Best Heart Rate Monitors in 2020

Best Heart Rate Monitors of 2021

A heart rate monitor is a tool that measures heart rate in real-time. Although it was initially conceived as a medical device, its scientific use has recently been added to sports. Today, we discuss the Top 10 Best Heart Rate Monitors in 2021.

Sports heart rate monitors are mini-computers with so many possibilities that it is easy to get lost between technical specifications. In the end, one does not know what to buy anymore.

Heart rate monitor, bracelet or watch, what does each one do?

Although many times they are used as synonyms, and the same device can combine characteristics of one and the other, several concepts should be clear before we get lost in the hundreds of options available on the market.

An analog heart rate monitor measures the pulse. Already. It neither analyzes the data nor tells you what you have to do with it. At most, the former were combined with a pedometer or calorie counter.

An activity bracelet or smart band monitors all your movements throughout the day, including your sleep rhythms. This way, you can calculate your status in enough detail, set daily challenges, and record the achievements made day by day. This dynamic is very motivating, and more and more people use it to help them maintain healthy habits.

 

10 Best Heart Rate Monitors in 2021

All the heart rate monitors analyzed and recommended in this article perform a continuous measurement of the heart rate; that is, they measure the heart rate in real-time.

  1. Sigma PC 15.11

Sigma PC 15.11

The Sigma PC is a no-frills heart rate monitor, is ranked at 10th in the list of Best Heart Rate Monitors in 2021 available on the market. Here you will not find apps with exhaustive programming or more motivation than what you impose on yourself. Precisely for this reason, it does not deceive: what you have is what you see, and its price, suitable for all budgets, reflects this.

It is a good purchase if you want fundamental information about your workouts, either because you do not plan a very regular sports practice or just the opposite: you know perfectly well what you do, and you only need four pieces of information to plan your sessions.

The pulsations are captured thanks to a chest strap, which guarantees precision but can be annoying in practice. Still, it’s fair to say that an effort has been made with the design, and the band is narrow and unappealing.

Although the instructions indicate that it is waterproof, in practice, you cannot use the buttons underwater because the mechanism gets wet. In exchange, it can be easily attached to the handlebar of the bike.

The design is basic and elementary handling. At first, you have to use the instruction manual, but once configured, it is very easy to use. It offers three lines of reading – pulsations, time, and a third to choose – and has large numbers, which facilitate visibility on the move.

  1. Willful SW358

Willful SW358

This best selling Rate monitor in 2021 is Willful SW358. Willful lets you try one for very little money, combining design with features that go beyond the basics.

The pulsations are measured by an optical sensor on the wrist, much more comfortable than a band but also less precise. And in addition to heart rate, it records the distance traveled, step control, distance, and calorie consumption.

When we get to exercise, the multi-sport mode will help us collect the most interesting data according to the chosen activity. It is especially interesting Cycling Mode, something unusual in heart rate monitors of this range. It has a water resistance of IP68. Theoretically, it is suitable for swimming and diving; in practice, we do not recommend going much beyond a shower or a specific dip.

It also includes a Sleep Monitor (you know that rest is as vital as physical activity) and a sedentary lifestyle alert, which vibrates when we have been without moving for too long.

Regarding connectivity, the color and touch screen allows us to manage calls and messages (SMS, WhatsApp, and social networks) in a basic way. This means that you will not miss a notification for not listening to the mobile, but to answer, you need the phone.

All these functions are what is expected in an activity bracelet: neither more nor less. If you have never had any, this Willful SW358 will enchant you. If you want something more specific for your sports training, perhaps there are other options on this list that fit you better.

It also includes a Sleep Monitor (you know that rest is as vital as physical activity) and a sedentary lifestyle alert, which vibrates when we have been without moving for too long.

  1. Polar A360

Polar A360

Polar is one of the best-rated manufacturers in the market for sports watches and smart bands. The brand is a guarantee of quality, even in a simple model like the A360 which makes him included in the list of best Heart Rate Monitors of 2021.

The heart rate monitor is on the wrist, and we already know what that means: sacrificing precision for comfort. It offers the possibility of linking it to a chest strap, which can be the solution at the specific moment of sports activity. It is also submersible, but little else. Underwater measurements are minimal, so if you practice swimming as a regular sport, this is not your device.

Logically, for that price, it does not have GPS, although it can be synchronized with that of the phone for outdoor activities.

In any case, the A360 is an activity and not a training heart rate monitor. The bracelet records heart rate throughout the day and measures sleep rhythms to give you a regular idea of ​​your condition. The problem is, if you have all meters and notifications turned on 24 hours, the battery life is reduced exponentially.

In summary: a simple, smart band, for people who need to motivate themselves with small daily challenges.

  1. Fitbit Charge 2

Fitbit Charge 2

Thanks to some great advertising campaigns, Fitbit has managed to popularize the activity bracelets and be among the first places in the minds of consumers. That they have been able to create that hype does not mean that the Fitbit Charge 2 is only a facade: quite the opposite. It is the brand’s best-selling model, and it delivers on what it promises. It is a handy tool, especially for people with a tendency to be sedentary.

Let’s insist on the concept: it is an activity bracelet, not a tool for advanced training. It monitors heart rate throughout the day, counts calories burned, weight targets, offers simplified measurements to encourage physical exercise, reports on daily progress. It is designed for healthy physical activity, nothing more (and nothing less). In addition to the measurement of pulsations, it has guided breathing sessions to lower the heart rate and make small relaxations throughout the day.

The routine of measuring daily progress can be almost addictive, making this type of product perfect for more or less frequent athletes. They need to see results continuously to motivate themselves. If the objective is competition at a medium-high level, there are more specialized devices on the market, but of course, you can take advantage of this.

  1. Polar M200

Polar M200

The Polar M200 has been on the market for a long time and continues to be sold. This data already says a lot about its quality, and that is that we are dealing with a smartwatch that combines sports training with the advantages of a Bluetooth watch.

When you connect it to the mobile, it allows you to receive notifications, although you cannot answer calls or messages from the watch itself. Just have the peace of mind that you are not missing anything important.

Standard applications include Polar Flow, a training plan designed for athletics. Although you can tell they’ve set their sights on runners, you have a hundred different sports profiles, which you can customize to your liking.

If Polar Flow does not convince you, you can connect with the most popular online sports communities, such as MyFitnessPal or Strava.

It also has a 24/7 activity tracking guide, which monitors movements and sleep. And the Smart Calories program, which calculates the number of calories consumed, taking into account your characteristics (weight, height, age, sex, heart rate, and the intensity of your training).

It includes GPS, although it is fair to say that it allows basic use. If you have him in your daily workouts, you may need to look for something more specific.

Not being a new model, you can get the Polar M200 at a reasonable price. If you don’t need the latest technology but want a true smartwatch, this one will fulfill its function with a note.

  1. Polar M430

Polar M430

The Polar M430 is the “big brother” of the A360 since it incorporates GPS with similar, somewhat improved features. Probably the most notable is that they have polished connectivity problems, and this model syncs seamlessly with other devices.

It is a light and sporty watch with good usability, a simple charging system, and anesthetic to wear all day. The heart rate meter is integrated into the wrist, although, like all Polar models, it allows us to integrate a band like this for greater precision.

The M340 responds very well for daily fitness activities and is waterproof. Still, it also includes advanced runner training features designed for those runners who, without being professionals, want to start beating their marks. This is helped by a GPS that opens the door to outdoor sessions.

In short, this watch combines everything you expect from a bracelet – activity tracking, sleep logging, etc. – with the characteristics of a smartwatch that goes a little beyond the basics: advanced measurements, control, and design of workouts, etc. As usual, with Polar products, it is not a cheap watch, but it is reliable and resistant.

  1. Garmin Vivoactive 3

Best Heart Rate Monitors in 2020

Garmin was the first brand to launch devices with integrated GPS for sports practice. And, as experience is a grade, their watches are synonymous with quality and high performance. The Vivoactive 3 has a multi-sports vocation, and also includes advanced connectivity functions, which allow you to “forget” about your mobile for a long time.

The most logical audience for this wearable are athletes who constantly train, with ambitious goals. Does this mean that if you do Zumba twice a week, it is not for you? Of course, it is, but you’re probably missing out on a lot of its features.

This Garmin has 15 pre-installed sports applications (including cycling and swimming, the latter with a chest strap for pulsations). However, you can also create your training sessions, adapted to your activity. You will take advantage of it, especially if you do sports outside, thanks to the integrated GPS.

It also monitors sleep and daily activity, with an exciting option: stress control, which monitors by measuring the heart rate.

All this is what one expects from a brand like Garmin, but the Vivoactive 3 goes further in connectivity. It allows you to answer messages without having to take out your mobile, synchronize with social networks (to share training and achievements, for example), and a novelty: pay with the watch, thanks to the Garmin Pay app.

  1. Suunto Ambit3 Peak Sapphire HR

Best Heart Rate Monitors in 2020

At the 3rd position of Best Heart Rate Monitors in 2021, nothing beats Suunto Ambit3 Peak Sapphire HR. Suunto is a Finnish brand known for its high-precision compasses and for its sports watches and diving instruments, a field where they have always done an exciting job of innovation.

So it should come as no surprise that swimming is one of the Ambit3 Peak Sapphire’s strengths, something that is not easy to find and makes it perfect for triathlons.

The price already tells us that we left behind simple bracelets and entered the field of high-end watches, which in this case include specialized features for running, cycling, and swimming. The Ambit3 Peak can be programmed in “multidisciplinary” mode, to combine several sports in the same exercise, or to focus all the efforts of the session on a single activity.

With a long-lasting battery that delivers on what it promises, this Suunto also offers advanced features for outdoor activities. In addition to the essential GPS, the barometer measures weather changes and incorporates storm warnings, an exciting feature when we move in the middle and high mountains. It also reports the daylight hours, exact location, route altitude.

  1. TomTom MultiSport Cardio

Best Heart Rate Monitors in 2020

As expected in a TomTom, the strength of this device is the GPS, which makes it a perfect machine for outdoor activities: hiking, climbing, trail, any variety of mountain biking, winter sports.

Especially triathletes, who do not usually find suitable software, have here a smartwatch that responds perfectly in running, cycling, and swimming. And all at a glance, because the screen is extra large and shows statistics without having to go to see the mobile.

Perhaps the biggest drawback we found is that it has no interior functions, something that you will miss if you are a regular at the gym. Also, if you do the mountain, the altimeter can play tricks on you. It is quite common in this type of device, and it seems that no brand has managed to solve the problem 100%.

If you are crazy about technology, please note that Multisport Cardio is not the latest version of Tom Tom’s smartwatch. They have different options depending on your favorite activity (fitness, runner, adventurer, golfer). However, look at it on the bright side: that allows you to get it at a great price.

In summary, the TomTom Multisport Cardio is a smartwatch designed for athletes who take it seriously. And they don’t want distractions. That is why it does not have a connection to the mobile to receive alarms if you are looking for that, perhaps you should look for an activity bracelet and give up the GPS precision instead.

  1. Garmin Forerunner 735XT

Best Heart Rate Monitors in 2020

We reached number one on the list of Best Heart Rate Monitors in 2021 through the front door. Garmin Forerunner 735XT is undoubtedly the Best Heart Rate Monitors in 2021.

Even though its name indicates that it is highly-designed for runners, in practice, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT is a multi-sport watch with GPS and an exciting capacity for customization.

Of course, it is an excellent purchase if you train seriously, and especially if you do a triathlon. You already know that many smartwatches -even high-end- fail in the combination of the three sports, but this is not the case. The Forerunner 735 XT records the transitions between one activity and another without problems.

And of course, it allows different options for cardio, strength or resistance training. The heart rate monitor, on the wrist, is exact, although as always: if you want underwater measurements, don’t get rid of the chest strap.

Thanks to this sensor, the Garmin also works like a typical activity bracelet, that is, with a pedometer, distance measurement, sleep monitoring.

If we are going to make a mistake, it does not have an altimeter, something that you can miss if you practice mountaineering or sports-related to the trail.

Whether while doing sports or in the rest of your routines, mobile notifications are always appreciated, with a display of the text of the messages. Also, you can personalize the watch face even with your photos, thanks to the Garmin Face It app.

Bottom line: taking advantage of the best of an activity tracker and a smartwatch, the Garmin Forerunner 735 XT puts the accent on the sports activity and enables you to train to meet significant challenges.

 

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