The 8 Best Heart Rate Monitors to Buy Under $100 in 2022

Our walking coach recommends the Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor

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A heart rate monitor is an excellent fitness tool, allowing you to work out within your chosen heart rate zone. The best heart rate monitors under $100 are easy to read and packed with extra features—even at these lower price points.

Reviewed & Approved

We love the Wahoo TICKR Bluetooth and ANT+ Heart Rate Monitor because it's accurate and versatile. We also like the Polar FT1 Heart Rate Monitor because it's simple and easy to use.

The best features to look for include a backlight, clock, stopwatch, settable heart zones with alarm, and more. A rechargeable battery is also a convenient feature since some monitors must be returned to the manufacturer for a new battery, and that can be time-consuming. We researched popular options with these features in mind.

Here are the best heart rate monitors under $100, so you can exercise at your chosen intensity.

Wahoo TICKR Bluetooth and ANT+ Heart Rate Monitor

Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor
Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor. Courtesy of Amazon.com

We love this heart monitor because it's durable, versatile, and easy to use. This chest strap will connect to your smartphone, GPS watch, Polar receiver, Apple Watch, and more. What you get is only the chest strap, but that may be enough if you already have a wrist receiver or like to use an app. It's compatible with over 50 fitness apps such as MapMyFitness, Runkeepr, Strava, and Apple Health. It has a replaceable battery and tracks your real-time heart rate, training zones, and calories burned. As a bonus, it's rated IPX7, meaning it is waterproof for up to 5 feet.

Timex Road Trainer Heart Rate Monitor

Timex Road Trainer Heart Rate Monitor
Timex Road Trainer Heart Rate Monitor. Courtesy of Amazon.com

The Timex Road Trainer uses a chest strap sensor for maximum accuracy. The wrist monitor is a full-featured Timex Ironman sports watch. You can view your heart rate with the time of day and while using the chronograph and timer. It has a minimum and maximum heart rate alert, five pre-set heart rate zones and a customizable zone. I like the large number display and a night light. Perhaps because I've used Ironman watches in the past, I find the Timex more intuitive and I find it easier to navigate the displays and menus than I do with Polar heart rate monitor products. The watch is large, but you could easily wear it and use it as a sports watch, independent of its heart rate monitor function.

Polar FT1 Heart Rate Monitor

Polar FT1 Heart Rate Monitor
Polar FT1 Heart Rate Monitor. Courtesy of Amazon.com

This is the base-model for Polar heart rate monitors. Polar FT1 heart rate monitor lets you set a manual target heart rate zone with visual and audible alarm. It gives you your average heart rate during your exercise and elapsed exercise time. I like the basic models for their ease of use, you don't have to remember which button to use for which function. You can also wear it as a watch; it displays the time and date. The extra large digits are appreciated. It has a backlight for viewing after dark. Water resistant up to 30 meters (100 feet).

Polar H7 Heart Rate Monitor

Polar H7 Bluetooth Chest Strap and Polar App
Polar H7 Bluetooth Chest Strap and Polar App. Wendy Bumgardner ©

The beauty of this Bluetooth-transmitting heart rate monitor band is that it doesn't come with a wrist monitor that limits what data you can see and use. Instead, you can use it with your iPhone or compatible Android phone and devices that are Bluetooth Smart (4.0) capable. That means you can either use their Polar Beat app, or Endomondo, Runtastic and other compatible apps, expanding what you can do with it. It will also transmit to other Polar wrist displays that can receive Bluetooth or Gymlink, including their Polar Loop wristband activity monitor.

Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor

Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor
Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor. Courtesy of Amazon.com

This Polar is a step up from the FT1 and FT2, as it includes calorie calorie expenditure and a more graphical display of your heart rate. It will also calculate your heart zone automatically based on your age. It saves and displays 10 workouts rather than the single workout shown by the basic models, plus your ongoing totals. It also has watch functions for time of day and date. But it does not include the sports watch features, such as a stopwatch or countdown timer, splits, etc., that you'll find in Timex models.

Sportline 630 Cardio Coded Heart Rate Monitor

Sportline Cardio 630 Heart Rate Monitor
Sportline Cardio 630 Heart Rate Monitor. Courtesy of Amazon.com

This heart rate monitor has the basic functions of displaying your heart rate in beats per minute and in percentage of maximum heart rate. You can time your workouts and see the calories burned during the workout session. It also has watch functions of time, date and alarm, and a chronograph stopwatch function. It comes in men's and women's versions. The chest strap for the women's version fits well under the breasts, and I had no problem with it maintaining skin contact. The watch is comfortable and displays the data in big-enough numbers for aging eyes, plus a backlight.

Cardiosport GO-35S Heart Rate Monitor

Cardiosport Go 35S Heart Rate Monitor
Cardiosport Go 35S Heart Rate Monitor. Courtesy of Amazon.com

This heart rate monitor allows you to set target zone limits with upper and lower alarms. It has a stopwatch and countdown timer. See your time in zone and calories burned. It has a large LCD display with a super-glow light that is easy to read. It has a user-changeable battery.

Ekho E-10 Heart Rate Monitor

Ekho E10 Heart Rate Monitor
Ekho E10 Heart Rate Monitor. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

Prevention Magazine rated its transmitter the most comfortable. This is an entry-level model which displays your heart rate continuously and the time of day. It comes with a 5-year manufacturer warranty. It features user-replaceable batteries on transmitter and watch.

What to Look for in a Heart Rate Monitor Under $100

Battery Type

It is important to know what type of battery the monitor uses, and how to change it. Some heart rate monitors must be returned to the factory in order for the battery to be changed, which is less than ideal. Others are rechargeable (in which case, you'll want to check battery life, especially if you'll be wearing the monitor regularly as a watch) or allow you to buy and replace the battery yourself.

Backlight

Depending on when and where you work out, a backlight may be useful to help you see the screen in dim or dark locations. Whether this be your home gym, the outdoors, or another location that may be in poor lighting, it is worth consideration.

Clock

A clock feature is useful for keeping track of time while working out, counting minutes, or sticking with an interval schedule. Some monitors may also include a stopwatch, which is useful for timing runs, planks, and so on. These functions aren’t necessary, but may be useful depending on your routine.

Ease of Use

In order to accurately keep track of your heart rate and not hinder your workout, it is important that a heart rate monitor be easy to use. Monitors with too few or too many buttons can become confusing. Consider how many functions the device has, how many buttons there are to navigate them, and whether you need all the features a particular monitor offers. If you don't, you may save money with a simpler device. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How accurate are heart rate monitors?

    Research has found that chest-mounted heart rate monitors are very accurate. Monitors that use a chest strap are more accurate than wrist-mounted heart rate monitors.

  • Why are heart rate monitors important?

    Heart rate monitors can help you determine when you are in your target heart rate zone. Your health and fitness goals dictate how much intensity you need to bring to your workout, and a heart rate monitor can show you how hard you are working and whether you need to step up the intensity (to raise your heart rate) or back off (to lower your heart rate).

  • When should you use a heart rate monitor?

    You should use a heart rate monitor during every workout. Check your heart rate at least every 10 to 15 minutes to ensure you don't exceed your maximum heart rate. Some heart rate monitors have alarms or other notifications to alert you when you reach your target zone or exceed it.

  • How do you read a heart rate monitor?

    Every heart rate monitor is a little different. Check the instruction manual for yours to learn about its display modes. However, the heart rate monitor will always show your heart rate in beats per minute (bpm).

  • How do you use a heart rate monitor while running?

    When you finish an interval, keep jogging lightly while you check your heart rate monitor. Start running again if you have not reached about 70% of your maximum heart rate. Once you reach that, keep up a light jog until your heart rate lowers. Once you can see it has lowered to a more relaxed state, increase your speed again.

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  1. Pasadyn SR, Soudan M, Gillinov M, et al. Accuracy of commercially available heart rate monitors in athletes: A prospective study. Cardiovasc Diagn Ther. 2019;9(4):379-385. doi:10.21037/cdt.2019.06.05