A quick look at the best heart rate monitor watches
- Best overall: Fitbit Versa 2
- Best for people with heart problems: Garmin Vivosmart 4
- Best for runners: Garmin Forerunner 45S
- Best for cyclists: Suunto 9 GPS Sports Watch
- Best budget watch: Willful Smart Watch
- Best for older adults: Fossil Gen 5 Garrett Touchscreen Smartwatch
A convenient feature of many smartwatches is their heart rate monitor.
You may want to check your heart rate regularly for a variety of reasons, from improving your athletic performance to managing your stress levels to tracking your heart health.
It’s important to note that watch-style heart rate monitors aren’t medical devices and may not always be accurate, especially during exercise or if they don’t fit well (1Trusted Source).
Regardless, the sheer number of smartwatches — all with different features and price points — can be confounding. Healthline assembled this list based on the following criteria:
- Functionality: measures heart rate and offers other valuable features
- Reviews: boasts mostly positive customer reviews
- Suitability for specific needs: adaptable for certain populations, such as athletes or people with heart problems
Here are the 6 best heart rate monitor watches of 2020.
Healthline’s picks of the best heart rate monitor watches
How to choose the best heart rate monitoring watch
With so many options available, it can be daunting to choose a reliable heart rate monitor watch.
Healthline’s top pick features 24/7 heart rate monitoring, which tracks your heart health over time and always displays your current heart rate, whether resting or exercising. Furthermore, it shows your metrics on the main screen so that you don’t have to navigate elsewhere.
Still, you may want to consider other factors like cost, customer reviews, and features.
Note that very few smartwatches only measure your heart rate. Most connect to your phone, and many offer features for athletes — like GPS and activity tracking — or people with heart or lung problems, such as blood pressure and oxygen saturation monitoring.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for the most accurate heart rate readings possible — for example, to help manage your heart condition — consider a chest monitor. This device straps around your chest and is much more precise than a smartwatch (1Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
The bottom line
There are heart rate monitor watches on the market to fit every budget and need.
You should not only consider the price but also the reviews and functions when deciding which one to buy. The options in this article are an excellent place to start.
However, if your main priority is the accuracy of your heart rate reading, look into a chest strap monitor.