Whether you want to improve your daily workouts or train for a marathon, a heart rate monitor watch is a valuable companion. Tracking your personalized heart rate zones helps you control the intensity of your workout for long-term stamina, high-calorie burn or for other health or fitness goals. Heart rate monitor watches also capture other workout statistics to help make your exercise sessions even smarter.
The best heart rate monitor watches like the Suunto Quest, Polar RS300X and the Garmin Forerunner 15 all have long battery lives, size and color options, as well as large memory capacities or data-transfer capabilities. Based on our heart rate monitor reviews, these models provide you with the best chance to continue improving your overall fitness. If you need more inspiration, check out the latest articles about heart rate monitor watches.
All monitors in our reviews accurately track your heart rate so you can improve your workouts. Fitness watches come in many sizes and shapes though so you can find one with the right feature set, such as personalized heart rate zones, and right design, such as waterproofing for swimming, to help you increase your workout efficiency.
Heart rate watches track your heart rate, but also many other fitness statistics. You can track calories burned, lap time, duration, distance and more. For heart rate monitoring, the best exercise watches have personalized zones so you can specify your gender, age, height, weight and other factors. Superior watches also have target zone alarms so you'll hear a beep or see an indicator when you reach your target heart rate zone. Additional accessories, such as GPS and foot-pod compatibility, also come with some watches.
There are two types of heart rate monitors: a strapless heart rate monitor and a chest strap monitor. Heart rate monitors without chest straps have the technology built into the watch and monitor your heart rate from your wrist. Chest strap monitors wrap around your chest close and relay the data to the watch on your wrist. Chest strap monitors are more accurate than wrist monitors, but watches are much more convenient and easier to wear.
Battery type and battery life are also something to consider before you choose a heart rate watch. If you opt for a replaceable battery, you'll have a longer battery life but will need to buy new batteries or have a service center install one for you. Rechargeable batteries have much shorter lives, but come with chargers and are easy to charge every once in a while. Some watches even indicate when the battery is low.
Also keep in mind the face size and weight of the watch. A larger face size is easier to read, but it is heavier and might be cumbersome on long runs. Most watches are waterproof up to at least 30 meters so you can wear your watch while swimming. Backlight, time and date are also standard watch features.
Most heart rate monitor watches allow you to record your data and view it at a later date. Some have training summaries viewable after each workout, and some let you scroll through past workouts. A large memory capacity helps long-term training so look for a watch with at least a 100-lap memory.
The best watches can transfer your workout data to apps on your phone. Via either USB or a wireless connection, you can upload each workout and compete with friends, improve your PR or just monitor your progress. Many watches are only compatible with certain apps and phones so check with the manufacturer's phone compatibility charts before you buy.
Help & Support
Wrist heart rate monitors should come with manufacturer support and tools to help you get the most from your watch. You should check the website for service center information if the battery is not user replaceable. Look for phone and email details, should you need technical assistance or help with the warranty. Manuals and training videos are also a helpful source that the best manufacturers provide as well.
The best heart rate monitor will be one that works seamlessly with your lifestyle. Whether you're interested in a chest strap, phone app or long battery life, our heart rate monitor watch reviews can help you make the best decision for your workout style.