The 7 Best Heart Rate Monitor Watches of 2021

Stay on track with your fitness goals

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Our Top Picks
Choose from more than 15 exercise modes.
Syncs additional information like distance traveled.
Best for Sleep:
Fitbit Alta HR at Amazon
Slim design makes it more comfortable to wear when you’re dozing off.
Takes you from resting heart rate to recovery in one smart package.
Helps you track your heart health progress.
Best for Triathletes:
Garmin Forerunner 935 at Amazon
Has built-in activity profiles for all three sports in the triathlon crown.
Say her name to check the weather, news, and more.

Best Overall: Fitbit Charge 3

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate & Fitness Wristband

Ever since the first Fitbit was released in 2013, the brand has become synonymous with fitness tracking. Although the first few models were pricey and considered a status symbol among tech aficionados, the brand now has offerings that marry the watch’s reliable heart rate and fitness monitoring with affordability—and their newest Charge 3 model is no exception.

The Charge 3 builds off of the Charge 2’s runaway popularity. Its display automatically shows your current heart rate with a single tap, and it has 24/7 heart rate tracking, so you never miss a beat. You can also choose from more than 15 exercise modes to get an accurate idea of how hard your heart works during different workouts.

Best Budget: Akuti Fitness Tracker

Smartwatches have skyrocketed in popularity, but you don’t need to pay hundreds of dollars for high-end models to reap the benefits of monitoring your heartbeat. Akuti’s slim option continuously monitors your heart rate for a bird’s eye view of your cardiac health, without the heart-stopping price tag of competitors.

For a bargain, this wristband tracks your heart rate and displays it on a large, easy-to-read screen. It syncs additional information like steps walked, distance traveled, and estimated calories burned to the accompanying app. The watch is also waterproof, so you can even track your heart rate in the shower.

Best for Sleep: Fitbit Alta HR

Monitoring your heart rate while you sleep is just as important as monitoring it during activity—your resting heart rate can tell you if you’re at risk for certain metabolic or cardiac issues. It’s also necessary for determining fat burning and peak heart rate benchmarks during your workout. The Fitbit Alta HR tracks your heart rate while you sleep, giving you greater insight into your heart health.

Many smartwatches offer sleep tracking, but Fitbit’s Alta slim design makes it more comfortable to wear when you’re dozing off. Your heart rate during sleep helps the watch determine which sleep stage you’re in, which clues you in to your overall sleep quality. If you discover you’re struggling at night, you can use behavioral methods to improve your sleep and avoid troubling symptoms of sleep deprivation during your day.

Best for Running: POLAR M430 GPS Running Watch

Whether you’re lacing up your first pair of running shoes to get in shape or training for your umpteenth marathon, a smartwatch that tracks your heart rate while you run can help you stay in your ideal cardiac zone for peak fitness. The Polar GPS Running Watch takes you from resting heart rate to recovery in one smart package.

This watch uses both indoor and outdoor metrics to showcase your heart’s performance while you run. A five-minute aerobic fitness test shows you your baseline performance, your running index (a number calculated using your heart rate and speed) tracks your fitness development, and stats on your training load show you how long it takes your heart and the rest of your body to recover from a good run.

Best Waterproof: Apple Watch Series 4 with GPS

Swimming is an excellent activity for anyone looking for a low-impact, high-intensity workout that builds cardiovascular fitness. Tracking your heart rate underwater used to be a pipe dream, but Apple’s waterproof heart rate monitor watch helps you track your heart health progress without worrying about chlorine ruining your investment.

The Apple Watch is known for being the big kahuna of the smartwatch market, but it’s also one of the only watches with a reliable heart rate monitor that works in a pool. The Series 4 is water-resistant for up to 50 meters, and if any water creeps inside, you can eject it with a turn of the watch’s Digital Crown.

Best for Triathletes: Garmin Forerunner 935

Triathlons are some of the most challenging races to complete—the triple threat of swimming, biking, and running give even the most seasoned athletes a run for their money. All three sports are superb for your heart health, but monitoring your heart rate as you train is vital for keeping your body in an optimal training zone. Garmin’s Forerunner series has the chops to track your heart rate on land or sea.

The Forerunner 935 has built-in activity profiles for all three sports in the triathlon crown, and you can switch gears with the touch of a button. The watch monitors your overall training stats, recovery time, and other performance indicators, so you know exactly what to work on.

Best with Alexa: Fitbit Versa 2 Fitness Smartwatch

This stylish upgrade of the Fitbit Versa still tracks your steps, heart rate, and calories burned but comes with lots of other great new features. The most exciting? Alexa.

Just say her name to check the weather, read the news, or control your smart home devices. The Versa 2 is waterproof and can be set to different workout modes to get a more accurate reading of calories burned. The battery lasts for five-plus days, so no need to worry about always searching for an outlet.

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