Chest Strap vs Wristband Heart Rate Monitors

Chest Strap vs Wristband Heart Rate Monitors: What’s the Difference?

In today’s world, there are many different types of heart rate monitors. They range from wristbands like Polar H10 to chest straps like Garmin Fenix 3 HR. There are also other devices such as smart watches that measure your pulse or even just provide notifications when they sense you have been exerting yourself too much.

The main difference between these various types of heart rate monitors is their ability to track your heart beats. While some may think that the only purpose of a wristwatch is to tell time, it does have another use. It allows you to keep tabs on how hard you’re working out. You might not want to wear one every day, but if you do, then wearing them all the time would be pretty boring!

Wristwatches and chest straps are both great tools to have in your fitness toolbox. However, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look at them below.

Wristband Heart Rate Monitors

Wristband heart rate monitors are the most popular type of tracker on the market. They’re available for a wide range of prices and have different features depending on the brand. These devices are worn around your wrist and monitor your pulse throughout the day. The most common wristband is made by Fitbit, although many companies such as Garmin have their own versions of this style of heart rate monitor.

While wristband monitors can be a little bulkier than other devices, they are portable and easy to wear every day. Most people wear them on their non-dominant wrist so that they can easily use their dominant hand for activities like typing on a keyboard or playing an instrument. Wristbands typically send data to your phone via Bluetooth or have a direct WiFi connection. This way, you can see how your heart rate affects your energy levels, exercise, and even sleep

One of the benefits of a wristband heart rate monitor is that they are typically very accurate. The best wristbands have an accuracy rating of +/- 5 beats per minute. Chest strap monitors traditionally have an accuracy of +/- 10 bpm, but new models on the market are more accurate than ever.

Another advantage is that these types of monitors are consistent. They’ll always be on your wrist and will provide you with the most up to date data. They also typically last several days or even a week or more before needing a recharge.

The main disadvantage of these devices is their price. While many are now quite reasonably priced, you can expect to pay a bit more than other types. For example, the latest Fitbit Charge 2 costs around $150 to $200, while a comparable chest strap model can be had for under $100.

Sources & references used in this article:

Variable accuracy of wearable heart rate monitors during aerobic exercise by S Gillinov, M Etiwy, R Wang, G Blackburn… – Med Sci Sports …, 2017 –

How accurate are the wrist-based heart rate monitors during walking and running activities? Are they accurate enough? by SE Stahl, HS An, DM Dinkel… – BMJ open sport & …, 2016 –

Evaluation of earbud and wristwatch heart rate monitors during aerobic and resistance training by J BUNN, E WELLS, J MANOR… – International journal of …, 2019 –

LED indicator for heart rate monitoring system in sport application by NH Mahmood, N Uyop, N Zulkarnain… – 2011 IEEE 7th …, 2011 –