Have you ever wondered just how much you’re exerting yourself when you exercise? If so, you need a heart rate monitor. These devices provide lots of different information about exercise intensity, efficiency and more. They can help save you time and effort, so you can maximize results.
Heart rate monitors are also excellent motivational tools, as you’ll essentially be able to see your body adapting to your workouts and getting in shape. However, some models can be quite expensive. If you’ve never used one before or are simply on a tight budget, we have the 6 best budget heart rate monitors for you.
Best Budget Heart Rate Monitor At a Glance
Best Budget Heart Rate Monitor Overall
It’s shocking how cheap the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Fitness Tracker is when you consider its comprehensive capabilities. Accurate fitness, health, and sleep tracking are some of the basic features that make this such a great device. Toss in phone-connected GPS and a 20-day battery life and this fitness tracker competes with models 4 times the price.
Next Best Budget Chest Strap HR Monitor
It may be affordable, but the CooSpo Fitness Tracker comes with some modern tech. ANT+ Bluetooth connectivity lets you pair with your smart devices and bike computers so you can track through an array of apps. The comfortable, streamlined device will provide accurate results and hold up for years to come.
The Best Budget Heart Rate Monitors
|Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Fitness Tracker||
|CooSpo Fitness Tracker||
|Fitbit Inspire HR||
|MorePro Fitness Tracker||
|Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor||
|Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Fitness Tracker|
|CooSpo Fitness Tracker|
|Fitbit Inspire HR|
|MorePro Fitness Tracker|
|Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor|
Probably the best cheap heart rate monitor on the market today, the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Fitness Tracker can’t be missed. Xiaomi has become known for their solid products at low prices.
The well-designed, all-black model features a 0.95-inch RBG AMOLDED display that has sharp details and is bright enough to see clearly, even in direct sunlight. The touchscreen makes it intuitive and quick to navigate, whether you want to control your music or switch between screens.
The silicone band is a bit too rigid for some, though it’s soft against the skin and won’t chafe. You can always change it out for a different material too, if you’d like.
With an array of workout modes including treadmill, outdoor running, cycling, walking, pool swimming and more, you’ll likely find a mode that suits your needs perfectly. If you’re a swimmer, you’ll be pleased to know that it can recognize 5 different swimming styles too! The heart rate monitoring is incredibly accurate, and as it tracks 24 hours a day, you can check out the dynamic curve chart of how your HR changes as the day goes on.
- Wide selection of workout modes and stats tracked
- Bluetooth, ANT+ capable
- Clear touchscreen display
The Not So Good
- Silicone wristband is a bit tough
Between Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ technology you’ll be able to pair your CooSpo Fitness Tracker with just about anything: smartphones, tablets, GPS watches, bike computers, and more! Not only that, but it works with the most popular apps, such as Map My Run, Endomondo, and Peloton, just to name a few. This is important as it doesn’t come with its own built-in display panel.
The heart rate pod itself looks basic, with an all-black color scheme and the logo right in the front. However, you can choose among a few different band colors. The band is comprised of elastic/neoprene and has been known to be comfortable to wear, even for extended workout sessions. Adjustable from 25.6 to 37.4 inches, it also works with a wide variety of users.
The chest strap works well with walking, climbing, cycling, weightlifting, yoga, and so much more. Heart rate monitoring is very accurate, and it’s IP67 waterproof rated as well so you can sweat as much as you want without worry. However, it’s not recommended for use while swimming as it simply isn’t designed to record swim stats.
- Comfortable, sturdy chest strap
- Works with various workout activities
- Compatible with wide variety of apps and devices
- Accurate heart rate monitoring
The Not So Good
- Not ideal for swimming
- Doesn’t feature a built-in display
Fitbit are one of the most popular fitness tracker brands in the world today. Their Inspire HR packs a big punch at a small price, with features commonly found in much pricier models.
Even though it’s one of the sleekest-looking trackers out there, it’s still relatively thick for a wrist model. Choose between either Black, White, or Lilac – each one looks modern and goes great with any outfit. The elastomer band is flexible and soft, yet still long-lasting.
24/7 heart rate monitoring makes for accurate results, providing your resting heart rate and heart rate zone data while you’re exercising. In addition, it also tracks activity throughout the day, like steps, distance, hourly activity, active minutes, and calories burned. A huge factor in our health is the quality of sleep we get, and it tracks this too! It offers insight into your sleep stages and a more comprehensive view of your health.
As it’s water resistant up to 40 meters, it’s also perfect for swimming, walking, running, cycling, and more. Lasting up to 5 days, the battery charges fully in just 2 hours so you never have to be without it.
- Comfortable and durable band
- Automatically tracks sleep and daily activities
- Relatively accurate HR measurement
- 24/7 heart rate tracking
The Not So Good
- Thick bezel/display
It may not track running dynamics, but the Garmin HRM-Dual is excellent for cycling. With the inclusion of Bluetooth and ANT+ technology, you’re able to connect to just about any smart devices, cycling computers, or apps.
Unfortunately, accuracy can be an issue in heart rate monitors – certainly in the more affordable options. However, you can count on the HRM-Dual for consistently reliable, accurate monitoring. With the ability to receive heart rate tracking 24/7 on your Garmin device or the online app of your choice, your motivation and efficiency will be higher than ever before.
As one of the lightest best budget fitness trackers available, it stays on well and is comfortable to the point that you may forget you’re wearing it. The nice array of adjustability options means that you’ll always get a perfect fit, even if you end up fluctuating in weight. While the soft strap isn’t the toughest, it is sweatproof, and can be easily washed. The design is nice and basic.
While it doesn’t come with any particularly “special” or “advanced” features, its performance and accuracy make it a perfect option for those that value consistency and reliability.
- Accurate heart rate monitoring
- Can be used with just about any fitness app
- Comfortable and secure band
- Long-lasting battery
The Not So Good
- Simple design
Another one of the best affordable heart rate monitors is the MorePro Fitness Tracker. Coming in 5 different colors, from Black to Green, you’re sure to find something that looks great on your wrist. This 24/7 heart rate and blood pressure monitor comes with all the basic functions you will need.
The 0.96” IPS colored screen features wonderful definition and contrast, not to mention the fact that its color steps it up from most others in this price category.
While it’s usually accurate, there are times where results are a bit off. This can happen when you’re moving around a lot or when the tracker isn’t properly secured on your wrist. It does do a great job of sleep monitoring though, starting as soon as you lay down and your heart rate lowers to its resting rate. If you have issues with feeling tired throughout the day, its built-in alarm clock will also wake you in your lightest sleep stages to keep you feeling energized.
As you can receive calls, SMS, and SNS notifications, you’ll always be in-the-loop – even if you’re away from your laptop or smartphone. Your steps, distance, and calorie burn stats will all be transmitted to the app of your choice too, so you can track your progress no matter where you are.
- HR and BP tracking
- Receives calls, SMS, SNS notifications
- Colored, sharp screen
- Comes in various colors
The Not So Good
- HR tracking isn’t always 100% accurate
Last on the list is the Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor, which is a chest strap design ideal for running, cycling, and more. With incredible precision, it will help get you closer to your goals with real results. While it doesn’t come with a rechargeable battery like many others, it lasts up to 12 months, which is pretty significant.
It’s important to regularly clean your HRM, and thanks to the lightweight sensor that quickly snaps on and off, this process is a breeze. It’s also sweatproof and waterproof up to 5 feet, so if you’re going to work out outdoors, it will hold up in virtually any weather conditions.
Both ANT+ and Bluetooth technology let you sync to your smartphone and GPS devices either simultaneously or separately. This makes 3rd party app (compatible with more than 50) tracking easy. You’ll be able to track your heart rate in real-time, along with training zones and calories burned to maximize results and achieve your goals quicker.
If that weren’t enough, the strap is the perfect balance between stretchy and secure so you can work out as hard as you want without worry of it coming loose or having to adjust it.
- Comfortable and secure
- Works with over 50 smartphone apps
- Very accurate
- Waterproof up to 5 feet
- Easy to clean
The Not So Good
- Quite simple technology
Should You Get an Inexpensive Heart Rate Monitor?
You absolutely should. Monitoring your heart rate is one of the best things you can do to reach your goals faster and improve efficiency so you’re not wasting your time. As these devices are so inexpensive and accessible, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get one. They aren’t absolutely necessary, but if you’re serious about improving your body composition, speed, overall athletic performance, and general health then it’s a good idea to consider using one.
Heart rate monitors will let you know if you should be working harder or slowing down. Even the best cheap heart rate monitors will sync to your smart devices so you can track these results at any time, no matter where you are.
Each of the devices on this guide are comfortable and secure, too, so you’ll be able to put one on and essentially “forget about it”. That said, if you want to track your HR in real-time then make sure you’re paying attention to that.
Ultimately, you should know which activity/activities you’ll be using your HR monitor for so you can choose the best one for you.
Choosing the Right Budget Heart Rate Monitor
Here are a few key things you need to pay attention when buying a good budget heart rate monitor:
Chest Straps: These are worn around the chest, with the sensor pod located in the middle, where your heart is. The proximity to the heart is what creates incredible precision, as it allows the measurement of heart rate via electrocardiogram (ECG). These are the [LINK]best and safest heart rate monitors for cyclists, and the most secure [LINK]option for swimmers.
Armbands: These are located on either the upper forearm or upper arm around the biceps and use an optical technology called [LINK]photoplethysmography to measure pulse rate. These vary greatly in accuracy, so it’s important that you select one of the models on this guide. These are great for weight lifting (as they typically measure reps), general workouts, and running.
HRMs almost always have the ability to connect to external devices such as smartwatches, smartphones, and cycling computers. Bluetooth and ANT+ are the most common connectivity technologies:
ANT+: This is a Garmin invention and found in most quality HRMs. It produces the most stable and reliable data transmission, which is why almost all good heart rate monitors will be ANT+ enabled. However, as bluetooth continues to grow in popularity and the technology improves, ANT+ is becoming less necessary and more restrictive (as relatively few devices can actually read data via ANT+).
Bluetooth: Most budget heart rate monitors will only be bluetooth enabled as it’s more power efficient and the technology is more ubiquitous. That said, bluetooth is less stable than ANT+ meaning that connectivity drops out more frequently and reduces the quality of your fitness data.
What’s the point in getting a heart rate monitor if it’s not even going to provide you with accurate results? Incorrect readings can obviously make it more challenging to accomplish your fitness goals and defeats the purpose of getting a heart rate tracker in the first place. While chest strap HRMs are the most accurate, there are also various armband models that are just as precise, so it comes down to what you prefer and the sport you’ll be using it for.
These may not be 100% necessary, but extra features such as sleep tracking or blood pressure tracking can be a huge help when monitoring and improving your overall health. In addition, you may want to have the ability to receive notifications from your smartphone so you’re always in the loop and don’t miss anything important.
Frequently Asked Questions About Affordable Heart Rate Monitors
Are the cheap fitness trackers any good?
It all comes down to what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for the device with the most features out there, then these aren’t ideal. However, all reputable brands make budget selections that provide accurate HR monitoring and activity tracking. If that’s what you want, then they’re perfect.
What is the best inexpensive activity tracker?
The Xiaomi or the Fitbit would be the best in this situation, as the chest strap alternatives on this guide do a better job of providing accurate HR tracking as opposed to fitness tracking.
What is like a Fitbit, but cheaper?
The Xiaomi again, or the MorePro are great alternatives as they track activities well but are much more affordable.
Are heart rate monitors worth buying?
If you’re serious about your fitness results, then yes. Data tracking is going to be a much easier way to reach your goals as you’re not playing any guessing games. These devices let you know when to ramp up activity, and when to slow it down.
Well, there you have it: The Best Budget Heart Rate Monitors
After thorough research, we’ve made sure to deliver the best selections around, keeping in mind low pricing. No matter what your budget is, we’re confident there are at least a couple of perfect selections for you on this guide.
You can rely on each one of them to measure your heart rate accurately, so you can get even closer to your fitness goals. All that’s left is for you to select one and be on your way! Thanks for tuning in and have fun!