A good quality heart rate monitor like the Apple Watch 4 can be an irreplaceable tool both for athletes as well as for regular people who want to maintain peace of mind and know how their heart is performing at any time.

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With a reliable heart rate monitor, you can detect irregularities as early as possible and seek timely care and help. With a device like this, you can also log and analyze your training performance as well as the quality of your recovery from a workout so that you can improve your results.

We have carefully reviewed various heart rate measuring devices and have come up with our ultimate top 10 lists of the best heart rate monitors for this year.

Read on to find out more!

Best overall

Apple Watch Series 4


Our top pick for a heart rate monitor in 2023 is more of a smartwatch, but it is still one of the greatest wearable heart rate monitors out there. The Apple Watch Series 4 is an excellent smart fitness tracker from Apple when it comes to health benefits and features.

It will accurately measure your resting heart rate, as well as keep track and alert you about the heart zones during workouts or intensive physical activity via its unique electrical and optical heart sensors.

The smartwatch by Apple also has the ability to detect and notify you if anything is wrong with your heart rate, including the detection of atrial fibrillation (AF), which, if not treated in time, can lead to serious and even fatal outcomes.

The smart wearable heart rate monitor will also alert you when it detects that your heart rate is too low or too high suddenly. You will be notified that you may need to see a physician.

What makes this smart heart rate monitor unique is its capability to perform an ECG (electrocardiogram), although this feature is only available in the US yet. It works with the WatchOS 5.1.2 update for the smartwatch.

You need to activate the app on your phone and hold the Digital Crown on the face of the watch so that there is a complete electrical circuit in your body. As a result, the data from your ECG will be sent to the Health app on your iPhone. You can export the results as a PDF file, and you also can add notes to every ECG about the circumstances so that you can later show the log or the results to your doctor.

The fall detection feature on the Apple SmartWatch 4 is automatically set up for people over the age of 65. This is a safety feature that will alert your contacts or 911 in case you fall down suddenly with an emergency SOS.

This 4th generation Apple Watch is the largest one known, so it is easy to see, even by elderly people or those with impaired vision. The display is 30% larger than its predecessors, and the loudspeaker is 50% louder.

Sizes of 40mm and 44mm are offered, and a variety of colors is also on offer. In addition to having cellular connectivity and GPS, it comes equipped with both. There is haptic feedback on the Digital Crown as it ticks. The watch has a 64-bit dual-core processor and a robust S4 SiP.

When compared to other wearable smart health trackers, it boasts the most powerful accelerometers and gyroscopes. Since it is watertight, you can use it to track your heart rate even when swimming or when it’s pouring outside while you’re working out.

In addition to the sophisticated capabilities for runners like pace alerts and cadence, the watch now has new hiking and yoga exercises. In addition to tracking your progress toward your targets, the app also lets you create daily exercise reminders, join monthly challenges, receive individual coaching, and view your progress graph.

Thanks to the built-in cellular, you can take and make calls, use the watch as a walkie-talkie, stream your favorite music and use Siri without needing your phone. In fact, with the Apple Watch 4, you can leave your phone at home and feel safer than ever, thanks to its unique sensors, alert features, and health monitoring options.

As you can see, the Apple Watch 4 is more like having your physician with you at all times than wearing a simple wearable fitness tracker. It is definitely a must-have for those of you who want accurate heart rate readings, notifications, and warnings when there is a problem with the heart rate, as well as the unique opportunity to do an ECG on yourself anytime you feel funny or like something is wrong with your heart.

The runner-up

Garmin Forerunner 935


Our runner up is yet another smart wrist-based heart rate monitor that has an excellent heart rate reading function. This is the flagship fitness tracker of Garmin and is designed for professional or hardcore triathletes and athletes. Still, even if you are neither of those, you can take advantage of the multiple features of this amazing health and fitness tracker.

It is made of soft and comfortable silicone, weighs a mere 1.76oz, and is 0.5 x 1.8 x 2.1 inches in size, so you can wear it all day and all night comfortably, no matter whether you are exercising intensively or sleeping.

It has a built-in GPS, a barometer, an electronic compass, and an altimeter. This watch will monitor and evaluate your training status and physical condition and will inform you if you can boost your performance or if you are overdoing it a bit. This smart fitness tracker will also monitor your recovery, so you can prepare for your next race properly.

Since it is made for triathletes, it has a number of useful functions for swimming, running, and cycling, including ground contact time, stride length, balance, and others.

The wrist heart rate monitor by Garmin is offered in several different color options and can be paired with another one of our favorite products in this list – the Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor chest strap for even more accurate results and heart rate readings.

It has a long battery life, which can last for 2 weeks if you wear it in watch mode for 2 hours with the GPS on and up to 50 hours in the UltraTac mode.

You can connect it to your smartphone, upload it to Garmin Connect, share your activity with your friends, get call and message notifications, and others.

With a smartwatch like the Garmin Forerunner 935, you will have an accurate heart rate monitor on your wrist at all times, and if you add a chest strap, you can add functions like a heart rate variability stress test or a lactate threshold.

Best budget-friendly choice

Vive Precision Blood Pressure Machine


If you are not a fan of fancy smart wearables, and would rather buy an affordable upper arm cuff heart rate monitor for under $30, then look no further. The Vive Precision Blood Pressure Machine is our top budget-friendly pick for 2023.

It will allow you to track your diastolic and systolic blood pressure easily and accurately in the privacy of your home or wherever you want.

The heart rate monitor has a large and bright LCD display, which will show your blood pressure readings and your pulse instantly.

All of the devices made by Vive are individually tested and calibrated for guaranteed accuracy.

The digital blood pressure monitor comes with all of the parts you need to start measuring your heart rate and blood pressure immediately – the monitor itself and a cuff that fits arms with a circumference of 8 ¾ to 16 ½ inches.

The device is powered by 4 AAA batteries and is very easy to use. Just fit the cuff around your upper arm and press the Start/Stop button. In a few moments, the results will be displayed on the easy-to-view screen.

This blood pressure monitor has a dual-user functionality, so both you and your partner can keep a log of your readings simultaneously – all you need to do is to flip the button to the user of your choice and proceed with the measuring.

The memory of this useful device can store up to 250 of your individual readings, along with the date, average, and time, so for both users, this is 500 readings in total. This is especially useful if your doctor wants to see your measurement log at your next appointment.

In case an irregular heart rate is detected, the device will alert you immediately, so you can take timely measures.

The blood pressure monitor comes with a detailed user manual and is sold with a 2-year unconditional warranty.

Related – The 10 Best Wrist Blood Pressure Monitors

And our other top favorite heart rate monitors for 2023 are:

Garmin HRM-Run


This chest strap monitor made for runners and triathletes can be paired with our runner-up or with any other compatible watch or device and will give you accurate heart rate readings in real time.

Features:

Coros Pace


The Coros Pace is a beautiful and feature-packed fitness tracker watch that has reliable optical sensors for accurate heart rate readings while on the go.

Features:

Garmin HRM-Tri


This is yet another chest strap heart rate monitor by Garmin, which is small, light, and designed and made for triathletes.

Features:

Polar Vantage V


The Polar Vantage V has one of the most reliable heart rate monitor sensors in the industry, which is paired with additional features to improve the accuracy of the readings further.

Features:

Withings Steel HR


Withings, which is now owned by Nokia, has produced this fantastic Steel HR smartwatch, which happens to have an excellent heart rate monitor, among all the other useful features.

Features:

Polar H10

The Polar H10 is a comfortable, reasonably priced, and very accurate heart rate measuring chest strap, which is one of the finest we have tested in 2023.

Features:

Features to look for when buying a heart rate monitor

The type of device

You should first pick the type of heart rate monitor which will suit your needs. You can get a wearable heart rate monitor if you want to track and log your heart rate readings and get alerts if something worrying is going on with your pulse. On the other hand, you can pick a traditional heart rate monitor that you can use in the comfort of your home and which, too, will log your readings and notify you if your heart rate is too slow or too fast.

Optical vs. ECG monitors

Sensors that track your heart rate electronically will pick up on the electrical impulses that direct your heart’s beating. Optical heart rate sensors work by shining a narrow beam of LED light through your skin and recording the resulting blood flow changes. The optical sensors in several of our best options are complemented with extra electrodes and devices that help them reach deeper under the skin and produce more reliable readings.

ECG and Heart rate variability

As you can see from our top 10 list of heart rate monitors in 2023, some will measure your HRV, which means measuring the millisecond deviations of your heartbeat, which is amazingly useful for balancing your training, resting, work, and family life properly.

The devices which offer an ECG function, like the Apple Watch 4, can actually be life-saving devices, as they can detect the early signs of serious and even fatal conditions like Atrial fibrillation or other irregularities in the heart rate, which may require immediate care and attention.

Connectivity

Choose a heart rate monitor that can connect to the device you already have and intend to use for tracking, storing, and analyzing your heart rate readings and logs. This can be your smartphone, a smartwatch, a chest strap, or any fitness tracking device. Make sure that the heart rate monitor of your choice has the proper connectivity options in order to be able to take advantage of all of its functions.

Final words

Finding a reliable heart rate monitor is essential both for athletes and for all other people. Keeping an eye on your heart rate will help you improve your performance when training and recovering and will also keep you informed about your current heart health and alert you if there is something wrong with your heart rate.

Hopefully, you have found that perfect heart rate monitor for your needs in our top 10 list.

We wish you good luck with your new device and sincerely believe that it will serve the purpose you are buying it for!

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