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The Best Wrist Heart Rate Monitors

If you are looking for an easy and effective way to monitor your heart rate utilizing the convenience of technology, then a good fitness watch that has a built in heart rate monitor may be the solution you are looking for. Here are the best wrist heart rate monitors that will allow you to easily and effectively measuring and monitoring your heart rate.

The Best Wrist Heart Rate Monitors for Measuring Your Heart Rate (Updated List)

#PreviewProductRating
1 SUUNTO 9 Baro & Peak, GPS Sports WatchBest Overall
2Fitbit Sense Advanced SmartwatchRunner Up
3POLAR Verity Sense Optical Heart Rate SensorBudget Friendly

Why You Should Get a Wrist Heart Rate Monitor

Wearing a wrist-based heart rate monitor is the most easy and convenient way to measure your heart rate during your exercise routine. This eliminates having to wear a separate, often times uncomfortable, chest strap to track your heart rate since the wrist device reads this activity optically through your skin on your wrist.

Plus, using a heart rate monitor on your wrist is great because it allows you to track key information during your workouts. When you exercise, of course, you use energy. When you measure your heart rate, you can then figure out what the source of the energy is.

Another good reason to measure your heart rate during your workouts is that it is a key indicator of how intense your workout is. For example, if you maintain your heart rate for prolonged period of time it can help you burn more calories and fat as well as improving your overall cardiovascular health.

Often times what is measured improves.

What to Look for When Buying a Wrist Heart Rate Monitor

Everyone has different preferences on what is important or not when deciding on one of the best wrist heart rate monitors, but I want to offer my opinion on the most important features that these monitors should have.

A Large and Clear Display

Wrist heart rate monitors are far more convenient than the chest monitor. People choose this avenue of monitoring their heart rate even-though the chest monitor is more accurate so that they can more easily exercise and take the appropriate actions based on the results. This requires a large and clear display so that one can quickly review the results so that they can take the appropriate actions based on those results.

Compact

To avoid the bulkiness of a large heart rate monitor, a compact and lightweight wrist heart rate monitor makes is much easier and seamless to monitor your heart rate during vigorous exercise routines. This is a balance of compactness and having a large enough display to make it easy to view the results. Again, it is a balance.

Ease of Navigation

Most of the wrist heart rate monitors require you to press and hold two buttons to display the heart rate and other features that the device may have. One should choose a device that allows for easy navigation to these buttons while exercising. This is especially important for runners who want to monitor their heart rate without interrupting their run.

Be sure to Check out the Video below for more information:

Wrist Heart Rate Monitor Product Reviews

Here are the reviews of the best Wrist Heart Rate Monitors for measuring your heart rate.

1. SUUNTO 9 Baro & Peak, GPS Sports Watch (Best Overall)

The Suunto 9 Baro & Peak, GPS Sports Watch is my absolute favorite. It is extremely durable multisport watch that is actually designed for athletes who want the best. It is has a very accurate heart rate monitor, especially for a wrist monitor. It also features an accurate barometer.

I especially like the size of the display and you’ll notice how conveniently placed the buttons on the side are for easy navigation. Plus it is designed to last and is great for running and hiking.

You can read my full Suunto 9 Baro GPS Watch Review Here.

Pros

  • Water Resistant up to 100 meters
  • Delivers up to 120 hours of continuous Exercise tracking
  • Conveniently placed buttons for easy navigation

Cons

  • The software on the watch is a bit slow
  • No map overlay

2. Fitbit Sense Advanced Smartwatch (Runner Up)

The Fitbit Sense is an excellent Advanced Smartwatch. It is very attractive, yet durable and has an easy to read large display. It features Tools for Heart Health, Stress Management & Skin Temperature Trends. It has what a great Smartwatch should have.

This devise also has High & low heart rate notifications that will alert you if yours seems above or below your average. Another great and unique feature is the EDA Scan app which detects electrodermal activity which may indicate your body’s response to stress and a built-in skin temperature sensor logs yours each night so you can see when it varies.

I do happen to own this devise and you can read my full Fitbit Sense review here.

Pros

  • Battery Life 6 plus days
  • Built in GPS
  • EDA Scan App

Cons

  • Band release latch can be accidentally triggered
  • Small third-party app selection

3. POLAR Verity Sense Optical Heart Rate Sensor (Budget Friendly)

The Polar Verity Sense Optical Heart Rate Sensor is the most budget friendly of the Wrist Heart Rate Monitors mentioned in this post. Although it really isn’t a wrist heart rate monitor because it attaches to your arm as an arm band. If you are simply looking for a device that measures your heart rate while you are doing your daily exercise routine without the features of a smartwatch, then this device may be your best choice.

One of the features that owners of this device appreciate is its overall comfort and ease of use. Plus, it is designed for the swimmer. It has a Polar Verity Sense that tracks your heart rate, distance and pace automatically in the pool. As I mentioned, this is really not a wrist heart rate monitor and deserves a more detailed review. Check out my detailed Polar Verity Sense Optical Heart Rate Sensor Review HERE.

Pros

  • Great for the swimmer
  • Very Comfortable and lightweight
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Not a smartwatch
  • have to purchase extra software to use with iPhone

FAQ’s

Here are some commonly asked questions about the best wrist heart rate monitors

Is the Device Waterproof?

Many people ask this question, especially swimmers who want to monitor their heart rate while doing their favorite exercise, swimming. Not only that, but some people like to wear their wrist device all day long and wonder about it getting wet accidentally.

Does the GPS load Quickly?

This appears to be a common question for people who are looking for the heart rate monitor to be a smartwatch as well. Especially for the hiker who may go into areas where a GPS may not load as quickly as on the road.

How accurate is the Heart Rate Monitor

Since a wrist heart rate device is less accurate than a chest strapped heart rate monitor, this question is often asked. Many people want the convenience of the wrist type of monitoring device, but still want it to be accurate.

Conclusion

So that concludes our list of the best wrist heart rate monitors. My personal favorite is the Suunto 9 Baro & Peak, GPS Sports Watch. This was rated as the best overall. If you have any specific questions about any of the devices listed here, please visit each of the Amazon listings as most of the specific questions are answered right on the product page.

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8 thoughts on “The Best Wrist Heart Rate Monitors”

  1. Hi! Does these heart rate monitors work in low temperature? I live in Finland we currently have -15C here… Do they work normally if I make it 60 minutes walk in such temperature? The chest wrap monitor works because it’s under the jacket but they are not as practical as these wrist monitors. Personally I like Suunto as well, it’s from Finland.. 😀

    Reply
    • Hi Markus, thanks for visiting my Best Wrist Heart Rate Monitors post. First of all, the heart rate monitors do work well in low temperatures. For example, since you like the Suunto, it’s operating temperature is -20° C to +55° C / -5° F to +130° F. These types of ranges are typical of all of the wrist heart rate monitors I mentioned in the post.

      So, if you were to make a 60 minute walk in the temperatures you are mentioning in Finland, you would definitely be able to monitor your healthy heart rate during exercise.

      Reply
  2. Hi Ralph, 

    Thanks for your excellent post to review the best wrist heart rate monitor! I am looking for one at the moment. I really like the Fitbit because the display is so clear and easy to read. After this comment, I will go check your full review of it and hope I can finalize my purchase soon.

    Thanks again,
    Grace

    Reply
    • You are very welcome Grace and thank you for the kind words. Let me know if you have any other questions regarding the Fitbit Sense Review and I will answer them as soon as I can. 

      Reply
  3. I’m so glad to see that heart rate monitors have become more popular. I have been an athlete and into fitness for decades, and always knew that heart rate was important, but because I wasn’t monitoring it, I assumed I was in the right zone. To my surprise, when I finally got an electronic heart rate monitor, I learned that I was pushing myself way too hard to get the results I wanted. I think everyone should try a heart rate monitor. Thanks for the helpful list to narrow down the choices!

    Reply
    • You are very welcome Aly. One thing I discovered about exercise is that you can indeed overwork yourself and in many cases working out for a long period of time is a waste. For example, the most effective way to exercise your muscles is to work out to temporary muscular failure and then stop. There is no need to go further. 

      Reply
  4. You don’t have the prices listed here but I’m wondering how much the software costs for the Verity Sense to sync with an iPhone?  Is it still budget-friendly compared to the others?  Although I currently own a Fitbit, I think I would give the Baro & Peak a try next time I’m in the market.  I like the fact that it’s waterproof and can track my exercise for such a long period.  It certainly helps to compare my daily workouts!  Thank you for posting this great information!

    Reply
    • Thank you for your feedback Cynthia. the software costs for the Verity Sense to sync with an iphone is actually free. So, yes, it is still budget friendly compared to the other best wrist heart rate monitors. I agree, the Baro & Peak is a great choice. 

      Reply

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