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Heart rate monitors can record a person’s heart rate during exercise, allowing them to determine and adjust the intensity of their workout. Many are compatible with fitness apps and equipment, and some are also waterproof.

This article discusses heart rate monitors in more detail, including their features and the relevant health considerations. It also includes a list of eight of the best heart rate monitors available to purchase.

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Heart rate monitors can assess a person’s heart rate and reveal whether it is high or low. Heart rate is a “clinical indicator of overall cardiac health,” and it can also help a person determine their performance during a workout.

A 2019 review notes that physical exercise can help reduce symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Sometimes, doctors may recommend using a heart rate monitor to ensure that an individual does not place their heart under stress. For example, a person can lower their workout intensity or stop exercising if they see that their heart rate is too high.

The Texas Heart Institute also advises warming up before exercising, as this increases the heart rate slowly and prepares the body for the coming exercise.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), people who have a heart condition or take medication should ask a doctor what the target range for their heart rate should be.

However, a 2020 study found that although fitness trackers that use optical heart rate sensor technology provide accurate readings, they may still sometimes produce errors. Therefore, a person should not completely rely on these readings for measuring the intensity of their workout.

Learn more about heart rate here.

Some features that a person can consider when looking for a heart rate monitor are:

  • Chest straps and wristbands: Some heart rate monitors are wrist-worn, while others have a strap that a person wraps around their chest. People should choose the option that suits their preference and size.
  • Connectivity: Some devices come with Bluetooth technology and can work with fitness apps and equipment.
  • Waterproof design: Some monitors have a waterproof design, making them suitable for people who swim.
  • Battery: Individuals who work out regularly may prefer a heart rate monitor that comes with a rechargeable battery, as this will allow them to train for hours without any disturbances.
  • Memory: Not all devices have a memory function. However, devices with built-in memory can be helpful, as they can store workout data.

Below, we look at eight of the best heart rate monitors of 2021.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried any of these products. All information is purely research-based.

Forearm and wrist-worn devices

Below are some heart rate monitors that a person can wear on their wrist or forearm:

Scosche Rhythm+

Best money-back guarantee

The Scosche Rhythm+ heart rate monitor can help a person manage their heart rate. It can also track calories burned, distance, and pace.

It attaches to the forearm and can connect with fitness apps, such as Strava, Digifit, and Runkeeper. Also, according to reviews, users can pair it with a Peloton bike.

The device comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee and a 1-year limited warranty.

However, it has a Proposition 65 warning label. The American Cancer Society explains that these labels indicate that products may contain chemicals that cause cancer, reproductive harm, and congenital anomalies.

The device costs $79.99.

Wahoo Tickr FIT

Best for pairing with other devices

This device uses optical heart rate technology that provides information about the person’s heart rate and the number of calories they burn.

It comes with Bluetooth and ANT+ technology to connect with fitness apps, smartphones, GPS bike computers, and watches.

According to the manufacturer’s website, this device is suitable for those who are into running, cycling, and other forms of exercise.

It costs $79.99, and the company accepts monthly payments that start at $20.

Fitbit Luxe

Best for health tracking

This Fitbit device comes as a wristband and tracks the user’s heart rate, as well as pace and distance. It also monitors oxygen saturation and menstrual health, such as symptoms and ovulation.

It also has:

  • a color display
  • call and text notifications
  • a do-not-disturb mode
  • an optical heart rate monitor

People can buy this tracker for $149.95.

Withings Steel HR

Best for long battery life with charging

This heart rate monitor comes with an automatic sleep monitoring feature, and it can recognize a range of activities, including running and swimming.

Other features include:

  • digital screen for viewing smartphone notifications
  • up to 25 days battery life on a single charge
  • compatibility with the Withings Health Mate app
  • connects with more than 100 partner apps
  • swim-proof design

This product also comes with a 1-year warranty and free shipping.

This device is available from $179.95, depending on the model and type of wristband.

Chest strap devices

People who are interested in using a heart rate monitor that comes with a chest strap may wish to consider some of these products:

Garmin HRM-Dual

Best adjustable strap

This heart rate monitor features ANT+ and Bluetooth Low Energy technology, allowing users to exercise outdoors or indoors and to use online training programs.

Its battery lasts for up to 3.5 years, and people can select a strap length of between 25 and 52 inches.

It is available for $69.99.

Polar H9

Best for instant tracking

The Polar H9 heart rate monitor features Bluetooth and ANT+ technologies and has a battery life of up to 400 hours.

Other features include:

  • compatibility with the Polar Club group heart rate system
  • reacts instantly to activity in the body
  • connectivity with online sports communities, including Runtastic and MyFitnessPal
  • water-resistant to a depth of 30 m
  • different sizes available

The price is $59.95.

CooSpo H6

Best for lower budgets

CooSpo’s heart rate sensor is suitable for individuals who exercise indoors and spend time rowing, cycling, and running. It also comes with Bluetooth and ANT+ technology.

The device can work with smart equipment, GPS watches, and fitness apps, such as Adidas Runtastic, Peloton, and Zwift.

Users can also connect their monitor with the CooSpoRide app, which provides real-time heart rate data while a person is cycling.

Other features include:

  • splashproof design
  • a battery life of up to 400 hours
  • a weight of 50 grams

This device is available on Amazon for about $35.99

MyZone MZ-3

Best for personalized training programs

This device is an exercise tracker and heart rate monitor with built-in memory. It can connect with smartphones, cardio equipment, and Apple watches or Android Wear.

The website allows people to choose from three chest strap sizes.

Individuals who use these devices can benefit from several features, including:

  • a water-resistant design
  • hand-washable and adjustable strap
  • up to 300 hours of battery life between charges
  • health and biometric data tracking

This device costs $149.99

Heart rate monitors can assess a person’s heart rate and track other metrics, including the number of calories burned.

These devices come with various features, such as Bluetooth connectivity, a waterproof design, and built-in memory.

However, people with health conditions should ask a medical professional to confirm their target heart rate so that they can avoid placing the heart muscle under stress.