Heart Rate Monitors: A Buyer’s Guide

Heart Rate Monitors: A Buyer's Guide

Whether you’re just getting started with an exercise program, or have been working out for years, you may have considered purchasing a heart rate monitor. These high-tech pieces of sports equipment have become must-have items for people who are serious about getting into better shape. Of course, with so many different models and types of heart rate monitors on the market, it can be a bit confusing trying to find the right one for you.

And that’s why we’ve put together this heart rate monitor buying guide. Read through some of these tips to get on the right track to choosing your ideal heart rate monitor…

What are your fitness goals?

While we think that just about anyone who exercises can benefit from using a heart rate monitor, there are different models for people with different fitness needs. It’s best to start off by considering your fitness goals. If you’re just starting out with a workout plan to lose weight, you probably won’t want to purchase a high-end HRM (heart rate monitor) that tracks lots of advanced metrics. And if you’re a hardcore athlete, you should probably avoid the entry level models, as they won’t give you the data you need to stay on top of your fitness goals.

In other words, before you consider any other heart rate monitor features, think about how you will use yours, and then move on to other features, like…


Most heart rate monitors feature a portion that looks like a large sports watch. These come with different display quality levels and sizes. Try to choose one with a display that is clear and bright, while also being large enough to read easily. You’ll find that screen sizes and display qualities really run the gamut, but try to get one that gives you a nice, quality readout of your important fitness metrics.


Most heart rate monitors have the actual monitoring portion that straps around your chest. You’ll want to make sure that the model you purchase is known for being comfortable and easy to wear during intense exercise. The last thing you want to be doing during your training sessions is dealing with an uncomfortable chest halter that impedes your performance.

Extra Features

Even basic heart rate monitors are capable of doing some pretty cool things these days. Most people especially like the models that allow you to upload your workout data to a computer. These types of heart rate monitors typically include a small USB stick that you pop right into your computer. Then you can take advantage of advanced online fitness tools to track your progress.

Keep these basic tips/features in mind as you shop for your heart rate monitor. By knowing what to look for in a heart rate monitor, you’ll be more prepared to get the best monitor for your money.