Best Heart Rate Monitors in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update June 11, 2020
A heart rate monitor is something that every running, cycling, rowing, and swimming enthusiast needs. This device will tell you when you can push the boundaries and when slowing down must take precedence. Aside from accurate monitoring, there are multiple factors separating the best heart rate monitors from middling models, so make sure to read the reviews so that you can choose the right product. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Length
Connection
Power Source
Extras
Warranty
 
PROS

The textile strap is soft and easy on the skin. The premium electrodes, aside from measuring with accuracy, eliminate interference. The silicone dots and the buckle make sure that the strap stays put, even when you're running, swimming, working out, etc.

CONS

The company's Beat app features a bloated UI.

OUR VERDICT

The Polar H10 is the most accurate and precise device within its class. More impressive is that, adding to the standard Bluetooth and ANT+ connection options, the model lets you go with 5 kHz transmission as well as train with two connected devices simultaneously.

detailed parameters
Type

Chest strap

Length

XS - S: 51 - 66 cm
M - XXL: 65 - 93 cm

Connection

Bluetooth, ANT+, 5 kHz transmission (Gymlink)

Power Source

1 x "CR2025" battery (up to 400 hours)

Extras

Built-in memory for 1 training session, fully waterproof (suitable for swimming), updatable software 

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The two bands, measuring 10 inches (25 cm) and 15 inches (38 cm), are stretchable and can be worn both on the forearm and the upper arm. The hypoallergenic fabric will not present any challenges to even the most sensitive skin. The device counts the calories and workout duration too.

CONS

The battery only lasts 30 hours tops.

OUR VERDICT

The Wahoo TICKR FIT is relying upon the most recent optical heart rate monitoring tech to make sure the information presented to you is as close to 100% accuracy as these devices can get. Unlike chest straps, this armband is less hassle to put on and remove.

detailed parameters
Type

Armband

Length

2 bands included (26 and 38 cm)

Connection

Bluetooth, ANT+

Power Source

Rechargeable battery (up to 30 hours)

Extras

Fully waterproof (not suitable for swimming)

Warranty

1 year

PROS

This HRM has a well-thought-out design. The strap is made from high-quality materials with a coated stainless steel hook that doesn't rub your skin. As for the sensor, it provides accurate measurements in any conditions and temperatures from -10°C to +50°C.

CONS

The strap absorbs smells.

OUR VERDICT

The Polar H9 Heart Rate Sensor is popular among athletes who need detailed information about their physical state. This monitor gives informative feedback after your training including your achievements and improvements.

detailed parameters
Type

Chest strap

Length

XS - S: 51 - 66 cm
M - XXL: 65 - 93 cm

Connection

Bluetooth, ANT+, 5 kHz transmission (Gymlink)

Power Source

1 x "CR2025" battery (up to 400 hours)

Extras

Fully waterproof (suitable for swimming)

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The unit can be removed from the strap. The strap can be adjusted from 25.6 inches (65 cm) to 37.4 inches (95 cm). Earning an IP67 protection rating, the device could not care less about moisture and dust, so you can sweat as much as you want without worrying about damaging its circuitry.

CONS

The Bluetooth module's range is limited. 

OUR VERDICT

The CooSpo Fitness Tracker will enable monitoring the heart rate without spending more than 25 quid. The device works with most mainstream training apps, incorporates both BT and ANT+ wireless modules, and takes ~365 hours to burn through one CR2032 battery.

detailed parameters
Type

Chest strap

Length

65 - 95 cm

Connection

Bluetooth, ANT+

Power Source

1 x "CR2032" battery (up to 365 hours)

Extras

Fully waterproof (not suitable for swimming)

Warranty

2 years

PROS

This device features built-in memory that stores up to 200 hours of training, quite a useful feature in case you don't have a compatible gadget at hand or when swimming in a pool. By the way, this model can be attached to your swimming goggles, so you can swim with more comfort.

CONS

The rechargeable battery could work longer on one charge. 

OUR VERDICT

The Polar OH1+ is designed for swimmers. With its help, you can monitor your heart rate without any discomfort. Wear it on your forearm, biceps, or swimming goggles, in any case, the OH1+ will take accurate measurements. 

detailed parameters
Type

Armband, temple clip

Length

~25 cm

Connection

Bluetooth, ANT+

Power Source

Rechargeable battery (up to 12 hours)

Extras

Built-in memory for 200 training sessions (4 MB), fully waterproof (suitable for swimming), updatable software

Warranty

1 year

Polar H10

ACCURACY AND CONNECTIVITY GALORE

The people behind the Polar H10 pride themselves on manufacturing and producing accurate, precise, and hassle-free monitors. With this device, these attributes are not only brought but polished to the max. First (and one would argue foremost), the soft textile strap features high-quality electrodes, making sure that the heart rate is measured with accuracy and without interference. Second, the easy-to-use buckle and silicone dots prevent the strap from skidding and sliding when you are on the move.

The model's compatible with most sports and smartwatches, from Android and Apple products to Garmin and Suunto and more. To that end, the device lets you choose between Bluetooth, ANT+, and 5 kHz transmission, offering multiple connection options and also allowing you to maintain two connections at the same time. Despite its high-end electrodes though, the model does not burn through batteries as fast as most models, giving you ~400 hours on one CR2025 battery.

Where the product to some extent drops the ball is the app with its bloated and clunky interface that takes time to get used to. Apart from the app's questionable UI, the Polar H10 is an excellent product. Plus, owing to its fully waterproof construction, the device can be worn while swimming, rowing, running, cycling, and training indoors.

Review of Polar H10

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Wahoo TICKR FIT

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

The Wahoo TICKR FIT is an armband, not the massive chest strap that most monitors within this lineup are coming with. As you can imagine, the difference here is that, unlike these straps, the 'band is pretty easy to put on, easy to remove, and less restrictive. The downside is that the battery lasts around 25-30 hours tops, though it is rechargeable, so you will not be buying replacement batteries every two months. Because, shockingly enough, people have different arms, the device's shipped with two stretchable bands, measuring 10 and 15 inches (25 and 38 cm). These bands are made from hypoallergenic materials, so people with sensitive skin can use them too.

In addition to monitoring the heart rate, the device can also track the workout duration and the calories burned, sending the data to the connected smartphone/tablet via the chosen training app. On that note, the model's compatible with at least 50 training apps and, selecting between Bluetooth and ANT+ connection options, the device can be paired with most smartphones, tablets, bike computers, and smartwatches.

To put it differently, the Wahoo TICKR FIT lands somewhere between fitness trackers and standard heart rate monitors, borrowing the best from both worlds.

Review of Wahoo TICKR FIT

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Polar H9

BEST BUDGET HEART RATE MONITOR

The Polar H9 is a trustworthy HRM in its price range. It offers quite a wide compatibility, great companion apps, and a set of basic functions that an athlete might need to track their heart rate during physical activity.

This model uses electric pulses (ECG) to measure heart rate and transmits it to your phone, smartwatch, or any other fitness equipment that supports 5kHz, Bluetooth, or ANT+ transmission. It also tells your fitness level and ways to improve it when you use Polar's companion apps. It has heart rate training options and the VO2max test.

The HRM is well-designed. It doesn't cause much discomfort for the wearer (or at least no more than a chest strap would cause). Though it might take some time and trial to find the right tightness level for your comfort.

The H9 is made with soft stretchy fabric. The material feels nice to the skin. Some users claim that it absorbs smells easy but the machine-washable design fixes this flaw. The inner side (the one that touches your skin on the chest) has a flat panel with sensors that feels like soft flexible plastic. The monitor fastens on the back with a coated stainless steel hook and a loop on the other end. Thanks to such a design solution, there are no buckles that will rub the skin.

Finally, the Polar H9 works on a coin cell battery that is very easy to replace. The HRM consumes very little energy, so a single battery can last for about 400 hours.

Review of Polar H9 Heart Rate Sensor

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

CooSpo Chest Strap Sensor

KEEPING THINGS SIMPLE

The CooSpo Fitness Tracker keeps things pretty simple. To begin with, the device comes hiding two wireless modules: Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+. Between these two, the model's compatible with most fitness apps, smart gadgets, and various gym equipment pieces.

Not unlike most heart rate monitors, this one's shipped with an adjustable chest strap. You can attach and remove the device from the strap. You can also adjust the strap between 25.6 and 37.4 inches (65 and 95 cm) circumference-wise, fitting most torsos.

The strap is stretchy, soft, and forgiving towards the skin, so you do not have to worry about it rubbing and chaffing against the torso. What you do have to worry about is that the Bluetooth module's range here is pretty limited, meaning that you will not be able to keep the unit connected to some gadget lying 15 feet (4.5 metres) away from you.

On the bright side, with its IP67 class protection, the device does not dread dust and moisture. Also, because the unit's tracking nothing but the heart rate, one CR2032 battery will last around 365 hours before finally giving out.

To sum up, the CooSpo Fitness Tracker is not the most sophisticated device on this list but those who only want to monitor their heart rate and nothing else will find this product a much more sensible choice.

Review of CooSpo Chest Strap Sensor Heart Rate Monitor

 

Polar OH1 +

MORE COMFORT AND USABILITY

On land and in water, the Polar OH1 makes heartbeat monitoring simple and comfortable. This is an optical HRM with a 6-LED sensor that is as accurate as an electric chest monitor. It sends your heart rate on any Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible device including your phone, smartwatch, cycling computers, treadmills, and any other compatible sports equipment piece. As with other Polar HRMs, you can link the OH1 to one of its companion apps. This model has built-in memory which stores up to 200 hours of data. So, if you want to focus on your workout instead of distracting on your phone, this monitor can help you with that.

The armband of the OH1 is adjustable, machine washable, and soft to the touch. You can wear it on your forearm or biceps. It fits snugly and comfortably. This is a great option especially when you do kettlebell-based exercises. It is replaceable and comes in several stylish colours, so you can get the one you like most and renew it in the future.

The manufacturer has thought about the swimmers' convenience too. They've equipped the monitor with a swimming goggle strap clip that you can use to attach the sensor to your goggles and swim with more comfort.

As for the battery, the Polar OH1 has a rechargeable lithium battery that runs up to 12 hours on a single charge. It charges with a USB adapter that comes in the box. Indeed, if you want to get accurate heart rate measurements but hate the discomfort that chest HRMs cause, then this monitor is the best pick.

Review of Polar OH1 + Waterproof Optical Heart Rate Sensor

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is a Heart Rate Monitor?

Monitoring the heart rate is something that most people should be doing when working out, especially when these workouts include cardio-intensive exercises. See, around 18 million people die from cardiovascular diseases each and every year, which amounts to 31% of all deaths worldwide. What's more, strokes and heart attacks make up 85% of these cases. Adding insult to injury, at times, we're not even at fault because various congenital heart diseases, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, and high blood cholesterol are hereditary, so you can be at risk even without knowing it and leading a healthy lifestyle.

To minimise the risks, aside from cardio exercises and all that, we can recommend investing in a heart rate monitor. With these tracking devices, you can tweak the exercise regimen knowing how different stimuli and intensity levels affect your heart rate. Normally, these devices come with an adjustable chest strap, so you can run, cycle, and even swim sometimes while wearing them without even noticing that they're there.

Of course, when you need more metrics, fitness trackers and running watches make more sense.

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Publish Date: 2020-06-11 14:51:34