The Best Heart Rate Variability Monitors (Reviews & Buyers Guide)

Lady measuring heart rate on a chart
What Are The Best Heart Rate Variability Monitors?

I was interested to find out what are some of the best heart rate variability (HRV) measuring devices to use.

So I went out looking for what are the highest rated & most recommended heart rate monitors to help measure your heart rate variability score.

Here is a list of recommended HRV devices for you to compare:

Top Rated Heart Rate Variability Monitors to Buy

1. Polar H7 Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensor

The Polar H7 Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensor available on Amazon is one of the most recommended sensors by all HRV app developers.

Polar is a company that has been producing world class heart rate monitors for exercise for more than 30 years. It now has retail outlets in over 80 countries. Did you know that Polar patented the first wireless heart rate monitor back in 1979. The H7 model integrates to the Polar Beat app, and tracks calories burned as well as heart rate. (ref)

Specs
  • Transmitter Battery Life: Up to 200 hours
  • Type of Sensor: Chest strap sensor
  • HRV Apps: Connects to the free Polar Beat plus other iOS and Android apps

Let’s compare some of the other features:

  • Chest strap is comfortable to wear, even after sweating
  • Available in two sizes
  • The product is made by an established company that specializes in exercise and heart rate products
  • According to reviews, the device tends to have trouble connecting to the Polar Beat app and may cut the connection mid-workout
  • The company is reported to have poor customer service

2. Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor

The Polar H10 Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensor available on Amazon is a newer model and is also highly recommended by most developers.

Polar has been producing exercise monitors for more than 30 years, and now has retail outlets in over 80 countries. Polar patented the first wireless heart rate monitor in 1979. The H10 integrates to the Polar Beat app, and can be used while swimming. (ref)

Specs
  • Transmitter Battery Life: Up to 400 hours
  • Type of Sensor: Chest strap sensor
  • HRV Apps: Connects to the free Polar Beat app and other iOS and Android apps

Let’s compare some of the other features:

  • Compatible with GoPro, so you can overlay your heart rate onto your video
  • The device can store data from one training session, so you don’t have to keep your phone with you
  • Chest strap is comfortable to wear, even after sweating
  • Available in two sizes
  • The product is made by an established company that specializes in exercise and heart rate products
  • The H10 is waterproof and can be used while swimming
  • According to reviews, the device tends to have trouble connecting to the Polar Beat app and may cut the connection mid-workout
  • The company is reported to have poor customer service

3. Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor

The Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor available on Amazon is great alternative to the popular Polar models.

The Garmin company now employs nearly 12,000 people in 60 locations globally. In addition to making accurate health wearables, they manufacture tracking and GPS devices for aviation, automobiles, and marine activities. Like their fitness trackers, their heart rate monitor uses a battery and does not require regular charging. It is on the less expensive side and may be a practical option for more casual users. (ref)

Specs
  • Transmitter Battery Life: Up to four and half years (based on one hour of use per day)
  • Type of Sensor: Chest strap sensor
  • HRV Apps: Connects with any Garmin fitness tracker, as well as other Garmin devices and iOS and Android apps

Let’s compare some of the other features:

  • The H10 is waterproof and can be used while swimming
  • The chest strap is made of soft elastic fabric for comfort
  • Garmin is a trusted, global company with a broad range of tracking devices
  • The battery is difficult to replace, as the screws are tiny and tightly fitted
  • According to reviews, the device breaks easily and has trouble giving an accurate reading

4. 4iiii V100 Innovations Viiiiva Heart Rate Monitor

The 4iiii V100 Innovations Viiiiva Heart Rate Monitor available on Amazon is another good choice especially for swimmers as it is waterproof up to 3m deep water.

4iiii Innovations is a company run by athletes, for athletes. They are committed to improving sports performance and creating a safer world for athletes. Like the Garmin monitor mentioned above, the Viiiiva Heart Rate Monitor uses a replaceable battery and does not need to be charged. Its most notable feature is its ability to integrate with any ANT+ sensor. (ref)

Specs
  • Transmitter Battery Life: Up to 160 hours
  • Type of Sensor: Chest strap sensor
  • HRV Apps: Connects to the 4iiii app and other iOS and Android apps

Let’s compare some of the other features:

  • This heart rate monitor is very sensitive and takes accurate measurements
  • 4iiii has good customer service and will refund or replace defective products
  • The ANT+ bridge allows it to connect to other ANT+ sensors, allowing more flexibility in integrations
  • According to reviews, the chest strap is comfortable
  • Has a poor connection with certain apps
  • The chest strap wears out quickly and may need to be replaced

5. LifeTrak Zoom HRV Intensity & Recovery Trainer

The LifeTrak Zoom HRV Intensity & Recovery Trainer available on Amazon is very useful if you prefer the option of a using a wearable on your wrist vs a chest strap.

I can see this being ideal for people who love looking at their health data in realtime via a watch. Situations like when doing yoga, pilates or meditation. LifeTrak is a recent startup that sprang out of Salutron, Inc. Salutron was founded in 1995 with the mission of providing tools for a healthy life, using accurate technology. LifeTrak believes that measuring heart rate is the best way to achieve fitness goals. The Zoom is revolutionary in its ability to get accurate heart rate readings from the wrist, arm, or ankle, rather than the chest. (ref)

Specs
  • Transmitter Battery Life: Up to five days use rechargeable battery
  • Type of Sensor: Wrist strap, forearm strap, upper arm strap, or ankle strap sensor placement area
  • HRV Apps: Connects to the LifeTrak Fit app and other iOS and Android apps

Let’s compare some of the other features:

  • The LifeTrak Zoom is waterproof and can be used while swimming
  • The device can be worn in four different places on the body, depending on the activity being recorded
  • Includes a one-year warranty
  • Tracks fitness and sleep in addition to heart rate
  • This device is bulky compared to other HRV monitors
  • Due to its size, the band may not be comfortable while sleeping
  • According to reviews, their tech support is difficult to reach

HRV Devices (Quick Comparison Table)

HRV Brand
Battery Life
iOS & Android App
Sensor Placement
Polar H7200 hoursYesChest strap
Polar H10400 hoursYesChest strap
Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor Strap4.5 years (1 hour per day)YesChest strap
4iiii V100 Innovations Viiiiva Heart Rate Monitor160 hoursYesChest strap
LifeTrak Zoom HRV Intensity & Recovery Trainer5 days before recharging batteryYesWrist strap, forearm strap, upper arm strap, or ankle strap sensor

Buyers Guide Information

I know you were looking for what are the best options, but here is some more detail as to why we need to monitor our heart rate variability.

What is Heart Rate Variability?

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a measure of beat-to-beat variation over a period of time e.g., the heart’s ability to accelerate and decelerate quickly and efficiently to meet the body’s immediate needs.

HRV is considered to be a more insightful measure of heart health than your basic Resting Heart Rate (RHR) , which only measures the number of beats per minute. HRV can also be used to determine other health factors like mood, body recovery, stress level, and fatigue.

HRV is used by medical professionals to diagnose and treat patients, as well as high performance athletes looking to improve their athletic endurance and efficiency. (ref)

Benefits of HRV Biofeedback Training

HRV biofeedback training is a method used to control your breathing and heart rhythm in order to keep a consistent HRV. It shows results similar to those of meditation or yoga. (ref)

Knowing your HRV can help you better understand your body and how it responds to physical overload, which can help you optimize your lifestyle and training regimen. (ref)

List of some of the benefits of HRV biofeedback training include:

Types of HRV Devices Available

Most HRV devices use similar techniques and technology to give you an accurate measurement.

Most of the devices reviewed here are portable wearables that measure HRV using a sensor. There are, however, some differences in sensor placement on the body, device type, and if waterproof.

Below is a list of some different types of HRV equipment:

When To Use HRV Training

For Medical Use
Testing your autonomic nervous system to assess stress management, risk of diabetes and more. (ref)
For Athletic Training Use
To monitor how hard you can train on a day or how your recovery days are going. (ref)

Check Device Compatibility with Your HRV App

Not all heart rate monitors are compatible with all HRV apps on either Android or iOS phones. It is always a good idea to double check with your favorite HRV app developer to see what devices they recommend.

One very popular HRV app is called Elite HRV, which is free for personal use, and offers a paid upgrade for access to more features.

Elite HRV App Recommended Devices

Elite HRV is available on iOS (iPhone, iPad, etc.) and Android (Samsung, Nexus, etc.) devices and is compatible with ten different heart rate monitors, including:

Source: (ref)

HRV4Training App v

Download on the Apple Store Here | Download on Google Play Store Here

Source: (ref)

SweetBeat HRV App Recommended Devices

Download on the Apple Store Here | Not Available to Download on Google Play Store Here

Source: (ref)

ithlete HRV App Recommended Devices

Download on the Apple Store Here | Download on Google Play Store Here

Source: (ref)

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