten beats. It's challenging to match the H10's dependable accuracy if you intend to take heart rate zone training seriously. Wearing the H10 all day is possible due to its high level of comfort. There are two sizes available: XS-S (20-26 inches) and M-XXL (26-36 inches).

Our Runner-Up - Garmin HRM-Pro Heart Rate Monitor

Our Runner-Up

Garmin HRM-Pro Heart Rate Monitor

Garmin HRM-Pro Heart Rate Monitor

Delivering thorough running information, such as stride length, vertical ratio, and ground contact duration, this is our next best pick.

With an electrode pad sensor to monitor heart rate, this heart rate motor from Garmin also delivers thorough running information, such as stride length, vertical ratio, and ground contact duration. It retains heart rate information when you're swimming or engaging in other activities beyond the range of your Garmin watch, and when the activity is over, it transfers data to the watch automatically. It can also link to any Bluetooth smart technology and is compact and lightweight.

Buy Now for $106.60

Who It's For

This device is perfect for athletes who have activities done both on land and in water.

Why It's Great

The HRM Pro, which supports ANT+ and Bluetooth is the best heart rate monitor available from Garmin. Although it is the most expensive chest strap on this list, it does include a lot of extra functions. In our studies, we particularly valued its compatibility with a wide range of gadgets and apps because of its accurate and responsive results. It can effortlessly send workout statistics to the Garmin app and link to third-party fitness gear and apps.

Potential Flaws

This device is relatively expensive and can only be hand washed. It is also optimized for Garmin products only.

Other Features

It has onboard memory, and when you next connect your device to Garmin Connect, it will immediately measure your heart rate data and transfer it to your device. It will quickly pair with your Zwift device or any type of cycling computer for riders. For serious runners, it can also monitor specific running parameters like stride length, ground contact duration, and more. These are incredibly remarkable metrics, but the only way to access them is via one of Garmin's smartwatches—you cannot do so using a smartphone.

The battery is a CR2032 coin cell, and according to Garmin, it will last for about 12 months when used for an hour every day, which translates to 365 hours of training time. This is a true multi-sport tool that works on both ground and water. The HRM-Swim does include a wide strap for individuals who intend to swim frequently because it helps it remain in place better. This is particularly helpful for those who are not wearing a wetsuit, swimsuit, or triathlon vest over the top. A chest strap is unquestionably the more trustworthy solution, even though many contemporary sports watches can monitor heart rate while swimming, their accuracy varies substantially. Although wireless signals don't work well in the water, the HRM-Pro can save data for up to 18 hours before syncing.

Most Cost-Effective - Wahoo Tickr X Heart Rate Monitor

Most Cost-Effective

Wahoo Tickr X Heart Rate Monitor

Wahoo Tickr X Heart Rate Monitor

This versatile and affordable device accurately transmits heart rates and is compatible with more than 50 fitness applications.

In addition to being quite versatile, this Wahoo heart rate monitor is also affordable. It has tested technology that accurately transmits heart rates and calories to Wahoo Fitness and other popular exercise apps. More than 50 fitness applications, including MapMyRun, Zwift, and Peloton, are compatible with it. You can readily check your heart rate and connectivity with this chest strap's top-mounted LED lights.

Buy Now for $79.95

Who It's For

It's an excellent heart rate monitor for cyclists and runners at the pricing point.

Why It's Great

With the Wahoo Tickr heart rate monitor, you can start learning how to pay attention to your heart rate and the insights it can provide into your exercise time without breaking the bank. It functions both indoors and outdoors and is good for better tracking of activity. This new Tickr X model is more battery-efficient, lighter, and thinner than the original.

Potential Flaws

The app could include additional interesting programs, and it doesn't record heart rate while swimming.

Other Features

The second-generation Wahoo Tickr X is a chest strap HRM that can measure cycling as well as three advanced running metrics (cadence, vertical oscillation, and ground contact time). Two blinking LEDs have also been added, and they are now situated on the top of the device so that you can readily see them when you look down. The lights indicate if the sensor is functioning. It tracks heart rate, indoor cycling cadence, treadmill distance, and pace using embedded electrode sensors. Additionally, you can use running statistics to enhance your form and technique, such as vertical oscillation, cadence, and ground contact time.

You have the option to start the Wahoo Fitness companion app while jogging or let it fully track your run (for Android and iOS). When you launch the app the following time and have the Tickr X close by, the heart rate sensor syncs data back to the app even if you leave your phone behind. Fitness apps like Wahoo Fitness, Strava, and Zwift accept training data uploaded from the internal memory that may store up to 50 hours of training. With a 500-hour battery life, the monitor syncs to numerous devices. It's possible to forget you're wearing it because the extra-wide chest strap is so comfortable. We didn't notice any abnormal heart rate measurements while running. It recorded heart rates in zones 4 and 5 at high intensity. It also fell into the expected range when it was at rest.

Almost Made The Cut - Polar H9 Heart Rate Sensor

Almost Made The Cut

Polar H9 Heart Rate Sensor

Polar H9 Heart Rate Sensor

This option offers a broad range of compatibility and a great companion app.

The Polar H9 is an excellent heart rate monitor to consider if you're looking for a trustworthy, high-quality heart rate monitor for your regular sports. Because it is compatible with Bluetooth and ANT+ (a wireless sensor network), this classic chest strap monitor is renowned for its exceptional accuracy, a snug fit, and all-around adaptability. Additionally, it has connections for activity trackers, gym equipment, and sports and smartwatches.

Buy Now for $56.69

Who It's For

This is great for cyclists and runners who want to take their training more seriously but can't afford a high-end monitor.

Why It's Great

The Polar H9 is fairly similar to the Polar H10 except for a few major characteristics. It's less pricey than the H10. The H10 can keep data from your previous training session while the H9 lacks any onboard memory, allowing you to use it without a connected smartphone and simply upload your workout data afterward which means you can go for a run without your phone.

Potential Flaws

Lacking some features found on more expensive monitors, iIt does not store workout data and just has one Bluetooth connection.

Other Features

It pairs with phones, running watches, and other exercise equipment and is washable, comfy, and compatible with ANT+, Bluetooth, and 5kHz transmission. Polar's series of heart rate monitors is compatible with its own apps, Polar Flow and Polar Beat, as well as third-party apps.
The associated Polar applications include heart rate training options and a quick VO2max test so you can monitor your fitness development over time. It functions correctly in terms of accuracy in general. A coin cell battery powers the Polar H9. The battery should last around a year if you exercise for an hour every day. Its soft strap is made of stretchy black fabric made of four different materials (38% Polyamide, 29% polyurethane, 20% elastane, 13% polyester). With dimensions of 1.33 by 2.56 by 0.39 inches (HWD), the sensor is compact. Although it is waterproof enough to swim in, it clips into place with two snaps and you should remove the sensor to wash the strap.

Care and Maintenance

Contact a doctor or call an ambulance if you are truly worried about your heart

Call 911 immediately if you or someone you are with is experiencing chest pain or other heart attack symptoms. Getting an ambulance is better than your initial urge to drive yourself or the heart attack victim to the hospital. On the drive to the hospital, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff might begin administering care. They are also trained to perform CPR if someone’s heart stops.

What can cause increases in heart rate?

Increases in heart rate can have a variety of potential causes, such as adverse drug reactions, alcohol consumption, and specific medical conditions. The majority of reasons for a quick heartbeat are not harmful. A faster-than-normal heartbeat, though, may indicate a more serious health issue.

The heart rate of a person may rise when they are experiencing stressful emotions like fear, rage, or anxiety. The adrenal glands release adrenaline or epinephrine, when the body is under stress. A person may experience accelerated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, enlarging of the pupils, palpitations, and perspiration when exposed to epinephrine. As the stress is gone, their symptoms go away.

How to use a monitor correctly

You can obtain inaccurate, spikey readings at the start of your ride if it takes you a time to start perspiring or if you’re cycling in cool, dry conditions. This can be avoided by moistening your strap before mounting the bike — a smart idea even in rainy weather.

Where to place the monitor

The most comfortable, accurate, and affordable heart rate monitor is still the chest strap-based model. Unfortunately, wearing it incorrectly can reduce its effectiveness. With the sensor placed in the middle of your front, it should fit snugly over your chest. It should also be upright. The chest-strap monitor won’t function as effectively as it could if it’s worn backwards.