Bright healthy food

The 5 Best Heart Rate Monitors for Exercise

Light green underline

A relatively new addition to the wardrobe, yes, but a powerful one! I like to use a heart rate monitor to get a sense of how hard I’m working as I work out, especially when incorporating new activities into my routine.

Here are five that I think will feel right at home on your wrist.

From Tosca

Make sure you’re sweating for optimal results.

Most people realize that getting your heart rate up is an essential element of exercise. But you may not know you burn fat most efficiently when your heart rate is 70%- 80% of your maximum.

A heart rate monitor can help you reach that sweet spot in every workout. I hope one of the monitors on this list makes your exercise routine more efficient than ever.


Wahoo TICKR FIT Heart Rate Armband

Wahoo TICKR FIT Heart Rate Armband



  • 35-hour battery life
  • USB Rechargeable
  • Tracks heartrate, calories burned, & workout time


  •   Requires unique charger
  •  Some users report strap breakage

The TICKR is designed to work hand in hand with the Wahoo app, but you can use it as effectively with several third-party apps. The armband fits comfortably and securely in a more accessible place than chest-strap trackers.

Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap

Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap



  • Compatible with most iPhones & Androids
  • Compatible with most smartwatches
  • 400-hour battery life
  • Connects with 2 Bluetooth devices at once


  • Some users find sizing unclear.t

The Polar H10 is a hyper-versatile model that works well with most mobile devices and smartwatches, as well as many pieces of exercise equipment. Because the H10 is fully waterproof, you can wear it for a broader range of activities.

COOSPO Heart Rate Monitor Armband

COOSPO Heart Rate Monitor Armband



  • Lights indicate different heart rate zones
  • Compatible with some gym equipment
  • Compatible with most fitness apps


  • Some lights are less visible than others

The COOSPO heart rate monitor makes it easy to keep track of your heart rate—the built-in LED lights shine a different color depending on what heart-rate zone you’re currently in. As a bonus, it comes with an extra strap, so you’re always ready for your next adventure.

Garmin 010-12883-00 HRM-Dual Heart Rate Monitor

Garmin Dual Heart Rate Monitor



  • 3.5-year battery life
  • ANT+ & Bluetooth compatible
  • User-friendly


  • Non-size inclusive strap

This dual heart rate monitor offers Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity, so you have more opportunities to track your heart rate while you exercise. The soft fabric chest strap fits comfortably so you can focus on your workout distraction-free. Afterward, you can remove the electronic unit and toss the strap in the washing machine.

Powr Labs Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor

Powr Labs Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor



  • Unlimited battery replacement
  • Anti-chafe strap
  • ANT+ & Bluetooth connectivity


  • Some users report strap slippage

This sleek chest heart rate monitor pairs easily with most major fitness apps. Its pairing light clearly shows you when you’re connected and ready to go. While the Powr Labs unit isn’t rechargeable, you never have to worry about running out of power—it comes with unlimited battery replacements.

Buyer’s Guide

What to Look for when Buying a Heart Rate Monitor

Your workouts are unique to you, and you’ll need a heart rate monitor that works with your lifestyle. Here are 3 factors to consider before making a purchase.

Where You’ll Wear It

Heart rate monitors are usually designed to be worn on the forearm or the chest, and each location has benefits and drawbacks. While wearing a monitor on the chest will likely give a more accurate reading, it may be uncomfortable or inconvenient to wear under a shirt.

Conversely, wearing a monitor on the forearm is more accessible and potentially more comfortable, but it may not provide the same caliber of data.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your preference.


Most heart rate monitors can integrate with at least a few fitness apps. If you’re already using a fitness app, finding a compatible monitor will make tracking far easier. And if you use multiple exercise machines, finding a monitor that’s compatible with those machines will give you even higher-quality data.

Bonus Functions

Many heart rate monitors have additional functions like zone notifications or Bluetooth easy-pairing indicator lights. You’ll need to decide if you want a monitor that covers the essential functions or something that goes the extra mile.