A lot of fitness trackers measure your heart rate, but most do it by sensing your pulse at your wrist. Because the fitness tracker is prone to moving about, this measurement cannot be 100% accurate. In fact, some users report noticeable differences between the number of beats per minute displayed on their fitness tracker, and what their heart rate really is.
This isn’t too much of a big deal for casual workouts, but if you are a serious-minded exerciser you might want a more accurate reading. That’s where heart rate monitors with chest straps come in.
The chest straps use EKG technology to sense the electrical pulse produced by your heart each time it beats. This means you’ll get a much more accurate measurement. The reading is then displayed on the accompanying watch in real time. Some heart rate monitors double as fitness trackers, but most are just for displaying your heart rate, the time, and maybe a stopwatch.
They are often programable, so you can set an upper and lower limit for your heart rate. If your heart rate moves out of this “training zone” an alarm will sound.
If you want a more accurate heart rate reading, a heart rate monitor with chest strap is your best option. Not sure where to start? I’ve reviewed three of the best sellers to make choosing the right one much easier.
1. Timex Unisex Easy Trainer Analog HRM
- Large Digital Display
- Indiglo Night-Light
- Analog Heart Rate Sensor
- Automatic Activity Timer and Workout Review
- Water-resistant to 99 feet (30 M)
Timex are known for making sports watches, but they also make very good heart rate monitors with chest straps too. This model is waterproof, so you can wear it swimming and in the rain without a problem. It has a large clear display so it’s easy to read – even if you wear glasses. It’s simple and easy to use so it’s great for workouts where the only thing you really want to measure is your heart rate and the exercise time.
The Timex Unisex Easy Trainer Analog HRM scores 3.5 out of five, with 40% of users awarding it the maximum five out of five stars.
2. Pyle Fitness Tracker Sports Watch + Heart Rate Monitor
- STAY FIT: This heart rate monitor and watch is the perfect addition to your training program. Monitor your heart rate as you run, jog, or doing any cardiovascular exercise. This watch also includes a chronograph, daily alarm & heart rate statistics
- MONITOR YOUR HEART RATE: Simply wrap the included belt around your chest before exercising and enter the heart rate monitor mode on the watch. While you exercise it keeps track of your current, maximum, average heart rates; current, and average speed
- HELPS YOU TRAIN: Knowing your maximum heart rate can help you train at an optimal level. The calorie counter is conveniently equipped with a target training mode to help you reach your best levels and notify with an alarm you when you have
- BY THE NUMBERS: Your watch generates a wealth of data from your workouts. You can view your total calories and average heart rate all at the touch of a button. Don't exercise without Pyle Sports
- GREAT SPORTS WATCH: Includes time & date functions, a daily alarm, and a chronograph with resolution up to 1/100 of a sec. The LED backlight allows for use in low-light conditions or at night. The watch is water-resistant to 33 feet/10 meters/1 ATM
This budget-friendly fitness watch and heart rate monitor is simple and easy to use. Just put the strap around your chest, select heart rate monitor on the watch, and start exercising. The watch will then display your heart rate in real time. The watch also has a stopwatch, timer, and keeps track of your minimum, maximum, and average heart rate. The display is a little on the small side, but if you have 20/20 vision that’s no kind of sacrifice to make for what is a very well-priced product.
This product scores 3.5 out of five stars, with 38% of reviewers awarding it the full five out of five.
3. Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor
- Continuous, accurate heart rate provides clear workout guidance
- Energy Pointer feature tells you if the main effect of your training is fitness improvement or fat burning
- Smart Calorie feature uses your personal data to provide accurate calories burned
- Includes heart rate chest strap made of soft fabric material that adapts to your body shape; Requires and includes chest strap for accurate heart rate
- Connects with compatible gym equipment using Gym Link and water resistant (30m)
Polar are probably the most well-known heart rate monitor manufacturer. They’ve been making EKG accurate heartrate monitors for over 30 years. The Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor provides continuous heart rate measurement, and the “energy pointer” shows you if you are exercising at the right heart rate for weight loss. The display watch also has a backlight feature, so you can use it at night.
Which one is right for you?
If you want a budget-friendly heart rate monitor with chest strap and don’t mind a small display, the Pyle Fitness Tracker Sports Watch + Heart Rate Monitor (available at Amazon.com ) is a very good choice. It’s easy to use and buying it won’t break the bank.
If you want a more serious heart rate monitor with chest strap that you can wear for swimming as well as land-based workouts, and need a large, easy to read screen, the Timex Easy Trainer Analog HRM (Available at Amazon.com) will be perfect for you.
If you want a heart rate monitor that can help you lose weight faster and more easily, the Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor (Available at Amazon.com) is a very good choice. However, Polar heart rate monitors also tend to be more expensive than other makes.
More Fitness Trackers
Different fitness bands, watches and trackers depending on the workout or exercise you do. Tracking your efforts helps to know your daily improvements. Find more fitness trackers here.
Last update on 2019-02-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API