If you are training, it’s not easy to tell if you are working hard enough or are in your best heart rate zone. Exercising within a specific heart rate zone is the efficient way to burn calories and improve your fitness regimen.
These HRMs also remind you when its time to slow down during your workout to prevent the risk of injury or burn out. They can prove to be effective tools for training.
There are a variety of wearable HRMs available in the market today. Broadly there three types of monitors, fingertip sensors, chest heart rate straps and wrist bands/ watches.
While wristbands/ smartwatches are convenient, feature-loaded and comfortable to wear, they are not as accurate as the chest heart rate straps.
The chest HRMs use ECG technology, or the electrocardiogram as used by healthcare professionals and are more precise as they are worn chose to the chest. Pulse oximeters are fingertip sensors that are widely used in hospitals.
Bluetooth HRMs either automatically or manually upload your data to training apps, platforms or desktop to monitor your progress over the period of time.
If you are looking to stay on track towards your performance goals and make the most out of your workout with these HRMs, take a look at the best options to help you make an informed choice and a beginner’s buying guide.
Best Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitors
Things To Look For When Buying a HRM and How We Test –
Accuracy – If you don’t mind a little offset in heart rate and pay more importance to convenience and features, then probably you should opt for wrist strap devices. However, if you are into HIIT or gym workout, then you should look for more accurate chest straps.
Price – If you buy a chest strap that pairs with an app, it might prove to be an inexpensive way of achieving you training goals. However, if you prefer a smartwatch with cutting edge features like music playback and GPS along with heart rate, it might not be as cheap.
Ease of Use – Features like large face and backlight for easy readability are essential when you want to read heart rate readings without stopping. Based on setup, features and functionality, the device should be easy to use.
Apps – The latest HRMs offer you the option of connecting to an app from the manufacturer or a third party app. These apps keep track of your goals, record your data, offer personalized heart rate training and motivate you to achieve your goals.
Design – If you are planning to wear the HRM all day long, you should prefer a lightweight wrist band/ watch rather than a chest strap. Even though chest straps are more accurate, they are inconvenient for all day use. If you are into swimming or water sports, look for waterproof designs.
Coming from the trusted brand Polar, this is a reliable Bluetooth heart rate sensor that will not disappoint you by giving accurate reading every time. The Polar H7 measures heart rate with a chest strap and sends real-time information to your smartphone.
The fitness tracker is compatible with all Apple and android phones. It has a strong battery life when detached from the transmitter along with a waterproof design.
Price – $79.99
If you are looking for dependable heart rate monitoring, without having to spend hundreds then this Jarv might be the right option for you. The chest strap fits comfortably and measures heart rate reliably.
Price – $49.99
One is the most trusted manufacturer in fitness wearables, this device from Garmin provides precise heart rate monitoring. The Garmin bundle comes with a wristband and a chest strap that comes with the best battery life. It’s watch battery lasts for upto a year and can be later replaced for a new button battery, rather than batteries that have to be charged every night. Along with tracking your heart rate, it also tracks other important metrics like calories burnt, steps and distance. Another useful favorite is the anti-idle feature, with the move bar and audible alert that turns red and beeps after more than an hour long inactivity.
Price – $89.00
This tracker provides reliable heart rate monitoring along with fitness tracking. It offers efficient workout with 16 hours of memory to save run data that lets you train without the need of smartphone. The TICKR connects to popular fitness and training apps to offer freedom of training with your favorite app. It is one of the cheapest HRM from Wahoo in comparison to other models like TICKRx and TICKR RUN.
Price – $44.99
The Scosche armband heart rate monitor does not require you to wear a chest strap. This reliable and affordable device uses the optical sensors to measure heart rate. It might not have any innovative features, but it does what it says at a good price.
Price – $79.95
This performance sports watch was one of the first optical monitor and still one of the best delivering stellar heart rate tracking without the need of chest strap. The monitor also doubles up as a watch and chronograph timer. If you are beginner or just need basic features, this might be sufficient. However, if you are a competitive athlete this might not be sufficient due to limited feature set and steady state training only.
Price – $76.75
If you are looking for an all-in-one fitness, sleep and activity tracker, this might be the right one for you. Once paired with Polar H7 heart rate sensor, it accurately provides the heart rate too.
Price – $89.99
Buying the heart rate monitor that is right fit for your needs is not as overwhelming as it might first seem, if you have your requirements clear. In most cases, you do not need the advanced features like GPS and multi-sports features. If you are just trying to get the most of your training and not a serious athlete, a basic model in the range of $60-$100 might be sufficient for your needs.
Before you invest in a heart rate monitor it is best to talk to your healthcare provider and discuss the medications you are taking and if heart rate training is right for you.
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