We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

A pedometer is a small device people can wear to count the steps they take every day. Wearing one can encourage a person to move more and allow them to track their progress and set attainable goals.

Quick links

A pedometer is a small device that counts a person’s steps. Typically, a person attaches a pedometer to their clothing, but they may also choose one they can wear on their wrist or around their neck.

Using a pedometer can encourage a person to be more active and allow for fitness tracking and goal management.

Recent increases in pedometer and fitness tracker features allow more detailed fitness and health information across a wide variety of activities.

This article looks at the benefits of step counting with a pedometer and lists 10 highly rated pedometers a person can consider.

Medical News Today chooses fitness equipment that meets the following criteria:

  • Price: MNT chooses products available for a wide range of budgets.
  • Connectivity: MNT ensures variation in connectivity to apps and smartphones that helps people track their activity.
  • Materials: MNT chooses products that have safe and durable materials that are easy to clean and maintain.
  • Ease of use: MNT selects simple-to-use products that have clear instructions.
  • Quality: MNT chooses companies that adhere to high quality manufacturing processes that ensure their products are safe for personal use.
  • Reputation: MNT chooses products from businesses that adhere to industry best practices and offer reliable customer service and support.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and is correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Below are 10 of the best pedometers for a wide range of preferences.

Best for clear display: 3DFitBud Simple Step Counter

3DActive sells a range of fitness-related products, including resistance bands and pedometers.

This small step counter is available in three colors and features a clear display with large text. It is an easy-to-use product that a person can use right away once they unbox it.

The company says the pedometer contains a 3D Tri-Axis sensor for accuracy, and people can wear it in any position to record steps. A built-in clip allows individuals to attach it to their clothes.

It also features a long lasting battery that goes to sleep to conserve power when not in use.

This pedometer has a large digit display that is easy to read. It may suit individuals who need larger on-screen text to make reading easier.

The 3DFitBud costs around $39.99.

The product comes with the following pros and cons:

Pros

  • available in eight colors
  • large display for easy reading
  • auto-sleep and auto-wake features
  • lanyard included
  • 12-month battery life

Cons

  • may provide inaccurate counts, according to reviews
  • may not work well when carried in a pocket, according to reviews

Best for small budgets: Realalt 3DTriSport Walking 3D Pedometer

Realalt is based in the United Kingdom.

This pedometer features a large display and a battery life of up to 12 months. It is available in five colors.

The company says this pedometer is easy to use and has a built-in 3D Tri-Axis sensor to record step count accurately. A person can choose to view their distance statistics in miles or kilometers.

The tracker also provides other information, such as calories burned and exercise time. It can store up to 30 days of step count records with its onboard memory.

This product may suit people who want an affordable pedometer that offers more insight into their exercise, as it records steps, calories, and exercise duration.

This device costs $24.99.

Pros

  • 12-month battery life
  • large display
  • comes in five colors
  • tracks calories burned
  • multiple ways to wear
  • lightweight

Cons

  • difficult to set up, according to users
  • reports of inaccurate data
  • may be uncomfortable to wear

Best lightweight pedometer: Omron HJ325 Alvita Pedometer

Omron sells a variety of health-related items, including blood pressure monitors and pedometers.

This Omron pedometer has three buttons, each with a visual icon for easy reference. It records step count, calories burned, and distance walked.

According to the company, people can view up to 7 days of recorded information using the product’s memory function. It is also ultra-light, weighing 0.8 ounces.

This product may be suitable for people who want a lightweight pedometer that they cannot feel while they wear it.

This pedometer is available to purchase online for around $94.98.

Pros

  • records steps, calories burned, and distance
  • lightweight
  • counts steps in a flat, vertical, or horizontal position
  • large buttons
  • no need for tools to replace battery

Cons

  • expensive
  • recording limit of 7 days
  • may not stay in place
  • difficult to set up

Best for detailed exercise insights: Fitbit Inspire 2

Fitbit is an established brand in health and wellness. Its trackers may best suit people who want to keep close tabs on their health statistics and want an intuitive app and user interface experience.

The Fitbit: Health & Fitness app is available to download for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

According to Fitbit, this wrist-based device measures activity minutes, steps, calories burned, and heart rate. Its battery lasts up to 10 days on a single charge. It also tracks sleep and is swim-proof.

The Fitbit Inspire 2 is available to purchase online for around $99.95.

Pros

  • swim-proof
  • tracks sleep
  • available in three colors
  • monitors heart rate
  • detailed insights into exercise

Cons

  • bulky to wear, according to some users
  • expensive
  • reports of excessive vibrating with wrist movement

Best for tracking wide range of exercises: iTouch Wearables Slim Waterproof Fitness Activity Tracker

According to the company, the iTouch Activity Tracker counts:

  • calories burned
  • steps taken
  • heart rate
  • sleep duration

The tracker offers multiple sport modes, including running, swimming, football, basketball, soccer, tennis, cycling, and hiking. It can also keep track of a person’s blood oxygen levels and is waterproof up to 10 meters (m).

To see their data, a person needs to sync their activity tracker with the iTouch Wearables app at least once per day.

They may also benefit from the sedentary reminder alert that prompts a person to move if they have been still for long periods between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The manufacturer states the battery can last up to 30 days, depending on usage.

Additional features include an alarm, a stopwatch, a camera remote, and Bluetooth connectivity.

This product is most suitable for people who engage in many different types of exercise.

The iTouch Wearables Slim Waterproof Fitness Activity Tracker is available to purchase online for $75.

Pros

  • provides movement reminders
  • 1-year warranty
  • waterproof up to 10 m
  • tracks wide range of exercises

Cons

  • requires daily syncing with the iTouch app
  • short battery life, according to users
  • expensive

Best for simple operation: iGANK Simple Walking Pedometer Step Counter

This is a small and lightweight wearable pedometer with a screen size of 1.6 inches and an overall weight of 14 grams.

A person can wear this pedometer on the lanyard included with the device, clip it onto a belt, or place it in a pocket.

Individuals can track their daily steps up to 99,999, with a simple one-button reset. The pedometer’s ultrasimple design makes it suitable for children or those wanting an accurate pedometer with a simple interface.

The product has none of the extra features that often come with smartwatches or activity trackers.

The company states that this product has a 2-year guarantee and that its battery can last up to 12 months.

The iGANK Simple Walking Pedometer Step Counter is available to purchase online for $17.99.

Pros

  • lightweight
  • one-button function
  • very simple to use
  • 2-year warranty
  • affordable

Cons

  • reports of inaccurate results
  • no additional features

Best stylish design: Bellabeat Leaf Urban Smart Jewelry Health Tracker

This tracker features a unique jewelry-like design that a person can integrate with their everyday style by wearing it as a necklace, bracelet, or clip.

The Bellabeat Leaf Health Tracker does not feature a display or buttons. A person’s data are accessible through the Bellabeat app, which is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. It also connects to Google Fit and Apple Health.

This device tracks a person’s activity levels, including the activity type, steps, distance moved, and calories burned. Extra features include monitoring for sleep patterns, reproductive health, stress, and meditation, with more than 30 in-app meditation exercises included.

This tracker is non-rechargeable and requires a coin cell battery that a person must replace when the current one runs out.

The Bellabeat Leaf Urban Smart Jewelry Health Tracker comes in two colors. The pink model costs $79, and the gray model costs $105.88.

Pros

  • jewelry-like design
  • tracks menstrual cycle
  • discreet
  • connects to Google Fit and Apple Health

Cons

  • expensive
  • not rechargeable
  • does not display data

Best for kids: Garmin vivofit jr. 2

The Garmin vivofit jr. 2 helps kids stay active with an interactive experience on the Garmin jr. app that takes them on a virtual world tour as they exercise.

Individuals can unlock educational content about famous locations around the world, and the device offers scrapbook pictures from their virtual travels as rewards for meeting activity goals.

Children can learn a range of exercises with fitness training cards that coach them through routines such as jumping jacks and mountain climbers. This model is also swim-friendly.

By doing 60-minute activities each day, individuals can also unlock mini games.

Parents and caregivers can control the Garmin jr. app, which includes a “chores and rewards” feature and the ability to input emergency contact information.

This activity tracker is available in a wide range of colors and designs, including those from popular movie franchises.

The battery is non-rechargeable and needs replacing when it gives out.

The Garmin vivofit jr. 2 is available to purchase online for $69.99–89.99.

Pros

  • suitable for swimming
  • unlocks mini games when doing daily 1-hour exercises
  • has reminder alerts

Cons

  • reports that screen is hard to read in bright light
  • reports that battery life is short

Best for workout optimization: Polar Grit X Outdoor Watch

This multisport watch can record detailed tracking data and has workout features that help a person plan their exercises, understand their performance, and stay on track during a session.

Individuals can import routes from komoot, a biking and hiking route app, into the Polar Grit X watch, and its GPS functionality helps users stay on their route while on outdoor trails.

The watch tracks heart rate, calories burned, hill climb and descent performance, sleep, and running power. It can also detect swimming style, distance, pace, and strokes for both indoor and outdoor swimming.

The watch shows a 2-day weather forecast to help a person plan their next outdoor exercise session and helps them optimize their workouts with training guides.

The company claims the watch can withstand extreme temperatures, drops, and humidity. It also states the battery lasts up to 40 hours in training mode and up to 7 days in watch mode with heart tracking.

This product is suitable for people who enjoy outdoor activity and want highly detailed insights into their exercise sessions.

The Polar Grit X Outdoor Watch is available to purchase online for around $300.

Pros

  • shows weather forecast
  • offers detailed insights into outdoor workouts
  • free shipping
  • suitable for swimming

Cons

  • expensive

Best for long battery life: OZO Fitness SC 3D Digital Pedometer

This digital pedometer can track steps in meters and kilometers. It can also keep a record of calories burned.

The company writes that the replaceable battery lasts up to a year.

It requires no Bluetooth, smartphone, or app downloads to work.

It has a 30-day memory log and comes with a lanyard. It also features a removable clip.

The company states that a person can place this pedometer in their bag or pocket or wear it around their neck. They can also clip it to their waistband, belt, or ankle.

The company also says this pedometer is best suited to older people who do not have a smartphone and do not want to have to recharge their pedometer.

It costs $44.

Pros

  • easy to carry
  • no smartphone needed
  • long battery life
  • simple interface

Cons

  • requires a screwdriver to remove the battery
  • some reports of inaccurate counts
  • may break easily if dropped, according to some users

A pedometer can help with a person’s motivation, which could, in turn, affect daily activity levels and improve health.

Participants in a 2019 workplace study stated that pedometers helped them improve their physical activity levels. However, it is important to note the study did not have many participants, and the researchers followed them over a relatively short period.

Another 2019 study suggests that short-term, pedometer-specific physical activity programs may provide long-term health benefits.

Research also indicates that taking more steps in a day can reduce anxiety, depression, fatigue, and anger levels, in addition to lowering body weight.

The results of a 2020 review of studies suggest that walking even just 1,000 more steps per day may lower overall mortality.

Learn about different types of step trackers here.

When shopping for a pedometer, a person may want to consider products that offer accurate tracking, an easy-to-read display, easy setup, and a user-friendly interface.

Depending on the amount of data a person would like to access from their pedometer, they may also wish to consider a range of features, such as:

  • activity duration
  • heart rate
  • calories burned
  • workout effectiveness
  • blood oxygen levels
  • recovery assistance
  • fueling suggestions
  • workout plans
  • breakdowns of specific activities during workout sessions

A pedometer should be accurate and in line with an individual’s needs and budget.

The table below compares the pedometers in this article.

PriceTrackersBattery lifeWearable
3DFitBud Simple Step Counter$39.99step counter• non-rechargeable lithium battery
• user-replaceable
• neck
• belt
• pocket
• bag
Realalt 3DTriSport Walking 3D Pedometer$24.99step counter• 8,760 hours
• non-rechargeable lithium battery
• user-replaceable
• lanyard
• belt
• pocket
• bag
Omron HJ325 Alvita Pedometer$94.98• step counter
• calories burned
• aerobic steps
• distance traveled
• non-rechargeable lithium battery
• user-replaceable
• lanyard
• clip onto clothes
Fitbit Inspire 2$99.95• active minutes
• heart rate
• cardio fitness level
• 20 exercise modes
• calories burned
• stress management
• skin temperature
• breathing rate
• menstrual cycle
• daily readiness tracking
• movement prompts
up to 10 dayswrist
iTouch Wearables Slim Waterproof Fitness Activity Tracker$75• steps
• calories
• heart rate
• sleep
• multiple sports
• movement prompting
up to 30 dayswrist
iGANK Simple Walking Pedometer Step Counter$17.99step counter• 8,760 hours
• non-rechargeable CR2302 battery
• user-replaceable
• lanyard
• belt
• pocket
• bag
Bellabeat Leaf Urban Smart Jewelry Health Tracker$79 or $105.88• activity
• sleep
• menstrual cycle
• stress
• movement prompts
• 6 months
• non-rechargeable
• user-replaceable
as a bracelet, necklace, or clip
Garmin vivofit jr. 2$69.99–89.99• step counter
• daily activity
• sleep
• chore and homework tracker
• 1 year
• non-rechargeable lithium battery
• user-replaceable
wrist
Polar Grit X Outdoor Watcharound $300• route planning
• heart rate
• calories burned
• running training plan
• running VO2max
• recovery
• refueling advice
• uphill and downhill performance
• weather
• sleep
• running power
• 130 sport profiles
40 hours to 7 dayswrist
OZO Fitness SC 3D Digital Pedometer$44• step counter
• calories burned
• distance
• exercise
• non-rechargeable
• up to 1 year
• around the neck
• in bags
• clip onto clothes

Research suggests that taking 8,000–12,000 steps per day can lower the overall risk of death in older people.

Additionally, the authors of a 2017 review note that pedometers may encourage people with a sedentary lifestyle to improve their physical activity by 2,500 steps per day. They also write that steps are generally easy to measure and are a good representation of a person’s activity.

Pedometers can help already-active people further increase their activity levels, according to a small 2019 study. With increased activity tracked with pedometers, study participants were able to lose weight and reduce their body weight and body fat percentage.

If a person wants to track their activity throughout the day, they should put on their pedometer when they wake up and remove it when they go to bed.

Doing this can help first-time users understand their usual activity levels and plan their exercise goals for the future.

People can also wear pedometers when doing dedicated walking or other exercise sessions to see how many steps these exercise sessions encourage them to do.

Anyone wishing to gain insight into their daily exercise levels may wish to consider using a pedometer.

Below are answers to some of the top frequently asked questions about pedometers.

What is the most accurate pedometer?

For a pedometer to accurately count steps, it needs to be sensitive enough to register movement from the hips and legs. There are two common types of pedometer: spring-levered and piezoelectric.

Piezoelectric pedometers are typically more sensitive and, as a result, may be more accurate. Spring-levered pedometers may be less accurate, depending on the position individuals use them in.

Another device that records human movement is an accelerometer. A 2016 study compared accelerometers and piezoelectric pedometers and found the piezoelectric pedometer to be more accurate in counting steps when worn on either side of the body at the waist, such as on a wrist or in an inside trouser pocket.

More expensive devices with extra tracking features and more advanced technology, such as smartwatches and activity trackers, may have higher accuracy than a stand-alone pedometer, but there is limited current and reliable research comparing the two.

Is a pedometer more accurate than a Fitbit?

A small 2018 study found that a Fitbit was less accurate at counting steps than a low cost pedometer.

The researchers looked at how accurate commercial activity monitors were and how easy they were for older adults to use. They found limitations in step counting accuracy and usability in some current activity monitors. They also found that none of the activity monitors accurately track speed.

A Fitbit may be more advanced in health tracking areas other than step counting, but reliable research is limited.

What is the best inexpensive pedometer?

The best inexpensive pedometer in this article is the 3DFitBud Simple Step Counter. It has a simple setup process and a clear screen.

It also features a 3D Tri-Axis sensor to ensure accurate step counts. According to the manufacturer, this sensor means a person can wear it in any position or keep it in their pocket, bag, or purse and still register accurate data.

For individuals looking for smart features, such as extra health tracking and comprehensive data, costs may significantly increase.

Are expensive pedometers better?

More expensive pedometers may use more sensitive sensors, which can improve the accuracy of a person’s results.

However, the accuracy of a pedometer may depend on where a person wears the device, its angle, and the person’s walking speed or intensity.

For example, according to a 2017 study, waist pedometers may provide more accuracy than wrist pedometers.

Are pedometers water-resistant?

Many pedometers are water-resistant, meaning that they still work if a person walks with them while it is raining or wears them in the shower.

Some models are suitable for swimming up to certain depths.

A person should check the product information for their chosen pedometer.

If a person needs some encouragement to move more during the day, a pedometer might provide motivation.

A quality pedometer can provide an accurate step count and help people track and reach their movement goals. More advanced fitness trackers can provide detailed health and fitness information, such as heart rate or distance traveled.

Before committing to a purchase, a person should consider the features they would like, as some devices offer only basic step counts, while others offer advanced insights.

A person with an existing health condition may consider consulting a doctor before starting a new fitness regimen.

Please note: Medical News Today does not imply warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or endorse mobile applications. The apps featured in this article have not been evaluated for medical accuracy by Medical News Today. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them unless otherwise indicated.